Rage Against the Machine Fans Speak!

  • A different perspective on Chiapas from a Rage fan:

    i went to chiapas with the rage-against-the-machine viewpoint that the zapatistas are the most revolutionary fighters today and they are our generation's cuban revolution. i thought i knew it all then. i still don't, and am way more confused than ever before. this is the hardest part, because its easy to believe whats being thrown at you all the time, and being involved in the rage/east LA loops, you had better be pro-zapatista.  maybe its a matter of ideology, but i think the movement needs to be reformed.

    in one of marco's communications he said that the zapatistas can get all their demands under capitalism. but capitalism and neo-liberalism is what is destroying these people right now. the zapatistas don't represent a mass movement, at the highest estimate i heard (from their supporter, the bishop samuel ruiz) there are 15,000 of them scattered throughout the jungle. when they took over the buildings and army camps and prisons, they went in making a statement to the government that they weren't going to take anymore. ya basta. they didn't attack with the idea or means of implementing a new government, rather they are an unorganized group of people who are fighting for just demands but have made no attempt to gather broad support.  marcos isn't indigenous, he is a college educated mestizo that can write poetry better than organize a revolution. these people don't need a fucking poet they need a fighter.

    there is a large percentage of the indigenous population that see the zapatistas as a fringe group of sorts that has brought nothing but stepped up government repression.  and in turn, this makes it so easy for the government to act the way they do. they have been able to maintain their pressure against the movement because of the lack of any strong, well-organized challenge to its reactionary and repressive rule on the national level. so many of the indigenous people find the government comforting, because they think the government is keeping the conflict at a low. they don't know anything about NAFTA or the effects of the global capitalism crisis, but what they do know is that the government is giving arms to non-zapatista indigenous people for "paramilitary" purposes so they can basically be another sector of the government and protect their families from the violence. these villages as you know are dirt poor. the average indigenous person doesn't have a telephone, a TV, a computer, newspaper... anything to keep them informed on what's going on.  not to insult their intelligence, but they don't understand that the poverty, lack of education and water they face is a result of the capitalist system they live in.

    do you know see what i mean?  i think the zapatista movement is a romantic notion for many people. "armed freedom fighters out in the jungles of chiapas led by the eloquent subcomandante marcos!"  (who many female rage fans thinks is hot)... i know this is lengthy... but i mean to say that this issue is very complex.  listening to the words of rage against the machine can be a wonderful thing...it opens up many people's eyes to a world they would never have noticed.  but once we lose our ability to think critically and question what we hear, even if its from rage, then it can turn us into another type of mindless cog.

    Andres Sierra's response:

    Although you are correct in many ways, you fail to realize that Marcos, while as you say it is a "poet, not a revolutionary", Marcos has managed to organize thousands of indigenous people and inspire them with hope about combating the evils of capitalism.

      Don't take numbers as chances of victory.  When Castro started the revolution he suffered numerous early retreats, and was at one point, only about a hundred scattered guerrilas.  The fact that Marcos has thousands of guerrilas is a good sign---not to mention he has gained recognition throughout the world for fighting the oppressors. 

    For the first time ever concern and knowledge of the situation in southern mexico has come about due to Marcos' victories.... No revolution is perfect, the point is that it is a revolution, and a revolution is what is needed.


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