We often hear the accusation directed against political activists from the different youth groups, and even among the advocacy groups that support the Lumads’ struggle that they are guided by a foreign ideology, short of calling them communists. This is called “red-tagging”, “witch-hunting”, or red-scare propaganda. Verily, it is to the comfort and convenience of these accusers that the word “communist or communism” is considered a bad word, linked to everything evil, and is therefore unacceptable. The common perception or belief is that communism is the antithesis of democracy, that it has no place in a democratic society like what we have in the Philippines.
The demonization propaganda campaign waged against communism after the Second World War, or during the Cold War era, was spearheaded by the U.S. and all the other industrialized countries of the West. All of these western societies nurtured by capitalism and which grew to become giants as monopoly-capitalists ganged up against the nascent socialist Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China. The Philippines as a former colony of the US would naturally succumb to the propaganda like an infant suckling that depends on its mother’s milk.
And so, all Filipinos, even while still in the womb of their mothers would already be fed with anti-red or anti-communist propaganda. Even young boys and girls would taunt each other with such red-scare phrases in their childhood petty quarrels as “Hoy, morag nawo”g komunista!”, and often coupled with racist slurs like “Ikaw, komunistang Insek!” On prominent spaces of newspapers and magazines, Stalin and Mao Tsetung would often be pictured with fierce-looking faces.
It helped greatly that these anti-communist sentiments would fuel and reinforce the ingrained pro-American colonial mentality in most every Filipino. Pro-Americanism became a synonym to anti-Communism and vice-versa. Even among the schooled or educated, many among us still adhere blindly to this “anti-foreign ideology” and use them as ready weapons in grappling with the issues linked to political activism. What’s worse, nationalist articulations that frontally attack American interventionism are held as pro-communist and as acts of subscription to foreign ideology.
Many of our Filipino intellectuals, opinion-makers as they are, have lost sight of the historical fact that the system of thoughts, legal institutions and cultural superstructures obtaining in our present social set up are a comprehensive operationalization of a “foreign ideology”. The four hundred years of colonization of our country is in fact a forcible imposition of the “colonial ideology” by Spain and subsequently by the United States of America. And this encompassing system of societal affairs and social physiology is not at all native. It is out and out a foreign infusion into our native soil via the foreign ideology or colonization. And never forget that colonization worked by the sway of the “sword and the cross”.
Everything — practically everything! — in the conscious, subconscious and unconscious elements in our world outlook turned foreign as a consequence of colonization. Practically nothing is native, virtually nothing is indigenous after our colonial experience. Our feudal landlord system is an imposition by Spanish colonialism (the consolidation of lands into encomiendas, and later into haciendas). Capitalism is an American institutionalization into the republican economy alongside its liberal policies. The political philosophy and the legal principles and institutions are all derived from the American system. Above all the educational system and other cultural institutions that channel the good and bad features of American lifeways into our social life—they’are all foreign! Lo and behold, the language into which we shape of our tongues is a foreign language, privileging us to speak and sing the dreams of the Americans. But nothing is more foreign than the Christian religion that supplants our native spiritual belief systems and which serves as a supra-cultural mantra that props up everything we have inherited from colonial history.
Truly, ours is a totally foreign ideological mold that effectively fashioned our Filipino human sensibility. But ironically and unfortunately for us, this foreign ideology infused into our social matrix miserably failed to work for our progress and development. It has stunted our growth as a society and as a nation. What has grown out of our native soil is extreme poverty among the great majority and scandalous affluence among a very small percentage of the population.
And this ideology begotten of our colonial experience is the very rationale for the plunder of our national patrimony by the foreign monopoly-capitalists. It is the very ideology that created the military establishment which physically protects the interests of the economic plunderers. Wherever the foreign companies are operating, there the military forces of the Philippine State concentrate themselves. And in their eagerness — eagerness which certainly is dictated by their “foreign ideological formation” — they commit all forms of evil deeds as protectors of foreign economic ends. Human rights abuses they commit by the day, by the hour. With satanic bestiality! With utter impunity!
Now the question: Which ideology is evil? What foreign ideology has caused the stagnation of our national development? Is it not the ideology that creates and props up this prevailing system that is perpetuating the miserable conditions of the great many of our people? Is this not the same ideology that incorporates our society into the world capitalist order, the same ideology that Pope Francis has lamented as the cause of the world peoples’ poverty and underdevelop-ment?
What the apologists of the prevailing system and the sophists among our intellectuals have called “foreign ideology” and which they maligned and abhorred is not the cultural force is not the responsible for the stagnation of Philippine society. It is not the cultural force that stands in the way of our social development. It is the foreign ideology bequeathed by colonialism that is the culprit.
The communist ideology is not the enemy of the Filipino people. The ideology of puppetry and corruption that has served as foundation of the Philippine government is the longstanding enemy of the Filipino nation. It is the political menace that infinitely works as the stumbling block of the progressive forces who aim for Change. It is the cultural dupe that serves as a counterflow in the way towards the emancipation of the masses from abject poverty.
If ever there an ideological force that guides the people in their journey towards liberation, it is the ideology of struggle and resistance inherent in every people, nation or race that suffers from oppression and exploitation. It is not a foreign ideology, it is the ideology of an empowered people seeking for a way out of the social bondage they have endured for a long, long time. It is an ideology that grows out in a very natural way from the recognition of the causes of their adversities and the acknowledgement of the necessity to free themselves from any form of human slavery.