Carvajal: Ideological limbo

·2 min read

People make a lot out of the volunteers Leni Robredo’s presidential campaign generated. The more optimistic among them claim a movement has been born and her loss at the recent elections in no way signals the end of the fight for good government.

I hope to be wrong on this, but something tells me the movement will soon fade into our hazy social horizon. Unless it embraces an ideology that precisely and coherently details what it means by good government, the pink movement will go the way of all quick bursts of enthusiasm. Edsa was a bigger, longer, and more dazzling burst, yet it still faded away for lack of an ideological core to hold it together.

The last elections could have been just one battle lost in the war for good government. The movement, however, is crestfallen, devastated, and at a loss for what to do next. Why?

No ideology is holding it together and assuring it that the war is not so much about who can restore trust in government as what political exercise can install such goals as a genuine representative democracy, a truly fair and free democratic election, an inclusive economic system, and an innovative culture.

Lest we forget, the Robredos, just like the Marcoses and the Dutertes, belong to the oligarchy that implicitly subscribes to a neoliberal worldview. This ideology’s overarching goal is the unlimited exploitation of earth’s resources for the sole purpose of maximizing sales and profits.

Meeting the basic needs of all peoples is not in its agenda. Thus, its economic system is free-market capitalism and its way of controlling the economy (form of government) in the Philippines is elitist democracy.

The only other significant group that is ideology-driven is the Communist Party of the Philippines. It looks at the earth’s resources through the same neoliberal lens. It, however, aims to control the economy with a political dictatorship and absolute sole ownership of the country’s productive resources. It distinctly calls for getting into power through armed revolution.

What is the ideology of Leni’s volunteers? I’m sure it’s not neoliberalism. But what is it really? Is it an ideology that calls for proportionate representation in government and an inclusive economic system through a genuine party-system and truly fair and free elections? (Our last one just failed to pass international criteria for free and fair elections.)

It would seem that Leni’s volunteers are surviving on good intentions in an ideological limbo. They, we, had better unite around an ideology that specifies the abovementioned political and economic agenda or end up as sacrificial pawns in the deadly war between the oligarchy and the Communist Party.

P.S. Christianity has the power of ideology. Sadly, it has been coopted by a clerical hierarchy that, by its authoritarian manner of ruling the Church, has compromised Christ’s message of love, freedom, justice and truth.

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