Archive for February, 2012

History of Mexico, Intro.

Writing a history of Mexico is much like telling a never ending war story of defeat, heroism, romance and perseverance. It is ironic that many Mexican nationals constantly accuse the United States citizens of being violent and warmongering, since since its declaration of independence in 1810, the Estados Unidos Mexicanos has been in a constant state of war. Beginning with the Grito de Dolores in the early morning of September 16th 1810, through the institution of the First Mexican Empire, the emergence of a war torn Republic, a Second Empire and a violent civil war that ended with the restoration of the Republic, the history of Mexico has been bathed in blood. It is likewise amusing that the only period of civil peace and prosperity is the history of Mexico before the latter half of the 20th century is also the most hated by Mexican nationals: El Porfiriato. Naturally, not all of the wars fought by Mexicans have been civil, the Mexican nation has survived, by sheer luck, an American Invasion, a few short lived European interventions and a major French Intervention. Mexico’s last foreign armed conflict was World War II, and her contribution was purely aerial.

 

Part of the origin of this constant turmoil is perhaps the very nature of Mexico’s two faced populace: a strong group of Liberals who have always been ahead of their times, and a large group of Conservatives, who until the 1870’s, still advocated the restoration of a Monarchy. The Liberal policies of religious freedom, disenfranchisement of clergy members and the abolition of slavery led to devastating Christian Uprisings, Texan Secession and European Intervention. While the policies of the Conservatives led to violent secessionist movements, a perpetual state of indigenous uprisings, and brought in a short lived Second Mexican Empire.

 

This old political turmoil has bled into modern day society and politics, unfortunately, the liberalism of Mexico has become the watered down liberalism of the socialist left and the conservative movement has largely gravitated towards a Christian form of conservatism that begins to resemble the Right of the United States. However, two of the three main political parties of Mexico are largely centrist, with only hints of either Left or Right. Among this political arena, Mexico is also currently involved in a new civil war, one between the Government and the Drug Cartels, a civil war that only appears to intensify.

 

A history of Mexico in that country is traditionally a collection of veneration to men who died by firing squad and by sword, and a collection of boos to men who did likewise. Usually, the latter is reserved for the Conservatives. A Mexican history of Mexico serves only the purpose of glorifying and to stroke the Mexican Ego. I intend to cast a wider lens, to portray the Mexican War of Independence against the internal conflict of Spain, the Institution of the Second Mexican Empire as it impacted the Austrians and the French and how this ‘blemish’ ultimately served to reinforce and grant victory to the Liberals. This view will strike at much beloved Mexican traditions and beliefs, and the patriotic version of history that is popular and unquestioned in Mexico.

 

Ultimately, this is not as much a history of the people of Mexico, but of her wars and the political ideas that have managed to sustain a two hundred year old experiment of civil unrest and perplexing prosperity and progress.

An open letter to Naui Huitzilopochtli (and all those who may read it)

First off, I apologize for often presenting myself as an antagonizing force. This is something I try to avoid, but my principles often dictate to me be so,, I am apologizing only for the borderline inappropriate manner I sometimes present my arguments, not for having those arguments to begin with.

Secondly, this not a critique or an attack, or at least, I did not mean for it to be. This is an apology (from the Greek word, meaning explanation) of my beliefs and my opinions.

Thirdly, I apologize for writing this in English, as my Nahuatl is, sadly, very basic.

I am not a nationalist of any kind, furthermore, I am not a racist of any kind. This is to mean that I do not hold the Accident of someone’s Birth against them in any way, unless of course, they wish for me do so. In addition, I wish to convey, with that statement, that I do hold  any collectivist ideals, although often it is necessary for me to appear to have them. This is evident in my Vexillology, as seen in my flying several flags in my home, and sometimes as my profile picture on facebook.

In discussions I have had on your facebook wall, I have been caricatured as an imperialist, a murderer and a racist. This is to be expected. I do hold you accountable for this. This is one of the things I feel I must address, and obviously extend my sincerest apologies if I have done the same. This was not intentional.

