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Interview with Camila Vallejo and Noam Titelman

 

 

Critical Thinking

Camila Vallejo: I  became interested in the issue of education when I entered university. Well, before that my vision of society was somewhat critical. Not only my family, but also my friends, had instilled leftist values in me. I developed a structural critique of the system, in general, of our country, and in particular education, when I began university and joined Juventudes Comunistas (Communist Youth). There I learned about what are, perhaps, the core elements of the discussion around the process of transformation that has been undertaken in education, of the impact of the dictatorship on public education, and its consequences. That was one side, and on the other, I think that the movement was quite an important process of enrichment, not only that of 2011, but also previous movements that shook things up a little, that inspired assemblies, forums, debates, and discussions.The debate then began to re-emerge or resurge a few years ago. It was then when I shared visions, heard opinions, and had different discussions in spaces such as assemblies and forums. Also through reading, because of my interest in the issue, I picked up some books that were more specialized on education. In addition, Gramsci contributed a lot; I had not taken Gramsci into account  until I became interested in understanding hegemony,  how to track the power of cultural hegemony in the area of education. The other thing is real life. I think one always tries to generate something like a dialectical process between the theory of practice or theory of reality. If one stays, then, with only literature and abstract discussions, I think one’s vision becomes quite biased and does not allow one to consolidate a position in regards to the situation, in this case, of education. The reality of, for example, the student in the private system-- the scams, the abuse, the focus on profits, the poor quality--which is the situation many people find themselves in, contributed to put the pieces together in forming this tale of the structural critique of the system.

Noam Titelman: On a biographical level, I think that I share a lot with Camila, perhaps with some nuances. I am not a member of any political party. Perhaps, my first contact  with politics was through volunteer work and, maybe, the process of becoming critical meant going beyond volunteering. I think that it is always a combination between the ideas that one gets, either through literature or other ways, and the connection of that with real life. Maybe that’s the origin of critical thinking. But I would say that critical thinking cannot be individual, or rather, critical thinking really becomes critical when it ceases to be individual and becomes collective. That is something I also share with Camila, it was something that was being formed in mobilizations, forums, in the discussions of the movement. Personally, 2011 had a great impact on me. But I think that it would be incorrect to believe that the critical thinking we both transmit has much to do with our personal biographies. I believe that evidently,personal biographies mark you, but I strongly think that they are reflective of something more collective, something larger, and have much less to do with my reduced intellectual capacity and much more to do with something that is in the air, with a type of thinking that is floating around.

CV: Ultimately, it’s a social construct. Someone somewhere said—I will not say whom, I will not give it away—that capitalism generates its own gravediggers. I think that also happened with the neoliberal model. They wanted, through education, to generate oblivion, apathy, individualism, competition, obsession with success, and “to each his own”. However, a process is generated from the initiative and will of many people, an inverse process and we try to combat it. So the same peopleproduct of this model, now try to fight it.

