Celebrating the 150th
of Gat Andres Bonifacio
■ Manila marches and rallies ■ Bonifacio Shrine, Maragondon, Cavite
■ Davao City ■ Mga Bagong Bonifacio
November 30, 2013
POEMS IN HONOR OF ANDRES BONIFACIO
IN PILIPINO & ENGLISH BY JOSE MARIA SISON
TRIBUTE TO COMRADE ANDRES BONIFACIO
Click here for a high resolution copy of the mural
Pahayag ng Revolutionary Council of Trade
Unions-National Democratic Front of the Philippines sa ika-150 anibersaryo
ng kapanganakan ni Gat Andres Bonifacio
Disaster President, Pork Barrel King
would’ve earned Bonifacio’s ire – KMU
BULATLAT: Celebrating Bonifacio150 with protests
Ika-150 kaarawan ng Supremo, 150 taon ng paglaban
College Editors Guild of the Philippines
ALLIANCE OF CONCERNED TEACHERS - PHILIPPINES
On November 30, 2013, the
entire Filipino nation will commemorate the 150th birthday of Gat Andres
Bonifacio, the Supremo of the Kataas-taasang Kagalang-galang Katipunan ng
mga Anak ng Bayan or KKK and the President of the Republika ng mga Tagalog.
MEDIA RELEASE / 30 November 2013
THE PHILIPPINE REVOLUTION OF 1896
The 19th century saw the intensification and ripening of the colonial and feudal system of exploitation. The Spanish colonial government was compelled to draw more profits from its feudal base in the Philippines to make up for the decline of the galleon trade and to adjust to the increasing pressures and demands of capitalist countries. The British victory in the Seven Years’ War, the Napoleonic wars and French occupation of Spain, the expansionist maneuvers of the United States and the rise of national independence movements in Latin America, and the sharp struggle between the “liberal republicans” and “absolute monarchists” in Spain had the total effect of goading colonial Spain to exploit the Filipino people further.
Under the strain of increasing exploitation, the national and democratic aspirations of the broad masses of the people rose. As oppression was stepped up, the spirit of resistance among the ruled, especially the peasant masses, became heightened until the Philippine Revolution of 1896 broke out.
The fullest development of feudalism under Spanish colonial rule was made. The peasant masses were compelled not only to continue producing a surplus in staple crops to feed and keep the colonial and feudal parasites in comfort but also produce an ever-increasing amount of raw material crops for export to various capitalist countries. The large-scale cultivation of sugar, hemp, tobacco, coconut and the like in some areas in turn required the production of a bigger surplus in staple food crops in other areas in order to sustain the large numbers of people concentrated in the production of export crops. Rice was imported whenever a general shortage occurred.
Thus, the expansion of foreign trade made by the Spanish colonialists entailed the acceleration of domestic trade and the wearing-out of a self-sufficient natural economy towards a commodity economy. The exchange of agricultural products within the archipelago as well as the delivery of export crops to Manila and other trading ports and the provincial distribution of imported goods that served the wealthy, necessitated the improvement of transportation and communications.
The intensification of feudal exploitation included the adoption of the hated hacienda system, the rampant seizure of cultivated lands, the arbitrary raising of land rent and levies by both landlords and bureaucrats. The practice of monopoly, which meant dictated prices for the crops, further impoverished the peasants and enriched the bureaucrats. Landowning peasants either found themselves bankrupt or their lands arbitrarily included in the legal boundaries of large landlord estates. From 1803 to 1892, eighty-eight decrees were issued ostensibly to make landownership orderly but these merely legalized massive landgrabbing by the feudalists.
The improvement of transportation and communications aggravated by feudal exploitation of the people. Exercising their colonial powers, the Spaniards ordered the people in increasing numbers to build roads, bridges and ports and paid them extremely low nominal wages. Big gangs of men were taken to distant places to work. At the same time, the improvement of transportation and communications paved the way for wider contacts among the exploited and oppressed people despite the rulers’ subjective wish to use these only for their own profit. Also the introduction of the steamship and the railroad in connection with foreign and domestic trade contribute a great deal to the formation of the Filipino proletariat.
It was in the 19th century that the embryo of the Filipino proletariat became distinct. It was composed of the workers at the railroad, ships, docks, sugar mills, tobacco and cigar and cigarette factories, printing shops, breweries, foundries, merchandising firms and the like. They emerged in the transition from a feudal to a semifeudal economy.
The economic prosperity enjoyed mainly by the colonial rulers was shared to some extent by the principalia, especially the gobernadorcillo. The local puppet chieftains either had landholdings of their own or become big leaseholders on the landed estates of friars or lay Spanish officials. They engaged in trade and bought more lands with their profits in order to engage further in trade. In Manila and other principal trading ports, a local comprador class emerged correspondent to the shipping, commercial and banking houses put up by foreign capitalist firms including American, British, German and French ones.
