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Sunday, September 9th, 2007
12:16 pm - brain test
Take this test at Tickle

You're a Balanced-brained!

The Brain Test
Brought to you by Tickle

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Tuesday, August 21st, 2007
4:45 am - The Cannibal Lectures part 4 (after bliss lim)
so much for surprise visits and gratuitous gift-giving.as for the first: "the letter always arrives" (read:written pieces are written primarily for the writer) says he who also cynically proclaimed  that  "structures don't march in the streets" to the dismay of  France's intellegentia. nonetheless, they marched with certitude clad in their trenchcoats. now, was 68 too early or too late? whatever, it wasn't a revolutionary situation. you are wrong if you disagreed.

as for gifts, you figure it out. and then ask me the question of what are we provincializing europe and america for. well, just because we have been civilized to the marrow of our bones! and then like cesaire stick that tongue into that fat cheek of yours. and then believe that guy who said that derrida is a goddamn fly.

(you are not the author of your ideas)

(yeah? so who taught me desire?)

(the Big Other colonized it)

"Desire is the first to be colonized and the last to be freed"*

"so tell me, despite this,  have I given?"

"i look in the list of deathless loves but our names are not among them"**

"you see,  we are two people who know very well that we cannot love forever, cynics at best" 

"yes, but i have come to know  a few people who give as though they might."


_________________________________________________________________

*Bliss Cua Lim, Poems from Two Places
**same
   
 

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Saturday, August 11th, 2007
1:04 pm - 11 years after
Did i keep you waiting?

Never.

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12:59 pm - queer eye for the sad guy
Tony Wilson died succumbed to cancer yesterday.
A was very sad.
He wanted to see the film 24-hour party people with me.
"But bibay we've seen that film already. Just we watch Ouija board, ok?"
And so we did.
We were so scared for romina and sandra.
"Because you are sad, just you buy what you want."
"Ok"
"This one, just you buy this one. Oh, and that one too."
And so he did. But little did he know, it was a metrosexual shop.
(pare, pa-kiss)

now just we are watching 24-hour party people.
he is selfishly amused.
i'm feigning attention because obviously, i'd rather do this.

(day in day out, day in day out...)



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Thursday, August 9th, 2007
9:52 pm - Let's Handle That (for popo)
(on rethinking the war, a question)

If the three reasons are knotted together, forming an ideological loop and should be treated like a parallax, how should they be handled? I'm sure Zizek says something about this. Huwag ka nang magpigil, lubusin mo na. Hehe.

Posted by: popo | August 8, 2007 10:58 PM

For Zizek (as of parallax view, 2006--haven't read any of his latest essays since then), our historical moment is still that of Adorno: more of the critique and less of the 'action' i.e., NGOism, humanitarian united nations chorva, etc. Meaning the task of the dialectical materialist, for him, is to expose the parallactic gap between competing discourses. And that is  to show what such inconsistent argumentation betrays. or simply "to say what it reveals in the very gesture of concealment"(Zizek).I take this as the act of drawing the line. and to draw the line means to always assert the correct line.

First, let us affirm the three factors  as the true reasons for the invasion of of Iraq. And when Zizek says that they should be treated like a parallax," it is not that one is the truth of the other; the truth is rather, the very shift of perspective between them" (IBR:6).

The parallax operates in approximately the same way as the Lacanian ISR does. how to go about exposing the parallactic gap?

In this case, it is to demonstrate how America's' export of democracy' (embodied in the WMD discourse) is the obscene double of the retooling of US Imperialism after 9-11. That it functions as the ideological support for the current ideological and military offensive of the US against the working people of the world. The oil discourse, on the other hand, is what erupts into the symbolic order: that amidst america's claim as this world's guarrantor of liberal-democracy, the ticking bomb of the class struggle threatens to errupt into the symbolic as we witness how the American ruling elite is just so willing to shed blood for oil.

In other words, we must understand why militant groups like the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and communists like Jose Maria Sison consistently insist upon the three moments in their statements(unlike other groups and personages):the WMD and lib-dem expansion, the retooling of imperialism after 9-11 and the oil discourse.

It is precisely to avoid that stupid exercise of choosing which among the three is the most preferable reason according to one's inclinations. As when Winnie Monsod used the imaginary discourse on the war and campaigned for the US invasion of Iraq on national tv ("what if there are weapons of mass destruction?" my gad ang tanga). The three constitute the current constellation (monopoly capitalism) . And in demonstrating that point, one must be able to tell how each factor functions. The WMD/America is the world's savior is in the realm of the imaginary. It denies the existence of antagonism and contradiction. It is a discourse that sees America 'in itself' as it brackets its imperialistic conduct especially since the post war period. This imaginary discourse escapes into the symbolic order, which is characterized by US hegemony, thereby functions to reaffirm it. The oil discourse is, of course, the Real of the America's invasion of the Iraq. The obscene economic moment, the class struggle (the one that America denies when it argues that the war is all about the clash of civiliations and is therfore merely cultural) that erupts into the symbolic order and reminds everyone that the 'post-political' phase in our history simply does not exist. This particular moment warrants us to slap the champions of post-politics on the face and tell them this right after: "why even say post-politics unless you mean that politically?"

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Wednesday, August 8th, 2007
10:07 pm - Rethinking the War

Classes suspended as usual. No formal cannibal lectures for eleven years. There was one in early June of this year. And it sucked like hell. That’s for ‘taking stock’ (hi Ina!).

 

After enjoying a late-night date/errand with A (domestication blurs the difference between romantic dates and running errands) which involved being his passenger on a late-night trip to Cubao amidst heavy downpour and flooded streets. Tired of responsible consumerism, (i.e. the purchase of meat, fish, veggies, bread, condiments, toilet cleaner, detergents, pest busters, etc.)    we opted for wild company and alcoholism at M’s ‘organic’ rose garden. After so many shots, it was 6am. Time to go home and mind the groceries. Our visitors, who happen to be my parents, were still asleep. I felt relieved that I did not have to prove that we did not spend the night over a cheap motel. We didn’t in the first place. But as Ina would usually lament, one suddenly turns 18 or 9 when adults bond with their parents. Sigh.          

 

Since it was still raining and the just because hangovers are a thing of the past, at least for  reformed dionysians like myself and A, I felt I had to clean the comfort room. And so I did with our newly-purchased toilet liquid cleaners (tough on dirt and certainly harsh on the skin, as in!). He went to the archives and then to the bank to pursue loftier goals

(bili na kayo ng gender divide, gender divide kayo jan, masarap ito...). Afterwhich, I decided to scrub the floor. My brother thought it was a good idea and so at some point, we were rproclaimed (no less than our parents did!) as the official dirt busters for the day. We were so pleased with ourselves. Even more so because suddenly, the thought of having the cleaning lady come tomorrow isn’t so embarassing anymore.

 

And to cap my chimini mode, I tried to put some order into our dirty kitchen—a space where we used to cook our food and wash our clothes. It was no longer functioning as it should. In fact, at some point, it became a place where neighborhood cats gave birth to more cats. At that juncture, I asked myself: “Should I join the NPA right now?” But when D took them out of the house, our kind neighbor volunteered to take care of the kittens. Therefore, here in the urban jungle, I remain.

 

By five o’clock, the repair man came and fixed the window screen. He was also talented enough to do something right in order for our removable  kitchen zinc to stay in place. But for that we had to buy white cement. On my way, from the car to the hardware, I dropped my mobile phone. It sank in the rainwater for a few seconds. Now it is totally busted. I had to smuggle my mom’s money for that unit. I hope to get over this misfortune soon.

 

The next task was to arrange my books by authors. This particular endeavor has made me realize that after all,

  1. I have more books post-post structuralism than marxism (hmm, i think that’s not so bad since most post-post-structuralists are marxists anyway).
  2. I have two ‘important’ books on loan (mental note: remind R and G to give them back to me asap!)
  3. I have read  Foucault more than I have read Marx (this is so disconcerting)
  4. I have been most devoted to  the works of Bourdieu (I thought it was to Lacan or to Zizek that i was most devoted, but no...)
  5. I like Derrida
  6. I’ve been reading too much of negri’s essays more than I should since i do not agree with him anyway
  7. I’ve been reading too much of deleuze more than I should since i don’t buy his ideas anyway
  8. I’ve read four of Rorty’s (why oh why? should have spent that time on gay lit!)

 

To atone for my sins and make up for my discovered shortcomings, I picked up Zizek’s “Iraq the borrowed kettle.” And through him, with him and in him , I have learned that the three much-discussed lessons for the attack on Iraq in 2003 “should be treated like a

parallax.” On the extreme left of the continuum is none other than Paul Wolfowitz’s revelation that the weapons of mass destruction discourse was only a “bureaucratic excuse for the war. He further admitted that oil was  the true motive. This is also the Left’s take on the matter. On the right side, of course, is the weapons of mass destruction discourse (nobody believed there were any and not a single one was ever found). This zeroes in on the role of the United States in expanding and exporting liberal democracy worldwide (so distastefully Fukuyama)   The middle one, which for Zizek is the key factor, is that anti-war discourse which argues that US imperialism was using Iraq “as a pretext or as an exemplary case to stake out the coordinates of the New World Order.” From this paradigm , the U.S. is the new  global policeman. Therefore, the message of the the US war on Iraq, or even the war itself was not primarily addressed to or waged against the Iraqi people. Zizek says that it is primarily addressed to us and waged for us. We, the witnesses to the war, “were its true ideological and political targets.”

 

These competing reasons must be treated like a parallax becuase are related and are not reducible to one another. Instead, they relate to each other like the Lacanian triad (imaginary, symbolic, real-ISR). The  US’ avowed role to preach the democratic ideology is the Imaginary. The retooling of US imperialism or America’s reassertion of its power in the New World Order  is the “Symbolic of political hegemony.” And finally, the Real of the economy is signified by the oil discourse. In Lacanese, they are knotted together to form an ideological loop.

 

In 1996, I took a course on political sociology. One of my classmates, a staunch league of filipino students member asked our professor, “Sir what do you think of imperialism?” Reluctantly, our professor answered “You know, imperialism has become a senseless word.” “Oh c’mon” said my thought baloon.   

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Wednesday, August 1st, 2007
1:55 pm - The Cannibal Lectures

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Thursday, June 28th, 2007
12:54 pm - On Eve Ensler's The Good Body

 Prof. Delia Aguilar alerted me to this yet another Eve Ensler rock-the-boat-with-fashion sort of women's struggle. Recall that when Vagina Monologues became a world-hit,  a lone voice, taken for a party pooper  registered its  razor-sharp critique of that "feminist" play. That voice was Delia's. I'm glad that this time around, several other voices join her (documented here after mine, hehe) in telling the world that new constraints are not suppose to be taken as new freedoms won. Stop that stupid activity already!

Here's my piece:
All that pseudo-feminist critique of how women consent to their own oppression has become too fashionable! I saw the VM twice one in english and the other in its filipino translation. People say that  the filipino translation is more powerful. Sure it is. But whether in english or in filipino, its message is loud and clear: "Let us, the women, fetishize our vaginas, that way it would seem more liberating."

And now the drum rolls for the tyranny of slenderness (hi kim chernin--who by the way tells it better by inducing her critique with the generative matrix of the class struggle-well, somewhat). I won't pretend to be in love with my body. And i have most definitely done foolish things like running for fitness and patriarchy on the one hand, and eating like it's my last day on earth, on the other. And so, what am i suppose to do after viewing this play? love my body all of a sudden because all of that affliction is a fantasy? was i all alone in imagining or even obsessing at times with my imperfections? Is the tyranny of slenderness all a stupid case of hyper-subjectivism?

And i guess the same logic is at work with judith butler's Gender Trouble. all that sexuation theory is interesting. lamentably, she ends up advocating an unbounded game of constrcuting multiple subject-positions. And if successful then we will all be able to subvert every fixed identity. And then what? Greet each other "happy fiesta"? And whatever happened to the deadlock of the Subject which is suppose to precipitate some event like a revolution? Why does Ensler always begin by teaching us how to love ourselves? Is that what she thinks to be the real story of love?

More importantly, why do middle class women enjoy this representation? Precisely because it is our symptom. And reconciling ourselves with our symptom is yet the most dangerous prescription for change that i have ever heard of.

Some more lambasting:

Anne Lacsamana <annelacsamana@hotmail.com> wrote:  From: Anne Lacsamana <annelacsamana@hotmail.com>
To: joyce barry <jbarry21@hotmail.com>, <deliadaguilar@yahoo.com>,
<philcsc@sbcglobal.net>, <jcabusao@yahoo.com>
Subject: RE: The Good Body
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2007 10:29:27 -0400

god.  this is terrible.  the end of this essay reads like a bad hollywood movie where white people gain hope and strength from the native "others".   thank god for those women in africa and india who helped ensler find a way to love her body.  what a twit.  i predict that the good body will find a place in US women's studies programs in one year. 

ael




   

  From: jbarry21@hotmail.com
To: deliadaguilar@yahoo.com; philcsc@sbcglobal.net; jcabusao@yahoo.com; annelacsamana@hotmail.com
Subject: RE: The Good Body
Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2007 15:53:44 -0400

 

hi everyone,
sigh.
reading this left me with a sick, sinking feeling in my stomach. my first response is "what? Are you kidding me?
it's the same old tired white, western, feminist, privileged eve ensler silliness about body image. will she never learn? so, she has moved from the vagina to the stomach, and is worried about being "good." whatever.
she needs  to be slapped for her offensive comment that women are so pre-occupied with their bodies that they can't muster any energy to be concerned about the war in iraq. i'm sure iraqi women don't hold this point of view when the threat of having their stomachs blown to bits when they step out of their houses is a distinct probability. or, having a U.S. bomb drop on their house blowing apart their stomachs along with the rest of their body parts.
oy-vey. i'm speechless.
joyce

And to be fair or cruel (depends on how you look at it) here's Ensler:

 

The Good Body
by Eve Ensler

   The Good Body:  Eve Ensler   Excerpted from The Good Body by Eve Ensler Copyright © 2004 by Eve Ensler. Excerpted by permission of Villard, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  

 
 

 
   

