Abstract

Abstract:

Camilo Torres is widely known among Colombian left-wing political groups, student circles, and is a necessary reference for any edited volume about Marxism in Latin America; his image has become little more than a relic in the altar of the idealized Latin American Revolutionary sixties. In this article, I will come back to the texts of Camilo Torres to explore how he depicted a revolutionary change in Colombia that consisted in creating an expansive present of collective antagonism against a power-sharing bi-partisan government called El Frente Nacional. In 1964, Torres formed a political platform named El Frente Unido, which intended to boycott the presidential election through what he called an "active practice of abstention." This social and political movement was an instance of convergence where different sectors of the Colombian population congregated to make explicit their collective frustrations towards the established political order. El Frente Unido, I argue, was a nodal point where a myriad of hopes in a future change converged into a force to resist and reshape the political system from the inside, by insisting on the need to bring forth a new time based on popular revolt. I read Camilo Torres's writings about El Frente Unido as messages, one might say open letters, to different parts of the population. The calling also the texts of speeches delivered front of the most important unions of Colombia. These letters and speeches, I argue, are part of Camilo Torres's attempt to rally the Colombian population, through a message grounded in a certain vision of universality that insisted upon a non-hierarchical political organization as the basis for conceiving a new future. Torres's texts, therefore, constitute a theoretical approach to the temporal character of a revolutionary change. They elicit the extent to which the political arena emerges out of a series of ruptures within the present state of affairs, and, at the same time, they assert the importance of collective movements in terms of the future of revolutions.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6539
Print ISSN
0300-7162
Pages
pp. 52-70
Launched on MUSE
2019-05-03
Open Access
No
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