Petras, Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, 12-30-11

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1AC – Bronx

1AC – Bronx

1AC – Bronx

Before we can talk about the embargo in Cuba, or the oil in Mexico, or the crazy cocaine cartels in Venezuela, we need to talk about why we’re debating this topic in the first place. The resolution calls us to affirm a legacy of violence towards Latin America – the projection of Western values throughout the globe and the instrumentalization of the topic countries for the gain of the US.

James Petras, Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, 12-30-11, “Imperialism and the “Anti-Imperialism of the Fools,”

There is a long history of imperialist “anti-imperialism”, officially sponsored condemnation, exposés and moral indignation directed exclusively against rival imperialists, emerging powers or simply competitors, who in some cases are simply following in the footsteps of the established imperial powers. English imperialists in their heyday justified their world-wide plunder of three continents by perpetuating the “Black Legend”, of Spanish empire’s “exceptional cruelty” toward indigenous people of Latin America, while engaging in the biggest and most lucrative African slave trade. While the Spanish colonists enslaved the indigenous people, the Anglo-american settlers exterminated [indigenous people]….. In the run-up to World War II, European and US imperial powers, while exploiting their Asian colonies condemned Japanese imperial powers’ invasion and colonization of China. Japan, in turn claimed it was leading Asia’s forces fighting against Western imperialism and projected a post-colonial “co-prosperity” sphere of equal Asian partners. The imperialist use of “anti-imperialist” moral rhetoric was designed to weaken rivals and was directed to several audiences. In fact, at no point did the anti-imperialist rhetoric serve to “liberate” any of the colonized people. In almost all cases the victorious imperial power only substituted one form colonial or neo-colonial rule for another. The “anti-imperialism” of the imperialists is directed at the nationalist movements of the colonized countries and at their domestic public. British imperialists fomented uprisings among the agro-mining elites in Latin America promising “free trade” against Spanish mercantilist rule ;they backed the “self-determination” of the slaveholding cotton plantation owners in the US South against the Union;they supported the territorial claims of the Iroquois tribal leaders against the US anti-colonial revolutionaries … exploiting legitimate grievances for imperial ends. During World War II, the Japanese imperialists supported a sector of the nationalist anti-colonial movement in India against the British Empire. The US condemned Spanish colonial rule in Cuba and the Philippines and went to war to “liberate” the oppressed peoples from tyranny….and remained to impose a reign of terror, exploitation and colonial rule… The imperial powers sought to divide the anti-colonial movements and create future “client rulers” when and if they succeeded. The use of anti-imperialist rhetoric was designed to attract two sets of groups. A conservative group with common political and economic interests with the imperial power, which shared their hostility to revolutionary nationalists and which sought to accrue greater advantage by tying their fortunes to a rising imperial power. A radical sector of the movement tactically allied itself with the rising imperial power, with the idea of using the imperial power to secure resources (arms, propaganda, vehicles and financial aid) and, once securing power, to discard them. More often than not, in this game of mutual manipulation between empire and nationalists, the former won out … as is the case then and now. The imperialist “anti-imperialist” rhetoric was equally directed at the domestic public, especially in countries like the US which prized its 18th anti-colonial heritage. The purpose was to broaden the base of empire building beyond the hard line empire loyalists, militarists and corporate beneficiaries. Their appeal sought to include liberals, humanitarians, progressive intellectuals, religious and secular moralists and other “opinion-makers” who had a certain cachet with thelarger public, the ones who would have to pay with their lives and tax money for the inter-imperial and colonial wars. The official spokespeople of empire publicize real and fabricated atrocities of their imperial rivals, and highlight the plight of the colonized victims. The corporate elite and the hardline militarists demand military action to protect property, or to seize strategic resources; the humanitarians and progressives denounce the “crimes against humanity” and echo the calls “to do something concrete” to save the victims from genocide. Sectors of the Left join the chorus, finding a sector of victims who fit in with their abstract ideology, and plead for the imperial powers to “arm the people to liberate themselves” (sic). By lending moral support and a veneer of respectability to the imperial war, by swallowing the propaganda of “war to save victims” the progressives become the prototype of the “anti-imperialism of the fools”. Having secured broad public support on the bases of “anti-imperialism”, the imperialist powers feel free to sacrifice citizens’ lives and the public treasury ,to pursue war, fueled by the moral fervor of a righteous cause. As the butchery drags on and the casualties mount, and the public wearies of war and its cost, progressive and leftist enthusiasm turns to silence or worse, moral hypocrisy with claims that “the nature of the war changed” or “that this isn’t the kind of war that we had in mind …”. As if the war makers ever intended to consult the progressives and left on how and why they should engage in imperial wars.! In the contemporary period the imperial “anti-imperialist wars” and aggression have been greatly aided and abetted by well-funded “grass roots” so-called “non-governmental organizations” which act to mobilize popular movements which can “invite” imperial aggression. Over the past four decades US imperialism has fomented at least two dozen “grass roots” movements which have destroyed democratic governments, or decimated collectivist welfare states or provoked major damage to the economy of targeted countries. In Chile throughout 1972-73 under the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende, the CIA financed and provided major support – via the AFL-CIO–to private truck owners to paralyze the flow of goods and services .They also funded a strike by a sector of the copper workers union (at the El Tenient mine) to undermine copper production and exports, in the lead up to the coup. After the military took power several “grass roots” Christian Democratic union officials participated in the purge of elected leftist union activists. Needless to say in short order the truck owners and copper workers ended the strike, dropped their demands and subsequently lost all bargaining rights! In the 1980’s the CIA via Vatican channels transferred millions of dollars to sustain the “Solidarity Union” in Poland, making a hero of the Gdansk shipyards worker-leader Lech Walesa, who spearheaded the general strike to topple the Communist regime. With the overthrow of Communism so also went guaranteed employment, social security and trade union militancy: the neo-liberal regimes reduced the workforce at Gdansk by fifty percent and eventually closed it, giving the boot to the entire workforce.. Walesa retired with a magnificent Presidential pension, while his former workmates walked the streets and the new “independent” Polish rulers provided NATO with military bases and mercenaries for imperial wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2002 the White House, the CIA , the AFL-CIO and NGOs, backed a Venezuelan military-business – trade union bureaucrat led “grass roots” coup that overthrew democratically elected President Chavez. In 48 hours a million strong authentic grass roots mobilization of the urban poor backed by constitutionalist military forces defeated the US backed dictators and restored Chavez to power .Subsequently oil executives directed a lockout backed by several US financed NGOs. They were defeated by the workers’ takeover of the oil industry. The unsuccessful coup and lockout cost the Venezuelan economy billions of dollars in lost income and caused a double digit decline in GNP. The US backed “grass roots” armed jihadists to liberated “Bosnia” and armed the“grass roots” terrorist Kosova Liberation Army to break-up Yugoslavia.Almost the entire Western Left cheered as, the US bombed Belgrade, degraded the economy and claimed it was “responding to genocide”. Kosova “free and independent” became a huge market for white slavers, housed the biggest US military base in Europe, with the highest per-capita out migration of any country in Europe. The imperial “grass roots” strategy combines humanitarian, democratic and anti-imperialist rhetoric and paid and trained local NGO’s, with mass media blitzes to mobilize Western public opinion and especially “prestigious leftist moral critics” behind their power grabs. The Consequence of Imperial Promoted “Anti-Imperialist” Movements: Who Wins and Who Loses? The historic record of imperialist promotedanti-imperialist” and “pro-democracy” “grass roots movements” is uniformly negative. Let us briefly summarize the results. In Chile ‘grass roots’ truck owners strike led to the brutal military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet and nearly two decades of torture, murder, jailing and forced exile of hundreds of thousands, the imposition of brutal “free market policies” and subordination to US imperial policies. In summary the US multi-national copper corporations and the Chilean oligarchy were the big winners and the mass of the working class and urban and rural poor the biggest losers. The US backed “grass roots uprisings” in Eastern Europe against Soviet domination, exchanged Russian for US domination; subordination to NATO instead of the Warsaw Pact; the massive transfer of national public enterprises, banks and media to Western multi-nationals. Privatization of national enterprises led to unprecedented levels of double-digit unemployment, skyrocketing rents and the growth of pensioner poverty.The crises induced the flight of millions of the most educated and skilled workers and the elimination of free public health, higher education and worker vacation resorts. Throughout the now capitalist Eastern Europe and USSR highly organized criminal gangs developed large scale prostitution and drug rings; foreign and local gangster ‘entrepeneurs’ seized lucrative public enterprises and formed a new class of super-rich oligarchs Electoral party politicians, local business people and professionals linked to Western ‘partners’ were the socio-economic winners. Pensioners, workers, collective farmers, the unemployed youth were the big losers along with the formerly subsidized cultural artists. Military bases in Eastern Europe became the empire’s first line of military attack of Russia and the target of any counter-attack. If we measure the consequences of the shift in imperial power, it is clear that the Eastern Europe countries have become even more subservient under the US and the EU than under Russia. Western induced financial crises have devastated their economies; Eastern European troops have served in more imperial wars under NATO than under Soviet rule; the cultural media are under Western commercial control. Most of all, the degree of imperial control over all economic sectors far exceeds anything that existed under the Soviets. The Eastern European ‘grass roots’ movement succeeded in deepening and extending the US Empire; the advocates of peace, social justice, national independence, a cultural renaissance and social welfare with democracy were the big losers. Western liberals, progressives and leftists who fell in love with imperialist promoted “anti-imperialism” are also big losers. Their support for the NATO attack on Yugoslavia led to the break-up of a multi-national state and the creation of huge NATO military bases and a white slavers paradise in Kosova. Their blind support for the imperial promoted “liberation” of Eastern Europe devastated the welfare state, eliminating the pressure on Western regimes’ need to compete in providing welfare provisions. The main beneficiaries of Western imperial advances via ‘grass roots’ uprisings were the multi-national corporations, the Pentagon and the rightwing free market neo-liberals. As the entire political spectrum moved to the right a sector of the left and progressives eventually jumped on the bandwagon. The Left moralists lost credibility and support, their peace movements dwindled, their “moral critiques” lost resonance. The left and progressives who tail-ended the imperial backed “grass roots movements”, whether in the name of “anti-stalinism”, “pro-democracy” or “anti-imperialism” have never engaged in any critical reflection; no effort to analyze the long-term negative consequences of their positions in terms of the losses in social welfare, national independence or personal dignity. The long history of imperialist manipulation of “anti-imperialist” narratives has found virulent expression in the present day. The New Cold War launched by Obama against China and Russia, the hot war brewing in the Gulf over Iran’s alleged military threat, the interventionist threat against Venezuela’s “drug-networks”,and Syria’s “bloodbath” are part and parcel of the use and abuse of “anti-imperialism” to prop up a declining empire. Hopefully, the progressive and leftist writers and scribes will learn from the ideological pitfalls of the past and resist the temptation to access the mass media by providing a ‘progressive cover’ to imperial dubbed “rebels”. It is time to distinguish between genuine anti-imperialism and pro-democracy movements and those promoted by Washington, NATO and the mass media.

