Monday, 13 November 2017

Same old agendas, Subserviences guised as partnerships, (And the struggle for real co-prosperity for the region)

Same old agendas, 
Subserviences guised as partnerships,
(And the struggle for real co-prosperity for the region)

Notes on the 31st summit of the Association of South East Asian Nations, 
Of agreements full of promises retaining the status quo,
and how US, China, are using Southeast Asia for its rivalry

As the summit of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) continues in Manila, the baggage left by past agreements, including those of its earlier summit at Vietnam continues to be carried upon and still discussed throughout; and from it it is pretty much obvious that the agenda is as same as in the past, particularly the idea of intensifying neoliberalism and globalisation at the behest of countries especially China and the United States.

However, as they push through their idea to each and every southeast Asiatic, a growing collusion between two countries been overheard: each hath its proposal enough to please both the underdeveloped as well as the developing countries in every region, including those of the Philippines:

That in the United States, through its “protectionist” America First policy, the Trump regime seeks to further break down economic barriers in its vassals so as to favor US monopoly capitalists. Trying to assume itself as “protectionist”, it hath turned its back on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and similar multilateral agreements of its predecessors in favor of bilateral arrangements with individual countries. 
But in spite of promising jobs to Americans and revive industry, that “protectionist” agenda is not really securing the welfare of the Americans but rather to consolidate the order, as Trump aims to push around its economic weight (buttressed by its military presence) to force countries to break down trade and investment barriers to favor US monopoly capitalist companies.

Meanwhile, China, while assuming to be “socialist”, continues to pursue its neoliberal agenda as it pursues for “economic integration” of both ASEAN and APEC member-countries under its “Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership” (RCEP). Like its western counterpart, and probably reminiscent of the defunct “Council for Mutual Economic Assistance“ of the former Soviet Union, China aims to push for an all-out liberalization under its “one belt, one road” project to tighten the integration of these countries into its Factory Asia “global value chain” as well as to take advantage of cheapest available labor.

Both economic agendas offered by the United States and China appeared to be beneficial to the developing regions like Southeast Asia, however, it hath nothing to do with development other than retaining its control in this modern-day cold war, for amidst the protracted crisis of the global capitalist system, rivalry and intense contradictions between the leading capitalist powers occured. For the cold war fanatic this again would still be a war between capitalism and communism, but the rivalry between the United States and China hath nothing to do with ideology, the way its policies hath nothing to do with defending freedom and democracy for the Americans nor achieving conditions for the revolution from the Chinese (since the ruling party still assumes itself to be “communist”); but instead, both countries showed a blatant pushing for all-out liberalization as concerned.
Also to think that these entities are plutocratic by nature (thanks to capitalism), these economic superpowers are obviously united in its desire to break down trade and investment barriers, be it tariffs, quotas, and regulations all in order to allow unrestricted plunder of every resource especially in its vassals; and with that course stunts rather than speeds the supposed developments and affects every sector who supposed to benefit from it. For Neoliberalism, Globalisation, and Deregulation, reduced the desire for domestic-based development into a mere pipe dream.

Besides economic issues, saber rattlings hath been part of the summit as Donald Trump discussed the issues on the disputed isles in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea), as well as in North Korea. He even wanted to be the arbiter on the discussion concerning the dispute although it is obvious that there is a saber rattling being made even on that event. 

But in spite of seeing the United States remain as the biggest military power, China, on the other hand, continues to strengthen its armed capability and is fast developing its capability to project power overseas. The artificial isles in the disputed sea tends to bolster its defences using both naval and air defence forces.

And as for the Philippines, that instead of taking the summit as an opportunity for pushing for the demilitarization of the South China Sea and reducing the possibility of the country taking part in a possible conflict, the Duterte regime is further stoking the tensions by turning a blind eye on China’s occupation of Philippine claims in exchange for promises of Chinese loans and capital infusion in various projects (including the Northrail project), on the one hand; while on the other, allowing the US military to continue using Philippine territorial seas for its power projection operations, Philippine ports for docking, refuelling and provisioning of US warships, and cooperation with the local defence with its joint military excerises, all these through its existing agreements particularly the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). 

