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By Carlos Galano
The set of political, epistemological, pedagogical and social logics that drives the FTAA proposal for the territorial space of Latin America is the logic of emptiness.
To all of you, good afternoon. When dealing with the problems generated in the Region by the formulation and implementation of the FTAA, surely and as we develop our presentation, we will, in principle, adhere to what Hugo Yasky has already raised at a general level, especially regarding the proposals that emerged a few days ago in Costa Rica, from the IEAL meeting, and also, to what the specialist in Education Sciences who preceded us has raised For the FTAA, by the announcements of its mentors, by the ideological conception and due to the vision of the world that it wishes to build, education is slowly transforming itself into a tradable asset through the rites of the Market. Where what is exposed is not even education, much less the tradability of this good, but quite simply, what aspires to build that conception that has as its objectives the domestication of bodies and the colonization of souls.
This is the fundamental approach and the logic that drives both the WTO, in terms of the processes of organization of production processes, of commercial exchanges, and the logic of knowledge that the proposals that within the Agrarian production systems, industrial production systems, financial systems or cultural production systems will gradually shape what Miriam, a moment ago, affirmed, is the only discourse.
A moment ago at the table it was emphatically supported No to the FTAA Yes to education, and particularly Yes to public education, which implies a whole decision of struggle and actions, to which we contribute, and as a concept of strong idea : No to the FTAA because we are saying Yes to Life.
The set of political, epistemological, pedagogical and social logics that drives the FTAA proposal for the territorial space of Latin America is the logic of emptiness. Empty Latin America of its socio-productive territories, through the co-option and theft of its genetic wealth, but simultaneously empty Latin America of the richness of its cultural diversity, to offer it on the altar where benefits are exclusively maximized and outsourced natural biodiversity and cultural diversities.
This is a key point for us, which is even part of one of CTERA's projects within the framework of the Marina Vilte school, where we have a career, a postgraduate master's degree that is Environmental Education for Sustainable Development, and whose premise is of a very strong and vital concept, the concept of environmental crisis, which for us is the crisis of a historical stage called modernity, which through all its cultural artifacts, the international system, the nation-states and the educational systems that developed in the heat of the logics of classical sciences, of hegemonic thought, produced a strong process of deterritorialization and devastation of diversity. Already from the first dawn of modernity, one of the theorists of capitalism and scientism announces "nature is a whore, that is why we must enslave, penetrate and dominate her according to the wishes that govern our aspirations for economic growth."
From the very dawn of Modernity, the thinkers of that worldview have already pointed out the course that capitalism was going to take in the 500 years of pillage.
But they did not stop there. They made progress on some things that we want to take up again. Because what we want to dismantle, what we aspire to deconstruct is the perverse logic that nests in those most intimate and recondite labyrinths of devastating thought whose ideas nest in the constitutive ideology of the FTAA and project the paths that they will retrace: the paths to the consummation of pillage, devastation and decay.
A few months ago, in Bogotá, there was a meeting in which 30 people participated from all parts of Latin America and from all its cultural horizons. After 4 days of debate, and a subsequent week of exchange of definitions, we decided to write and publish what we have entitled MANIFESTO FOR LIFE.
The Manifesto for Life was presented as the proposal of Latin America and the Caribbean to the World Summit in Johannesburg, where the economic and cultural directions of the planet were to be defined.
Here we were from the president of the National Academy of Sciences of Cuba, Ismael Clark, to the president of COICA, which is the organization of the Amazonian peoples, Sebastián Hago, to Hernán Cortés -good name !, black him-, representative of the Afro-American community on the Pacific coast, which are 18 million blacks, There was also Marina Silva, the current Minister of the Environment of Brazil, Researchers, Rectors of Universities, representatives of the Latin American Social Environmental Movement, and us representing Argentina .
We expose in the MANIFESTO POR LA VIDA, the reason to fight for life, for the broad meaning of life from Ethics, to confront the unique thought that crystallizes in Latin America through the FTAA.
