1. Patria es humanidad, de Mario Benedetti [+Translation]

    La manzana es un manzano
    y el manzano es un vitral
    el vitral es un ensueño
    y el ensueño un ojalá
    ojalá siembra futuro
    y el futuro es un imán
    el imán es una patria
    patria es humanidad

    el dolor es un ensayo
    de la muerte que vendrá
    y la muerte es el motivo
    de nacer y continuar
    y nacer es un atajo
    que conduce hasta el azar
    los azares son mi patria
    patria es humanidad

    mi memoria son tus ojos
    y tus ojos son mi paz
    mi paz es la de los otros
    y no se si la querrán
    esos otros y nosotros
    y los otros muchos más
    todos somos una patria
    patria es humanidad

    una mesa es una casa
    y la casa un ventanal
    las ventanas tienen nubes
    pero sólo en el cristal
    el cristal empaña el cielo
    cuando el cielo es de verdad
    la verdad es una patria
    patria es humanidad

    yo con mis manos de hueso
    vos con tu vientre de pan
    yo con mi germen de gloria
    vos con tu tierra feraz
    vos con tus pechos boreales
    yo con mi caricia austral
    inventamos una patria
    patria es humanidad

    TRANSLATION (by Natalio Pérez): 

    An apple is an apple tree
    and an apple tree is a stained glass window
    a stained glass window is a daydream
    and a daydream is a hope
    hope plants the future
    and the future is an imam
    an imam is a people
    our people is humanity

    pain is a test
    of the death that is yet to come
    and death is a motive
    to be born and to keep on
    and to be born is a shortcut
    and leads to a chance
    chances are my people
    our people is humanity

    my memory is your eyes
    and your eyes are my peace
    my peace is that of others
    which I do not know if they want
    those others and ourselves
    and the many others
    we are all one people
    our people is humanity

    a table is a house
    and a house is a window
    through windows we see clouds
    but only in the glass
    glass clouds the sky
    while the sky is the truth
    truth is our people
    our people is humanity

    I with my hands of bone
    you with your womb of bread
    I with my seed of glory
    you with your fertile land
    you with your northern breasts
    I with my southern caress
    we shall invent a people
    and our people is humanity

     

  2. "Utopia lies at the horizon. When I draw nearer by two steps, it retreats two steps. If I proceed ten steps forward, it swiftly slips ten steps ahead. No matter how far I go, I can never reach it. What, then, is the purpose of utopia? It is to cause us to advance."
    — 

    Eduardo Galeano  (via liberal-linguaphile)

    (via political-linguaphile-deactivat)

     

  3. The first piece of revolutionary literature I ever read. Changed my life.

    Published: March 12, 1965, under the title, “From Algiers, for Marcha. The Cuban Revolution Today

    "At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality. Perhaps it is one of the great dramas of the leader that he or she must combine a passionate spirit with a cold intelligence and make painful decisions without flinching. Our vanguard revolutionaries must idealize this love of the people, of the most sacred causes, and make it one and indivisible. They cannot descend, with small doses of daily affection, to the level where ordinary people put their love into practice."

    Dear compañero,

    Though belatedly, I am completing these notes in the course of my trip through Africa, hoping in this way to keep my promise. I would like to do so by dealing with the theme set forth in the title above. I think it may be of interest to Uruguayan readers.

    A common argument from the mouths of capitalist spokespeople, in the ideological struggle against socialism, is that socialism, or the period of building socialism into which we have entered, is characterized by the abolition of the individual for the sake of the state. I will not try to refute this argument solely on theoretical grounds but rather to establish the facts as they exist in Cuba and then add comments of a general nature. Let me begin by broadly sketching the history of our revolutionary struggle before and after the taking of power.

    As is well known, the exact date of the beginning of the revolutionary struggle — which would culminate in January 1959 — was July 26, 1953. A group led by Fidel Castro attacked the Moncada barracks in Oriente Province on the morning of that day. The attack was a failure; the failure became a disaster; and the survivors ended up in prison, beginning the revolutionary struggle again after they were freed by an amnesty. In this process, in which there was only the germ of socialism, the individual was a fundamental factor. We put our trust in him — individual, specific, with a first and last name — and the triumph or failure of the mission entrusted to him depended on that individual’s capacity for action. Then came the stage of guerrilla struggle. It developed in two distinct environments: the people, the still sleeping mass that had to be mobilized; and its vanguard, the guerrillas, the motor force of the mobilization, the generator of revolutionary consciousness and militant enthusiasm. This vanguard was the catalyzing agent that created the subjective conditions necessary for victory.

    Here again, in the framework of the proletarianization of our thinking, of this revolution that took place in our habits and our minds, the individual was the basic factor. Every one of the combatants of the Sierra Maestra who reached an upper rank in the revolutionary forces has a record of outstanding deeds to his or her credit. They attained their rank on this basis.

    Continue reading in link.

     
  4. "Bestselling author, political adviser and social and ethical prophet Jeremy Rifkin investigates the evolution of empathy and the profound ways that it has shaped our development and our society. View the full video of Jeremy Rifkin’s talk at the RSA.”

    My comment: This is a 10 minute RSAnimate from the Royal Society for the encouragement of the Arts. The talk is fascinating and shows how there could be a fundamental basis in “human nature” for a radically egalitarian society.

     
     

  5. "Humanidad, humanidad; hay motivos de alegría pero de tristezas hay muchos más."
    — 

    Alí Primera, Humanidad.

    "Humanity, humanity; there are reasons for happiness, but for sadness there are many more."

    Photo of the “La Macarena” mass grave in Colombia.