Sunday, May 31, 2009

Little Paws

Sometimes, boredom and the rain makes me write a bunch of nonsense. Here is a little story.

Chuck hears the dripping of blackish water droplets from above. The puddles of muddy liquid forming in front him does not seem to disturb his ruffled, grayish furry back. His whiskers, quite long for a young rat, seems to have lengthened for every day he has spent under the gutters of Quiapo underground. He hears a clinking sound not far off.

"It looks shiny from afar... what could it be?" He wondered aloud. His soft, slippery feet nimbly hopping from piles of rubbish collected by the years, he tried to approach the contraption where the sound of the clink echoed. He saw a strange, round, quite golden piece of metal.

"What could this be for? It seems to be so worthless yet it is so elaborate." He traced with his nose the profile of a man, with straight hair it might almost be likened to a brush. His features betray a parentage akin to the people of the overworld and the merchants of nearby Binondo, where he usually visits to see his bigger-bodied relatives always on the prowl for food, if not being hunted by the heathen, shirtless men to be made into their own finger snacks. In his sholders were installed epaulets of a bygone era.

Clenching it firmly with his still-brittle teeth, he strove to carry it towards their family's little hole nearing the main waterway of the canal. His family was the only family of pack rats which was able to survive the recent fumigation drive at Recto carried out by the pot-bellied, ugly man who seems to have waged war on all of them quadruped street mammals. Not only these, his little eyes have also witnessed how the men of this villain would drive away the vendors of street food, vegetables and other implements he and his friends always love to steal from. He wonders what is this man's sense of beauty and art, as he saw his equine profile, posing like a watch model, shouting the word "KAAYUSAN" from a poster.

"Mother, I am home! I found something strange," Chuck shouted at the threshold of their little hole.

"Oh, finally! It would have been much better if you were able to take a few bits of rotting meat for our dinner, but let's see what you have..."

The moment Chuck dropped the golden piece from his mouth, his mother's jaws dropped open. She called out on her husband nibbling on a fleshy piece of cat bone he was able to salvage from a carcass that was run on by a truck from the highway going to Jones Bridge after a long day of scavenging. Annoyed at being disturbed, he grumpily went to them but was immediately floored by the shiny appearance of the golden piece...

"Chuck! What a find this is! Where did you get it?"

"Why are you so astonished, Mother? Father? Did I find something worthless?"

"On the contrary, not at all my son!" His mother was so livid with excitement. "Don't you know you have just found one of the most important pieces of treasure we pack rats are always trying to catch? You were able to find a coin!"

"A coin? What could it be, father?"

"Let us begin packing, beloved. We must show this to your grandfather, Chuck, so you will know the importance of your find!"

"Immediately after reducing the cat bone to a dry white sturdy piece, the pack rat family went to the other corner of the canal which is already at the mouth of the Pasig River. At the very mouth of a drainage pipe there lived a quite old pack rat named Old Atanasius. When shown the coin, he became quite cautious in movement and led the family to a carefully-hidden hole at the bank of the river. Inside this hole is a quite-wide space, about twenty square metres, filled with countless shining coins, some silver, some copper, some gold, and a bunch of brilliant stones. Old Atanasius told Chuck: "You are very lucky, little child, for having found a beautiful trinket such as this."

"Why, grandfather? How important could this little shiny coin be to your vast collection hidden here underground?"

"Ah! You are indeed very young, and have not travelled that far into the world. You know, my child, this world is populated by stupid giants who do not know the value of little things. They would throw little things away in favor of the big things, which they admire all their lives but cannot acknowledge them in return. Big things have doomed this race of giants, as it is the concept of gianthood which has driven them to conflict with each other. We pack rats, having been given the task of collecting the little things most of the larger animals have discarded, are intended to make a catalogue of the history of this world. When this world is eventually destroyed and wiped out, we pack rats will be the keyholders to whatever little remained of the world. Other beings from outside space will be able to study this world, from our holdings. Sadly, however, the younger generation of pack rats only collect pieces of scrap and stray pieces of food, without regard to the really valuable trinkets of this world."

"Do you think it is possible still to collect the little treasures, more so recognize them?" Chuck's mind is still puzzled.

"Nothing was ever accomplished with giving hold to doubt. Many undertakings of these stupid giants were done with simple stubbornness and perseverance. The idiots among them have interpolated and thought and wrote and argued on the true nature of things, but only those among them who were willing to take these thoughts as action have made a mark. Why not us with little paws? At least we know the value of what they throw away."

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mi fantasma

I found every day disturbingly heavy
Ever since I made an oath to be free,
For you and your life to be left in peace
And flourish while my joy has ceased

Though I find it idiotic, grandly pathetic even,
For a wretched soul to act as to a heathen,
I deem it a burden I carry with deep sorrow
At knowing you'll never be mine any morrow.

Yet how can I blame your innocence and dream?
I do not have the heart to steal of its own gleam;
So it be, so it be, a vagabond heart am I eternally
As long as you remain and live with all glory.

My only little hope, in this hell of frustration;
For a few moments, cast on me your kind eyes
So at least I receive the last ounce of inspiration
In surviving and battling hordes of pain and lies.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Just in today. READ THIS HEADLINE:

And this has just precisely strengthend my resolve to immerse myself in Socialist literature starting Plansem and until the day I stop using oxygen. Seriously, I may have been raised as a LIberal-Democratic like many Filipinos, but this is it. If Edgar Jopson witnessed a failed Concom before joining the CPP-NPA-NDF, I am now seriously inaugurating a war with our Legislature. THREE STATEMENTS, STILL LAME BUT STRONG FOR SOME, MIGHT SUFFICE TO STATE MY POINT (warning for the prudes):





The Nature of Hybrids

A reflection on the problematic nature of fence-sitting, merging interaction and the reconcillatory school of thought

Main Entry: hy•brid
Pronunciation: \ˈhī-brəd\
Function: noun
Etymology: Latin hybrida
Date: 1601

1: an offspring of two animals or plants of different races, breeds, varieties, species, or genera
2: a person whose background is a blend of two diverse cultures or traditions
3 a: something heterogeneous in origin or composition : composite

b: something (as a power plant, vehicle, or electronic circuit) that has two different types of components performing essentially the same function

— hybrid adjective
— hy•brid•ism \-brə-ˌdi-zəm\ noun
— hy•brid•i•ty \hī-ˈbri-də-tē\ noun

Being born and reared as a pacifist in childhood by parents who, despite our meagre means, shares the tastes, mindsets and apprehensions of the middle class and the petite-bourgeois, probably due in part to having been under families of war veterans who, despite their peasant backgrounds, have been beholden to the United States and are always dreaming of “the American dream.” Our families have OFWs on both sides, and are in more ways than one prettily diasporic and liberal-democratic when it comes to matters of finance and politics. In a way, I am part of a typical Filipino family. The circumstances of my formation and education, however, are precisely what my pacifist upbringing has never prepared me for: ceaseless conflict.

For one, I might be stereotyped as the consummate nerd and teachers’ pet due in thanks to my tendency of understanding the administration of our school while rejecting the company of classmates who seem to be members of a rebellious sect. No ID’s, bringing cigarettes and pornographic materials, a penchant for heckling the teachers and more. Disciplinarian mentors and school administrators would often come into the fray and mete out seeming just measures to curb them, though their policies will be always countered by parents who seem to have taken Rizal’s rejection of disciplinary measures too well that they have failed to assert their authority (and eventually causing their booting out of the school administration). That I would be eventually be caught in a period in our school’s history when I would actually deem it just to counter their policies since they are failing to assert their authority and practice an honourable means of managing an educational institution, and yet fail to give out a good point in my capacity illustrates too well how bad am I as a person of opinion back then.

Before I bore you, considerate reader, on why I would open up a reflective piece with a recall of my family history, I believe it has something to do with my reading of the fictional character Hollis Mason’s autobiography Under the Hood from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen. I also have no personal memory, other than this, to situate my views on the discussion of what we could call a survey of the middle ground. I intend to look at why we have a somewhat aversion to the nature of neutrality that most of the time, we almost always desire to extinguish it when, in fact, it holds promises of the establishment and inauguration of new ways of understanding and elucidating with the inanities and problematics of human life. There is the seeming potential of the construct which incorporates both points of view in conflicting sides which could produce a hybridity which can bridge the gap. Hybridity might be actually a valuable construct that could eventually become a starting point of new foundations.

Fearful of Commitment

May kaliwa't may kanan sa ating lipunan
Patuloy ang pagtutunggali, patuloy ang paglalaban;
Pumanig ka, pumanig ka, huwag nang ipagpaliban pa
Ang di makapagpasiya ay maiipit sa gitna...

I am inclined to believe that it is precisely my pacifist upbringing that has led me to wonder ceaselessly on the current school of thought that regards and proclaims that “peace is overrated.” Most of the time I cannot reconcile, despite my immersion in the violent world of politics, why we should prefer as the human condition the desire to participate relentlessly in conflict and war. Perhaps it is probably our perception and being beholden to action, being mobile beings, that drives us to work and labor to the point of fomenting conflict. In that note, it would appear that wishing to take a stance of neutrality and of reconciliatory purpose is almost always considered a suicidal action. Taking from Niccolo Machiavelli, in speaking of taking expedient sides, gives a scathing condemnation of the practice of neutrality:

Antiochus went into Greece, being sent for by the Aetolians to drive out the Romans. He sent envoys to the Achaeans, who were friends of the Romans, exhorting them to remain neutral; and on the other hand the Romans urged them to take up arms. This question came to be discussed in the council of the Achaeans, where the legate of Antiochus urged them to stand neutral. To this the Roman legate answered: "As for that which has been said, that it is better and more advantageous for your state not to interfere in our war, nothing can be more erroneous; because by not interfering you will be left, without favour or consideration, the guerdon of the conqueror." Thus it will always happen that he who is not your friend will demand your neutrality, whilst he who is your friend will entreat you to declare yourself with arms. And irresolute princes, to avoid present dangers, generally follow the neutral path, and are generally ruined…
Never let any Government imagine that it can choose perfectly safe courses; rather let it expect to have to take very doubtful ones, because it is found in ordinary affairs that one never seeks to avoid one trouble without running into another; but prudence consists in knowing how to distinguish the character of troubles, and for choice to take the lesser evil. (Machiavelli 1513).

Neutrality, it appears to this thought, is a manifestation of a sterility of opinion, a means by which an entity would desire to avoid conflict when it is precisely the magnet to it. There seems to be an affirmation of the belief in the human condition of conflict being inevitable and required. This is similar to saying that objectivity is similar to being a cretin, and as such is not worthy of consideration when we speak of discourses and narratives. The late Teodoro Agoncillo would, in a light moment, state a maxim which goes:

What history is not biased… show me a historian, a real historian, who is not biased! You have to interpret, of course. In history, pag sinabing objective ka, you are nothing! You are nothing, absolutely nothing! Absolute zero… the very fact that the student of history chooses what to include and what not to include is proof that history is never objective… The moment the student of history gives what is called the value judgment, and in history you always do that, wala na! Saan nandoon ang objectivity mo? It is important in history to be impartial! Which is different… (Agoncillo in Ocampo, 1995).

As have been mentioned a while ago, conflict seems to be the norm of dealing and relating to particular views whatever they may be. In a way, given the nature of two vantage points meeting each other, there will always be the possibility of clashing and the desire to debunk the beliefs of others before choosing for compromises. In light of current schools of thought practicing and pushing for a policy of reconciliation, the nature of discourse has become so adverse that it is no longer tolerated.

It is in this point, therefore, that we begin to consider the nature of hybrids or the merging of particular entities and points of view in order to see both things in light. It is, somewhat, the rallying cry of Centrist parties which supposedly advocate a train of deliberation that is “not defined by compromise or moderation, it is considerate of them. It's about achieving common sense solutions that fit the current needs; support the public trust; serve the common good; and consideration of short and long term needs.” ( However, despite our wish to recognize their nature, we will see later on that the belief of hybridism, though in form and modes of propagation novel and seemingly appealing to those who wish to end conflict from differing sides, is eventually problematic and self-contradictory.

A Proliferation of a Bastardic Philosophy

We see advocacies which hold up hybridism almost always everyday. The Philippines has for its lingua franca a mixture of the national language Filipino and of English, which we usually call “Pinglish,” in a way in tone with what Vicente Rafael would call the Martial Law babies (Rafael in Ocampo, 1997) generation’s philosophy would be: a contradiction of certainty and a certainty of contradiction. The phenomenon in various cultural manifestations of “mixed media” would also illustrate it, noting how art is becoming more receptive of photography (once its worst enemy) and now actually incorporating it. Advertisements would always claim that the product being shown is something “everyone” is wishing for, creating an imagined community of people who agree on a point despite their conflicting backgrounds (calling to mind a 1970s soap ad which says in part Lahat tayo’y anakpawis nguni’t hindi natin kailangan maging amoy pawis, or words to that effect). Conrado de Quiros, however, might put it otherwise:

It’s the same effect you see when you buy something from a row of stalls or choose to eat in one particular eatery from a row of eateries. Pretty soon you collect a crowd, and congratulate yourself for having the magnetic personality to do that. It has nothing to do with your personality even if it has something to do with magnetism. People will naturally gravitate toward the tried and tested, or the seemingly popular. (De Quiros 2009).

Hippies have been hailed and decried (depending on your perspective, again another construct of conflict) as one of the best heralds of the belief in hybridism, which advocates a desire for “peace” and the absence of conflict. This is an erroneous belief, as peace is never “absence of conflict” but “harmonization of conflict.” But the main point is to say that hybridism is an organic belief which roots from conflicting sources of ideas and emerges to present itself as “the solution” to the end of conflict.

However, this is in itself contradictory and self-defeating. The institution of a belief is inevitably the inauguration of a new mode of thought which participates in the conflict. The only school of thought which has tried to do so is pluralism and it is still a problematic idea so far. It is precisely pluralism that has given rise to the memetic phenomenon of the Internet which has been the cause of analysis of the Internet’s lack of authority on various ideas (or the mockery of it) as might be gleaned here:

And with good reason, for it is inevitably the conflict by which Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere has put succinctly on the issue of race. Nick Joaquin himself would put it when he would analyse the character of Crisostomo Ibarra and note how Ibarra’s Creole background was eventually his downfall in colonial Philippines, for was viewed with suspicion by natives because of his seeming collusion with the oppressive regimes and the fear of the ruling elite for their capacity for displacing them. (Joaquin 1977).

In short, we can view hybridism as the school of thought which, in accordance with Socratic and Platonic drama, will be the philosopher who would seek to come out of the cave that is the nature of conflict. In a prevailing viewpoint such as ours which is seemingly irremediable given the human condition, they are almost always bound for the tragedy of crucifixion if eminent, and obscuration if deemed unworthy for being “too partisan for scholars, too scholarly for partisans.” Journalism as a discipline will surely agree with the description, claiming to be a hybrid of history and documentation, “history in a hurry” as Nick Joaquin would once more put it, but that is another story.


Agoncillo, Teodoro. Talking History: Coversations with Teodoro Andal Agoncillo, by Ambeth R. Ocampo. Manila: De La Salle University, 1995.

The US Centrist Party. "Overview." (accessed May 26, 2009).

De Quiros, Conrado. “There’s The Rub: Survey Says.” Philippine Daily Inquirer. May 26, 2009. <> (accessed May 26, 2009).

Joaquin, Nick. A Question of Heroes. Pasig: Anvil, 1977, 2005.

Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince. Translated by W. K. Marriot. 2006. (accessed May 26, 2009).

Rafael, Vicente. “Introduction” in Ambeth R. Ocampo, Luna’s Moustache. Pasig: Anvil, 1997.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Naririto ang kalaban sa ating paligid.

Freddie Aguilar

Mahirap man ang buhay aking matitiis
Basta't walang talikalang nakatali sa leeg
Hirap ay makakaya kung ako ay wala na
Sa kuko ng agila sa akin ay pumupuksa

Sa sariling lupa ay alipin ako ng banyaga
Sa kuko ng agila kailangan kung makalaya

Kailan ang tamang oras upang labanan ko
ang mga pang aapi sagad na sa aking buto
Ngunit walang kalayaan habang naroroon
Ang kuko ng agila sa leeg ko nakabaon

Ako'y palayain sa kuko ng agilang mapang-alipin

Mahirap man ang buhay aking matitiis
basta't walang talikalang nakatali sa leeg
Ngunit walang kalayaan habang naroroon
sa kuko ng agila sa leeg ko nakabaon

Ako'y palayain sa kuko ng agilang mapang-alipin


Sa sariling lupa ay alipin ako ng banyaga
Sa kuko ng agila kailangan kung makalaya
Sa sariling lupa ay alipin ako ng banyaga
SA kuko ng agila kailangan kong makalaya

Ako'y palayain sa kuko ng agilang mapang-alipin
Ako'y palayain sa kuko ng agilang mapang-alipin

Friday, May 22, 2009

Kaibigang Pandong

The Assassination of Governor Bustamante and His Son, Felix Ressurrecion Hidalgo

Ilang ulit ko nang hinanap ang iyong libingan
Nguni't hindi kita matutunang matunton.
Mahirap unawain ang mapait na katotohanang
Sinuklian ang katuwiran ng pagkabuhong.

Mapait isiping kung paanong ang katarungan
Ay napasasailalim sa kasamaan ng kaluluwa,
At paanong ang relihiyon ay ininis at sinisikaran
Ng mga mismong ministrong walang-wawa.

Tunay nga marahil na isang malaking parikala
Na ikaw, Kamahalang Kinatawan ng Hari,
Ay ipagkanulo't paslangin ng iyong mga kauri
At itangis ng mga indiong ni hindi mo kilala.

Kahimanawaring mabuti nga na ang aming nuno
Napagalaw ng mga musa ang mabunying kamay,
Upang ipaalala sa lahat sa aming mga nabubuhay
Na martir ka ng Simbahang kubkob ng diyablo.

Hindi mo man kami dinulutan ng ilaw ng paglaya,
Kami nama'y tinuruan mo ng sinag ng reporma;
Sa iyo ay magsimula ang sanrekwang pagdurusa
Na idinulot sa amin ng mga prayleng walang-hiya.

Na sa katapusan ay pagbuhatan ng isang pagbalikwas,
Na sa mapait na kinsapitan ng Espanya'y magwakas,
At sa bayang ito'y hindi na muling pasasailalim pa
Sa mapait na lason ng isang balintunang Iglesia.

The Franciscans, Dominicans and Augustinians came out from their convents, each as a body, carrying in their hands crucifixes and shouting, ‘Long Live the Church! Long Live King Felipe V!’… they were joined by people of all classes and proceeded to the Church of San Agustin…

The governor who was roused from his sleep and informed of the arrival of the mob sprang up and ordered the guards to keep back the crowd… He dispatched an order to the fort to discharge artillery at the crowd; but he was so little obeyed that, although they applied a match to two cannons, these where aimed so low that the balls were buried in the middle of the esplanade of the fort.

Without opposition, this multitude arrived at the doors of the palace… As for the soldiers of the guard, some retreated in fear, and others in terror laid down their arms. The mob climbed up by ladders and entered the first hall, the halberdiers not firing the swivel-guns that had been provided, although the governor had commanded them to do so…

{tThe governor} attempted to discharge his gun at a citizen standing near and it missed fore; then the governor drew his saber and wounded the citizen; the latter, and with him all the rest at once attacked the governor. They broke him right arm, and a blow on his head from a saber caused him to fall like one dead.

- Volume 44, The Philippine Islands: Emma Blair and James Robertson

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Epitaph to a Caricature

Dulce es la muerte por la propia patria,
Donde es amigo cuanto alumbra el sol;
;Muerte es la brisa para quien no tiene
Una patria, una madre y un amor!

You have enchanted my every waking moment
Since I first met you in a browning parchment;
For one single line that you have manifested,
Signals a beateous glow thine had of me divested.

I wonder how it came that for months of twelve,
Greater no less has been my sole desensitization;
That it came to a point that I would rather delve
In admiring and pining for you, highest adoration.

Is it really a trap, this feminine and sparkling allure
So that every little memory cuts as a poisoned knife?
Can it not be a single glance of eyes verily demure,
Willing to save a wretched soul from ceaseless strife?

I deemed it grand failures of mine, yet I do not desist
Despite your distance you seem to be my sole star
That in every single deemed glance I cannot even resist
Of hoping you still remember me even though we're afar.

For many reasons, you appeared to me a mere Paulita
Who though admirable nevertheless abhors my poor pen
And yet it is my plumage that exalts you still without end;
No Isagani nor Crisostomo, but I venerate you, my Clarita.

...Feliz la que muere llorada, la quedeja en el corazon del que la ama una pura vision, un santorecuerdo, no manchado por mezquinas pasiones que fermentancon los años! Vé, nosotros te recordaremos! En el aire puro denuestra patria, bajo su cielo azul, sobre las ondas del lago que aprisionan montanas de zafiro y orillas de esmeralda; en sus cristalinos arroyos que sombrean las cañas, bordan las flores y animan las libélulas y mariposas con su vuelo incierto y caprichoso como si jugas en con el aire; en el silencio de nuestros bosques, en el canto de nuestros arroyos, en la lluvia de brillantes de nuestras cascadas, á la luz resplandeciente de nuestra luna, en los suspiros de la brisa de la noche, en todo en finque evoque la imagen de lo amado, te hemos de ver eternamente corno te hemos soñado, bella, hermosa, sonriente como la esperanza, pura corno la luz, y sin embargo, triste y melancólica contemplando nuestras miserias!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sapagka't Si Gary Valenciano (yata) Ang Umawit ng Pambansang Awit Natin

Ginising ako ng umagang ito ng isang malupit, nakakabuwisit at, puwede ba nating sabihin, NAKAKAPAGPAULAN NG NAGBABAGA'T NAKALALASONG PUTANG-INANG headline.

Says plan backed by ‘legal study’

Hindi ko maunawaan kung paano mo sasabihing isang "legal study" ang iyong sinasabi kung hindi mo masabi (isa ka pa Burak Jojobama!) kung saang pambalot ng tinapa (paumanhin sa mga tagagawa ng pambalot ng tinapa at mga tabloid) mo nakuha ang interpretasyon mo ng probisyon ng Saligang-Batas ukol dito. Pinagtatalunan sa isyung ito ang mga probisyong ito:

a. The President and the Vice-President shall be elected by direct vote of the people for a term of six years which shall begin at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following the day of the election and shall end at noon of the same date, six years thereafter. The President shall not be eligible for any re-election. No person who has succeeded as President and has served as such for more than four years shall be qualified for election to the same office at any time.

b. No Vice-President shall serve for more than two successive terms. Voluntary renunciation of the office for any length of time shall not be considered as an interruption in the continuity of the service for the full term for which he was elected. (emphasis mine).

- Section 4, Article VII, 1987 Philippine Constitution

Sino ang nagsabing mga "legal luminaries" na pupuwede? Batay sa pagbabanggit ni P. Joaquin Bernas, S.J., Dean Emeritus ng Paaralan ng Abugasya ng Pamantasang Ateneo de Manila, na ang BULUGANG ito (bastos pakinggan oo, pero hindi ko magawang dulutan siya ng kahit kaunting paggalang) ay nagdulot bago siya magbitiw ng isang kartang nagbabanggit na siya ay "nagbitiw" na sa tungkulin. Sa pagbabanggit na ito ng Saligang-Batas, hindi maaaring ituring na pagkaantala ng tungkulin ang pagbibitiw. May mga mangmang na mangangahas sabihing dahil ito'y kabahagi ng Subsection 4.b ay para lamang ito sa mga Bise-Presidente, pero iniiwan ko na ang usaping ito sa mga lumikha mismo ng Saligang-Batas.

Ano nga ba ang aasahan mo sa mga ganitong usapin. ng lehitimasyon at legalidad.. Kung minsan tuloy hindi ko mapigilang tumawang mapait sa sinabi ni Padre Fernandez:

To stamp out a small evil, there are dictated many laws that cause greater evils still: 'corruptissima in republica plurimae leges,' said Tacitus. To prevent one case of fraud, there are provided a million and a half preventive or humiliating regulations, which produce the immediate effect of awakening in the public the desire to elude and mock such regulations. To make a people criminal, there's nothing more needed than to doubt its virtue. Enact a law, not only here, but even in Spain, and you will see how the means of evading it will be sought, and this is for the very reason that the legislators have overlooked the fact that the more an object is hidden, the more a sight of it is desired. Why are rascality and astuteness regarded as great qualities in the Spanish people, when there is no other so noble, so proud, so chivalrous as it? Because our legislators, with the best intentions, have doubted its nobility, wounded its pride, challenged its chivalry! Do you wish to open in Spain a road among the rocks? Then place there an imperative notice forbidding the passage, and the people, in order to protest against the order, will leave the highway to clamber over the rocks. The day on which some legislator in Spain forbids virtue and commands vice, then all will become virtuous!

- Padre Fernandez, The Reign of Greed (El Filibusterismo), Jose Rizal (translated by Charles Derbyshire).

Tilang tamang-tama naman yata ngayon na sa klase namin sa EC 102 sa ilalim ni G. Greg Orara ay pinagsisikapan namin ang pag-uunawa sa pandaigdigang kalakalan. Mga ulit na niyang pinanindigan na dala na rin ng sistemang patron o "bata-bata" na pinalaganap ng bulugang ito ay hindi ka nga magtataka na lalo lamang naipon ang salapi ng bansa na dapat ay umiikot. Kaya nga hindi ko pipigilan ang mga magsasabi ng "NEVER AGAIN!!" Dito mo nakikita kung paanong kahit na mas kahila-hilakbot at kasuklam-suklam ang naging mga kasalanan ni Gloria Arroyo, hindi mo rin masasabing naging mas maayos ang nakaraang mga taon kung natapos niya ang termino niya (salamat at kinahabagan tayo ng ating mga sarili).

Mas lalong tagos rin na sa araw na ito ay pinag-usapan namin sa Hi 165 kay Dr. Ambeth Ocampo ang "unang dayaan sa eleksyon" sa Kapulungan ng Tejeros, na nagwakas sa kamatayan ni Supremo Andres Bonifacio. Bagaman sa usapang ito ay maraming kalokohang usapin (lalo na yaong pinakakalat ng mga bangag na historyador Marxista), isa pa rin itong klasikong usapin ng ating matatawag na sakit ng makasaysayang pagkalimot (historical amnesia).

Hindi natin mapansin-pansin na ilang ulit na tayong kumakanta ng

Isang ngiti mo lang
At ako'y napapaamo
Yakapin mong minsan
Ay muling magbabalik sa'yo
Na walang kalaban-laban...

habang kinakalnatari't pinagmumukhang tanga ng neoliberal demokratikong sistemang ito habang ang dapat naman talaga nating inaawit ay

Walang ibang maasahang Bathala o manunubos,
Kaya ang ating kaligtasa'y nasa ating pagkilos.
Manggagawa, bawiin ang yaman, kaisipa'y palayain.
Ang maso ay ating hawakan, kinabukasa'y pandayin.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dalit ng Dahon

Bunga ng isang hapong umaambon, isang alaalang nais ibaon

Sa bawat karayom na bumabagsak ay inaantay ko
Ang huling sandaling nakakabit ako dito
Upang muling balikan ang lupang aking minulan
At magbigay-buhay muli sa kasariwaan

Ininis ng sigwa ang libo-libong mga kasama
Mga malaong nanilaw o nagkape sa pagtanda
Lalo't ang layong magpailaw ay di na mabuti
At kulay sa kabataa'y malaon nang lugami

Nariyan nga't ilang ulit kang inaantay;
Manggagapas ng karimlang sa puso'y aagaw
Pagka't suson-susong pasanin, kahit makulay
Hindi rin makayanang ibahagi aking sigaw

Mangyari lamang sanang sa aking paglisan
Ang unang ngiting silay na saki'y pumukaw
Na ako sana'y patawin sa aking kapangahasan
Upang pagsinta'y manatili sa sinag ng araw.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Rizal: Si Senor Paano-Kung at ang Pacquiaoismo

May panahon ka pa upang baguhin ang lahat. Pwede mo akong buhayin.

Anong ginagawa mo rito?

Kailangang pasabugin mo ang lampara. Kailangan magwakas na ang daan-daan taong paghahari at pang-aapi ng pamahalaang Kastila!

Hindi ka pwedeng magtagumpay! Dahil personal lang paghihiganting pakay mo!

Kung ganoon ay baguhin mo ako! Ipakita mo sa akin na ang mahalaga ay ang bayan! Hindi si Maria Clara, hindi ang paghihiganti! Huwag mo akong patayin sa paglason... hindi ko gusto ang pagpatay mo sa akin! Pinatay mo ako dahil akala mo'y wala nang pag-asa ang lahat, ha? Dahil iyon din ang nararamdaman mo sa buhay mo! Pero meron pa! Mababago pa natin ang lahat... Magsulat ka uli!

Papaano kung hindi na ako makapagsulat? Paano kung wala na akong masabi? Paano kung wala nang natira, inubos na ng Dapitan? Paano kung sinira na ng kulungan? Paano kung... kasabay mo'y mapatay din ako?

Kung ganoo'y tama nga sila. Nagkasala ka nga! Traydor ka nga! Wala ka ngang inisip kundi ang sarili mo! Dapat ka ngang mamatay!

Buong buhay ko, wala kayong ginawa kundi husgahan ako, basahin ako. Kinuha niyo na ang lahat sa akin. Kung anu-anong hiningi ninyo, pero hindi niyo pa rin makita kung sino ako. Marami na akong ibinigay, bakit pati ang buhay ko? Patahimikin niyo na ako, para makita ko ang sarili ko!

Kathang-isip na diyalogo ni Rizal at Simoun, Jose Rizal

Madalas sabihin ni Dr. Ambeth Ocampo na ang isa sa mga trahedya ng buhay ni Jose Protacio Rizal y Mercado ay ang ituring na pambansang bayani ng Pilipinas. Isang parikala, marahil, kung paanong ang siyang itinuturing ni Leon Ma. Guerrero na "Unang Pilipino" ay siyang iwaksi ng kanyang bayan. Madalas ngang banggitin na si Jose Rizal ay hindi pa nga tunay na bayani kundi isang kolaboreytor na nailigtas lamang ng kanyang pagkamartir sa ilalim ng "tatanga-tangang" Gobernador Polavieja. Huwag na nga lamang si Rizal: sino ba, sa aking tanong, sa ating mga kabataan ang kategorikal na masasabing sila ay mga taong may lubos na kamalayan sa kanilang kasaysayan liban sa mga mapait na paglalatag ng mga "kahalagahan" ng kabayanihan, katapatan at pag-ibig sa lupang tinubuan? Paano mo nga ba maituturo, aking tanong, sa isang bata ang katotohanan ng buhay at ng kanyang papel sa isang bansa kung hindi mo man lamang siya ipinakilala sa kanyang bayan?

Marahil marapat kong sisihin ang namamayaning obsesyon ng kasalukuyang kilos ng mundo sa pagpapakamabilis, mahusay at mainam. Kapuna-punang ang ating mundo ay isang mundong pinatatakbo ng ekonomiya, isang mundong ang tanging halaga ng bawa't tao ay nababatay .sa presyo ng kanyang kakayanan. Ang pagpapalaganap ng ideyal na ang tunay na halaga ng isang tao ay nababatay sa kung ano ang kanyang magagawa, habang tahasang pinipili lamang kung sino ang mga marapat sa eksistensyang ito at itinatapon ang mas nakararaming hindi makakuha nito sa kanilang mapait na kalagayan. Isang pagtatapon sa sangkatauhan sa kalagayang bungang-likha ng modernidad at nagtatag ng isang sistemang lumalamon dito. Ang pagsasapubliko ng pribado. Ang pagpapahalaga sa pagkamal kaysa sa pagbabaha-bahagi.

Madalas sabihin sa akin ng aking mga magulang kung gaano ako kaseryoso para sa isang bata. Hindi nila mawatasan, anila, kung bakit kailangan kong iwaksi ang pakikipag-ugnayan sa ibang batang kaedad ko (na ipinapalagay kong nag-aaksaya lamang ng oras para sa pagtunton sa mga bagay-bagay na wala namang kabuluhan), isang bagay na minsang ding pinagdiinan ni Dr. Ocampo sa aming klase sa Hi 165. Kung paanong imposibleng maging politiko o taong-gobyero si Rizal dahil sa kanyang pagiging lubhang seryoso, lubhang matigas at di pababaliko sa mga usapin ng prinsipyo. Ito marahil, aniya, ang isa sa mga dahilan kung bakit ang daming hindi nakaintindi sa kanya at kung bakit siya binaril. Kung paanong sasabihin ni Heneral Emilio Aguinaldo, sa kanyang katandaan, na inspirasyon ng Himagsikang 1896 ang Noli Me Tangere at El Filibusterismo gayong hindi naman niya ito binasa kahit na kailan. Kung paanong dahil nga nasulat ito sa wikang Kastila'y hindi man mababasa ng inaaping indio. Kung paanong siya mismo ang nagsabi kina Marcelo del Pilar na ang La Solidaridad "ay mas makakatulong sana kung sa Pilipinas nababasa." Maraming parikala sa buhay ni Rizal na, kung titignan nga natin, ay mapapatanong nga tayo: "Tao nga ba talaga siya? Maitituring ba talaga natin siyang 'atin' at imahen natin?" Tila hindi, at sa totoo'y mas pipiliin niyang gayon.

Ano nga ba ang sinabi niyang habilin, sa isang sulat na malamang ay nalikha sa bisperas ng kanyang pagpanaw:

Bury me in the ground. Place a stone and a cross over it. My name, the date of my birth and of my death. Nothing more. If later you wish to surround my grave with a fence, you can do it. No anniversaries. I prefer Paang Bundok. (Ilibing ninyo ako sa lupa. Tayuan ninyo ng isang lapida't krus sa taas nito. Ang pangalan ko, araw ng kapanganakan at kamatayan. Wala nang iba. Kung pagkatapos ay nais ninyong palibutan ng bakod ang libingan ko, maaari ninyong gawin. Wala nang pag-alalang taunan. Mas pipiliin ko sana sa Paang Bundok.)
Walang nasunod sa mga habiling ito. Mga ilang ulit na tayong tinuturuan kung paano ba ang gawing libangan ang pagbabasa. Kung tutuusin ay hindi ko naman masasabing hindi natin libangan ang pagbabasa: literato ang marami sa atin. Kaya nga lamang, bakit nga ba ang namamayaning babasahin natin ay yaong hindi nakakatulong sa paghubog ng ating identidad bilang mamamayan at kapwa-tao. O baka naman isa lamang itong pag-aaklas sa naging klasikal na paniniwala ng akademya ukol sa pangangailangang maging "intelektwal" ng pagbabasa, na ang pagkakahon sa intelektwal na pagbabasa ay isang limitasyong nararapat igpawan ng lumpenproletariat at ng uring masa upang mapagwagian ang tunggalian ng mga uri? Ito marahil ang trahedya ng ating pagkalulong sa opyong dulot ng Marxismo. Hindi nito inunawa kung paanong ang rebolusyonaryo ay winawasak ang institusyon, siya naman ang naging bagong institusyon. Hindi na ito bago. Naging Paghahari ng Lagim ang Himagsikang Pranses. Naging hegemon at mang-aalipin ang Estados Unidos ng Amerika. At ito nga, ang ating mga bayani ang siya ngayong simbolo ng paniniil ng uring kapitalista't kasike. Huwag pa: MAGING SI HESUS AY NAGING BIKTIMA NG PAGKALIKOT NG MGA NAGHAHARING-URI? Si Rizal mismo ang nagwika: "Paanong nangyari na ang Kristiyanismong lumaganap upang bigyang-tulong ang mga dukha't api ay siya ngayong kasangkapan sa pang-aalipin?"

Ito marahil ang diyalektikong pinag-uugatan natin kung bakit tayo humaling na humaling kay Manny Pacquiao sa kabila ng kanyang mga kapalpakang personal at propesyunal. Nakikita natin sa kanya ang isang imahen ng ating mga sarili: buhat sa hirap, bigo, nguni't nagtatagumpay sa kabila ng di-mawatasang pagsubok. Imahen siya ng ating sama-samang kabiguan na nagagawang magtagumpay muli kahit sunod-sunod ang kabiguan. Marami ang nagsasabi, maging sa mga sirkulo intelektwal, na kung hindi nga lamang siya sana isang tagasunod ng mapaniil at lipos-parikalang pamamahala ni Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, maihahambing na siya kay Muhammad Ali na isang ikong kultural ng pagwasak sa isteryotipo ng kasike't nakatataas: edukado, magandang mukha't pangangatawan, madaling makakuha ng trabaho't siyang kasama sa mga ginagalang at may karapatang umapi sa kapwa. Hindi kataka-taka, marahil, na umusbong ang isang portal na pinag-uugatan ng "kulturang wasak," na siyang silbi ng kuwestiyonableng satirikal-patawang blog na Hay!Men! Ang Blog ng mga Tunay Na Lalake.

At hindi nga ba ang mga ganitong kaganapan nga lamang ang nagpapatunay kung gaanong katotoo, kung gaanong kakontemporanyo ang isipin ni Rizal sa ating panahon? Hindi baga nagkalat pa ring sandamukal ang mga Senor Pasta sa ating panahon? Ang mga Hermana Rufa na ipokritong nagbabanal-banalan upang lugamiin ang iba? Ang mga dalaginding na inilarawan ni Ninotchka Rosca sa "State of War" na naniniwala pa ring ang "pinakamalamang mga hita ay sa kura?" O kung hindi man, mga Saling na walang magawa kundi isuko ang sarili sa mga Presidente ng bayan at mga panginoong maylupa? Ano ngayon ang sasabihin nating si Rizal ay hindi kabahagi ng ating kamalayan? Ano ang sasabihin nating ang Noli at Fili ay mga likhang sobra na ang pagbabasa kaya hindi na nararapat pag-aksayahan pa ng panahon? Maraming mga bagay pa ang hindi natin nagagawang basahin, at maraming kabulaanan pa ang hindi naiwawaksi.

Sa isang lunang liberal-demokratiko katulad ng ating bayan, walang maaasahang pagbabago sa kabila ng pagpupumilit sa reporma. Ilang ulit na tayong nabalaho sa usapin ng Repormang Agraryo. Ilang ulit na tayong pinagtangkaang pasayawin ng Cha-Cha ng mga payasong hunghang sa ating Lehislatura. Nasasabalag tayo ng alanganing pumili sa isang kahila-hilakbot na nunong may nunal at sa mga galamay ng isang pugitang mas matakaw pa sa buwaya at may bigote. At ang karamihan sa atin ay walang magawa kundi ang magmukmok at mawalan ng pag-asa. "Hindi malalabanan ang sistema." "Walang magagawa; pare-pareho lang sila." "ANG NAKATAKDANG MAGPUTA, MAGPUPUTA." "HINDI NA NANGYAYARI ANG HIMALA."

Pero sa totoo lang, nasa harap natin lagi ang kasagutan. Nakasulat sa isang binubukbok, malutong at inaalikabok na aklat.

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
- George Santayana.

...[W]ithout weighing the consequences that our frankness may bring upon us, we shall in the present article treat of [the Philipppines'] future. In order to read the destiny of a people, it is necessary to open the book of its past... (...Nang walang pagtimbang sa kahihinatnan ng ating pagkamatapat ay ating pag-usapan sa sulating ito ang hinaharap ng Pilipinas. Upang mabasang mawatasan ang kapalaran ng isang bayan, kinakailangang buksan ang kalatas ng kanyang nakaraan...)

- Jose Rizal, Ang Pilipinas Sa Loob ng Sandaang Taon

Friday, May 8, 2009

Evaluating Sheol: A Discourse on Hannah Arendt’s Borderline Liberal Democracy and Notions of Reconciliation

Hansley A. Juliano, II AB Political Science: January 27, 2009

Finishing the study of Hannah Arendt’s monumental work on underpinning the nature of “modernity’s darkest potential,” The Origins of Totalitarianism seemingly sends out a message in the line of the following statements: “Modernity as an order is self-destructive and totalitarianism as a means of governing and community-building prevents the maintenance of communes: therefore, we should abhor it and reject its existence, as well as the possibility of it ever happening again.” Such a position is, in many ways, a comfortable, safe and acceptable one which can be argued to public approval: it is after all a well-accepted notion that totalitarian leaders are the embodiment of the evils of the modern world, most notably Adolf Hitler of Germany. Despite these, however, we would be doing the discourse on totalitarianism a disservice if we are going to close all our doors on it, not trying to understand its capabilities of political action and mobilization. In fact, we must make ourselves aware of it all the more in our daily lives so as to be able to sense its presence and potential to control and warp our very notions of what is just and what is the good for everyone. It must be made clear, however, that allowing totalitarianism to be brought to our collective awareness does not mean that we also open ourselves to accepting and condoning the horrendous crimes it has committed in the name of political progression. Totalitarianism, therefore, should become the post-modern world’s image of Satan: a reflection of humanity’s darkest potential for social change and yet an enduring symbol of what is inherently unacceptable and forgivable in our collective consciousness.

Arendt identifies the tools by which totalitarianism propagates its existence and entrenches itself into power through increasing bureaucratization. There is also the very vital element of using propaganda for the purpose of instilling lies in the minds of the people. Some might make the hasty comparison to the Socratic imperative of establishing “noble lies” for the concretization of the institution of the ideal polis being founded, but they are entirely very different. Totalitarian propaganda does not practice elenchus or persuasion in the process of proliferating these lies as a pragmatic means of strengthening the foundations of institutions; instead, it uses terror and compels everyone, whether possessing one’s free will or not, to participate in propagating such lies to the point that it effaces our own preconceived notions of justice. As such, the transition between a totalitarian movement seeking to attain power and a totalitarian regime striving to maintain power becomes a study of contrasts. On one hand you have an overzealous movement seeking to present a “sincere” and “truly accurate” picture of themselves so as to garner the support of the masses, while on the other hand the same movement, in entrenching itself into power, seeks to hinder or even exterminate the search for what is true and just in order to prevent any possibility of the being replaced the moment they become incompatible to the contexts of the progressing historical dispensation.

In this light, therefore, we look into the case of the Jewish people as a point of reference in understanding how totalitarianism promotes an unprecedented level of incomprehensive, mindless action that leads to the deconstruction of human dignity as something of value. Despite the fact that they are, indeed, the worst victims of a totalitarian rampage which has redefined and demonstrated just how mindless humanity can be even in the face of incomparable evil, they are actually to blame for institutionalizing the mode of community-building through blood relations and not through persuasion and critical thinking. These nepotistic tendencies have given leeway to other people to define themselves as specie beings as well, which found its most disgusting articulation in Hitler’s declaration of the Aryans as a “master race.” Karl Marx rightfully indicted them in his essay On the Jewish Question when he demonstrated how wrong their desire is to gain their own nation-state when they have not contributed to the communal experience of the European countries they have found themselves in. Obviously, this is tantamount to them denying the capability of the nation-state to assure the rights of the German people and deconstructing the concept of the nation-state in general.

The question on whether totalitarianism is still relevant and a potential weapon in the destruction of the existing repressive liberal-democratic global hegemony does persist. Arendt herself has been under fire from the Marxists and other movements which promote a scientific, behavioural approach to the social sciences, being condemned as an apologist of the CIA. This accusation, however problematic, does present a semblance of motivation on Arendt’s part. Being a Jew herself and despite the fact that she has been excommunicated by the Jews, it is not unlikely that she still seeks the attainment of the Jewish cause and their desire to have their own nation-state, which is what the hegemonic United States is pushing in their desire to have a stronghold in Southwest Asia in the same manner the Philippines was their stronghold in Southeast Asia. This is not to say, however, that we should throw away everything which Arendt has argued and laboured to explain about the excesses of totalitarian rule. It is still, indeed, a good counter-reference in the perpetual moving tendencies of totalitarian movements which has been their constant impetus to sow terror on their peoples.

Without question, the inhuman actions and effects brought about by totalitarian regimes should never be given consideration nor should it ever be effaced from our collective consciousness. We cannot sweep under the rug the fact that through regimes of pure action, many lives have been lost senselessly and purposelessly. As such, Arendt’s own proposition of forgiveness as a political action contradicts itself, as the notion of forgiveness entails the downplaying of significant historical events that transpired within peoples. To forget these nodes of historical progression is to be subject to a dangerous tendency of amnesia, which will allow the resurfacing of the ugly capabilities of totalitarian movements without our knowledge. Reconciliation, therefore, should not be rooted in the action of forgiveness but in the transcendence of human limitations and concupiscence to re-establish modes of communication smashed by the desire of totalitarian rule. Systematic disruption of human interaction can only be restored by deliberative means of understanding the human condition, as well as the recognition of one’s own responsibility in these actions despite the benumbing and desensitizing conditions that total politics has imputed on both victim and perpetrator. The notion of forgiveness, however beautiful and binding, can only be practiced in the confines of a communion which shares the same contexts and objects of faith. To compel forgiveness would not be binding or significant at the very least, and as such, will not bring forth the repair of broken lives and milieus which will finally allow people to truly move on and continue the vita activa.
The Blob as Threat: A Discourse on the Nature of the Masses and Its Bifurcating Capabilities through Terror

Hansley A. Juliano, II AB Political Science: January 20, 2009

Inasmuch as the illustration might sound unsuitable, it appears that we Filipinos, in functioning as a democratic unit, always subscribes to the maxim of community-building shared by the iconic 1990s rock band Eraserheads: that every good and relevant action should consider the well-being of what we love to term as “the masses” (para sa masa, sa lahat ng binaon ng sistema). In an appeal to the notion of collective experience and thinking about the practice of politics as a fulfilment of social imperatives, we unwittingly subsume ourselves to a dynamic of communal experience that is, in itself, following the order of modernity which, in turn, proliferate the seeds of its darkest potential in the form of totalitarianism. Consonant with the Hobbesian proposal of power as necessarily centralized, it then appears as if society cannot function if the accumulation of property cannot occur and thus, the necessity of increasing power parallel to the intensity of accumulation for the bourgeois. This imminent greed of the bourgeois catalysed the retaliation of the lower social classes in the form of “the masses” as the proletariat, illustrated by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engel’s The Communist Manifesto. This, however, is problematic if we are going to consider the fact of the claim of historicity in action. To centralize political action into the welfare of the masses is to commit once more the error of the French Revolution in thinking that community-building could and should be equated with the desire to accumulate and preserve property.

