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Mexico Report: Teachers Occupy Zocalo, Progress Stalls

By       Message Kenneth Thomas     Permalink
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The underlying structure remains the same.  The teachers deliver a "humanistic" education,  for almost no pay-- which in some ways seems ideal,  and rooted in tribal equality,  versus the individualistic traditions of the global marketplace,  and the demands of corporations.

Yet they remain beholden to the power structure.  Yet they teach in a manner,   that guarantees that few of their pupils,  will gain the skills to become a member of the middle classes,  much less,  enter the elites.  And yet they guarantee,  thus,  that their students will remain,  largely,  in a sort of servitude to the elites.

The alternative,   as they and many might see it,  is being trained as the lackeys and lapdogs of the market,  the global economy and international corporations-- not to mention,  Western imperialism and the United States.  There seems little middle ground.

In the background,  Mexico's society remains at the brink of profound economic and social crisis.  Due to the "drug wars"-- which may well be seen as a sort of "false flag' exercise to keep the elites in control-- over a third of Mexico's territory is now outside governmental control.  Mexico's youth and student movements,  primarily the "132s,"  express many of the concerns of the teachers,  especially those regarding media control and access to information-- yet highly distrustful of their predecessors,  and often,  in dismay and without hope.

"We are the generation of the crisis,"  the students write on the walls of buildings-- next to calls,  to assassinate the President.  "Es un fracso,"  a mess,  a breakdown,  remains the phrase of the day.

It seems apt.  The PRI fights to reassert power structures,  with half-gestures towards liberalization-- while playing into the hands of elites and corporations,  and continuing to sell Mexico's natural resources for bribes.  The teachers' unions fight to maintain privileges,  especially their pay-- and while they assert humanism,  they rather arrogantly assume that change in how and what they teach,  cannot be necessary.

While these and many other fiddlers play,  the nation tatters.  The economy stumbles,  with modest prospects for growth-- and significant risks of chaos or collapse.  The "drug war,"  with hundreds of thousands of deaths so far,  many likely political repression,  rages on.  Half the nation lives in poverty-- a fifth,  close to starvation.

As in so much of the world,  public faith in the institutions has reached all-time lows.  A few segments,  a tech sector here,  automotive production there,  show promise;  overall,  the nation fails to enact change and reforms,  especially in small business,  rule-of-law,  and entrepreneurship,  that might spur growth and prosperity.

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And the teachers?  They seem to think that everyone should be a poet,  and read philosophy-- no matter the consequences.  

Which is not an entirely objectionable position,  or one that can be condemned outright-- given that no one in the PRI,  no one proposing change,  will evidently sit down and discuss the terms of change with them.

Which leaves Mexico-- a ship,  battered by the wind,  under the cold and heavy rains,  shifting course randomly,   in the night.

So it is,  for the souls under the tents in Mexico City's Zocalo,  its great public square,  tonight.

Es un fracso, si.

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Kenneth Thomas works as an IT consultant and techologist and lives between Nashville, Ghent, Prague and Mexico City. He speaks German, French, Spanish, some Dutch of the Flemish variety, a smattering of Hebrew and other languages, and when (more...)

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