Monday, January 09, 2017

UP TWSC turns 40 years

The UP TWSC is now 40 years old, wow. I was part of TWSC before, among my niche places in my Marxist-socialist formation in UP Diliman in the early 80s or 3+ decades ago. I will attend their 2-days international conference next month. Not to renew my vow to socialism of course, but to see how modern socialists in UP, other universities view the present world.

In 1983, I worked as student assistant of Prof. Ed Tadem in his "Mindanao research project" at TWSC for 1 year. I was getting P300/month salary, plus my Philsucom scholarship allowance of P500/month, so P800/month it was somehow good money that time, I was able to bring home some extra cash to my parents when I went back to Negros during the summer break :-)

The parallel sessions, a mix of interesting and not-so-interesting topics:
Political Economy and Globalization
Social Movements
Authoritarianism and Democratic Governance
Peace and Human Security
Culture and Identity
(New) Media and Technology.

On globalization, will the speakers lambast global capitalism, likely. But many international speakers there will fly on global airlines, ride in global car brands. The venue, UP GT-Toyota Center, is donated by a global capitalist enterprise Toyota.

In the early 80s, it was fashionable to be enamored with Maoism, me included because the nat-dems in UP and the country were the most dominant left political force that time. But "revisionists" from TWSC scholars and from my student organization UP Sapul rejected Maoism, rejected the "semi-feudal, semi-colonial" formulation and the "national democracy" line. We simply embraced the classical Marx + Lenin, so we were a small band of anti-Maoist but Marxist-Leninist-socialists in UP. I was reading some classical works of Karl Marx.

Late 1987, I went to Amsterdam to study Marx, Lenin and Trotsky for 3 months, I was affiliated with BISIG then, the only openly-socialist organization in the country that time. It was among the gains of Edsa Revolution 1986, the openness and tolerance to various ideas including socialist ones. 

I hope I would develop a career as a socialist ideologue and NGO worker, but things slowly changed since the early 90s, I slowly disengaged from socialism and BISIG, embraced "big but good governance" philosophy, then late 90s I slowly disavowed this and began to embrace the free market, less government philosophy, until we (me and some UP and Congress mountaineering friends) formed informally Minimal Government in2004.

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