In 2019 we celebrate the 250th birthday of the scientist Alexander von Humboldt, the true “discoverer” of America according to Simon Bolívar, who knew him personally. … While writing about the wonders of the tropical nature of America and the cultural wealth of its original peoples, Humboldt denounced — like no other before him — the horrors of slavery, the oppression of Indigenous peoples, and the injustices of the colonial system. Its importance for our time is due precisely to his ability to see the interrelations between the environment, society, politics and the economy.
The profound hypocrisy and inherent barbarism of bourgeois civilization lies unveiled before our eyes, turning from its home, where it assumes respectable forms, to the colonies, where it goes naked. – Karl Marx