Nicolás Maduro is the only president in Latin America calling for decolonization, Puerto Rican sociologist Ramón Grosfoguel said in an interview during the 7th School of Critical Decolonial Thought that is being held in Caracas.
On Monday, October 24, the seventh edition of the School of Critical Decolonial Thought started at the central auditorium of the Romulo Gallegos Center for Latin American Studies (CELARG). Grosfoguel, who is a professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies, University of California Berkeley, is the creator and organizer of this event. He is currently in Venezuela for this event.
Grosfoguel criticized Argentinian president Alberto Fernández, and his Chilean counterpart, Gabriel Boric, whom he considers as examples of “the bankruptcy of the left.” He said that the two presidents betrayed the people who had voted for them.
During his stay in Venezuela, Prof. Grosfoguel attended two events in which President Nicolás Maduro participated: the 16th World Poetry Festival, and the Day of Indigenous Resistance. At the poetry event, which took place on October 13, Maduro presented Grosfoguel’s latest book, De la Sociología de Descolonización al Nuevo Antiimperialismo Decolonial [From the Sociology of Decolonization to the New Decolonial Anti-Imperialism]. As for the Day of Indigenous Resistance event, Grosfoguel recommended that everyone should listen carefully to the speech delivered by President Maduro at that event.
The transcript of the interview is presented below.
Why do you recommend listening to President Nicolás Maduro’s October 12 speech?
First of all, because he is calling for October 12 not to be solely and exclusively the Day of Indigenous Resistance, which in itself is a decolonial twist in the celebration of that date, but because in all of Latin America it is celebrated as the day of the discovery of America, which is a lie. It is a very racist thing to say that there were no human beings here and that this land was discovered by the Spaniards. Imagine that!
And what are the other reasons to listen to, or, reread that speech?
On October 12, President Maduro made a call to the ministers of his cabinet to take the decolonization issue seriously. He publicly called on the minister of culture [Ernesto Villegas] and the minister of education [Yelitze Santaella] to work for the decolonization of education, culture, that is, to decolonize the mind, the spirit.
The following day, that is, October 13, the president was at the World Poetry Festival and presented your latest book.
That day he spoke about economic and political decolonization. It means, the vision of decolonization in the 21st century is very different from that of the 19th century. The first decolonization [of the Americas], the decolonization of the 19th century, was unfinished; many things remained to be decolonized and we see them in these hierarchies of domination.
What things remained to be decolonized after the independence process?
For example, Venezuela was a peripheral country, subordinated at first to Spain. And after independence it remained a peripheral country, subordinated to Great Britain in the 19th century and to the United States in the 20th century. There are many things that are very colonial and that are invisible. That is why Fidel Castro, in the Second Declaration of Havana, calls for the second independence of Our America.
What does this call translate into?
It is a call for true economic sovereignty that overcomes neocolonialism, but also for mental and educational sovereignty. For example, the Bolivarian process inherited from the Fourth Republic educational structures and contents that are not adequate for the Bolivarian Revolution. Venezuelan author Luis Bigott, in his book El Pedagogo Neocolonial [The Neocolonial Pedagogue], talks about how the teaching profession has to decolonize itself because otherwise you will be reproducing colonial, imperialist ideology in the classrooms themselves.
Is the State that you describe being toppled here?
As Chávez said: we have to occupy the structures of that State to interrupt the policies of neocolonial domination, knowing that the solution will not be there, because that State was conceived to decide for the people and against the people.
How can these policies of domination be interrupted?
We have to create a new type of State as a horizon of Bolivarian socialism that overcomes this very colonial structure, moving us towards a State where the people themselves, their own sovereign, self-manage their political activities, their political decisions and gradually replace the modern State by the communal State in the decision-making power: from the municipalities to the highest national sphere. That is why I call Maduro’s October 12 speech a historic speech—historic in Latin America.
Is a communal State possible?
