Boricua's Revolutionary Inspiration
Black Flag Boricuas: Anarchism, Antiauthoritarianism, and the Left in Puerto Rico 1897-1921 (Book Review)
Báez, Antonio Camona http://www.solidarity-us.org/site/node/4473
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/07/2015
Year Published: 2015
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21236
Book review of Kirwin R. Shaffer's Black Flag Boricuas: Anarchism, Antiauthoritarianism, and the Left in Puerto Rico 1897-1921.
It is true that anarchism in Puerto Rico was crushed by early U.S. colonial power. But it is simply too tempting to look at the defects of anarchism of European origin in its application to the Caribbean context.
Anarchism, like much of the authoritarian left which also had its roots in industrializing capitalist Europe, combined many modernizing, Eurocentric and missionary-like features.
There is no mention of Afro-boricua ontologies and spiritualities deeply rooted into Puerto Rican culture. The religion vs. atheism dichotomy did not fit well in Puerto Rico, so anarchists had to make alliances with the so-called free thinkers and spiritists. Spiritism and Afro-Caribbean roots continue to play an important role in Puerto Rican culture, and no political project based on anti-religious/anti-spiritual grounds could ever be considered successful.