P r e f a c e   

In the midst of a war in Iraq, in a time of escalating global terrorism, when civil liberties are disappearing as fast as the ozone layer, when one out of three women in the world will be beaten or raped in her lifetime, why write a play about my stomach? Maybe because my stomach is one thing I feel I have control over, or maybe because I have hoped that my stomach is something I could get control over. Maybe because I see how my stomach has come to occupy my attention, I see how other women’s stomachs or butts or thighs or hair or skin have come to occupy their attention, so that we have very little left for the war in Iraq—or much else, for that matter. When a group of ethnically diverse, economically disadvantaged women in the United States was recently asked about the one thing they would change in their lives if they could, the majority of these women said they would lose weight. Maybe I identify with these women because I have bought into the idea that if my stomach were flat, then I would be good, and I would be safe. I would be protected. I would be accepted, admired, important, loved. Maybe because for most of my life I have felt wrong, dirty, guilty, and bad, and my stomach is the carrier, the pouch for all that self-hatred. Maybe because my stomach has become the repository for my sorrow, my childhood scars, my unfulfilled ambition, my unexpressed rage. Like a toxic dump, it is where the explosive trajectories collide—the Judeo- Christian imperative to be good; the patriarchal mandate that women be quiet, be less; the consumer-state imperative to be better, which is based on the assumption that you are born wrong and bad, and that being better always involves spending money, lots of money. Maybe because, as the world rapidly divides into fundamentalist camps, reductive sound bites, and polarizing platitudes, an exploration of my stomach and the life therein has the potential to shatter these dangerous constraints. This journey has been different from the one I undertook in The Vagina Monologues. I was worried about vaginas when I began that play. I was worried about the shame associated with vaginas and I was worried about what was happening to vaginas, in the dark. As I talked about vaginas and to vaginas, I became even more worried about the onslaught of violence done to women and their vaginas around the world. There was, of course, the great celebration of vaginas as well. Pleasure, discovery, sex, moans, power. I suppose I had this fantasy that after finally coming home into my vagina, I could relax, get on with life. This was not the case. The deadly self-hatred simply moved into another part of my body. The Good Body began with me and my particular obsession with my “imperfect” stomach. I have charted this self-hatred, recorded it, tried to follow it back to its source. Here, unlike the women in The Vagina Monologues, I am my own victim, my own perpetrator. Of course, the tools of my selfvictimization have been made readily available. The pattern of the perfect body has been programmed into me since birth. But whatever the cultural influences and pressures, my preoccupation with my flab, my constant dieting, exercising, worrying, is selfimposed. I pick up the magazines. I buy into the ideal. I believe that blond, flat girls have the secret. What is far more frightening than narcissism is the zeal for self-mutilation that is spreading, infecting the world. I have been to more than forty countries in the last six years. I have seen the rampant and insidious poisoning: skin-lightening creams sell as fast as tooth paste in Africa and Asia; the mothers of eight-year-olds in America remove their daughters’ ribs so they will not have to worry about dieting; five-year-olds in Manhattan do strict asanas so they won’t embarrass their parents in public by being chubby; girls vomit and starve themselves in China and Fiji and everywhere; Korean women remove Asia from their eyelids . . . the list goes on and on.   I have been in a dialogue with my stomach for the past three years. I have entered my belly—the dark wet underworld—to get at the secrets there. I have talked with women in surgical centers in Beverly Hills; on the sensual beaches of Rio de Janeiro; in the gyms of Mumbai, New York, Moscow; in the hectic and crowded beauty salons of Istanbul, South Africa, and Rome. Except for a rare few, the women I met loathed at least one part of their body. There was almost always one part that they longed to change, that they had a medicine cabinet full of products devoted to transforming or hiding or reducing or straightening or lightening. Just about every woman believed that if she could just get that part right, everything else would work out. Of course, it is an endless heartbreaking campaign. Some of the monologues in The Good Body are based on well-known women like Helen Gurley Brown and Isabella Rossellini. Those monologues, which grew out of a series of conversations with each of these fascinating women, are not recorded interviews, but interpretations of the lives they offered me. Some of the other characters are based on real lives, real stories. Many are invented. This play is my prayer, my attempt to analyze the mechanisms of our imprisonment, to break free so that we may spend more time running the world than running away from it; so that we may be consumed by the sorrow of the world rather than consuming to avoid that sorrow and suffering. This play is an expression of my hope, my desire, that we will all refuse to be Barbie, that we will say no to the loss of the particular, whether it be to a voluptuous woman in a silk sari, or a woman with defining lines of character in her face, or a distinguishing nose, or olivetoned skin, or wild curly hair. I am stepping off the capitalist treadmill. I am going to take a deep breath and find a way to survive not being flat or perfect. I am inviting you to join me, to stop trying to be anything, anyone other than who you are. I was moved by women in Africa who lived close to the earth and didn’t understand what it meant to not love their body. I was lifted by older women in India who celebrated their roundness. I was inspired by Marion Woodman, a great Jungian analyst, who gave me confidence to trust what I know. She has said that “instead of transcending ourselves, we must move into ourselves.” Tell the image makers and magazine sellers and the plastic surgeons that you are not afraid. That what you fear the most is the death of imagination and originality and metaphor and passion. Then be bold and LOVE YOUR BODY. STOP FIXING IT. It was never broken.

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12:53 pm - On Eve Enlser's The Good Body

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Saturday, June 9th, 2007
1:18 am - Figurations of Comfort

They call him Mel

He was always the first to smell trouble. But not for the night. And as if to make up for this momentary lost of some knack, he rushed to the hospital and sprung into action like a lion. But his old jerk was either nodding off, or fast asleep. Or dead.    


Nameless Girl (a)

By a process of elimination, she found the right one. And then one day, a smile flitted across her face. It was from somebody who had been gone for too long. Somebody who smiled without the slightest trace of regret. She couldn’t be more insulted.  And then she decided it was all a boring joke played on her by an ironic destiny.  

 

Nameless Girl (b)

By a process of elimination, she found the right one. And then one day, a smile flitted across her face. It was from somebody who had been gone for too long. Somebody who was expecting to find her? She ran the risk and is amused to see that she wasn’t wrong. And then she decided it was all a boring joke played on her by an ironic destiny. 

 

His angels call him Sir (a)

Among equals everything is negotiable. And so the dim-wit who invented that rule never heard a word from him. Withdrawal for a last defense? He knows the game too well. He knows he’s got to win. And he knows why. And he doesn’t give a crap about how. Punk’s not dead.

 

His angels call him Sir (b)

He is losing his temper. He could have a stroke. He thinks that time is playing a dirty trick on him. That it is rushing pass by him. That wealth is obscene and so is poverty. He knows how to lose. And he believes that defeat is a matter of method. Long live communism.



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Wednesday, May 30th, 2007
8:16 pm - Valediction


by Sarah Raymundo and Bugsy Nolasco

Tempting is the classic gesture of celebrating during graduation ceremonies, but social acuity demands one not to be celebratory of the academic year that was. The past year was far from rainbow-like and suspicion arises from all those timeworn resumes exclaiming " after all those tough years we have made it, graduates!" especially in this time that is completely out of joint. The times necessitate an intervention of more than a smile and a congratulatory remark, and this necessity is charged not by issue that typhoons now occur during yuletide season and the world will soon be in chaos, but rather, the world is in chaos. In our very own Philippines, all the straws in the wind certainly foretell that an even bleaker immediate future is on the cards. A valediction to be true to its name, should take account of this mess.

But first, let us account for the strategies of academic investments that we, in varying degrees, have practiced. These strategies and investments are what the naïve ones would refer to as “hard work,” “discipline,” “determination,” and at this point we only have to recall all the other virtuous streets in Teacher’s Village to complete our list. Amidst the reign of the free market ideology (thanks to the School of Economics, the College of Business Administration, and some other minor tragedies which we need not mention), it is now, more than ever, that we need to conceive of our academic strategies and investments as part of the overall reproduction of the social structure. We do this not to demean the academe but rather to critique that dominant disposition from within the academic field, one that has reduced the meaning of opportunity to the possibility of upward social mobility. It is high time to combat the unmistakable economism entrenched in the definition of human capital.

Before one dismisses this as another killjoy, it is proper to remind ourselves that current social conditions have killed the joy in the majority of us from the very start. This majority does not only include the poorest of the poor from whom one dies every five seconds, as the UN estimates, but also those from the middle social stratum whose experiences, albeit less harsh compared to the former, are nonetheless becoming increasingly difficult due to the circularizing terror of global monopoly capitalism, which takes globalization as its more seductive nickname. Globalization, which is the global convergence of economic, political and cultural events that remain under the centralized control of the  United States, is buttressed by the ever familiar neoliberalism, or the global policy that promotes 'free' competition while it fortifies    existing social inequities.

Meanwhile, symptoms of disintegration caused by the unflinching demand to dance to the "global" beat, compounded by poor governance, have become commonplace: capital glut amidst widespread poverty, unserviceable foreign debt, environmental decay, the rise of parallel markets, state abandonment of basic public needs and social unrest hampered by state fascism.  Even in a brief exegesis of the social disorder, one is inevitably led to arrive at two prominent occurrences, progressive movements and state violence, which at the moment go together like a cat and a dog. Progressive movements are engendered by the mere fact that all is not well, and they are inspired by the powerful idea that we can create change.

Lamentably, the government has not only abandoned its role to spawn progressive change, it has taken on the role to voraciously thwart them. For instance, as the clamor for change heightens, arbitrary labeling has been employed by the Arroyo government and its guardians as a ploy to scare. Now anyone who is perceived as a threat to "national security" is a Communist. Those who peacefully march on the streets and wear red? Communists! Citizens who serve and empower the people in the metropolis, countryside and abroad? Communists! Those who struggle for a society qualitatively different from all that is? Communists! Those who critically think, write, speak, act, exist? Communists! While we know that this arbitrary labeling is an ontological joke, the seriousness of this paranoid gesture is implicated in the more than 830 casualties of the extra-judicial killings since President Arroyo came to power in 2001. UN rapporteur Philip Alston has criticized the responsibility of the Arroyo government on the "climate of virtual impunity" and its "schizophrenic" attitude towards the killings. The roster of victims however remains on the roll.

Symptoms of social wreckage extend to key social institutions such as the educational institution as when, for instance, the University of the Philippines  has recently passed tuition and other fee increases; UP students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan are still nowhere to be found; and the repression of Philippine Collegian continues up to this day. The UP Administration still remains at the other side of the fence. But if higher education would stand for intelligent dialectic and critical dissent then is not a collectivized struggle against forms of oppression the proper way to go? Instead of working within the UP Administration's containment operations that maintain the lack of government budget as the primary reason for TOFI, that deem  throwing eggs at General Esperon is a desacralization of the university even in the light of Karen's and She's abduction, and that consider the holding of Philippine Collegian's funds as legitimate, we should start by invoking the "truth events" (Badiou) which show on the contrary the following: first, it is the government's prioritization of debt servicing and militarization that lessens the budget for public needs; second, throwing eggs at Esperon is nothing compared to the spate of political killings which the Armed Forces of the Philippines openly supports; and third, the repression of Philippine Collegian can never be legitimate for it runs counter to our constitutional right to freedom of speech.

By doing so, we put to the foreground the worst argumentative faux pas the UP Administration is guilty of - lying. For what strength does a crude account of history have when a truth event is just a research away?  Through a rigorous analysis of history, we actually dispel various mythologies, but more importantly we fettle the grounds for critical dissent.

What critical dissent stands for is no other than the fidelity to the singularity of that possible new world, one where we can be the best we can, where living is an
attainable choice. This new world will not take place through a utopian narrative of idle wishful-thinking and fantastic satisfactions, but only through a material movement that tries to transform in reality our desires, and paves way for new "machineries" (Jameson) or enabling structures that allow the coming-into-being of freedom, truth, love, and yes beauty - empty signifiers indeed that we are capable of filling in. Against the cynics who would say "But what you want is impossible!" we should do a reversal and resoundingly reply, "But it is possible!" And against the nominalist strands of inertial politics that draw back upon knowing that a radical measure is required for change, that we need to pass to the act, we should assert no less Lacan's ethical maxim: "do not give up on your desire" (Lacan 1992: 314) Says Zizek, "when the status quo cynics accuse alleged revolutionaries of believing that everything is possible, that one can change everything, what they effectively mean is that nothing at all is really possible, that we cannot really change anything, since we are basically condemned to live in the world the way it is" (Zizek 2003: xii) Ultimately, the question of "to be or not to be" is what drives us to make possible the impossible. May we all immerse to this challenge as we continue to strengthen our togetherness.

 

And we recall a time when the philosopher Sartre claimed that “every anti-communist is a dog”  (Badiou, 2003:96)  Not so long ago, “communism named the effective history of the “we” (Badiou:2003:96). That is to say, “there was something at stake, something which had the power of making us stand up in thought. For it what for thought in general that there was no other conceivable ‘we’ than that under the banner of communism” (Badiou 2003:96). In our own time, however, directions have been reduced to either left or right. Zizek aptly labels the right-wing intellectual as the knave, the neoliberal “advocate of the free market who cruelly rejects all forms of social solidarity as counterproductive sentimentalism, while the fool is the deconstructionist critic who, by means of his ludic procedures destined to ‘subvert’ the existing order, actually serves as its supplement” (Zizek 1997: 45-46). Both knaves and fools mindlessly accuse the communists of dogmatism as these charlatans remain faithful to the idea that any attempts at radical transformation will surely lead to the gulag. No wonder most of them are well-paid and well-connected. And so against the rightist knave and the leftist fool, we invoke John Berger’s sharp observation that men and women move either forwards or backwards, there are no two sides, only two directions (Berger, 2002:xi).

As for survival, we leave the knaves and fools behind as we move on.

 

Works Cited:

Badiou, Alain. Infinite Thought: Truth and the Return to Philosophy. Oliver Feltham and Justin Clemens, trans.Continuum, 2005.

Berger, John. John Berger: Selected Essays.    London: Pantheon, 2002.

Lacan, Jaques. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book VII: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis 1959-1960 London: Routledge, 1992. J.-A. Miller, ed. D. Porter, trans.

Zizek, Slavoj. “Hallaward’s Fidelity to Badiou’s Event.” In Badiou: A Subject to Truth. Peter Hallaward, author.Minneapolis:Univeristy of Minnesota Press,2003. 

-------------. Plague of Fantasies.London:Verso, 1997.


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Tuesday, May 29th, 2007
2:01 pm - COUNTERPOINT

 

 

“they should have not let his brain spattered
on the floor like that;
or his eyes dismembered from his face
it’s the kids, it’s too painful for them
to have seen him so horribly lifeless
or worse, remember him that way!”

this widow’s work of mourning is as habitual
as the enemy’s ritual of bullets
at the time of the killing
she was learning about fractions:
this much for their tuition fee
this much for roof repair
this much for new slippers
this much for food
this much for toiletries

one farmworker proposed
a toast for the union’s gain
suddenly the glasses broke
as they were lifted
was it the might of their hands
or the force of gunfire?

and then the weeping
followed by the
sight of a scatheless body
surrounded by intense lighting
and flowers that stink and terrify
jam-packed and humid
is the worst kind of living room

this is the strangest way to be home
with Ric, she mutters
and then her thoughts shift
to the rest of her life
as if to struggle
for a counterpoint to misery

Oct.29, 2004

Poem written  after viewing the TV interview of the widow of the murdered union leader Ric Ramos of CATLU

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2:00 pm - Two Visits

(for Bobby Malay)

Pinstripe Pastel. That would have been his wife
if she were a theme
for a mobile phone’s interface.
“Funny thought,” the visitor tells herself
as if to dissimulate
the abyss of discomfort
involved in jail visits to strangers.

 

He was no stranger after all.
People know him by his fist
(usually clenched for photo-ops and for life).
Is he, like the old folks in their hometown,
wearing cheap pomade?
She wasn’t suppose to ask,
not when he is wearing a blue-collared shirt
neatly embroidered with a sign:
BAYAN MUNA.

 He had a better topic:
“Tell her about our youngest.”
And she,
with a lilt that is unmistakably hers,
who thinks that her past sixties
should be hers and not her students’,
could not but continue to speak
in that cadence,
obligingly did.

 
She was of the Underground while he
was, as he is now, a legal personality.
While some local actor was fast becoming a household name,
Hers was almost forbidden in their household.
She left motherhood for a cause
and History has yet to confirm this suspicion.

 
The kids turned out well, anyhow.
But before they did
the youngest came
to visit her
with the most urgent question:

 

My teacher, she would ask me about you.
Tell her I’m in the province.
But by now, the child has grown impatient.
It’s not that. She wants your name.
What is your name, Nanay?

 
She tore a piece of paper from the edge
of a daily, wrote her answer and
handed it to the little one.

He stared at the characters for eternity,
(that was how she calculated time)
folded the piece neatly and inserted it
in the side pocket of his walking shorts.
He walks out of prison bouncing.
He is now into the family secret.

 
Telling this burns her still.
She thought this, all of this
lives in the before of her life.

 

Her image is as soft as pinstripe pastel,
it begs the visitor to rake her fingers through
like a comb.

 

March 26, 2007

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Thursday, May 24th, 2007
8:42 pm - Valediction
by Sarah Raymundo and Bugsy Nolasco

Tempting is the classic gesture of celebrating during graduation ceremonies, but social acuity demands one not to be celebratory of the academic year that was. The past year was far from rainbow-like and suspicion arises from all those timeworn resumes exclaiming " after all those tough years we have made it, graduates!" especially in this time that is completely out of joint. The times necessitate an intervention of more than a smile and a congratulatory remark, and this necessity is charged not by issue that typhoons now occur during yuletide season and the world will soon be in chaos, but rather, the world is in chaos. In our very own Philippines , all the straws in the wind certainly foretell that an even bleaker immediate future is on the cards. A valediction to be true to its name, should take account of this mess.
But first, let us account for the strategies of academic investments that we, in varying degrees, have practiced. These strategies and investments are what the naïve ones would refer to as “hard work,” “discipline,” “determination,” and at this point we only have to recall all the other virtuous streets in Teacher’s Village to complete our list. Amidst the reign of the free market ideology (thanks to the School of Economics, the College of Business Administration, and some other minor tragedies which we need not mention), it is now, more than ever, that we need to conceive of our academic strategies and investments as part of the overall reproduction of the social structure. We do this not to demean the academe but rather to critique that dominant disposition from within the academic field, one that has reduced the meaning of opportunity to the possibility of upward social mobility. It is high time to combat the unmistakable economism entrenched in the definition of human capital.

