Monday, July 08, 2013

Pol. Ideology 45: Left Intellectualism Means Abandonment of Socialism

Last July 1-2, 2013, I butted in the fb posting of a friend – fellow UP Diliman and UP Sapul alumni, also a fellow Rotarian – Raffy Aquino, a lawyer. Our exchanges below. Posting with permission from him and Louie, thanks guys.

Meanwhile, photos below, some of the known student activists in UP Diliman in the early to mid-80s (the late Ferdinand Marcos was still the President) that I can remember. top to borrom, left to right:
Raffy Aquino and Lean Alejandro; Fidel Nemenzo, David Celdran and Sarge Colambo; Noe Pangilinan and Malou Mangahas. The last two were former editor in chief of the Philippine Collegian, the student paper in UP Diliman.

This is four pages long including the photos, enjoy.

27 years ago, in 1986, a year before I finally left Diliman, in an article published in the Collegian shortly after that historic February --

"An apparent component of a progressive counter-culture is intellectual ferment at the classroom level. A perennial criticism hurled at the leadership of the student movement is its neglect of the classrooms as arenas of struggle. The criticism presupposes that should committed students religiously attend their classes, they will be able to competently defend, assert, and convince their classmates and teachers of the superiority of their ideas. The presupposition is not always a valid one. This underscores the need for the “intellectualization” of the student movement as a precondition for a progressive counter-culture at the grassroots level. The movement must engage in a tremendous amount of theoretical work, technical study, and social research. A general knowledge of what the progressive current stands for will no longer suffice. This knowledge will have to be broken down into its component parts and expressed in precise and concrete language. The student movement must systematically forge linkages with progressive sections of the faculty, technocracy, the professional sector, and the rest of the intelligentsia, and thereafter, exploit these linkages to “intellectualize” itself by further amassing and creating progressive knowledge."

Wala na yatang saysay ang mga hangaring ganito.
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Louie Checa Montemar meron pa naman... kasi mas lumalabas na nga sa iba't ibang porma ang social concern at sociological imagination, at lalong wala namang monopolyo ang mga "tibak" na talaga sa dalumat ng "relevance". 

Nonoy Oplas Raffy, if student activists will click to that harsh intellectualization of the movement, none will become left-leaning. If you talk about more personal responsibility (they cannot even be responsible in their studies and regularly flunk), they will be drawn to desist and dislike more government responsibility. The main reason why such activism remains noisy is because they dislike harsh intellectualization but only stupidization of old slogans and advocacies. Sige, debate na. 

Raffy Aquino Precisely the point Louie. Progressive thinking still ascends in the Philippines, perhaps owing to the empowering effects of information technology, perhaps owing to the courageous efforts of a few valiant radical scholars, but perhaps not due to any intervention, much less leadership, purposely exerted by any major Philippine left formation. The tragedy is that the left has long held itself out as the most conscious element, the vanguard of a new knowledge - but it was perhaps too indolent or too preoccupied to develop the smarts needed to support its own hype. And so even at the level of perception, "relevance" has ceased to be associated with the "tibak." Precisely the point.

Raffy Aquino To my friends in the left, Nonoy Oplas says left activism, by definition, cannot be reconciled with authentic intellectualization. Challenge issued, gauntlet thrown down.

Nonoy Oplas And swords unsheathed  Left activism or more specifically socialist movement is far out from being intellectually innovative. Why? Things should be socialized always -- education, healthcare, housing, pension, transpo, agri, etc. Including your own pockets, savings, they should be socialized. Diversity and inequality, spontaneity and innovation, should be restricted if not controlled whenever possible. Things should be harmonized, standardized, uniformized, monotonized, in order to prevent inequality, massive and scary inequality.

Louie Checa Montemar Noy, tagay pa. 

