Thursday, 10 November 2011

"Beyond Nationalism"-"Towards Internationalism"

"Beyond Nationalism"-"Towards Internationalism"

By Katleah Iskre Ulrike and Luke D'Ermita
In commemoration of the events surrounding the global crisis

Sorry for the picture...but that's protest.

Lately, this writer was reading comments about "Anti-Oligarchy" and "Trade Liberalization", and most of the comments bear sheer subjectivism just like the earlier statements This writer had posted.

And from ranging from against "maids" to "Leftists", of preaching "Free Trade" to "Bigger Markets" and constitutional amendments lifting domestic controls in a guise of "Anti-Oligarchs", these people tries to justify aggravating the repressive, rotten social order  to the extent of "withering" boundaries in favor of systems catering to foreign investment, control and acquisition of assets. These would meant simply as "Globalization", or to others as "Beyond Nationalism."

Trying to compare "Globalization" and "Internationalism"

Sadly to say, Capitalists tend to garb "Globalization" as "Internationalism." For it meant less or no barriers and easy flow of markets as intended, otherwise it meant less nations and more markets, less organic and more commercialized, less makers and more consumers of trash simply "thrown" in a guise of aid and trade. It may be beneficial from the start regarding an opened market and say that "would steer further domestic development someday", but then it undermine self-determination of a certain developing country trying to take its own course by its own brain and brawn all for the sake of relying on foreign imports, markets, controls in domestic enterprises and assets in the country as it fully gave up desire for a self-management "In pursuit of a global closeness."

But, whose perspective of having a global village then? Of close interactions between nations, systems, and peoples?

Well, to a capitalist's perspective, they would say that Globalization meant also Internationalism, especially as it advances  free trade and foreign acquisition of assets, privatization and commercialization of what goes the society has. Yes, they may insist so-especially that there are economists, politicians tend to preach a "global village" with "less restrictions" and "close cooperation" between similar systems.

However, how about the laboring people? Does it benefit from it wholly despite superficial bonuses, improvements, of distribution of goods and serves?

According to Wikipedia:

 "Globalization refers to the increasing unification of the world's economic order through reduction of such barriers to international trade as tariffs, export fees, and import quotas. The goal is to increase material wealth, goods, and services through an international division of labor by efficiencies catalyzed by international relations, specialization and competition."

 But Is Globalization also meant Internationalism?

 Again, according to Wikipedia:

 "By joining together across national borders, the workers would gain greater bargaining power and political influence...Workers should struggle in solidarity with their fellow workers in other countries on the basis of a common class interest."

Obviously, some tend to conjoin Globalization and Internationalism or saying that Globalization is Internationalism, that they ought to say the world is a "global village" and thus "open to all" in pursuit of trade and distribution of goods and services, of increasing profits, but who's the benefactor? The people, especially those who afford and enjoyed the goods ans services or the systems accommodating to the current policy that aggravates age-old ones such as repression and near-slavery conditions or subjugating nations? How wonder why people tend to look at it optimistically as modern-day technology keeps them like sheep;speaking of subjugating nations, the system's perspective involve multiple nations, especially the advanced ones such as the United States, United Kingdom, acting together as in the UN or may involve regional or military alliances, pacts, or groupings such as NATO, resulting to subjugating nations in pursuit of "against terrorism" and "imposing 'democracy'".

"Beyond Nationalism?" Or "Reducing Nationalism"?

As most leaders around the world sometimes converging in regards to inter-economic and state affairs, lies the means of advancing common interests that perhaps may "hurt" its own subjects. Especially in regards to economic affairs, it involved dictation than cooperation, all sealed by an agreement whilst its subjects dare to think the pros and cons of it. Remember the Manila Summit Conference during  1966? Students and other patriotic-minded individuals protested it as nations supporting the U.S. reaffirmed Uncle Sam's stance in interfering state, economic, cultural and military affairs in their respective countries.

Might as well the protests in Seattle in 1999, wherein protesters protested against the World Trade Organization, as the latter contributes in widening the socioeconomic gap between the rich and the poor while it claims to be fixing it and increasing world hunger, disease and death.

