In a society divided into social classes it is inevitable that conflicts of interests would manifest in the various fields of social activity. These conflicts are most sharp in the political field where political forces representing social classes of contradictory economic interests compete for state power. And in the history of any society, whatever social class owns and controls the economic resources or the means of production also holds political power. This gives rise to the fundamental equation, namely that political power is the concentrated expression of the economy. Or in its most succinct formulation, economic power begets political power.
In Philippine society, the domestic social classes that own and control the economic base are the big landlord and comprador classes in intimate collusion with the American monopoly-capitalists. They constitute the economic elite who formed political parties that have alternately controlled the reins of government through a system patterned after the U.S. model of liberal democracy. However, the succession of political administrations in Philippine government has demonstrated the system’s failure to effect social progress and development. Social reality has continued to be a chiaroscuro of sharp contrast between the unlimited affluence of the economic elite and the worsening poverty of the masses of the people.
What seems to be lacking in the leadership of our country is a nationalist consciousness that promotes the interests of the nation above all other considerations. Sadly, the very first step in the supposedly “independent” journey of our Philippine Republic was to accommodate the interests of the U.S. monopoly capitalists. It was the first subservient official act of then President Manuel A. Roxas — allowing the Party Amendment to be appended to the 1935 Constitution which gave “parity rights” [read ‘privileges’] to the Americans in the exploration, exploitation and utilization of our natural resources.
Needless to say, it was an act of betrayal by a Filipino leader who preferred to grant and secure economic privileges for his colonial masters over and above responsible concerns for his own country and people. But this un-Filipino act of President Manuel A. Roxas was preceded by an even more despicable act— his alleged collaboration activities with the Japanese invaders during the Pacific War. The Americans were quick to dangle this crime of treason before his very nose as a form of blackmail.
Indeed, the members of the affluent classes in society— the landed and propertied classes and their kind — are very vulnerable to the imperialist designs of foreign aggressors. Their prime concern is always the maintenance of their social position alongside the preservation and safeguard of their properties. And so they readily collaborate with the foreign invaders. This was true during the Spanish colonial era. This was true during the American colonial period. This was true during the Japanese occupation.
It does not astonish us that the top political leaders easily collaborated with the Japanese during the war and as easily succumbed to the manipulative schemes of the American imperialists after the war. If President Manuel Roxas allowed himself to be a stooge of US imperialism, he could not be faulted and challenged by the other top politicians who were just as guilty traitors to the Filipino flag.
In the annals of the Filipino people’s struggle against the foreign stranglehold of our country, the wealthy classes are invariably the first elements who accommodated the plunderers of our national wealth and resources. They have always served as human resource who host and aid the foreigners in exploiting and oppressing the Filipino nation. And the scions of these elite classes, like veritable running dogs of the foreign imperialists, are yelping puppies beholden to their ascendants’ masters.
No wonder, the Aquinos and Roxases — the likes of the Paternos, and Buencaminos and Aguinaldos of old-time ilustrados — have always stuck together through thick and thin in advancing the interests of their class. If we peer closely into their family histories, we won’t be surprised to find that there was also a great paternal grandparent of the incumbent President who collaborated with the Japanese during World War II. We might as well in ‘rapperly’ fashion sing –
1 and so it was, and so it is,
puppies of the same class line
bark together, to the tune
of bow-wow-wow, yes Obama,
your face sounds familiar—
rest assured beloved masters
we will always play faithful
to our puppet characters
[REFRAIN/Melody] it’s a time for betrayal
and a good time for treason
the masses are arising
and the revo’s advancing
it’s a time for deception
a time for militarization
and the Lumads must be killed
their ancestral lands pillaged
2 never should we falter
in our ethnocidal mandate
it’s just like colonial times
with a Bud Dajo pogrom
and Bud Bagsak massacre
of what good is the military
if they wont kill and kill and kill
of what good is Oplan Bayanihan
if the foreigners cannot mine
and ravage all the Lumad lands !?
3 and so in this election period
we must continue the fiesta mood
we must see to it that all the Picus
truly abide by the hocus-pocus
otherwise we will lose the chance
to continue the ‘matwid na daan’
blow the trumpet now Lacierda
beat the drums loud handsome Valte
we cannot just be “campante”
our manok is kulelat in da survey.
The members of the economic elite always abide by the logic of their class existence and role in preserving the Status Quo. They never turn traitors to their class, but they can not help being traitors to their country and people when their social stature and property are in peril. With all the means at their command as managers of State power, they pursue whatever modus could render advantage and boundless benefit to their class. True to their fascist nature, they will harness the army and the police to clear the way of all obstacles in their rage for profits. The drunkard’s catchphrase “sky is the limit” becomes their own motto in their moments of drunken pursuit for power and wealth.
As far as I know, there is but one rare instance when a member of a big landlord family grabbed the opportunity to betray his class in order to become a true advocate for people’s emancipation and a steadfast revolutionary fighter for the cause of national liberation. The admirable act was an offshoot of a sincere identification with the plight of the farmworkers he communed with in their own family hacienda.
Contrast this with the sharpshooting gentry who instigated the military to shoot and kill the striking hacienda workhands of Hacienda Luisita. And you have a very clear picture of how deeply divided our society into those who sustain avarice and greed with the ethos of hypocrisy and deceit and those who suffer the fate of the wretched of the earth. And we can grasp the reason why the les miserables congregate and dare to storm the citadel of tyranny in order to secure for themselves social justice and liberty. For after all, they have nothing to lose but the shackles of enslavement.