Carvajal: Non-violent alternative

Orlando P. Carvajal

TWO European friends of mine who react positively to most of my columns nevertheless tell me the Philippines is a hopeless case and I am just flailing in the dark. Frankly, I agree but with great reluctance as I cannot give up on my country.

The Philippines needs socio-economic structural reforms like a dehydrated man in the Sahara desert needs water. Marginalized Filipinos, the vast majority, will never have a voice in government or a fair share of the country’s material wealth unless management of it is taken away from the ruling oligarchs.

It is a hopeless case when you see that at the moment only the CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People Army) is programmatically working to wrest political power from the oligarchy. United by an ideology (Marxism), a mode of reform (armed revolution), a system of government (dictatorship of the proletariat), and strict organizational discipline, they are the only force capable of changing our unjust social structures.

Yet those of us who disdain both the oligarchs and the communists are doing nothing more than shout and hurl invectives against the two warring factions. Neither Centrist nor moderate Socialist reformers are organized and united to seriously pursue an alternative ideology, mode of reform, and form of government.

In the war against Covid-19, for instance, only the CPP-NPA is united in using the crisis to advance their cause. The rest of us are just making a lot of noise against the way the war against Covid-19 is being waged by government.

In the case also of the Anti-Terrorism Bill only the CPP-NPA again is opposing it with a focused organized effort to use it to advance the cause of the revolution. The rest of us are against it for no unified purpose except to vent our frustration over its unconstitutional provisions and the rush by which it was passed.

History’s lesson is that no ruling class gives up power voluntarily. A tightly organized ideologically-committed group always has to wrest it from them. EDSA, for instance, failed because the protesters were driven by the pure emotion of anger. There was no politically mature organization ready to take over and implement an alternative mode of governance. Thus, the oligarchy easily ambushed that revolution.

The battle lines are drawn between the CPP-NPA and the oligarchy while we squabble among ourselves. If the oligarchy wins, we continue to be fried in the pan; but if the communists win we jump from the pan to the fire.

The call is for another organized group to pursue a third non-violent alternative of securing just and equitable socio-economic structures. Wishful thinking? Maybe, but mere noise against our dire situation will definitely not cut it.