New Forms of Political Expression and Communication

CV: I don’t think there is ever anything new. What one does is   resignify certain things. Movements, at least in Chile, especially those that rose up during the military dictatorship, against the dictatorship, were quite creative because one could not be very explicit in criticizing the model, or in criticizing the dictatorship. In fact, the process of recovery of political debate came through cultural movements. They eliminated the Federation of Students of the University of Chile, they treated it as illegal during the military intervention, during the dictatorship. And before the recovery of the FECH as the Federation of Students of the University of Chile, ACU was formed, which was the University Cultural Association. And what did they do? They held peñas, played music in the courtyards, put on plays, etc. Many of the mobilizations, including those on the streets, originated from the stage of cultural interventions, which were quite creative and transmitted a message that was very critical, very strong, , but concealed. I don’t remember which event in particular, but there was a situation at the University of Chile, also during the dictatorship, in which women students occupied a building and they took off their bras and flaunted them to the crowd outside. I don’t know if you remember, but there are photos of that. What I am getting at is that we as students do not own, or have a monopoly on creativity. Long before, they tried to turn to innovative, creative mechanisms to express the idea. That is understandable because, primarily, which is a tactical question, we have to reach public opinion, and to do so through formal media channels complicates it sometimes. Especially because in current Chilean society, political debate, openly raised, generates a certain reticence because the hegemonic culture of neoliberalism says that politics is bad, or that politics is the domain of politicians, in the sense of authorities, congress, the government, but not the people. Finally, then, to captivate public opinion, the great mass of citizens in this debate, which is extremely political and ideological, we had to capture it and get attention with something. So we held flash mobs, kiss-ins, videos; students filmed themselves even without running it by the CONFECH, the students themselves would suddenly gather to write and convey the problem of education in a song,, then they would all sing and upload the video on YouTube, Facebook, social networks, and that would expand and reach many people who would say, “How amusing;” they sympathized a lot with the movement and that is why many people came out to the streets.

Also, we did not abandon traditional struggle, that is traditional forms, because we went to media outlets that are typical of the duopoly, the media of the right, we were also on the inside, we did not only generate counterculture in public spaces, but also in formal spaces. We know that “Sra. Juanita,” as we say in Chile, only watches television, and maybe she doesn’t have Facebook or Twitter, because the most massive medium is television. We even went to celebrity talk shows to talk about politics. After work, on the news schedule or on the prime-time programs, people started to listen,  we reached many more people. I also think that was to combat the government’s strategy of criminalization. We always made an effort to say that we were not delinquents, that our goal in the end is human and that it is characteristic of human dignity to defend the right to education. That also led us to innovate some things.

NT: A very good question that I was remembering from one of the discussions we had in this morning’s forum, when one of the guys who talked about Canada asked, because one of the questions that one could really ask oneself is: “why does a student strike have any effect?” It’s much clearer in the case of a workers’ strike the owner of the company loses profits from whatever it is he is selling, and evidently, there is a concrete, real force there. But the effect of a student strike, however, is not so clear, except on the students themselves who are missing classes, because that does not affect anyone else. Well, the example he gave called my attention because it seemed to me very different from the reality we have seen. He said that the university strike was effective because the universities or also the university students, in some way also produced things, in the same way as workers, they also produced things. Therefore, ceasing to produce things generated pressure. And not only that, he even said, the moment came when they closed the university so we could not even get together much and discuss politics. But, anyway, the pressure worked, because we were not producing. I think that at least the pressure of   the strike,  the marches, like all the activities we did were on a different level from other pressures. The pressure when a worker stops working is very clear; it is concrete, material. It is as material or concrete as a violent form of revolution. On the other hand, this produced another level of pressure; at least it seems to me, a pressure that is more precisely symbolic. By marching through the streets, no one stopped producing, except for a couple of hours; but the real effect, even when it sounds contradictory, was symbolic. And the same happened with our strike, because it affected us, but how did it affect the government? I think that the fundamental role of the media in this, or of the way in which the message is transmitted is in the great dispute, which is being fought out today, and has always been fought. However, I think that it is seen more clearly today because of the mass media; this is the dispute over what constitutes the common sense, or what is natural or is not natural. What we achieved with the massive marches was that at 9 PM, during prime time, the time when most people watch, we would appear on TV. If we were lucky, we would be seen transmitting the message of education, we would be seen making music, art, and in that way we would generate empathy, and we could even talk about common sense. The same thing with the strikes, which could generate, on the one hand, media attention, but on the other, they created free time for people to come together to discuss and, for example, talk about the Thriller for education, talk about other things. And, I also want to emphasize what Camila said, which I think is also one of the important challenges; just because  generating movements has become so media-centered, they go through the media, through communication it doesn’t mean we should get lost in that. At some point, it all has to translate also into the changes we are fighting for. At 9PM, the first scene could be Thriller, and the second scene could show the student movement addressing congress that we want to change this, that, this law here… because if not, it would only be music, which is very nice, but it also had to reflect the changes that we were promoting. This combined message was what allowed us to say: “Well, we are going to change common sense and we are also going to translate that into other changes.” In that, the discussion about tactics is not minor because, I think, many times we have failed to ask ourselves, “What is the real force of a march? What is the real force of a student strike? What is the real force of occupying this place or another place?” I think that much of this, essentially, the great force it has is that it allows you to be on the news at 9 PM and with that, to change common sense.

