Friday, April 24, 2009

The Story of Mexico: 2009


ZNet Interview with John Gibler about his new book

January 26, 2009
(1) Can you tell ZNet, please, what Mexico Unconquered is about? What is it trying to communicate?

Mexico Unconquered is about the ongoing social struggles that grip Mexico, the overwhelming violence of the state on the one hand and the vibrant and massive peoples' movements for land, autonomy, freedom, and dignity on the other.

The book traces contemporary social conflicts in Mexico from the period of the Spanish Conquest, through the early years of Independence, and the political chaos following the 1910-1920 Mexican Revolution, when the modern state in Mexico was reconfigured from the remains of centuries of colonialism into an autocratic one party state with only minimal and cosmetic dressings of electoral democracy.

The bulk of the book is divided between the exploration and denunciation of state violence and contemporary forms of conquest and the chronicling and study of peoples' movements and contemporary forms of revolt (rebelión in Spanish).

What does the book try to communicate? Moral outrage and social dignity. The book tries to disrobe the ideologies of the state used to rationalize horrid violence (seemingly innocent concepts like the rule of law, poverty, and migration) and to awaken moral outrage at the realities hidden under the glaze of normalcy. But instead of leaving the reader with the despair of finding such brutality under the surface of everyday reality in Mexico, the book tries to communicate the immense strength and dignity of the ordinary Mexicans taking stands against the brutality. Here the book tries to communicate the urgent importance of gripping this spirit of revolt when facing seemingly intractable enemies, of risking the impossible (to quote Slavoj Zizek quoting the Paris walls in 1968). link to complete article

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