It is Capitalism!

By Gilberto Lopez y Rivas on July 6, 2018

Photo: Bill Hackwell

Undoubtedly there is a historical moment in contemporary Mexico going on, because for the first time in many decades the popular will expressed in the ballot box was respected; State fraud was not imposed, nor the fall of the system, nor the cynical “whatever happened” of Felipe Calderón. This is a transcendent conquest of the Mexican people that, without diminishing or underestimating it, need to be analyzed from the view of critical thinking and the struggle of the native peoples in defense of their territories, mother earth and life.

This transition is not due to a sudden democratic vocation of the PRI regime, but rather three interrelated factors that prevented the imposition of the traditional fraud by the State: 1) the extraordinary citizen participation of more than 60 percent of the eligible voters. 2) the fracture of the political class of the main parties, the PRI and the PAN, which went separate ways in the election, both with their internal conflicts that deepened during the campaign and 3) the vote of punishment of millions of voters who spoke for a change.

However, the election highlights the capacity of the State to reconstitute itself: the triumph of the massive intervention of the citizenship was quickly changed in a victory of the institutions and the democratic system. Long gone was the violence deployed throughout and during the electoral process and the 132 candidates killed were forgotten.

The recognition of the official candidate on the night of the election, and the smooth sequence of events that culminated with the message of Enrique Peña Nieto and the conciliatory speech of the winning candidate, suggests a concerted effort  from which there will be no punishment for the state crimes of against humanity perpetrated by the outgoing government, nor will there be criminal litigation of the visible plundering of the treasury and the evident complicity of the three levels of government with organized crime.

It is also significant that in his first speech as a winning candidate, López Obrador sends a message to the capitalist corporations to reassure them that he will not take radical measures, contracts will be respected, and there will be no expropriation. It is in that  context that we must refer to AMLO’s preferred slogan; For the good of all, first the poor, about which we must ask, Who are all?

Also, the guiding-almost-unique idea of the whole campaign that corruption is the matrix of all the country’s ills was reiterated, denying that it is inherent to capitalism, whose cornerstone is the expropriation of the work of the working class and the dispossession of territories-natural-strategic-resources by their corporations. The president-elect denies that the law of value-exploitation-surplus value-class struggle applies to Mexico, insisting instead on the factor of corruption.

This peculiar perspective of López Obrador, which corrects the classics of Marxism, is very important for the direction of the resistance of the indigenous peoples against the process of recolonization of their territories by the transnational capitalists, which was made visible by the Indigenous Council of Government (CIG) and its spokesperson, Marichuy (Mexico’s First Indigenous Woman Presidential Candidate) throughout the campaign. Mining, transystemic corridors, refineries, road projects, bullet trains and a honeymoon with businessmen are bad signs for the 25 million indigenous people of Mexico.

On the other hand, leaders of indigenous organizations around AMLO presented a programmatic document that, with the phraseology of Zapatismo, as a main proposal for returning to indigenism already overcome since the dialogue of San Andrés, would form a new secretariat within the State under the leadership of an indigenous bureaucracy. (The San Andrés Accords are agreements reached between the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and the Mexican government, on February 16, 1996, in San Andrés Larráinzar, Chiapas, granting autonomy, recognition, and rights to the indigenous population of Mexico – editorial).

Marichuy declared that the real significance of indigenous rights will come now and that the transcendent thing is to organize if we want to take the country towards a real change. It will be about resisting the capitalist corporations and the governments that protect them, acting from wherever we are, in neighborhoods, colonies, cities or indigenous communities.

The limit of representative democracy is that citizen participation is concentrated in a single day, from which public affairs are monopolized by a class of professional politicians who disregard the electorate. The EZLN and the IGC, on the other hand, propose a democracy of a new type, the autonomist democracy that is based on a construction of power and citizenship from below; as a way of everyday life, of control and exercise of power from what should be, that is, based on ethical terms. It is not a means or procedure of reproduction of bureaucratic estates, but a social and political pact, a constituency of every day that operates unitarily in all spheres and orders of life.

For this democracy, the struggle will continue, shoulder to shoulder with the people, from below and to the left.

Source: La Jornada, translation Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau.