On "particularisms", from Ireland to Latin America

Gorojovsky Gorojovsky at SPAMarnet.com.ar
Wed Feb 7 14:06:53 MST 2001

En relación a Re:On "particularisms", from Ireland to Latin Ame,
el 6 Feb 01, a las 20:14, Francisco J. Gonzalez dijo:

> Compañero Nestor's critique of the "cult of difference", IMHO, is rather
> misplaced. Of course that capitalists & imperialists would play up the
> differences between subject peoples in order to maintain their control, and there is
> question that powerful empires like the Aztec in Mexico, the Inkas of Peru, or
> the Moghul in India would not have been so easily subjugated if the Europeans
> had failed to find or exploit internal divisons within these systems.
> However, it is misplaced to suggest that lack of knowledge of European
> languages inherently limited the development of national liberation movements, or
> maintaining & preserving cultural coherence within subjugated groups is a
> barrier to solidarity. I must disagree with Compañero Nestor's implication that
> since the Indonesian language lacked terms for modern appliances, it is thus
> inherently unable to serve as an organizing tool.

We disagree on other issues, which are imporant and deep, dear Francisco. I
will tackle those differences as soon as possible. But we are not in
disagreement here. You misunderstood me, and I thank you for the possibility to
explain myself better.

My only implication was that linguistic isolation of the "natives" in the Dutch
East Indies, as we have recently been reminded of the name this perverted
colonial station bore, was actively pursued by the colonizers. The basic idea
was not, of course, that they would not know the names for appliances. The
basic idea was that the intellectual tools that could be readily available in
the colonizer's books, and which might be useful to the natives against the
colonizers, remain separate from the natives. And the language barrier is in
fact a great barrier.

This is all I wanted to mean. As to our Latin American situation, well, I have
a nuanced position on the colonial period, where not anything coming from the
Iberian peninsula should be rejected. In fact, the linguistic unity of Latin
America (including, of course, non-Iberian speaking groups, and with all
respect to them) was a requisite for our own consciousness that we constitute a
unity of some kind.


Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar

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