(fwd from Rodriguez) Re: Things that occur to us in Latin America, and other matters

Nestor Gorojovsky nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar
Wed Nov 5 10:15:51 MST 2003


El Miércoles 5 de Noviembre de 2003 a las 8:07,
Les Schaffer dijo sobre (fwd from Rodriguez) Re: Things that occur to us  que:

> Another fact: Nestor mentioned Latin Americans (not Hispanics).
> Anyway, a Latin American can be of any "race:" there are Latin
> Americans of European descent, of African descent, Amerindians,
> etc., etc. I doubt that you took this into consideration as you >
formulated your response...
>

Fidler tried to answer:

"Answer: Nestor in fact referred to "American land that originally
belonged to Spain or to Mexico".

He was not talking about undifferentiated "Latin Americans".

He was talking about European Spain and European-Mestizo Mexico
(after the latter's independence from Spain). Not peoples of African
or Amerindian origin.

Those were my considerations. Nothing more."

I answer, now:

Those considerations are utter nonsense.

Of course I am talking about Latin America. When I mention the former
Spanish-colonized areas of America (even North America) and I mention
Mexico, or Nicaragua (by the way, no army from a Central American
country entering Nicaragua is "invading" Nicaragua if it enters the
country _to expel the Walkers_) by their names, I never forget, not
even for a second, that all of them belong to a nation in the making,
the Latin American Nation. A nation whose construction is the main
objective of any serious Latin American Revolutionary today.

In the same way that the best revolutionary traditions of England
(chopping the King's head, for example) are undisputedly part and
parcel of Anglo American revolutionary traditions, the best
revolutionary traditions of Spain and Portugal are (or should be)
part and parcel of the traditions of Latin American revolutionaries.
The tradition of national unity is one of those traditions. If we
keep stuck to the idea that every Latin American state is a "nation",
and that all these "nations" are formed by Spanish or Mestizo
invaders who have usurped the rights of the "aboriginal peoples", not
only we are wrong, we are betraying the first mandate of a Latin
American revolutionary, which is to struggle against the imperialist-
imposed artificial division and subdivision of what Bolívar liked to
call a "nation of homelands".

This is the way the generation of our Independence Wars thought.
These wars were a defeated Revolution. Failure to obtain this goal
brought about all the remaining tragedies. This failure was, in a
sense, inevitable in Bolívar's time. Which does not make the task a
less necessary and essential for our revolution. In the same way
that, say, there could not be a solution to the Polish social
question without a solution to the Polish national question, it is -
at best- nonsense to preach to Latin Americans (or, as Haya de la
Torre put it sixty years ago, Indo Americans) racial and ethnic
division. At worst, as it will become clear on this posting, it is
simply pro-imperialist "leftism".

Let us begin by a practical example of where do Richard Fidler's
ideas lead to. I assume everyone on this list is still aware that
something momentous happened in Bolivia a few weeks ago. OK. Now, let
us look at this issue more pointedly. Let us, particularly, tnink of
what would have happened in Bolivia if the Bolivians had followed
Richard Fidler's formulae.

Well, if the Bolivian people had listened to Richard, then we would
still have Goni de Lozada murdering hosts of _separate_ Aymara,
Guarani, Quechua and Mestizo groups fighting each other over the
restoration of land to the "original peoples here".

Happily enough, and although in the corridors of the Bolivian
Universities there are many who espouse Richard F.'s propositions,
Bolivians at large don't. And they marched together, Cholos (that is
the Bolivian word for Mestizo), Aymaras, Quechuas and everyone else,
arm in arm against the imperialist stooge.

In fact, at this precise moment, while I am writing this, while you
are reading this, it is lunch time in Bolivia. And you can perfectly
imagine just another "Richard Fidlerian" ideologue at a roadside food
house in the Yungas, not far away from the death place of Ernesto
Guevara de la Serna, sharing a bottle of chicha with some leader of
the Tarija indians, and whispering into his ears the following words:
"Why don't you revolt against this Highland Bolivian dictatorship and
declare independence? This way you would be very rich, by sharing
your gas reserves only with me, an American good-hearted energy
corporation". That is what Fidler's propositions are useful (and
used) for. The test of the pudding is the eating.

