Like many of his generation he was radicalised by the events of 1968 and became a militant in a Maoist organisation. However, the encounter with the outlook of the indigenous peasants of Chiapas transformed the Zapatistas' ideology, and Marcos has embraced an approach to social revolution that has been described by some as post-modernist; others argue that his philosophies and actions are more closely related to the revisionist marxist ideals of Antonio Gramsci that were popular in Mexico during his time in University.
A famous idol for Marcos is the Argentinian revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara, important militant in the Cuban Revolution.
Much of his writings -- articles, poems, speeches and letters -- have been compiled into a book: Our Word is Our Weapon.
Sandy McKinney has been writing poetry for fifty years, translating Spanish poetry for forty or so of them.