i-am-bisig

Disyembre 20, 2008

Mainit na pagbati sa mga magigiting na sosyalista ng Cebu!

Ipagpaumanhin niyo kung ang aking mensahe ay nasa wikang Tagalog at hindi sa Inggles. Mas maihahayag ko ang aking nararamdaman sa Tagalog kaysa Ingles dahil ang wikang Ingles ay wika ng aking utak subalit ang wikang Tagalog (o Filipino) ay ang wika ng aking puso.

Ang pambansang pamunuan ng BISIG ay malugod na bumabati sa bawat isa sa inyo sa paglulunsad ng Asembliya ng ating organisasyon. Kami rin ay nagpupugay sa inyo bilang pinakaunang chapter ng BISIG na nabuo sa labas ng NCR at nananatiling pinaka-aktibong chapter sa ngayon.

Ang BISIG, sa loob ng 21 taon ay lantarang namandila ng sosyalismo bilang alternatibo sa krisis ng kapitalismo. Ang pangunahing papel ng BISIG, mula nang ito ay itinatag ay maging isang ideolohikal at pulitikal na organisasyon na nais hamigin ang kaisipan at puso ng bawat mamamayang Filipino para sa adhikain ng sosyalismo at magbuo ng mga sentro ng kapangyarihan upang mabago ang mapang-aping sistema ng kapitalismo. Nakapagtatag tayo ng mga iba’t-ibang instrumento ng kapangyarihan tulad ng mga sentro ng paggawa, partidong pampulitika, kilusang masa sa hanay ng kabataan-estudyante, magbubukid, maralitang tagalungsod at mga kababaihan. At hindi matatawaran ang naging kontribusyon ng BISIG sa pagsasakapangyarihan ng mamamayan sa pamamagitan ng mga nabanggit na instrumento ng kapangyarihan. Nagtatag din tayo ng mga NGOs upang magsulong ng mga alternatibong programa at mga koalisyon upang magbigkis sa iba pang mga pwersa tungo sa panlipunang pagbabago.

Sa pagdaan ng panahon ay yumabong ang mga institusyon at mga instrumentong ito hanggang sa yugto na lantaran na rin nitong ipinamamandila ang ideolohiyang ating itinataguyod, maging ang mga estratehiya at pampulitikang linya ay hinalaw na rin ng mga itinayo nating mga organisasyon. At ito ay isang tagumpay sa hanay nating mga sosyalistang kadre at mga lider. Ang makitang dumarami ang mga grupong yumayakap at kumikilos para marating ang ating mga pangarap.

Bagamat sa paglipas rin ng panahon ay kinakitaan ng mga kahinaan ang ating kilusan, hindi ito dapat maging hadlang upang tayo ay manghina at tumigil sa pagkilos. Iyan ang dayalektika ng buhay. Aksyon at reaksyon. Tagumpay at kabiguan.  Ang ilan ay nagtatanong kung ano na ang kabuluhan at direksyon ng BISIG.  Ito ay mga balidong mga katanungan at indikasyon na buhay ang organisasyon.

Para sa akin, ngayon higit kailanman na dapat nating bigyang kabuluhan ang pagiging isang ideolohikal na organisasyon ng BISIG.

Walang ibang panahon na lubhang napakaganda upang ibandila ang sosyalismo bilang alternatibo kundi ngayon-ngayon kung saan ay nadarama at nakikita ng mga mamamayang Pilipino ang krisis na dulot ng kapitalistang sistema. Ang krisis na ito sa katunayan ay hindi lamang isang simpleng krisis pampinansiyal kundi isang krisis ng modelo ng neoliberalisasyon o kapitalismo, at higit pa, krisis ng ideolohiya ng kapitalismo! Ang nangyayari ngayong pagkabangkarote ng mga kumpanya dulot ng krisis ng labis na produksyon, pagkagahaman , deregulasyon ay isang krisis na hindi pa naranasan sa ilalim ng neoliberal na rehimen.  Ang pag bail out at nasyunalisasyon ng mga industriya sa Estados Unidos at Europa ay isang malaking sampal sa mukha, at ideolohiya ng kapitalismo. Ang ideolohiya ng malayang merkado ay isang bangungot ngayon na kinakaharap ng mismong mga kapitalistang bansa.  At dahil  dito, ibayong hirap at gutom ang daranasin ng mga mamamayan, hindi lamang sa mga kapitalistang bansa kundi sa buong daigidig.  Mas magiging malaganap ang kawalan ng trabaho na magdudulot ng ibayong krisisi pangpinansya at kawalan ng kapangyarihang pang ekonomiya ng sambayanan.

