The Colonial Left and Plurinationality

Ollantay Itzamná
Guard of Honor. Guatemala

Plurinationality as an ethical and political proposal overturns the philosophical element constitutive of modernity, which is being one as the perfect and desired being. From this idealization of being one is born in the political sphere the idea of a single God in heaven and a single King on earth. This is then linked to the idea of a single power, a single people. One State corresponds to a single nation with a single national political identity, etc.

The idea of the autonomous individual that we desire so much is anchored in the idea of the isolated self as a perfect being. Therefore, when the individual, person, is more autonomous, independent of the rest, it is more perfect and more developed according to our way of thinking. As a consequence, any thought or praxis centered on plurality or diversity is repelled or fustigated. For example, having more than one identity or identification was labeled as schizophrenia or abnormality.

The modern individual, in fact, is the annihilation of the community, of coexistence in diversity. And in order to survive, he will create society (a sum of individual interests). And, in the project of society, each associated individual will always see the other as a potential enemy/competition, and one individual will end up dominating/annihilating/annihilating the other. This is what also happens with the individual of the colonial left, forged and anchored in the political ideologies of modern Western political individualism.

The idea of plurinationality is anchored in the idea and in being community. Community in diversity. It seeks unity, but as plurality (not as uniformity), where being different (with their own identities), far from being a hindrance to the welfare of the community, is a constitutive element to achieve Good Living.

To a large extent, without seeking it, the idea of plurinationality pushes humanity towards homeostasis (leveling, equilibrium), towards the regeneration of ecological balances, questions individual privileges and promotes collective achievements.

Plurinationality, being anchored in the idea of community and projected towards community being, it seems, is announced as the epitaph of the death of the I, I, I… and it contributes to the regeneration of the community, and even a cosmic community.

Why are the colonial lefts afraid of plurinationality?

Quechua, cargador.

They are afraid of community. Modern individuals, whether from the right or the left, being configured in methodological and ontological individualism, are afraid of the community because they are afraid of living together in community. They are afraid of the will, of community decisions that do not necessarily satisfy the individual interests of revolutionaries or leaders.

The community is not only a poetic territory of rights/opportunities of well-being, it is also a place of consensus, commitments. Of collective unlearning and learning.

They fear losing individual privileges. A revolutionary of the classical or colonial left, once he has ascended socially, culturally and politically, is hardly willing to “die to the privileges” that correspond to him as a revolutionary or as a leader. That is why the revolutionary vanguard (whether or not it has academic degrees), will almost never return to being a worker or peasant. It will always seek to be in roles of representation of the masses, in the halls of socio-political events. He will always speak of peasants, of indigenous people, of workers. But it will almost never reach the peasant or indigenous communities.

They are inhabited by racism and classism. Modernity as a civilizing project of death is constituted by racism and classism. That is why the modern individual, in order to annul and dominate the other, almost always resorts to racism and classism as tools of domination. This is one of the reasons why the left, even though they made a “preferential option for the poor”, never listened, nor will they ever listen, to the millenary truths that the impoverished peoples cry out, because for the colonial lefts the sources of knowledge are in Europe or in the USA.

Racism and classism (which are elements of colonialism/ colonialism/ modernity) prevented the left from recognizing the peasant and native peoples of the continent as socio-political subjects. That is to say, revolutionary collective subjects capable of organizing themselves, designing and putting forward proposals for the architecture of the State, of self-government. This is another reason why the colonized lefts reject the idea of plurinationality because, according to the colonial lefts, the idea of plurinationality carries only the indigenous imprint.

The colonial left, even leftists with an indigenous phenotype, are afraid of the proposal of plurinationality because they fear communitarian coexistence, they fear losing their privileges as “revolutionaries”, and above all because they are still inhabited by the racism and classism that is constitutive of the modern individual and prevents them from seeing the peasantry, women or indigenous people as socio-political subjects capable of designing and executing their own agendas.