All in all, the situation shows that the regime did not act seriously in pursuing an independent foreign policy or rather the desire of a country free from the dictates of its neighbours in all spheres; to think that Trump’s visit to the Philippines in line with the ASEAN Summit will further cement the master-puppet relationship with the Duterte regime like its predecessors. Xi et al. did too benefited, but again, the subservience of the regime to the superpowers, the reaffirmation of unequal agreements, removing economic barriers till laissez faire, and anything that is agreed upon made its earlier promises proven to be an empty brag.

Meanwhile, in Manila’s streets, protests prevailed and even increasing. With the burning of the effigy as its centrepiece and its calls to “dump Trump” and the agreements reminiscent of the unequal treaties, the wave of anger pointing against these neoliberals been intensified no matter how the policemen trying to control be it through the truncheon or through its newly-brought sound cannon; there were numerous casualties though, and critics assailed the action as subversion if not mere empty noise as they accepted the “benefits” of that summit with wide arms. 

But in spite of these bullshits, the message is clear that neoliberalism, globalisation, and the militarism been babbled throughout that summit in Manila has to be opposed so is its ringleaders be it Trump, Xi, and others who scramble for the developing countries especially Southeast Asia and specifically the Philippines. 

Or rather say this: that neither those from Beijing, Washington, Moscow, or Tokyo, should ever dictate assuming that they will save Southeast Asia and the entire developing countries; and to assert a just socioeconomic alternative that truly and mutually benefits each and every community.

For a real co-prosperity in southeast Asia and in the third world!

Saturday, 11 November 2017

“More than just remembering an old jingle.”

“More than just remembering an old jingle.”

(Or notes regarding the need for industrialisation
as one of keys for national development)

It’s been decades past to remember that jingle once played in both television and in the radio. So happened that the uncle of this person worked in that company; that sadly end defunct.

“The nation is growing
with P.B.M. steel!
Constructing, expanding...
with P.B.M. steel!
Buildings rise, future grows...
with good quality
Builders trust this name... P.B.M.”

Sounds nostalgic but the jingle was more than just promoting but also invoking an appeal to progress from an era almost forgotten. For during those times Nationalist sentiment meant the need for domestic-based developement, and one of which was (and even is) the need for Nationalist industrialisation.

Critics may insist that industrialisation means benefiting oligarchs, since these oligarchs, both compradore and landlord, are able to control economic affairs, they even able to dickride the idea of “development” including those of industrialisation: that the Ayalas, Sorianos, Razons, or Lucio Tan and Gokongwei did so with entities like San Miguel, Atlas Fertilizer, or Phelps Dodge.
Or frankly speaking, they are rather insisting that development should focus on commerce, trade, and extraction of materials as any other underdeveloped country; while developments should be based on infrastructure building, investments on “relevant sectors”, and limiting industrialisation to consumer goods and assembly line.

But in spite of that criticism, the demand for domestic-based development remains at-large. Knowing that the Philippines did enjoy 21st century technology as any other country, it is not enough also knowing that basic problems remain especially the need to utilise its own natural resources and labour power. Oligarchs and moneylenders, in connivance with an incompetent government continue to upheld an unjust status quo that somehow profited from it. And if they babble about industrialisation, it is the same entity that killed that aspiration. And entities like PBM, Radiowealth, National Steel, were greatly affected through it: be it because of corruption, or connivance with neoliberalists to stop pursuing the nationalist economic agenda.

And also because of that, Industrialistion will always be a major topic. Given that the country has sufficient resources, an interest-seeking order continues to impose policies that rather stunt national development, and industries continued to be small to medium scale, even the steel industry remained a maker of bars and construction needs than going heavier like those of its neighbours.

Also as far as the concerned remembers the jingle, there were few entities that specialised in the manufacturing of steel, and seriously adheres to the nationalist economic agenda; but politics and economic policies that favoured imported steel (and in extension capital goods) stunted their developments and some even abandoned altogether. Only few would try its best to remain but only to found that they are contented in making needs for construction rather than following its neighbours in supporting the needs of their country’s heavy industry.