Hannah Arendt defines the masses as the product of the breakdown of class structures which, though related, is not at all similar to the relations of the mob and the bourgeois. The mass is, in more ways than one, the conglomeration of directed interests of people displaced from their class in the aftermath of the breakdown of society. In the destruction of the nation-state, the security of each individual is put to question, which leads to the attempt to assure the rights of an individual in the enactment of Universal Human Rights. This is in itself, as may be garnered from the declaration of Jacques Derrida, always suspicious as human rights can only be guaranteed inside the nation-state. In such a situation, we cannot help but be under the suspicion that the supranational agency declaring such is on its way of attempting to establish a world order under its hegemony. Thus, it comes off as no wonder that any action of the United States of America that is claimed to be interventionist will always fall under the lens of scrutiny as an imperialist move.

It must also be noted that, contrary to the belief that the masses are the exact equivalent of the demos in the public sphere, the driving force of the masses is a sense of despair and loss of significance to themselves; a form of “pervasive emo-ness” which makes them think that society and the world in general will never understand nor tolerate their existence. Thus, they are predisposed to all ideologies as these ideologies present “grand narratives” which will explain their situation without them having to deliberate upon it. The masses follow a very Rousseauvian (and therefore problematic) view of the means by which the community caters to the development of the individual. Entering the self no longer produces neither enlightenment nor recognition of desires and appetites but a hysteria acknowledging one’s brokenness and inability to change it.

It is in this context that totalitarianism feeds upon to promulgate its radically evil agenda through the destruction of distinctions between the public and the private. Contrasting to the Classical and Early Modern perspectives of ruling through virtue and/or the utilization of fear, as well as the valuing of honor and material gains, the aforementioned have been eliminated in favour of establishing a regime of terror. A tyranny can only exist in the presence of fear amongst the people, causing inaction among them; in contrast, however, a totalitarian regime encourages action and constant movement, carefully planned and systematically eliminating types of people. The callousness and detachment of the proliferators sends chills down the spine of people who cannot comprehend human capability for inhuman tendencies and, in a disturbing fashion, seduces people with grand personal projections. Such an occurrence is not new not only in the political sphere; in fact, this idea of constant movement with the absence of deliberation for its massed composition also is practiced in the various illegal (or counter-religious) cult organizations.

How then do the masses play into the picture of totalitarian establishment? This is explained by the fact that they, being the most emotionally and psychologically volatile portion of the state, is likely to be taken in by the totalitarian leader’s self-image as a deprecating and non-ambitious person. The charisma of this person will likely draw the attention, support and, ultimately, fanatical devotion of the masses in his quest for setting up the regime of terror organized by his party. This, in turn, will likely pose questions of moral judgment which will test the capability of the human person to actually consider disowning his held scruples. In playing upon ambitions of both leader and followed, they begin to think that one cannot exist without the other, and therefore has to retain semblance of arbitrariness in order to project the image of a normal political state. Yet it is actually carefully deliberated upon by the leaders and they labor enough through propaganda and indoctrination of certain ideologies which will help in their holding sway over the hearts and minds of people.

The conception of ideologies might be considered as an evolution (or a horrible transmogrification, depending on the situation) of the necessity of fabricating “grand narratives,” as Socrates once proposed in his establishment of the polis. And yet, however, the way totalitarianism uses ideology is never for the sake of community-building but, in fact, to destroy communication among the citizens. In seeking to instate the rule of terror through deft massages of ego and ambition, the masses are likely deluded into believing that politics will only be relevant to them through the salvific nature of a totalitarian leader, which is, obviously, against everything politics stands for and will spell the disintegration of the public space.
Re-appreciating the Significance of Fear: A Discourse on the Conflicting Desires that Mitigate Totalitarianism

Hansley A. Juliano, II AB Political Science: January 13, 2009

The notion of strong and collected leaders has been, for quite long, part of the standing and common perception of what totalitarianism is. The word itself has been quite used interchangeably with the words “tyranny” and “dictatorship,” due to their having the common trait (or image of such a trait) of the condensation of power in a state figurehead reminiscent of the Hobbesian Leviathan’s influence, power and motivations. This is, however, an oversimplification of the dynamics of a totalitarian’s effect on the mindset, the perspectives and the collective consciousness of the people he is governing or oppressing. In retrospect, a totalitarian regime is never established with the people explicitly surrendering their right to the sovereign in the spirit of political maturity and culpability for their actions. We might state, then, that Hannah Arendt’s work entitled The Origins of Totalitarianism exhibits the horrifying potential for encroachment and reduction of human life to mere statistics. For a totalitarian regime to be at the apogee of power and have dominion over the state, a substantive and driving force of fear and apprehension of loss and the desire for accumulation is always maintained and considered paramount.

A novel reading of Arendt’s critique of Karl Marx’s perception of human existence as one driven by perpetual motion posits that it is in this perpetual motion that the origins of totalitarianism are established. The absence of an avenue for pardon and the mending of human relations is a perfect means by which a cycle of hatred is institutionalized. Through the installation of motor at the hub of historical progress, we are no longer able to make sense of our free will and our capability to will or make promises. In depriving ourselves of the avenue to repair and re-establish our broken relationships with others, we deny ourselves the capability of reinvention and thus effectively countering the original purpose of critical thinking: understanding the limitations of our historical situation and working on it to build the ideal community, which in a way lays the foundation for the succeeding philosophy developed by Michel Foucault.

We insist, as mentioned a while ago, that totalitarianism is always brought about by the presence of any substantive amount of fear in losing what most of the entities in state and society have accumulated. This condition is brought about precisely by the pessimistic nature of most established traditional political philosophy; that is, they are always large possibilities for failure, which is in a way vocalized in the Machiavellian notion of fortune as unpredictable and prone to being our adversary. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, however, impresses us with his insistence that being fearful of the tragic consequences of political success will always be counterproductive in the pursuit of building the ideal community. He is aware of the possibility that the Vanguard Party’s actions can lead to totalitarianism, yet he is unfazed. His successor, Josef Stalin, however, was so concerned with this “negative development” that he laboured to force the people of the state into subscribing to his notion of what should be done to prevent the advent of totalitarianism, which ironically led to it precisely.

It is in this light, then, that we try to understand the roots of anti-Semitism through the experience of fear and desire for accumulation. As established, the black propaganda against the Jews was made due to the desire of the bourgeois to undermine their proximity and influence to the ruling classes. Thanks to the peculiar alienation of the Jewish Europeans to the bourgeoisie of their respective countries despite their equal footing in economic power, they became easy targets of “ethnic cleansing.” Their unofficial alliance to the ruling families and classes are preventing the bourgeois from influencing these sovereigns to expand their territories instrumental to the creation of new markets, so as to prevent the saturation of wealth and the eventual dichotomization of classes foretold by the crisis theory of Marxist thought. (Of course, Marx is neither born nor aware of these during the beginning of global colonization, yet the phenomena that occurred fits nicely in his theorization.) This irresponsibility of the bourgeois eventually brought forth the social experimentations carried out by the colonies through the merger of finance capital and monopoly capital, culminating in the experience of Imperialism which burdened most countries in Asia, America and Africa. Such obnoxious conception of “community-building”, which traces its roots from the classical notion of conquest are warped to serve not the people of the conquered communities (which are impossible due to their alienation from the community of the master country), but the unquenchable gluttony of the capitalist class. Cecil Rhodes could have not illustrated this thirst for accumulation better: I would annex the planets if I could.

Verily, these horrific situations could not but stir our spirits into revulsion and the burning desire to exterminate such conditions; more generally, we are likely being invited to act, which is of course consistent with the 11th Thesis of Feuerbach: The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it. The take on Arendt’s conception, however, appears that it would actually be necessary to resist this call to action. This is due to the fact that the context of these societies dichotomizes action and deliberation. To act in the capitalist environment through rebellion, one cannot help but forego thinking for the benefit of accomplishing the actions and the plans for change one has embraced. This, of course, is very counter to the proper political action of elenchus. In fact, there is also the proposition of rejecting Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s absolutization of the classes in the advent of the struggle for change. This absolutization, seeing how it evolved into the heavily-economic and stoic representation of human life in Marx, reduces people to mere statistics who do not have individual stories, who are not and will not be expected to think, but merely to follow. In rejecting this, the pluralization (therefore, the proliferation) of human opinion and thought in political action shall be reinvigorated. Mao Zedong realized it when he once asked for the blooming of the hundred flowers; unfortunately, the fear of losing what has been achieved, despite the fact that what is present is realized much better, stifled it once more.
The Power of the Gun Barrel or the Germs? : A Discourse on the Means of Fulfilling the Proletarian Revolution

