There are people who live with their name, others live for their name. This is the case, in the 4t, of Martí Batres (for José Martí), Lenia Batres (for Lenin) and Marx Arriaga (for Carlos Marx). And, in honor of their name, they are capable of any outrage and folly.
Marx Arriaga’s proposal, presented to the President in the morning, last week, is a good example that, however, is not new, that is the most serious.
In the year 2000, it was my last experience, the city government headed by the now President, made the proposal to build some high schools and a university. They required, however, the approval of the Legislative Assembly of the DF, then. As Vice President of the Education Commission, I took on the task of reading the justification and study plans. In them I found an unfortunate paragraph: (I quote from memory) “The project consists of training young people who are contrary to the prevailing neoliberal project.” On that occasion, the Secretary of Social Development, Raquel Sosa (now in charge of the failed project of the Benito Juárez universities), invited me and María de los Ángeles Moreno (our caucus leader) to have breakfast with the head of government. It was about me explaining why I should vote against the creation of what would ultimately be an expensive project, disastrous in terms of education and without tangible results, since the titles are invalid and no one knows of young people (very few, by the way) who have finished high school and have been able to enter a university.
At that breakfast, the now President asked me, why should I vote against the creation of high schools and the university, if my family was so linked to education? And I replied: “because education, according to the third article of the Constitution, established secularism as a central element of education and the secular, not only referred to the religious, but also to the ideological. And, in this case, the government’s proposal wanted to train militants of a specific ideology: that of the head of government and that of Raquel Sosa. If they wanted to train young critics, the margin and the possibility were given. It was not for nothing that those of us who attended that breakfast thought, all of us, differently, thanks to the education we had received. Never in our years as students forced us to think in one way or another and the project presented wanted a unique, concrete thought and contrary to our national character.
The now President did not answer me that I was wrong or that that was not the intention. He turned to see Raquel Sosa and asked her: Raquel, who left that paragraph there? As if the error was not the conception of ideologizing a few thousand young people in a specific way, but that he had discovered them, due to an editing error in the text.
Now, with the supposed representation of all the people of Mexico that Morena and the President arrogate to themselves, with impudence, Marx Arriaga proposes to us, fulfilling the mandate of his name, that the new educational project consists of abandoning the neoliberal ideology and that we will now embrace the ideology of the 4t, or whatever that means.
In addition, Arriaga presents it as a new idea.
The idea is old. Antón Makárenko (The Pedagogical Poem), pedagogue of the Russian revolution, had already thought and exercised in several schools for delinquent and street youth, that only through work and in connection with the community could young people reform and return to the paths good and join what Lenin’s revolution called the new human being.
In that school, they were not evaluated, they did it themselves. There were no grades and the most important thing was their connection with the community. Exactly what Marx Arriaga proposes more than 100 years after it was done in Mexico.
Obviously we are not in those times for many reasons, but above all we are not self-sufficient. Mexico is one of the countries most linked to the world in the economic, legal, political and social spheres.
For example, the 4t takes the Scandinavian countries in terms of health, even if they are capitalist and neoliberal, as an aspiration. For education, Marx Arriaga takes what was the Soviet Union (now disappeared) as an eloquent vision. Marx Arriaga is not Makarenko and he should recognize that his alternative thinking is due to the freedom he found in his classroom. To honor its name (I can find no other reason) it makes us a proposal that, because it is unfeasible, autarkic and deeply ideologized, not only goes against the third article of the Constitution, but also against the minimum intelligence, reading of the environment and historical stage that we live, in short, an idiocy (in the Greek sense of the word) nothing more, but nothing less, too.
Lawyer, political scientist and economist
Essayist and interested in legal and justice issues. currently professor at the Faculty of Law of the UNAM.