With these facts somehow made one think and admit that the country depends in imported steel the way motor companies in the Philippines hath to depend on imported parts; and jokingly speaking would say that the Philippines does no even manufacture nails for construction or carpentry needs.
But in spite all these there lies hope. But that hope requires much assertion to pressure the ruling order to meet the demands of the people, particularly the need for industrialising the country. The need for technology transfers, the cultivation encouragement of students to engage in the sciences, the revisit of nationalist economic policies, and the just and fair utilisation of natural resources, may somehow benefited the country that seriously needed development despite this age of modernity and innovation.

Sounds postwar but that postwar appeal turns out to be still relevant rather than passe. It so happened that the system chose to skip the need for a heavy industry if not limiting industry to those of services and small to medium scale manufactures as well as trade and commerce; ironically, even the ones in the government admitted that fact knowing that the country seriously needed to industrialise further in order to to steer development in its fullest sense and to keep in par with its developed neighbours, or probably thinking why Japan, Peoples China, and the two Koreas did that kind of path, therefore why not in this still-developing Philippines? Well, it boils down to being dictated to the whims of the moneylenders that development as meant to be limited to some public works, small and medium scale enterprises, the rest goes to the multinationals who profited from every domestic material they exploit. Sounds Lichaucoite or Henaresist isn’t it?

Perhaps, as time goes by, people would think that the façades of glass and steel isn’t enough for developement, what more that there are those also just got carried by the jingle of PBM Steel, and  still wanting to realise the goal of building what more of steering a still developing country into its chartered course.

“As the Lords and its Vassals converged Manila”

“As the Lords and its Vassals converged Manila”

(Notes on the Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila,
and the people who chose to be critical towards its policies)

All after the conference in Vietnam, and still eager to consolidate interests in the Southeast Asian region and to reaffirm the domination of dominating countries, neoliberals guised as “populists” ruling in their respective countries are convening, along with its overlords in the host country: the Philippines.

Led by its host leader president Duterte and saidth to be attended by its lords like Donald Trump, the Association of South-East Asian Nations continues its drumbeat of both illusion and discontent as each and every southeast Asiatic knows that their respective homelands are stubbornly controlled by each oppressive orders, whose primary oath is to retain the status quo, with minimal changes that rather benefits them than its needy subjects.

Sounds incorrect to most people who optimistically thinking that change will truly sweep and benefits each and every southeast Asiatic, but with the fact that unfair trade, unjust labour conditions, and oppressive policies been prevailing thanks to those unequal agreements, it forced the masses of people into nothingness and maldevelopment, while cultivating in them the taste for foreign goods and forcing themselves to diminish their desire for a genuine development in their communities.

And to think that with unjust policies prevailed with all its effects aggravating, then of whoat is the reality the summit is trying to show? Is it to reaffirm the desire for a caring and sharing community? Or the commitment to be the vassal of interests? Prior to that coming meeting was a series of bloodied exploits: be it in Marawi to those of Rohingya, of American-engineered attempts to subvert those who trying remove their shackles of vassalage, and the usual rising costs of goods and services, Southeast Asia, as in any other region around the world, is itself a battlefield between the labouring people and the privileged haves whose ages-old dominance diminishes democracy, freedom, and justice.

And like the past summits that hath met with protests outside their convention halls, each and every Southeast Asiatic knows that the real intent of the summit and its agreements was to consolidate interest, if not trying to reaffirm vassalage towards the “plutocratic countries” like the United States, China, and the European Union; actually, that issue on reaffirming vassalage is no more a question since the domestic compradores and oligarchs continuously “grows” its ties to these “plutocratic countries”. Of course, they have to bow down towards them while at the same time preaching to every southeast Asiatic that the agreement isn’t unjust or unequal.

