Critical Thought in the Face of the Capitalist Hydra by the Zapatista Army for National Liberation

Fall 2016/Spring 2017

hydra-imageWhat 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? This seminar will engage in an intensive study of the recent text published by the EZLN on the need for collective analysis and the construction of critical theories and conceptual tools in order to understand this moment. We will follow the EZLN in an effort to together rescue critical thought from both the trendy relativism of contemporary academia and the tweets and facebook posts that now stand in for thinking, and search for the inner connection of these phenomena 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. Note that while in this text the EZLN outlines both 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, the Zapatistas don’t offer themselves as a model to be followed. Rather, they insist that each of us analyze this crisis from our own locations in order to adequately confront the monumental task before us. We believe this book is a must-study for current times, and a task that can only be taken on collectively!