Before one dismisses this as another killjoy, it is proper to remind ourselves that current social conditions have killed the joy in the majority of us from the very start. This majority does not only include the poorest of the poor from whom one dies every five seconds, as the UN estimates, but also those from the middle social stratum whose experiences, albeit less harsh compared to the former, are nonetheless becoming increasingly difficult due to the circularizing terror of global monopoly capitalism, which takes globalization as its more seductive nickname. Globalization, which is the global convergence of economic, political and cultural events that remain under the centralized control of the United States , is buttressed by the ever familiar neoliberalism, or the global policy that promotes 'free' competition while it fortifies existing social inequities.

Meanwhile, symptoms of disintegration caused by the unflinching demand to dance to the "global" beat, compounded by poor governance, have become commonplace: capital glut amidst widespread poverty, unserviceable foreign debt, environmental decay, the rise of parallel markets, state abandonment of basic public needs and social unrest hampered by state fascism. Even in a brief exegesis of the social disorder, one is inevitably led to arrive at two prominent occurrences, progressive movements and state violence, which at the moment go together like a cat and a dog. Progressive movements are engendered by the mere fact that all is not well, and they are inspired by the powerful idea that we can create change.
Lamentably, the government has not only abandoned its role to spawn progressive change, it has taken on the role to voraciously thwart them. For instance, as the clamor for change heightens, arbitrary labeling has been employed by the Arroyo government and its guardians as a ploy to scare. Now anyone who is perceived as a threat to "national security" is a Communist. Those who peacefully march on the streets and wear red? Communists! Citizens who serve and empower the people in the metropolis, countryside and abroad? Communists! Those who struggle for a society qualitatively different from all that is? Communists! Those who critically think, write, speak, act, exist? Communists! While we know that this arbitrary labeling is an ontological joke, the seriousness of this paranoid gesture is implicated in the more than 830 casualties of the extra-judicial killings since President Arroyo came to power in 2001. UN rapporteur Philip Alston has criticized the responsibility of the Arroyo government on the "climate of virtual impunity" and its "schizophrenic" attitude towards the killings. The roster of victims however remains on the roll.

Symptoms of social wreckage extend to key social institutions such as the educational institution as when, for instance, the University of the Philippines has recently passed tuition and other fee increases; UP students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan are still nowhere to be found; and the repression of Philippine Collegian continues up to this day. The UP Administration still remains at the other side of the fence. But if higher education would stand for intelligent dialectic and critical dissent then is not a collectivized struggle against forms of oppression the proper way to go? Instead of working within the UP Administration's containment operations that maintain the lack of government budget as the primary reason for TOFI, that deem throwing eggs at General Esperon is a desacralization of the university even in the light of Karen's and She's abduction, and that consider the holding of Philippine Collegian's funds as legitimate, we should start by invoking the "truth events" (Badiou) which show on the contrary the following: first, it is the government's prioritization of debt servicing and militarization that lessens the budget for public needs; second, throwing eggs at Esperon is nothing compared to the spate of political killings which the Armed Forces of the Philippines openly supports; and third, the repression of Philippine Collegian can never be legitimate for it runs counter to our constitutional right to freedom of speech.

By doing so, we put to the foreground the worst argumentative faux pas the UP Administration is guilty of - lying. For what strength does a crude account of history have when a truth event is just a research away? Through a rigorous analysis of history, we actually dispel various mythologies, but more importantly we fettle the grounds for critical dissent.
What critical dissent stands for is no other than the fidelity to the singularity of that possible new
world, one where we can be the best we can, where living is an attainable choice. This new world will not take place through a utopian narrative of idle wishful-thinking and fantastic satisfactions, but only through a material movement that tries to transform in reality our desires, and paves way for new "machineries" (Jameson) or enabling structures that allow the coming-into-being of freedom, truth, love, and yes beauty - empty signifiers indeed that we are capable of filling in. Against the cynics who would say "But what you want is impossible!" we should do a reversal and resoundingly reply, "But it is possible!" And against the nominalist strands of inertial politics that draw back upon knowing that a radical measure is required for change, that we need to pass to the act, we should assert no less Lacan's ethical maxim: "do not give up on your desire" (Lacan 1992: 314) Says Zizek, "when the status quo cynics accuse alleged revolutionaries of believing that everything is possible, that one can change everything, what they effectively mean is that nothing at all is really possible, that we cannot really change anything, since we are basically condemned to live in the world the way it is" (Zizek 2003: xii) Ultimately, the question of "to be or not to be" is what drives us to make possible the impossible. May we all immerse to this challenge as we continue to strengthen our togetherness.

And we recall a time when the philosopher Sartre claimed that “every anti-communist is a dog” (Badiou, 2003:96) Not so long ago, “communism named the effective history of the “we” (Badiou:2003:96). That is to say, “there was something at stake, something which had the power of making us stand up in thought. For it what for thought in general that there was no other conceivable ‘we’ than that under the banner of communism” (Badiou 2003:96). In our own time, however, directions have been reduced to either left or right. Zizek aptly labels the right-wing intellectual as the knave, the neoliberal “advocate of the free market who cruelly rejects all forms of social solidarity as counterproductive sentimentalism, while the fool is the deconstructionist critic who, by means of his ludic procedures destined to ‘subvert’ the existing order, actually serves as its supplement” (Zizek 1997: 45-46). Both knaves and fools mindlessly accuse the communists of dogmatism as these charlatans remain faithful to the idea that any attempts at radical transformation will surely lead to the gulag. No wonder most of them are well-paid and well-connected. And so against the rightist knave and the leftist fool, we invoke John Berger’s sharp observation that men and women move either forwards or backwards, there are no two sides, only two directions (Berger, 2002:xi).

As for survival, we leave the knaves and fools behind as we move on.


Works Cited:
Badiou, Alain. Infinite Thought: Truth and the Return to Philosophy. Oliver Feltham and Justin Clemens, trans. New York: Continuum, 2005.
Berger, John. John Berger: Selected Essays. London: Pantheon, 2002.
Lacan, Jaques. The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book VII: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis 1959-1960. J.-A. Miller, ed. D. Porter, trans. London: Routledge, 1992
Zizek, Slavoj. “Hallaward’s Fidelity to Badiou’s Event.” In Badiou: A Subject to Truth. Peter Hallaward, author. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003.
-------------. Plague of Fantasies. London: Verson, 1997.


Bugsy and Sarah are members of the Center for Nationalist Studies. They are usually accused of overreading and too much politicizing by morons lurking around the campus. They have a common concern for skincare, fitness, and national democracy.

current mood: determined

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Friday, February 9th, 2007
10:15 pm - Tuition hike (for lilia and academics like her)
(This was so last season! The tuition hike has been approved by the board of regents. I'm still posting it for posterity. Charoz. Besides, the battle against neoliberal impositions on education is not yet over until it's over.)

In a news article the day after the student boycott on November 23, President Roman admirably pointed out the suitable horizon of interpretation by which the proposed tuition hike may be problematized and dealt with head on. “Of course they are opposed to it. For them, it’s a philosophical question. They’ll retain their stand, and so will we.” Against the vulgar pragmatism of some members of her Administration who could only churn out vague figures and fantastic visions of the future of the University of the Philippines, Roman through her reference to student activists, called attention to the philosophical dimension of the tuition hike. Not only does her statement invite intelligent debate on the matter.

Significantly, it also highlights the irreconcilability of competing position-takings. What does it mean to think through the tuition hike philosophically? As the sociologist Slavoj Zizek argues, Philosophy does not solve problems, the duty of Philosophy is to redefine problems. And as to the question of resolving the University’s financial setback, what do our administrators mean when they say that the only viable way to solve UP’s financial crisis, apart from commercializing some of UP’s assets, is to adjust its tuition and collect other fees from students? This is the usefulness of Philosophy on the matter: to ask the implicit horizon of understanding by which our administrators endeavor to solve the problem.

It is no longer a matter of revelation to say that the financial constraints faced by the University are brought about by contradictions in the social system. Concretely, this refers to the economic policies that predispose the government to prioritize debt servicing and military expenditure over social services like education. This appalling condition is reflective of the position of a neocolony like the Philippines in relation to development. In a neocolony, the colonized can only aspire for a closely monitored domestic economy, a kind of development controlled by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

From this condition arise debates on how to manage particular institutions in a neocolonial structure. Those who tend to gravitate to the forced consensus of the State adopt a concept of institutional development that fall under the “catching up” perspective (Samir Amin). This does not constitute a willful submission to the logic of neocolonial integration. Rather, “catching up” means finding solutions to institutional constraints that are within the bounds of the neocolonial structure. “Tuition Hike?Yes please!” “Fight for greater public subsidy to education? No, thanks. Tertiary education is not a right anyway!” The anti-philosophical charge of this position needs no further elaboration. The ideological basis of these statements must, however, be exposed.

The UP Adminstration is, by no means, directly interested in reproducing neocolonial conditions. But the best way to make sense of their disposition is to recall Marx’s succinct rendition of ideology as lived by people : “They do not know it, but they do it.” On the other end are those who precisely challenge the forced consensus of the State. They are not really a bunch of lazy slackers resistant to institutional development as their opponents would have it. Instead, their actions are geared towards the construction of a collective multiplicity. Against Prof. Monsod’s very crude notion of “the majority” implicit in her column which tackles the student boycott of classes on Novemeber 23, collective multiplicity is not a numerical concept. As an endeavor, it entails a mobilization of the most noble desires of students engaged in university education. These particular desires are encapsulated in the ideals of quality education, academic freedom, rights and welfare, appropriate employment after graduation and the like. But these multiple desires can only be realized or frustrated under conditions beyond University policies. We cannot simply say “the government is remiss in its function to provide adequate public subsidy and so as free and rational beings, let us solve this problem on our own” and assume that all will be well in our beloved Diliman Republic.

Granting that all will be well after all the tuition hike and the imposition of additional fees, are we willing to accept the implicit injunction inscribed in the proposed tuition adjustment: that we must not drag the structural conditions that shape the present and the future of the University because doing so can only hamper our institutional progress? This is clearly a “prohibition to think,” which is inimical to all that the University stands for. Are we ready to accept the Administration’s forgone conclusion that since tertiary education is not a right, then higher education is now up to the administrators?

Yet in a very condescending gesture that ridiculously feigns “democratic consultation,” an administrator, in one of his impassioned monologue on the tuition adjustment, conveniently suggests that anybody who is against the proposal must come up with a counter-proposal. The concept of a counter-proposal presupposes an agreement on the rules and the stakes of the game. But this is hardly the case. The fact that we are laying our cards down does not mean that we are willing to play your game! Our stake is rather modest. It is not constituted by a counter-proposal but by a counterpoint: Institutional progress must not be postulated by a proposal to “catch up” with the structural conditions that bog down the very process of institutional progress to begin with.

In Mexico, Brazil and Sorbonne, students have launched powerful mass demonstrations not only to oppose tuition hikes but to fight back against a system that normalizes social privilege and social inequality by privatizing education through cuts in public subsidy or by tasking the “rich” to subsidize the “poor.”

Let us recall and rectify President Roman’s statement on the tuition hike debate: “For them [the students]it’s a philosophical question. They’ll retain their stand, and so will we.” It is actually a philosophical question for both camps. One camp, however is not concerned with redefining the problem of inadequate state subsidy and proceeds by referring to the same problem as a justification for a proposal that aims to eradicate the problem. But how does one eradicate a problem which one has postulated as a justification without losing an argument? The other camp endeavors to redefine the problem and critique the hastening manner by which its counterpart arrives at “solutions” based on premises that merely accept structural conditions, which by no means are acceptable. As the President herself projected, it looks like both will “retain their stand.”

We would like to believe that the administrators of this University are not simply working in the service of the economic and political managers of this society whose exercise of authority is limited to the perpetuation of the neocolonial structure. The premises contained in the “proposed tuition adjustment and other fees,” however, convince us to the contrary. Whichever camp wins in this debate, although the power of decision-making is another matter and is definitely skewed to one camp, we call on everyone to redefine the important role of the University in our society.

Our stake does not only consist in enabling poor but deserving students to get a degree from the U.P. But precisely in forming a university education that would nurture politically and morally conscientious leaders, socially responsible citizens whose sense of justice could combat the destitution of thought, the kind that renders non-existent ideals (such as free education or adequate State subsidy for education) as unthinkable.

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Sunday, November 26th, 2006
12:37 am - Postcolony, anyone? for Le Roi Jones
Let us put aside for the moment the messy problems of tuition increase, the "no id, no entry" policy and those who say that it's fine flaunting their IDs since they are proud of being a UP student (wear it in the mall or in church to match your Sunday dress, stupid). Or those who suggest that a socialized tuition scheme, where rich students are supposed to subsidize the poorer ones, is a way of redistributing wealth in this country. That is a cheap interpretation of economic redistribution. I hope those who are mouthing this line of thought are not merely social climbers who think that "charitable" ideas make them sound and look rich (It's the pores of one's skin, are they open or closed? If closed then rich. Otherwise, poor.hehe, kidding).

I have a more agitating encounter to write and bitch about. A forum on the state of children in the context of political killings was held yesterday in one of PCED’s function rooms. My partner was tasked to share some of his insights on a research he undertook on child soldiers. In an effort to show my moral support, I dutifully went to the forum with our good friend Pog.



In his discussion, Jigs Clamor presented significant facts and trends about the political killings, paying close attention to child victims. While the facts are disturbing, Mr. Clamor ended his presentation like any incurable opitimist would: “Makibaka Huwag Matakot.” After this, Mario (not his real name) gave a testimony of his family’s sufferings in the hands of the military. His eyes were glassy the whole time. But he must have felt compelled to finish his story for everone to know how the State appropriates the lives of people by ending them in the most barbaric manner possible. The discussions of the subsequent speakers focused on the tasks of NGOs like CRC in helping children caught in the middle of the current spate of political killings. One of the officers of the Amnesty International talked about how the government is not only engaged in extra-judicial killings but also in the abuse of the legal/parliamentary system by curtailing the rights of progressive governement officials like Satur Ocampo, Liza Maza, Rafael Mariano, Teddy Casino, and Crispin Beltran. Atty. Milabel significantly adds that the case being charged against Ocampo et.al., implicating them in the Leyte mass graves is one with a ridiculously weak evidence. But the point is to demoralize them and derail their day-to-day functions as representatives who are supposed to serve their constitutents 24/7.



To cap the discussions, a short documentary on the children of CRC was shown. It makes use of a very touching soundtrack- “Bless the trees and the children.” So as one hears this music, the camera pans to a child’s sketch of an unforgettable experience. The drawing contains a helicopter which drops bombs, sketches of the sun, clouds, trees, houses, guns and stick people. The documentary also contains testimonials of children whose parents were killed in the war. Their experience is appalling but their will to survive and to grasp the logic of their experiences are humbling.



Then it was time for the open forum. A foreigner who did not identify himself properly (“Oh I’m Harry but for now I’m Manny” Or something like that, he was eating his words) sounded irritated by all that he witnessed. He went like “Well, we all know that the Philippine State is killing its people, all those figures mentioned, we all know that. But what about the victims of the CPP-NPA? You see the CPP-NPA has lost ground not during the RJ-RA debate but after the rectification. What about Romulo Kintanar and Popoy Lagman who were unarmed when they were liquidated by the CPP-NPA? They have children too. So I think we should also take that into consideration because it is as significant as those figures. We have to think of ways of how to campaign not only against the violence of the military but also against the violence of the Left. We should think in terms of how to put an end to violence..."Yadada yadada. Hmmm, I think I must have made that word-eater sound better in this slightly paraphrased transcription.



