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Filipino socialists for systemic change

/ 05:03 AM September 03, 2021

The Philippine working class is steadily becoming radicalized and motivated to fight for genuine systemic change—domestically and globally—toward socialism. As the country’s primary labor power, the working masses are constantly roused to attain this goal due to their principal socioeconomic position in the Philippine capitalist system. The highly exploited and oppressed conditions of the working class are basically defined and characterized by the predominant social relations of production in Philippine society. Indeed, production relations are the material and economic basis of all societies—since the historical development of social life is greatly determined by how the production of goods are organized by people to satisfy their physical and social needs.

Filipino workers remain trapped by the Philippine state’s backward and underdeveloped capitalist socioeconomic formation that chiefly serves international capital, and aimed at maintaining imperialism’s hegemonic dominance over the world system. As the COVID-19 pandemic deepens an already generalized crisis of the global capitalist order, bourgeois class interests become directly threatened. This has only compelled international capital—supported by local ruling-class elites—to universally intensify anti-worker policies and programs. Such exploitative measures are fully aimed at maximizing the continuous accumulation of profits off the backs of the working class.

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The international working class movement is firmly organizing itself to resist and fight back amid a very destabilized and disordered world, per their historical proletarian class mission—to collectively organize their ranks to win the battle for socialism, both in the Philippines and globally. As a subjugated class, the working people have long struggled to attain a far better and socially progressive future not only for themselves and their families. Varied strata of the Filipino working masses have also developed and reached a higher level of consciousness as a result of the elite-ruled Philippine state’s systemic failures. Today’s Filipino proletariat is only becoming more politically conscious under the pro-imperialist, neoliberal, and fascist Duterte regime.

Likewise, the Philippine working class remains an organic part of the global proletarian movement. Filipino workers are connected to the world’s most advanced, class-conscious, internationalist, militant, and revolutionary socialist-oriented workers’ movements. The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), the world’s oldest international trade union organization founded on Oct. 3, 1945, endures to provide a unified leadership for the militant working class forces worldwide. The WFTU resolutely advances the line of the class-

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oriented trade union movement in struggles against capitalist exploitation, imperialist aggression, neoliberal oppression, and fascist repression throughout the world. Inspired by these ideals, Filipino socialist workers led by the Pagkakaisa ng Uring Manggagawa (Paggawa) are now actively linked with the WFTU.

Paggawa is a socialist workers’ alliance of national labor centers, labor federations, trade unions, and workers’ mass organizations. Three of Paggawa’s leading formations are affiliates of the WFTU: Kilusan ng Manggagawang Makabayan-Katipunan, Katipunan ng mga Samahang Manggagawa and Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino.

Acting as an independent socialist pole within the Philippine labor movement, Paggawa pursues a combination of economic-political mass struggles linking regular and contractual workers. It defends labor rights while resisting state oppression and terror, in the general democratic fight of the Filipino masses. Toward this end, Paggawa’s central aim is to advance the progressive agenda of the working class in the overall fight for socialism.

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

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