This westernizing lens makes it impossible to imagine Latin America outside of a Eurocentric understanding of the world – the resolution hails us to affirm the expansion of empire and the extermination of the barbarian, primitive, black, native, savage racialized other who “has nothing to contribute to society.”

Edgardo Lander, 2000 (Prof. of Sociology and Latin American studies at the Venezuelan Central University in Caracas , Nepantla: Views from South Volume 1, Issue 3, 2000, “Eurocentrism and Colonialism in Latin American Social Thought”, :)
Political and social thought regarding Latin America has been historically characterized by a tension between the search for its specific attributes and an external view that has seen these lands from the narrow perspective of European experience. There has also been an opposition between the challenge of the rich potentialities of this New World and distress over its difference, which stands in contrast with the ideal represented by European culture and racial composition. Nonetheless, external colonial views and regrets because of the difference have been widely hegemonic. A brief revision of the texts of the first republican constitutions is enough to illustrate how liberals, in their attempt to transplant and install a replica of their understanding of the European or North American experience, almost completely ignore the specific cultural and historical conditions of the societies about which they legislate. When these conditions are considered, it is with the express purpose of doing away with them. The affliction because of the difference—the awkwardness of living in a continent that is not white, urban, cosmopolitan, and civilized—finds its best expression in positivism. Sharing the main assumptions and prejudices of nineteenth-century European thought (scientific racism, patriarchy, the idea of progress), positivism reaffirms the colonial discourse. The continent is imagined from a single voice, with a single subject: white, masculine, urban, cosmopolitan. The rest, the majority, is the “other,” barbarian, primitive, black, Indian, who has nothing to contribute to the future of these societies. It would be imperative to whiten, westernize, or exterminate that majority.

The topic cannot be separated from the way we debate it – the purpose of this year’s resolution is clear, and it’s to teach us to be better imperialists. This understanding of Latin America, the topic and the debate space destroys education and turns us into the agents of Empire.