Since nobody responded to his advise, the MC reminded everyone that the figures presented pertains to unarmed civilians and not to members of the New People’s Army. And then I felt compelled to say something and so I did. My intervention was limited to pointing out the importance of looking into the “practical logic” (Bourdieu) of the people who engage in the people’s war, meaning what are the stakes involved? What are their capitals? Because I think it doesn’t serve anyone well to assume that the State and the CPP-NPA wield tha same amount of power and are on equal footing in this war. And while to say that we must put an end to violence is a noble call, I cannot resist saying that it’s a very convenient position (there’s a lot funding for that you know. I’d rather rob a bank).



So before we even say that we must put an end to war or violence, Because to me that smacks of theoreticism, I mean, as social scientists, have we fully exhausted and understood what war and violence mean for the people who participate in it, whether from the left or from the right? I mean, come on, I haven’t held a gun in my life and as an outsider in this raging war, I would like to understand before I even invoke the ideas that I need to believe in. Sure, like Manny/Harry, I need to beleive that peace should reign in the land because I don’t think I have the capacity for real life “Hinter Wars.” But that’s just what I need to believe in. What about other people whose capitals, habitus and stakes differ from mine? But gradually and precisely because of people like Manny, I am realizing I don’t need to believe in some Miss Universe or hippie versions of peace to all mankind. Trite and doxic.



I think, and as Pog pointed out, Manny/Harry had a crude understanding of the concept of “pratical logic” because he could only respond to me by saying that one “should never rationalize war.” There goes Manny/Harry the philistine.



If I were given the chance to prepare ahead of time for Manny’s CIAish tirades, I would have said:



It’s unfortunate that the title of talk is Children and Political Killings and so the organizers did not find it compelling to invite someone from the CPP-NPA to address your anti-communist sloganeering. I do not find anything useful in that statment except that it implicitly aims to discredit the claims of some organizations whom you probably deem as connected with the CPP, otherwise why would you even raise the point? For christ sakes half of the audience consisted of children, ¼ teen agers, ¼ adults from communities and the academe. Does anybody here looks like Joma Sison or Roger Rosal to you? And you think your statement is a product of your own analysis? I’ve heard that before, and not from you but from other anti-communists ideologues. And most of all, as a woman of color in a neocolony, you must know that I am tired of being told by foreigners like you of how to think, how to analyze things and how to problematize and assess the revolution that my people are waging on account of the material coditions of their existence and their desire for another form of democracy. And you should never bump into me outside of this hall, because against your colonial notions of native discipline and filipina hospitality, you will hear these words from me : “Up against the wall, motherfucker! This is a stick up!”

Addenda:

1. The CPP-NPA claimed responsibility for the murder of Romulo Kintanar. He was not, as the CPP-NPA claims a civilian but a combatant. Meanwhile, the CPP-NPA denied responsibility for the assasination of Popoy Lagman.

2.The discourse of "ending the violence whether from the left or the right" is a concrete example of the post-poltical discourse or what is also called the discourse of endism. Briefly, this discourse denies that society is constituted by antagonism, instead, it erroneously posits that contemporary society is only facing various forms of risks that can be managed by reflexive citizens. And who are these risk managers? Paid NGO workers and academic racketeers not affiliated with the national democrats? None of them, nor their writings and academic forays have impressed me so far. They are rather empiricist and so full of stupid suggestions and recommendations. So far from being punk. But I know they eat well. I doo too. And without having to parrot or affirm the discourse of the State (Yes, I'm "crass when people deserve it"*).An extended engagement with the discourse of post-politics, partiuclarly, the versions of Beck and Giddens may be found in an essay I wrote for the anthology KONTRA-GAHUM: Academics Against Political Killings. Good day to all.

*borrowed from Pog

current mood: irritated

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Thursday, October 12th, 2006
12:45 am - statements on egg-pelting
socio 101-ers :
Here are eight essays/statements on the egg-pelting incident which may facilitate your "thinking through" that particular problematization (refer to your guide questions)

1. Statement of the UP Association of Political Science Majors
(On September 22, after speaking at a forum organized by the UP Association of Political Science Majors (APSM), Armed Forces Gen. Hermogenes Esperon and members of the AFP were pelted with eggs and mud by members of the STAND UP and LFS and other groups. This is the APSM's statement on the incident-Ed.)
Last Friday, Sept.22, the UP Association of Political Science Majors held a forum entitled "Untamed Conflict and Arrested Development: Finding a Way Out of the Vicious Cycle". The objectives of the forum were to shed light on the nexus of conflict and development and to examine proposed solutions from different actors and institutions. The speakers invited were Gen. Hermogenes Esperon from the military, Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer from SULONG CAHRIHL, Dr. Florian Alburo from the School of Economics, and Usec. Danilo Encinas of the GRP Peace Negotiations Panel.
The forum should be noted for having successfully engaged different actors in a formal and academic discourse and an open exchange of ideas.
The UP APSM is a non-partisan organization with the slogan "where both ends of the political spectrum meet". Having Gen. Esperon and the Undersecretary Encinas talk to students affiliated to the militant sectors is no less than a perfect example of the meeting of divergent sides. The attendance of Gen. Esperon, together with the other speakers should be recognized as an effort to provide a balanced and unbiased discussion on the topic. The speakers even actively took part during the open forum where they engaged the audience in a dialogue and debate. However, it is unfortunate that some students went against the parameters of academic discourse in the incident after the forum.
Contrary to accusations, APSM stands for academic freedom. We believe that academic freedom means that a person, organization or institution can articulate ideas and political beliefs without the threat of being harmed in any way. In fact, the presentation of the forum is an attempt to achieve that objective. The military as an institution, just like other actors in society, deserves its right to participate in public discourse and present its ideas and policies. Fora such as the one presented promotes transparency by engaging the military in a public discussion of its ideas and policies.
We regret that at the end of the forum, some members of the group STAND UP, LFS and other groups threw eggs at the unarmed AFP delegates. A female officer was hit on the face and the cars were soiled with eggs and mud.
We would like to clarify that we do not condemn STAND UP and affiliated groups as organizations which pursue their own goals. What we are condemning are the actions of specific members involved in this incident. Among the issues raised in the forum were giving respect to human dignity and rights and rejecting violence as a means of struggle. However, these are the offenses which the perpetrators of this incident are guilty of: gross disrespect to the human person and violence. These are actions which give activists and UP students a bad name.
We in UP APSM believe that we all share the same goals of social justice, equity, and development together with our frustrations with government leaders and the shortfalls of existing institutions. We fight the same battles but we differ in the fronts we choose to pursue. However, in spite of this divergence, Prof. Ferrer's ultimate point should be a guiding principle: paradigm shifts are necessary to achieve peace and regardless of what camp you are in, conflict should be settled through peaceful channels; violence should be a last resort and in the unfortunate occasion that such is employed, camps should submit themselves to established rules of engagement.
During the forum, the UP APSM as the organizers were accused of taking inappropriate measures such as inspecting bags and asking members of STAND UP to leave.
First, we would like to clarify that nobody was asked to leave the forum. One of our members merely asked USC Chair Paolo Alfonso, in the same manner that other members of the audience were also asked, to vacate a seat reserved for faculty and invited guests. Second, as the organizers of the forum, UP APSM reserves the right to take precautionary measures which would ensure the general safety of the audience and the smooth flow of discussion. This decision to undertake such precautionary measures was decided upon by the organization and the organization alone. In fact, as organizers it is our responsibility to ensure the safety of students, especially those whom we invited. The violent and disruptive actions of members of STAND UP after the forum validated the necessity of measures we have taken.
We demand a public apology from the members of STAND UP, LFS and their affiliated organizations for throwing eggs and mud at the delegates of one of our invited speakers. We hope that this incident would never happen again. We also believe that Paolo Alfonso, who identified himself as the University Student Council Chairperson, should apologize to the general UP studentry for misrepresenting us. His actions during and after the forum do not represent the collective behavior of UP students. He should be more careful in his actions especially those that he is doing in his capacity as USC chair. Thus, we demand a public apology from Paolo Alfonso for his actions which were subsequently misconstrued as the general behavior of the UP studentry by the greater public.
How do we create a culture of peace in the midst of these kinds of actions? How can we propose solutions to the protracted conflict in the country and the underdevelopment and suffering of our people when some groups do not know what it means to be civil? We regret that these actions have come from no less than our fellow UP students. The perpetrators of this incident, by their imprudent actions have abused and misused the idea of academic freedom held sacred by the university. Again we denounce the incident last September 22 and enjoin our fellow UP students to do the same.



2.USC Chair responds to APSM statement
(September 27--This is the UPD University Student Council Chair’s response to the APSM statement—Ed.)
Bukas na liham sa UP Association of Political Science Majors
Mga kasamang estudyante,
Mainit na pagbati!
Sumusulat ako ngayon upang sagutin ang inyong pahayag hinggil sa nangyaring protesta laban sa patuloy na panunupil, pagdukot, at pagpatay ng mga ahente ng military sa hanay ng mga progresibo at militanteng mamamayan sa panahon ng pagpunta ni Gen. Hermogenes Esperon dito sa pamantasan. May mga estudyanteng nagprotesta at nambato ng itlog kay Gen. Esperon bilang porma ng protesta at repleksyon na din ito ng galit ng mga mag-aaral dahil sa patuloy na pagkawala ng dalawa nating kamag-aral na sina Karen Empeño at Sherlyn Cadapan.
Una pa lamang sinabi ninyo sa inyong pahayag na: “The UP APSM is a non-partisan organization with the slogan where both ends of the political spectrum meet. Having Gen. Esperon and the Undersecretary Encinas talk to the students affiliated to the militant sectors is no less than a perfect example of the meeting of divergent sides.”
Ayon sa inyong pahayag, ang pagpunta ni Gen. Esperon at iba pang nagsalita ay bahagi ng inyong pagnanais na maging “balanced and unbiased” ang inyong talakayan.
Sa pagpili pa lamang ng mga tagapagtalakay ay hindi na kaagad kayo naging “balanced and unbiased.” Sinasabi ko ito dahil maka-isang panig lamang, pabor sa AFP at sa gobyernong Arroyo pa nga, ang mga tagapagtalakay. Si Gen. Esperon bilang Chief of Staff ng AFP ay walang habas na nakakapagbato lamang ng kahit na anong akusasyon sa mga binansagan nilang “enemies of the state;” malaya lang niyang nasasabi ang gusto at nakakapag-akusa ng kung anu-anong malisyosong pahayag at dahil wala namang kinatawan ng panig na kanyang sinisiraan ay walang makasasagot sa kanyang mga paninira. Nagmukha tuloy isang propaganda seminar iyon ng AFP kumpleto sa hitsura ng isang kampo na kung saan napaliligiran ng mga militar ang mga nakikinig.
Dagdag pa dito, kahit sa open forum na kung saan dapat ay nakapagtatanong ang mga estudyante at guro na nandun, ay tila pilit na iniiwasan ng tagapagpadaloy, na si Prop. Quilop, na ako ay tawagin; kahit pa ako ang naunang magtaas ng kamay at imposibleng hindi niya ako nakita dahil halos nasa harapan niya lang ako. Hindi pa ako dapat makakapagsalita kung hindi pa nagpumilit ang mga estudyanteng naroroon na ako ay pagsalitain. Tila napilitan na lamang si Prop. Quilop na ako ay pagsalitain dahil halata nang pilit niya akong iniiwasan. Maaring sa hanay ng mga mag-aaral na kasapi ng APSM ay totoong ninais na maging pantay, ngunit dahil na din sa ginawa ng adviser na si Prop. Quilop at dahil sa mga napiling imbitahan ay hindi na naging patas ang forum.
Hinihingi ninyo na ako ay magbigay ng public apology dahil umano sa: “His actions during and after the forum do not represent the collective behavior of UP students.”
Una, nais kong ipaabot sa inyo na wala akong ginawang mali habang at pagkatapos ng inyong forum. Noong ako ay pinaaalis ninyo sa aking inupuang silya, sinabi ko sa nagpapalipat na “wala namang nakaupo sa upuan na ito, at wala pa naman ang faculty na uupo dito”. Dinagdag ko pa na kung may dadating na at uupo sa aking upuan, ay aalis naman ako, pero ang aking kasama na gusto ding makinig at magtanong sana ay napahiya na at napilitan na lamang na lumabas. Tumakbo ang forum at wala namang lumapit muli na nagsabing naroon na ang uupo sa aking kinauupuan at kailangan ng umalis. Ang umupo pa nga sa inalisan ng aking kasama ay mga estudyante din.
Pangalawa, noong panahon ng malayang talakayan, lumapit pa ang isa ninyong kasapi at sinabing kung ako daw ay magtatanong, huwag ko daw gamitin ang microphone na nasa harapan ko, kung hindi ang mic na nasa halos labasan na ng bulwagan. Tumugon ako sa kanya ng may pagtatanong dahil maayos naman ang mic sa harapan ko. Sa puntong iyon na ako nakaramdam na tila ayaw akong pagsalitain sa inyong forum.
Sa aking palagay, nakapanlilito ang inyong pahayag dahil hindi naman ninyo sinabi kung ano ang aking “actions which were subsequently misconstrued as the general behavior of the UP studentry.” Batay sa mga naganap, malinaw na kung may tumapak ng karapatan, yun ay hindi ako. Ninais ko lamang na makapagsalita at iharap kay Gen. Esperon ang pagkondena ng lahat ng mga mag-aaral sa ginawang pagdukot ng AFP, na kanyang pinamumunuan, sa aking matalik na kaibigan na si Karen Empeaño at dating USC CHK Representative na si Sherlyn Cadapan; at ang ating kolektibong kagustuhan na sila ay palayain sa lalong madaling panahon.
Sa aking pananaw ay walang mali sa ginawa ng mga mag-aaral nang siya ay batuhin ng mga mababahong itlog.
Hindi layunin ng mga nag-protestang mga mag-aaral na makasakit, ito ay dahil kung nais man nila, sana ay binato na nila ng mga bato o ng mga bagay na talagang makasasakit ang mga militar. Sa aking palagay, kung mayroon mang nasaktan, yun ay ang pride ni Gen. Esperon. Sa aking tingin, nasaktan ang pride ni Esperon dahil ang buong akala niya ay tanggap na tanggap at minamahal siya ng mga estudyante pero lumalabas na galit na galit ang mga ito sa kanya dahil sa mga kasalanan ng AFP at niya, sa partikular, sa mga mamamayan.
Lehitimong protesta ang ipinaabot ng mga mag-aaral kay Esperon. Sa ibang bansa, ang mga pinaka-masahol na mga opisyal ng gobyerno na nagpapahirap sa mga mamamayan ay binabato ng kamatis at binubuhusan ng tubig. Makatarungan lamang ang protestang ginawa ng mga mag-aaral kay Esperon. Una, siya ay pangunahing heneral na sangkot sa pandaraya ni Gng. Arroyo noong nakaraang halalan; isa pa nga siya sa pinangalanan sa “Hello Garci” tape, bilang heneral na nagsasagawa ng pandaraya sa pamamagitan ng AFP. Pangalawa, si Esperon bilang hepe ng AFP ay tiyak na pasimuno at may direktang kaalaman sa mga nagaganap na pagpaslang, pagdukot at pagpatay sa hanay ng mga progresibo at militanteng mga mamamayan. Ang kanyang mga kawal ang nagsasagawa ng walang habas na pagpaslang sa mga inosenteng mga sibilyan. Inamin na din niya na walang pinag-iba ang mga armado at hindi armadong kaaway ng gobyernong Arroyo. Sa kabuuan, lahat ng organisasyon at lahat ng mga mamamayan na binansagan nilang “Communist Terrorist” ay target na nila. Walang ibang ibig sabihin ang binabanggit ni Esperon na mga “Internal Security Operations” at Oplan Bantay Laya, sa
partikular, kundi ang malawakang panunupil sa hanay ng mga mamamayan, halos araw-araw nga ay may dumadagdag na bilang ng pinapaslang/ dinudukot ng mga tinuturong ahente ng AFP!
Nangyari ang protestang iyon pagkatapos ng inyong forum kung kaya walang dahilan upang kayo ay makaramdam ng sama ng loob liban na lamang kung sa tingin ninyo ay natapakan ang inyong karapatan dahil sa ginawang protesta kay Esperon. Hindi naman kayo ang nilalabanan ng kapwa ninyo estudyante.
Bilang pangwakas, malinaw kung sino ang kaaway ng mga mamamayan at iyon ay ang mga berdugong ahente ng AFP sa pangunguna ni Gen. Esperon. Ginagamit ng mga ahente ng militar ang mga estudyante upang hatiin ang ating hanay at pagmukaing malinis at mabango ang imahe nito. Tayong mga mag-aaral ang nararapat na magkaisa sa pakikipaglaban upang mapalaya ang ating dalawang kasamahang dinukot ng mga uhaw-sa-dugong militar. Nararapat lamang na samahan din tayo ng UP administration sa laban na ito upang itigil ng rehimeng Arroyo ang hibang na kampanya nito ng panunupil sa mga mamamayan. Hindi tayo ang dapat maglaban-laban dahil pare-pareho lamang tayong tinatapakan at inaapi ng rehimeng ito sa pamamagitan ng AFP at PNP, tayo ang parehas na hinahambalos ng mga pulis sa mga rally, mga kapwa estudyante ang dinudukot at pinapaslang din nila.
Pansamantalang nakakita ng puwang ang mga ahente ng AFP sa loob at labas ng UP upang maghasik ng paninira at maling kaisipan sa ating hanay upang tayo ay pahinain. Ngunit mulat nating harapin ang kanilang hamon sa pamamagitan ng pagkakaisa. Maging daan sana ang liham na ito upang mas mapatibay natin ang ating pagkakaisa bilang mga iskolar ng bayan sa ikatatagumpay ng ating laban para sa ating mga karapatan.
Karen at Sherlyn palayain!
Militar sa kanayunan, palayasin!
Inutang na dugo ng pasistang rehimen, singilin, pagbayarin!
Iskolar ng Bayan, ngayon ay lumalaban!
Lubos na gumagalang,
Juan Paolo Alfonso
Tagapangulo, University Student Council



3. Fascists
FIRST PERSON By Alex Magno
The Philippine Star 09/26/2006

The University of the Philippines has become a truly dangerous place – for those who are not communists.

