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Archive for the ‘Political Theory’ Category


In History, Philippine Issues, Political Economy, Political Theory, Politics, Youth on November 18, 2010 at 1:41 am

An Analysis of Philippine Socio-Political Realities and Opportunities Towards Mobilization for Radicalization of Democracy

Hansley A. Juliano

(Note: Originally a final requirement for the course “PoS 160: Current Issues and Problems in Philippine Government and Politics” under Ms. Joy G. Aceron, this is an expanded form of the writeup with initial ideas for tactics on mobilization and the social considerations attached therein. The themes will be revisited once further research has been conducted.)

Among the literature that has attempted to analyze and understand the development of the Philippine nation, its society and its component people, it is supposedly only Jose Maria Sison who was able to present a comprehensive framework for political change in the country via his seminal Philippine Society and Revolution (published under the pseudonym of” Amado Guerrero” in 1970). Characterizing the Philippine socio-political landscape as “a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society” via its collective colonial heritage of Spanish frontier-building among the vast East Indies and the United States’ avowed deceptive program of “Benevolent Assimilation,” the publication therefore pronounces that political change can only come through a “a national-democratic revolution, a revolution seeking the liberation of the Filipino people from foreign and feudal oppression and exploitation.” (Guerrero 1970, 77). Read the rest of this entry »

Between Enlightened Oligarchs and Oligarchies of the Enlightened

In Political Theory, Politics on October 17, 2009 at 2:24 pm

by Rene Raymond R. Rañeses, Jr.

Filipino voters will have to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea when they confront their ballots in the coming presidential elections on May 2010. It’s a tough choice, really. On the one hand is the maintenance of a century-old system of elite rule and domination, while on the other, the reproduction of the increasingly dominant global paradigm of transforming all aspects of political and social life into the model of the market. Both miss out the central problems of contemporary politics: the narrowing of avenues for democratic political engagement, the tendency to defuse political struggles and the insulation of political questions from public debates and deliberation. Unless these are addressed in a properly political manner, Philippine politics will see no significant changes in the next six years.

The first will simply reinforce patterns of state weakness and capture by dominant vested interests or endorse a statist discourse that nonetheless protects the transnational interests of dominant elites. The leading candidate, following results of recent opinion polls Benigno “Noy-Noy” Aquino III is avowedly a member of the country’s ruling class who is not exactly an avid supporter of progressive efforts to alter the class structure of Philippine society (i.e. comprehensive land reform). His political machinery – the Liberal Party – is as elitist and non-programmatic as other parties in the country and possesses no historical or institutional engagement with grassroots politics outside of the electoral cycle. Patronage and not ideology (despite being a problematic organizing principle for political life as well) remains its primary political strategy. And despite being called “inconsistent liberals” (and therefore perhaps, occasional socialists?) by a leading critical commentator, the party has not offered any clear strategies of developing an autonomous state apparatus that can withstand pressures from strong social forces.

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A Supplement to Criticism

In Economics, Philippine Issues, Political Theory, Politics on July 30, 2009 at 12:57 am

This entry is a response to an online class forum for post-SONA reactions, where the majority of statements were to some extent lacking in the will to explore theoretical fundamentals. While several of the comments are in themselves factually valid, it seemed that there was still a dearth in genealogical and historical investigations into the heart of the contemporary crisis. This piece aims not to negate what have been posited at the level of empirical investigation, but to contribute additional theoretical substance into the arguments.


by Rosselle Tugade


“Maybe the target nowadays is not to discover what we are but to refuse what we are.” -Michel Foucault

Unlike most people who have participated in this forum, I did something different last Monday while millions tuned in to the ninth State of the Nation Address of Mrs. Arroyo.

Together with thousands of Filipinos waving banners of indignation and protest for a fight that needs to be fought, I marched along Commonwealth in the pouring rain to participate in bringing across the message that politics as a communal and transformative human imperative coupled with justice which allows seeds of criticism and responsibility to flourish need to be perpetually defended against the desensitizing and atomizing Dogma of the discourse of production, of efficiency, of normalization, of monolithic state rationality, and of totalizing state action that are all putting the fundamental human capacity of permanent critique into a precarious situation through an effective capture of vital democratic institutions and the public space.

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In Culture, Economics, History, Philippine Issues, Political Economy, Political Theory, Politics on June 24, 2009 at 12:17 pm

An Analysis of Local Government Units’ Role in the Current Politico-Economic Crisis and How To Mobilize Against an Arroyo-sponsored Con-Ass

(First of a series)

by Hansley A. Juliano

Leon Trotsky once mentioned how, despite the growing apathy of many people towards political processes, the complexities of political participation loom above everyone and are desirous of including them in it. In a liberal-democratic situation such as which the Philippines possesses, there is this desire to stay away from being involved in governmental undertakings in the desire to undermine the intrusion to their private and personal prospects, unknowingly alienating themselves to the ideal of communal activity and, in a way, an affirmation of themselves. It is no surprise, therefore, that repressive regimes have done well in preserving this order of assemblages in order to perpetuate themselves into power and, therefore, maintain their definite advantage over the majority of the population of the country, recalling to mind the Thrasymachean doctrine of justice being the advantage of the stronger. Read the rest of this entry »

Sa Dapithapon, Nabubulok ang Pulang Watawat

In History, Political Theory, Politics on May 8, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Isang pahapyaw na pagtingin kung bakit lumaganap at lumalamlam ang Komunismo sa Pilipinas
ni Hansley Juliano

May kaliwa’t may kanan sa ating lipunan
Patuloy ang pagtutunggali, patuloy ang paglalaban;
Pumanig ka, pumanig ka, huwag nang ipagpaliban pa
Ang di makapagpasya ay maiiipit sa gitna…

– Joey Ayala, “Magkabilaan”

Una akong nagkaroon ng ideya sa nagaganap na pagbabaka sa political spectrum noong ako’y isa pa lamang mag-aaral sa Ikalawang Baitang na may pagkamapanuri, kung di man kalikutan, ng bawa’t batang kaedad ko. Noong minsang ako’y nabisita sa National Bookstore kasama ng aking mga magulang pagka’t kami’y mamimili ng gamit sa paaralan, tumakas ako sa kanila’t tumungo sa lalagyan ng mga aklat pangkasaysayan ng Pilipinas.

Nang pinulot ko ang isang dilaw na aklat na akda ni Abeleda, nabuklat ko ang bahagi tungkol sa pagpapahayag ni Marcos ng Batas Militar at ang mga Rebolusyong Komunista at ng Paghihiwalay. Napatingin ako sa isang talababa (footnote) ukol sa mga ginamit na salitang “makakaliwa” at “makakanan.” Sinasabing ang mga “makakaliwa” ay “mga taong nagtutulak sa pagsasagawa ng repormang panlipunan” habang ang mga “makakanan” ang siyang “pumipigil o umuusig sa pagsasagawa ng pagbabago sa lipunan.” Bagaman daw, ani Abeleda, na ang karamihan sa mga makakaliwa ay “Komunista,” hindi naman lahat ay kabilang sa huli. Idinagdag pa niya na ang mga mamamayan noong panahong iyon ay nahihikayat sumapi sa mga kilusang Komunista dahil “sa pag-asa para sa isang mas mabuting buhay.”

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