Saturday, August 13, 2005

Finishing the Unfinished Revolution in the Homeland
An Issue That We Filipinos Avoid

The ruling elites know who their enemies are, and their enemies are the people, the people at home and the people abroad. Their enemies are anybody who wants more social justice, anybody who wants to use the surplus value of society for social needs rather than for individual class greed, that's their enemy." – Michael Parenti

"Those who profess to favor freedom
and yet deprecate agitation
are men who want crops without plowing up the ground;
they want rain without thunder and

They want the ocean without the
awful roar of its waters.
This struggle may be a moral one
or it may be a physical one
or it may be both moral and physical
but it must be a struggle.
Power concedes nothing without a
It never did, and never will." - Fr. Pedro V. Salgado, O.P.

To the concerned and thinking Filipino, a serious study of our socio-economic and political history, then and now, can only lead him to the realization that fundamental socio-economic and political changes by peaceful means, i.e. reform, can not and will not happen. His study of the historical past and the presently continuing/worsening national predicament will bring him to the same conclusion, whether he uses common sense, reads either Marx & Engels' "Communist Manifesto" or C. Wright Mills' "Power Elite" in his analysis.

Many of us Filipinos are not dumb. We know that our homeland has been practically over-analyzed over the six decades since it was granted political "independence". America, our former master, has sent numerous economic missions as early as the 1950s to study and make recommendations ostensibly to help our government solve the problem of rampant poverty. Later, the IMF/WB/ADB and other foreign financial institutions have done similarly. But after all the spent time, money and effort, the overall result has turned only for the worse for the great majority of native Filipinos. []

Suffice it to say that the failure to solve our people's poverty is not strictly the fault of America nor of foreign institutions (though America has the strongest control and influence in them), and it is also not completely the fault of the so-called leaders of our homeland. It takes two to tango, to screw for so long and continually the country and our fellow countrymen.

Prior to the Marcos Dictatorship, our private and public debts were mainly through the large banks, but the latter and their corresponding governments learned that the risks of nonpayment is minimized, if not eliminated, by using the IMF/WB to make the arrangements and have the governments of the borrowers guarantee their loans. A bright idea indeed. Governments are expected not to default and so their citizens are the ones to suffer the obligations for the oftentimes odious debts incurred, as in the case of our homeland.

Thus, Filipinos-in-the-Philippines have been wearing (and their succeeding generations will have) a millstone on their necks that mortgage their future while currently and perennially bringing them peso devaluations (worse than and in addition to inflation); that only result in lower real wages for the same amount of work they do, higher costs for the same amount of food, medicine, rent and other essential services they need, while native agriculture and industry are either shutdown or sold out to foreigners at bargain basement prices. Therefrom, all these together with the loss of jobs/works in the country, the consequent exodus of the professions and workers, not even considering the resultant breakdown of their families and thus of Philippine society, thanks to the blind and wholehearted adaptation of the WTO agreements.

How can we stop the demise of our Filipino cultural heritage, of our nascent nationhood that was derailed by the 50-year American occupation and continuing miseducation? How can we stop the plunder of our economy and patrimony by America and Japan, by the local American and Chinese business elite and their native partners; and the collaboration by most politicians and bureaucrats, aided with the rationalization by the western-influenced native technocrats and defended by the US-trained military? How can we regain the loss in our civility and decency of character, which has contributed to almost an endemic corruption ?

When even the Catholic Church, the last remaining most influential institution, which is expected to work for the poor; instead has been historically and is more concerned with itself as an institution, more worried about maintaining its comfortable pews, and while enjoying its residential palaces, has mainly taught and stressed the idea of this suffering life being simply a temporal world and only offered the solace of a supposed afterlife to the impoverished, meek and ignorant great majority. The Church -- whether Catholic or in its mainline and 'born-again" Protestant variations-- is an enemy and impediment to economic, political and social transformations. [] []

And so, how can true and fundamental changes to improve the lot of the great majority occur when the existing economic and political systems/institutions are controlled by the same power elite that does not sincerely care nor work for the betterment of the multitude? How can essential changes be obtained by going through such controlled systems and a professed christianity that is really unchristian, if not absent? All these have been tried in the past: agrarian reform, government support for native industrialization, foreign exchange control, etc. All these have been either watered down, lobbied successfully against, or mocked and destroyed by the same powers-that-be.