Shanara Reid-Brinkley, 2008 (Shanara Rose Reid-Brinkley, Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Communications, Director of Debate @ University of Pittsburgh, “THE HARSH REALITIES OF “ACTING BLACK”: HOW AFRICAN-AMERICAN POLICY DEBATERS NEGOTIATE REPRESENTATION THROUGH RACIAL PERFORMANCE AND STYLE”, :)
Mitchell observes that the stance of the policymaker in debate comes with a “sense of detachment associated with the spectator posture.”115 In other words, its participants are able to engage in debates where they are able to distance themselves from the events that are the subjects of debates. Debaters can throw around terms like torture, terrorism, genocide and nuclear war without blinking. Debate simulations can only serve to distance the debaters from real world participation in the political contexts they debate about. As William Shanahan remarks…the topic established a relationship through interpellation that inhered irrespective of what the particular political affinities of the debaters were. The relationship was both political and ethical, and needed to be debated as such. When we blithely call for United States Federal Government policymaking, we are not immune to the colonialist legacy that establishes our place on this continent. We cannot wish away the horrific atrocities perpetrated every day in our name simply by refusing to acknowledge these implications” (emphasis in original).116 The “objective” stance of the policymaker is an impersonal or imperialist persona. The policymaker relies upon “acceptable” forms of evidence, engaging in logical discussion, producing rational thoughts. As Shanahan, and the Louisville debaters’ note, such a stance is integrally linked to the normative, historical and contemporary practices of power that produce and maintain varying networks of oppression. In other words, the discursive practices of policy oriented debate are developed within, through and from systems of power and privilege. Thus, these practices are critically implicated in the maintenance of hegemony. So, rather than seeing themselves as government or state actors, Jones and Green choose to perform themselves in debate, violating the more “objective” stance of the “policymaker” and require their opponents to do the same.

If you’re still waiting for us to read a plan text at this point, you should probably stop holding your breath – we understand the topic, not through the resolution’s violent call to “economic engagement,” but through the lens of Zapatismo. Debate should be a world in which many worlds are possible. Rejecting the colonizing interpretation of the topic mandated by the resolution allows for a multifaceted understanding of Latin America, creating the conditions for counter-hegemony.

David Solnit, writer and activist organizer who helped take a part in the 1999 Seattle WTO protests, 2003, “Globalize Liberation: How to Uproot the System and Build a Better World”
Throughout the struggle, the Zapatistas have punctuated their statements, especially those circulated through the communiques, with calls for democracy, liberty and justice. These concepts, taken together, may be the most difficult, and the most crucial to engage. In new political spaces, all voices, all proposals must be responded to with respect. New political relationships must not be limited by institutions, organizations, or ideologies that seek to contain moments of resistance or rebellion. The new relationships must speak to the collectively defined obligations of a community in a dialogue based on respect. Political projects and proposals need to emerge organically, not be imposed by an individual or a cabal. The provocation suggested by this principle implies a reliance on our collective talents and abilities for self-governance that transcends systems of representative democracy. The Zapatistas have insisted that the marginalized, forgotten and faceless are agents of history, and that they cannot be fully included by adding in such a manner that does not alter the political relations that maintains their marginalization by elites. A “radical” or participatory democracy requires a system that seeks and respect the contribution of everyone, each sharing their own word. “Perhaps,” Subcomandante Marcos declares, “the new political morality is constructed in a new space that is not the taking or retention of power, but serves as the counterweight and opposition that contains it and obliges it to, for example, ‘lead by obeying.’” The Zapatistas demonstrated that it is possible to organize collective action based on a communitywide dialogue, consensus and commitment. Given that in any local context there is not simply one single, homogenous community, how do we determine who leads and who obeys? Mandar obedeciendo, or “lead by obeying,” suggests going beyond a system of hierarchy and rank where elites are conferred the duty and the right to direct. The leadership of a community, the process from which it emerges and is articulated, requires clarification, such that mandar obedeciendo is not an excise for a small coterie to direct, either out of cynicism or ambition. Mandar obedeciendo requires humility and a commitment to listening, neither of which can be take for granted. It is an invitation to a profound transformation, collective and individual. Transformation is both a necessary and integral struggle as we provoke, incite, facilitate, inspire, listen and work with one another with humility. The emergence of the EZLN as a people’s army is a narrative of transformation. The small group of urban revolutionaries who traveled to Chiapas expecting to become a revolutionary vanguard abandoned their concepts once they were “contaminated by and subordinated to the communities.” In another move the community itself became armed. The Zapatistas emerged from a context of a variety of ethnic groups, political organizations, and economic interests. Early in the struggle, during the critical movement of the original EZLN’s transformation from a vanguardist guerrilla to a community in arms, the Zapatistas reflected not one single indigenous identity, but the interests of Tzeltal, Tolojobal, Tzotzil, Chol and Mam people, to name a few. The political imperatives of mandar obedeciendo also challenge many of the assumptions and previously unexamined strategies of organizing associated with “solidarity” efforts that often rely on a singular model, plan, or program fostering paternalism and elitism. Solidarity campaigns too often focus on a single issue, developing networks of short-lived and fragile coalitions that can be resistant to crucial modifications and slow to adapt to shifting contexts. More importantly, solidarity projects that represent, define and speak for the struggle(s) of others presuppose the progress or development of those being aided and not the transformation of those providing the aid. Unfortunately, they are too ill-prepared to acknowledge the transformations already taking place in targeted communities. In an effort to go beyond solidarity, mandar obedeciendo begins with the premise that communities made up of diverse constituencies begins with the premise that communities made up of diverse constituencies are, to varying and complex degrees, already organized. Taking our cues from the EZLN, we can imagine, in a place of solidarity work, a politics of refusal, listening and community-building in which people become