Problematics

1.

Slavoj Zizek has denounced Mao’s “cosmic perspective” as root cause of the Chairman’s “dismissive attitude towards the human costs of economic and political endeavors,” adding, “if one is to believe Mao’s latest biography, he caused the greatest famine in history by exporting food to Russia to buy nuclear & arms industries: 38 million people were starved and slave-driven to death in 1958-61” – an instrumentalist attitude that is philosophically traced to Mao’s dismissal of “dialectical synthesis,” & ultimately the Althusserian “negation of the negation.”

This critique somehow dovetails with Joma’s call for some 1.1 million people, more or less, to hit the streets, bring Malacañang to its knees & bear fruition to the NBN-ZTE deal: the ejection of the tenant that even the sectors of the capitalist class would find advisable. The devil, of course, is in the details, & how revolutionary change could happen in as sketchy as the signposts to utopia.

But we, of course, move on little steps.

The statistical game is a numbers nightmare – the question of commitment & responsibility would recall Nadine Gordimer’s balancing act between particular sufferance & collective salvation in a society of monads, that is, where people are reified objects & isolated from each other but roused into one schematic whole of a rainbow in furtherance of a common goal, issues of responsibility & acceptance must be navigated like a ship steering between rocks – & here the so-called “essential gesture” comes into play: the writer, for instance, enters “the commonality of society,” the world of strangers brought together by a tipping crisis.

Hence, if one visits Bantayog ng mga Bayani & behold the names encrypted on marble wall, how would their gestural death be summed up in the face of a multitude that carries multiple & variant voices & who barely knows the agendum of the desaparacidos? Those who scream “Thieves!” are at a cross-purpose with the fallen’s, even oblivious of their ideological mode.

One is discomfited by an accident of history – because Walter Benjamin’s Angel never sees the future – where the individual is meant to be bannered like an icon in a ritual that serves a certain pragmatic purpose, but not his/her own original formulation.

The salvaged have a socialist discourse, which the rally crowd would steer clear of, but would persist to stop the elected horde from running roughshod over the pyramidal whole.

The young generation shouting Resign? Oust? But do they know where the buck ends? The road to socialism is of a route mystified & not taken, littered with fantastic ghosts & imagined monsters… & That is the rub.

The scandal is not powerful enough to tow them in that direction: who among them would persevere to reach the end of the road not popularly wagered?

The anti-capitalist syndrome is conventionally neglected by the middleclass throng although that is the future revolutionary partisans have tactically muted so as not to frighten the initially disenchanted.


2.

The Russian gunrunner, Victor Bout, was one to seize the moment of glasnost, when military hardware was idled by the cessation of Cold War hostilities: that he created a virtual empire is testimony that capital is liquid & flows disparately into whichever cusp syndicate profit/surplus value would find shelter. He made use cleverly of capitalist machinery to channel arms into global sites where war could make money – because war is one profitable enterprise since Cain slew Abel. Certainly, all criminals are efficient businessmen who live out of the suitcase because there is always a vacuum to be filled up whenever armistice is signed until another conflict flares up, in a matter of months – a short time for business to await & open shop. The contradiction that guns start & stop strifes escapes no one.

The Pentagon does the “Merchant of Death Act,” but who’ll arrest George Bush & his generals?


3.

The NBN-ZTE deal won’t end with the final witness: it would only stop at the crowning of a head of state who will again promise the same old blah of transparency & change & that proverbial “new chapter” to a new generation – & the foolish hopefuls alike – that had witnessed the failure of previous reformation.

If the revolutionary agenda won’t be tabled by the marchers who are spawns of property-owners, the continuing conflict between so-called liberal outsiders who wish to be in the driver’s seat, & the disenfranchised dreaming of a corporate future, would still be upon us & spark another prairie fire.

Class struggle is a no-no word, only whispered like some forbidden conversation. It would turn urgent & real if justice & truth were shorn of their mainstream connotation – battlecries defined not as a pursuit of capitalist democracy but of a new collective rule.


4.

A transport strike preceded the assassination of Allende in Chile, instigated as it was by the usual suspect, the CIA, to subvert the socialist nationalization of American copper firms that were the heart & soul of Gringo presence in Latin America.

The local event, which starts on March 11, is merely concerned with the scandalous kotong system spawned by the multiple ticketing system of the LGUs for the Metropolis. In essence, it is a reactive, negotiating move against a dysfunctional policy of the state to instill national, militarist discipline but has set up instead a tradition to bilk the so-called blue-collar subclass, whose political maturity is like that classic frog’s that sees only a patch of the sky it mistakes for the universe.

Limited & reactionary in most praxiological instances, the transport collectives wouldn’t dare go beyond the demand to dismantle the neo-liberal frame that allows the oil industry to emasculate the proles via escalating price hikes, etc.

The government response, of course, is shrewdly to project an aura of invisible normalcy by not sparing the public from the downsides of the pseudo-progressive exercise: Classes are not unilaterally suspended, work holiday is left to the call of the beleaguered small enterprises – & everyone is expected to grin & bear it as if crisis has never crossed its lexicon.

But this strike perceived as a local protest will substantially fail if the kotong system, in fact greed by local enforcers of the law, can be moderated, as it were. But the deeper malaise of diminishing income would linger like an idée fixe.

Nothing of positive measure would happen until the comparatively misguided, nay, ignorant members of the protesters realize the static mediocrity of their menial lives. After all, the ideological orientation of your typical worker is lumpen & complements the regime’s authoritarian diktat.

But is a turn-around possible?

Anger is not fodder enough to sustain the flames of insurrectionary fervor; things will have to be hammered patiently into the constipated consciousness of the intellectually challenged “tsupers” before qualitative shift could happen.

Is that something devoutly to be wished?

But yellow unionism afflicts the local scene. Cynics, of course, would allude to a learning curve that could inch toward some progressivist direction. A child, after all, cannot learn the tricks of the trade overnight…

If only history were linear & ascending.


5.

When the child asked him if God exists, he was quick to answer, Of course. There’s a chip of the cross that cures sick believers, the apparition at the Fatima, the stigmata of Father Pio, & most, the Lenten Season that saw Jesus rise from the dead. But he suddenly realized all these are rituals of faith to make one believe…

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