In the afternoons, Maoist militants gather in the walkway between Palma Hall and the Faculty Center and indulge in repetitive sloganeering and blood-curdling chants, resembling a voodoo ritual. Ordinary students simply detour to the other side of the road to keep as far as possible from this intimidating gang.

They have nested at the Faculty Center, sheltered apparently by the administration of the College of Arts and Letters, possibly out of ideological affinity. Their propaganda is permanently on display.

Irreverence, I can understand. But not impunity.

Over the past few years, helped by their own mediocre leadership and a University administration that seemed unwilling to enforce discipline, this gang has become noticeably rowdier. They march in corridors, whenever they wish to, disrupting classes.

They are suffered in silence. No one, it seems, wants the trouble of putting them in their place. These radicals are, after all, capable of mounting the most venomous attacks against persons they disagree with. And when they attack, they always do so treacherously, never with honor.

The CPP maintains cells in the faculty of the UP. Consistent with the subculture of the Maoist movement, these cells are comfortable with underhanded tactics. They circulate poison letters, pass intrigue and conspire to form a parallel line of decision-making to achieve their political goals. And woe to those who cross them or stand staunchly against their group-think: they can make one’s life miserable.

These are bearers of fanatical intolerance. They seek to control every medium of discussion and close out views contrary to theirs. The Philippine Collegian, which the leftist obsessively try to control is now more boring than Stalin’s Pravda. They sometimes spill out of campus premises to snipe at points of view they disagree with, such as when they text this paper’s Inbox section to demand that this column be shut down.

Tuesday last week, they were whooping madly as someone on a megaphone announced that they had received a few hundred thousand from the pork barrel of Bayan Muna. I remember thinking that perhaps these guys do not realize that part of that precious fund comes from the VAT, which they opposed so virulently.

Then, last Friday, these radical hooligans crossed a line that puts a large cloud of doubt over the UP’s vaunted academic freedom: they physically attacked the Chief of Staff of the AFP who had come to dialogue with the students.

I thought it was brave of Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr. to come to the UP to dialogue, given the sharply rising rudeness of the radicals. In between my classes, I made an effort to drop by his forum to show appreciation for his courage.

The forum was civil until the chairman of the UP Student Council began speaking. His impertinence and arrogance was matched only by his intellectual ineptitude. He jabbed with clichés and wove so much intrigue into whatever it was he was trying to say that made very little sense. But his fans club jeered and hooted from the gallery nevertheless.

Esperon gamely sparred and never lost his grace. A graduate of the Philippine Science High School and briefly a UP student before he entered the military academy, it seemed the general relished the joust – and scored points.

After the forum ended, Esperon walked to his vehicle, waving at the chanting radicals positioned outside the Faculty Center Conference Hall. I, along with two other faculty members, walked him to his car, as gracious hosts do.

Then the Maoists sprang their ambush. Led by the arrogant and incoherent chairman of the student council, they rained raw eggs on us. Esperon and his detail quietly withdrew to their vehicles and left. The UP police was nowhere in sight as this attack was in progress.

Quickly images ran through my mind as the assault was in progress: Hitler’s brown shirts killing Catholic professors in Berlin. Mao’s Red Guards throwing professors of classical thought off the ledges at Beijing University during the Cultural Revolution and burning them alive along with priceless antiquities from the museum and libraries of this great institution. Khmer Rouge cadres exterminating all intellectuals with a hammer blow to the back of the head.

One female militant standing beside me was shaking with rage and screaming invectives at the top of her voice. I remember thinking: here was a kid so thoroughly brainwashed she was ready to be a suicide bomber.

For indeed, this was an act of violence inflicted by the intolerant on the heart of academic freedom itself. I stood there for a few minutes, staring each Maoist in the face and then walked to my class, my clothes drenched with egg yolk. I was angry; but more than that, immensely saddened.

The Faculty Center Conference Hall is particularly dear to me. It was my personal cathedral to free speech.

During the dictatorship, we could articulate our dissident ideas in this hall. When news of that fateful mutiny February of 1986 spread, the UP community gathered here to debate our own course of action. During the great bases debate, the US ambassador came here to explain his government’s position and was treated with respect by an intensely anti-bases community.

When I directed the Third World Studies Center, we ran a long series of forums called "Academe Meets Government." Cabinet secretaries came to this hall to defend their record and explain their policies, often before a hostile audience. All of them were treated with respect, beyond all the disagreement. Reciprocity, after all, is the central thread of all civility.

That can never happen again at the UP unless the authorities respond as they must to last Friday’s incident. The fascist tactics of the Maoist hooligans have made not only dialogue with the outside world impossible, the very spirit of free thought and rational debate is seriously menaced.

I don’t think I can continue teaching in this atmosphere of communist terrorism. And if the UP administration does nothing, this university I love shall forever lose its claim to being a sanctuary of free speech and intellectual tolerance.

4. From Dr. Ganni Tapang on Esperon and the egg throwing incident in UP

Bad eggs and right conduct

It is so easy to throw back barbs at the activists who threw eggs at
Esperon in the form of condemnation and outright indignation, as one's
sense of academic decorum is disturbed by the very vivid and graphic
activity.

However, the condemnation can dangerously morph into uncalled-for
anti-communist hysteria and McCarthyist red-baiting, as is being done by
Alex Magno and his friends in the seats of power in Malacanang. In his
intolerant column supposedly written in defense of free speech and
intellectual tolerance in the university, he equates the incident to
fascism and "communist terrorism". Unfortunately, this only parrots and
tows the military's dangerous –and fallacious-- reasoning that unarmed
activists are no different from their NPA targets.

Equally dangerous is the opinion that activists must have deserved being
targets as they behave "badly". This is not a case of fighting fire with
fire. The AFP has guns. Students have only eggs and words. Esperon and
his men have outrightly taken part in electoral fraud and have blatantly
tolerated the abduction, torture and killings of unarmed civilians.
Nothing can be more shameful than simply letting go of such iniquity.
The activist students certainly put that difference in power in a
graphic light with the pelting that happened.

This is the same General Esperon, mentioned a few times in the Hello
Garci tapes, which is the reason he is also called a Hello Garci
general. He is one among a few generals who helped in the cheating for
Gloria in the 2004 elections. You can verify that by studying the
contents of the Hello Garci tapes. There was a new book launched last
Monday at the UP College of Law called FRAUD which documents the
cheating in the 2004 elections.

This is the same General Esperon, who has made public in several
instances his total absence for respect for the peace process. Did he
not welcome with open arms "President" Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo' s
declaration of "all-out war" against the Left, and the accompanying
grant of an additional P1-billion budget for state forces to use in the
counter-"insurgency " campaign?

The "all-out-war" declared by Arroyo, by the way, is not specifically
against the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People's Army,
and the National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) -- which as
organizations are engaged in armed struggle with the Government of the
Republic of the Philippines (GRP) even as it strives to talk peace with
its foe. It is against the Left -- a broad term which can be taken to
include legal cause-oriented organizations like the Bagong Alyansang
Makabayan (Bayan) and progressive party-list groups like Bayan Muna or
even progressive individuals that earned the ire of the leading clique
in power. There is no distinction between guerrillas and unarmed
activists then.

This is the same General Esperon who continues to hide the Mayuga
report. Is he scared that the Mayuga report will expose his role in
Arroyo's massive cheating, and that he got his job not because of merit,
but because of patronage? Yet he is being fast tracked in promotion over
more senior staff in the AFP.

This is the General Esperon, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief
of staff who said at the Melo Commissin that the military and Palparan
are not the ones who committed the more than 750 extrajudicial killings
of activists and civilians. Instead he was saying that the Left
themselves are killing their members. He did not lift even a single
finger to touch Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, Jr. while the latter was
calling Karen and Sherlyn members of the NPA.

With that, he has dismissed the charge that the two UP lady students,
Karen Empeño and Sheylyn Calapan, (abducted by the military in Hagonoy,
Bulacan 2 months ago and still missing) and effectively saying that they
were really not abducted by the military. Some of those students who
attended that forum were friends of Karen and Sherylyn and you can very
well imagine how they felt about it. Yet, despite these, the students
have had decorum enough to throw only eggs.###

--
Giovanni A. Tapang, Ph.D. gtapang@nip. upd.edu.ph
National Institute of Physics http://www.nip. upd.edu.ph/ ipl
University of the Philippines Diliman
5. KRITIKA
Teo S. Marasigan


Propesor Pasista

Matagal nang mapanganib ang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas. Iyan ang makatwirang
sagot sa histerya ni Alex Magno sa kolum niya noong Setyembre 26 sa
Philippine Star na ang titulo’y “Fascists”. Matagal nang mapanganib ang UP
pero hindi dahil sa mga aktibistang pinagkatuwaan niyang ilarawan nang
pakutya – kundi sa mga katulad niyang propesor na mulat na naglilingkod sa
militar, rehimen, at interes ng iilan at dayuhan sa bansa.

Madali silang matukoy sa kampus. Lalake o babae, lagi silang nakaposturang
magara. Sa dagat ng mga estudyanteng nakasuot ng t-shirt at pantalong maong,
nagpipilit silang magmukhang negosyante sa Makati, pero bumabagsak sa itsura
ng nagbebenta ng gamit sa bahay o insurance, kundi man bulaang pastor o
pastora. Magara ang kotse nila, ginagamit para mabilis na umeskapo
pagkatapos ng mga klase at sosyalan tungo sa kampo o opisina ng pulitiko o
negosyanteng pinaglilingkuran. Madalas silang absent sa klase, kahit
nagdadrama silang dapat bigyang-halaga ang buwis ng mamamayan.

Gusto nilang magmukhang kosmopolitan pero batbat ng atrasadong kagawian ng
mga liblib na baryo ang buhay nila. Kasapi sila ng maliliit na barkadang
mahilig sa matsismis na tawanan at pakikipag-away sa kabilang barkada. Para
pangalagaan ang barkada, paboritismo at pedophilia sa estudyante ang padron
nila. Iyung sipsip – na syempre’y walang alam, pero handang humimod ng
tumbong, lalo na kung guwapo’t maganda – ang kinukuha nilang magturo at
maging katrabaho sa saliksik nilang salsal. Duda ang maraming estudyante
nila kung binabasa nila ang mga papel na kanilang ipinapapasa.

Lalong pamilyar ang retorika nila. Gusto nilang tapusin ang kahirapan, pero
ubod-sama para sa kanila ang masa: tamad, gumon sa bisyo – kaya nga dapat at
pwede pang taasan ang buwis – emosyonal, madaling magamit ng Kaliwa o mga
pulitikong artista. Itinuturing nilang laos at lipas na dogma ang mga
pangaral sa ekonomiya ni Karl Marx, pero maalab silang taguyod ng ‘malayang
pamilihan’ at ‘maliit na gobyerno’ – mga dogma ni Adam Smith isandaang taon
bago si Marx. Panatiko sila ng liberalisasyon, deregulasyon at pribatisasyon
ng ekonomiya; bulag sila sa pag-usbong ng monopolyo.

Matindi ang galit nila sa Kaliwa. Hindi imperyalismo, pyudalismo o
burukrata-kapitalis mo ang ugat ng kahirapan ng bansa, kundi ‘proteksyunismo’
na ipinagtatanggol ng Kaliwa. Bigo ang sosyalismo, tagumpay ang kapitalismo.
Pareho lang na marahas ang estado at Kaliwa. Hindi ba’t nilalamon ng
rebolusyon ang sariling mga anak? Kaya nga sinasabi nilang ‘Maging matapat
tayo’ at pagkatapos ay tinutukoy maging mga minor-de-edad na aktibista sa
kampus bilang mga komunista. Ang totoo, sa pagtulong sa militar, nagiging
matapat sila sa kagustuhan nilang pawiin sa daigdig ang kinikilala nilang
‘komunista.’

Nililinlang nila ang mga estudyante – at sa ilang pagkakataon, ang publiko –
para akalaing naging dominanteng patakaran ng mga rehimen sa bansa ang
proteksyunismo. Ikinakaila nila ang kontrol ng US sa ekonomiya, pulitika,
kultura at maging sa militar. Niloloko nila ang mga estudyante para isiping
tunay na sosyalismo ang bumagsak sa mga dating sosyalistang bansa at hindi
kontra-sosyalismo – kasabay ng pagtatakip sa matinding krisis na bumabayo sa
kapitalismo. Tinatabunan nila ang mga kongkreto at historikal na mga
kalagayang ininugan ng mga pamamaslang na ginawa ng Kaliwa.

Kung anuman, nagwawala sila ngayon dahil binato ng itlog at putik ng mga
aktibista si Hen. Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. matapos magsalita sa isang forum
sa kampus nitong Setyembre. Kaantas ng galit niya sa Kaliwa ang nakakatawang
eksaherasyon ni Magno. ‘Pisikal na inatake’ ng mga aktibista si Esperon! Isa
itong ‘ambush,’ ‘hakbangin ng karahasan,’ ‘pasistang taktika ng mga
Maoistang maton,’ at ‘komunistang terorismo’ na nagpapaalala ng karahasan ng
mga tauhan ni Hitler at Mao at ng Khmer Rouge! Ginawa ito ng mga kabataang
labis na nabago ang utak, kaya handang maging ‘suicide bomber’!

Una, hindi itlog o putik ang ibinabato kapag ang layunin ay saktan ang isang
tao. Pwedeng balut o bato – o kaya’y piyano, refrigerator o filing cabinet.
Ibinabato ang itlog at putik para hiyain ang isang tao, o ipamukha ang
pagkakasala niya. Nasa pagitan ito ng nasusuklam na pananalita at ng
direktang karahasan sa isang tao. Ikalawa, kung ikaw ay nahuli sa pandaraya
sa pambansang halalan at kung lahat ng patunay ay tumutumbok sa iyo bilang
maysala sa mga pampulitikang pamamaslang – pero hindi ka naparusahan, hindi
ka umaamin, at tumaas pa nga ang ranggo – talagang babatuhin ka.

Matagal nang mapanganib ang UP. Ang bawat aktibistang nagmumula rito ay
laging tinatapatan ng paglikha sa daan-daan, kundi man libu-libong, mulat na
tagapaglingkod ng interes ng mga naghaharing uri at dayuhan. Balitang-balita
ngayon na nagbabanta si Magno na titigil sa pagtuturo kapag hindi pinatalsik
ng administrasyon ng UP ang mga estudyanteng maysala sa pambabato.
Ipinapakita nito na ang mga ultra-reaksyunaryo sa kampus ay handang
pilipitin ang totoo, ang katwiran, at bisig ng mga administrador para
supilin ang mga aktibista. Ang totoo, matagal nang gustong gawin iyan ni
Magno.