I believe so. The problem is not that today you are going to abolish the State you inherited from the Fourth Republic. You will not be able to abolish it. But the approach is not to abolish it; the approach is to gradually replace it in the long term through the creation of the communal State. I do not know how many Venezuelans are aware of the historic things that are happening in Venezuela, which are also historic for all of Latin America. There is no president in the region who is calling for “commune or nothing,” like Maduro. And that is what we have been raising in the School of Critical Decolonial Thought, we have been doing it for seven years. The world has not been decolonized. The modern State that we have inherited from the Europeans, we imitate it in Latin America. There is an ideology that believes that the modern is much better than the traditional. In reality it is a civilization of death.
Why is it a civilization of death?
Because it is generating death of humans as wells as death of life in the broadest sense, because of the ecological disaster it has produced. No civilization in history has been as destructive for life as this one we are involved in.
How long is this going to last?
We do not know how long this will last. Today we are in a situation of civilizational crisis; what is called climate change, which I would call the planetary ecological destruction of modern Western civilization. We are not sure if we will be alive 100 years from now, because of the widespread planetary destruction that has been generated.
Who has driven this planetary destruction?
This destruction is driven by the global, modern-colonial imperialist system of European expansion. When it was expanding in the world, it started as European imperialism, then US imperialism. It brings to the world a dualism that is called “Cartesian dualism,” which is the cosmology of the world capitalist system. It destroyed all the holistic cosmologies of the other civilizations.
What relation does this dualism have with the planetary destruction?
It has got everything to do with it. Because for 400 years we have been in a capitalist system that produces technology under Cartesian dualistic cosmology. That is to say, technology is not neutral, it has a cosmology. What does that mean, well, the stupid idea of thinking that human life is separated from other forms of life. That nature is over there and the human is over here and therefore, you can take everything in front of you, destroy everything around you, and human life will still go on. Because Cartesian dualism presupposes that human life reproduces itself in isolation from the cosmos, from nature.
Is it impossible to sustain this?
It is impossible to sustain it. We have been doing this for 400 years and our days are numbered, because we are producing technology that is destructive for life.
What has been the role of the owners of social media in all this that you say?
These people have created digital platforms through which they spread lies to justify the imperialist world. They are creating a new historical system worse than this one. They know that this is falling, they know that the days of this system are numbered, so they are considering the creation of a new system where they do not fall with the system. Immanuel Wallerstein said this since the 80s, that between 2020 and 2050 they are going to create a new system worse than this one. He said: “Listen to what is being discussed at the Davos Forum.”
What is being discussed at the Davos Economic Forum?
There they are making their global plans. For example, in January 2021, the Forum was called “The New Reset.” Look what they are saying there, they are creating a new system worse than this one.
Would the Davos Forum succeed in imposing that new system worse than this one?
They are doing it while we are speaking here. In the feudal markets of the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, if you went there to sell anything, you had to give the feudal lord half of what you produced. The feudal lord kept all the rents and you kept the crumbs. Today there are digital platforms that work just like that feudal market, where in order to get in there to sell, you have to pay a rent to Bill Gates and all the others. And it’s a usurious rent. They’re creating a system where they are going to have absolute control, not just over what you buy and sell, but also over your desires.
Who are at that Forum?
The 1% of the 1%. The transnational capitalist-financial elite, they are getting ready for what is coming. They know that this is failing, so they are making the transition where they will be at the top.
In the Forum they also talk about ecology and other sensitive issues.
They are recycling economic theories from the 19th century, from economist Thomas Robert Malthus, now, under an Eco-Malthusian rhetoric. Let me explain. Malthus said that unemployment and poverty in the world was due, not to a system of capitalist exploitation, but to a problem of overpopulation, that there were too many human beings and what had to be done was to control the population.
How do they recycle that in Davos?
They are recycling it under an ecological rhetoric that I call Eco-Malthusian; because they are saying that there is an ecological problem due to the existence of too many human beings. You hear them and they sound progressive, because they are talking about the environment. Saying: there are 7 billion human beings, that is ecologically unsustainable; for it to be sustainable we need only 2 billion humans; that is, there are 5 billion humans that have to be eliminated.
