14 November 2005

Independence Illusion

movement: noun
4: a group of people with a common ideology who try together to
achieve certain general goals; [syn: social movement, front]
7: an optical illusion of motion; ] [syn: apparent
motion, apparent movement]

Back in a post about Singapore leaving Puerto Rico behind, there was this quiet aside: "The Jenius will argue that there really isn’t and never has been a true independence movement in Puerto Rico."

Here's why: Despite the definition given above that uses the weasel-like try, the fact is a movement has to make progress for it to be a real movement. The so-called independence movement in Puerto Rico makes progress like cement migrates south for the winter. In other words, it doesn't.

The sheer whimsy (The Jenius is being polite here) of the independence movement is based entirely on one day's activity, El Grito de Lares -- The Yell (Scream) in Lares. If you wish, here's a brief description of a brief event.

Now Puerto Rico has been "around" since 1493, or 1508 if you choose a political starting date. Since then, almost (or more than) 500 years have passed and the ONLY freaking thing the so-called in-de-pen-dence "movement" of Puerto Rico chooses to rally around is the pathetic attempt by a group of two-bit blowhards to take over a third-rate defenseless rural town, a "takeover" that folded like a wet Kleenex when an even smaller group of soldiers came marching in.

One day. One day in about 182,000. One day a so-called political party and "movement" tries to make out to be some sort of glorious act of sociopolitical will, but is a whole hell of a lot closer to being a fart in the wind than a revolution.

Imagine the American Revolution being "glorified" for a one-day takeover of Weathersfield, Vermont. Or that the French revolutionaries had limited themselves to storming a patisserie and released the beignets to a hungry crowd. One day does not a movement make...a simple Truth the independentistas struggle mightily to delude themselves about.

In the last elections, the Puerto Rico Independence Party barely polled 2.5% of the total vote. In Hawaii, the independence movement regularly reaches double digits and they are a lot less jingoistic and loutish about their movement than the local crowd.

The fact is, there is no independence movement in Puerto Rico. There is an independence feeling, a yearning maybe, to be "free." But it is at best a childish whim(sy), an inchoate desire that neither citizen nor recent independence leader has ever crystallized into a true movement.

Recent. Because if you look back at the 30 years after the Lares fart, progress was made, if not towards independence, then at least its realistic cousin, autonomy. Leaders of a steel no longer forged here--Eugenio María de Hostos, Ramón Emeterio Betances, José de Diego, Luis Muñoz Rivera--men of international fame whose political opinions differed greatly, joined hands and achieved for Puerto Rico the autonomy she deserved then...and has never received since. That some of these men have had their images and opinions stolen by statehood and commonwealth parties is a travesty. That the independence "movement" ignores them because of that, ignores their concerted effort to seek a solution rather than bandy words like parrots with verbal diarrhea, is simply another example of stupidity from The Fools.

Independence is an illusion. No one, no state or country, is truly independent. Pushing for independence in a vacuum, an independence that has no rhyme, reason, rationale or roadmap, is tantamount to selling snake oil. The local independentistas are a tiny market of snake oil salespeople and gullible buyers, getting together to lie to each other about how important their "work," their "struggle", their "movement" is. They drool for their September moment, their smelly mirage of history, and let the other 364 days of the year pass by in more flatulence.

What a waste. What a shameful waste.

The Jenius Has Spoken.


Anonymous said...

To make matters worst, whats the alternative? Statehood? How can anyone think that the statehood "movement" has any real chance? I would like to see the day when we all get together and all vote for statehood. So what, that's what the US Congress will have to say. Do you really think the US wants us as another state called Puerto Rico? Maybe if we find Oil, or if the Soviets take over Cuba, again, maybe. I still can't stop remembering that the same people that want P.R. to be a state stole millions in federal funds. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.....gezz. Then, am I wrong to pack up the family and just leave like many of my relatives and friends? In a way I feel like a coward, but I have to admit that I'm runnig out of patiance.


Maziarka said...

Excuse me but, what the hell statehood ideology and the leaders of a color party have to do with one another? That does not mean that the ideology is wrong. Besides, no political party in PR truly follow what they preach. There is no way that puertorricans can really get together and make a decision, because in our whole history we have never had a real chance of deciding. I believe we have to make a decision, whatever it is, and i agree that the independence movement is PR is nonexistent. What is better for PR? None of us really know, for we are only sitting and arguing instead of taking action.