Nonoy Oplas Louie, si Raffy nakainom na. Nangangarap magkaroon ng mga unique car brands like BMW 1970S era yata. Many people have nothing to eat, and some people are dreaming of owning those expensive cars with expensive maintenance 

Raffy Aquino Because I've been taught that an appreciation for the finer things is a first principle of socialism. Bwaha!!

Nonoy Oplas or principle of individualism, not forced collectivism, hihihi.
That is why individualism -- individual freedom, individual responsibility, individual accountability for his/her action and inaction -- is important. Once you homogenize, uniformize, monotonize individuals, their creativity and spontaneity in order to prevent social inequality, stupidity in society is magnified.

Raffy Aquino The one thing I will grant Nonoy is this - capitlaism builds better cars!!!!!!!

Nonoy Oplas and cell phones, laptops, flat tv, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes, buses, boats, slkyscrapers, even rotary pins  Socialism is good at creating dictatorship and dictators. That is why many activist flunkers are so enamored with socialism. They can be dictators and dictate how people should run their own lives even if they are intellectually mediocre and could not even manage their own lives properly.

Louie Checa Montemar mabuhay ang sosyalismo.  sa puso ng tao. sa gawa, di lang sa salita. 

Nonoy Oplas Facebook, youtube, google, yahoo, twitter, instagram, etc, all products of socialism and dictatorship, yehey!

Louie Checa Montemar ah yes, they are. you just gotta get out of YOUR ideas of what soc is all about.

Nonoy Oplas Right, people should recognize hypocrisy when it shows. LIke those who lambast capitalism to high heavens then turn around and use and hug all products of capitalism 

Louie Checa Montemar capitalism needs socialists. capitalism is the best producer of hypocrites, by the way. 

Nonoy Oplas Capitalism hurts ego. Some of its products are so useful and very often, almost free -- like fb and youtube -- and yet it also attracts hatred from among those who use its products.

Louie Checa Montemar Capitalism does not hurt. People hurt people. let's not reify too much. 

Nonoy Oplas "Capitalism does not hurt". That's socialist revisionism Louie. Socialists want to overthrow capitalism and the profit system because they deeply believe that the profit system is hurting and exploiting workers. So socialists invented a cousin of socialism -- statism, worship of the state and state bureaucrats as the one who can solve all problems of mankind, real or imaginary.

Louie Checa Montemar as i put it earlier, you gotta get out of your box for socialism. call it revisionism, call it whatever. only one word i won't ever accept as a label for myself: Dictator. i'm too sophisticated for that. 

Nonoy Oplas Bato bato sa langit, may tinamaaan ba? hehe. No one in particular but socialism is dictatorship, period. To force everyone to be equal, to socialize one's pockets and savings so that even the lazy and irresponsible will be subsidized, is pure dictators...See More

Louie Checa Montemar "socialism is dictatorship." now that is really warping things. anyway, wala namang tinamaan. just need to point out some impt propositions. reason and rationality are overrated concepts. goodnight my friend. gotta go back to being a minion of capitalism. 

Nonoy Oplas Raffy, you're still awake, your turn to comment on this

"The characteristic feature of modern capitalism is mass production of goods destined for consumption by the masses. The result is a tendency towards a continuous improvement in the average standard of living, a progressing enrichment of the many. Capitalism deproletarianizes the 'common man' and elevates him to the rank of a 'bourgeois'.

"On the market of a capitalistic society the common man is the sovereign consumer whose buying or abstention from buying ultimately determines what should be produced and in what quantity and quality. Those shops and plants which cater exclusively or predominantly to the wealthier citizens’ demand for re-fined luxuries play merely a subordinate role in the economic setting of the market economy. They never attain the size of big business. Big business always serves—directly or indirectly—the masses." -- Ludwig von Mises, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality, 1956.

""A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business.

"This minding of other people’s business expresses itself in gossip, snooping and meddling, and also in feverish interest in communal, national and racial affairs. In running away from ourselves we either fall on our neighbor’s shoulder or fly at his throat."
-- Eric Hoffer, The True Believer, 1951,
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