Experiences with Assemblies and with Direct Democracy

CV: Look, one of the things we achieved in practice was a maturation of our organic structure of the movement’s operation, which also has to do with political maturation because historically, the left is torn between total verticality and horizontality. We managed to create a synergy between those two things. We combined representative democracy with participative democracy, direct democracy. In fact, the history of the student movement in Chile is very protective of institutional regulation, in terms of its organizations, that is, it defends its federations. The struggle in the University of Chile also reflects this. Both the left and the right defended, in their time, with exception of the time of the dictatorship in particular, but this issue of the institution, of the federation, with statutes, with organic laws, etc., and that it should be representative, that everyone would vote, everybody voted in elections. But today it also combines with the issue of assemblies. In 2011, it was base-level assemblies the entire time, by disciplines, departments, federation plenary sessions, confederation plenary sessions. And that student confederation, the CONFECH, also spoke with representative organizations of other sectors—professors, workers, etc., who had also had base-level discussions. When, for example, a response from the government would arrive to a letter we wrote stating our position in terms of our demands, we would say that we would discuss that letter of response at the national level with our colleagues from the assembly and later reply to it. We did not, then, immediately believe that as representatives, we knew what to respond, but we also believed that we had to consult with the rest of the movement. That also generated a lot of confidence among the students that were not part of a federation, but who felt they were part of the decision-making, or, for example, of the definition of the response to the Minister’s letter in this case. That strengthened the movement very much. Well, we don’t believe it has to be… There is a debate, for example, and especially with movements such as Los Indignados, Occupy, #Yosoy132, which I think still have not combined the two forms, and just focused more on horizontality, and we have had problems with just focusing on horizontality. When everything is only about the assembly and there aren’t any representatives or delegates, spokespeople, who go to a higher, national-level structure, what happens is that the movement ends up dissolving itself and dividing. It does not generate a level of action. And what also happens is that the assembly, when there is just assembly and debate, face to face, and there are no voting processes to make decisions, many times the one who shouts the loudest imposes himself over the other. So it has happened to us that many students that have less critical capacity, or who have less confidence in what they are saying, or have a totally different opinion, marginalize themselves from the assembly out of fear, because if they give their opinion, others will attack them, in an aggressive way in terms of tone of voice. What happened to us, with only assemblies, during the strikes there were three or four assemblies in one day, and in the first assembly some sectors would not reach the synthesis they wanted and called another assembly until night time, when they were tired and many no longer wanted to participate or were afraid to propose their ideas again. So, instead of democratizing spaces, they would ultimately reduce participation and ended up being more reactionary than democratic. The idea is to always combine horizontal democracy, direct democracy, with representative democracy and also go through the voting process.

NT: I agree, only I think that it has been a learning process. In our movement there is an important horizontal space, but there also has to be a space for institutional order, our own space of institutions. The criticism of institutionalism cannot be criticism that ends up also being a criticism of our own organization. We believe that it is important to combine that so that what Camila says does not happen, that the movement finally dissolves itself and there is no capacity for action.

New Social Order

CV: I think that in general terms this happens because of the radicalization of democracy. And why? Because in Chile what the neoliberal model has brought is a profound concentration of powers. And, it isn’t the case that, for example, economic power is concentrated here and political power is concentrated there, but that they are almost partly the same. Economic power and political power, the families that have those powers are the same. So the situation is a bit like that, in politics, for example, it should not be an elite that dominates the rest, but that all of us should be be part of the decision-making process regarding issues relevant to the country, within political collaborations. In economic terms, it is the distribution of wealth. In Chile, unfortunately, most wealth is distributed among multinational companies instead of among domestic business owners . And the media, the de-concentration of the media’s power to really generate the right to information, and the diversity of information, of the sources of information. It is the same with education. Now, one of the aspects that has been very violent in this neoliberal model in particular has to do with debt. Because there is no other way to ensure, in the neoliberal model, profit from labor and the rights of the family, if it is not through credit. Chileans’ indebtedness is due to the fact that they do not have purchasing power. Inequality is so great, that with their salaries, the vast majority of families cannot be consumers of education, health care, electricity, water, gas, clothes for their children, housing, etc. That is impossible, it is unreal. What this has generated, then, is millions of credit cards for families, so that they can keep consuming and amounting life-long debt and they end up being slaves. So what this neoliberal society has brought, which is very violent, is a new form of slavery. It has to be overthrown, at least a family should not go into debt for its rights. Health care, education, housing, cannot generate those levels of debt. I think that, in addition to that, it has to do with, proposing an alternative, which is something that we want to discuss more profoundly, how to overthrow or begin ending this economy that generates only one pattern of accumulation, a growth that creates poverty. We grow and grow economically in Chile, and we announce it in all directions, to the world, that we are the “jaguars of Latin America,” that we have a very high GDP per capita. But that wealth does not get distributed, because something is happening that lets others take it. Profit is something that has to be eradicated in other ways in general, not just in education.

NT: I also think that there are discussions that we need to think about in a more profound way. We are not prophets; we are social activists. So we don’t know what paradise is, we do not know paradise. But I think there is an example, some general ideas that we can give. Well, there is a film about the NO. It would be good, first of all to say that we do not know the reality of the entire world but we speak from what we know a bit better, and what I think is that we could easily translate it to other places. But, in a scene from NO, there are people in favor of SI [YES] who oppose the campaign and say that, “it is obvious that we will win because we brought Chile an economic model in which anyone can be successful,” but, lets say that: “anyone can be happy, anyone can be happy, not everyone can be happy.” So I think that’s the first discussion, or the first issue to be proposed, is if this is true. Is it true that anyone can be successful, that anyone can be happy? Evidently, no because we all know that everything is very determined, the place where one is born ultimately determines, in great measure, if one will be “economically successful” in life and also, to a certain point, if they will be able to have access to certain guarantees. In reality, then, not everyone will be able to compete with everyone because not all of us will have the same access to education, health care, or housing. So that is the first discussion, if what we want to do is to level the playing field. I think many would be satisfied with leveling the playing field so that effectively, anyone can be successful and happy, independently of where they were born. This is a bit like this idea of the veil of ignorance, like “it does not matter where I was born, I will at least have certain minimal guarantees and I will have the possibility to be successful…” Well, in reality that is the second part, which is  to have minimal guarantees. The first part is to just say: “anyone has the possibility to be rich, famous, successful.” The second part is to say: “yes, anyone, but let us also guarantee a minimum for everyone.” I think the third part, which maybe is already what one can glimpse, but is very difficult to imagine, is “not only…” Let’s talk about the subject of education, which I think it is perfectly translatable to others. First, it would be that everyone has the possibility to study at a very good school, but he or she could also end up in the worst, and get absolutely nowhere. The second is, anyone can have the possibility of studying in a very good school, but at least we will guarantee a basic minimum. And I would say that the third, which  I see farther away, is to say “not only does it not matter if I am the son of the richest businessman in the world, or if I am the son of the poorest worker, but aditionally, that the son of that businessman and the son of that worker will be able to study together.” So it not only proposes this in terms of opportunities to get rich, but also a common ground, that would go beyond only having the possibility to accumulate more capital or have more resources. It’s like this image that there could be a different space for coming together; I believe that is perhaps the long-term horizon. Then, not only the material realities for everyone to have the ability to get ahead, but also constructing the material spaces so that everyone can get together. And is this possible or not? The image that I generally use in this discussion on education, for example, could not just be the image of a playing field. The question is, of course, in an arena some will be in the upper stands, others will be on the field, or VIP seats on the field, many locations from which to view the concert, and inevitably, some are going to be better than others. The point is that in education it is not the same, because a space, by definition, is finite. On the other hand, in education, one could at least imagine that since I don’t become more stupid when I transmit knowledge to others, but on the contrary, I can even learn more one can visualize a world in which everyone can come to gain quality knowledge together and we would not have to have these distinctions. Knowledge is one of those magic, marvelous goods, that there is enough for everybody, because if I have more knowledge it doesn’t mean that others have to have less knowledge. So I think that this third level goes something like that, which is quite distant, but we can begin to see it.

Permanent Dissidence

CV: There are various things. I believe that to think that social movements on their own—such as a single social movement—will achieve the structural transformation of society is a mistake. I think that social movements are a step, and they incite and open perspectives, they span the limits of what is possible, they demonstrate force, place issues on the table, even develop proposals, and they also help us to strengthen our social organizations. That does not necessarily imply that in this case, for example, the movement for education made changes in education, because in fact the total opposite has been true. The government has the power, and constructs and destroys as it wishes. So, you could have a million and a half people in the streets, and 80% of the citizenry saying that the movement is correct. But the government says: “Well, we were elected, and we are going to do what we want. We believe this has to be like this, like this, like this” and they draft bills, draft bills, they push them, place them in congress, vote on them and approve them, and the same model continues, and it just gets worse. So, finally, in the social movement, which is a political movement, especially, what we are pushing for, is a political movement for making structural change in education but also in the system in general. In the development model, the question of power has to be addressed. Sure, one says power is exercised, not held. But, the truth is that the power we exercise in the streets is very different from the power that the government exercises from its presidential or congressional seat, from which, protected by a political constitution, it legislates. In this sense, then, I think that it is fundamental that social movements not only be something that is testimonial. We proposed something that had worldwide impact in 2011, but we were unable to advance. No, it has to break through in some way, in those spaces where decisions are made, and not to reproduce the same logic, but to transform it. In this sense, of course, the debate of whether one disputes the political institutional order, or if one instead dedicates oneself to construct social movements and social forces comes up. I think those two things are not dichotomous. That debate within the left should at least be overcome. We are trying to overcome it. But a dichotomy cannot exist between what is social mobilization, social organization, and the dispute over power. In order to avoid having to demand from those for whom it is convenient to maintain the current model, it is we ourselves that must take our proposals to those spaces and tackle definitions and reach solutions. Now, dissidence has to do with a social movement’s permanence. By breaking through  the institutional political order, one cannot leave the social movement aside. The social movement always has to be critical, it always has to oversee, it always has to keep the pressure on, and it always has to have a degree of dissidence. If not, we end up being dependent on whom we elect to represent us in some space, and we have our hands tied. So I believe it’s fundamental to protect it.

NT: Yes, I also think that in power disputes, the easiest and  most natural tendency is to separate between the virtuous and the evil. In reality, idealistic youth trying to change the world is as old as black thread, very old. Therefore, one of the dangers is, and this evidently happens all the time,  since we are very critical of this institutional order, and also, to a certain point, of the people who today support it, to fall into this idea of virtuosity. It is as if the people who are doing things today in a certain way do it because they lack virtuosity, and the next generation will come of age and be more virtuous and will achieve… Well, in Chile there is an image of a kind of populist dictator who supposedly used to talk about a broom, who was going to come with a broom and clean everything up, and it never works. Rather, it’s like the idea of the good and the bad, of virtuosity, because an institutional order is hidden behind that. People act in one way or another, I think that all of us have a tendency towards good; I genuinely believe in the good intentions of people. Maybe it’s a bit naïve. But, I do believe that there are institutional orders that lead people to adopt certain attitudes when they reach certain positions, certain postures. For example, in Chile it is very clear, the binomial system, the pressure to form majority blocks, perhaps beyond the good intentions they may have, they cannot make certain changes, etc., and that also tends to require certain coalitions. But, the point is not to fall into excessive idealization of the movement itself, a bit like what I was trying to propose this morning, the difference between idealization and ideology, such as an ideological movement, but not idealized. Like a movement that has a clear ideology because it has a future it can dream of a very different thing, but it does not idealize itself either, like only thinking, a little like what Camila was saying, that it can make all the changes or that it has all the answers to problems. Nor to fall into the trivial argument of thinking that the problems lie in others’ lack of virtuosity, but to see that these small arguments are making structural, institutional problems. So in this sense, I think permanent dissidence makes sense to the extent that one understands why, as on-going self-reflection, or permanent self-improvement, but without believing, because that is also dangerous, that all dissent is good by definition and everything that is not dissident is bad. But we have to understand that institutional orders function with certain logic, in a certain way, and dissidence to the extent that it can perfect this manner of functionality acts to improve our society’s problems. I believe that is effectively one of our challenges, as a movement and as a generation, because when we reach positions of power, the same thing will happen to us that happened to those who are in power today, since many of them were so idealistic or had such good intentions when they were young. And, I think that it is there,  this capacity to see these structural, institutional problems, and not just fall into the fight.

CV: It is an important issue in Chile, those who alternated in power and were supposedly from the left or center-left, they also achieved that through the responsibility of others, of those who were not in power. One could simply delegate the responsibility and later blame others, because they failed to do it. Not just that, they also have to have the strength to push for those changes and point out what the change is from the outside. In Chile, we did not, why? It was both due to the political responsibility of the social movements themselves, as well as the general impact of the dictatorship on labor organizations. So I think that today we are in a different situation; social movements can empower themselves a lot more and can be protagonists within the power apparatus, but also monitor with better vision because they are in a different context, of different organization.

The Role Small Groups Play in Mass Movements

CV: It is very necessary, suddenly; it is urgently needed. I think that the movement’s virtue is that it is a mass movement and that gives it strength and tells you that, in the end, there is a majority here that is pointing out something. But often, it is small groups or several people who form a cleavage, or make a change. And it is because they have, of course, more strength, more initiative, better ideas, and they contaminate the rest. There are times when in an assembly of 100 people, we are discussing something and we do not advance, but someone comes, or a group comes with motivation and with an idea, they propose it, and the discussion is resolved. So finally, I think that they are part of the processes and in 2011, we often experienced that, I mean there were people who thought of something and then there were 300 people doing it. In fact, the Thriller for education started with two people, not one, and that was reproduced later in other cities. The songs, as I pointed out earlier, originated from one university department and later everyone wanted to imitate it. So there are little things, these grains of sand that help us, generates a substantive change in the entire movement. So, if someone has an idea, do not be afraid to propose it. It can be a great contribution.

NT: I totally agree.

Relationship with Other Movements Around the World

CV: I don’t know if I believe in coincidences, but we did not have a direct influence from other movements. We maybe had a more endogenous development of the process, of the construction of the movement. But the relationship I see is that this model that we fight against is a global problem, it articulates at the global level. The capitalist system is a global system, worldwide, except for a few countries. The neoliberal model that was introduced in Chile, but also expanded throughout Latin America, and that seeks to entrench itself during the financial crises in other countries, is something that also acts like that; it acts in networks. So the repercussions are that these economic models have shared certain similarities in different countries, but they are also linked to certain institutional systems, certain forms of democracy, which are becoming somewhat obsolete, due to the fact that the economic problem of inequality generated by these models has not been able to be resolved. I think that there is a certain crisis of the capitalist system that tends to spawn social movements that oppose it. That is why there is also a particular fissure of the hegemony of this model, but it is not defeated, in fact its crisis could lead to a re-accommodation and a perfecting of it, as has occurred in other times. We never thought and said to ourselves, “Yes, like the Arab Spring, let’s learn and create a movement like…” nor with any other, in fact we became aware of it later. But yes, if one analyzes it a bit further, one says, sure, the questions that are there in the air and result in particular or structural demands are related to the consequences that these models generate in terms of inequality, indebtedness, abuse, that fact that the poor always pay, never the banks, nor the wealthiest. One questions representative democracy, which they have tried to establish, and  generally, of course, because in those spaces the other problem has not been resolved and every time we ask that it be resolved, they always end up privileging the economic interests of the most powerful, who have strong relationships among each other.

NT: In the previous forum, I wanted to be more emphatic about being careful to not assume that these movements have a lot to do with each other; I think there are many differences. It is very hard for me to see this as the same phenomenon being repeated in different places. I think that there could be some elements in common, but I think they are elements, let’s see, the two elements that could to a certain point explain these things, would have to do with technology and the meta-narratives that are increasingly scarce. One could say, since today we don’t have a Berlin Wall, or very clear ideologies, it is hard for all of these movements—it seems to me—to generate meta-narratives that are very clear and concrete. On the other hand, since we have the technology that allows it, these meta-narratives are replaced by the passivity of these movements. But these things are circumstantial, they are the means, and not the end. I think that the goal that the movements of the Arab Spring had, or the reality that they were experiencing was very different to Chile, Canada, Europe, I don’t know. It could be that they express themselves in similar ways because those two elements are repeated, but at least I would be very careful with a natural desire, that there is brotherhood, closeness, and similar intentions, so as to try to equate them. I think there are different levels of development in the discourse; there are different levels of development in the demands…there are even different people participating, thinking about how people participate in them. So if there is something that we can see in this and perhaps things will be repeated, I think they will be repeated because these two things stay the same. It is still difficult to have a clear meta-narrative, and technology keeps improving, so that one can post of Facebook: “we are all meeting at this time, at this place,” and many people show up. I think it is difficult, for example, to construct great alliances in the world between all these movements on this basis. I think that has been the desire and interest of many who have been involved in this, which seems to me very admirable and respectful, but I think it is difficult without a common goal, a clear objective, to do it only because these circumstantial elements are repeated.

CV: I don’t think it has ever been like that, I mean, processes that have been the purpose of social movements or more progressive governments, have never tried to generate homogeneity on the global or regional level. For example, in Latin America, there are many countries that are trying to generate sovereignty, shedding the yoke of U.S. imperialism, and fighting inequality, hunger, illiteracy, and other things; there is Brazil, Venezuela, Uruguay, Bolivia, Argentina somewhat, which has a different character, but each one safeguards its own particularity and history. Also, the role social movements play in Bolivian indigenous communities has great preponderance, and is different from other countries, in which it is a bit less. Or it is their socio-political history, I don’t know. However, they have been able to establish dialogue, I think that what is being produced today, as Noam indicated, I feel is still different because the construction of an alternative, of the horizon, of the final objective, is still lacking. But I feel that there is an effort to move in that direction. We, on the level of Latin America, have a unique student organization; it is being attempted by the students in Europe, with whom we have great differences, in political and even ideological terms. But little by little, I think that one has to also be a little optimistic in that sense and the possibility that at some moment in history we manage to construct a kind of global, common horizon, safeguarding local particularities, in terms, for example, of when the global treaty on human rights was achieved. Why not? Today social movements could even have a common story on how to advance in terms of democratization, or common elements. The work we do by being here, or that we could go to different countries, or that others visit Chile, and we could share, will allow us to keep advancing in that direction.