The following quotations are from:
Gustavo Esteva, “Indigenous Autonomy in Oaxaca, Mexico,” in Auroras of the Zapatistas: Local and Global Struggles of the Fourth World War
“The indigenous conception of the role of state government is that it should be limited. Their democracy is similar to the original Greek definition, meaning people’s power, not a form of government with representatives or parties. Rather, the people govern themselves through their discussions and assemblies. This is what the Zapatistas are trying to do in Chiapas.” 19-20
“…we see changes in economics and the relation to the market, changes in the structures and roles of government, and changes in the status of women, as people in Oaxaca autonomously act. They now are creating a tradition to change their traditions using traditional means, such as the assemblies and the processes of community discussion. These people have nothing to do with the Indians of 500 years ago, yet they are still the same. They have changed, are changing, without burying the past.
In this process of change, they are also avoiding the trap of the ‘individua’ which is a social construction of modernity. We see in all these activities a political resistance to the construction of capitalistic individuality.
These kinds of changes are also showing up among urban workers. We see the beginnings of a new kind of union movement, but our real hope is not in a political change in the unions (most of which, in Mexico, are controlled by the PRI), but change in the workers themselves. They have discovered that defining themselves as workers in organized unions traps them in the logic of capital. So workers are changing the logic of unions and of themselves: they associate in new ways, in a logic that goes beyond capital.” 21
Ana Esther Ceceña with Adriana Lopez Monjardin, Carlo Manzo, and Julio Moguel, in Auroras of the Zapatistas: Local and Global Struggles of the Fourth World War
Moguel: “The Zapatista claim of a right to popular rebellion against ‘misgovernment’—explicitly raised by them on January 1st under Article 39 of the Constitution—reflected the foundation of their insurrectionist ‘model’ which gave rise to a political program that was aimed at establishing the foundations of a new democratic regime, including apparently simple demands such as those of jobs, land, housing, food, education, independence, freedom, democracy, justice, and peace. This list of issues showed or confirmed in the current Mexican social and political reality the idea that demanding real democracy and the conquest of basic rights is deeply radical and subversive to the reality of capitalism at the end of the century.” 27