Once we have tasted the cake, let us try to analyze it a little
deeper (not too deep, because in fact it is a knee-deep proposition,
so that please don't throw yourself headlong in, please!)

This reply, and Fidler's absolutely wrong retort, place the issue
where it actually is. I have been preparing a very very long posting
in answer to both Fidler's flashlight replies and David S.'s more
ruminated objections. After this that has happened, I think I will
send the answer to Fidler first, and will send the answer to Schanoes
later on. This will imply a somehow incomplete first posting, but it
is important that the completely incorrect point of view of Richard
F. is, first of all, viewed in the adequate, class-struggle,
perspective.

So that here it goes, attached, my still unfinished long posting.
Answer to Schanoes, which will certainly be more comprehensive and
explanatory, will have to wait. Gotta run to Tarija and tell the
indian leader this that he already knows: "Don't lend your ears to
these divisionists!"

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My "chauvinistic" comments on Montana received what I would call the
"standard internationalist" answer, and not once this time, but
twice, with Richard Fidler and David Schanoes stereo blaring at my
ears that an unworthy worship of "Spanish imperialism" oozes through
each and one of its pores and assorted holes .

Let us face Fidler's retort first:

>
> Nestor: >> Look, Jeff, there is hardly a bit of American land that
> originally  belonged to Spain or to Mexico that a conscious Latin
> American does  not know about. <<
>
> Fact: "America" (Turtle Island) "originally belonged" to the
aboriginal
> peoples.
>
> The Hispanics lost their empire. The aboriginal peoples have yet to
> regain their sovereignty.
>

I am not sure whether Richard is talking about Montana here, or the
whole of Latin America. But David Schanoes tends to speak on the
second level, and in fact I never speak of Latin American parcial
histories without permanent reference to the general task of building
up a Latin American Federation of Socialist States, that is the
construction of a Latin American nation. So that I will keep true to
my belief and speak at the general, Latin American level which is
always implicit in my comments on these issues.

Richard's is a nice way to sum up Latin American history. In the end,
who should care if it looks a little simpleton, it is only 500 years
of history, that's all that there is to it.  And it is _Latin
American_ history, never forget. Of course we can sum it all up in a
single line.

I guess Richard Fidler would be slightly more careful if we were
talking of, say, German or Irish history. But it is Latin America,
why not be as olympic as old Hegel (and old Marx)?

So that these particular 500 years can be simply _explained away_ by
explaining that the aboriginal peoples were invaded by "the
Hispanics", and thus all our struggle in Latin America, from that
fateful day onwards should be a struggle to have the aboriginal
peoples ruling over America (both North and South, I hope) again, and
thus to drop this heinous, invader's, "Latin" particle from our name.
(1)

There is is a serious problem with this deeply mistaken and frivolous
formula, which makes one drop it from the very beginning, even though
one attempted to discuss it: the problem is that although for the
sake of communication one might accept it as a starting point and
agree with Richard in that "the Hispanics lost their Empire", if they
did --they "lost" it to "the Anglos". Which is not a little thing to
forget.

On my answer to David S., we shall see who "the Hispanics" -an Anglo
imposed denomination, BTW- are; and in which ways they are related or
unrelated to the "original owners" of America; and we shall also
further see what did this "Empire" amount to, who "lost" it and so
on.

But for the moment, I will take Richard's assertion at face value
and, for the sake of reasoning, accept it as the true that it isn't.

What would it mean if it were true, in fact?

I wish that we be in agreement that the "aboriginal peoples" _as
such, in complete isolation within the limited bounds of their own
ethnicities_ are no match to the Anglo empire and will never be able
to reject "them" (Richard included, I am much afraid) back to where
they came from (2).

But if we are in such an agreement, then, in the end, the whole
"aboriginal" reivindication _as against the Hispanics_ boils down to
a support for Anglo imperialism! Quod erat demonstrandum

We can also try to apply a similar construct to other moments in
human history. There is no Latin American exceptionality, is there?

