Conversation with Maroc Díaz
Black Chronicles are a series of interviews conducted to different anarchists currently living in Venezuela, narrating all the struggles that they face living in one of the few socialist regimes of the 21st century. These interviews deal with the everyday lives of men and women and highlight the precarious situations to which they have been subjected.
In this edition we interview Maroc Díaz, literary colleague and teacher, who will be discussing libertarian education in Venezuela.
So you’re a professor and an anarchist?
I think that people like me use education as a link to expand libertarian ideas in order to raise awareness for students, taking into account that education is universal and doesn’t belong to any State. With regards to being an anarchist teacher, I don’t consider myself an anarchist per se. I consider myself more of a free thinker that sympathises with libertarian ideas because they are the only viable path capable of bringing about emancipation and total autonomy for human beings.
Are you encouraging disobedience through your lessons?
Absolutely, there will never be freedom without disobedience! Disobedience especially against all the regulations imposed by any system through education. Some of us educators try to teach through libertarian ideas.
How is the education system in Venezuela?
It is the same as any other type of government that manipulates for its own conveniences, it should be called indoctrination rather than education. Education as a whole is a synonym of emancipation. Now if you asked me about the salary or guidelines taken from the government program, everything taken by the government in any part of the world would be the same. Aspects like decadence, especially in Venezuela, political salaries and the shamelessness of educative reforms, such as imposing obligatory books for studies, are considered more important than any attempt to reform educational welfare.
Is it viable to reactivate libertarian education proposals?
Activate and reactivate until the end of time!
How can we develop a pedagogy that isn’t dogmatic?
By teaching people to think for theirselves without imposing libertarian ideas as alternatives. All teaching must be done through historical facts in order for people to come to their own conclusions. Many times people know the problem, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are going to solve it due to fear, apathy or pleasure.
Are you into Rock music? How is the Rock scene in Venezuela?
I like Rock, Metal, Punk, Blues, Jazz, Classical, Electronic, Caribbean, Afrocaribbean, Ska, Merengue jajaja I don’t have any band in particular that I identify myself with. I’m not familiar with the Rock scene in Venezuela, I think that younger people are trying to keep it active.
Do you buy regulated products or engage in bachaqueo ?
I buy regulated products and also deal with bachaqueo. When you have daughters, these are your only options, even though I’m always looking for alternatives.
Have you ever been robbed?
Fortunately I have never been robbed.
How do you encourage young people to study when being a delinquent is more profitable?
This is one of the hardest challenges for educators in Venezuela. The first thing I do is organize them into cultural, sporting and musical activities to demonstrate that creativity is always healthier and more rewarding.
How do you view the ticket price increase of public transport?
In this country there is no control over prices. The cost of eating increases and drivers also need to eat, so they raise the prices.
How is the issue of basic services in your home?
We have power cuts up to 2 times each day and water shortages every 15 days approximately.
Do you have light and electricity?
Yes, even though the service fails regularly.
How do you view the political and economic prospects in Venezuela?
Venezuela has always been politically and economically unstable since its “Democratic” beginnings in 1958. It continues to be more of the same thing: corruption, demagogy, media manipulation, numbness of the minds and all the other things that politicians always do, which is to screw us with their “government” game and create a moral crisis in society. This doesn’t mean that we have to put someone else in charge and look for possible solutions to the problem: they are the problem.
Where exactly are we heading towards?
If there are no more social outbreaks during the remaining time of 2016 then it is because we are clearly in a dictatorship. It is a political contradiction that in a “democratic” country facing such political, economic and moral hardship like Venezuela nothing is happening.
How do you view the anarchist movement in Venezuela?
From what I have expanded in my field, most of my colleagues are making a huge effort to maintain workshops, assemblies, self-sufficiency ideas and more libertarian activities. My colleagues in the state of Zulia, “La Hormiga” in the state of Miranda and your newspaper El Libertario in the capital of Caracas are shining examples of many organized colleagues and individuals that are expanding the anarchist movement in Venezuela.
What do you want to say to all your anarchist readers?
We are living under the best historical context for the expansion of anarchist ideas. We are living in a time where self-sufficiency workshops and libertarian assemblies could be strong alternatives against the social desperation of this militarist, corrupt government derived from Nicolas Maduro. It is urgent for all individuals and organizations to unite theirselves around ideas. Anarchist practises are necessary to change this decadent social world into a better place.
Translated by Pietro Casati (firstname.lastname@example.org)