Sa Pilipinas, ay wala nang gaanong dapat na ipaliwanag pa kung tutuusin upang ilantad ang krisis na dulot ng liberalisasyon, pribatisasyon at deregulasyon ng kabuhayan. Ang kaliwa’t kanang problema ng korapsyon , iskdalo at pagkabangkarote ng pamamamahala mula sa pambansang pamahalaan hanggang sa mga lokal na pamahalaan ay malinaw na krisis ng isang elitistang demokrasya. Ang patriyarkiya ay nararanasan oras-oras ng mga kababaihan lalo na sa mga maralitang komunidad. Ano pa ang sapat na paliwanag kundi ang kongkretong karanasan ng masang Pilipino na araw-araw ay natatanggal sa trabaho, walang makain, ginigiba ang tahanan, at marami pang ibang problemang dulot ng mga nabanggit na sistemang pang-ekonomiya at pang pulitika?

Sa normal na pagkakataon, ang mga kalagayang ito ay lubhang hinog upang mahikayat ang masa upang kumilos na baguhin ang kanilang kalagayan – sa anumang porma ng legal na pakikibaka, parlyemantaryo, kilusang masa o elektoral man.  Subalit hindi normal ang kalagayan sa Pilipinas.

Ang hindi normal sa kalagayan natin ay ang pagkabaon ng masang Pilipino sa kultura ng pagsasawalang kibo, kawalang pag-asa at balot ng kultura ng pagkatakot.

Dito dapat ginagampanan ng mga kilusang tulad natin ang ating makasaysayan at marangal na tungkulin. Ang imulat, iorganisa at pakilusin ang malawak na bilang ng masa, tungo sa isang malawak at malakas na kilusan ng mamamayan na may mapagpasya upang baguhin ang balanse ng kapangyarihan.

Subalit sa kabila ng krisis ng modelo at ideolohiya ng kapitalismo, ay may krisis din ang kilusang progresibo at Kaliwa sa Pilipinas. Hindi nito epektibong mamulat, maorganisa at mapakilos ang masa para sa isang mapagpasyang pagbabago. Ilan sa mga mamamayan ang nakakaunawa na sistema ang problema? Ilan sa mga mamamayan ang pinag-uusapan ang sosyalismo bilang alternatibo? May agitation ba sa hanay ng masa? May masidhing pagnanasa bas a hanay ng masa upang baguhin ang kanilang kalagayan? Ilan ang mga bago nating napapakilos?

Kaya ngayon higit na dapat nating balikan ang ating mga batayang gawain at tungkulin bilang mga sosyalista. Ang hikayatin ang malawak na bilang ng masa upang itaguyod ang isang alternatibong sistema.  Ang giyahan ang mga masang organisasyon upang lahat ng puwang na kanilang pasukin ay nagdudulot at lumilikha ng pagsasakapangyarihan ng masa – mulat, may kasanayan, may kahandaan sa sariling paraan na kumilos at baguhin ang kanilang kalagayan.

Kailangan nating muling pasiglahin ang ideolohikal na gawain, mga kasama. Praxis. Kumbinasyon ng teorya at praktika.  Sa katunayan, ilang beses na rin nating nadinig mula sa ating mga lider na “gamitin ang kasalukuyang krisis bilang oportunidad, etc.” subalit maraming humahadlang upang totohanang gamitin ang krisis na ito bilang oportunidad sa pagmumulat, pag-oorganisa at pagpapakilos ng masa.

At ito, itong kontekstong ito, ang sa tingin ko ay ang higit na dapat na mas mangibabaw at maging pangunahing basehan natin sa muling pagtuklas sa kalahagahan at direksyon ng BISIG.  Sa kongkreto, ibalik at simulan ang mga study circles sa loob ng ating hanay. Pasiglahin ang debate at talakayan, sa loob ng BISIG at maging sa iba pang mga kaibigan sa Kaliwa.  Bumalik tayo sa solid organizing. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Ito ang ginawa noong kasiglahan ng kilusang masa sa panahon ng sigwa ng unang kwarto, panahon ng dekada 80 kung saan bumubulwak sa kalye ang masa na naghahangad ng pagbabago. Ito rin ang ginawa ng mga sa ngayon ay “lumaya” nang mga mamamayan sa Latin Amerika na nagtatamas ng bunga ng kanilang pakikibaka sa kasalukuyan.

