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Keeping the revolution alive DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 06/25/2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Keeping the revolution alive

Herman Tiu Laurel

The transition from Gloria Arroyo to the new “Hocus-PCOSed” regime is variously described as suffused with euphoria, hope and optimism. This was what I was afraid of during the last campaign period. Elections are one of the most ingenious tools of the oligarchy to distract exploited and suffering peoples from taking the necessary steps toward achieving real control of their destinies.

The most telling victims of this ruse, for instance, who have been drawn into false hopes by mainstream media’s massive propaganda, have been the middle class and the youth. Deceptively hitched onto the Yellow bandwagon, they have actually become the poster children of oligarchic exploitation. The latest National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) survey on “rich” Filipino families (those earning P220,000 a month or P3 million a year) shows their ranks falling from 0.3 percent (51,160 of 17 million families) in 2003 to 0.1 percent (19,738 of 17.14 million families) in 2006.

This three-year decline by a whopping 65 percent happened amid a growing population and a supposedly strengthening economy (by Gloria’s “enchanted” standards). What this means is that one out of every three rich families got bumped off and downgraded to the middle class. While some may argue that this could mean a growing egalitarianism, that again is a delusion.

An earlier Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) already showed the middle class (earning P250,000 to P2 million per annum) contracting from 23 percent in 1997 to 22.7 percent in 2000, down to 19.1 percent in 2003. And yet, I don’t know how earning roughly P20,000 a month can qualify a family as middle class when that amount won’t even get a kid through a decent school.

The poor in Philippine society, as many know, have been growing in leaps and bounds throughout the past decade, reaching an abysmal self-rated poverty rate of 53 percent in November 2009. Some government surveys issued since have even eliminated the use of “lower class,” which got broken down into “low class (not poor)” and “low class (poor)” to minimize the socio-economic collapse.

I find it very sad that the numerous statistics indicating such dire state of affairs still fail to evoke in others a horror as deep as they should feel. It seems the middle class is more worked up over NBA championships and whatnot or petty political turf wars; while the masa get all mushy over a presidential sister’s marital turmoil. Here, the mainstream media are largely to blame, especially when they highlight such inanities as front page news instead of the vital socio-economic issues.

During the nine-and-a-half years of Gloria when conflicts and issues verged on total polarization and crystallization, and when the social revolution was building up to critical mass, there came three major military protest actions that had clearly-stated democratic and nation-building goals: The Bagong Katipuneros of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Para sa Bayan of Gen. Danilo Lim, and a coalition of civilian-military forces led by the two at the Manila Peninsula in Nov. 29, 2007. But the air of revolutionary fervor soon became absorbed by election fever, resulting in another setback.

Although frustration has overtaken the nationalist forces for now, there should be no dismay as the illusions will soon fade. When people — particularly the remaining middle class — face their dire realities, the impulse to revolution will be stirred anew. Even as we write, I can already feel the rumblings within the ranks of the Yellows who see the hopelessness of the system. The thing is, they should now know that their penchant for going it alone without the nation’s mass base won’t do as all of their earnest efforts will simply be taken over by elements controlled by the foreign and local oligarchy.

That being the case, the present hiatus of the revolutionary spirit becomes more of a blessing. With the latest “Yellow hope” revealing irreconcilable turf wars between competing factions; betraying marked incompetence in the Cabinet selection process, along with the interference of unelected sisters and brothers-in-law; plus the spectacle of certain Yellow writers rebelling against key personalities; notwithstanding the Hocus-PCOS and the pressure to raise taxes and utility rates, all indications show BSA III is off to an early failure. It is thus a perfect moment for “conscientizing” and crystallizing the nation’s understanding of the oppressive plutocratic-corporatist character of the present system and the restructuring of society along social-market lines similar to our progressive neighbors Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam.

(Tune in to 1098AM, Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Destiny Cable Channel 21, Talk News TV — Infowars Edition on “The Imperative Philippine Political-Economic Revolution,” Tuesday, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.; also visit http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)

(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu-Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100625com6.html


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