The Fourth Transformation?

By Gilberto López y Rivas on January 2, 2019

2nd Assembly of the CNI-CNG, Photo: SubVersiones

The arrival of Andrés Manuel López Obrador to the Presidency of the Republic of Mexico and the triumph of Morena as the top political force in the Congress of the Union, the governorships of four states, the head of the Government of Mexico City, numerous mayoralties and municipal governments, demands reflection from a critical point of view, on the scope and limitations of the so-called Fourth Transformation period we mow find ourselves in. The first three “transformations” were independence from Spain, the 19th-century liberal reform known as La Reforma and the Mexican Revolution.

It is necessary to characterize the current government, its economic and social projects considered priorities, as well as the new correlation of political forces that are forming, in order to have tools that allow us to understand and respond adequately to the new hegemonic system of domination with which capitalism is being reconfigured.

It is necessary to analyze the bases that support the Fourth Transformation, which does not clearly show its programmatic or legislative strategy. The fight against corruption, without a break with the development model, does not lay the foundations for a change in the historical dimensions of national Independence, the Reform and the Revolution of 1910. Denying the validity of the class struggle in Mexico, situating oneself as the supreme arbiter of social conflicts and trying to mutate the State into a clientelistic redistributive apparatus does not mean a historical transition of the Republic, much less a change of era.

At the same time, a list of priority economic projects: Special Economic Zones, Mayan Train, development of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, planting of fruit and timber trees in a million hectares, construction of 300 roads in rural territories, refineries, airport system in the metropolitan area of Mexico City; free zones in the northern border and istmeña region, continuity of mining projects, the reiterated affirmation of respect for contracts, the independence of the Bank of Mexico, the perspective of the chief of staff, to make Mexico a paradise for investments, and Morena’s initiative in Congress to repeal the current Agrarian Law, and issuing another that reinforces the mechanisms of privatization of ejidal and communal lands, and, above all, the acceptance of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States and Canada, confirm the continuity of economic policies within the logic of the capitalist system, of the very neoliberalism that it claims to overcome.

Politically, the creation of the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples (INPI) is a return to the old indigenism established by the PRI cronies and corporate regime, which was characterized as a state policy for authoritarian control and manipulation of indigenous peoples, and whose funerals were celebrated in the San Andrés dialogues between the federal government and the Zapatistas (EZLN). By establishing 130 offices of the new INPI in territories of the original peoples, with officials speaking the respective languages, with government resources and projects, is a direct aggression to the autonomous processes and to the movements in defense of the indigenous territories and against the corporate invasion. Particularly in territories where deeper autonomous processes are developed, related to armed conflicts, such as the Zapatista Mayan region, or that defend indigenous peasant territoriality, INPI runs the risk of carrying out counterinsurgency and conflict engineering work like those mining companies put into practice to overcome resistance.

Sub-commander Moses’ metaphor of changing butlers and foremen is noted, but the owner of the farm remains the same. The rejection of these projects by the National Indigenous Congress-Indigenous Governing Council (CNI-CIG), and by numerous independent indigenous and peasant organizations, specialists in various scientific disciplines, as well as criticism of government consultations for not complying with the conditions established in the Constitution, Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization, the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the United Nations, which mandates that they be prior, free, informed and binding, has not received the attention they deserve and, on the contrary, were the object of scornful treatment by the President.

In this sense, the climate of intolerance to any criticism of the new government from the anti-capitalist left stands out, claiming that it plays into the hands of the right, is a return to primitive communism, or a disdain for the 30 million voters who elected Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Precisely because of the respect deserved by all Mexicans who voted for a profound change, the need for a rigorous analysis of the nature and impacts of the projects in the making, of their directionality, based on the resistance from below and to the left, and of an intelligentsia committed to these struggles is required. The dilemma remains: are you  with the prince or with the people.

Source: Rebelion, translated by Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau.