Walter Mignolo: The communal and the decolonial

Walter Mignolo

In recent years, many on the left, including those in global social movements, have looked towards the ‘pink tide’ in Latin America as a new bastion of hope. We are talking of that wave of countries from Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil, to Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua, whose recently elected, left-leaning governments have broken with the neoliberal policies of the ‘Washington Consensus’. But is there really an affinity between Latin American indigenous revolutionary visions or projects and those of ‘the left’? Walter Mignolo suggests that while indigenous concepts like ‘the communal’ may, superficially, seem very similar to the leftist notion of the commons, they have important differences. By overlooking these differences, or reading them from within leftist and European logics, we perpetuate forms of violence and coloniality that indigenous movements have been fighting against.

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