It takes seven hours to traverse the 100 kilometers that separate San Cristóbal and the Morelia caracol. The caravan (containing thirty cars and trucks) left late and advanced at a tortoise pace. Around 2:00 am, we arrived at the caracol, and a maze of buildings that house the institutions of the autonomous region, made up of three municipalities, twelve regions, and dozens of communities governed by the Good Government Board.In August the author attended "La Escuelita", or Little School, arranged for people in other lands to come to Chiapas and learn about the new society that the Zapatistas are creating. This is a report on his visit and his observations about the new society.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up