Gustavo Esteva: Today We Can Only Live in Struggle
Gustavo Esteva is a Mapuche activist and intellectual who works with the Center for Intercultural Centers and Dialogues in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Losing hope is the same as dying. Recovering hope as a social force is the fundamental key to the survival of the human race, planet earth, and popular movements. Hope is not about sitting and waiting for something to happen, it is about a hope that converts into action; in movement we can change things.
Just saying "no' is not enough. This "no' has to be accompanied by the creation of an alternative. The Zapatistas showed us on December 21st that the time for action is now. Those already in movement must make concrete their actions; those that are paralyzed must lose their fear and begin to move.
The next action is clear. How do we dismantle the state apparatus of repression? By making this apparatus irrelevant. Capitalist production, extraction, exploitation -- how do we eliminate these? By minimizing their need to exist. We are in a structure of domination; how do we urgently dissolve this structure? By making it unnecessary.
Eating comes first. We must recuperate our food autonomy, and realize its importance in the construction of another world. We need to decide what we eat, and how we can organize to define our own food. Each of us needs to ask every day, what did I do to begin to advance the production of my own food, to define what I eat?
What if we were in the new world with the perfect society -- imagine what you would do in that society? Paul Goodman said, "once you've imagined it, start doing it today." It is already being constructed.
We need to realize that today we can only live in struggle. How do we continue resisting? The Tzotziles of Acteal told us -- resisting is like the air, we cannot stop breathing; we cannot stop resisting.
The Zapatistas have said, "We are only ordinary men and women, and that is why we are rebels, nonconformists and dreamers". This is the time of the ordinary men and women, the rebels. The Zapatistas are sharing their construction of autonomy and are willing to defy every system -- "Everything for everyone, Nothing for us". Zapatismo is no longer theirs, now it belongs to all of us. To defend Zapatismo is to defend ourselves.
The New Era is here. We are already in the New World. It has already been born. New social relations already exist. We must lose the mentality of the past, open our eyes and ears, and learn to recognize and uncover ourselves. The time is now."
Severino Sharupi -- This Is a Time for Rebellion
Severino Sharupi is a Schwan indigenous man and a member of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE).
All of our communities are under threat -- all. It is very different from when Marx put out the idea of a revolution; there were not these crises like climate change and destruction of Mother Earth. If we don't change, Mother Earth will shake all of us out -- all of us -- stop this now or we'll all be out.