“Well, friends, that’s it for today. You have to live in uncertainty and get ahead no matter what it takes. A hug as always, full of dreams and hopes.” Marta.
With these words Marta Harnecker bade farewell to all her friends in her last mail on April 24th, after giving us her last brave report on the course of her illness. In these lines lies also her personal philosophy of life: even if we live in uncertainty, our steps must never stop because it is our duty to make this world full of dreams and hopes a reality, where peoples will finally reach justice, peace and full realization.
On Friday June 14, Marta, surely against her will, had to cross the threshold from this concrete plane to that of historical immortality. Her ideas, her tireless proposals for the construction of new worlds, her unshakable faith in the capacity of people to fight against the suffocating forces of the capitalist model and to make a real, substantive democracy prevail from an economic model, aimed at satisfying the material conditions of life for all without exception, are already part of the history of our-American thought.
That was always the télos of her intellectual trajectory; a thought that was born from the oppressed South and was a forceful counter against the colonizing and exploiting forces of the North. That is why she tirelessly sought the keys to the new paths that would lead us to that world we must build: from her experience of decentralized participatory planning in Kerala, India, to participatory and protagonist democracy, proposed and activated by Hugo Chávez in Venezuela through 21st Century Socialism, and to which Marta Harnecker dedicated her years of greatest intellectual strength.
Along with her beloved companion, Michael Lebotwiz, an equally brilliant intellectual mind, Marta managed to sketch to a great extent the coordinates of that world to which all thinkers committed to the struggles of our peoples aspire. In this struggle, we will always have the rich arsenal of ideas that Marta left embodied, even in her last days, in the great number of works she published (and those in preparation) several of which received international recognition through distinctions such as the Liberator Award for Critical Thinking in 2013.
For all these reasons, the Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity, of which Marta Harnecker is one of its founders and was an active participant in all its meetings, forums and public expressions, we honor her. And although today we feel her physical departure, greater is the feeling of being more committed to reinforce the passage that is in transit through the new roads marked by Marta towards that world that between all of us, together with the peoples, we are obliged to build as the only way to safeguard humanity and the planet.
Dear Marta, wherever you are, we join you in an embrace, one full of dreams and hopes.
In Our America, this June 16, 2019