Hansley A. Juliano, II AB Political Science: January 6, 2009

We tend to view any movement for radical reform and revision of existing social systems as a suicidal attempt of making a dysfunctional society take the first step towards repair and regeneration. One need not look far beyond us to see that there is still a considerable majority among the Philippine population who believes in the position of resignation, to the jubilation of capitalists who arrogantly brandishes their “victory” against the Leftist forces. They seem to have successfully implemented the maxim of complacency from satisfaction with the present conditions. “Ganyan naman talaga e, pagtyagaan na lang [It’s always the same, so let’s just endure it],” they would say when, in fact, it is actually out of despair and the fear of losing what little they have that drives to inertia. Many are of the opinion that this atrophy explains why the Philippine Communist revolution has never arrived in its most potent form, why it spiralled down from the stalemate with the oppressive, fascist and American puppet state that our government became under Marcos. It seems to us that what it has worked hard and many of their comrades died for to achieve was all in vain. This notion of irredeemable failure for the proletarian revolt, however, misses the possibilities of the entire corpus of Marxist thought and reveals what is problematic in the dogmatic and historical progression of human action towards the stateless society. To be able to proceed towards fulfilment of the revolution, we must subscribe to the continual reinvention of what Marxism founded (and therefore contradict historical progression) for it to survive and outlive the manipulative nature of capitalism.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s statement of the proletarian class being organized by the vanguard party is working under the assumption that the dichotomies of class struggle have already been achieved; that is, that the capitalist systems and all that falls under it are seen as the summation of all evil. Therefore, there is this consciousness that the proletarian camp really is and truly believes that they are the antithesis of the capitalists which is constantly devouring and mangling society. To truly progress, then, the proletariats have to arm themselves in smashing the capitalist state. The common misconception about the concept of the “withering away of the state” is that it is the capitalist state that is supposed to wither; it is not. Capitalism itself should be smashed and then replaced with the communist state which will then “wither” at the end of historical progression. This is why Karl Kautsky’s proposition of parliamentary struggle within the capitalist state is considered by Lenin as a betrayal of Marx, as it does not help in the progression of history and even gives capitalism some semblance of legitimacy. In our context, the consistent failures of our identified Leftist party lists such as Akbayan, Gabriela, Bayan Muna and the like to bring forth legitimate reforms in the “peaceful manner” illustrates this all too well.

The problem, however, begins when the organization process escalates. The question of whether there should be only one centric and solid camp of the proletarian party or there should be multiple pockets of proletarian organization becomes relevant in order to speed up progression towards the stateless society. The standing Communist Party of the Philippines under the chairmanship of revolutionary ideologue Jose Maria Sison might be seen as a very good case study of proving the historical progression of a reformist as stated by fictional District Attorney Harvey Dent: “you either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” As the National Democratic Front would propagate, the CPP subscribes to Marxist-Leninist-Maoist tradition of establishing the vanguard party. This was to be the cure for the “adventurist errors,” as Sison would put it, of the former leaders of the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas-1930 under the brothers Jose and Jesus Lava.

Antonio Gramsci illustrated that capitalist structures are not simply governed and maintained by the economic modes of production. There are also historical and cultural blocks which intervene. Since capitalism does not assert its authority through coercion but by consent, the capability of capitalism to weather the advances of the proletariat is very stable and formidable. Thus, there is the need for strategic movement and waging two types of wars: that of direct conflict or aggression, and that of position or establishing oneself in historic blocks and the consciousness of the demos. As seen from the events of the 1970’s, the vanguard party is very effective in waging their “protracted people’s war,” dismantling the authority and credibility of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, in part thanks to the increasing corruption that state institutions have descended into. However, by their own admission, their inability to properly organize and indoctrinate to the people the steadfast adherence to their philosophy allowed the displaced bourgeois forces (in the form of Corazon Aquino) to wrest power and re-establish old capitalist institutions. Worse, the failure of the vanguard party to remain coherent in the aftermath of this “restoration” brought forth the purges which killed many Party stalwarts, most famous being former NPA commander Romulo Kintanar. Sison himself is condemned for supposedly masterminding the 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing which taints the credibility, as well, of the Party and the legitimacy of the Communist movement in general. The recent discovery of the “mass graves” does nothing at all to efface the suspicion and paranoia of the people they were supposed to fight for.

In short, they were indeed able to sustain a war of aggression, but they failed to properly position themselves for the movement to remain relevant and pressing to society. The question of whether to persist in the vanguard party or begin the rhizomatic proliferation of centers and focus points of conflicts become more relevant in the pursuit of smashing a constantly mutating capitalist society. By looking at the historical achievements of the Philippine proletariat, it does appear that stubbornness in maintaining a form of engagement that is no longer conjunct with the current historical block will hinder the success of the progression towards the stateless society. As long as the CPP-NPA-NDF is unable to reinvent itself, they will remain as impotent as the Lavas which they displaced and, in the words of Benedict Anderson, “Stalinist bores”.
Echoes of Pacifico Ortiz: A Discourse on Social Guilt and Its Role in the Fulfilment of Marxist Crisis Theory

Hansley A. Juliano, II AB Political Science: December 16, 2008

The expression and acknowledgement of human culpability in the current state of social injustice in the public sphere seems to be the growing norm among the corporate powers-that-be. As such, there are growing and conscious efforts to facilitate in the alleviation of the economically-challenged citizens from known business and capitalist institutions, which led to the conception of the idea of “corporate social responsibility” or CSR, a value which almost all businessmen are being trained into and which the Ateneo has been repeatedly touting as its contribution to social change. If one would look at it at face value, it appears to be something very good and helpful in the development of a society that is increasingly and desperately becoming more and more uninhabitable, a means of closing the gap between the haves and the have-nots. If we would dissect its individual actions and implications, however, we shall see that this concept is here as only a renewed means of the prevailing capitalist system in disguising itself to perpetuate itself longer in power and prevent the masses from actually realizing the need for its overthrow through a revolution guided by Communist principles. Perhaps one of the most elaborate means to mislead the people into a false sense of fulfilment and self-realization is the induction of the concept of private property, as it is grounded upon the principles of alienation. Private property, being a product of the labourer and yet is not being experienced (that is, taking benefit from it) by the labourer himself, demarcates the product of the labor from its creator. This is best illustrated in fast food restaurants. As a child of eleven, I was fond of eating at Chowking in my hometown. One day when I entered the establishment, I noticed two staffers of Chowking having their lunch of nilagang baka with three cups of rice. I approached them and asked them if Chowking serves nilaga as well. When they responded in the negative, I ask them why then are they not eating any of the foods that the restaurant is selling. They replied that they are not allowed to eat any of their products but may make their own.

The alienation of the labourer from the fruits of his labor makes the labourer himself a commodity no different from the products he creates. He is objectified twofold by his condition of being in labour for a capitalist overlord and his inability to relate with his produce. This relation, if compared to the Hegelian state of living of the slave, is far worse. For Hegel, the slave is important to the master for the master cannot produce without the slave, and the slave has his means of realizing the wretched state he is in to allow for the moment of revolution. Marx’s description of the labourer is harrowing: it transmogrifies the labourer into an unthinking beast of burden, an animal and statistic only defined by his labour. If there would be anything common with white-collar office workers and blue-collar labourers, it is the underlying fact that for the system they are working in, what is only important is more quantitative and fast-efficient production, regardless of the costs to human self-development. It is in this light, therefore, that we consider how private property has made human society stupid in its over-reliance to it. Quoting from the corporate terrorist Tyler Durden in Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Fight Club, it appears that in a capitalist society we are obsessed with accumulating property, so much that in the end “the things that you won end up owning you.” Despite the fact that private property does define a semblance of humanity for a person, it is only through the transcendence of private property that man could be emancipated. As such, it is advocated that private property be abolished. Though there might be the danger of abandoning the concept of being free, what is given importance is the establishment of the relationship of brotherhood, one that is not meant through any ends whether for monetary gain or benefits. There is only the brotherhood for brotherhood’s sake.

Karl Marx wrote in his Das Kapital that “the value of commodity is defined by the amount of labor invested in the production of that commodity.” What allows capitalists to accumulate larger and larger amounts of monetary compensation is the concept of surplus value which, as we have mentioned a while ago, ensures that the labourer shall not partake in the fruits of what he has laboured for. Through a set means of wages equal to a supposed capacity for production (which is not valid due to the dynamic capability of the labourer), the profit shall always proceed towards the capitalist. And yet, it shall be through this system of increasing desire form profit that capitalism shall self-destruct, should circumstances play out in the crisis theory. The greed of capitalists for profit will drive them to mechanize their form of production, laying off workers and, unconsciously, losing that stretchable dynamic supply of surplus. In the increase of surplus commodities due to piling up of mechanically-made products, there will be overproduction and underconsumption which will likely drive the businesses to lose profits in the long run, bringing about the need for mergers. Eventually, power and wealth shall be congested in a select few (which is actually happening right now given the statistics are true). Such a widening gap between poor and wealthy shall, as illustrated by Marx, bring about increasing proletarianization culminating in what Teodoro Agoncillo mistakenly thought the 1896 Revolution to be: “the revolt of the masses.” The Filipino interpretation of the Communist hymn Internationale succinctly described what should be done: Wala tayong maaasahang Bathala o manunubos, kaya’t ang ating kaligtasa’y nasa ating pagkilos! (We cannot rely on God or any saviour, so our salvation is in our hands.)