The FTAA contains all the logic that in the West was shaping the rationality that capitalism built to devastate Humanity. It is all. So. In the FTAA there is Descartes, imposing extreme rationality and the principle of separation between the subject, the subject of the object and the East of its context, thus leaving the foundation of fragmentation inexcusably expressed. There is the economic conception of Adam Smith and also Keynesianism, through the processes of profit maximization within the framework of the irreducible myth of the Market.But there is also the concept of knowledge and science that is organized in educational systems, separating knowledge as if they were disconnected islands, which promote a fragmentary and mechanistic form that, in reality, builds the ignorance of knowledge. This is an instrument of domination and colonization that is being imposed on us in a coercive way, many times through threats, other times through commercial extortion, etc., but it always implies a procedure at the service of the definitive defeat of the peoples of Latin America.
The mother bomb with which the land of Iraq was destroyed, the cradle of civilization, is the daughter of a conception of science and technology that nests, legitimizing predatory rationality, in research centers at Western universities. The North West. The imperial West also destroys with the same logic when it imposes the policies of the WTO There is no difference between what the WTO promotes, with what the FTAA postulates and defines it in the organizational formats of agrarian production, particularly with what is sustained around to genetic research applied to agricultural production. There is no difference with the logic that is in the conceptual base between the mother bomb that was dropped in Iraq and the genetic mother bomb that is going to be thrown at us in Latin America.
The genetic pump mother is already developing what is called the genetic latifundio, which in South America extends from the pampas of Pedroni, in Argentina, to the heart of Brazil. And unlike the previous latifundio of ours, which the generation of 80, to crystallize the agro-exporting Argentina was developing from Patagonia to the north, this genetic latifundio does not allow life. Destroy it. Because it destroys natural biodiversity for the sake of a single crop, a single concept. And when the habitat and the territory are destroyed, the inhabitants are expelled, because it is agriculture without peasants, the soil is being emptied and culture becomes an artifice. They empty us of natural wealth and empty us of human cultural wealth that by millions are thrown onto the roads, like mindless crowds. And to name these crowds, the United Nations refugee committee has had to invent a new category. These multitudes who go from one place to another expelled from their roots, their territories, their cultural senses, are called "environmental refugees". The common house of their ecosystem was destroyed, the meanings that their own culture gave them were annihilated.
The FTAA is a process that leads us towards the twilight of life. Therefore, facing the FTAA is not a question of whether we are going to win or if we are going to lose. We have no other ethical or moral issues or the meaning of life, to face from the worst weaknesses, with this conception of the FTAA.
In addition, what is interesting is that this process that marks the development and apparent triumph of the single thought, of the hegemonized conception in the polluted waters of this new neo-imperialism, but which fatally expresses the final stage of a historical process, develops simultaneously -and it is an effort that we make to contextualize from the conjuncture that we live- a more plural civilizing process, in tune with another rationality, environmental rationality. A process that is born cradled in the seas of interculturality.
A new world that pushes from the rubble of the old days, open to the dialogue of knowledge.
This dialogue between civilizational processes and the conjunctural phenomena in which we are immersed, as if it were a thick soup, plagued with enormous difficulties and anguish, allow us to handle these four ideas that I am interested in sharing with you to rethink from another position, from other visions, from the construction of other worldviews, more complex and more hopeful, the coercive imposition of the FTAA, promoted by Neo-imperialism.
We are, as we said, facing a new crisis that is like a terminal crisis of a historical stage, which manifests itself in the environmental crisis. When I use the concept of environment, I do not use it specifically referring to nature. The ambient concept, incorporating the idea of complexity, is a concept that opposes the logic of classical sciences, which was simplifying, which disconnects everything, separates it, which reduces everything, which simplifies everything, the environment concept is the overflowing tributaries of nature, culture, history and dreams that are giving us new ways of imagining the world and imagining ourselves in the world. When we speak of environment we speak from this perspective.
There is a crisis. And that crisis is expressing that historical stage called modernity. With its organizational forms, with its hegemonic powers. It is no longer in a position to resolve any conflict of this Humanity. Neither a conflict on an urban scale nor a conflict on a global scale. The only logic you have is the logic of the pumps. But just as there is a militarized power that becomes a political power at the service of an economic power that drives this devastating logic, simultaneously - and this is the different data of the times we live in - a phenomenon that flutters on the surface of the Earth it translates a new cultural power in the heat of the mobilizations of society and social movements that appear in all directions to mark concrete limits.
