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An internationalist path for PH

/ 05:03 AM July 09, 2021

The socialist movement in the Philippines continues to press forward its historical project for genuine systemic change in the country. The socialist path is now a crucial imperative for the survival of Philippine society and its people amid the worsening post-pandemic economic-political turmoil wrought by the global capitalist system. With practically all countries caught in a disruptive global conjuncture, the pursuit of an alternative national agenda of policy reforms is already an urgent necessity.

Thus, Filipino political leaders seeking the presidency in 2022 are duty-bound to offer the Filipino working masses progressive electoral platforms. In particular, such plans must aim to concretely advance structurally transformative changes—economic, social, and political—to greatly uplift and improve the lives of the nation’s social majority deeply mired in decades-long systemic poverty and inequality.

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Given the dire Philippine situation, political leaders should promptly amend their selfish “trapo” ways and narrow “barangayistic” mindsets and instead strive to inspire the general public to actively participate in fostering people-centered developmental concepts and plans, to unleash and propel the country’s fullest potentials into the next half of the 21st century.

Today’s international order dangerously reflects a generalized economic crisis of overproduction that is deeply aggravated by a worldwide pandemic. This has chiefly caused the swiftly rising great power competition that threatens global peace and security, including in the Southeast Asian sea area. And against the backdrop of the climate change emergency, all these universal disruptions are an imminent menace to the sustainable balance of the world.

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These underlying currents shaping the world environment inherently reveal the exploitative and oppressive nature of the world capitalist system. Due to its systemic contradictions, especially its innate class-based conflicts and profit-seeking antagonisms, the global order consequently reflects the dynamics of a near-permanent worldwide contest between rival imperialist blocs, as in the contention between the United States and China as they separately advance their own core strategic interests across the globe, regardless of consequences. The Philippines remains highly vulnerable to this escalating geopolitical conflict, as Manila lacks a clear global outlook and strategy.

Philippine socialism advocates and upholds principles opposing capitalism, imperialism, and fascism. Socialists pursue principled objectives by waging working class-led mass struggles for systemic change at both the national and international arenas. The primary aim is to socially liberate the working masses—the oppressed and exploited social majority in any capitalist society—by establishing a truly egalitarian, just, and democratic socioeconomic system. By winning state-based political power, the working majority assumes direct democratic rule and economic control over the general means of production through a radically altered balance of social forces in society. The existing demands espoused by revolutionary proletarian struggles become the policies of future socialist states.

Within the broad Philippine Left today, the socialist political center, Laban ng Masa, is positively presenting before the Filipino masses a set of “priority measures” to “begin the transition to a democratic socialist system” should a “common opposition candidate” win next year’s presidency. Chaired by Walden Bello, a longtime socialist activist and a former congressman, Laban ng Masa’s “25-Point Program” is a comprehensively crafted national policy framework that clearly defines long-range strategic thrusts embracing key policy domains.

Laban ng Masa’s platform also has a progressive external relations agenda focused on pursuing a “truly independent and internationalist foreign policy” track to secure the Philippines’ newly defined interests from clear and present regional security threats. To stress this, the party is raising a sharp foreign policy line—as it did so during its Independence Day rally last June 12: “US, layas! China, alis sa West Philippine Sea! Pasistang rehimeng Duterte, tapusin na!”

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Rasti Delizo is an international affairs analyst and an activist in the socialist movement.

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TAGS: capitalism, Left, opinion, Philippines, socialism, socialist
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