Indigenous De-Colonial Movement in Latin America

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Walter Mignolo:

"The ‘Latin left’ (led by criollos and mestizos, that is, ‘white’ Bolivians) is grounded in the genealogy of European thought. Broadly speaking, however far it may have branched out, its trunk is Marxism-Leninism. Their present ‘recognition’ of, and alliances with, indigenous struggles is obviously a sign of a convergent trajectory, but a different trajectory nonetheless. Their trajectory drinks at the source of other experiences and other genealogies of thought – as is evident, for example, in their recourse to ‘the commons’. From an indigenous perspective, however, the problem is not capitalism alone – it is Occidentalism, which includes both capitalism and Marxism. The Indian leader, Fausto Reynaga (1906–1994), was a great admirer of Marx – whom he referred to as ‘the genius Moor’ – but he despised the Bolivian left of his time, drawing a clear distance between his book The Indigenous Revolution and Marx’s Communist Manifesto. According to Reynaga, Marx confronted the bourgeoisie from the perspective and interests of the working class and proposed a class struggle within Western civilisation. The indigenous revolution, however, is against Western civilisation as such, including the left, which originated in the West. This is why I would rather refer not to an ‘indigenous left’, but an indigenous de-colonial.

De-coloniality is akin to de-Westernisation, which was a strong element of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and remains an active ideological element in East and Southeast Asia. De-Westernisation is neither left nor right: it questions Occidentalism, racism, a totalitarian and unilateral globality and an imperialist epistemology. The difference is that de-coloniality frontally questions the capitalist economy, whereas de-Westernisation only questions who controls capitalism – the West or ‘emerging’ economies." (