part of “the struggle” in their own way, at their own pace, and without being measured by an specific model of “conscientization” or a political program specified by “the organization.” We must operate from the premise that a given community possesses the resources for its own transformation and has the collective genius to marshal those resources for political action. Encuentro as a model of political work presupposes individual and collective transformation that results from dialogue, and it allows for the possibility of individual and collective transformation into a community with purpose. Thus, the Zapatistas provide an important example of the possibilities for an unarmed guerrilla operating in sites of privilege, a resistance that makes direct action and disciplined formations central elements of their political practice without abandoning dialogue. Todo para todos, nada para nosotros, “everything for everything, nothing for ourselves,” underscores the commitment to define struggle not by taking state power, but imagining a new world, “a world where many worlds fit." Forsaking the desire to replace one elite with another, todo para todos, nada para nosotros invites us not to submit to individual needs but to elaborate collective ones. More important, it asserts that communities are driven by collectively articulated obligations, not by the competing interests of individual needs. Zapatista political proposals and strategy posit a "collective subject," demanding the fundamental rights that emerge from collective identities and communal needs. Caminamos preguntando, or "we walk asking," challenges us to travel in dialogue with one another, always with a view of a shared horizon. We are often schooled to repress the fundamental impulse to question. A commitment to inquiry allows us to transcend the facade of ideology and the oppression of rigid institutions in favor of discovery. It contests a process in which we have been "educated" to accept being left out or rendered invisible to everyone, including ourselves. The violence of cultural homogenization produced through social fictions and the ideological maneuvers of a "democratic" system attempt to force us to deny ourselves as we deny the uniqueness and diversity of others. Processes of exclusion target specific communities, especially those groups who have chosen to resist, such as the communities who have taken up arms in Chiapas. Other groups, such as youth, women, communities of color, constituencies who craft diverse, often seemingly less obvious strategies of resistance, have also been marginalized as well and are threatened by relentless progresses of homogenization. Such exclusions could also be exerted in revolutionary movements, a history the Zapatistas have struggled not to repeat. Violence was not a means to dominate, or even convince others of the virtues of a Zapatista vision or program. Ideas asserted through the force of arms are always suspect, and as Marcos admits, "the task of an armed movement should be to present the problem, and then step aside." Able to pursue and develop a "model of peace," their change in strategy corresponds to Gandhi's often misunderstood explanation of nonviolence as being an appropriate strategy of the strong, not the weak. They have not abandoned the "model of war" altogether, but have held it in abeyance, the two possibilities working in conjunction to expand their political project for Mexico and beyond. Zapatista strength derives not only from their mobilizations but from the way in which people have rallied to their banner, confident in their commitment not to take state power and impose themselves as a revolutionary vanguard. "For us it would be a failure. What would be a success for the politico-military organizations of the sixties or seventies which emerged with the national liberation movements would be a fiasco for us," claims Marcos. Nunca jamas un mundo sin nosotros, “never again a world without us,” seeks to reverse the history of marginalization in which communities have been systematically silenced. The nunca jamas is a declaration that recognizes that processes of marginalization and homogenization portent the extinction of a people, suggesting the necessity for action that must include cultural renewal. It proclaims the possibilities of a reimagined world, a world in which those in rebellion have responsibilities and have obligations to one another. As a statement against elitism it reminds us that the struggle is not limited to the Zapatistas or those in the south, but must be reimagined to include multiple struggles in numerous sites. Zapatismo offers a strategy of struggle on a variety of fronts, including cultural ones. Fundamental to the Zapatistas’ struggle to make themselves visible has been the claim that they narrate their own history and speak their own truths. The “not forgetting” reminds us to recover our past while we document our struggle. In asserting critical elements of a vibrant Mayan culture, the Zapatistas have successfully resisted market forces that seek to homogenize all people. Their struggle has been successful primarily because it has been rooted locally, a deliberate effort to maintain their commons by reclaiming their history, culture and community. We must also reclaim our histories and cultures as we reclaim our commons. In sites of privilege such as those found in the "the west," a consumer culture fosters values, attitudes, and practices peculiar to a disposable, individualistic, and competitive society. If we begin with a definition of community that stresses sharing knowledge of what works locally between generations and fulfilling collectively determined obligations with one another, then we must ask ourselves how do we collectively define obligations and acknowledge local wisdom in the face of cultural homegenization? Notes in Conclusion The Zapatistast commitment to difference rather than identity, dialogue over command, and autonomy in opposition to state or market control has revealed a radical new practice, a commitment to theoretical reflection and direct action that does not subordinate local struggles (issues in particular contexts), prioritize actions (strategies of resistance), or alternative practices (strategies for living outside of state and market forces) to any specific political formation, program, or ideology. The Zapatistas have refused to do battle within a framework of old organizational structures. Thus, they have insisted that they will not fall back into the past that, as Marcos suggests, was defined by the battle over ideologies. During the March for Indigenous Dignity the Zapatistas made it clear they were not trying to turn back the clock to a bucolic past of native harmony. "No," proclaimed Marcos, "we Indian peoples have come in order to wind the clock and to thus ensure that the inclusive, tolerant, and plural tomorrow which is, incidentally, the only tomorrow possible, will arrive. In order to do that, in order for our march to make the clock of humanity march, we Indian peoples have resorted to the art of reading what has not yet been written. Because that is the dream which animates us as indigenous, as Mexicans and, above all, as human beings. With our struggle, we are reading the future which has already been sown yesterday, which is being cultivated today, and which can only be reaped if one fights, if, that is, one dreams.

