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    El asunto / José Vasconcelos
    Indología : una interpretación de la cultura ibero- americana. --- Barcelona : Agencia Mundial de Librería, 1926
    p. [1]- 27
    Book/pamphlet article – Essays
    Vasconcelos, José. "El asunto." In Indología: Una interpretación de la cultura ibero- americana, 1- 27. Barcelona: Agencia Mundial de Librería, 1926.
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In two chapters from his book Indología, José Vasconcelos outlines his concept of a culturally and politically unified Latin America, discussing how Latin America’s internal conflicts and its disagreements with the United States could be resolved if Latin Americans were able to refashion themselves into a unified body. In the first chapter, “El Asunto,” he explains his method of imagining Latin America as a unified entity as “synthesis.” Emphasizing the homogeneity of the region, he argues that three factors contribute to the natural unity of Latin American nations: they share cultures that are both Spanish and indigenous; they share a large, naturally rich geography; and they are comprised of intermingled races. In the sixth chapter, “El Conflicto,” Vasconcelos looks for a way to resolve conflicts within Latin America, and with the United States. He urges Latin American nations to individually foster equality for all of its citizens, and establish a balance of power among nations that will enable them to take advantage of the region’s abundant resources, and unite in the face of United States imperialism.


The Mexican educator and philosopher José Vasconcelos (1882-1959) was a key figure in the cultural renaissance that occurred in Mexico after the revolution. As Minister of Public Education (1921-23), Vasconcelos commissioned murals in Mexico City by Diego Rivera (1886-1957), José Clemente Orozco (1883-1949), and David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974), among other artists, and he helped establish Mexico’s post-revolutionary education system. Many themes from La raza cósmica: Misión de la raza iberoamericana (1925) appear in his argument for Latin America as a culturally and politically unified body, such as his conviction in the intermingling (mestizaje) of Latin America as the race of the future; his tendency to view the past and the future with romantic idealism; and his emphasis on the formative importance of Spanish culture in Latin America. A major difference in this text, however, is his criticism of Latin American nationalism and the caudillismo that plagued many countries following independence. Additionally, despite his criticism of United States imperialism in Latin America, he expresses his interest here in promoting good relations between the United States and Latin America, and even states admiration for the founding principles (liberty, justice, etc.) of the United States.

María C. Gaztambide; Harper Montgomery, collaborator
International Center for the Arts of the Americas, MFAH, Houston, USA
Courtesy of the personal archives of Joaquín Vasconcelos García, Mexico City, Mexico