Next to the miseries of modernity, a whole series of inherited miseries distress us, a by-product of the resilience of ancient forms of production already outdated, with all their entourage of anachronistic political and social relations. Not only those alive besiege us, but also the dead. (Marx, 1867)
If we had the chance to look at Mexico from a point in the future, surely we would shudder at seeing the whirlwind of contingencies in which it sinks, and with painful urgency we would ask ourselves, why did it happen this way?
Yet today the problem is to understand our situation from the point of view that we have access to: the present. And, from this vision, the truth is not only that daily we are stressed out by poverty, unemployment and violence, but, all the more, by, from the citizen’s perspective, the lack of solutions, unless we endow ourselves with another political class: for the current one lacks moral stature, strategic intelligence, public responsibility and vocation to lift the country from its sinking.
"Mexico vis-à-vis the Robber Scum" is an assessment of the outrageous situation endured by our country. It is about the systemic illegalities executed by those in government invariably against the citizenry. It is about an institutional edifice that establishes predatory privileges for the coalition in power. It is about, unequivocally, a “despotic island” that maintains, exacerbated, all the authoritarian and illegal depravities of the Mexican State, with repercussions deeply damaging of our social wellbeing; as if its historical clock had stopped before adjusting to the West, and the time of modernity remained an unreachable promise.
This book describes the systematic and paralysing plundering that Mexican society is facing up to. Nonetheless, for its author, Álvaro de Regil, to think about Mexico’s problems just as a matter of moral order is tantamount considering the predators, the robber scum, would need to humanise how they deal with the citizenry and be upright with the public matter. For this, to infuse morality, is indeed to go against the nature of the current regime. Moreover, a strategy of this kind does not end with the ungovernability and misgovernment, for the plundering has been exacerbated by the institutionalisation of a perverse method.
De Regil compartmentalises comprehensively and critically the institutional system and its incapacity to process the challenges posed by today’s environs. Even more, the author ponders beyond the mere critique of the perverse effects of neoliberalism, and explores a grim and subdued terrain: the pending responsibilities of the citizenry. In this area, he underscores the issues of the modern concept of democracy, demanding the fundamental conditions: participation, rights and empowerment. That is, we are what we are, by virtue of our participation (active or passive) in the public life of our society. Hence his final proposal is a call to action to get rid of, as citizens, the inherited miseries, as Marx would say, that keep Mexico in agony.
In sync with this vision, "Mexico vis-à-vis the Robber Scum" puts together quite revealing dimensions of the undertones of the political process and their meaning in the national and international debate. To grasp the character and the motives of this agony in which Mexico is trapped will allow us to assess our life as citizens and to know where we are heading.
Independent journalist and writer