Obviously, the international conferences regarding state, economic affairs meant selling souls to a greater order. Beyond Nationalism as systems may say? It is reducing Nationalism into a figment of an imagination. Sihanouk of Cambodia once said this:

"As for an economic grouping, that's putting the cart before the horse. All countries concerned must first have complete political independence...we would not want to be dominated economically by the larger Asian countries. We have already experienced Japanese imperialism."

He may have admitted that he wanted regional cooperation but he wanted complete political and economic independence as he himself is a professed neutralist and a third-way idealist; but in this growing challenge of tomorrow lies the arduous task of advancing pro-people interests such as employment and social welfare rather than emphasising much on trade in other countries. ASEAN, the Association of South-East Asian Nations tried much to emphasise Inter-SEA unity and collaboration but most of its systems clearly dependent on the West or in the North such as China, Japan and Korea; obviously it undermines Sihanouk's statement of having SEA not to be dominated economically, or even politically by the larger ones. So how come there are people insisted "Trade Liberalization", "Foreign Acquisition of properties" and the like yet not  to think first on building a self-reliant economy and be an example for the Third World? Malaysia may have opened to foreign investment, but it still emphasise the role of the Bumiputra (Sons of the soil) being the majority of the nation. Article 153 of the Malaysian constitution even stated that:

"It shall be the responsibility of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (head of state) to safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak and the legitimate interests of other communities in accordance with the provisions of this Article."

This writer personally agree upon to that clause as it involve not just social welfare (as others may ought to think of it and say that Malaysians are this and that) but it also involve creating employment, encouraging Malay-owned enterprise, industry; yet then it emphasises racial rather than social upliftment as Malaysia itself tries to build its own image-that they had Proton cars, Petronas towers, there may be foreign investors invested upon to these but then the state, directly or indirectly regulate or control assets such as those of agencies entrusted to hold and manage the commercial assets of the government and to undertake strategic investments.

The Philippines had enough hopes in order to have a self-reliant economy. But then its system preferred getting contented on relying on to the private sector to exploit recklessly in pursuit of increasing profit and investment. Most of the private sector, if not Oligarchs such as the Cojuangcos, Lucio Tan, Henry Sy or Zobel de Ayala, are foreigners using Filipino representatives or expatriates acting as dummies in their respective institutions of trade. The former may have created industries others likely to say that made Philippines enough to be "Industrialized" but these are merely limited to assembly line and manufacturing of consumer goods whilst most shipyards are reduced to mere stations for boats waiting for its rusty hulls to be removed. Shell, Petron, and Caltex, being deregulated is even exploiting consumers by increasing its oil prices while MERALCO for its electric rates. Speaking of the latter, we simply know it as an electric company owned by the Lopezes and Danding Cojuangco, but they didn't notice that PLDT (Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company) had its share of it, via Manuel V. Pangilinan, that 52% of it is being owned by a foreign corporation. Worse, the system tolerates the local Landlord-Compradors and foreign Capitalists are long partners in exploiting the Filipino people. Having a limited approach to industry, a predominantly agricultural state, and an aggravated, repressive social structure be further aggravated by reckless influx of Foreign-sponsored economic exploitation, that the "Trade Liberalization" policy was instituted long in the country-that made Php144.4 billion gained from the mining companies last 2010, while Php13.7 million are its taxes being paid from it, while promises of an Industrialized society, especially those of making heavy industry under Filipino control remained "just a dream" or a "hopeless imagination." 

These experiences in the SEA meant this: which path should every nation take? A self-reliant or a dependent one? Will its patriotism be emphasised or be reduced to a mere figment of an imagination as it emphasise being dictated by foreign and vested interests? Not all countries are the same despite insistence of others to know its experiences such as Singapore, Malaysia, China or Indonesia, but then there are people willing to provide a model that is catered to the domestic setting such as a self-reliant economy, a progressive fiscal social policy and other similar ones contributing to the society and restoring greatness as a nation. ASEAN should rather emphasise inter-SEA unity and support to create a strong, stable, progressive bloc as what Sihanouk stated "of not getting dominated by bigger entities."