Then, let us fit other peoples to this Procustus' bed and see what
happens. For example, we should also fight for the restoration of
Neanderthal rule over "Europe", which is clearly a Cro Magnon
invention established over the destruction of the "original owners"
of that land.  Ahem. Let us be more practical, please.

OK. Let us be more practical. Let us fight for the eviction of every
Semitic people from Iraq (not to speak of the whole Middle East, let
us just think of Iraq), and the restoration of the Sumerian
"aboriginal power", particularly at the Persian Gulf area -wow,
that's a good idea, we can make money on it, we might profitably sell
to Condy Rice!

I bet to it that if Condy Rice took this line (but she won't, she
belongs to the "elephant with built-in bazaar" school of
international politics: such a move could be expected from the
Foreign Office in the Good Old Days, not from the US "diplomatic"
corps), Richard's take on Latin America, applied to the Gulf, would
allow for the spawning of "leftist" groups supporting the Sumerian-
Shia "national" struggle against Semitic-Sunni-Iraqi imperialism,
mischievously dressed up as "Iraqi resistance".(3)

This is the full contents of Richard's answer.

And I wanted to warn everyone on the list of these consequences. That
is why I hastened to send this. I promise a more reasoned posting
later on.

N O T E S

(1) BTW: "Turtle Island"?  You sure where "Turtle Island" is,
Richard? If you are so fond of "aboriginal peoples", why don't you
speak of Guanahani, then, which seems to be the name that the
"aboriginal peoples" gave to the San Salvador/Watling landing site of
"the Dove who carried Christ" (or Christopher Columbus, for those not
acquainted with ancient Greek or Latin)?

(2) In North America, Gerónimo (which, by the way, is a _Spanish_
name, missplet by the way again) was the last one to attempt to do
it. In South America, curiously enough, those aboriginal ethnicities
who try to split apart from the general body of the "Hispanic empire"
enjoy great treatment by the imperialists. Hmmmm.

(3)  Because, let us look seriously at the issues at stake: pray, who
on the revolutionary left can seriously believe in the revolutionary
credentials of this resistance, when it is probably under the command
of Mr. Ace of Clubs, that filthy, bourgeois, criminal, bourgeois,
bloody, bourgeois, militaristic, bourgeois, Second-in-Command under
murderous (and bourgeois, again!) Saddam Hussein? And aren't them,
both of filthy bourgeois them, Semitic invaders of Sumerian land? Out
with them from the Gulf right now!  Yes, guys, don't get duped by
that Chauvinistic pan-Arabic rant! What we are confronting in
Southern Iraq is a struggle between the ages-old Sumerian nation and
the Semites, who, in the same way as the Hispanics in America, 'lost
their empire'" --to the Anglos! We can't support these invading
Semites (with a bourgeois leadership, once again, never forget the
mantra) in the name of struggling against imperialist invasion! They
are the _first_ invaders, aren't they, let us do first things first.
Evict Semites, and if the Anglo invasion is of help, then support the
invasion (no, no, this last one went a step too far ahead).

Other suggestions: struggle against Aryans in India to restore
Dravidian power all over the land, struggle against Poles in
Pomerania to restore Germans (but no, no, we forgot that both Poles
and Germans are Cro Magnon and we should struggle for the restoration
of Neanderthal rule, sorry), struggle against Vietnamese imperialists
to restore power of the highland tribesmen in Indochina --er, this
one has already been attempted, and failed, sorry again-- struggle
against Russian invaders to restore power of aboriginal peoples in
Central Asia (again, it looks like we have already heard of this),
struggle against Serbian imperialists to restore power to... Oh, God
Almighty, this kind of solution is not as new as I had thought of.
Let us drop this "sell it to Condy Rice" approach. Shit, I had
thought at last I could grab some dollars with little effort. OK,
back to the millstone, then.


Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
nestorgoro at fibertel.com.ar

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"Sí, una sola debe ser la patria de los sudamericanos".
Simón Bolívar al gobierno secesionista y disgregador de
Buenos Aires, 1822
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