We have concentrated political power. We have a hyper-concentrated economic power. Today, when Miriam gave some statistics, 200 superconcentrated companies in the world generate an economic activity similar to 45% of the world's production processes. But they represent 0.7%. An unsustainable nonsense in these times.
This crisis is the manifestation of a deeper crisis.
And the other deeper crisis is the crisis of the senses. The meanings that were constituted in this historical stage, cultural, political, economic, symbolic meanings, are turning into rubble.
We have seen a year and a half almost two years ago, in Buenos Aires, before the collapse of the Towers in New York, the fraternal shaking of the dismayed people put candles and flowers in front of the US embassy. Today they have to contain those same crowds so that the hatred generated by the extermination imposed by the war unleashed by that same power does not turn the US embassy into rubble. It is a phenomenon that we can neither overestimate nor underestimate. But there it is. It is the manifestation of an ethical and moral crisis of this entire system. Of the Western system in particular.
It is a terminal crisis of the methodology with which we construct senses and speak those senses.
We are in a stage that ends and a new historical process that rises with the clothes of uncertainty. In that transitional phenomenon, in that process of change of era, there is The FTAA. The profound historical changes that are already underway and lead us to the new times and the attempts of the old processes that cling, do not place as against a biblical mandate. When Ecclesiastes said: "New wines are not put into old wineskins." We cannot put this emerging phenomenal process that the world is proposing to us, and that Latin America in particular is like the great paradigm of these imaginaries, a Latin America where it emerges, and does not resist, re-exists, in the decision of the original cultures who display their claims to all horizons, who demand respect for their ideas, their knowledge, their knowledge; popular cultures. They make an exceptional contribution, and for us in Latin America it is key, to rethink knowledge and politics. These contributions as vital tributaries that are the theology of liberation, the philosophy of liberation and the pedagogy of liberation, which, added to the resistance processes of indigenous peoples and popular cultures, are giving us a magma that differentiates us and that opens us up hopefully to think that it is possible and that it is necessary to play to build something else. It's possible.
We have to get out of the single thought hose.
Serge Andre, incomparable writer in a work called Flac, to confront us against those who announce the unique logic, the unique thought, the unique politics, the unique scenarios, said: you cannot think the infinite, but think that you can suffer it, because he thinks of you. He thinks about you endlessly, whether you know it or not. If the mother country thinks of us, think of education in the privatization of education, in agrarian systems without peasants, in the international system shackled by the maximization of profits and the devastation of wealth and cultural identities. Don't think. All that, what others think of us, is the way to build the knowledge that they have and that we dismantle. We disassemble what we understand by geography, from the classical conception of geographical knowledge. About this conception a geographer said: the geography that we teach in our schools, marked by the logic of classical science and the ideology of modernity, is a weapon for war and colonialism. But it is also history, and physics, and mathematics, disconnected from the complexity and the phenomenal warp that we have in Latin America.
And he, Sergei André, makes his anguished character say: we must be sure that we have been embarked on that automatically programmed train, so recognized, so recognizable, to the point that it is called "the" knowledge. Official knowledge, knowledge of the West that does not allow us to think about alternatives, that coerces us with the similar, with the same, with the repetitive, such as metastasis, pastiches, simulacrum and leads us astray from the dialogue of knowledge, due to the set that beats with others hopes in Latin America and here, in the Argentine Republic.
These are the words. Pure words. And these words that tell us that they are knowledge are similar, so similar and interchangeable as to, similar, perhaps to make us similar, indeed similar, identical, synonyms, similar, analogical, or limitations, pastiches, reproductions, replicas. Or mimics, parodies, costumes, cartoons, plagiarism. Even counterfeits, simulations, lies, and therefore illusions, traps, mythologies. Isomorphs, isotherms, isobars. Equivalents, equilateral and equivocal.
OH great scam that hegemonic rationality proposes to us through the FTAA to make us believe that we are on the road to happiness, when in reality we are on the roads of agony.
Therefore, in the face of this, at this moment of rupture, almost at the limit, we, who are educational workers, must deconstruct the logos that submits us. That it tries to cancel the possibility of thinking what is not thought. Who wants to tame our bodies and colonize our souls
* Carlos Galano Exhibition
tax deduction from the Conference at the Forum against Alca