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Posts Tagged ‘Philippines’

Apotheosis of Mobocracy

In History, Philippine Issues, Politics on August 4, 2009 at 4:21 am

Why Arroyo’s Gimmicks at the SONA Do Not Cut It
by Hansley A. Juliano

(Abstract: Following the trajectory inaugurated by Reynaldo Ileto, who champions the writing of “history from below,” this piece attempts to make sense of the little peculiarities characteristic of incumbent President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s State of the Nation Addresses since 2001, when she was swept into the Presidency at the aftermath of the second People Power Revolution, and how these peculiarities contribute to the very nature of the spectacle employed by liberal democracy in perpetuating its hegemony on the masses, kept ignorant by the failure of its very institutions.)

Most members of what almost all oppressive regimes tout as “the silent majority” that tolerates their rule are usually so because they are disillusioned with political participation, which seems to have no valid and effective resolution. They are likely disgusted with the systems of governance practiced the occupying rulers, it must be given, but they are at the same time apprehensive of the opposition sectors which methods are somewhat questionable and disadvantageous to their beliefs and priorities. As such, there is the prevailing ethic of enforced apathy which promotes a fetish for “cooperation” and “consensus,” criticizing any effort for critique and analysis of the underlying presumptions and suppressed actions never shown to the public. This outrageous “demonization” of political practice finds it culmination in the stereotypical notion of politics as “dirty, and therefore a useless endeavour which will only endanger our ethical perceptions.”
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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, History, Philippine Issues on July 10, 2009 at 10:46 am

Philippine Prostitution in the Spanish Colonial Era in Light of Pre-Colonial Notions of Sexuality

by Hansley A. Juliano

(a joint paper with Jore Vergara in Hi 165-B, Summer 2009 under Dr. Ambeth R. Ocampo)

We have a held perception that there exists in Philippine pre-colonial history a relatively peaceful society, occasionally interrupted by “inter-barangaic” wars. They believed in many gods and spirits, known today as paganism. We were a developing society then having a lot of sophistication and knowledge during our time. These include metallurgical works of gold, pottery, tools out of metals, stone and the like. With the increase in sophistication and knowledge, social stratification inevitably emerged, likely for the maintenance of an organized society back then. The main status symbol during the time was the gold ornaments stated earlier. Amidst all of this, however, our ancestors displayed a relatively primitive regard to fashion, based from how they dressed themselves merely by wearing minimal cloth, save possibly those belonging to the pre-colonial nobility depicted in the Boxer Codex.

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Under Debt, Underdevelopment

In Political Economy, Politics on June 26, 2009 at 9:58 pm

by Rosselle Tugade

Yesterday, a very alarming information tidbit was passively delivered as good news in one of the state-owned television networks: the Philippine government has yet again secured a staggering loan from the World Bank amounting to more or less $70 M as part of a fifteen-year “adaptable programme loan” primarily aimed at improving irrigation systems, which in turn is geared towards agricultural productivity and food security.

This new dubious transaction entered upon by the Arroyo administration touches upon several salient problems that constitute the flaws of the country’s economic policy framework. Ultimately, this move is a reminder that we are deeply mired in the poisonous wells of the neoliberal regime, and our top officials are all too happy to let the country sit in that position of utter stagnation.

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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 »

Permanence in the Periphery

In Political Economy on May 3, 2009 at 2:57 am

by Rosselle Tugade

The overseas labor sector has probably absorbed the biggest shocks brought about by the global financial crisis within the context of the Philippine economic system. The Department of Labor and Employment has reported that about 121,000 Overseas Filipino Workers have been laid off or given wage cuts. Various commentators and scholars have warned against the instability of labor export as a source of national profit time and time again. However, the State–in its sheer incapacity and incompetence to generate domestic employment and a strong local industrial sector–has tolerated and even glorified the fundamentally flawed policy of labor exportation. Thus far, the Philippines remains languishing into the lower rungs of poverty and underdevelopment and has significantly lagged behind its ASEAN neighbors.

The origin of the labor export policy is problematic in itself. Back in the 70s when land reform and the country’s manufacturing export industry showed the signs of weakness and instability, the Marcos regime propped up the exportation of labor as a temporary solution to the country’s slow economic development–that is, as a viable source of instant employment without concern of developing an equitable national economic policy framework. Fast forward four decades and four administrations later, the country has become too dependent on remittances generated by Overseas Filipino Workers to inject money into the country’s financial bloodstream. Worse, labor exportation has become a permanent and basic economic policy of every administration in lieu of developing a strong industrial sector and substantial agricultural development. Aside from its dire economic consequences of rendering the Philippines incompetent and a failure as a developmental state, labor exploitation has been the cause of several social problems, specifically creating fissures within OFW families. Not to mention, countless workers have been subjected to exploitation, abuse, and even death in foreign countries.

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