The academy has been colonized – we go from round to round, pretending like the topic we’ve been given is value-neutral while ignoring its drive to Westernize. Our affirmation of Zapatismo politics re-ignites the revolutionary potential of the debate space by allowing us to link up with other movements in order to move beyond the oppositional politics of the status quo.

El Kilombo Intergaláctico, 07 “BEYOND RESISTANCE: EVERYTHING,”
The Fourth World War continues unabated and the result has been a near total devastation of the earth and the misery of the grand majority of its inhabitants. Given this situation and the sense of despair it brings, it would be easy to lose a sense of purpose, to raise our hands in defeat and utter those words that have been drilled into us for the past thirty years: "there is in fact no alternative." Despite the new contours of the Fourth World War and the sense of social dizziness that it has created, it is important for us to realize that this war shares one fundamental con­stant with all other wars in the modern era: it has been foisted upon us in order to maintain a division (an inequality) between those who rule and those who are ruled. Since the attempted conquest of the "New World" and the conse­quent establishment of the modern state-form, we have so internalized this division that it seems nearly impossible to imagine, let alone act on, any social organization without it. It is this very act of radical practice and imagination that the Zapatistas believe is necessary to fight back in the era of total war. But how might this alternative take shape? In order to begin to address this question, the Zapatistas implore us to relieve ourselves of the positions of "observers" who insist on their own neutrality and distance; this position may be adequate for the microscope-wielding academic or the "precision-guided" TV audience of the latest bombings over Baghdad, but they are completely insufficient for those who are seeking change. The Zapatistas insist we throw away our microscopes and our televisions, and instead they demand that we equip our "ships" with an "inverted peri­scope.' According to what the Zapatistas have stated, one can never ascertain a belief in or vision of the future by looking at a situation from the position of "neutrality" provided for you by the existing relations of power. These methods will only allow you to see what already is, what the balance of the relations of forces are in your field of inquiry. In other words, such methods allow you to see that field only from the perspective of those who rule at any given moment. In contrast, if one learns to harness the power of the periscope not by honing in on what is happen­ing "above" in the halls of the self-important, but by placing it deep below the earth, below even the very bottom of society, one finds that there are struggles and memories of struggles that allow us to identify not "what is" but more importantly "what will be." By harnessing the transformative capacity of social movement, as well as the memories of past struggles that drive it, the Zapatistas are able to identify the future and act on it today. It is a paradoxical temporal insight that was perhaps best summarized by "El Clandestino" himself, Nlanu Chao, when he proclaimed that, "the future happened a long time ago!" Given this insight afforded by adopting the methodology of the inverted periscope, we are able to shatter the mirror of power, to show that power does not belong to those who rule. Instead, we see that there are two completely different and opposed forms of power in any society: that which emerges from above and is exercised own people (Power with a capital "P"), and that which is born below and is able to act with and through people (power with a lower case "p"). One is SCE on maintaining that which is (Power), while the other is premised on transformation (power). These are not only not the same thing; they are (literally) worlds apart. According to the Zapatistas, once we have broken the mirror of Power by identifying an alternative source of social organization, we can then see it for what it is—a purely negative capacity to isolate us and make us believe that we are powerless. But once we have broken that mirror-spell, we can also see that power does not come from above, horn chose "In power," and therefore that it is possible to exercise power without taking it—that is, without simply changing places with those who rule. In this regard, it is important to quote in its entirety the famous Zapatista motto that has been circulated in abbreviated form among movements throughout the world: "What we seek, what we need and want is for all chose people without a party or an organization to make agreements about what they don't want and what they do want and organize themselves in order to achieve it (preferably through civil and peaceful means), not to take power, but to exercise it."" Only now can we understand the full significance of this statement's challenge. It is important to note how this insight sets the Zapatistas apart from much of the polemics that has domi­nated the Left, be it in "socialist" or "anarchist" camps, throughout the 20th century. Although each of these camps has within itself notable historical precedents that strongly resemble the insights of Zapatismo (the original Soviets of the Russian revolution and the anarchist collectives of the Spanish Civil War come most immediately to mind), we must be clear that on the level of theoretical frameworks and explicit aims, both of these traditions remain (perhaps despite themselves) entangled in the mirror of Power. That is, both are able to identify power only as that which comes from above (as Power), and define their varying positions accordingly. Socialists have thus most frequently defined their project as the organization of a social force that seeks to "take [Plower.' Anarchism, accepting the very same presupposition, can see itself acting in a purely negative fashion as that which searches to eliminate or disrupt Power—anarchist action as defenestration, throwing Power out the window. IS Thus, for each, Power is a given and the only organizationally active agent. From this perspective, we can see that despite the fact that Zapatismo contains within itself elements of both of these traditions, it has been able to break with the mirror of Power. It reveals that Power is but one particular arrangement of social force, and that below that arrangement lies a second—that of power which is never a given but which must always be the project of daily construction. In sum, according to the Zapatistas, through the construction of this second form of power it is possible to overcome the notion and the practice which sustains it that society is possible only through conquest, the idea that social organization necessitates the division between rulers and ruled. Through the empowerment of power, it is pos­sible to organize a society of "mandar obedeciendo" (rule by obeying),19 a society that would delegate particular functions while ensuring that those who are commissioned to enact them answer to the direct voice of the social body, and not vice-versa. In other words, our choices now exceed those previously present; we are not faced with the choice of a rule from above (we would call this Sovereignty), or no rule at all (the literal meaning of Anarchy). The Zapatistas force us to face the imminent reality that all can rule—democracy (as in "Democracy, Liberty, and justice)? 4. THE PRACTICE OF DEMOCRACY When democracy is wrenched from the clenched fist of idealism, and is instead understood as the cultiva­tion of habits and institutions necessary for a society to "mandar obedetientio," a whole new continent of revolutionary praxis opens before us. That is, having been able to identify the autonomous and antagonistic relation that "exercising power" (a conduct of power) has to "taking power" Ca conduct of Power), the Zapatistas have been unique in their capacity to move beyond the street protest and rhetorical denunciation that have seemed to dominate much of the rest of the anti-globalization movement in recent years. In fact, it seems that in the same way that the Zapatistas were an inspiration for the recovery of the spirit of resistance that has characterized the movements of the past decade, their vision will continue to be a key inspiration as these same movements struggle with the necessity of moving "beyond resistance.

The resolution’s Eurocentric mode of knowledge production needs to be questioned – the politics of “economic engagement” relies on a matrix of domination which valorizes and values the white heterosexual male at the expense of indigenous and black bodies. Pluralistic politics is necessary to decolonize debate and invert the status quo geopolitics of knowledge which makes death inevitable.

Catherine Walsh, 2012 (Estudios Culturales Latinoamericanos de la Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, “The Politics of Naming” Cultural Studies 26:1 p. 117-122 :)

