Re: Zapatistas-culture not capitalism
7 Dec 94 10:37:05 EST

In article <3c3d6k$>, (PioneerTom) writes:
> (JAMES BENTHALL) writes:
> People change--ALL people change, no one remains in stasis and
> it is incorrect to believe they do. Just my $0.02.
> !Vivan los
> Zapatistas!
> james b.
> Finally James has said something I can agree with! The point that the
> zapatistas (and James) seem to miss is that change must adapt people
> to their environment. The greatest change in the environment is
> greater poulation densities. The major adaptation (and most successful
> adaptation) to this is industrialization. This is exactly what the
> zapatistas are resisting in their rejection of "capitalist" markets.
> Tom Billings

I think *you* miss the point. The reasons for the Zapatista rebellion is not
that these people want to return from industrial jobs to an idyllic rural life.
Most of these people are agriculturalists right now. They are losing their
land, some to industrial farming, but more to cattle ranching, which occupies a
lot of land but employs very few. There are no jobs to be had here. Chiapas
is one of the most economically depressed areas in Mexico. Moreover, it is not
going to benefit in the short term from NAFTA. Industrialization is going to
continue to be focused in the north and central parts of the country while the
south languishes. These people are not resisting capitalist markets because
they hate capitalism and progress. They are resisting because their livelihoods
are being destroyed by capitalism and there are no alternatives in sight.

Even in the cities, most Mexicans have not thrived in the last 15 years. Un-
and underemployment rates are high, and many families barely scrape by. It's
worse for those who have lost their land in the countryside. While some leaders
may be ideologues, the base of the army is moved by desperation. If capitalism
were able (or willing) to help them, they'd embrace it. Since it cannot (or
will not), they look elsewhere.

Julia Smith
University of Pittsburgh