Politicians’ masks

On the masks worn by the Zapatistas in Mexico:

The room of balaclavas is a sign that indigenous people are engaging in democracy without its most infection symptom—elections. Rather than sitting in individual air-conditioned offices in front of large portraits of themselves, these democratic officials serve their communities anonymously, with their faces hidden by the masks of the office they have assumed. The ski masks also serve another purpose. They are a reminder that when you visit the Junta, you aren’t there to see a particular person—you came to see the people. The masks reveal that the most important face in the room is yours.

Forced to assume the visage of the people, the politicians are unable to forge their own, separate brands. In the heat of Chiapas, the ski masks must also represent the burden that the people place on them.


This is taken from the reading notes of aworkinglibrary on the book The Value of Nothing by Patel.

The best prescription for a creaking democracy like India’s with all the ills of corrupt , time-serving ,uncommitted politicians who build their own brands instead of serving the people .

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