From our experience in our struggle against the inhumanities and indignities that abound in the incumbent reality of our social context, we reaffirm our commitment to advance the struggle to greater heights. We are conscious that ours is a vocation to change the order of things in society. We are conscious of the dominance of a class of oppressors and exploiters who make it their business to maintain this social order that constitute a dehumanized society.
And in the concrete act of the struggle to change society into a humanized social order we strive to increasingly empower oursel ves jointly with the oppressed and exploited classes, recognizing their historical role in the quest for change. “The masses and the masses alone are the motive forces in the making of history”. This is the axiomati c formulation of any social revolution— proven in experiences of liberation struggles of peoples and nations heretofore enslaved by domestic tyranny, foreign conquest or colonization. In miniscule forms, this unassailable truth manifests in the empowerment of workers by their unionizing and strike actions, as well as in all other revolutionary actions by sectoral masses bound in unity for the uplift of their dehumanized conditions.
Empowerment is not something that the oppressed acquire as gift from their oppressors. It is a concomitant ingredient of struggle, arduous and often fraught with life-threatening consequences. Who says “revolution is a picnic or a dinner party”? Revolutionary struggle entails extraordinary sacrifices amalgamated by strength of will and firm resolve to pursue its humanizing ends. In the course of the liberating actions the masses become conscious of their empowerment. And this empowering consciousness develops as truly as it is an equipment necessary to carry out the struggle to new levels in each step of the way.
But while the struggle for humanization is the ultimate objective of the oppressed classes, dehumanization continues to be maintained by all means as a constant preoccupation of the oppressor classes. Truly the two exist as mutually contradicting forces in a constant dialectical relationship wherein the quest and demand for social transformation is constantly contradicted and denied by the forces of the Status Quo. The oppressors’ constant agenda is the preservation of the conditions for dehumanization.
It is good to know the devices by which the dehumanizing conditions are asserted and reinforced as oppressive actions by the elite in face of the continuing demands for change by the deprived and underprivileged. The persistence of injustice is to the advantage of the oppressors because this provides a reason for charity or “false generosity”— a convenient mechanism to dupe the masses to subjection and inaction. In the words of the great revolutionary educator P aulo Freiri, “An unjust social order is the permanent fount of ‘false generosity’, which is nourished by death, despair, and poverty. That is why the dispensers of false generosity become desperate at the slightest threat to its source. True generosity consists precisely in fighting to destroy the causes which nourish false charity.”
Thus, the more adroitly the oppressors make use of their hypocritical and deceitful devices the better for their delusional gl ory. It would seem that their position in the dialectics of power relations is a lasting unshakable phenomenon. Somehow, their subjugation of the oppressed and exploited classes allow themselves to bask in the continued blessings of boundless affluence which present in stark contrast to the utterly dehumanizing pheno menon of extreme poverty of the grassroots majority.
One insidious form of oppressive action which is as old as oppression itself is the “divide and rule” tactic. Any collective action by the subjugated masses perceived or imagined to lead to greater un ity and organization is held as dangerous and meets the appropriate censure or coercive sanction of the state. The ruling power always takes it to its interest to weaken any attempt of the people to band together for political or cultural action that could disturb the status quo or the prevailing economic power relations. It is ever quick to employ its own oppressive cultural action and or its coercive apparatus to quell any threat to the prevailing system of dehumanization.
In the context of Philippine reality, we have a general citizenry who seem to have adapted or resigned to the existentiality of poverty. Bu t the latent empowerment of the underprivileged masses is a sleeping dragon the ruling elite tremblingly dreads. And so the government as its apparatus of oppression and exploitation constantly employs all sorts of misleading schemes to create a semblance of normalcy and stability, feeds massive doses of propaganda that amount to cajolery and deceit to render docility and apathy among the citizenry.
But the underlying social matrix of dehumanization—the prevailing social injustice, poverty and misery — is a fertile soil for revolution. In fact, the revolutionary mass movements in the rural areas have unstoppably grown and broadened, especially among the poorest and most deprived of the Filipino masses, the peasantry and the indigenous peoples. This develops while the government leadership under President Noynoy continues to fuel the disenchantments of the masses by its bungling acts and ineptitude. His veneer of hypocrisy is constantly falling off to expose his real nature as an awkward protector of the interest of the foreign monopoly capitalists and the domestic economic elite. In fine, the system of governance has unmasked itself more and more to be displayed as an instrument that generates dehumanization in all spheres of social life.
The series of bungling by President Noynoy, apart from being a natural demonstration of his ineptness and incompetence as a pseudo-leader, has pushed forward the cause for radical transformation of the system. More and more sections of the grassroots masses are emerging from their silence and passivity. The rottenness of the prevailing system cannot be forever concealed from the eyes of the hitherto uninformed masses. Certainly the advance of the revolutionary mass movement cannot be ignored. And the growing awareness and assertiveness of the grassoots are not about to die down, no matter the desperate efforts of the propaganda machinery of Malakanyang and the mainstream media to malign the revolutionary mass movements. On the contrary, the more malignant the calumny against the revolutionary masses, the more vigorous the revolutionary movement advances to newer levels.
In very recent developments, President Noynoy ’s ridiculous stance in trying to douse with disdain the empowered acts of Mary Jane’s mother Celia Veloso serves as a spark that ignites the different sections of the grassroots to burning fervor of militant actions. This and the unrelenting advance of the revolutionary actions among the poorest of the poor in the countryside will push the ruling classes to more violent fascist measures. Already the human rights abuses by President Noynoy’s troops in the tribal lands are intensifying with impunity, the trails of bloodstains thickening on the conscience floors of Malakanyang.
No other escape route from the vengeful wrath of the dehumanized grassroots is possible for the dispensers of this rotten social but to its inevitable ruin. The road to a humanized society solely rest on the empowerment of the oppressed underprivileged masses whose revolutionary trek to liberation is a historical necessity as it is at this stage a beacon.