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Revolutionary Mass Movements: Who shall Build and Strengthen?

Wednesday 2 May 2012, by Harrison Mariano

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Revolutionary movements are and will always be grounded with the masses’ conditions. They grow and gain strength from the real support and followings of the masses. Without the situations of injustices, massive poverty and hunger, inequalities, monopolies and elitist social structure that victimize the masses no revolutionary movements with the political aim to achieve structural change in power relations will not have ground and reason to exist.

In the Philippine society, more and more sufferings have been felt by the masses. Massive poverty has been partner of the majority population for so long and most of these numbers are in intense hunger. Such extreme situations of the people attract different agents for social change including the extremists and the rightists.

We cannot expect answers to these situations from the ruling system and government bureaucracies. Expectedly, they represent the monopoly capitalists, multinational companies and exploiter business owners since these leaders were put by these economic oligarchs in the positions for their vested interests. Change of leaders in the government from local to national brought more disasters to peoples’ lives because it is a change from one set of the ruling class to the other.

Clearly, since the victorious EDSA People Power 1 not counting the pre-Dictatorial period, poverty keeps on increasing and no real peoples’ government have been in placed in the Philippines. In the urban and rural areas (centers or peripheries) the condition of injustices and poverty are glaring and very visible. Even with the pronounced economic boost and the high remittances from the overseas migrant workers, much less are extended to alleviate the situation of the poor.

But, we cannot see the massive movements of the discontented and victims of these social, political and economic injustices. There are pragmatic movements but are becoming little by little irrelevant in numbers and influence. This has been a situation to reflect among revolutionary forces. Are the masses tired of being part of these ideals and actions for their liberation? What factors why? Or have these movements impact on the lives of the masses? Do the revolutionary movements really with and for the poor people or for the leadership only of these movements?

History of Revolutionary splits and the Left Dynamics

Left organizations since the history of split from the CPP brought by the closed-minded framework PPW, while other organs and individuals have breathed polluted air of opportunism and individualism, others also remained true to their ideals and orientations – they are competing to who can mobilize numbers and expand territories to the extent of destroying one to be the good one.

Extreme vanguardism and exclusivist framework continued to dominate among revolutionary forces and the feeling that the correct revolutionary and political line is owned only by one or two and the rest are pseudo and counter-revolutionaries.

The debate that resulted to split in the middle of 90’s made the mass organizations confused to where and to whom to go with and until today, it is sad to understand why revolutionary forces keep on claiming mass movements as party properties and even revolution as they own.

Electoralist groups need to play with the mainstream reactionary electoral system to win posts and or influence inside the dominant system.

Economic Survivalist Tendency to Apathy

Confusions and the tendency to survive, many people tend to work on their own to live and tired of evacuating now and then, and being implicated to revolutionary forces, then the reactionary military and police will be harassing them, it is better for them to keep silent.

The economic survival has been the element of inactive participation of the masses today in mass movements. And this set-up is a contribution of the elitist and monopolist economic system. First thing for the day is to think and work for the daily meals.

The Challenge: Who shall build and strengthen the mass movement?

Revolutionary movements are grounded on the sufferings of the masses and without the masses revolutionary ideals are the results of the concrete revolutionary movements raised on the level of theory than in effect will provide guidance to higher level of revolutionary movements.

In the Philippines, it has always been a show of force and competition of numbers by organizations which are usually moderate or extreme positions.

It is always the duty of revolutionary cadres to build conscious mass movements and strengthen such movements but must not claim to be owners, since it is owned by the masses. Only, revolutionary movements’ role is crucial for the guidance and linking their revolutionary orientation from the masses’ aspirations and real conditions.

And who are these revolutionary movements? They are individuals embraced with aspirations to radically change the current social, political and economic system and have believed the important role of the masses in all forms and methods in launching the revolution.

So, the duty to build and strengthen mass movements is by the collective of individuals who are also part of the masses and not someone from other planets who owned all ideological and political correctness. Revolution totally based on the subjective and objective readiness of the masses and not of the party alone.

The ebb of the revolutionary flow in the Philippines put some cadres in their comforts and never grows old, some if not all have been absorbed by the dominant system and are frustrations to the revolutionary movement.