Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Left and the 2016 Presidential Elections

For most of those who are leaning towards Socialism, this 2016 presidential elections is just a waste of time. This election will just be a clash between and among the ruling classes, leaving the rest of the impoverished masses in their present predicament. The fact is, as I was writing in several entries in this blog-- the struggle for power is already happening behind the facade of press releases of different political personalities and parties. Proxies and their principals in the business community are analysing the landscape and by this time, some of them have already decided who to support to this coming elections.

However, it is inevitable for the Left to take part in this elections because its fate is inescapably linked with whoever ascends the Chief Executive's office in 2016. Since the Left has decided to follow the flow of the tide, it is now in a marginalized state and it is only a matter of time before it finally succumbs to the organisational disease that has afflicted other Leftist movements in other countries.

The next six years is crucial for the Change Movement here in the Philippines for three (3) reasons: Relevance, Strength and Influence. In relevance, the changing labor landscape has affected the status of labor unions. At this point, labor unions are at their weakest due to inaction and even encouragement of government of Contractualization.There is disorganisation of labor. This phenomenon is affecting the strength and influence of the Left in Philippine politics.

And because the labor front is weak, it likewise weakens the support structures that are operating fundamentally above-board. There lies the exigency of a re-study of the situation to enable survival of the Left.

The main source of recruits for cadres has also weakened because of the changed complexion of the student movement. What is being discussed right now in most universities and colleges is not Socialism but social integration.

Why is there marginalization of the Left in the Philippines? Two things: First, the cooptation of the Left by traditional politics and second, the pesky problem of succession. By cooptation, I meant the participation of the Left in the elections. This is, for me, a tacit admission or even an indirect abandonment of armed struggle as a viable solution to the ills of Philippine society.

The Left is now suffering the effects of the downside of its decision to play the Big Boy's game. The effect is organisational, not entirely ideological. The exposure to the "dynamics" of traditional politics has put a damning mark to the proposition of an armed struggle, thereupon, affecting its relevance in today's situation.

If you analyze this closely, you will arrive at the conclusion that the expectation that intra-elite struggle will inevitably lead to a break is false, totally erroneous. The fact is, the more these elite groups had fought against each other, the more they had eventually arrive at measures aimed at consolidation. The false assumption that the elites will weaken as they fight justified the earlier decision to tread the parliamentary road instead of the road least taken.

Truly, the relevance of an armed struggle as the alternative to a dis fractured system is most evident now than before. The only problem is, the Legal Left has played the Big Boy's game so long and so well that the Left is even convinced that the solution is participation instead of emancipation thru war.

The convergence of forces this 2016 is expected to be quite explosive. There is now an expectation that these contending forces will never ever allow an entendre at the end of this struggle. They will fight it out. The question really is--how strong will the Left be by then to effect a removal of these elites and how ready it is for it to fill the vacuum and supplant the elites in power? Totally questionable in terms of readiness.