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In the article “Mexico: Revolution and Stability” (by Williamson) there’s a sense of the forthcoming of the Mexican Revolution. There are disagreements within the government and the mentioning of two parties: the caudillos and the cientificos. The presence of these two groups is important because they represent (and speak for) the people. 

In our second article, “Diaz Elects a governor,” the mentioning of the caudillos and the cientificos is further elaborated, as well as what might have led to the Mexican Revolution.

Your task for this assignment is twofold. First answer briefly your understanding of caudillos and cientificos. Then come up with an analogy of these two groups (in our country) and express why their presence is important.

On the other hand, you may want to look at your native country to come up with this analogy.

 

In the article “Mexico: Revolution and Stability” (by Williamson) there’s a sense of the forthcoming of the Mexican Revolution. There are disagreements within the government and the mentioning of two parties: the caudillos and the cientificos. The presence of these two groups is important because they represent (and speak for) the people.

 

Your task for this assignment is twofold.

 

One. Based on the article, “Mexico: Revolution and Stability”, provide your understanding of caudillos and cientificos and come up with an analogy of these two groups. If you wish, you may want to look at your native country to come up with this analogy.

 

Two. In “Diaz Elects a governor” the mentioning of the caudillos and the cientificos is further elaborated, as well as what might have led to the Mexican Revolution. For this assignment, respond to the following comment made by Womack: “The Mexican Revolution happened because the high politicians of the country openly failed to agree on who should rule when President Porfirio Diaz died. These politicians, nicknamed the cientificos, believed in a natural law that the nation could progress only through their control and for their benefit” (page 10). Based on our first two readings, including our syllabus, what do you think of Womack’s remarks?

 

Class: To provide you with a brief background of the philosophical environment in the early 20th Century in Mexico, which politicians indeed embraced, I am including the following notes. Of importance is to note this natural law mentioned above, which could have come from Positivism, a thought in philosophy.

 

“Philosophy in Mexico, for four centuries, was little more than a reflection of the main currents of European tradition. But during the twentieth century, coincident with the profound social changes that accompanied the Revolution of 1910, Mexican thought achieved a new maturity and is now on the way toward making an independent contribution to the history of ideas. Antonio Caso, whose recent death was an irreparable loss to Latin American letters, was largely responsible for this new direction. Veteran campaigner of more than forty years’ conflict in the field of ideas, he was not content to play the spectator’s role, but participated vigorously in the practical programs of the state. He helped organize the Athenaeum of Youth, a group of intellectual rebels that opposed Positivism after it had become the official philosophy of the Diaz regime.”

Author: Elizabeth Flower, “The Mexican Revolt Against Positivism” (1949).

 

Positivism is a philosophy of science based on the view that in the social as well natural sciences, information derived from sensory experience, logical and mathematical treatments and reports of such data, are together the exclusive source of all authoritative knowledge. Positivism assumes that there is valid knowledge (truth) only in scientific knowledge. Obtaining and verifying data that can be received from the senses is known as empirical evidence. This view holds that society operates according to general laws like the physical world. Introspective and intuitional attempts to gain knowledge are rejected. Though the positivist approach has been a recurrent theme in the history of Western thought, the concept was developed in the modern sense in the early 19th century by the philosopher and founding sociologist, Auguste Comte. Comte argued that society operates according to its own quasi-absolute laws, much as the physical world operates according to gravity and other absolute laws of nature. (Wikipedia)

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