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


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