Evo Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president, called for a new age to begin December 21, 2012. Speaking at the United Nations in September, Morales said the date signals an end to individualism and capitalism and a turn toward the collective good. That's a common theme for Morales, who often speaks of 'vivir bien,' a phrase that can be translated as living well. 'Vivir bien' is often defined by the Andean nation's leaders as pursuing the collective good in balance with the Earth, and contrasted with 'living better,' which is seeking to amass wealth at the expense of the planet or other people.
Below is an excerpt from Morales' speech.
"I wish to take this opportunity to announce an invitation to an international meeting on the 21 of December this year. A meeting closing the age of non-time and receiving the new age of balance and harmony for Mother Earth. It would take so long to tell you about the knowledge of our indigenous brothers in Mexico, in Guatemala, in Bolivia, in Ecuador, but basically we are issuing this invitation to hold a virtual debate, and also in person, on the following topics:
Number 1: Global crisis of capitalism
Number 2: Mold of civilization, world government, capitalism, socialism, community,? culture of life
Number 3: Climate crisis, relationship of the human being with nature
Number 4: Common energy, energy of change
Number 5: Awareness of Mother Earth
Number 6: Recovery of ancestral uses and customs, natural cosmic calendar
Number 7: Living well as a solution to the global crisis, because we affirm once again that one can only live better by plundering natural?resources. This is a profound debate that I would like to have with the world.
Number 8: Food sovereignty of course, security with food sovereignty
Number 9: Integration, brotherhood, community economy, complementarity, right to communication, community learning for life, the new holistic human, the end of patriarchy, awakening of self knowledge, and of course health which is so important.
“And I would like to say that according to the Mayan calendar the 21 of December is the end of the non-time and the beginning of time. It is the end of the Macha and the beginning of the Pacha, the end of selfishness and the beginning of brotherhood, it is the end of individualism and the beginning of collectivism – 21 of December this year. The scientists know very well that this marks the end of an anthropocentric life and the beginning of a bio-centric life. It is the end of hatred and the beginning of love, the end of lies and beginning of truth. It is the end of sadness and the beginning of happiness, it is the end of division and the beginning of unity, and this is a theme to be developed. That is why we invite all of you, those of you who bet on mankind, we invite those who want to share their experiences for the benefit of mankind."
Transcript of Evo Morales Ayma, President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, at the General Assembly of the United Nations on September 26, 2012.
Transcription by Sara Shahriari
Watch the video, with comments on the significance of December 21 beginning at 31:20, here.