Why the Youth Must Grow as Militant Activists | BICOL TODAY

Why the Youth Must Grow as Militant Activists

By Panday Sining

It is quite appalling that amid our growing struggle and unity against an intensifying state attack against the people, an Oscar Tan released an article “Why UP Students must outgrow rallies” (http://opinion.inquirer.net/1…/students-must-outgrow-rallies) that waters down the necessity to become a militant activist amidst the aggravating problems of the Filipino people. He presented the Filipino Society as one crippled only by the political system, by the errors of politicians and mistakes in politico-foreign policy. By his narrow sense, therefore, and as a natural bourgeois reaction to the advances in telecommunications, activism, he says, must also react to such development, by digitalizing activism. Hence, for him, just like all bourgeois, activism is purely a convenience and mere talk with political personalities – a simple confrontation against erring politicians. When he says, therefore, that the youth “must evolve from 70’s methods”, he is saying that the youth of today must cease and desist from being revolutionaries.

He does not understand, that the Filipino society is exploited and oppressed economically, politically, and culturally, by imperialism (particularly US imperialism), bureaucrat capitalism and feudalism. Imperialism retains our economy simply as an export-oriented and import-dependent. Bureaucrat capitalism runs the government as a business. And, feudalism is the base of US imperialism for its raw materials, sources of cheap labor, and exportation of surplus goods and surplus capital.
His narrow understanding of the Philippine social reality makes him quite foolish to think that social media activism and the mass movement are mutually exclusive. His perspective only limits digital activism and activism per se, as mere simple talk against/with politicians.

What we National Democratic youth advance is the revolutionary link between digital activism and militant activism; in reality, from social media to the militant street activism.
It has already been proven, by experience, that if social media activism is not translated and coupled by militant street activism, it will result to a futile armchair activism that lacks the basic social context that state injustice is escalating concretely, not just digitally. One would not expect a victim’s sympathizer or family to simply post a Facebook status or a tweet if two or three people get killed every day (E.g. victims of Duterte’s War on Drugs, Martial Law in Mindanao, victims of state neglect ex. Kristel Tejada of UP Manila).

Let us try to look at the Charlie Hebdo, Paris terrorist attack, Pray for Marawi Campaigns– all these contributed to mass awareness about the issue of terrorism, however, are presented as different stories, instead of being seen as parts of a whole framework of imperialist-mandated terrorist attacks.

There were also mobilizations which have started from social media to street activism, for instance, the Million People March against pork barrel. However, the disadvantage of it was that it did not become purely militant and revolutionary, in a sense that the discourse went overboard to a foreign-sanctioned framework of bureaucrat capitalism, and up to now pork barrel is still present and being preserved by the planned Charter Change of the US-Duterte Regime.

Thus, the social reality of the presence of the imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism calls for the need to revive the revolutionary spirit of the First Quarter Storm of the 1970s. It must be translated today into militant street activism as primary and social media activism as a component.
In fact, social media is a big business. In other words, social media and its contents, are still owned and controlled by the bourgeoisie. This makes website walls and dashboards selective on which it should showcase and which will be flagged as inappropriate. There were some instances that Facebook took down pages and posts that seem “too radical and/or revolutionary” at the expense of presenting the actual picture of state injustices.

We must understand that social media is a big virtual playpen made by the elite class for the people to exchange ideas, persuade and sometimes deceive. For example, the widespread consumerism thru online shopping, social media apps, at the same time the worsening proliferation of fake news. All of these are funded by the state to malign the public attention, beliefs, and opinion and ultimately to cover up their crimes against the people (fake news, trolls, other social media trends). At the end of the day, the sole utilization of social media without the objective to mobilize people will not work for attaining people’s call for justice. As a matter of fact, everything we do daily in social media sites all ends up contributing to bloating up pockets of imperialists and capitalists who own and control these social media sites.

What we need is creative militant activism and opposition against the narrow bourgeois ideas like that of Oscar Tan. The First Quarter Storm is a revolutionary upheaval started by the youth in the 1970s. It managed to shake the bones of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos despite the absence of social media. It quaked the system through warm-body mobilizations and militant protests against the state. And it’s being revolutionary is what is being watered down by the backward-reactionary-counterrevolutionary thoughts in the society, like that of Oscar Tan.

The youth is as revolutionary as ever, and by being revolutionaries, they are militant!

Posted by on February 18, 2018. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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