Showing posts with label Binky Viajar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Binky Viajar. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pilipinas Forum 3: Is Marxism Still Relevant?

These are the exchanges in pilipinasforum@yahoogroups that I edited, posted in in March 12, 2001, 11 pages long. These discussions were made in February 2001.

Is Marxism Still Relevant?

Popoy represented the largest organization with a definite ideology in calling for a socialist
Philippines. When he and his group splintered from Joma Sison's CPP-NPA-NDF sometime in 1993, Popoy had at least 4 reasons for doing so:

(1) They reject the "semi-feudal, semi-colonial" mode of production analysis of Joma and the CPP. (2) Hence, they also reject the "national democracy" goal. (3) They reject the Maoist formulation that "the peasants (not workers) are the main army to change society" and that of "encircling the city from the countrysides", and (4) Corollarily, reject that "armed struggle is the primary form of struggle".

Instead, when Popoy and his team of underground people from the Metro
Manila-Rizal Regional CPP Command, the explicit formulations are as follows:

1. The Philippines' mode of production is "predominantly capitalist".

2. Hence, the goal should be socialism, not "national democracy" ("national" meaning anti-colonial, "democracy" meaning anti-feudal).

3. The workers (don't own means of production, whether capital, factories, land, technology) are the main army to change things, and urban insurrection is the way to capture state power.

4. Other forms of struggle should be tapped to complement the armed urban struggle (Hence, Popoy and his group then advocated to participate in the 1986 snap elections, whereas Joma and the CPP called for its boycott).

Between the two, Popoy is more sophisticated ideologically than Joma Sison. I would even add that Popoy read and understand classic Marxism and Leninism literature better than Joma and his followers. The ideological debate and organizational rivalry between the 2 largest factions of the Philippine left has somehow worked for their mutual advantage and the workers in general. Just like big corporations benefiting from having fellow big competitors because they all strive to be more dynamic and innovative. How?

Organized workers have more options where they will be organizationally and ideologically affiliated. Before, it was only between the moderate TUCP and the radical KMU, plus other smaller independent labor federations. Popoy's BMP (bukluran ng manggagawang pilipino) represented a 3rd or 4th option for the workers. Just like businessmen and capitalists have options whether they'll be more active with PCCI or MBC or FPI or Rotary, etc.

Second, workers should be given the opportunity to be educated of the socialist alternative, and not just the nat-dem goal. The capitalists and politicians of this country for many years have veered away from the Adam Smith and David Ricardo type of capitalism, so they (the capitalists) gave workers a really bad kind and experience of capitalism. Perhaps approximating the capitalism of the Industrial Revolution in
Europe. At the time when Marx called religion "the heart of the heartless world, the soul of the soulless conditions, it is the opium of the people." (though rabid anti-Marxists only quote the last line and omitted the first 2 lines).

Where to, Philippine left? Despite my sympathy and admiration for their hard dedication to politicize and mobilize people, especially the really poorer sectors of our society, I still cannot subscribe to their sentiment that we should immune or delink our economy from globalization and the world economy, that we should keep the protectionist veil and continue regulating many of our industries and the economy, that we should not privatize subsidy-dependent state corporations, etc.

Thus, since I believe that economic liberalization and not protectionism and regulation is the way, and the Philippine left (& the left elsewhere in the world) believe otherwise, I think the Philippine left will remain as a significant political voice in our society, but there's no way that it can seize state power to implement its protectionist advocacies.

--Nonoy Oplas

Nonoy, could you expound more on the leftist agenda? What exactly do they want? Go down the road of North Korea or Cuba? Do not the events in Russia and China discredit the case for Marxism, Leninism or Maoism as the case may be? I am guessing that their ideology was formulated in the 70's - do they account for sweeping changes in technology such as the internet? There are more Filipinos working abroad (5 million I think) versus those in Philippine Manufacturing (about 2 million I think) so what is their role in this workers rebellion.

How does that one go, "The path to hell is paved with good intentions" - socialism and communism do have their appeal but outside the Israeli Kibbutz I cannot see real sustainable successful models.

-- Victor A. Limlingan Jr.