(Third Letter to Don Luis Villoro in the Exchange on Ethics and Politics)
ZAPATISTA NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY
To: Don Luis Villoro.
Receive greetings from all of us and a big hug from me. We hope you are in better health and that the pause in this exchange has been useful for attempting new proposals and reflections.
Although current reality seems to rush headlong at a dizzying rate, a serious theoretical reflection should be capable of “freezing” it for a moment in order to discover tendencies within it that permit us, revealing its gestation, to see where it is going.
(And speaking of reality, I remember that it was in the Zapatista La Realidad where I suggested to Don Pablo Gonzalez Casanova an exchange: he should send me a packet of Pancrema biscuits, and I would send him an alleged and improbable book of political theory (to call it something). Don Pablo complied, and the delayed walk of our calendar has prevented me from fulfilling my part of the exchange … yet. But I think that in the coming rains there will be more words.)
As perhaps has been insinuated in our correspondence (and in the letters of those who, generously, have joined the debate), theory, politics, and ethics are intertwined in ways not too obvious.
We are certainly not discussing discovering or creating TRUTHS, those millstones that abound in the history of philosophy and its bastard children: religion, theory, and politics.
I think we would agree that our efforts are aimed more towards trying to make the not-so evident but substantial lines stand out from those tasks.
“Downloading” theory into concrete analysis is one of the paths. Another is to anchor it in practice. But that practice is not being done in these epistles, as may be realized. So I think we should continue to insist on “anchoring” our theoretical reflections in concrete analysis or, more modestly, trying to limit their geographical and temporal coordinates. In other words, insisting that the words are spoken (written, in this case) from a specific place and time.
From one calendar and in one geography.
I. The Local Mirror.
The year 2011, Chiapas, Mexico, the World.
And in this calendar and this geography, we continue attentive around here to what happens, what is said and, above all, to what is silenced.
We continue in resistance in our lands. The attacks against us continue from across the political spectrum. We are an example that it is possible for all the political parties to have a common goal. Sponsored by federal, state and municipal governments, all political parties attack us.
Prior to each attack or after it, there is a meeting between government officials and “social” or party leaders. Little is said, just enough to agree on a price and the method of payment.
Those who criticize our Zapatista position that “all politicians are alike” should take a trip around Chiapas. Although it is certain that they will say this is something strictly local, that this does not happen at the national level.
But the political class in Chiapas repeats, with local variations, the same ridiculous routines of pre-election times.
There is an internal settling of scores (just like among the criminal gangs), which in the political class they disguise as “justice”. But everywhere it’s the same: to clear the path for the one who is elected this time. Everything that happens below is suspected of being a plot by one or more rivals. Everything that happens above is deformed or silenced.
With media policy to pay compliments, when it comes to Chiapas there is no difference between the press in the nation’s capital and in the state capital.
Can anyone seriously talk about justice in Chiapas when one of those responsible for the Acteal Massacre, namely Julio Cesar Ruiz Ferro, remains free? “Don’t worry, my president, let them kill each other, I’m going to send the public security services to pick up the dead”, the then governor of Chiapas, Julio Cesar Ruiz Ferro, replied to Jacinto Arias Cruz, mayor of Chenalho, who warned of an imminent confrontation in Acteal on December 19, 1997. (See: Maria de la Luz Gonzalez, El Universal, December 18, 2007.)
And what about “croquettes” Roberto Albores Guillen, – the one responsible for the El Bosque killings, in addition to having built an empire of crime and corruption that now permits him to play second to Juan Sabines Guerrero and his “cock,” the coletoManuel Velasco, – returning to the governorship of Chiapas? (Speaking of “cocks,” Will López Obrador ever account for having helped to recycle the worst of Chiapas PRI politics?)
Ah, the old rivalry between the ancient political classes of Comitan, San Cristobal de las Casas and Tuxtla Gutiérrez (indeed, its history can be found in the book by Antonio García de León, “Resistance and Utopia: memory of grievances and chronicle of revolts and prophecies which occurred in the province of Chiapas during the last five hundred years of its history” in the ERA editorial of the endearing Neus Espresate).
While inklings of a storm proliferate in the politics of the Chiapas of above, Juan Sabines Guerrero seems to continue to be committed to the line that gave so many failures before to “croquettes” Albores: to encourage groups, paramilitary and non-paramilitary, to assault the Zapatista communities, cloaking the power of criminal mafias with or without the alibi of a political party; maintaining impunity for close [friends]; simulation as a government programme.
A local and national press, well “oiled” with money, does not succeed in hiding, under the guise of unanimity, the internal war in the politics of above.
About all this, suffice it to point out the following: that the internal rules of the political class were broken a while ago. The jailers of yesterday are those jailed today, and the pursuers of today will be pursued tomorrow.
It’s not that they don’t cut “deals,” but they no longer have the ability to fulfill them.
And a political class that does not comply with its internal agreements is a corpse awaiting burial.
No, the political class of above understands nothing. But above all it does not understand the basics: your time is up.
Ruling stopped being a political function. Now the work par excellence of the rulers is simulation. More important than political and economic advisers are image, advertising and marketing advisors.
So behave the leaders in Mexico nowadays, while the local, regional and national realities go to pieces.