But all in all, that phenomenon really concerns each policy especially internal ones affecting the economy, culture, and social affairs. If they seriously desire to address issues on human rights, an end to terrorism, the need for development, and to resolve tensions with neighbouring countries, whilst the reality that the nature of their societies be like semifedual, semicolonial in character, then of what are these topics really for? In the case of the Philippines, the war on drugs continues to aggravate with oplan “Tokhang” continues its bloodied course (and justified badly by its apologists), while Marawi remains desolated and its its inhabitants dislocated whilst the attack dogs of the state carrying off its loot, the costs of goods and services continue to rise, and others that made all these nonsense truly diminishes the regime’s sworn oath to pursue progressive changes when in fact progressively shifted its interests from the people to those of the ruling class. Xi Jingping’s regional economic policies does not translate to revolution in spite of its “socialistic nature”, Putin’s aid does not even translate to support for the developing, what more of Trump’s stances does not equate to reviving the greatness of each and every American, what more of its vassals.

As an observer and one of the concerned, the struggle for national and social liberation will always be one of the major topics no matter what others trying to malign, ridicule, or assail. As hundreds, if not thousands of masses protest against that neoliberal-globalist entity, one would think that ever since these multinational summits tried to create a caring and sharing community, while at the same time reaffirming unjust policies, do they really care for each and every community?

Anyway, there will be more demonstrations as long as the problems aggravate. Let the system and its apologists whine as the concerned increasingly questions the policies the order greatly benefits and put interests unto it.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

"And now as the battle's been set"

"And now as the battle's been set"

Partially based from the song
И вновь продолжается бой
 (And the battle continues)
by N. Dobronravov and A. Pakhmutova 

Bright red flags in morning skies
Struggle rises no turning back
Over lands the rage is coming
Furious waves, massing attacks

And now as the battle's been set
And fears paving way to strength
With Lenin, now young once again
For October we'll fight til the end!

Over lands the message blared
Elders, folks, all bid thee heard
As vict'ry is tot'lly coming
Fighting masses bravely rising

Don't wait for heavens to aid
Be selfless for truth to heed
For in this life all encount'ring
Truth's companion worth struggling!

And now as the battle's been set
And fears paving way to strength
With Lenin, Fighting once again
For October we'll fight til the end!

Over heat and over cold,
Rich and poor what makes this world
But the masses, youth is with us
Forgers, builders, all anew!

And now as the battle's been set
And fears paving way to strength
With Lenin, now with us again
For October we'll fight til the end!

И вновь продолжается бой,
И сердцу тревожно в груди.
И Ленин - такой молодой,
И юный Октябрь впереди!

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Rekindling the legacy that was, October 25 (November 7 in the new-style)

Rekindling the legacy that was, October 25 
(November 7 in the new-style)

A writeup on the significance of the Great October Revolution

In spite of all the hardships, October 1917 in the old Russian calendar was a great historical event not just in the history of Russia but also in the entire world. For that event lies the awakening of the masses, being the toilers from both town and countryside and its will to seize control from the order being detested about. 

From there lies their will to cultivate, forge, create, nurture, build a society from the ruins of its pasts, and to defend against those whose intent was to destroy not just their cherished victories but also to malign the ideals that brought them into that spectacular feats.

To some may call it idealistic to see them assert their desire for "peace, land, and bread" besides "freedom and social justice"; if not ridiculing them for overturning an established order. Those times were driven by the realities of hunger, injustice, repression, war, and various issues these proletarians made themselves taking the path of revolution. 

To cite Jose Maria Sison:

"The epochal struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie was first defined by Marx and Engels in the Communist Manifesto of 1848 in the era of free competition capitalism. The objective conditions of 19th century Europe gave rise to a series of historic events: the workers’ uprisings in 1848, Marxś thoroughgoing critique of capitalism, the International Workingmen´s Association, the Paris Commune of 1871 as prototype of the proletarian dictatorship, the Second International and the rise of Marxism as the main trend in the European working class movement in the last decade of the 19th century."

But come to think of this, how come Russians increasingly rallied on the side of Marxism and be described the struggle against the old order as a struggle against capitalism? For sure one would think that Russia prior to the revolution was entirely an agricultural country with some industrial enclaves in its major cities like Moscow and in St. Petersburg. But the increasing discontent, of peace rallies-turned-bread riots has made each and every Russian to rally on the side of the red flag as well as to arm themselves; and Marx's Capital was like any other political book read by the bourgeoisie, more than of the proletariat. 

