"There is no future that is not built in the present"—Resources for new socialisms in The Village Against the World
Dan Hancox’s recently published The Village Against the World, an important new book on the communist utopia of Marinaleda, continues to receive attention in the first weeks of its release.
In the Guardian’s books podcast, Dan Hancox explains how a co-operative, utopian community was created in the small Andalusian town of Marinaleda over the last decades. Visit the Guardian to listen to the podcast's discussion of alternative communities in Spain and Latin America with Dan Hancox and John Vidal, the paper's environment editor.
An interview in Spanish has recently been published in Vice magazine, in which the interviewer describes the book as 'the definitive book on Marinaleda'. Hancox explains some of the reasons he chose to write the book and some of the questions it seeks to pose:
Visit Vice to read the interview in full, in Spanish.
Interviewer: In the context of the crisis, to what extent did you feel that what you saw in Marinaleda is a real solution?
Hancox: This is the key question in Marinaleda. How far can you replicate it, and at what level?
An extract of the book was also printed in the pages of the Observer. In the extract Dan Hancox describes how he came across Marinaleda, telling the story of how his interest was captured by the small town. He asks important questions, which he will go on to fully explore in the rest of the book.
Marinaleda, in impoverished Andalusia, used to suffer terrible hardships. Led by a charismatic mayor, the village declared itself a communist utopia and took farmland to provide for everyone. Could it be the answer to modern capitalism's failings?
He also starts to go into the remarkable history of Marinaleda:
The first part of Marinaleda's miracle is that when its struggle to create utopia began, in the late 1970s, it was from a position of abject poverty. The village was suffering more than 60% unemployment; it was a farming community with no land, its people frequently forced to go without food for days at a time, in a period of Spanish history mired in uncertainty after the death of the fascist dictator General Franco. The second part of Marinaleda's miracle is that over three extraordinary decades, it won. Some distance along that remarkable journey of struggle and sacrifice, in 1985, Sánchez Gordillo told the newspaper El País: "We have learned that it is not enough to define utopia, nor is it enough to fight against the reactionary forces. One must build it here and now, brick by brick, patiently but steadily, until we can make the old dreams a reality: that there will be bread for all, freedom among citizens, and culture; and to be able to read with respect the word 'peace '. We sincerely believe that there is no future that is not built in the present."Visit the Observer to read the extract in full.