To think with knowledges produced in Latin America and the Caribbean (as well as in other ‘Souths’, including those located in the North) and by intellectuals who come not only from academia, but also from other projects, communities and social movements are, for us, a necessary and essential step, both in de-colonization and in creating other conditions of knowledge and understanding. Our project, thus, concerns itself with the work of inverting the geopolitics of knowledge, with placing attention on the historically subjugated and negated plurality of knowledge, logics and rationalities, and with the political-intellectual effort to create relationships, articulations and convergences between them. The de-colonial element is intimately related to the two preceding points. Here our interest is, on one hand, to make evident the thoughts, practices and experiences that both in the past and in the present have endeavoured to challenge the colonial matrix of power and domination, and to exist in spite of it, in its exterior and interior. By colonial matrix, we refer to the hierarchical system of racial civilizational classification that has operated and operates at different levels of life, including social identities (the superiority of white, heterosexual males), ontological-existential contexts (the dehumanization of indigenous and black peoples), epistemic contexts (the positioning of Euro-centrism as the only perspective of knowledge, thereby disregarding other epistemic rationalities), and cosmological (the control and/or negation of the ancestral-spiritual-territorial-existential bases that govern the life-systems of ancestral peoples, most especially those of African Diaspora and of Abya Yala) (see Quijano 1999). At the centre or the heart of this matrix is capitalism as the only possible model of civilization; the imposed social classification, the idea of ‘humanity’, the perspective of knowledge and the prototype life-system that goes with it defines itself through this capitalistic civilizational lens. As Quijano argues, by defending the interests of social domination and the exploitation of work under the hegemony of capital, ‘the ‘‘racialization’’ and the ‘‘capitalization’’ of social relationships of these models of power, and the ‘‘eurocentralization’’ of its control, are in the very roots of our present problems of identity,’ in Latin America as countries, ‘nations’ and States (Quijano 2006). It is precisely because of this that we consider the de-colonial to be a fundamental perspective. Within our project, the de-colonial does not seek to establish a new paradigm or line of thought but a critically-conscious understanding of the past and present that opens up and suggests questions, perspectives and paths to explore. As such, and on the other hand, we are interested in stimulating methodologies and pedagogies that, in the words of Jacqui Alexander (2005), cross the fictitious boundaries of exclusion and marginalization to contribute to the configuration of new ways of being and knowing rooted not in alterity itself, but in the principles of relation, complement and commitment. It is also to encourage other ways of reading, investigating and researching, of seeing, knowing, feeling, hearing and being, that challenge the singular reasoning of western modernity, make tense our own disciplinary frameworks of ‘study’ and interpretation, and persuade a questioning from and with radically distinct rationalities, knowledge, practices and civilizational-life-systems. It is through these three pillars of the inter-cultural, the inter-epistemic and the de-colonial that we attempt to understand the processes, experiences and struggles that are occurring in Latin America and elsewhere. But it is also here that we endeavour to contribute to and learn from the complex relationships between culture-politics-economics, knowledge and power in the world today; to unlearn to relearn from and with perspectives otherwise. Practices, experiences and challenges In this last section, my interest is to share some of the particularities of our doctorate programme/project, now in its third cycle; its achievements and advancements; and the challenges that it faces in an academic context, increasingly characterized regionally and internationally, by disciplinarity, depolitization, de-subjectivation, apathy, competitive individualism and nonintervention. Without a doubt, one of the unique characteristics of the programme/ project is its students: all mid-career professionals mainly from the Andean region and from such diverse fields as the social sciences, humanities, the arts, philosophy, communication, education and law. The connection that the majority of the students have with social and cultural movements and/or processes, along with their dedication to teaching or similar work, helps to contribute to dynamic debate and discussion not always seen in academia and post-graduate programmes. Similarly, the faculty of the programme stand out for being internationally renowned intellectuals, and, the majority, for their commitment to struggles of social transformation, critical thinking and the project of the doctorate itself. The curriculum offering is based on courses and seminars that seek to foment thinking from Latin American and with its intellectuals in all of their diversity comprehend, confront and affect the problems and realities of the region, which are not only local but global. The pedagogical methodological perspective aforementioned works to stimulate processes of collective thought and allow the participants to think from related formations, experiences and research topics and to think with the differences disciplinary, geographical, epistemic and subjective thereby fracturing individualism by dialoguing, transgressing and inter-crossing boundaries. Trans-disciplinarity, as such, is a fundamental position and process in our project. The fact that the graduate students come from an array of different backgrounds provides a plurality in which the methodological pedagogical practice becomes the challenge of collectively thinking, crossing disciplinary backgrounds and creating new positions and perspectives, conceived and formed in a trans-disciplinary way. The majority of courses, seminars and professors, also assume that this is a necessary challenge in today’s world when no single discipline and no single intellectual is capable alone of analyzing, comprehending or transforming social reality. Nevertheless, trans-disciplinary gains continue to be a point of criticism and contention, especially given the present trend to re-discipline the Latin American university. As Edgardo Lander has argued (2000a), this tendency reflects the neo-liberalization of higher education, as well as the increasing conservatism of intellectuals, including those that previously identified as or to continue to identify themselves as progressives and/or leftists. To establish oneself in a discipline or presume truth through a discipline, a common practice today, is to reinstall the geopolitics of knowing. This, in turn, strengthens Euro-USA-centrism as ‘the place’ of theory and knowledge. As such, the subject of dispute is not simply the trans-disciplinary aspect of Cultural Studies but also its ‘indisciplinary’ nature, that is, the effort central to our project to include points of view that come from Latin America and thinkers who are not always connected to academia (see Walsh et al. 2002). Our interest is not, as some claim, to facilitate the agendas or cultural agency of subaltern groups or social movements, promote activism or simply include other knowledge forms, but instead to build a different political-intellectual project a political-intellectual project otherwise. Such project gives centrality to the need to learn to think from, together and with Latin American reality and its actors, thereby stimulating convergences, articulations and inter-culturalizations that aim at creating an academia that is committed to life itself. Such a perspective does not eliminate or deny knowledge conceived in Europe or North America usually named as ‘universal’ or its proponents and thinkers. Instead, it incorporates such knowledge as part of a broader canon and worldview that seeks pluriversality, recognizing the importance of places and loci of enunciation. For our project, all of this serves to highlight the doubly complicated situation that is still in flux. On one hand, there is the negative association with trans-disciplinarity and the academic suppositions that accompany it, particularly in the area of research; this requires that our theses be doubly rigorous. And, on the other hand, there is the geopolitical limitation not only of disciplines but also of academic disciplining. To argue, as we do, that knowledge and thought are also produced outside of universities and, in dialogue with Hall, that political movements also produce and provoke theoretic moments and movements, is to question and challenge the academic logic and the authority of a universal and singular reasoning and science. We will, through such questioning and challenges, always be marginalized, placed on the fringe, under a microscope, criticized and disputed. Because of this, the challenges that we have encountered have been many. On one hand, there are those challenges that many face in the Latin-American academic context: the real difficulties of financing, infrastructure and research support. On the other hand, are the challenges that come with the traditional academic disciplinary structure, its de-politization and de-subjectification. Here the challenge is to transgress the established norms of neutrality, distance and objectivity. It is also to confront the standards that give little relevance to historically subjugated groups, practices and knowledges, and to the interlinking of race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality with the structures and models of power and knowledge. It is to make evident past and present struggles that give real meaning to the arguments of heterogeneity, decoloniality and inter-culturality. Here the criticism and dispute comes from many sides: from those who describe these efforts as too politicized (and, as such, supposedly less ‘academic’), uni-paradigmatic (supposedly limited to only one ‘line of thought’), fundamentalist (supposedly exclusionary of those subjects not marked by the colonial wound) and as obsessed with conflict (and therefore far from the tradition of ‘culture’, its letters and object of study). These challenges together with the tensions, criticisms and disputes that they mark often times make the path more difficult. Still, and at the same time, they allow us to clarify the distinctive and unique aspects of our project and its motivations to continue with its course of construction, insurgence and struggle. Our concern here is not so much with the institutionalizing of Cultural Studies. Better yet, and in a much broader fashion, we are concerned with epistemic inter-culturalization, with the de-colonialization and pluriversalization of the ‘university’, and with a thinking from the South(s). To place these concerns, as argued here, within a perspective and a politics of naming: ‘(inter)Cultural Studies in de-colonial code,’ is to open, not close, paths. Conclusion In concluding the reflections I have presented here, it is useful to return to a fundamental point touched by Stuart Hall: ‘intervention’. In particular and with Hall, I refer to the will to intervene in and transform the world, an intervention that does not simply relate to social and political contexts and fields, but also to epistemology and theory. That is to an intervention and transformation in and a de-colonization of the frameworks and logics of our thinking, knowing and comprehending. To commit oneself in mind, body and spirit as Frantz Fanon argued. To consider Cultural Studies today a project of political vocation and intervention is to position and at the same time build our work on the borders of and the boundaries between university and society. It is to seriously reflect on whom we read and with whom we want and/or need to dialogue and think, to understand the very limits or our knowledge. And precisely because of this, it is to act on our own situation, establishing contacts and exchanges of different kinds in a pedagogicalmethodological zeal to think from and think with, in what I have elsewhere called a critical inter-culturality and de-colonial pedagogy (Walsh 2009). In universities and societies that are increasingly characterized by nonintervention, auto-complacency, individualism and apathy, intervention represents, suggests and promotes a position and practice of involvement, action and complicity. To take on such a position and practice and to make it an integral part of our political-intellectual project is to find not only ethical meaning in work on culture and power, but also to give this work some heart. That is to say, to focus on the ever-greater need and urgency of life. To call these Cultural Studies or critical (inter)Cultural Studies is only one of our options, and part of the politics of naming.