“Easier said than done , ” sasabihin ng iba.Maraming balakid. Lohistika. Pinansya. Tao. Problema. Pero ang lahat ng iyan ay laging naririyan. Sa BISIG, malaking problema yan. Gawan natin ng paraan na solusyonan ang problemang yan dahil wala tayong choice mga kasama. Lahat ng tagumpay may sakripisyong kaakibat. Baka nga kaya hindi pa tayo ganap na nagtatagumpay ay kulang pa ang sakripisyo ng mga grupong tulad natin. Lahat tayo, mula nasyunal hanggang sa lahat ng mga chapter sa probinsya ay muling magnilay at magpanibagong buhay sa pagkilos kung talagang nasa kaibuturan ng ating mga puso ang maglingkod sa kapwa at sa ating bansa, ang maalab na damdamin na makamit ang pangarap na demokrasya at sosyalismo para sa mga Pilipino.

Sa panghuli, muli nagpapasalamat ako sa bawat isang sosyalistang nananatili at tumitindig sa Cebu sa inyong patuloy na pagtitiwala sa ating kilusan at sa ating pangarap.

Padayon mga kasama!

Mabuhi ang BISIG – Cebu!

Sosyalismo alternatibo!

Lubos na sumasainyo,

Kasamang Ed Chavez

Pambansang Pangkalahatang Kalihim

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The Union of Filipino Socialists (BISIG)[1] on the MoA AD Issue and the Mindanao Question

August 26, 2008

This recent, the entire country is gripped by the issue of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) concerning the Bangsamoro people’s rightful claim of their Ancestral Domains (AD) and the Bangsamoro Judirical Entity (BJE). The issue was so explosive and emotional that it regretfully aroused misplaced passions, renewed prejudices and unnecessary violence on an otherwise opportune moment for progressive forces much more the democratic left to discuss, popularize its concepts and give necessary illumination to the enduring Mindanao predicament which many view with wrong assumptions and understanding.

We believe the Mindanao Question is a complex problem. It is so multifaceted that it is almost impossible to decipher it in a simplistic manner. However, while we believe understanding and political clarity are the most basic necessities as of the moment, we also deem it necessary that these must be arrived through intelligent, democratic, far-reaching and dispassionate discourse.

This paper is a contribution to such an exercise.

The Right to Self-Determination

Marx’s famous dictum “workers have no countries of their own, only a world to win” has been the battle cry of the revolutionary working class all around the globe and the foundation of its internationalist struggle and solidarity. It clearly distinguished revolutionary socialism from the pitfalls of superficial nationalism and its tendency towards social chauvinism and fascism as well as the concrete class interest of the proletariat and the broad masses from that of the bourgeoisie.

However, this does not mean the left movement outrightly dismisses national oppression because it is opposed or a hindrance to the international accord of the workers. We believe in this present situation, the concept of nations and countries are a reality that must be dealt by the forces of change and not esoterically ignored in exchange of “unadulterated class struggle” as espoused by “super leftists.”

While we believe in class struggle, we also believe a nation oppressing another nation will never be free and will instead be a hindrance to the emancipation of the working people and our important work of socialist construction. Thus, the right to self-determination or the right to independence, the right to free, political secession from the oppressing nation is a just struggle of all nations.

This must be dissociated from the false postulation provided by the likes of Vice Governor Pinol, the Lobregats, the Makati Business Club (MBC) and the elite politicians that self-determination is a Pandora box which will open a sovereign state like the Philippines to unnecessary partition. This line of argument is shallow and flawed as it is designed to confuse and sow fear rather than enlighten.

The struggle for self-determination is but the rationale political expression against national oppression as experienced by a legitimate nation or a group of people comprising such categorization. The Bangsamoro realm is such an example.

Nationalism of the Oppressed Vs. Nationalism of the Oppressor

In a capitalist setup, it is true that each country is divided by class, its antagonisms and the state-which while representing predominantly the interest of the ruling class must also obtain the support of “the ruled.” This can be done through force or by consent. Included in “consent” is a narrow appeal for a backward nationalist sentiment as in our case, advocated by the so-called anti- chop chop elite opposition based in Manila which is conveniently being re-echoed by the local elites in Mindanao.

