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Published: January 13th 2006
... overshadowing the flaws in his thinking and his lack of actual achievements. A man to be liked more than admired, he fought with passion and was honest towards his own short-comings but has more fame than his 'achievements' deserve. A theme consistent in Latin American where the people are fond of lifting people to God like status, untouchable by criticism. In many ways they become a symbol for a idea, a movement. Maintaining the myth of perfection is useful in bringing a face or a name to cause or an idea, almost marketing it.
Hence Zapata, a man who deserves more recognition, was only to found in the history books until the Zapatistas reminded us of him. There's a book, harshly titled 'Latin American Idiots' (didn't sell well in LAm), written by Latin Americans which discusses this further.
To further Marcos idea, Che saw the world as black and white, with black not working, he saw white as the solution. Missing the colours, the different ways of thinking and solutions to problems. Communism is not the solution to Capitalism, to ever see politics as solely left or right, and consistent for country to country, is a mistake, an over simplication. Different politics are necessary in different situations.
Marcos himself is thought to have been a Marxist who himself found the colour after long discussions with the Indigenous people. The leader of an democratic movement, not a dictator, fighting for a fair democracy which works for all, and not just the few. As much admiration as is given to this unique approach to the worlds' problems it's not clear it has or will change. The advocates of passive methods may think they are winning the war, but are they just attracting inactive sympathies, rather than people voting for fairness with their feet?
The owner of my langauge school didn't like Marcos, didn't agree with his ideology. He sees him as a idealist speaking with passion about what people want when many in Chiapas don't support them. They would take greater prosperity in exchange for losing some of their traditonal methods, maybe they want material goods and to live in a material world too. For many getting on with living is more important than fighting endlessly for something that may never happen, suffering in the process, as many are by the army's occupation of Chiapas land. It's all very well shouting about freedom and for ideals, but ideals by there very name are not realistic. The army has exiled many from their homes caused people to live in fear for a movement they don't all support and for what? Outsiders can shout all they want about the long-term benefits of people standing up, but they're not the ones standing up, they are removed, seperate, I'm not living in jungle scared, homeless.
He made this point in a more abbreviated form, the flip side of the coin, admittably not as much pride can be taken from this approach but the Zapatistas claim to be democratic and they have to make sure they are one.
All in all I agree with Zapatista movement and I support it from what I know of it. I have tried to give a counter-argument above but I don´t really believe in it myself. I think it´s very important to try to see both sides (or other points of view) as any thinking is almost bound to be flawed if a consideration for this isn´t made.
Many of these some points are revelant here, in Guatemala, as I said before about the traditional dress not fighting but getting on with life, making a concession. Once again it may not be seen as admirable, but maybe it's realistic? This is obviously a very debatable any I would glad to hear from anyone who has anything more to add to the argument.
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