Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

Judi Lynn

(161,360 posts)
Sat Dec 3, 2022, 01:08 AM Dec 2022

Zapatistas Versus the "Neoliberal War Against Humanity"

DECEMBER 2, 2022


The Zapatista revolution has survived in Chiapas, southern Mexico, since 1914, and that is a miracle. Zapatistas endured the assaults of government paramilitaries, the betrayals of Mexican presidents and crushing poverty. “They don’t care that we have nothing,” the Zapatistas said of Mexico’s elite at the start of their first uprising, “absolutely nothing, not even a roof over our heads, no land, no work, no healthcare, no food, no education, not the right to freely and democratically elect our political representatives nor independence from foreigners.”

This specter of destitution loomed over the Zapatistas, and indeed millions of indigenous people because of NAFTA. After a 12-day war against the Mexican state in 1994, Zapatistas agreed to a ceasefire, maintaining control of their lands in Chiapas. Thus the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) is always ready for combat. Its soldiers may spend their days planting corn and beans, but at a moment’s notice they drop their hoes and grab their rifles. That’s because government paramilitaries could reappear at any time, and with them, the threat of reinstituting the near slavery of the abominable finca plantations. These fincas were the Zapatistas’ original target in 1994. The revolutionaries overran the fincas, expelled the owners and empowered the indigenous peons, thus ending the systematic rape of indigenous women and girls and the hanging of indigenous men who refused to hand over their daughters. The practice of whipping these serfs for the slightest infraction also stopped. In every way, life improved for these peons, who had previously been treated like dirt.

Women constitute a third of the Zapatista army, according to the introduction to a new book, Zapatista Stories for Dreaming An-Other World, by Subcomandante Marcos, their leader, if they could be said to have one. And women became pivotal to the Zapatista effort to create a new social-political-economic arrangement on their lands. “The proclamation of the Women’s Revolutionary Law before the 1994 uprising was an insistence that women’s rights cannot wait until after the revolution; they are part of the revolutions.” The Women’s Revolutionary Law included, for example, the right to drive; thus it enables women better to participate in what the Zapatistas accurately call “the neoliberal war against humanity.”

Resistance to capitalism, not only the neoliberal variety, is a way of life for Zapatistas and best understood through their Autonomy Project. They designated their new autonomous regions “caracoles” – referring to conch shells used to summon assemblies. “These five caracoles would coordinate the already existing Zapatista municipalities in rebellion. The latter, created in 1994, were based on their massive land seizures during the uprising.” No free enterprise zones here! The caracoles feature socialist governance. “The Zapatistas understand governance as a particular form of work in service to the community, rather than as an exercise of power through administration or rule,” according to Dylan Eldridge Fitzwater in his book on the Zapatistas, Autonomy Is in Our Hearts, which was published about four years ago.


1 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Zapatistas Versus the "Neoliberal War Against Humanity" (Original Post) Judi Lynn Dec 2022 OP
When are lower class Americans going to wake up Stargazer99 Dec 2022 #1


(2,632 posts)
1. When are lower class Americans going to wake up
Sat Dec 3, 2022, 03:21 AM
Dec 2022

There is a pattern here that looks like the US upper class reflects something similar

Latest Discussions»Region Forums»Latin America»Zapatistas Versus the "Ne...