Hence, we must make a distinction between the fake nationalism of the tyrants and the nationalism of the oppressed. This is an imperative not so much because we want a better form of nationalism but because we are not prone to accept the superiority of one nation over another. On the contrary, we struggle for equality of all countries and such scenario can only happen by recognizing the right of oppressed nations to self-determination.

This is a necessary first step in uniting the working people of the oppressed nations with that of the oppressor nations towards socialism.

Bangsamoro: A Defiant and Proud Nation

While the Bangsamoro people are now a minority in Mindanao, this was not always the case. Any critical student of our history will know that long before the Spanish colonizers came; our sister and brother Muslims already have a sophisticated level of governance, sense of nationality and a blossoming culture. In fact, a large part of Manila was under Moro rule like Manila and Tondo. This was long before Comrade Andres Bonifacio and the revolutionary Katipunan imagined a Philippine nation outside of the feudal Spanish crown. If only the Spaniards came in a little later, then maybe we will discuss a different history-a history perhaps without Spain.

In fact, three centuries of Spanish rule did nothing in subjugating the Bangsamoro people which resulted to a desperate conclusion from the conquistadores that the Moro people were in fact a different nation. As of 1896, when the Philippine revolution took center stage, there were in fact two nations struggling against Spain, the then emerging yet besieged Philippine Nation and the unconquered Bangsamoro Homeland.

The American colonizers also shared the same sentiment. The Kiram-Bates Treaty is a proof of this fact. While it may be seen by some as a compromise by the Sultanate of Sulu, the American forces known for their arrogance and triumphalism also yielded, thereby, preserving not only the Bangsamoro realm but also getting virtual admission from the Americans of the existence of such a nation.

It is only the superior weaponry of the US, their brutal wars/massacres coupled with legalized land-grabbing, political and economic disenfranchisement using unknowing Filipino settlers as sanctioned by the then colonial Filipino government which turned the tide against the Moro people and which eventually led to their dislocation from their own land.

The Ancestral Domain and the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA)

For the longest time, the main mode of the Bangsamoro people to reclaim their homeland is through armed struggle. The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are the expressions of this form of struggle. While it is a just and legitimate struggle, it however claimed a regretful 120,000 lives and displaced thousands.

That is why the MoA between GRP and the MILF is somewhat a breakthrough not only because it elevated to a higher level the Moro people’s right to self-governance and determination, more so, it is also a peaceful political rectification of the flawed annexation of their nation to that of the Philippine republic.

For the very first time, the imperial government of Manila will recognize the Moros as a people with distinct territory, history, culture and struggle; will recognize their war of national liberation against colonial rule as just and legitimate.

Furthermore, the MoA proposes a governance framework while not fundamentally creating an independent nation as it only grants associative relationship with the Philippine Government; nonetheless, is a necessary first step and a political tool by the Moro people in the realization of a nation of their own. Yet again, it doesn’t automatically mean that the MoA is outrightly tainted or worse a “treason” of the Bangsamoro’s cause. Lest we forget, this did not fall squarely at the laps of the Moros. It was a product of a determined and just struggle.

However, the bogus Arroyo regime as always has other intentions such as prolonging its stay to power via charter change while using the MoA as conciliation with the US Government. Worse, the Arroyo Regime might use the current state of hostilities to introduce martial rule.

In this predicament, the left movement together with the broad masses must dismantle all of Mrs. Arroyo’s ambitions to extend power beyond 2010 by tinkering with the present constitution or by flirting with fascist rule. In the immediate, we must smash the renewed aspirations of the Arroyo regime to lengthen its rule using the MoA or the Bangsamoro people’s legitimate struggle.

The United States and the Specter of Imperialism

On the other hand, it is also out-and-out absurdity on our part not to see the United States’ hand in this juncture. Truly, imperialism is well and alive in Mindanao as it is in many parts of the world.

Without doubt, the United States is making plans in asserting itself as the “peacekeeper” and “protector” of the “newly-carved territory” to advance its political, economic and military interests. For one, Mindanao is militarily strategic to the US. Much more, it is rich in natural resources-resources like oil, greedy private corporations want to have a hand on.

