Indianismo Amáutico and the universalization of an “Other”
After 1974, Fausto Reinaga – the father of Indianismo – sought to move beyond Revolutionary limitations, while also constructing another anti-colonial discourse that opposes the projects of oligarchic liberalism, Marxism, and neoliberalism. This newer kind of Indianismo seeks to include inter-human and ecological equality simultaneously. In order to achieve this goal, Reinaga synthetizes a particular reading of Andean cosmology, which helps him to think about the problem of difference while including epistemic critiques of colonial discourses. Despite his concern for the problem of difference, Reinaga’s construction still sustains essentialist assumptions, which only allow for the “Indio” to know the single and universal “truth” of cosmic order. Indianismo Amáutico thus ends up imposing a single experience of ethnic and ecological equality as a form of universal liberation that everyone else has to follow. Similar to the case of Revolutionary Indianismo, the problem of difference re-emerges in relation to Indianismo Amáutico because other intellectuals seek to encompass their own differences. Furthermore, the discourse does not answer the question of how Indianismo is different to colonial discourses. Fausto Reinaga sought to investigate the epistemic foundations that lead towards universalization, but he ended up sustaining some of their tendencies by universalizing yet another singularity.