Why haven't we risen up?

As we kept searching for a signal after the pyramids, I had a really interesting conversation with Ezequiel. It started off innocently enough, when Ezequiel asked me if I had any land in the US. I couldn't help but laugh and say, "No, its not like here... only the rich have land in the US."

He gave me a strange little "Hmm" that begged me to explain further.

As we walked on, I added "We never had Agrarian Reform in the US." Agrarian Reform is the term used in Mexico to describe the way land was taken from the rich and given to the (mostly indigenous) poor in the form of the Ejido system. About 70% of the land in Mexico is in ejidos. 20 de Noviembre, Ezequiel's ejido, is 25,000 hectares (61,770 acres) and is named for the date of the revolution.

A few minutes later, as we climbed a steep ravine, Ezequiel asked "But didn't the people get mad that they had no land?"

I tried my best, but there's no legitimate way to answer that question. I explained that we were capitalists, tried (delicately) to explain what we did, and still do, to the Native Americans, and mentioned the fact that Mexico's ejido system is very rare in the world.

"Well, we did have to fight a war for it."

"Yeah, I guess sometimes you have to fight a war."

I soon learned that Ezequiel was well versed in socio-economic literature, especially communism. Among the books he mentioned were in his library were Capital, several works by Marx and Lenin, biographies of Fidel Castro and Che Guevarra and others I can't remember.

We spent the rest of the day discussing the ideas in these books, and the way they had been smeared by dictators like Stalin and Mao.

We never did get more than a ghost signal from the King Vulture transmitter, though.

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4 comments:

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