The Inconvenience of Revolution: Zapatismo, Cynicism and Memory

  • Christian Kroll-Bryce Reed College

Resumen

In this article, I analyse the Zapatistas’ political practices and literary discourse in order to discuss two features of Zapatismo that have largely been overlooked yet I believe were fundamental for its ability to cross national boundaries and influence oppositional practices, social movements and revolutionary activity in the last two decades. The first feature is what I will call the Zapatistas’ fecund, living memory, that is, the place-specific memory that derives from everyday experience and learning, and therefore cannot be systematized and applied universally. If this first aspect is intrinsic to the Zapatista experience itself, the second feature is more related to how the Zapatistas’ discourse and political practices were read outside the indigenous communities in which Zapatismo originated, namely, as following in the footsteps of the long and marginalized tradition of Cynicism and courageous truth telling. I argue that the combination of these two features—one intrinsic and particular, the other extrinsic and universalizable—enabled others to partake in the political truth of Zapatismo by partaking in a common spirit of resistance that nonetheless resists the impulse to extract universal principles from particular experiences and therefore acknowledges the need to reject ready-made recipes for revolution and other oppositional practices.

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Assistant Professor of Spanish and Humanities
Publicado
2017-10-31
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KROLL-BRYCE, Christian. The Inconvenience of Revolution: Zapatismo, Cynicism and Memory. A Contracorriente: una revista de estudios latinoamericanos, [S.l.], v. 15, n. 1, p. 216-239, oct. 2017. ISSN 1548-7083. Disponible en: <http://acontracorriente.chass.ncsu.edu/index.php/acontracorriente/article/view/1682>. Fecha de acceso: 20 nov. 2017
Sección
Artículos / Articles

Palabras clave

Zapatismo; Cynicism; memory; Subcomandante Marcos; revolution