Hindi kawalan – kundi malaking tagumpay! – na tumigil siya sa pagtuturo.>>>

6. Justified Imprudence (unsigned)
They are such a polite lot, those worthy scholars of the people under
the Association of Political Science Majors or APSM. Angered by
militant students' egg- and muck-throwing of Gen. Hermogenes Esperon,
these idealistic (read: naive, naive!) studes came up with a statement
demanding that the UP student council and their grim-and-determined
fellows from Vinzons apologize to them and the public from the
incident. They specifically asked council chair Paolo Alfonso to
publicly apologize "for his actions which were subsequently
misconstrued as the general behavior of the UP studentry by the
greater public."

What the heck are those UP political science professors teaching these
kids?

First, let us state the obvious: The egg- and muck-throwing happened
after the forum, after Esperon had left Claro M. Recto hall. If it
happened while Esperon was speaking in the forum, there would have
been much reason in APSM demanding apology from Alfonso, for Esperon
was their responsibility as an invited speaker. He is a guest, after
all. We are all familiar with the concept of Pinoy hospitality, and
the APSM kids are obviously not beyond practicing this cultural relic
of our feudal past.

Should we continue to open our doors to all people, even those of
undesirable character, nevermind that known cheats and killers would
understandably not expect people to welcome them in their homes? Or in
this case, nevermind that considering the humongous flak the military
is getting because of its horrible human rights record Esperon should
have expected such incidents wherever he goes in the country? Or
nevermind that government officials and public figures not nearly as
controversial as Esperon should expect cries -- or in this case, eggs
-- of indignation to be thrown their way wherever they go for sticking
to a much-hated and discredited regime as Arroyo's?

There are actually similar situations where controversial VIPs grace
events -- the National Press Club's rigodon night, for one -- where
they know they will be humiliated. In the case of Esperon's visit to
UP, he should have expected to be humilitated, if only for the
abduction and continued detention of UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and
Karen Empeño. I guess, having a thick face gets in the way of those
realizations.

What those super-sensitive APSM kids must realize is that they are in
UP, the so-called hotbed of radicalism, of impertinence and
imprudence. Bold fraternity men with placards to boot run around the
campus naked, for chrissakes! Almost every moral norm has been
violated in UP, particularly in Sunken Garden and Lagoon, and they are
concerned about a simple egg-throwing! They should ask their fellow
students in the History department to tell them about the First
Quarter Storm of 1970, when militant kids their age stormed Batasan
during Marcos's state of the nation address and threw an effigy right
at the would-be dictator's feet, sparking a quarter-long series of
huge protests and confrontations that would be cited as the finest
hour of the Philippine student movement. They should ask about the
so-called Diliman Commune in 1971, that, while not exactly the type of
commune American and European hippies had during the Sexual
Revolution, had its share of impetinence with students taking over the
campus, renaming Palma Hall as Sison Hall, etc., and playing over DZUP
tapes of B-move actress Dovie Beams having sex with Marcos.

It is way, way beyond any expectations of hospitality and politeness
to feel offended when Esperon gets "egged" after he steps out of the
conference room.

But what is less obvious but nevertheless must be pointed out to
these kids -- and especially the administration officials so keen on
using APSM to attack the militants -- is that the armed conflict that
is raging all over the country can never be settled by mere talk. It
is the height of naivete to claim that their forum was an "example of
the meeting of divergent sides". APSM supposedly prides itself for
making space "where both ends of the political spectrum meet", but
there is no such space. I was once a writer for human rights group
Karapatan, and I heard so many, many times the stories of human rights
workers engaging the military in a dialogue, asking them to
investigate this or that case, or politely pleading to them to pull
out of areas where human rights violations occur. Very, very seldom do
these dialogues bear fruit. Often these dialogues occur to the
detriment of the very ones engaged in dialogue -- the human rights
advocates, the families of the victims, who henceforth become targets
of the attacks they so passionately raised their voices against.

They only have to know the story of Eden Marcellana, human rights
worker, and Eddie Gumanoy, peasant leader. They, too, raised their
voices. They used words to expose the inequities that they witness.
Eden, according to those she worked with, had an encyclopedic
knowledge of human rights cases, and was especially skillful with
negotiations with the military whenever they go to fact finding
missions. She held countless dialogues with Jovito Palparan and his
murderous cabal, in Mindoro, in Quezon, in Batangas. Her fate is a
testament to how the military and the state settle arguments. They
can't argue with her, but they won the argument by pelting her body
with bullets.

The militant students only pelted Esperon with eggs and muck, instead
of grenades, which some of their youthful counterparts in Palestine or
Iran would probably choose. The kids are understandably angry. The
question in my mind, though, is why are those other kids in the APSM
not.


7. CONGRESS OF TEACHERS/EDUCATIORS FOR NATIONALISM AND DEMOCRACY
OCTOBER 11, 2006

THE LIMITS OF ACADEMIC CIVILITY

"Academic freedom" exists among the faculty of the University to some extent because, within our limited sphere of action and thought, all of its members are considered approximately equal in their possession of power or lack thereof. A situation in which a military man talks to an academic cannot exactly be characterized as a propitious and equal academic encounter. One is trained to impose order by force, while the other advances knowledge by thinking "disorderly" thoughts. One is an expert on human extermination, while the typical representative of the latter hardly knows heads or tails of the business of killing people. The authoritarian culture of the military is completely antithetical to the ideal culture of the University. The beauty of the University is not the fact that we can simply think or fantasize whatever we want to, but that we can actually think against the ruling ideas of the dominant groups and classes in society and still be protected to some extent by our intransigent and impudent claim to "academic freedom." "Academic freedom" is imperiled not by a "surplus" of oppositional and critical thought but precisely when the dominant political regime attempts to turn the university into a naked tool for the perpetuation of its power and when it seeks to expel, punish or curb the defiant voices of protest within the academe by means of McCarthyite witch-hunting.
The most serious threat to scientific thought and the spirit of inquiry is not the act of throwing eggs at government functionaries or generals in rare moments of rage. Rather, it is posed by the all too common occurrence of faculty members being reduced to fanatical functionaries and court poets of the powers-that-be. The latter type of "academic" is also known to develop grandiose ideas of his own significance, power and even intellect in direct proportion to the amount of money stashed away in his bank account. In the final analysis, they are just paid hacks with professorial pretensions who are undeserving of even the most civil intellectual treatment in the academic context. They should just quit the academe and take jobs in the field of advertising and political slogan-writing instead. When we become tired of their mantras, we even have the right to say to them, "Sell your voodoo ointments somewhere else! We can't pay you for them."

The "egging" of AFP Chief of Staff, Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., at UP Diliman has become a convenient pretext for some professorial state jesters to call for a crackdown on activists and activism on the Diliman campus. Gen. Esperon, also known as the "Hello, Garci General" is the head and representative of an institution which has been widely condemned if not reviled, both nationally and internationally for its evident role in the systematic murder of hundreds of activists, journalists, intellectuals and priests. These murders were and are still being accomplished with the utmost brazenness and impunity on the part of the perpetrators. The irony today is that those who pelted Esperon with eggs and mud at the UP Faculty Center are themselves being accused of having acted with "impunity"!

How can anything be more absurd than bearing down upon some harmless egg throwers when the real culprits, criminals and rotten eggs are left unpunished for their crimes against society. Such an eventuality would surrender justice to mere form. Have we already forgotten the "Garci tapes"? Have we forgotten the tragic fates of Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan? Were they given the proper "academic civility" by their military abductors? Do we forget the daily indignities and humiliating poverty that we suffer in order that our politicians, generals and their professorial jesters can swim up to their necks in the taxes we pay? Shame on us if we have forgotten all this. Because it means that we have lost the power to be angry at what is happening outside of our campus and have likewise become totally incapable of understanding the sources of the anger seething within it. Even we, who live and breath the life of teachers and students to our very core, have the right to be angry at the travesties of justice we daily see before our eyes.

There are indeed limits to academic civility and these are where the struggles for real social justice begin.


8. What's in a protest?
by Gerry Lanuza and Sarah Raymundo*
In a website about military jokes, the following can be found:
An Army recruiter delivered a windy pep talk to encourage a group of college students to join the VOLAR. But the culminating point of his oration was greeted with cat calls, whistles and projection of rotten eggs and an assortment of no less rotten vegetables and fruits.
A visitor asked a student: "Why do you throw tomatoes at the man and now you are applauding him?"
"We want an encore. I still have some tomatoes left!" explained the student.
AFP: Auckland: Around 600 anti-war protesters whistled, thumped drums and set fire to flags outside New Zealand's parliament today as Australian Prime Minister John Howard met leaders inside. The protesters, who included three Green Party MPs, also hurled tomatoes onto the steps of the parliament building in a show of anger over Howard's unstinting support for US-led military action against Iraq.
From the Philippine Daily Inquirer: STUDENTS of the University of the Philippines pelted Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr. with eggs and mud on Friday inside the UP campus in Quezon City, the military said. Esperon was leaving a conference hall at the UP where he had been addressing a forum, when at least 10 students began chanting "fascist military" and throwing eggs and mud, hitting the general on his back and pants, AFP spokesperson Lt. Col. Bartolome Bacarro said. (Published on page A2 of the September 23, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer)
So what's in these incidents? Like the Holocaust there are various ways to interpret the UP incident.

The liberal interpretation
The APSM statement proposes the liberal neutral interpretation:
"Contrary to accusations, APSM stands for academic freedom. We believe that academic freedom means that a person, organization or institution can articulate ideas and political beliefs without the threat of being harmed in any way. In fact, the presentation of the forum is an attempt to achieve that objective. The military as an institution, just like other actors in society, deserves its right to participate in public discourse and present its ideas and policies. Fora such as the one presented promotes transparency by engaging the military in a public discussion of its ideas and policies."

This is the usual liberal mantra: dialogue please, but no riot! So while a liberal passionately attacks ideas she dislikes and vigorously defends her own stand, she recoils quickly from asserting the consequences of her viewpoint. So let's all work for the elimination of violence, but when this requires slightest violence, the liberal shirks. For instance, a liberal deep ecologist can retort: "How dare these green parties cause pain and suffering for those tomatoes!" to which the UP liberal animal rights advocate can rejoin: "How dare these Leftists cause pain and suffering to unhatched chicken eggs?" (which of course is questionable because the eggs are bad eggs) That's why he is often defeated by a staunch conservative who goes through the consequences of what he believes without hesitation. Since a liberal proposes non-violent, peaceful way of resolving conflict, he is bound to be peaceful even if he knows very well that her enemy is cruel. One must be reminded here of Herbert Marcuse's plea for intolerance:

The tolerance which is the life element, the token of a free society, will never be the gift of the powers that be; it can, under the prevailing conditions of tyranny by the majority, only be won in the sustained effort of radical minorities, willing to break this tyranny and to work for the emergence of a free and sovereign majority - minorities intolerant, militantly intolerant and disobedient to the rules of behavior which tolerate destruction and suppression." are determined and defined by the institutionalized inequality (which is certainly compatible with constitutional equality), i.e., by the class structure of society. In such a society, tolerance is de facto limited on the dual ground of legalized violence or suppression (police, armed forces, guards of all sorts) and of the privileged position held by the predominant interests and their 'connections'.

Can we not therefore claim that what the students displayed is a kind of "liberating tolerance"? A symbolic act to test the tolerance of the liberal tolerators?

We must insist today on the Leninist plea for intolerance and the futility of formal freedom. Formal freedom is the freedom of choice within the coordinates of the existing power relations, while actual freedom designates the site of an intervention that undermines these very coordinates. So within the so-called liberal democratic formal space, you can choose among varieties of dialogue: forum, debate, symposium, lecture, colloquium, roundtable discussion, etc. Egg-pelting? No, it's not in the liberal's civilized menu!

A more radical reading here presents itself: isn't the angry protest of the students, against the sector of the military that protects the President and not the People, a real _expression of highest military honor: the principle of non-toleration of unethical behavior? And that the pelting of eggs to General Esperon is a symbolic act reminding him of the highest military valor, which is saying NO! to politicians who drag the nation to chaos and division? And if General Esperon claims he is innocent (of involving himself in electoral fraud and omission in the face of political killings), then, all the more he has to show vigorously that the military does not tolerate any form of corruption whether inside or outside the military. Any gesture short of this is to diminish military honor!

Liberals can retort: "But throwing eggs could have been substituted by throwing sour arguments against the General in the forum!" What is hypocritical here is that the liberals who flaunt this argument are doing what Lacan calls as “acting out”: two people with different, irreconcilable, political beliefs, being nice and sharing congenial glances, when there is a seething antagonism between them. What the egg-pelters accomplished is a kind of symbolic act: the suspension of the rules and assertion of one's passion.

The "Maybe those who threw them were bad eggs" argument

According to this, UP students who participated were not representative of the entire UP system and therefore they must apologize to clear the stained reputation of UP students. The obscene supplement to this argument is the condescending (but unaristocratic statement of General Esperon): "I still have high regards for UP." This obscene supplement flattens out the difference between Esperon's statement and the fetishistic statement: "I still trust the electoral system even if it has room for allowing some politicians to cheat." This obscene supplement abolishes the remainder between egg-pelting and political corruption.


What is missing in this argument is the Hegelian notion of concrete universality. The ideals of the University are empty ideals that must be filled with concrete content. Each generation of UP students must struggle to define what will count as UP values. So if academic freedom is part of UP values, then we must leave room for antagonistic negotiation on how to define this value. So the question now is this: Is the action of the egg-pelters part of that quasi-Kantian transcendental value? What must not be missed here is that the liberals and detractors of the egg-pelters had already scored points by invoking the value of academic freedom: pelting eggs to a General violates academic freedom! What an irony! The immediate task of those who are sympathetic to the incident is to claim universality on their side. "Yes, egg-pelting is part of our academic freedom!" As Marcuse argues, "According to a dialectical proposition it is the whole which determines the truth--not in the sense that the whole is prior or superior to its parts, but in the sense that its structure and function determine every particular condition and relation. Thus, within a repressive society, even progressive movements threaten to turn into their opposite to the degree to which they accept the rules of the game." Egg-pelting is definitely a refusal to play the liberal coy game.

An Aristocratic Response, Yes, Please!

According to one of the aphorisms of the German military: "That which does not kill me makes me stronger." And Nietzsche endorses this in the Twilight of the Idols. That is why cruelty and power are so dear to Nietzsche. Miller interprets Nietzsche as saying that, "To exercise actively the will to power, he regards as the essence of life. To exercise this power with abandon is not only to court being cruel but, when cruelty occurs, to enjoy the pain the suffering, the agony that cruelty causes. "To practice cruelty is to enjoy the highest"-note the adjective: the highest -"gratification of the feeling of power." To enjoy the exercise of power is, in effect, to be cruel. And cruelty is the virtue of the noble individuals. As Miller points out BE CRUEL in your resoluteness, welcome the harsh renunciations and sometimes brutal costs of relentlessly pursuing any vaulting ideal, be it wisdom, Godliness, or revolutionary purity. This we may call the cruelty proper to the ascetic, an eagerness to suffer the pains entailed by unswerving commitment to any burning faith or transcendent ambition." Of course the military and the Rightist can claim they can also be cruel. This is where the liberal are out-smarted: they shy away from inflicting cruelty to realize their ideals, but the reactionaries do not!

Fabricating the Bad Egg Festival

In the age of post-politics, and what Giddens calls as post-traditional society, where new traditions are fabricated, the egg-pelting incident is a perfect candidate for staging a festival of spectacle, which eventually can rival the Tomatina (tomato battle) Festival in Bunol,Valencia, Spain, every last Wednesday of August, or the Mr. Tomato Head Festival of Ukrainians, during Indpendence Day. If Nietzsche says, "Without cruelty there is no festival," we must also assert its obverse: "Without festival there is no cruelty." If Ukrainians throw tomato on the picture of the most corrupt politician, and Spaniards engage in tomato battles, then the UP festival can be called the Egg-pelting at Fascists Day or Bad Eggs Festival. If the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity has the Oblation Run, then progressive students can have their own "fabricated" festival.