And how are they going to reduce those human beings that, according to them, are in excess in this world?
That is why the pandemic. To go on saying that it was a pandemic is ridiculous. We already know that it was created in Pentagon laboratories. There is evidence. In the US Congress there were public hearings in late December 2021 where the discussion was not whether or not the Chinese eat bats. They have eaten that all their lives and there have been no pandemics, no epidemics.
What was the debate then?
The debate was that the virus came out of the Pentagon lab in Wuhan and the question was whether it escaped or was released. That was the debate. Three months later, the Russians go into Ukraine and find 30 Wuhan-type labs, where they have been experimenting with bat coronaviruses since 2018. And when did the pandemic emerge, in 2020? Well, since 2018 they were experimenting with birds to spread germ warfare, something that is forbidden. Biden’s son is involved in that.
What has Russia done with that evidence from the laboratories?
The Russians gave these documents to the United Nations Security Council and asked them to carry out an investigation with scientists from other countries. To this day the UNSC has done nothing. It has not been made public. What I want to tell you is that the pandemic was designed as part of this policy of reducing the number of human beings on the planet, but it backfired because the Chinese managed to control the thing. Now comes the famine with hyperinflation.
What does this plan look like?
The heads of international organizations, such as António Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations, are saying it. He is saying that a famine is coming at the end of this year and the beginning of the next, which will affect millions of human beings, because the food distribution system will collapse with the increase in energy prices due to the war in Ukraine. And that will produce such a huge hyperinflation that people will not be able to buy food. The Davos Forum is behind all this. The other thing is that they are playing war. They are playing with fire.
A third world war?
Maybe a short-range nuclear war. They are talking about nuclear bombs. Behind that is this genocidal agenda of the Davos Forum. There are different intellectuals in the world who are calling our attention to that.
By the way, you have spoken of the “bankruptcy of the left.” Are you referring to the Latin American left?
The left of the whole world. For example, in Latin America there is the case of Boric [president of Chile]. I call such people pseudo-left. They are leaders who win elections, go into the State, and when they arrive there, they do not interrupt the policies of domination, as Hugo Chávez used to say. If you get there and reproduce the policies of the right wing, in the next elections people vote for the original and not for the photocopy; they vote for the right and the extreme right.
Could we say that this is the political expression of the Davos Forum?
Yes, because a lot of the leftist leadership is there, they are part of the Davos globalists who are promoting that kind of pseudo-left.
Examples of that in the region?
For example, Mr. Alberto Fernández in Argentina, supposedly heading a leftist government. That is the picture of the World Economic Forum in Davos. That is why when the Argentine people took to the streets demanding that the debt with the International Monetary Fund [IMF] contracted by Mauricio Macri not be recognized, Fernández went to the US and behind the backs of the people he signed and recognized that debt. That pseudo-left, when it comes to power, betrays the people.
The science developed by other civilizations had no contradiction with spirituality, because those civilizations did not have this dualism of spirituality-religion and science, a European dualism. They had a holistic vision of nature and human life.
European dualism posited that there were forces of good, which are the forces of God; and forces of evil, which are the forces of the devil. So nature was the force of the devil, in that scheme. That is why in Europe there was a very great obscurantism with science, because of that you could not do science. If you experimented with nature, scientific experiments, they accused you of playing with the forces of the devil, and there they burned you alive.
European civilization got everything from the Islamic civilization with respect to scientific-technological advances, because in the Islamic world that dualism problem did not exist. If you were a Muslim, and you discovered something in nature, you were celebrated as a scientist, you were not burned. Islamic science had ethics, because it developed spirituality. What happens when you have a science without ethics, without spirituality, is a science without limits, where anything goes, and therefore it is a science destructive for life.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
scorinocohttps://orinocotribune.com/author/sahelicot92/December 8, 2023