BISIG strongly cautions our Moro sisters and brothers of such dangerous interests in the periphery. While we respect the right and the struggle for self-determination, we strongly assert that the United States and the bankrupt Arroyo Regime cannot become legitimate instruments and political conveyors to achieve genuine and lasting peace.

War, Peace and Atrocities

We also strongly condemn the atrocities committed against non-combatants and civilians. Likewise, we denounce the armament of civilian volunteer organizations fanning the flame of a pseudo Christian-Muslim war. While war might be an outcome of a legitimate and popular struggle, our long experience taught us that a purely military solution has only escalated conflicts, misunderstanding and un-peace. We maintain, the resolution of a question such as Mindanao can be mainly achieved through a political and economic solution.

Thus, we enjoin the MILF and GRP to offset the growing peace deficit by respecting the dignity of life and human rights by implementing an immediate cessation of military actions and by continuing with the peace process.

Equally, we remind the public not to let their emotions, prejudices and biases be the central configurations in an issue which has now become a national public discourse. We should do away with the anti-Moro propaganda of the reactionary media and the dim-witted statements of supposed enlightened politicians who do not know better.

Socialism, Secularism and the Bangsamoro Homeland

For the longest time, socialism was always deemed to be at the side of secularism. The socialist tradition debunked institutionalized religion and faith as bastions of reaction, “the opium of the masses.” The basis was that religion for the longest time was a source of conservatism, of clerico-fascism as people were taught by elite-controlled institutions of hegemony such as the church to fully entrust their destinies to a supernatural being that emphasizes powerlessness and justifies exploitation.

However, through the years, a section of today’s contemporary religion and faith have been advocating for radical change in the “material world” which they believe must be duly realized the soonest possible. Our brand of Socialism recognizes that progressive faiths can be a force of change. Example of this is the radical section of the Christian faith that struggles to free the gospel from its bourgeois class fetters by linking faith with revolutionary struggle. The anti imperialist stance of progressive Islam is another yet, different example.

Without doubt, Socialism and the Moro struggle are not incompatible concepts and perspectives, much more the Moro people’s aspiration for an independent homeland with that of the emancipation of the Filipino working class from the rule of capital. We both aim for a better world, a better society and a truly lasting peace for all.

However, it can only happen by aiming for the abolition of global capitalism and by aspiring for the strategic abolition of the current political and economic dissection of the working peoples of the world which in turn will create a just and pluralist socialist society.

Then maybe, maybe then, the new people of the new world with new perspectives and values will come close to each other once more and celebrate their optimum freedom, democracy and justice.

We are All Moros

If there is one thing this juncture has taught us is this; a thorough, critical and an alternative review of our history will point us to the fact that the modern “Filipino insurgents” of the contemporary Philippine state fighting capitalist exploitation have much in common with the Moro insurgents rightfully struggling to reclaim their homeland. Both were deprived of their sense of nations, both were subdued and exploited by foreign colonizers; both are fighting for genuine independence, peace and freedom.

In a sense, we are all Moros. Not just because we share the same historical Malay origins, but more importantly, we are all Moros because we share the same pain of losing our sense of nation and the joy of rediscovering once more our own respective national aspirations. Without doubt, the struggle of the north and the south are tied in an uncoincidental political umbilical cord of struggle.

The right to self-determination is a struggle close to the heart of socialism. It is not an alien concept. These ideas were first put forward by Karl Marx on the question of England’s oppression of Ireland. He rightfully saw the “profound antagonism” between the Irish proletariat and the English proletariat. This antagonism among the English workers he said was artificially nourished and fanned by the British elite. Marx saw this as the underlying antagonism, the secret of maintaining its oppressive power over Ireland.

While the said countries’ experience is different from ours, the same thing can be said of the Mindanao question. In the final analysis, the relatively free working class of the Philippines cannot completely claim freedom not even under a society geared towards socialist democracy unless the working people of the Bangsamoro people are equally free. Furthermore, the Filipino working class cannot unite with the Moro working people and the rest of workers of the world in defeating the unjust global order unless the Moro people are free as represented in the immediate by an independent Bangsamoro homeland.

Prospects and Challenges

The current issue while complex also presents the democratic left with an important opportunity for engagement. The fundamental challenge is to contribute largely in building a stronger and wider peace consensus involving all stakeholders in order to attain a truly democratic solution to the Mindanao problem.

