Week 8: Signs of a Gilded Age

This week offered a necessary introduction to historical figures and intellects of the twentieth century. At the beginning of the 20th century, it would seem that for some nations, the peasants, aboriginals, and workers charged the government’s and administrations with negligence of a supposed liberated society by generation revolutions, strikes, and intellectual thought on the situation. The world in the first part of the twentieth century seemed rather remarkable with World War 1, the Mexican revolution, and the Russian revolution. I can understand why there was so much action that followed with the out cries, the world was simply still developing. In contrast, todays world seems fairly established with their ideologies and governance.

I think what strikes me most about the reading was the infiltration of Zapatistas and Villistas on Mexico City. It just amazes me to think of what it would of been like to see those rebel soldiers on the modern streets of DF, or in the restaurants of one of the most prominent neighbourhoods like Polanco. It would have been a beautiful sight. The intermixing of the free and tamed, though not quite that way. When I go back to Mexico and visit my family, I often ask for historical stories as oral history is a part of the Latin American experience. The stories may be different every time, they may be mostly fictional — creatively regurgitated from one story teller to another — but they also have the same meaning. I often told about Pacho Villa and how he would go into the United States territory with a band of his bandits and terrorize the American military during the nights and return with Yankee gear, turning it into sardonic contraband. When I read about them entering Mexico City, my admiration for them grew and it made me wonder if we all ever see men of their courage again.

José Carlos Mariátegui’s, “The Problem of the Indian,” was very intriguing and also made me very fond of his train of thought. The Peruvian people and their history, in my opinion, are paramount for Latin American sovereignty and composure. I believe the Incas were one of the longest lasting opposers to the Spanish conquest, and their population and cities still uphold their autochthonous traditions and languages. In comparison, Argentina is sullied in a way from our historical attachment to the land, though we are proud of our land, our blood does not glimmer with indigenous genes. Maybe sully was a strong word to use but my point is that most of our ancestors don’t necessarily relate to the Argentine indigenous complex due to several reasons, from wagging war on indigenous, to having mass immigration be the keystone for the past population.

What always troubles me is that socialism is still a strong ideology in South America, and superadded to that is communism, so why doesn’t any revolutions happen? Has Capitalism sunk so deep in the soil of society that everyone is too comfortable enough to risk everything? This is coming from a guy who lives in Canada, so I myself have my own trial to judge.



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