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Mexicos Revolution Then and Now

Mexicos Revolution Then and Now

James D. Cockcroft
Copyright Date: 2010
Published by: NYU Press,
Pages: 160
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  • Book Info
    Mexicos Revolution Then and Now
    Book Description:

    Written to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the first predominantly anti-capitalist revolution in the world, Mexico's Revolution Then and Now is the perfect introductory text and one that will also sharpen the understanding of seasoned observers. Cockcroft provides readers with the historical context within which the revolution occurred; explains how the revolutionary process has played out over the past ten decades; tells us how the ideals of the revolution live on in the minds of Mexico's peasants and workers; and critically examines the contours of modern Mexican society, including its ethnic and gender dimensions. Well-deserved attention is paid to the tensions between the rulers and the ruled inside the country and the connected tensions between the Mexican nation and the neighboring giant to the north.Mexico's Revolution Then and Now also explores the possibility of Mexico's revolutionary history finally bearing the fruit long hoped for by the country's disenfranchised - a prospect kept alive by the unyieldingstruggle of the last one hundred years. This is the definitive introduction to one of the most important events of the twentieth century.

    eISBN: 978-1-58367-365-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 7-8)
  4. INTRODUCTION: Precursors and Revolutionaries, ¡Presentes!
    (pp. 9-12)

    Almost half a century ago, during a sudden downpour in Mexicali, Baja California, I took refuge in a worker’s home. Over coffee we talked about the economic difficulties caused by the high saline content of the Colorado River water flowing into the Mexicali Valley. I plunged into this struggle to correct the problem and was the first author to expose it in respected U.S. publications.

    After finishing our coffees, my new friend showed me the contents of an old trunk his grandfather had left him many years ago. In the trunk were articles, letters, and other documents of the “Magonistas,”...

  5. CHAPTER ONE Mexicans Rise Up, 1910–2010: Similarities and Differences
    (pp. 13-34)

    To understand the strengths and weaknesses of multiple generations of popular movements against the economic system and its power elites in Mexico and achieve a more profound historical analysis, we must uncover several of their shared characteristics, always in an international context. This chapter will compare the two periods 1900–1910 and 2000–2010.

    The Revolution of 1910–1917 was an explosive confrontation between social classes that pitted peasants and workers against landlords and capitalists. It was marked by intense nationalism, that is, a challenge to the economic and political interests of the imperialist powers, especially the United States, whose...

  6. CHAPTER TWO Imperialism, “Failed States,” New Wars, Resistance
    (pp. 35-50)

    A social volcano is bubbling in Mexico. Nearly half the country’s eligible voters showed their disgust with the country’s political parties by staying away from the polls in the off-year elections of July 2010. All the major political parties in Mexico have become neoliberal and corrupt. Broad-based social movements are resisting a right-wing offensive sparked by twenty-eight years of neoliberal economic policies that have led to the country’s militarization and, after the fraudulent election of Felipe Calderón in 2006, a reign of terror unleashed by his unconstitutional self-declared “war” against drug cartels involved in bloody internecine strife.²

    Neoliberalism’s economic genocide...

  7. CHAPTER THREE Uneven Development, Political Culture, Classes, Clientelism
    (pp. 51-76)

    Throughout history, Mexicans have discovered that in order to achieve real changes in their lives they must carry out revolutionary struggles, at times armed, against colonialism, imperialism, and the state. In spite of impressive triumphs, such as the one that Indian and peasant guerrilla fighters achieved when they defeated the French military occupation of 1862–1867 that named Archduke Maximilian of Austria “Emperor of Mexico,” there is a tragic record of rollback for popular victories, exemplified by what happened after 1867, when Porfirio Díaz established his dictatorship (1876–1910). Another example is what happened after the revolutionary defeat of Díaz...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR Neoliberal Terrorism, Immiseration, Destruction of Families
    (pp. 77-104)

    As we have seen, Mexico has been a principal target of the capitalist economic system and its imperialisms for more than a century. We can further understand Mexico’s situation by examining it in the context of neoliberalism and imperialism in other parts of the world, especially Latin America.¹

    Since the 1973 U.S.-sponsored military coup d¹état against a democratically elected socialist president in Chile, the economic terrorism of neoliberalism has spread to all the Americas, forcing millions of people to emigrate to more prosperous nations. The intermediate classes, from well-educated professionals to the traditional petty bourgeoisie, have no economic security. The...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE Migration, Human and Nature’s Rights, Politicking, Resistance
    (pp. 105-134)

    The winds of dignified rage, and even hope without fear, are blowing from the “empire’s harvest”—that is, from the immigrant peoples, mainly those from Mexico and the rest of Latin America, whose labor is so critically important for the sustenance of the U.S. economy. While NAFTA and other free-trade agreements continue to expel workers from the South because of the collapse of local agriculture and manufacturing caused by tariff-free imports of mass-produced merchandise from the North, Latino immigrants in the United States contribute their underpaid labor to U.S. capitalism and help sustain the shrinking budget of the U.S. Social...

  10. CONCLUSION: Reactivate the Revolutionary Fight!
    (pp. 135-142)

    The lessons of the “modernization” strategies in a capitalist Mexico dominated by foreigners are clear: neither the liberalism of the “Científicos” in the era of Porfirio Díaz nor the neoliberalism of the contemporary technocratic thieves based on an oil monoculture and foreign investment has been able to provide economic well-being or security for Mexico’s citizenry.

    Mexico has abundant wealth in natural and human resources but its economic and political system is completely corrupt and at the service of U.S. imperialism. Neoliberal governments have privatized most sectors of the economy and reduced the Mexican state’s role to “repressive apparatus.” NAFTA and...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 143-166)
  12. Index
    (pp. 167-176)