The current strategies of oppositional politics fail because they rest on a fixed identity or solidarity activism – Zapatismo ruptures the fixed dialectic between sovereignty and rebellion, allowing resistance to take on new meaning and potential. Attempts to contain our politics deprive it of its revolutionary potential and make the debate space static and meaningless.

Michael Hardt, and Antonio Negri, 2011 (Michael Hardt is a Professor of Literature and Italian at Duke University. Antonio Negri is an independent researcher and writer. He has been a Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Paris and a Professor of Political Science at the University of Padua., “common wealth”, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press :)
The Zapatista campaigns for indigenous rights in Mexico provide a clear political example of this altermodernity. The Zapatistas do not pursue either of the conventional strategies that link rights to identity: they neither demand the legal recognition of indigenous identities equal to other identities nor do they claim the sovereignty of traditional indigenous power structures and authorities with respect to the state (according to natural law). For most Zapatistas, in fact, the process of becoming politicized already involves both a conflict with the Mexican state and a refusal of the traditional authority structures of indigenous communities. Autonomy and self-determination are thus the principles that guided the Zapatista strategy in negotiating the constitutional reforms in the 1996 San Andrés Accords on Indigenous Rights and Culture with the government of Ernesto Zedillo. When the government failed to honor the agreement, however, the Zapatistas began a series of projects to put its principles into action by instituting autonomous regional administrative seats (caracoles) and “good government councils” (juntas de buen gobierno). Even though the members of Zapatista communities are predominantly indigenous, then, and even though they struggle consistently and powerfully against racism, their politics does not rest on a fixed identity. They demand the right not “to be who we are” but rather “to become what we want.” Such principles of movement and self-transformation allow the Zapatistas to avoid getting stuck in antimodernity and move on to the terrain of altermodernity.66 Altermodernity thus involves not only insertion in the long history of antimodern struggles but also rupture with any fixed dialectic between modern sovereignty and antimodern resistance. In the passage from antimodernity to altermodernity, just as tradition and identity are transformed, so too resistance takes on a new meaning, dedicated now to the constitution of alternatives. The freedom that forms the base of resistance, as we explained earlier, comes to the fore and constitutes an event to announce a new political project. This conception of altermodernity gives us a preliminary way to pose the distinction between socialism and communism: whereas socialism ambivalently straddles modernity and antimodernity, communism must break with both of these by presenting a direct relation to the common to develop the paths of altermodernity.

The monocultural and hegemonic understanding of debate, the topic and Latin America imposed by the resolution makes the debate space socially useless.

Cynthia Valdivia-Sutherland, Professor and Director of Forensics at Buttle Community College, 1998, “Celebrating Differences: Successfully Diversifying Forensics Programs,”
Although the foundation of forensics events may have been grounded in the ancient rhetoric of Greece and Rome, the globalization of American culture calls for a more diverse rhetorical competency. One of the ways such competency can be developed is by reviewing different multicultural communicative styles. To accomplish this we will briefly examine some features of Asian culture as an exemplar of multicultural differences affecting forensic participation. Although this perusal is limited, it should offer insight into potential multicultural impacts. Perhaps the single most important feature affecting communicative styles within some Asian cultures centers around Confucianism, a philosophy encouraging both reciprocity and group harmony -- empathetic understanding of the other, and self-sacrifice for the good of the community. Consequently, cultures upholding Confucianism as their dominant paradigm place high value on group conformity and relational ethics, resulting in communication patterns designed to "initiate, develop, and maintain social relationships" (Yum, 1988, p. 384) Subsequently, such cultures are more interested in the process by which communication occurs rather than its outcome, most often utilizing indirect communication as a primary tool of the communication event. The impact of Confucianism on the communicative styles of its proponents is profound. First, communication is designed to induce cooperation among group members, and second, to promote relationships rather than individual goal attainments. In the world of forensic competitions, such commitment to the group disallows satisfaction in individualized success, while at the same time creating an environment fraught with face-losing potential. Imagine the shame evident in the one team member who does not advance to awards, or that debate team who drops in the final round. Such face-losing occurrences are common in current forensic practices, and may account for the small number of known debate societies within collectivist societies. Equally relevant to this examination of multicultural differences is nonverbal communication. Culturally bound, nonverbal communication is an area in which misunderstanding between cultures has the potential to flourish. For example, Japanese display rules prohibit negative facial expressions; consequently, it is common for the Japanese to smile even when angry (Argyle, 1982, p. 63). Consider the confusion during an interpretation of literature in which an angry or distraught character smiles in what is perceived an inappropriate moment. The same would hold true if this competitor was attempting to persuade the audience concerning some grave or life-threatening matter. Given Western cultural nonverbal norms, forensic critics would assess the smiling competitor negatively, and the competitor would suffer the impact on the ballot. It is not unlikely such negative attribution would result in the competitor not advancing into the final round, and thus, the competitor would not have opportunity to contribute to the overall success of the team through acquisition of sweepstakes points. Again, such an outcome would constitute loss of face for the competitor, a serious offense in many Asian cultures. Beyond facial expression, noted cultural differences in nonverbal communication range from amount and frequency of eye contact to arrangements of time and space, as well as appropriateness of gestures. Any of these holds the potential for negative impact within a forensics tournament, either in a round of competition, or during social interaction between rounds. The consequences of such misunderstandings may be that multicultural students, feeling uncomfortable in the Westernized cultural realm of forensics, will leave the activity in order to maintain their own cultural perspectives. From this brief overview of some of the inherent differences within multicultural approaches to communicative style, it is evident that the current underlying philosophy of forensic competitions needs to expand if accommodation of cultural dissimilarities is to take place. The question remains: How? Toward Pluralism in Forensics It has been argued that forensics is (or should be) primarily an educational enterprise, rooted in pedagogy, rhetoric, and research. If this is so, then in advancing into the 21st century, an era in which societies will increasingly become multicultural, it makes sense to adopt Albert and Triandis' (1985) objective of effectuating intercultural education within a multicultural society. The aim of this objective is "to prepare individuals to function effectively in both their culture of origin and in their new culture" (p. 391). Implementing this objective in forensics will not be easy. Change never is. However, while human beings do not automatically embrace the unknown, inability to move beyond a state of stasis equates to stagnation in human development. Within the world of forensics, coaches, critics, and competitors must continually adapt, evolving in their interactions with an ever-changing environment, or risk extinction. The possibility for forensic multicultural evolution can be strengthened in several ways. First, those of us involved in the activity must hone our self-diagnostic skills; in other words, we must consistently and honestly examine what we are doing, why, and with what effect. Are we "doing the greatest good for the greatest number?" If not, why not? Second, we must recognize the potential for educational gain when we expose ourselves and our students to multicultural awareness, knowledge, and acceptance. Not only will our learning experience be enriched, but we may also be led to explore identities and to question cultural domination, thereby increasing acceptance of differences. Finally, we must begin to begin. We cannot advance beyond our current state until we initiate action. This can be accomplished in many different ways. Here are a few: a. Recruitment of forensics competitors through on campus multicultural clubs and organizations. b. Development of non-traditional forensics programs. For example: a one-unit non-traveling team that exposes students to and educates them about forensics and/or the use of intramural competitions. c. Adoption of debate topics centered on global rather than national concerns. d. Expository speeches geared to inform about other cultures. e. Interpretive programs adopted from another culture's canons of literature. f. Creation of new events or a return to old ones (such as oratorical speeches which harmonize with African speaking styles). g. Experiential activities designed to expose individuals in forensics to other cultural views. h. Research assessing current forensic multiculturalism. Summary Returning to the question, "Is it possible for pluralism, 'a process by which both minority and majority cultural members adopt some norms of the other group' to thrive within the context of the competitive speech and debate arena?," the answer is yes, but a qualified yes. The reason for this response comes from the understanding of what a process is: a state of evolution, a passage from one place to another. From this understanding, it is easy to see that process implies ongoingness, a continuous going forth from one point to the next. Consequently, in investigating its status quo, questioning its pedagogies, and attempting to initiate change, forensic professionals concerned with multiculturalism are already involved in such a process. Ultimately, as gaps in cultural knowledge decrease, norms will shift. At such a time, we will begin to co-opt certain cultural elements from outside our own -- in turn, sharing what has been exclusively ours with others. Arguably, this is not pluralism in its purest form, but it is a move toward pluralism that constitutes participation in the process of pluralism. As such, it is a move toward multiculturalism in what has traditionally been the monocultural world of forensics. So you still want to increase diversity within your forensics program? Good for you, and for us. Now, let the celebration of differences begin!

