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The Seven Loose Pieces of the Global Jigsaw Puzzle

by Subcommandante Marcos
Toward the end of the Cold War, capitalism created a military horror: the neutron bomb, a weapon that destroys life while leaving buildings intact. During the Fourth World War, however, a new wonder has been discovered: the financial bomb. This new bomb destroys the polis (here, the nation), imposing death, terror, and misery .
The Seven Loose Pieces of the Global Jigsaw Puzzle

(Neoliberalism as a puzzle: the useless global unity which fragments and destroys
nations, by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos)

[Translator's note: In June of 1997 the following document appeared in a European
publication. It is an analysis of neoliberalism by Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos of
the Zapatista Army of National Liberation. Cecilia Rodriguez of the NCDM]

1. First piece: The concentration of wealth and the distribution of poverty
2. Second piece: The globalization of exploitation
3. Third piece: Migration, the errant nightmare
4. Fourth Piece; Financial globalization and the globalization of corruption
and crime
5. Fifth piece; Legitimate violence on behalf of an illegitimate power?
6. Sixth piece: megapolitics and the dwarfs
7. Seventh piece: The pockets of resistance

"War is a matter of vital importance for the State, it is the province of life and
death, the path which leads to survival or annihilation. It is indispensable to
study it at length".
The Art of War, Sun Tzu.

Modern globalization, neoliberalism as a global system, should be understood as a new
war of conquest for territories.

The end of the III World War or "Cold War" does not mean that the world has overcome
the polarity and finds its stability under the hegemony of the victor. At the end of this
war there was, without doubt a loser (the socialist camp), but it is difficult to say who
was the victor. Western Europe? The United States? Japan? All of them? The fact is that
the defeat of the "evil empire" (Dixit Reagan and Thatcher) signified the opening of new
markets without a new owner. Therefore a struggle was needed in order to possess them,
to conquer them.

Not only that, but the end of the "Cold War" brought with it a new framework of
international relations in which the new struggle for those new markets and territories
produced a new world war, the IV. This required, as do all wars, a redefinition of the
national States. And beyond the re-definition of the national states, the world order
returned to the old epochs of the conquests of America, Africa and Oceania. This is a
strange modernity that moves forward by going backward. The dusk of the 20th century
has more similarities with previous brutal centuries than with the placid and rational
future of some science-fiction novel. In the world of the Post-Cold War vast territories,
wealth, and above all, a skilled labor force, await a new owner.

But it is a position of owner of the world, and there are many who aspire to it. And in
order to win it another war breaks out, but now among those who call themselves the
"Good Empire".

If the III World War was between capitalism and socialism (lead by the United States
and the USSR respectively) with different levels of intensity and alternating scenarios;
the Fourth World War occurs now among the great financial centers, with complete
scenarios and with a sharp and constant intensity.

Since the end of the Second World War until 1992, there have been 149 wars in all the
world. The results are 23 million dead, and therefore there is no doubt about the
intensity of this Third World War (Statistical source: UNICEF). >From the catacombs of
international espionage to the astral space of the so-called Strategic Defense Initiative
(the "Star Wars" of the cowboy Ronald Reagan); from the sands of Playa Giron, in
Cuba, to the Mekong Delta in Vietnam; from the unbridled nuclear arms war to the
savage blows of the State in the tormented Latin America; from the ominous maneuvers
of the armies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to the CIA agents in the Bolivia
which oversaw the assassination of Che Guevara; the badly-named "Cold War" reached
temperatures which, in spite of the continuous change of scenery and the incessant ups-
and downs of the nuclear crisis (and precisely because of that) ended up sinking the
socialist camp as a global system, and diluted it as a social alternative.

The Third World War showed the magnanimity of the "complete war" ( in all places and
in all forms) for the victor: capitalism. But the scenario of the post-war was profiled in
fact, as a new theater of global operations. Great extensions of "No man's land" (because
of the political, social and economic devastation of Eastern Europe and the USSR),
world powers in expansion (The United States, Western Europe and Japan), a world
economic crisis, and a new technological revolution: the revolution of information. "In
the same way in which the industrial revolution had allowed the replacement of muscle
by the machine, the information revolution replaced the brain (or at least a growing
number of its important functions) by the computer." This "general cerebralization" of
the means of productio n (the same as occurred in industry as in services) is accelerated
by the explosion of new telecommunications research and the proliferation of the
cyberworlds." (Ignacio Ramonet "La planete des desordres" in the "Geopolitique du
Chaos" Maniere de Voir 3. Le Monde Diplomatique (LMD), April of 1997.)