It is only by addressing the need to transform the economy, the issues of class structure, and the distribution of wealth will fundamental changes be made possible. It is only by having national unity, that is, Filipino nationalism, will the probability of socio-economic and political transformations, be made into a reality. [][]

To attain a strong sense of nationalism, of national unity, of true nationhood, is a revolutionary task in itself. When our forefathers waged their revolution against the Spanish friars and occupiers at the end of the 19th century, it was easier. It was easier in the sense that their enemy was simply identifiable; their enemy was a foreigner and was physically present. Today, the physical absence of a foreign occupying force and the lack of awareness among the native majority of their colonial mentality, of their miseducation and/or ignorance of nationalist history plus the barrage of American propaganda via the globalized media make the task for instilling and nurturing nationalism extremely difficult, but do-able. []

Note that the 1960s' rebirth of Filipino nationalism came and grew quickly in less than a decade given the wave of Third World nationalism, New Left political ferment in the advanced nations, but most important, the efforts of a few, dedicated nationalist intellectuals and facilitated/aided by many student idealists during the premartial law years; but was waylaid by the Marcos Dictatorship, this latter's viability made possible thanks to: US-support for Marcos, the miseducated middle class and the selfish, material interests of the Church with the status quo. Although many of those who worked for its rebirth were either assassinated or have disappeared, or even gone back to "normal" life in society; we hope and know that among the young, who are still idealistic and unencumbered with familial responsibilities, there shall always be brave and dedicated ones ready and willing to continue the work for its fruition.

Because, even among us who are afraid or suspicious of any hint or talk of socioeconomic-political transformation, know that it is only through a revolution, led by truly nationalist leadership with the unified support and participation of a nationalist majority, can Filipinos-in-the-Philippines have a chance to implement the necessary transformations towards their "common good".

Thomas Jefferson himself believed in the moral right of an oppressed people to make a revolution. America, now its government and policies subtly but more effectively and efficiently controlled by its transnational corporations, its citizens made content by consumerism and misinformed by its few, corporate-controlled media, has forgotten about its revolutionary heritage and instead become reactionary.

“The first priority for any underdeveloped country, before it can begin the economic and social development most appropriate to the needs of its people, is the seizure of power by the masses and the total destruction of the control and influence of the foreign power and local exploiting elite. Without this, nothing is possible.” – Felix Green, British Author, 1970

"If the people are not completely free and happy, the fault will be entirely their own." - George Washington, shortly after the end of the American Revolution

“To be poor and independent is very nearly an impossibility.” - William Corbett, 1830

“In the long-run every Government is the exact symbol of its People, with their WISDOM and UNWISDOM; we have to say, Like People like Government. “ - Thomas Carlyle, 1795-1881, Scottish Philosopher, Author

“Nations whose NATIONALISM is destroyed are subject to ruin.” - Colonel Muhammar Qaddafi, 1942-, Libyan Political and Military Leader

"Upang maitindig natin ang bantayog ng ating lipunan, kailangang radikal nating baguhin hindi lamang ang ating mga institusyon kundi maging ang ating pag-iisip at pamumuhay. Kailangan ang rebolusyon, hindi lamang sa panlabas, kundi lalo na sa panloob!" --Apolinario Mabini, La Revolucion Filipina (1898)

"[American leaders] are perhaps not so much immoral as they are amoral. It's not that they take pleasure in causing so much death and suffering. It's that they just don't care ... the same that could be said about a sociopath. As long as the death and suffering advance the agenda of the empire, as long as the right people and the right corporations gain wealth and power and privilege and prestige, as long as the death and suffering aren't happening to them or people close to them ... then they just don't care about it happening to other people, including the American soldiers whom they throw into wars and who come home - the ones who make it back alive - with Agent Orange or Gulf War Syndrome eating away at their bodies. American leaders would not be in the positions they hold if they were bothered by such things." - William Blum

1 comment :

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