In pursuit of maintaining the status quo: Globalization as its pretext

How wonder why systems do so especially in pursuit of maintaining the status quo. Remember how Metternich and his clique of conservatives around Europe, via the Concert of Europe, Congress of Vienna did multilateral talks ensuring peace in Europe after Napoleon, or rather say the "Republican Menace" made during the French Revolution; this example paved way to worser ones respective systems agree upon it, especially that America and its fellow nations tend to join together in pursuit of that cause.

And speaking of America, it somehow end up repudiating this dictum, made by Thomas Jefferson, that he preferred "Commerce with all nations, alliance with none" as its motto in favor of expanding all in the guise of benevolent assimilation and manifest destiny. America may have gave up of a direct control like the Philippines before, but it still dominate domestic affairs in countries America benefited from it, or rather say its oil wells, gardens, and markets; one quote may justify its very own goal of leading, if not dominating the global sphere whether in pursuit of opening markets or maintaining order, as it said:

"The whole continent of North America appears to be destined by Divine Providence to be peopled by one nation, speaking one language, professing one general system of religious and political principles, and accustomed to one general tenor of social usages and customs. For the common happiness of them all, for their peace and prosperity, I believe it is indispensable that they should be associated in one federal Union."

The quote may had been made during the 19th century during its era of expansion, but it also recalls the goal of United States and its very own puppets as professing a village, a breathing space for markets with its dependencies remained contented on what the system hath dictated; or rather say all in pursuit of maintaining an order that is rotten, dilapidated, maintained by "modern-day" machinery.

Words to be "Realized" by the power-hungry corporate and its moochers

Else, would recall earlier writings turned prophecies as these conditions resorted to "worser" ones. As big-time profiteers tend to dominate state affairs, media, culture, even personal lives with material goods; while the majority compelled to live in contented conditions whilst enduring high costs of commodities, resorting to a modern-day slave labor with the help of "carrot and stick" tactics bosses made most of the time.

Once, Paulo Alcazaren satirically said that the Philippines would end up "privatized" by profiteering individuals such as Henry Sy, that the focal point of our lives is his ShoeMart from the cradle to the grave whilst the criminal Arroyo remained under "good" conditions as he said:

"Dateline 2025. Although her rockface statue has suffered the ravages of hundreds of typhoons and a minor eruption of Pinatubo in 2017 it has survived as a tourist attraction and a reminder of our chaotic past. The steel braces have helped prop it up. Since the total privatization of government in 2019 the Philippine economy has boomed including tourism with 30million visitors a year. The tourism motto 'Visit the Philippines- We got it all for you!' has remained the same since 2020. The former president (in house arrest after her conviction in 2012) stays at her 500 hectare property nearby and is allowed her yearly visit. ..and ritual 'I am sorry. ..' from the base of her stone effigy."

If so, may as well recall Jack London's quote:

“The surpluses will have to be expended somehow, and trust the oligarchs to find a way. Magnificent roads will be built. There will be great achievements in science, and especially in art. When the oligarchs have completely mastered the people, they will have time to spare for other things. They will become worshippers of beauty. They will become art-lovers. And under their direction and generously rewarded, will toil the artists. The result will be great art; for no longer, as up to yesterday, will the artists pander to the bourgeois taste of the middle class. It will be great art, I tell you, and wonder cities will arise that will make tawdry and cheap the cities of old time. And in these cities will the oligarchs dwell and worship beauty.” 

Yes, as profiteers tend to reduce societies into entities to be exploited, as markets, of using the Bourgeoisie and exploiting the have-nots with forced labor and promises, lies the "beauty" of it through dominating state affairs, privatizing piece-by-piece, opening everything to its own kind, scrambling till monopolizing all for the sake of satisfaction, yes that is the beauty of a privatized world to come thanks to those who lobby, or rather say mooching for total opening to exploiters, thieves in coat and tie as well as those who persecute those who oppose against the system. After all, as the Oligarch Mr. Wickson said:

 "This, then, is our answer. We have no words to waste on you... We will grind you revolutionists down under our heel and we will walk on your faces. The world is ours, we are its lords, and ours it shall remain."

For sure these "Revolutionists" include small businessmen, cooperatives, farmers tilling their own land yet enduring heavier debts, students trying to pay heavier tuition fees, artists trying to express without manager's suggestions.