Imagining a world where many world exist allows for a more open, equal society where communal-oriented government is truly possible – only Zapatismo allows us to define our relation to the state in our own, unique way – all other ways just forces dominant ideologies back onto us and retrenches

Lisa Poggiali, 2005 (MA in the Social Anthropology of Development, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, “Reimagining The Possible: Zapatista Discourse And The Problematics Of Rights”, :)

In the case of Chiapas, the Zapatista movement promoted the concept of autonomy not in terms of narrow indigenous separatism or secession, nor as a petition for permission to devolve governmental functions, but rather as a demand for recognition of ongoing practices. Since the state was widely perceived to have abrogated its compact with social collectivities through the reform of Article 27--eroding the rights of ejido peasant communities, which represented 54% of the land in Chiapas (Yashar 1998b:54)--and other neoliberal policies, this demand for renegotiation of the social pact had broad resonance beyond Chiapas. Autonomy, as negotiated in the 1996 San Andrés accords on indigenous rights and culture, was supported by the new National Indigenous Congress. It was also backed up by ILO Convention 169, which recognized the collective rights of indigenous peoples to control resources in their communities (Aubry 2000). Mexico’s ratification of this convention was followed by the 1992 revision of Article 4 of the Constitution, recognizing Indians for the first time as existing with a distinct identity within a multiethnic state (Collier & Quaratiello 1999:173). This vision of autonomy incorporates part of the liberal democratic ideal of rights on the basis of citizenship, but it rejects the homogenizing implications of the market-oriented model of globalization. In its place, the Zapatista demand for a “world in which many worlds fit” would allow for a diversity of forms in which people may define their relations with the state. By demanding both political and collective rights, in the form of “ethnic citizenship” for indigenous communities (Mattiace 1998, Aubry 2000), the Zapatistas were really inviting others to cast their local struggles in terms of the political construction of democratic citizenship (Harvey 1997). This meant not only decentralization of administrative functions of the state, but the bottom-up definition of autonomy, involving the freedom to choose political and jurisdictional space and relations with other units (Esteva 2000). It was precisely because of the radically democratic implications of this model that the Zedillo administration insisted on torpedoing the COCOPA congressional commission’s efforts to legislate implementation of the San Andrés accords; and then disingenuously offered administrative decentralization as an alternative, in the form of “indigenous rights” and “remunicipalization” laws written by the Executive. As Yashar (1998a) has noted, this kind of “ethnic citizenship” demanded by indigenous communities in Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America challenges liberal ideology’s assumptions of unit homogeneity (individuals as the constitutive political unit), administrative homogeneity (uniformly defined boundaries and relations with the central state), and identity homogeneity (with the corollary assumption of correspondence between nation and state). However, this kind of new federalism, rooted in collective and historic rights to protection from central power, could be confused in the neoliberal context for the central government’s abandoning of its obligations by sloughing off the costs of social services and public works to peripheral units (Aubry 2000).10 This danger led to some ambiguity in the Zapatista call for autonomy. One historic current within the autonomy movement in Chiapas was the “Pluriethnic Autonomous Regions” (RAP) project, promoted by some indigenous leaders such as Margarito Ruiz of the Independent Front of Indigenous Peoples (FIPI) and some academics (Mattiace 1997, Díaz- Polanco 1997). This approach calls for a regional, fourth level of government (besides national, state, and municipal) which would give juridical representation to indigenous regions. An alternative, communalist approach emphasizes local practices of direct democracy and self-government at the community level. Critics of the RAP model were wary of the possibility of caciquismo and cooptation, and noted that it accepted the basic design of the existing state which was less than democratic (Esteva 2000). Skeptics of the communalist model noted the vulnerability of local communities to isolation and government attack, arguing that sustaining empowerment would require a broader mechanism of engagement with the national state (Mattiace 1998). The Zapatistas avoided exclusively embracing either model of the autonomous unit, in effect supporting a kind of “autonomy of autonomies.”5 As a result, both the RAP and the CNI (which leaned toward the communalist model) supported the San Andrés accords and roundly rejected the Indigenous Reform Initiative presented by President Zedillo to the Senate on 15 March 1998. The tradeoff of inclusiveness for coherence of political strategy was perhaps a central dilemma of the Zapatista response to globalization. While arguably a necessary challenge of democratization-from-society within the framework of an authoritarian regime, this remained both a source of weakness and a source of strength of the Zapatista movement going into the 21st century.


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