The One Measure of True Love Is: You Can Insult the Other

This festival should be a reminder to the future generations of UP students, that for a brief moment, the students are able to equalize the status gap between them and the highest military official, no less than the Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. (Because if the incident happened elsewhere it could have been catastrophic!) And that UP can be a freedom zone where statuses do not matter! And that is the highest meaning of RESPECT --A VIRTUE being misrepresented by liberals, and being flaunted by the MILITARY! Esperon deserves RESPECT, yes! --BUT RESPECT ON EQUAL TERMS. As Nietzsche reminds us, respect can only be exercised among equals! THE HIGHEST FORM OF RESPECT THEREFORE IS DISREPECT! As Zizek puts it, "For me there is one measure of true love: you can insult the other... That's the truth of it. If there is true love, you can say horrible things and anything goes."

But then again, no activist could even imagine true love for Esperon. What is at stake in their symbolic protest, apart from staging the principle of respect on equal terms is precisely the radical youth’s intelligent idealism. Against the corrupt and criminal practices of the military apparatus, the egg-pelters staged a symbolic argument for the construction of an ideal military apparatus. They who refuse the underside of military force (read: abuse of military power) have grasped the true horizon in through which respect can be affirmed and accorded. Meanwhile, the ones who insist upon respect for an official of a corrupt institution are the ones who are, actually, disrespectful. For, it appears that they are willing to give up on their desire for another form of democracy that is supposed to be protected by the Army for the sake of good manners and right conduct. But the question is, can anyone respect predominant military practice in the Philippines?

True love is destroying the Other's illusion. The Other in this context is the military establishment. The students who pelted eggs to Esperon are the young radicals who have seen through the illusion: The current military establishment cannot defend the people. Therefore, the act of pelting eggs, especially to Esperon symbolizes a hopeful stance towards the military establishment: That it can be other than what it is today. An armed Forces that serve the people and not the system of private property that protects the interest of a few. As for the liberals, they are simply playing a coy game, and like the reactionaries and state functionaries from within the UP faculty, they never registered their concern when it was established that Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan were abducted. Yet lately, their mouths are frothing over the "desacralization of the University" erroneously equated with Esperon's momentary shame.

The liberals and the reactionary fascists have indeed closed ranks on this issue. Their tantrums range from the authoritarian demand for public apology to the outright fascistic suggestion to expel the egg-pelters from the University. This, then, brings us to our desire to defend a third modality of action. The action of the community of believers, the "uncoupled outcasts" from the university's liberal order. These are the collectivities whom the reactionaries and liberals love to warn us against. These collectivities are often constituted as monstrous. To this we assert Heiner Muller's well-known aphorism: "The first appearance of the new is the dread."

*The authors are faculty members of the Department of Sociology, University of the Philippines Diliman.

current mood: energetic

(comment on this)

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006
12:08 am - What's in a protest? by Sarah Raymundo and Gerry Lanuza
In a website about military jokes, the following can be found:

An Army recruiter delivered a windy pep talk to encourage a group of college students to join the VOLAR. But the culminating point of his oration was greeted with cat calls, whistles and projection of rotten eggs and an assortment of no less rotten vegetables and fruits.

A visitor asked a student: "Why do you throw tomatoes at the man and now you are applauding him?"

"We want an encore. I still have some tomatoes left!" explained the student.

AFP: Auckland: Around 600 anti-war protesters whistled, thumped drums and set fire to flags outside New Zealand's parliament today as Australian Prime Minister John Howard met leaders inside. The protesters, who included three Green Party MPs, also hurled tomatoes onto the steps of the parliament building in a show of anger over Howard's unstinting support for US-led military action against Iraq.

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer: STUDENTS of the University of thePhilippines pelted Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr. with eggs and mud on Friday inside the UP campus in Quezon City, the military said. Esperon was leaving a conference hall at the UP where he had been addressing a forum, when at least 10 students began chanting "fascist military" and throwing eggs and mud, hitting the general on his back and pants, AFP spokesperson Lt. Col. Bartolome Bacarro said. (Published on page A2 of the September 23, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer)

So what's in these incidents? Like the Holocaust there are various ways to interpret the UP incident.


The liberal interpretation

The APSM statement proposes the liberal neutral interpretation:

"Contrary to accusations, APSM stands for academic freedom. We believe that academic freedom means that a person, organization or institution can articulate ideas and political beliefs without the threat of being harmed in any way. In fact, the presentation of the forum is an attempt to achieve that objective. The military as an institution, just like other actors in society, deserves its right to participate in public discourse and present its ideas and policies. Fora such as the one presented promotes transparency by engaging the military in a public discussion of its ideas and policies."


This is the usual liberal mantra: dialogue please, but no riot! So while a liberal passionately attacks ideas she dislikes and vigorously defends her own stand, she recoils quickly from asserting the consequences of her viewpoint. So let's all work for the elimination of violence, but when this requires slightest violence, the liberal shirks. For instance, a liberal deep ecologist can retort: "How dare these green parties cause pain and suffering for those tomatoes!" to which the UP liberal animal rights advocate can rejoin: "How dare these Leftists cause pain and suffering to unhatched chicken eggs?" (which of course is questionable because the eggs are bad eggs) That's why he is often defeated by a staunch conservative who goes through the consequences of what he believes without hesitation. Since a liberal proposes non-violent, peaceful way of resolving conflict, he is bound to be peaceful even if he knows very well that her enemy is cruel. One must be reminded here of Herbert Marcuse's plea for intolerance:



The tolerance which is the life element, the token of a free society, will never be the gift of the powers that be; it can, under the prevailing conditions of tyranny by the majority, only be won in the sustained effort of radical minorities, willing to break this tyranny and to work for the emergence of a free and sovereign majority - minorities intolerant, militantly intolerant and disobedient to the rules of behavior which tolerate destruction and suppression." are determined and defined by the institutionalized inequality (which is certainly compatible with constitutional equality), i.e., by the class structure of society. In such a society, tolerance is de facto limited on the dual ground of legalized violence or suppression (police, armed forces, guards of all sorts) and of the privileged position held by the predominant interests and their 'connections'.



Can we not therefore claim that what the students displayed is a kind of "liberating tolerance"? A symbolic act to test the tolerance of the liberal tolerators?



We must insist today on the Leninist plea for intolerance and the futility of formal freedom. Formal freedom is the freedom of choice within the coordinates of the existing power relations, while actual freedom designates the site of an intervention that undermines these very coordinates. So within the so-called liberal democratic formal space, you can choose among varieties of dialogue: forum, debate, symposium, lecture, colloquium, roundtable discussion, etc. Egg-pelting? No, it's not in the liberal's civilized menu!



A more radical reading here presents itself: isn't the angry protest of the students, against the sector of the military that protects the President and not the People, a real expression of highest military honor: the principle of non-toleration of unethical behavior? And that the pelting of eggs to General Esperon is a symbolic act reminding him of the highest military valor, which is saying NO! to politicians who drag the nation to chaos and division? And if General Esperon claims he is innocent (of involving himself in electoral fraud and omission in the face of political killings), then, all the more he has to show vigorously that the military does not tolerate any form of corruption whether inside or outside the military. Any gesture short of this is to diminish military honor!



Liberals can retort: "But throwing eggs could have been substituted by throwing sour arguments against the General in the forum!" What is hypocritical here is that the liberals who flaunt this argument are doing what Lacan calls as “acting out”: two people with different, irreconcilable, political beliefs, being nice and sharing congenial glances, when there is a seething antagonism between them. What the egg-pelters accomplished is a kind of symbolic act: the suspension of the rules and assertion of one's passion.



The "Maybe those who threw them were bad eggs" argument



According to this, UP students who participated were not representative of the entire UP system and therefore they must apologize to clear the stained reputation of UP students. The obscene supplement to this argument is the condescending (but unaristocratic statement of General Esperon): "I still have high regards for UP." This obscene supplement flattens out the difference between Esperon's statement and the fetishistic statement: "I still trust the electoral system even if it has room for allowing some politicians to cheat." This obscene supplement abolishes the remainder between egg-pelting and political corruption.




What is missing in this argument is the Hegelian notion of concrete universality. The ideals of the University are empty ideals that must be filled with concrete content. Each generation of UP students must struggle to define what will count as UP values. So if academic freedom is part of UP values, then we must leave room for antagonistic negotiation on how to define this value. So the question now is this: Is the action of the egg-pelters part of that quasi-Kantian transcendental value? What must not be missed here is that the liberals and detractors of the egg-pelters had already scored points by invoking the value of academic freedom: pelting eggs to a General violates academic freedom! What an irony! The immediate task of those who are sympathetic to the incident is to claim universality on their side. "Yes, egg-pelting is part of our academic freedom!" As Marcuse argues, "According to a dialectical proposition it is the whole which determines the truth--not in the sense that the whole is prior or superior to its parts, but in the sense that its structure and function determine every particular condition and relation. Thus, within a repressive society, even progressive movements threaten to turn into their opposite to the degree to which they accept the rules of the game." Egg-pelting is definitely a refusal to play the liberal coy game.



An Aristocratic Response, Yes, Please!



According to one of the aphorisms of the German military: "That which does not kill me makes me stronger." And Nietzsche endorses this in the Twilight of the Idols. That is why cruelty and power are so dear to Nietzsche. Miller interprets Nietzsche as saying that, "To exercise actively the will to power, he regards as the essence of life. To exercise this power with abandon is not only to court being cruel but, when cruelty occurs, to enjoy the pain the suffering, the agony that cruelty causes. "To practice cruelty is to enjoy the highest"-note the adjective: the highest -"gratification of the feeling of power." To enjoy the exercise of power is, in effect, to be cruel. And cruelty is the virtue of the noble individuals. As Miller points out BE CRUEL in your resoluteness, welcome the harsh renunciations and sometimes brutal costs of relentlessly pursuing any vaulting ideal, be it wisdom, Godliness, or revolutionary purity. This we may call the cruelty proper to the ascetic, an eagerness to suffer the pains entailed by unswerving commitment to any burning faith or transcendent ambition." Of course the military and the Rightist can claim they can also be cruel. This is where the liberal are out-smarted: they shy away from inflicting cruelty to realize their ideals, but the reactionaries do not!



Fabricating the Bad Egg Festival



In the age of post-politics, and what Giddens calls as post-traditional society, where new traditions are fabricated, the egg-pelting incident is a perfect candidate for staging a festival of spectacle, which eventually can rival the Tomatina (tomato battle) Festival in Bunol,Valencia, Spain, every last Wednesday of August, or the Mr. Tomato Head Festival of Ukrainians, during Indpendence Day. If Nietzsche says, "Without cruelty there is no festival," we must also assert its obverse: "Without festival there is no cruelty." If Ukrainians throw tomato on the picture of the most corrupt politician, and Spaniards engage in tomato battles, then the UP festival can be called the Egg-pelting at Fascists Day or Bad Eggs Festival. If the Alpha Phi Omega fraternity has the Oblation Run, then progressive students can have their own "fabricated" festival.



The One Measure of True Love Is: You Can Insult the Other



This festival should be a reminder to the future generations of UP students, that for a brief moment, the students are able to equalize the status gap between them and the highest military official, no less than the Chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. (Because if the incident happened elsewhere it could have been catastrophic!) And that UP can be a freedom zone where statuses do not matter! And that is the highest meaning of RESPECT --A VIRTUE being misrepresented by liberals, and being flaunted by the MILITARY! Esperon deserves RESPECT, yes! --BUT RESPECT ON EQUAL TERMS. As Nietzsche reminds us, respect can only be exercised among equals! THE HIGHEST FORM OF RESPECT THEREFORE IS DISREPECT! As Zizek puts it, "For me there is one measure of true love: you can insult the other... That's the truth of it. If there is true love, you can say horrible things and anything goes."



But then again, no activist could even imagine true love for Esperon. What is at stake in their symbolic protest, apart from staging the principle of respect on equal terms is precisely the radical youth’s intelligent idealism. Against the corrupt and criminal practices of the military apparatus, the egg-pelters staged a symbolic argument for the construction of an ideal military apparatus. They who refuse the underside of military force (read: abuse of military power) have grasped the true horizon in through which respect can be affirmed and accorded. Meanwhile, the ones who insist upon respect for an official of a corrupt institution are the ones who are, actually, disrespectful. For, it appears that they are willing to give up on their desire for another form of democracy that is supposed to be protected by the Army for the sake of good manners and right conduct. But the question is, can anyone respect predominant military practice in the Philippines?



True love is destroying the Other's illusion. The Other in this context is the military establishment. The students who pelted eggs to Esperon are the young radicals who have seen through the illusion: The current military establishment cannot defend the people. Therefore, the act of pelting eggs, especially to Esperon symbolizes a hopeful stance towards the military establishment: That it can be other than what it is today. An armed Forces that serve the people and not the system of private property that protects the interest of a few. As for the liberals, they are simply playing a coy game, and like the reactionaries and state functionaries from within the UP faculty, they never registered their concern when it was established that Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan were abducted. Yet lately, their mouths are frothing over the "desacralization of the University" erroneously equated with Esperon's momentary shame.



The liberals and the reactionary fascists have indeed closed ranks on this issue. Their tantrums range from the authoritarian demand for public apology to the outright fascistic suggestion to expel the egg-pelters from the University. This, then, brings us to our desire to defend a third modality of action. The action of the community of believers, the "uncoupled outcasts" from the university's liberal order. These are the collectivities whom the reactionaries and liberals love to warn us against. These collectivities are often constituted as monstrous. To this we assert Heiner Muller's well-known aphorism: "The first appearance of the new is the dread."

*The authors are faculty members of the Department of Sociology, University of the Philippines Diliman.

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Sunday, September 10th, 2006
10:06 pm - Delayed Reactions
Daily conversations are the perfect sources of problematizations. The “everydayness” of social life is a dimension of reality where we usually accept many things without knowing them. “Doxa” is Bourdieu’s word for such an act. He explains that “the social world does not work in terms of consciousness; it works in terms of mechanisms, practices and so forth (1994:268).” When challenged by Eagleton—by calling attention to the term’s overemphasis on the “internalization of dominant and oppressive beliefs” (1994:269) thereby unnecessarily diluting the second movement, a rupture perhaps, where heterodoxy is enabled—Bourdieu highlights the main ideological effects [of false consciousness(?)—Bourdieu is critical of this term but nonetheless uses it as a basis for his argument]—which are to be grasped by focusing on how these effects are actually transmitted through the body, which is to say that “the main mechanism of domination operates through the unconscious manipulation of the body (1994:269).” Now this is different from Focault’s discipline: “discipline, in French at least, points towards something external. Discipline is enforced by a military strength; you must obey. In a sense it is easy to revolt against discipline you are conscious of it (1996:270). Here, Bourdieu draws our attention to the concept of symbolic domination “where resistance is more difficult because you absorb it like air, something you don’t feel pressured by; is everywhere and nowhere, and to escape from that is very difficult...With the mechanism of symoblic violence, domination tends to take the form of oppression (1996:270).” Bourdieu also claims that violence in contemporary societies has become soft and invisible.



Thus, the title“delayed reactions.” My usual inablity to respond to the most commonsensical ideas presented to me when I am most unarmed or disarmed by people (who are perhaps as unarmed and disarmed as myself as we savor the “commonplaceness” of daily informal encounters). And I have provisionally decided to trace this temporary- restraining- order- of- my- theoretical- arsenal- during- blissful-conversations mode as an effect of doxa. And in times of reckoning, such as this moment, I shall name them as my own share of the symbolic violence-a obnoxious thing that weighs upon me when I am most alone (in the tradition of sober drama queens).



Delayed reaction # 1 (after writing the whole piece, I realize that my delayed reaction to this topic encapsulates all my other delayed reactions to some irritating notions so there is no #2).