But with men like Plekhanov, Lenin, and other Marxists, they hath extended and developed the theory and practise of Marxism. But Lenin, with the Bolsheviks, affirmed that Marxism as imbued with revolutionary rather than reformist nature especially in an era of modern imperialism and of proletarian revolution. The debates against classical revisionists attests to that experiences.

Most important of all, as what George Dimitrov saidth, on that November 7, 1917 (October 25 old-style) the Russian workers and peasants, led by Lenin and the Bolsheviks, overthrew the incompetent Kerensky-led administration established after the February Revolution and transferred all power over vast and multi-million Russia to the Soviets of Workers and Peasants. The world hath stunned in that struggle, for this was the first victory against the old order supported by capital.

But that struggle also met with opposition. As workers and peasants trying to cope with the extremely complex nature of economic and administrative issues, the old order-ranging from the extreme conservatives to those assuming to be "progressive", tried much to undermine. British, American, Japanese, and other imperialists, in trying to stem out revolutionary fervour from its path, resorted to military intervention against the free and self-governing Russian people by financing the counter-revolutionary armies of Kolchak, Yudenich and Denikin and organizing an economic blockade of Soviet Russia. 
The imperialists were at first exultant, as they're expecting the early destruction of this nest of the world proletarian revolution which was so dangerous for them. But still, in spite of all their "victories", lies a big disappointment in store for them by their enemy. Like the old poster above depicting the efforts of capitalism and reaction failing to uproot the red Soviet turnip (that turned out to be a Budenovka of a Soviet soldier), the forthcoming erasing of Bolshevik Russia from the face of the earth turned out to be a failure- but instead that so-called first durable socialist state on one-sixth of the surface of the earth succeeds both in the battle and at the home front. It took years of sacrifice and effort to consolidate as enemies tried to destroy in pursuit of "restoring the old order", as it nationalized both land and strategic industries, with transitory measures like “war communism” followed by the New Economic Policy (NEP).

For Lenin, that arduous task of building a country required discipline and order. And it requires leadership by example: as a subbotnik he had to set an example of voluntary work, that even without pay "the communists and their supporters again must spur themselves on and extract from their time off still another hour of work, i.e. they must increase their working day by an hour, add it up and on Saturday devote six hours at a stretch to physical labour, thereby producing immediately a real value. Considering that communists should not spare their health and lives for the victory of the revolution," be it in a form of clearing rubble, laying brick, removing trash, fixing and improving public amenities, anything productive so as to support both the growing country and its struggle.
So was in dealing with non-socialist countries wherein he and the Sovnarkom had to insist that the agreements hath to be just and abide by the law, that during the NEP wherein some enterprises (commercial, industrial, mining, etc.) were either full and partial foreign capital, yet still these entities controlled by the Main Concession Committee of the Soviet government, and be subjected to its policies and regulations until the end of NEP and the institution of the 5-year plan under Stalin.    

There were numerous feats to serve as an inspiration during and after that revolution. From rebuilding comes reconstruction of new structures, numerous developments in agriculture and in industry, of promoting arts and sciences for the people all in pursuit of combating the vestiges of the past that caused backwardness, ignorance, barbarism, poverty, hunger, and disease. It even required electrification as a necessary step towards development especially in the remote areas wherein improvements as minimal, thinking that with electrification meant the organization of industry on the basis of modern, advanced technology, in which will provide a link between town and country, and will put an end to the division between town and country, making it possible to raise the level of culture in the countryside as it removes the vestiges of the past.