The supreme kind of capital, financial capital, began then to develop its strategy of war
towards the new world and over what was left of the old. Hand in hand with the
technological revolution which placed the entire world, through a computer, on its desk
and at its mercy, the financial markets imposed their laws and precepts on the entire
planet. The "globalization" of the new war is nothing more than the globalization of the
logic of the financial markets. The National States (and their leaders) went from being
directors of the economy to those who were directed, better said tele-directed, by the
basic premise of financial power: free commercial exchange. Not only that, but the logic
of the market took advantage of the "porosity" which in all the social spectrum of the
world, provoked the development of telecommunications and penetrated and
appropriated all the aspects of social activity. Finally there was a global war which was

One of the first casualties of this new war was the national market. Like a flying bullet
inside an armored room, the war begun by neoliberalism bounced from one side to the
other and wounded the one who had fired it. One of the fundamental bases of power in
the modern capitalist State, the national market, was liquidated by the shot fired by the
new era of the financial global economy. International capital took some of its victims
by dismantling national capitalism and wearing it out, until it disabled its public powers.
The blow has been so brutal and definitive that the national States do not have the
necessary strength to oppose the action of the international markets which transgress the
interests of citizens and governments.

The careful and ordered escapade which the "Cold War" handed down, the "new world
order" quickly became pieces due to the neoliberal explosion. World capitalism
sacrificed without mercy that which gave it a future and a historic project; national
capitalism. Companies and States fell apart in minutes, but not due to the torments of
proletarian revolutions, but the stalemates of financial hurricanes. The child
(neoliberalism) ate the father (national capitalism) and in passing destroyed all of the
discursive fallacies of capitalist ideology: in the new world order there is no democracy,
liberty, equality, nor fraternity.

In the global scenario which is a product of the end of the "Cold War" all which is
perceptible is a new battleground and in this one, as in all battlegrounds, chaos reigns.
At the end of the "Cold war" capitalism created a new bellicose horror: the neutron
bomb. The "virtue" of this weapon is that it only destroys life and leaves buildings
intact. Entire cities could be destroyed (that is, their inhabitants) without the necessity of
reconstructing them (and paying for them). The arms industry congratulated itself. The
"irrationality " of nuclear bombs could be replaced by the new "rationality " of the
neutron bomb. But a new bellicose "marvel" would be discovered at the same time as
the birth of the Fourth World War: the financial bomb.

The new neoliberal bomb, different from its atomic predecessor in Hiroshima and
Nagasaki, did not only destroy the polis (the Nation in this case) and imposed death,
terror and misery to those who lived in it: or, different from the neutron bomb, did not
solely destroy "selectively". The neoliberal bomb, reorganized and reordered what it
attacked and remade it as a piece inside a jigsaw puzzle of economic globalization. After
its destructive effect, the result is not a pile of smoking ruins, or tens of thousands of
inert lives, but a neighborhood attached to one of the commercial megalopolis of the
new world supermarket and a labor force re-arranged in the new market of world labor.
The European union, one of the megalopolis produced by neoliberalism, is a result of the
Fourth World War. Here, economic globalization erased the borders between rival States,
long-time enemies, and forced them to converge and consider political unity. From the
National States to the European federation, the economist path of the neoliberal war in
the so-called "old continent" would be filled with destruction and ruins, one of which
was European civilization.

The megalopolis reproduced themselves in all the planet. The integrated commercial
zones were the territory where they were erected. So it was in North America, where the
North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico
is no more than the prelude to the fulfillment of an old aspiration of U.S. manifest
destiny: "America for Americans". In South America the path is the same in terms of
Mercosur between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. In Northern Africa, with
the Union of Arab States (UMA) between Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, Libya and
Mauritania; in south Africa, in the Near East, in the Black Sea, in Pacific Asia, etc., all
over the planet the financial bombs explode and territories are re-conquered.
Do the megalopolis substitute the nations? No, or not only. They also include them and
reassign their functions, limits and possibilities. Entire nations are converted into
departments of the neoliberal megacompany. Neoliberalism thus operated
RECONSTRUCTION/REORGANIZATION on the other, of regions and of nations in
order to open new markets and renovate the existing ones.

If the nuclear bombs have a dissuasive, coercive, and intimidating character in World
War III, in the IV global conflagration the financial hyperbombs play the same role.
These weapons serve to attack territories (National States) DESTROYING the material
bases of national sovereignty (all the ethical, judicial, political, cultural and historic
obstacles against economic globalization) and producing a qualitative depopulation on
their territories. This depopulation consists in detaching all those who are useless to the
new market economy (as are the indigenous).

But, in addition to this, the financial centers operate, simultaneously a
RECONSTRUCTION of the National States and they REORGANIZE them according
to the new logic of the global market ( the developed economic models are imposed
upon weak or non-existing social relations).

The IV World War in rural areas, for example, produces this effect. Rural renovation,
demanded by the financial markets, tries to increase agricultural productivity, but what it
does is to destroy traditional economic and social relations.
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