In the same way, we must bring down the discussions on ancestral domain and right to self-determination down to the communities not only to allay fears and dispel myths, but more importantly to empower the people; so that they will have collective ownership over their future which had been denied to them by succeeding governments and the status quo.

The very issue itself addresses the very core of a national question that any nation and its peoples must grapple. This is the challenge the Democratic Left, Moros and Filipinos alike must face.

26 August 2008


[1] Also, the Bukluran sa Ikauunlad ng Sosyalistang Isip at Gawa (BISIG)


Turn the Economic Predicament into a Political Crisis!
Abandon the Unpopular Gloria! Abandon The Detested Capitalist System!

*Statement of the Union of Filipino Socialists (BISIG) on Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s 8th State of the Nation Address (SONA)

Today, Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the make-believe president of a make-believe strong republic will deliver her 8th State of the Nation Address (SONA) as provided by a constitutional mandate to annually report the country’s current state of affairs.

However, instead of giving the people an accurate accounting of the country’s circumstances under her leadership, the public was treated to an orgy of untruths, fabricated achievements and hallucinating visions of grandeur. Using a combination of intimidating statistics, rent-seeking politics and dole-out measures, for the last eight years, Mrs. Arroyo together with her cabal of paid hacks and capitalist apologists tried to paint a rosy economic picture amid the backdrop of increasing hunger, poverty and a growing democratic deficit.

There is no reason this SONA will be different from the previous ones. Like her previous annual reports, this SONA will be a continuing distortion of the actual political and economic realities experienced by the people.

“The Dream is Over”

Nonetheless, the Arroyo regime’s penchant for lying may yet prove to be its much-awaited downfall. While the exposition of economic superficialities, of supposed GDP growth, of curbing the fiscal deficit and a strong currency may have temporarily satisfied the inquisitiveness of a doubting public, Mrs. Arroyo’s “final fantasy” and “bubble economy” burst in the face of an unrepentant global financial crisis.

With this, the seemingly slumbering masses numbed and calloused by failed popular uprisings-Edsa upsurges which were always hijacked by the elite, are slowly showing once more its previously proscribed anger to this inutile and illegitimate government. Furthermore, disenchantment to a way of life as prescribed by a social system that does not deliver on its promises of economic bliss and prosperity is sweeping society like an uncontrollable plague.

Truly, under the climate of a crippling economic crisis composed of unmitigated oil price hikes, food insecurity and unregulated energy charges, the Arroyo regime’s development paradigm is exposed for what it is truly is; fundamentally flawed, elite-driven and crisis-endemic.

Enter Populism

And how did Malacanang react to this undeniable economic crisis? By manufacturing spectacles and scaffoldings of imaginary government support and increased subsidy. In short, resorting to populist but negligible measures which won’t make a dent in giving people ambulatory relief to the pains of the ongoing economic transgression.

Some may argue that there is nothing wrong with populism as it is defined as the practice of advocating the rights, virtues and/or perspectives of the common people. Surely, the left movement had its share of populism. We agree. However, it becomes erroneous when it becomes the definitive solution to complex soci0economic problems which necessarily entails comprehensive and structural resolutions. Much worse, populism becomes outrightly reactionary when it is practiced to defend a blatantly corrupt regime or system and to desensitize the public’s consciousness and mind-set to revolt or aspire for change.

This is precisely what the Arroyo regime has been doing since the crisis erupted.

While offering an assortment of dole-outs such as the 500-Peso lifeline support for poor electric consumers, tuition moratorium to state schools, cheap NFA rice and this recent, a rollback of oil prices, these same measures are being used to defend anti-people policies like RVAT by saying the dole-outs were made possible through this regressive form of taxation. Lately, ill-prescribed conditionalities such as oil deregulation were also being defended while preaching the “good news” of economic palliatives.
Accurately speaking, economic palliatives will only serve as impediments to the development of genuine solutions to the crisis.  It will also drain our country of much-needed resources while promoting patronage politics among “rulers” and dependence on dole-outs among the “ruled.”

The Bankruptcy of Neo-liberalism: The Illegitimacy of Capitalist Hegemony

These days, it is becoming fashionable to blame every imaginable wrongdoing to the Arroyo regime. Although this government is culpable for many of our current socioeconomic ills and will surely pay for all its shortcomings and crimes to the people, we must not discount the fact that the current economic model as preached and promoted by this regime is equally to blame.