The late first Filipino president of the Ateneo, Fr. Pacifico Ortiz, S.J., once prayed for a government to raise up the hopes of a nation desperate enough that it already “stand[s] on the trembling edge of revolution.” Despite the fact that the 1970s are, indeed, turbulent times with the Communist spectre haunting the status quo, the revolution of the proletariat has not yet arrived in its entirety. The state has not yet descended in utter dispossession under the hegemony of a paltry few, but it is already nearing that state. There is still a possibility and hope for the chained labourer to win a world.
Breaking from Simounic Revolutionary Thought: A Discourse on the Futility of a Revolution with Historicity and the Marxian Views of Individual-State Relations

Hansley A. Juliano, II AB Political Science: December 2, 2008

Whenever the phenomenon of revolution is mentioned in the course of the Philippine political sphere, the first images that come to our minds are usually those of the men with rolled sleeves, raised clenched fists and brandishing bolo knives carrying a crimson banner of dissent intent on bringing down tyrannical overlords. It might also be an overflowing massed humanity carrying placards and shouting slogans or demands for reform or against unjust, corrupt and self-serving leaders. It seems that our view on the act of revolution is that it is a process that could be empirically carried and something that has a definitive, absolute end. Therefore, we glorify, stress and sometimes exaggerate the supposed goals and the results that shall be garnered from any revolutionary enterprise. Unfortunately, it appears that this is the very view on revolution that has caused a lingering disillusionment among the demos to even dare to conduct or participate in such action. More often than not, we hear people saying: We have always called for change. We have revolted so many times. Nothing has happened whatsoever. So what for?

This notion of revolution as historical (that is, having an absolute and definite endpoint) has been strongly refuted by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. In fact, he clarified that once a revolution has supposedly already achieved its goals (or claim to do so), it is time that this revolution be subjected to another overthrow of another revolution. Constant with Hegel’s chain of thesis-antithesis-synthesis, this never-ending sequence intends (and therefore advocates) constant change and improvement. Most revolutions, when they succeed, overthrow the institution from which they have rebelled from and then establish their version of what the institution must be. This institution, following Hegelian thought, should then be subject to another revolution which would overthrow it; a symbolical execution of the master by the apprentice as Eastern martial art tradition has been portrayed. And even yet, this very action of overthrowing the master is something that the slave cannot do, which prevents him from achieving change. This constant and repeated frustration, however, was not intended to make man think of political action as something that is futile and not worth pursuing. In fact, it should encourage men to dream, invigorate them to act and constantly refine themselves in the pursuit of the ideal life, as is the goal of politics has been defined.

Such a form of action reminds me of the thought process of student activist groups in the duration of the First Quarter Storm. As related by former journalist and writer Jose “Pete” Lacaba in his book of the accounts of the events in the political sphere of the early 1970’s, entitled Days of Disquiet, Nights of Rage, these students constantly evaluate themselves and their standpoints with issues in contrast to the actions of the tightly-controlled Marcos government. They have been known to frequently reconsider their points whenever the administration actually begins to take them in consideration. In constantly revitalizing and reforming the voices of change, they remain relevant to the society in which they act and try to improve.

Karl Marx, however, would not want history and the course of political action to proceed. He establishes a form of historical action that culminates, true to his claim of “rectifying what Hegel has placed upside-down,” in the eradication of conflict and demystification of human relations. That is, there is an intent to transform humanity into a socialized whole, wherein conflict and inequalities have been snuffed out as simply fireworks intended to dazzle or even mislead us into thinking that we are progressing as a society, when in reality there is no least measure visible. His Theories on Feuerbach expresses this intent of doing away with all established norms and structures society has placed on human communities and, in a micro level, their collective consciousnesses, rejecting all of these as mere “opiates.” Marx maintains that human oppression shall always occur, as long as people have relations set by the community. Under the influence of such “opiates” as religion and obsession with rights, people cannot truly be able to assert themselves in the context within which they live, act and produce. Every produce then, therefore, is a mere product of oppression, something that should not surprise us and something that should not be enjoyed.

It appears, then, that in this light revolution is protracted and with a certain requirements – aimed at a common, timed and precise achievement of particular living conditions. This is not simply the sudden appearance of someone with a messianic complex of salvation that would liberate people from their woes without them being active themselves in their own liberation. This form of revolution transforms people into scientists willing to experiment and act according to what social change necessitates them to do, what would be needed to mitigate reforms which would eliminate necessity for exploitation: that is, human relation. There shall be a move to make men self-sufficient in the classless society so as not to cause any more oppression due to the need of production and labor in the support of human relations.

However, this is quite problematic if we are going to follow traditional notions of revolutionary action. What is Marx proposing is that we, in our act of dissent against the institution, think of our objectives as certain and ending. This is exemplified, from a different perspective, by the statement of the fictional jeweller Simoun with regards to his insurrectionist plan intended to orchestrate the downfall of a corrupt colonial system: “Fire and steel to the cancer, chastisement to vice, and afterwards destroy the instrument, if it be bad!” By ending the conflicts in the classless, communist society, there shall be the likelihood of people being complacent and not thinking about the status of their habitation as well as their neighbour. If all men would be self-sufficient, there would be no need for community-building and interactions with each other, ending politics as Marx intended. To end politics, then, would be to deprive human of their basic needs: constant change, constant improvement.
To Write or To Strike: A Discourse on the Dichotomy of Historicity and Consciousness, and How Such Affects Human Relations and Revolutionary Intent

Hansley A. Juliano, II AB Political Science: December 2, 2008

It is lamentable, in more ways than one, that human relations have not changed very much compared to the past five centuries. Some may find this statement quite unusual, paradoxical, and erroneous even, due to the fact that many forms of human relations exist today which have not existed before, or may have been considered as unusual or potentially dangerous associations. Today, developed and developing countries have been patrons of liberality and are obsessed with obtaining and maintaining a limitless degree of freedom which will allow people to shape their selves as they please. Such cannot be said of the societies of centuries past where norms, rules and regulations are firmly in place, intended to inhibit the individual from straying from the community of his origin. And yet, despite this supposed situation of open floodgates allowing people to be free as they can, they themselves are now the ones who claim to be unfree. They blame history, fate, predestination and all other supernatural abstractions which supposedly pull the strings of their lives as if they were puppets on a stage.

One cannot help but either roar in laughter or wallow in pools of tears in hearing such a blatant washing of hands more crass than Pontius Pilate’s. It appears as if man, who was supposedly created in the likeness and image of a Supreme Being, is now simply reduced to a mere instrument created at some particular point without reason. Such would be a description of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s notion of history and historicity as conscious and ever-moving. This belief gave birth to the now-cliché yet stupid statement of “history repeating itself,” when it is in fact we ourselves who repeat history due to lack of hindsight, the ability to learn from experience and respect to tradition. To say that history should define us is to deny the human capability for action, deliberation and change.

It is in this light that we try to understand how, then, could man should learn how to negate action while being active and engaging his desire. To negate action, it was said, is to consume the very feeling or sensation of desire by the act of fulfilling that particular desire. For instance, one person might want a blueberry cake. This desire for the blueberry cake is so intense that it can only be quenched by presenting him with that blueberry cake, and for the person to eat it. In consuming the cake, the desiring person negates the very object of his desire, and thus negates his action. In this sense, man is transformed a person who is not one who controls history but is controlled by history. His desire to act is always frustrated by the fact that he finds no sense of accomplishment, that everything he does cannot make a mark, and yet is thus that he lives in society and practices politics.

The imagery is, in a way, a good example of perpetual tension; uncertain departure, uncertain arrival. I am reminded of the socialization of the pre-Martial Law Armed Forces of the Philippines as described in Alfred McCoy’s Closer than Brothers: Manhood at the Philippine Military Academy. It was said that to ensure civilian supremacy, the officers were socialized into placing the authority of civil government at highest regard. Through this, they could not possibly nor dare think that the military can initiate a government on their own, much less govern the country better through a military junta. As events and history proved, this form of socialization was nullified by the Marcos presidency. This was mentioned to illustrate the fact that this conscious sense of frustration, contrary to what Hegel intended, is not political, if not should be detached from the proper political course of action. The armed forces are never supposed to be politicized: any attempt to politicize them will cause a chaotic phase in the life of the state, as we will discuss below.

The notion of political action as one that is laced by the element of surprise, as promulgated by traditional and classical political thought as well as the contemporary notion created by Hannah Arendt would be, in more ways the one, be the better political course of action as it And thus it is set that the discussion of the master-slave dialectic is put in focus. It is said that the master and the slave must fight to the death, as it is through this that the wheels of history are seen at motion. No one between them initiated the conflict; it is the dictate of history.

The slave, guided by the belief that he is not actually bound by the world, but his master is, would be led to rebel and try to break off the chains that restrain him from the moment of his defeat at the hands of that master. The fact that he is the one who creates the world for the master who consumes it shows that he is detached from it, that he can transcend it and use it to gain his freedom. Such would evolve later into the famous battle cry of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in The Communist Manifesto: “they have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.”

And yet this could not be, and should not be. To think and believe that man can actually gain freedom through denial of his very own existence and giving up all his scruples to the dictates of history (or believing that such scruples are the dictate of history) suggests that man has no free will, that he is not someone who can hold his destiny in his hands. This might be consonant with St. Augustine on a particular level, but it runs counter to classical notion of politics as community-building. The politicization of the armed forces, leading them to believe that their restraint has created the world as they see it and they can create it in their own image, eventually brought forth the downward slide of that state into tyranny, rapaciousness and extreme alienation to the people. The names and events are countless: Pinochet, Franco, Idi Amin and more so, Marcos. The Reform the Armed Forces movement, though seemingly a group for reform, are in reality still soldiers who have been misled by a sense of overflowing power and now wishing to end their restraint by indulging it and holding on to it, not consuming it for the good of the state, something even Hegel himself would disapprove of.