Mexico, An Appraisal and a Forecast.
“[L]et our Indian have a voice and we may yet create a new world…”
A utopianistic vision and a survey of pre- and post-Mexican Revolutionary society, religion, and schools by the educational reformer Moisés Sáenz. In this passage Sáenz discusses how by 1915 to 1920, the tumultuous events had led to a self-examination of the Mexican identity:
“We saw our poverty. Bountiful the soil might be; its gifts were not ours. A few thousand men, a mere handful when compared with the rest, enjoyed the land. Rich beyond words the mines might be; their treasures were not ours. We were poor. We saw our Indian, flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone, a silent mass naked and hungry by our neglect and our cupidity, yet offering in dumb defiance, the gift of his art and tradition. We found him mute,—three million not knowing our tongue,—we found him lost in the childish nightmare of his folkloric dreaming, uncomprehending or perhaps indifferent to the white man’s civilization… (p5) ”
Later, Sáenz argues for the blending and unification of religion, culture and language:
“Our ethnological chaos must give way to order; race fusion must mean spiritual union. Incorporation of the Indian into the Mexican family, should mean as much as incorporation of the Mexican family into the Indian. Mexico is an Indian country. There must be cultural integration. A mestizo body must have a mestizo soul. Trying to apply the nordic standard of the white man is both unjust and futile. Let our civilization bravely accept the basic fact of our Indo-lberic mixture, let our Indian have a voice and we may yet create a new world” (p14)
Sáenz was a disciple of philosopher John Dewey. He opened over 4,000 rural schools from 1924 to 1928 as the director of Mexico’s federal education program.
Description: Mexico, An Appraisal and a Forecast.
New York: The Committee on Cultural Relations with Latin America, (1929). 16pp. 7¾ x 4½ inches. Stiff paper, printed wrappers. Title-leaf slightly silverfished; very good.