Critical Thought in the Face of the Capitalist Hydra I
Contributions by the Sixth Commission of the EZLN
How do we comprehend a crisis that simultaneously began over 500 years ago and yet looms on our immediate horizon?
What unites the grave situation of Greece with that of the tens of thousands of killed and disappeared in Mexico? What might explain the recurring failure and seeming betrayal, in country after country, of the electoral left? How might gentrification of urban centers across the world be inextricably connected to the pipelines of an unhinged extractivism (from Bolivia to Standing Rock)? How can we explain that on a daily basis, an ever-greater proportion of humanity is expelled from production and abandoned to its fate as simple surplus? In this daring book, the Zapatistas put forth the hypothesis that a rigorous application of critical thought shows us that the inner connection of these phenomena can be found in the historically unprecedented crisis of capitalism that today gathers steam and in the near future promises to engulf all of humanity in a perfect storm.
In May of 2015, the Zapatista Army for National Liberation (EZLN) hosted a seminar in Chiapas, Mexico, titled “Critical Thought in the Face of the Capitalist Hydra,” in which they invited thinkers from across the world to join them in analyzing the economic instability, unceasing war, mass displacement, and ecological devastation that today characterize our world. This book presents the complete set of interventions made by the EZLN at that seminar. Rescuing critical thought from both the trendy relativism of contemporary academia and the tweets and facebook posts that now stand in for it, the EZLN outlines the contours of this crisis as well as the innovative practices of politics that have allowed Zapatismo to survive and constitute one of the few large-scale anti-capitalist struggles in the world today. Yet the Zapatistas don’t offer themselves as a model to be followed, but rather insist that each of us analyze this crisis from our own locations in order to adequately confront the monumental task before us. The volume closes with poetry and art solicited by the EZLN from various artists and authors as their contribution to the seminar.
This text is a translation of the book, El Pensamiento Crítico Frente a la Hidra Capitalista I, published in Mexico by the EZLN in July of 2015. That text and this English translation include several texts not publicly presented at the seminar. In addition, various theorists, intellectuals, and militants from around the world were invited to offer presentations to the more than 2,600 seminar attendees. Their contributions can be found in Spanish in Volumes II and III of this series, published in Mexico.
Proceeds from the sale of this translation will go to the Zapatistas.
Published PaperBoat Press 2016
Beyond Resistance: EVERYTHING! An Interview with Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos
This unique interview with the Zapatista spokesperson and military commander, Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, was created and conducted by a community assembly in Durham, North Carolina, as a direct conversation between people in struggle in the United States and the EZLN. A year into the Zapatista Other Campaign in Mexico, this conversation marks a moment of change and transformation in how the EZLN has seen and spoken about the possibility of alternative politics in the US and the role of migrants, people of color, and others from below in creating such a politics.
In a time of acute political crisis, widespread state repression of social movements, and increasing environmental devastation, the Zapatistas have re-emerged as a force for change, this time unarmed, coming down from the mountains and out of the jungle to meet with Mexicans across all sectors and people from all over the world to organize a new social force for anticapitalist struggle.
Includes an introduction by the El Kilombo Collective and Community Assembly, the interview with Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, and the EZLN’s Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle.
Proceeds from the book will go to the Zapatista communities in resistance.
Published PaperBoat Press 2007