As fast as the Arroyo regime was stripped of its “superb economic management, capitalism and its latest stage, neo-liberalism are suffering from a dual crisis of legitimacy and viability. The current economic crisis is not only a product of Mrs. Arroyo’s pure economic misgovernance, more importantly; it is the result of the global crisis of contemporary capitalism.

Due to the chronic crisis of overproduction of capitalism, for the last 25 years, capitalism was overrun by the massive expansion of the unproductive sectors of the capitalist economy resulting to the international liberalization of finance. This ushered in the golden age of what we know as neo-liberal globalization. So to speak, we are currently under the epoch of less and less production and more and more of fictitious capital governed by the unproductive forces. Real capitalism has just gone unreal.

The end result, for the last 25 years or so, the capitalist system ran under fictitious capital, capital that is not real because it is not based on profits made by the productive forces (workers) but the result of squeezing profit and extra value from existing profits without the benefit of producing new value. In due time it collapsed as established by the recent United States’ nightmarish subprime crisis which eventually turned into a global financial calamity which sooner or later exacerbated the already exploding oil and food crises. Truly, as Marx said: “the barrier to capital is capital itself.”

Patriotic Responsibility and the Class Role of the Revolutionary Agent

Funny as it may seem, this analysis is being shared by the Arroyo regime, at the same time, remaining loyal capitalist apologists. Her economic managers argue that it is unfair to blame the government for the multiple economic crises as the problem is an international phenomenon suffered by all nations. Yet, while this line of argument is convincing to the untrained and unsuspecting, it is escapist as it absolves itself of any responsibility and flimsy as it stands on clay.

It assumes that capitalist globalization is by itself a supra-state, the last government standing, the destroyer of nation-states. However, the truth of the matter, governments did not diminish under the “open regime” of globalization. In fact, they remained major players, enforcers and parties of the current capitalist model. WTO, IMF, World Bank, the G8 and many more capitalist instruments are all products of governments.

Thus, the local elites of developing nations using reactionary governments are the principal enforcers for the production and reproduction of capitalism.

For this reason, the role of Mrs. Arroyo in this unending economic nightmare is clear. Hence, the ouster of the bogus Arroyo government is an imperative. The economic crunch felt by many Filipinos must be transformed into a direct political crisis confronting the illegitimacy of the Arroyo regime.

However, the immediate ouster of this regime will not essentially guarantee fundamental and radical changes. A simple ouster will not fundamentally rock the foundations of capital. That’s why it must be stressed that the Oust Gloria struggle is a patriotic duty of all Filipino citizens sick and tired of this regime. Conversely, a patriotic duty not only calling for its ouster but more importantly, pushing for a new and democratic government of the true sovereign-the masses.

This is where the political accord of the patriotic duty of the broad and the class role of the revolutionary agent must be stressed.  We call for the establishment of a Transitional Revolutionary Government (TRG) which will break the back of elite rule, widen and institutionalize democratize space and build the necessary impetus for an uncompromising political revolution-a socialist revolution of the working people-the revolutionary agent which can send capitalism to its graveyard with the solidarity and participation of the broad masses.

Dislodge the Old, Create the New: Build the Conditions for a Socialist Revolution

What we are witnessing perhaps is the slow demise of neo-liberalism and the continuing decomposition of global capitalism. More than ever, we maintain, no amount of self-rectification and creativeness will save capitalism from its inevitable total collapse. In the final analysis, the global capitalist crisis can only be best understood through socialist analysis. The same thing that it can only be fundamentally resolved through socialist solutions.

Therefore, let us turn the crisis into a revolutionary opportunity. Now is the best time that the contradictions of capitalism are best exposed to the masses; A time of crisis of capitalism in the recent history that can be easily understood by the masses-a crisis that threatens the very lives of the people from the worst effects of neo liberalism on the economy, gender, environment, culture and lives of every individual. Let us build the conditions to create the new society of the new people. Let us abandon the old, build the new and usurp the future.

Let’s start with the Arroyo regime. Let us finish the Arroyo regime.

End the Crisis! Oust Gloria!
Establish the Transitional Revolutionary Government!
For a Socialist Philippines! For a Socialist World!

July 28, 2008