[This article from Ang Bayan by the Communist Party of the Philippines, takes a look at the current Aquino regime’s cultivation of petty-bourgeois illusions (of progress and reform) and support for the Philippines’ comprador relations with the US. It argues that only through breaking with the US can corruption be ended, and can progress and reform take place. The article does not speak to the Philippines’ relations (today and in the future) with other imperialists who wait in the wings, nor to whether the democratic struggle it promotes is linked to socialist revolution–and if so, if this is a distant prospect or one that is more contemporary. In a period when some parties internationally have de-linked the democratic struggle from socialist revolution, this question deserves the attention of revolutionaries everywhere. — Frontlines ed.]
Editorial, Ang Bayan, August 07, 2012
Under the guidance of its imperialist master, the Aquino regime is relentlessly conjuring the illusion of the “righteous road” and has been pouring in funds, lavishing attention and providing personnel to deceptive showcase projects.
This is an indication of the depths of the crisis of the ruling system. The regime wants to deceive the people, create false hopes of a better life and nip in the bud their determination to put an end to the rotten exploitative system.
These programs are particularly aimed at winning over the middle sectors of society, including the urban and rural petty bourgeoisie, using the framework of “good governance.”
It is crucial for the ruling classes to “gain the trust” of the petty bourgeoisie to maintain the stability of the ruling system. The petty bourgeoisie are forcibly isolated from the movements of the toiling masses and distanced from the path of revolutionary change. They are inundated by glittering propaganda and enticed through idealist slogans that are attuned to their dreams of making it big even as they partake of “concrete changes” as individuals, without disturbing the current order of things and abandoning their personal dreams.
Schools, the mass media and the internet are awash with the Aquino regime’s propaganda and programs to hoodwink and seduce the petty bourgeoisie. Their closest partners in this sinister endeavor to mobilize the petty bourgeoisie for attention-grabbing but limited housing, education and health programs are agencies appendaged to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB), the US Agency for International Development (USAID) or the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Various imperialist agencies are actively engaged in adorning the ruling system’s bankrupt political processes. They likewise fund programs to “reform” the judiciary, the bureaucracy, the military and police, aside from sponsoring scholarships for selected students and professors in universities in the US, Europe, Japan and other countries.
The Aquino regime is using “good governance” propaganda to portray itself as the opposite of the corruption-ridden former regime. Aquino claims that the people’s poverty is due only to the rule of corrupt officials and government’s failure to provide services to the people.
This tack aims to create the illusion and false hopes of achieving change under a “clean, transparent and accountable” government. At the same time, the regime is occupied with implementing showcase programs to create the impression that it is doing something concrete to address the people’s grievances.
The biggest of such programs is the so-called Programang Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino or 4Ps, a World Bank-funded and -driven project begun under the previous regime. Through it, Aquino portrays his government as one that “invests in the future” of the impoverished even without lifting a finger to resolve the people’s basic problems, especially landlessness in the countryside.
Aquino thinks that he could buy the confidence of the poor even as he condemns them to a life of exploitation, oppression and further impoverishment. The sheen of Aquino’s gilded programs may temporarily blind, but are soon exposed for what they are to the hungry and suffering toiling masses. Even after just a few years in power, the Aquino regime has clearly failed to stop the continued advance of the peasantry, the working class and the urban poor along the path of militant and revolutionary resistance.
Nonetheless, Aquino and the IMF-WB will continue to invoke the slogan of “good governance” and hail “concrete gains” in “poverty alleviation” to obscure the real situation of the toiling masses and blind the petty bourgeoisie into taking the reformist road.
Aquino also has as his partners anti-communist petty bourgeois groups who have coopted the language of the Left to portray the US-Aquino regime as a “government of reform” and cover up its class and reactionary character.
Simultaneous to this is the regime’s use of the AFP’s brutal Oplan Bayanihan campaign of suppression against the masses. Soldiers are used to implement 4Ps and other programs in the countryside. The AFP conceals its fangs behind the cloak of “peace and development” while unleashing brutal encirclement and suppression campaigns.
The oppression, exploitation and poverty suffered by the Filipino people push them towards the path of struggle. They are aware that they have no other recourse but to take a stand and fight in the face of worsening feudal and semifeudal exploitation, widespread landgrabbing and monopolization of land by big landlords, foreign multinationals and eco-tourism projects, the displacement of minority peoples, the plunder by foreign companies of the country’s mineral resources, the destruction of the environment, the pegging of workers’ wages, the eviction of the urban poor, cuts in the budget for social services and other antipeople policies.
For the people’s revolutionary struggle to continue to prosper, the Aquino regime’s campaigns of deception must be sharply exposed for hewing to its imperialist master’s designs. We must shatter the illusion of the “righteous road” and “good governance.”
Let us rouse the petty bourgeoisie by showing them the masses’ concrete conditions. We must foster their closeness to the masses through widespread programs of integration and service to the democratic movement in both city and countryside.
Let us raise the people’s historic and class consciousness in order to deepen their grasp of the need to put an end to imperialist domination and the rule of the exploitative and oppressive classes.
The rotten system of government will never be cleansed under a corrupt social system. Let us expose the relentlessly worsening bureaucrat capitalism under Aquino’s regime and how his “good governance” has been of benefit only to his big comprador relatives and friends in cahoots with foreign big capitalists.
Let us propagate the program for a people’s democratic revolution as the solution to the basic problems of the people. Let us hail the people’s democratic government as the only government in the Philippines with the determination and the commitment to serve the Filipino people.