Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Deeper Struggle

In politics, we usually view the Left as radical and violent. In other countries, being “radical” and “violent” is something that is welcomed or simply ignored, but in Philippine society, these two words are anathema. We are a very conservative and traditional people. Anything that threatens the way of life that we are used is to something that we should fight. It doesn’t matter if our lives are steeped in inequality and abuse from the ruling class---as long as we get a salary to feed the kids, as long as we live in relative comfort and peace, it doesn’t matter how many people die on the streets fighting for better things that we deserve.

I think that is one of the reasons why the leftist elements in the Philippines do not receive the support they ought to have. They are fighting for our rights, our future happiness, but most Filipinos ignore this and even respond to it with hostility. Roland Simbulan said that as long as there is oppression, there will be a Left. However, it might be that while there is a Left, it might not gain enough power to fight this oppression effectively and thoroughly due to the lack of support from a majority of the Filipinos.

It is easy to say that we don’t support the Left because of the threat from the ruling elite (including the government), but I believe that it is more than that. The Filipinos, as a whole, have become cynical and apathetic throughout the years, especially after Martial Law. We would rather look after ourselves and our families as life becomes harder along with the unstable economy which in turn leads to the loss of a sense of community and social cohesion. It’s hard to think of the greater good, of noble things, when the stomach makes a familiar, painful dance. This hopelessness is harder to fight than the government.

“Social change does not belong to one group or another, but it has to be the work of the entire people,” says Simbulan. There is no question of the Left having a future since oppression has an uncanny staying power, but there is a question of the Left having a successful future. As long as the masses remain ignorant, cynical, and apathetic to what the Left really stands for (equality and freedom, among other things) the movement will never be truly triumphant.


Blogger Cocoy said...

may i put it this way?

have you considered that maybe... the opposition isn't successful because people know that the koolaid that they're selling isn't enough? that no matter how much people don't like the administration, they won't shift because quite frankly the other guy doesn't get it? that all the other guy is telling us is the obvious: what's wrong. we all know what's wrong. but there isn't any action, all fire, sound and fury but so far signifies nothing.

6:26 PM  

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