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Our Word is Our Weapon - Book Report/Review Example

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Our Word is Our Weapon: Selected Writings by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos The selection of the works of Subcomandante Marcos wades through the inhospitable territory of subjugation in the wake of the twenty first century that is based largely on ethnic affiliations as well as the actions of a larger neighboring power…
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Our Word is Our Weapon
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Download file to see previous pages The book penned by the author offers valuable insight into the problems being faced by ethnic Mayans from the conquest of the Conquistadors to the present day. The subject matter has been presented in the form of poems, lyrical compositions and stories woven in the tradition of magical realism. The work largely revolves around the persecution and marginalization of ethnic groups such as the Mayans in the Chiapas region but the book is not limited to the Mayans as such. In the words of the author, his work stands against the marginalization of any kind of group by any other group(s) of people for any given reason. The book is generally divided into three distinct sections based on the themes being carried in each section. The first section focuses on political essays and reflects on the evolution of the Zapatista mindset and thinking as a movement both inside and outside Mexico. The second section displays Subcomandante Marcos’ philosophical perspectives, personal reflections as well as a humorous recollection of his early days as a guerrilla and his correspondence with other writers. The third section comprises of short stories, fables, folk tales and indigenous myths that have been woven to reflect contemporary problems within the Mexican framework that is discriminating against indigenous populations as well as poorer nations (Seven Stories). One of the more notable themes of the book includes the focus on non violent means as well as propaganda to win the hearts and minds of people. This is also reflected in the title of the book that states that the words of the author are far more important than the guns the guerillas of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation carry. The basic contention of the author is to win over the hearts and minds of people both within and outside Mexico rather to gain land and territory as is generally done in guerilla struggles. The book reflects on the consequences of neo-liberalism especially for poorer ethnic groups such as the Chiapas in the south eastern parts of Mexico. The newly enforced regime of neo-liberalism such as the FTAs (free trade agreements) have caused governments in less affluent nations to aid economic progress at the cost of cheap labor and exploitation. The creation of the NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) caused the government of Mexico to open up its doors to foreign investors and large MNCs (multi national companies) and TNCs (trans national companies) who set up various manufacturing and agricultural operations in Mexico. While this signaled progress for certain strata of Mexican society, it represented a suppression of the rights of certain ethnically backward groups (Lezard). The investing parties such as the MNCs and the TNCs saw a large opportunity to set up industrial and agricultural units that allowed cheaper inputs such as cheaper labor that could be exploited with lower wage rates and longer working hours as well as a denial of basic benefits. Moreover these investing parties also saw cheaper inputs such as basic raw materials such as large tracts of land at low lease rates, cheaper timber, and cheaper ores as well as the opportunity to manufacture cheaper in Mexico and export to the United States and Canada at higher rates. This left the Mexican government in a bid to facilitate the investing giants by provision of indigenous lands and resources as well as cheaper labor that were denied rights to bargain collectively. Though some ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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