Edel Garcellano was once tasked to teach a course on Gay Literature. He did not like it because he thought it was a stupid course (I will explain why it is stupid in a while,and via Slavoj Zizek—just in case an incorrigible fetishist is reading this one). His students allegedly complained about the way he taught the course (I incorrectly typed it as curse a while ago, which is an interesting freudian slip; and in view of that slip, I am considering explaining why it is a curse later). It has come to my attention that a descendant of the Thomasites once said that since Edel claims to know it all then it is only proper to make him teach gay lit to prove himself (or something to that effect, I only quote theorists and not authors who tr0y hard to come up with spunky book titles but fail miserably). Edel loves to intervene into issues, ideas and practices. This is far from knowing it all. Everytime he intervenes he opens himself to criticism. Each time he criticizes, he raises the stakes for radical criticism even higher. And he is paying a high price for this. He doesn’t even have a full-time post in his department. Which is good, in a way, since this must have spared him from the obscene fantasies of having a tenured track job. These fantasies are usually manifested in ridiculous docility, unabashed marketing of oneself, tripple Xyish ass fuking/kissing with tenured men (yes, they are usually men so younger unternured males are in fact “queered” by all that lamentable academic practices). His criticisms have by no means got him to where most of us would want to be (Salary Grade 20? Which is how low?). Edel is wont to pointing out the dark side of things, especially at times when everbody is getting so unreasonably optimistic. In case it is not yet clear, my point is this: “I love Sir Edel. You diss him, I kill you. Fucker.” (Yes, even sober drama queens can use some bad words for more affective release)



1.Why Didn’t Edel Teach His Class Gay Literature As Expected?

I think the obvious answer is that because he is not stupid as most of his colleagues are. But that’s not fair (it’s accurate though).



1.1. Just where is all this penchant for courses like gay literature, feminist literature, popular literature and all those “specificities” packaged as sophisticated nuances to be grasped by any literate iskolar ng bayan come from? Nowhere but from the triumphalist idea that the class struggle is over since the fall of the Soviet Union. And so we would all be better off dealing with the magic chain of equivalences: class-gender-race-ethnicity-chuvalyn-cream-kylie-whatever-else-you-can-think
-about-just-so-that-the-class struggle is erased from academic discourse.

1.2. Slowly but surely, let us unravel the confusion. The postmodernists (all those who talk about how the class struggle as a horizon of interpretation cannot capture the complex realities of globalization and so they usually deploy terms such as identity politics, citizenship, civil society (yes, nobody will be spared especially those who deploy this category) and so forth.



1.3. I shall not deny that globalization has indeed brought a lot of changes especially in semi-colonial societies like the Philippines. I’ve said this before (in a previous blog entry) but I’ll say it once more: the changes effected by globalization only serve to intensify the structural ills of the country. And I am referring to what Amado Guerrero in his Philippine Society and Revolution [1972 (Psse? Wait until i explain how postmodernism feeds upon a 17th century notion of the free market...)].



1.4. Having said that, what is therefore the proper disposition towards globalization? The revolutionay one. One cannot be for or against what already exists and so the revolutionary disposition towards globalization is not to be against it but to crush it. Globalization, like a passionate attachement cannot be sublated, it can only be traversed. And since our fantasies have been plugged into the imperial dreaming of globalization through the process of identification (Lacan), we can only affirm the lack that obtains from the existence of the big Other from where we gain our status as Subjects in the Symbolic Order. This lack, however, must not be an opening for consesus-building fetishists to assert their obscene clamor for completeness through consensus, which,in actuality, is reached only by marginalizing if not erasing the stakes of its adversaries. These consensus builders are niether better nor worse than the Aristotelian agnostics (whom Jameson rightly perceives to be complacent) who obssesively claim that “the truth lies somewhere in between (Jameson, 2006).” Both are equally irritating.

1.5. But what about those who say that globalization has its pros and cons? And in the end decide that the pros far outweigh the cons, it’s just a problem of management. At the minimum, they should vacate the academe. But what if the maximum penalty for spreading moronic ideas is to be tickled to death? But then again, what if some morons aren’t ticklish? (Grabe, this is getting so hard na.) The thing is, I’m inclined to endorse the minimum penalty. But my real point is this: Globalization is a process that obtains from the strategic plan for global restructuring of the econony after the Cold War. It does not exactly follow a spontaneous logic. Rather, it follows the anarchic logic of capital in its monopoly stage. It is therefore a systematized process where imperialist countries get to rid themselves of the crisis of overproduction [not quite though and hence America’s war on Iraq, Afghanistan and its support to the war on Lebanon and GMA’s war on those who simply do not like her (I’m not calling it a war against the CPP-NPA since as the newsreports have it, the NPA’s are winning over the military in their tactical offensives, besides, Palparan already made it clear that they are after the water (the broad mass support) that keeps the fish (NPA) alive. Short of saying, “since we can’t beat the real enemies (CPP-NPA), let’s just kill those whom we feel are supportive of them.” Losers.)]. So those who still think of globalization in terms of its pros and cons, please, wake up, read up and realize that it is imperialism at work. Now, in case you are still understandably afflicted by that illness called stupidity and you are currently thinking that I am stupidly suggesting a return to the primitive way of life, now stop. Stop it right there. You are not getting anywhere farther from my argument. Be with me in this! To crush globalization means to nationalize all major industries in the country. It means rejecting the impositions IMF-WB. What about economic embargo? It won’t happen, trust me because I just know it won’t. Can we still have coke and san miguel beer after? Yes. What about tastier chocolates? Yes. Cool garments? Yes. Laptops? Yes, and not the used one from Japan. Cellphones? Yes. Can you just ask me through the comment function? Because I can’t go on and on, I still have so much ground to cover.



1.6. It is absolutely necessary to have a proper understanding of globalization in order to establish why the dilemma between identity politics and class politics is a false one. Having said that the structural problems of Philippine society and the world have not disappeared and have only intensified, let me now explain why the socialist project must be pursued.



1.7. First, it must be pointed out that it did not work in USSR but only after the Communist Party shifted its thrust (from socialism) to modern revisionism. Those who erroneusly believe that Socialism was defeated by Capitalism must reverse the logic. Socialism was sabotaged from within the Communist Party of the USSR, the capitalist roaders within the communist party were the ones who succumbed to capitalism. That’s not exactly capitalism defeating socialism. So from 1956 onwards, Soviet Union was well on its way to the capitalist path. So what actually failed in 1989 was not Socialism but Modern Revisionism. But even granting that socialism failed in 1956, between that time and now, it is pretty obvious that capitalism has not in any way worked for Eastern Europe.



1.8 Since it didn’t work out the first time, and it didn’t neither because socialism was bound to fail nor because there is something essentially wrong with the proposed system, we can always aspire for a repetition. By repetition, we mean finding the third term. And in this context, we are finding the third term in the erroneus contradiction between liberalism and fundamentalism (see Zizek, Parallax View). Fundamentalism is the supplement of liberalism and not its enemy. Notice how the US has since 9-11 profited from its anti-fundametalism campaign. It has actually saved its economy from total collapse by bombarding the whole world with its discourse on culture war. It wants the whole world to believe that the fundamental problem of global security concerns the cultural wars made up of relgious fundametalism, sexism, racism, etc. If it weren’t for 9-11, it would have been difficult for the US to wage its profitable wars which is far from being a clash of civilizations but a war of annhilation. This is why the obscene supplement of fundamentalism is in fact liberalism. And so we need to find the third term: the class struggle



Let v be liberalism

Let F be fundamentalism

Let -C be the negativity of the class struggle

Let H be the hegemonic ideologico-political edifice

F sub v = H or (F) (l) = H





the true horizon of contradiction:



[F sub v = H] – C or H-C





1.9. As for the class struggle, the liberal discourse simply puts fowrward an ideological anti-oxidant i.e. totalitarianism. “Throughout its entire career, ‘totalitarianism’ was an ideological notion that sustained the complex operation of ‘taming free radicals’, of guaranteeing the liberal-democratic hegemony, dismissing the Leftist critique of liberal democracy as the obverse ‘twin’, of the Rightist Facist dictatorship (Zizek, 2002:3).” [Digression: a certain P.N. Abinales wrote something to that effect as he referred to the National Democratic Left in the Philippines. He used to have this column at the U.P. Forum—“ang opisyal na pahayagan ng malayang komunidad ng UP” (so the logo says). This Abinales must be really close to the former administration since it was he, of all the OFW alumni of UP who was given the column]. So basically, the warning that all revolutionary movements, espcecially when pursued by the national democratic left will just bring all of us to the killing fields is an ideolgical anti-oxidant. It’s not rarely that I hear this from people I know and smile at (Arnold, let’s ban these fuckers on our wedding day, including those who did not make a direct statment but whose sensibilities and negotiations with the appendages of state power demonstrate the same tendency). What does this statement amount to? They simply serve as a strategy of containment so that the present order may be deemed as the only possible order there is.



1.10. And so civil society’s tirades against the communist left whom they label as statist (among other disparaging labels) simply reveal its kinship with American liberalism.



1.11. Of course, civil society sees to it that it critiques the State. But at the same time, it refuses to seize state power and contents itself with the project of deepening democracy (how can you deepen something which does not even exist? Unless of course they think this is democracy. But that is really selling oneself out cheaply) “The main ambiguity of this position [fetish for localized politics, anti-statism, as Zizek puts it,] resides in a strange non sequitur: if the state is here to stay, if it is impossible to abolish the state (and capitalism), why act with a distance toward teh state? Why not with(in) the state? Why not accept teh basic premise of the New Left’s Third Way? Perhaps it is time to take Stalin’s obsessive critique of “bureaucracy” seriously, and to appreciate in a new (Hegelian) way the necessary work done by the state bureaucracy. In other words, is not [this] position one of relying on the fact that someone else will take on the task of running the state machinery, enabling us to engage in crtitical distance toward the state? In other words, isn’t this position abandoning the field (of the state) all too easily to the enemy? Is it not crucial what form of state power has? Does not [civil society’s] position lead to the reduction of this crucial question to a secondary place; whatever state we have, it is inherently anti-democratic (2006:333)?”



1.12. Civil society is therefore the supplement of the State

Let State be S

Let civil society be x

Let the hegemonic ideologico-political edifice be H

Let the negativity of the class struggle be CPP-NPA



S sub x = H or (S) (x)=H





1.13. Since both S and x can only maintain H, it is necessary to find the third term. The third term is the common enemy of S and x and this third term is therefore the real antagonizer of H.



S sub x = H -CPP-NPA or H –CPP-NPA





1.14. Edel Garcellano did not teach gay literature as expected because an insistence on the autonomy of gender simply follows the false logic of capitalist triumphalism. The reason why he insisted upon readings which did not mainly showcase gay literature was because the only way by which we can liberate ourselves as gendered subjects is by rejecting the horizontalizing logic of identity politics which simply defuses antagonisms into coexisting differences. Don’t we all know how lower class gays or women are more oppressed and exploited not only by men but by also by gays and women from the upper class? The same reality applies to the logic of racial and ethnic discrimination.



1.15.It should be clear at this point that the class struggle overdetermines all other antagonisms and as such is the concerete universal of the entire field. An insistence upon the class struggle is by no means an erasure of all the other antagonisms. In fact the wager of the horizon of class is precisely to show how the class struggle, as a structuring principle, “allows us to account for the very “inconsistent” plurality of ways in which other antagonisms can be articulated into a chain of equivalences (Zizek, 2006).” Identity politics merely translates antagonism into difference and as a result, it believes in the peaceful coexistence of sexes, religions,ethnic groups. For the advocates of identity politics, this peaceful coexistence is possible through the all-time cure-all magic word: tolerance.



1.16. The condition of possibility of identity politics is precisely the erasure of antagonism and the denial of the possibility of another world, one that is free from wars, famine, exploitation,hunger, etc. Some will say that “No, this is not what we intend to do, we are all for emancipation as well.” Shall we forgive them because they do not know what they do? Of course. And remind them as well that global capitalism maintains itself through the localized resistances that would never challenge its structural and universalizing hold on power (and of course through the continued exploitation and death of the world’s workers, farmers, activists, etc).



1.17. Edel Garcellano is known for assigning difficult texts that mostly affirm the class struggle in the age of globalization (as opposed to other teachers who assign poems and stories which simply aggrandize the author and the teacher's own stupid views of literature, mga ungas na yun, pangiti-ngiti pa kayo sa akin pwes, I declare war!There is a remote possibilty that they will ever read this one but I’m sure that even as they do, they wouldn’t feel alluded to. That’s how stupid they are). In doing so, I think he is doing everyone of us a favor.



1.18. I have once heard of a prof who criticized her student’s paper because from her point of view (which can only be an intellectualist bias-the academe is truly autonomous) it sounded like a manifesto rather than a piece on literature . [(It seems that not eating well can also lead to believing that culture, politics and the economoy are mutually exclusive, among other things (like suffering from brain damage, bone loss, ulcer, mood swings)]. How should we take into account the mutually dependent yet irreducible relantionship between and among the three terms? In his review of the Zizek’s Parallax View Jameson answers his own provocative questions: First, he insist that we should take into account “the irreducible duality of, on the one hand, the objective material socioeconomic processes taking place in reality as well as, on the other, the politico-ideoolgical processes proper. What if the domain of politics is inherently ‘sterile’, a theatre of shadows, but nonetheless crucial in transforming reality? So, although economy is the real site and politics is a theatre of shadows, but nonetheless, the main fight is to be fought in politics and ideology (2006).” And for Jameson “this is a far better starting point for the left than the current interminable debates about identiy v. social class (2006).”



1.19. In short, it is only by historicizing identity politics or culturalism that we understand why Edel taught Gay Literature the way he did. And possibly why he would never teach it again.





Addenda:

1.20. Why a course gender literature is a curse? (remeber my freudian slip earlier?) It is because it supplements the logic of global capitalism through the ideological anti-oxidant known as culturalism or identity politics. It purports that the struggle to be fought in our age can only be in the realm of culture. Finding the basis of these struggles on the economy can only lead to the gulag. Therefore, there is no alternative to the present state of things, but one can strive to be tolerant to flatten out antagonisms. Now, isn’t that a curse?



1.21. Why does postmodernism follow the logic of the free market? Because at the coure of postmodernism is nothing but the liberal ideology which assumes that we are rational beings pushing for our own self-inerests as we live in this social world. The competition that results from the “actualization of our rationality” is regulated by the market. The market, for the liberals is a neutral entity where buyers and sellers pursue their economic interests. Postmodernism’s assertion that we now live in a consumer society where we may live to the fullest by shaping our identities is a resurrection of the liberal free market ideology which denies structural inequality and suffers from hyper-rationalism.

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1:28 am - Tonight I shall not write the saddest lines
"Dialectical thought starts with the experience that the world is unfree; that is to say, man and nature exist in conditions of alienation, exist as 'other than they are.' Any mode of thought which excludes this contradiction from its logic is a faulty logic" (Herbert Marcuse, Reason and evolution).

This morning a pretty young lady claimed that she can no longer be assured by common sense. She was very much agitated in describing how "unfreedom is so much at the core of things," as Marcuse would have stated it. But the task was doubly hard because she had to expose the unfreedom in the things that most kids consider as practices of freedom. She was rather impatient in responding to some of the questions. I don't think it was a case of bad temper. It is, perhaps, that so much was at stake at that particular instance. Against the vogueish claims of post-politics (postmodernism, identitarian politics, multiculturalism and shit like that), she had to convince everyone about the necessity of Leninismm in our age.

I could never guess what the others thought. Though I heard Gerry talking to himself (as usual)while "magaling, magaling ito." I thought so too. But not only because she was able to articulate Zizek's theorizing of the "repetition." It wasn't only a case of one smart kid qouting the right ideas and expounding on sticky issues. She must have, like the others in her league (Zizek, Gramsci, Marx, Luxemberg) walked the talk. And in doing so , she must have tripped several times, she might have even sprained one of her ankle or leg. In other words, she must have experienced that complex pain that the struggle brings. I wonder what drew her to the struggle. I wonder what kind of habitus, capitals and field produce a fiesty young woman arguing against all the conditions that make her early morning report possible. She ended her presentation by playing the Internationale. A hymn that never lost its affective purchase on Derrida. For he always cried whenever it was played. It is a painful song despite its optimism.

I hope this young woman, who played the Internationale for everybody in class to hear, knows that from now on, the pain (i.e. conditions of unfreedom) the draws her to the struggle, is my own.

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