And these meant tremble for its rivals who still thinking that the "good old days" ever return in the former Russian empire. From its seizure of power, consolidation, and numerous developments under socialism by the Bolsheviks and of the labouring masses, all these showed that instead of seeing a still-backward country depending on serfdom was a full-blown construction zone wherein numerous projects served as monuments to an enduring legacy and fortresses pointing against its enemies. Numerous subbotniks, Stakhnovites, and other virtuous examples, all imbued with the idea of pushing forward Socialism (and eventually Communism), sacrificed time, effort, even life to turn blueprints into life or increase productions and exceed from quotas. And in these became an inspiration to the struggling countries under the bondage of Capitalism, Feudalism, and the like.

Admittingly speaking, all in spite of the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the revisionism of then-Maoist China, and the ever prevailing capitalism still struggling for its survival with all its unjust and repressive policies, numerous crises hath made each and every community wanting or devoting wholeheartedly in the idea of social emancipation. True that US Imperialism appeared to be the sole superpower and its apologists thinking as if with its capitalism, globalisation, neo-liberal/conservatism with its full-spectrum dominance in each and every policy meant the "end of history" as Francis Fukuyama stated; but, with numerous crises happened under today's capitalism causing the upsurge of revolutionary fervour, the strategic decline of the United States hath accelerated (so is the rise of rivals like Russia and China), and hence affected its vassals and allies alike with its people wanting to break away from an unjust policy US Imperialism shoved in every throat.

That again will take everyone back to the revolutionary legacy of October 25 as an inspiration. In this 100th year, the anniversary of the Great October revolution coincides with the process of the rapid revolutionary upheaval and rallying of the labouring masses in all countries, and again foreshadows the final struggle against the repressive order throughout the world. Sounds idealistic it may be, as it tells each and every revolutionary to develop the subjective forces for winning the revolutionary struggle against imperialism, capitalism, and for socialism leading to its realisation as what happened that hundred year ago.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

PANTEÓN: Shots from the old Catholic cemetery in San Jose, Navotas

PANTEÓN: Shots from the old Catholic cemetery in San Jose, Navotas

Shot during the solemn days of “All Hallows” and “All Saints”, everything seemed to be prepared as people started to gather for that occasion synonymous with death and of the grave.

And according to yours truly, some of them were cleaning their loved one’s tombs, others were lighting their candles and offering flowers, or perhaps having a chitchat as any other day if not enjoying the breeze from Manila Bay.

However, not all graves from that “Panteón” hath been visited by their loved ones. Other corpses, whether already in bones or in ashes, were end buried in mass graves for no one takes time to visit and remember; unless there are concerned relatives who chose to unearth the tombs and hath the bones of their cherished be placed in their urns, and be placed in their altars with candles and flowers prepared on that solemn day.

Besides seeing the entire area, this person sought how that solemn event was at the same time a fiesta people enjoyed with. Is it because of each and every loved one having a reunion with the dead? Or just plain simple chitchat with friends who happened to be tending the graves?

Anyway, this person finds that solemn day a time for taking pictures, besides offering prayers, meeting friends, enjoying snacks, and seeing anything the Panteon hath offered. 

Sunday, 29 October 2017

“To remember and not to forget”

“To remember and not to forget”

A message this All Hollows day

In each and every time the grim reaper took from every one a cherished being.

Be it a lover, a friend, a partner, a kindred, these beings has personalities which whether will or will not soon to be forgotten by each and every one who’ve been a part of a passed one’s life.

And it was natural and fitting to remember for its good standings, if not trying to forget in pursuit if moving on no matter how significant a person was in one’s life; but come to think of this: sometimes the more they forget the more they recall- especially in good times.

Anyway, as people visits their cherished one’s graves for lighting candles, offering flowers and prayers, enjoying snacks, and singing songs, their memories continue to be fresh in their minds and hearts, as if their presence stood alongside them. Surely, they are meant not to be forgotten.

And as time goes by, and people are trying to make good things all of their lives, perhaps may the visits of the angel of death be few and far between in every corner of the land; but when the time comes may those who are living be ready knowing that in their constant remolding, of making themselves righteous in the eyes of both man and the almighty, will grant them the promise the latter hath saidth to its desciples.

All in all, to paraphrase an ages-old statement, here it goes:

“Bones are dust,
And its good sword rust,
But the soul is with the saints, we trust.”

That’s all for now.