The purpose of my antagonism is simple: I first and foremost, wish to understand what your views are, and what the view of the people who, for lack of a better term, side with you. In addition, I wish to understand the Nature and cause of these opinions. Despite being scorned, I proceed to ‘poke’ at your statements in order to deduce the underlying principles that yield your statements and convictions. I believe that like my own statements and convictions, they are based on something. I believe that in order to learn yours, I must first share mine, and they are as follows:

First, as I mentioned before, I do not believe in the inherent power of the accident of one’s birth. This obviously needs further explanation: I believe that we are all human. The phrase: “All men are created equal” is something that I hold very dearly. I believe this statement to be true. I likewise believe that all humans are worthy of the same dignities and the same respect. And I believe that nothing can strip these away, least of all someone’s race, economic status, heritage, religion or lack of, or anything that humans may use to group themselves, or group others under. It is because of this that I often appear to defend causes that are at the moment, or any other given moment, unpopular. My recent defense of the Confederacy is not, as it has been assumed to be, a defense of slavery or bigotry, it is merely a remembrance of the men who died in a brutal and senseless war.  While this war may have had the effect of freeing the slaves, this act alone cannot condone its bloodshed.  Likewise, any acts of violence made by white men, or any men, cannot condone hatred towards such men, or any men.

My refusal to hate them does not mean that I condone their actions. The slaveholder violated the natural rights of the slave, but it does not make him any less worthy of his own rights. It is a crime, yes, an unforgivable one, yes, but not one that should be used to hate them. But more importantly, the act of the slaveholder should not, cannot and must not be used to condone hatred or crimes towards his brothers and friends. His brothers and his friends are not him, and his crimes are not theirs.

To take that one step further: The acts of white men in the past should not, cannot and must not be paid upon their descendents. My ancestors may have committed a crime, but that crime is not mine.

To quote fiction, if I may: In the Lord of the Rings, Arwen tells Aragorn that “You are Isildur’s Heir, not Isildur himself” His reply is simple and true “The same blood that ran through his veins, runs through mine” Yet her own reply conveys a message that I myself happen to hold “You will face the same evil, and defeat it”

So, whereas the same blood that ran through the veins of the Conquistadors, the same blood that raped and burned, runs through my veins, I am not them. I too, can give in to a primal urge that all humans carry, and rape and burn, but I have not. The ability to commit a crime is not the same as having committed it. And I am not accountable for the crimes of m ancestors. Likewise, not all white men are guilty of the crimes of some of their ancestors.

This is not to say that crimes were not committed, and this is not to say that those crimes should be easily forgotten or forgiven.  They were unforgivable crimes, yes, but the men who committed them are long since dead. One cannot wage war against a dead enemy, and the descendents of such enemies are not the enemy themselves.

Secondly, a point I hope I have made clear: I am an Individualist. And because of this, I am a Capitalist. The principles of individualism are simple: All men are born equal,, and should be allowed to go as far as their own abilities permit them, or as far as other men help them to go. These are also the principles of capitalism, thus the only system thus far that has allowed men to be free to choose and free to fail at their volition is Capitalism.

I have asked, mostly indirectly, for you to show me a system of beliefs that better encapsulates men’s rights. (and I am using the term men in a gender neutral manner) Thus far, you have not, and I eagerly await your reply.

In the past, I have been told that Capitalism is a force that denies men’s basic rights, and the examples given forth are mostly non-sequiturs, or examples made through equivocation, namely the argument that because white men committed crimes against Native Americans (whom you call Nican Tlaca, more on that later) and other white men developed modern Capitalism (Namely Adam Smith and, to a certain extent John Locke and the British Rationalists and German Idealists) therefore all white men have committed these crimes and likewise Capitalism is responsible for these crimes. This simply does not follow. I fear that at this point, I made have made a reductionist assumption about your arguments, and I look forward to being corrected.

About the term Nican Tlaca. I do feel certain. . .apprehension at you use of the term, as I understand it, the term is simply the Nahua term for people who live on this continent prior to European Conquest. And I must say I find it terribly ironic that you would bestow the title of your people upon the rest of the Native American population, and yet outcry the term “Native American” because it is used by one people to refer to another.

This naturally leads me to a question: What exactly is the goal of your movement? I am going to assume that it is expatriation of all non Native American’s from this continent. I am likely wrong, but it appears to be thus far. Again, I look forward to learning more about the end goal of your endeavours. If however, the goal is education, then I applaud you. Education is one of my greatest concerns, and I support all men and movements who seek to educate. Likewise, I support all men who seek to discuss, trade, and promulgate ideas rationally. If this is the end goal, then I believe you have gained a convert. Although I admit I find your methodology to be ineffective.

For the time being, and under the circumstances, this is all I have to say on the matter and I await your reply eagerly.

Sincerely, Antonio I. Villalpando.