But then, some consumers are intelligent enough to consume and use to fight back. Critics would say that this writeup is contrary to the writer's actions such as "You use a product of this and that" and any kind of shit to be said so, but here are the words to remember:

"When the time is right we will make great concessions and overtures of peace to the capitalists and they will sell us the rope with which we will hang them"

And the rope? May meant the things they offered to the ones who resisted their exploits. The quote Lenin said was made earlier before, that an African tribe, despite living in primitive conditions, chanting spells and disdaining "modern life" as cardinal sin, used the iron axe bought from the white man, thus replacing the stone axe whilst keeping their primitivity.

Beyond Nationalism-Towards Internationalism

Since the corporate world insist on Globalization, might as well the laboring and the oppressed peoples of the world, as it safeguard its very own independence, lies a task that meant collective unity of all nations all in the name of "Internationalism."

In China, Mao Zedong, in his statement supporting the peoples of Panama against American intervention said:

"The people of the countries in the socialist camp should unite, the people of the countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America should unite, the people of all the continents should unite, all peace-loving countries should unite, and all countries subjected to U.S. aggression, control, intervention or bullying should unite, and so form the broadest united front to oppose the U.S. imperialist policies of aggression and war and to defend world peace."

These words meant Internationalism to counter Globalization, of masses against systems, of the tilling poor against the relaxing rich, all despite justifications every rotten, repressive systems ought to say upon, that obviously meant pushing people to revolt in every country as everyone sees the fact that they are repressed regardless of the laws and decrees speaking of "justice" in it. Globalization may have opened everything to every country with imported goods, but does it benefit wholeheartedly  the 99% who lives by using brain and brawn making this and that for consumption? May as well meant bankrupt as these products passed unrestricted, further stunting domestic ones capable of producing same things such as food and clothes; worse, also include bigger hikes especially those who ought to sell imported goods in prices incapable for an ordinary worker to buy it-resulting from a currency pegged to another one such as the Dollar. Why not also had imported goods such as food and clothes be sold to the hungry masses in Africa in a reasonable price to counter manutrition and perhaps to create a degree of development through workfare and other socio-economic policies? Again, the conferences sponsored by the GATT-WTO contributes in widening the socioeconomic gap between the rich and the poor while it claims to be fixing it and increasing world hunger, disease and death according to the people involved in the events during the "Battle in Seattle" last 1999, and might as well include in the present protests in Wall Street in New York and other nations such as Greece, Spain, and perhaps the Philippines.

After all, as the revolt of the poor continues in midst of the growing socio-economic crisis and degeneration of nation-states controlled by rotten, dilapidated systems, may as well invoke the situations favorable to a coming conflict. Marx, in his Communist manifesto, said:

 "In the sense that the proletariat must first conquer political rule for itself, raise itself to the status of a national class, constitute itself as [the] nation, it is itself still national, although not at all in the sense of the bourgeoisie. Already with the development of the bourgeoisie the national boundaries and conflicts among the peoples vanish more and more… The rule of the proletariat will make them vanish even more."

But how? 

Through the words of Mao Zedong, said:

"In the fight for complete liberation the oppressed people rely first of all on their own struggle and then, and only then, on international assistance. The people who have triumphed in their own revolution should help those still struggling for liberation. This is our internationalist duty."

Well, It is the duty of every working and oppressed class patriot to advance Internationalism to counter the system's very own Globalization. If the system, whether it is a foreign or a domestic oligarch insisted free trade, foreign acquisition of domestic properties, might as well the people prefer fair trade, reasonable prices of commodities, production for consumption and socialization of profits.

And as Globalization continues to prevail in this rotten world, might as well advance what the masses ought to counter it upon. Nations demand cultural, political and economic independence based on the will of the majority not on the few who bastardised the very essence of Demos Kratia and Res Publica in the face of the the people. 


And by the way, this writer didn't speak much of "Free Lunch" in this write-up. That's the problem of people annoyed by welfare yet using public spaces. Might as well they should call for privatizing public spaces too. 

And Oligarchs? Whether they are domestic or foreign, they are still Oligarchs, they afford to invest in large scale, they are the 1% controlling this and that in every heck of the society, so stop ranting, for those who rant and say "liberalize trade" and open to foreign investors are unadmittingly stooges of foreign Oligarchs.