A nascent Filipino bourgeoisie became more and more distinct as agricultural production rose and as the volume of exports likewise did. The port of Manila was formally opened to non-Spanish foreign ships in 1834 although foreign trade with capitalist countries was actually started much earlier. From 1855 to 1873, six other ports throughout the archipelago were opened. In 1869, the opening of the Suez Canal shortened the distance between the Philippines and Europe and thus accelerated economic and political contracts between the two.
In the second half of the 19th century, the entry of native students into the Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas and other colonial-clerical colleges became conspicuously large. Though these natives could afford college education, they were still the object of racial discrimination by their Spanish classmates and friar mentors. They had to suffer the epithet of “monkey” as their parents were refered to as “beasts loaded with gold.”
Thecreoles or mestizos were caught in the middle of a situation charged with the racial antagonism between the indios and the Spaniards. This racial antagonism was nothing but a manifestation of the colonial relationship. Even among the Spaniards, there was the foolish distinction made between the Philippine-born Spaniards and the Spanish-bornSpaniards, with the former being derisively called Filipinos by the latter.
As more and more indios joined the ranks of the educated or the ilustrados, there came a point when the colonial authorities were alarmed and they entertained fears that they would be taken to task on the basis of the colonial laws whose idealist rhetoric they did not all practice. What appeared to the colonial rulers as the first systematized movement among the native ilustrados to attack the social and political supremacy of the Spaniards was the secularization movement within the clergy. The overwhelming majority of those who participated in this movement were indios and creoles and they demanded taking over the parishes held by the religious orders whose members were overwhelmingly Spanish.
When the Cavite Mutiny of 1872 occurred, Fathers Burgos, Gomez and Zamora who were the most outspoken leaders of the secularization movement were accused of conspiring to overthrow the Spanish colonial regime and they were garrotted. The mutiny was essentially an act of rebellion of the oppressed masses initiated by workers at the Cavite naval stockyard who were subjected to low wages and various forms of cruelty. Many of the rebellious workers and their genuine supporters were tortured and murdered. The three clerics who were condemned by the Spanish governor-general and the friars pleaded their innocence until their end. The style of pleading political innocence characterized the ilustrados from then on.
Nevertheless, even as the yoke of colonial oppression was carried mainly by the toiling masses, the principalia also suffered political and economic oppression at the hands of the colonial tyrants. The principalia joined in the exploitation of the toiling masses but in turn it was subjected to certain oppressive demands made by the governor-general, the provincial governor and the friars who increasingly reduced its share of exploitation. These colonial tyrants arbitrarily increased the quota in tribute collection, the taxes for the privilege of engaging in commerce, the land rent on leaseholdings, the quota in agricultural production and interest on loans. Failure to keep up with ever-increasing levies resulted in bankruptcy especially among the cabezas de barangay. The employment of civil guards for the confiscation of property and the enforcement of colonial laws became a common sight. Towards the end of the 19th century, the principalia became most offended when it was forcibly ejected from its leaseholds on friar lands because the friars preferred to turn over the management of their lands to various foreign corporations.
The extremely frequent change of governors-general in the Philippines during the 19th century reflected the sharp struggle between the “liberal republicans” and the “absolute monarchists” in Spain. This had the general effect of aggravating the Filipino people’s suffering. Every governor-general had to make the most of his average short term of a little over a year to enlarge the official as well as his personal treasury.
The ilustrados became increasingly dissatisfied with the colonial regime and some of them fled to Spain where they hoped to get higher education and get more sympathy from Spanish liberal circles for their limited cause of changing the colonial status of the Philippines to the status of a regular province of Spain. They were desirous of representation in the Spanish parliament and the enjoyment of civil rights under the Spanish Constitution. In carrying out their reform movement, they established the newspaper La Solidaridad. It was the focus of activity for what would be called the Propaganda Movement, of which the chief propagandists were Dr. Jose Rizal, M.H. del Pilar, Graciano Lopez Jaena and Antonio Luna.
The Propaganda Movement failed and was condemned as “subversive” and “heretical” by the colonial authorities. Trying to carry out propaganda work in the Philippines itself, Rizal organized the short-lived La Liga Filipina which called on the Filipino people to become a national community and yet failed to state categorically the need for revolutionary armed struggle to effect separation from Spain. Putting his trust in the enemy, he was subsequently arrested and exiled to Dapitan in 1892. When the Philippine Revolution of 1896 broke out, he was held culpable for it by the colonial tyrants and yet he betrayed it by calling on the people to lay down their arms a few days before his execution.
The clear revolutionary call for separation from Spain was made by the Kataastaasang Kagalang- galang na Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan. It was secretly founded in the proletarian district of Tondo by its leader Andres Bonifacio immediately after Rizal’s arrest in 1892. In its first year, it was composed of only 200 members coming mainly from the toiling masses. In the next few years, it consciously recruited members who could start revolutionary struggle in various parts of the country so as to be able to wage a war of national liberation. At the same time, it recruited its members mainly from the ranks of the oppressed masses to ensure the democratic character of the revolution. After its Cry of Pugad Lawin on August 23, 1896, signaling the start of armed warfare against the colonialists, its ranks swelled to several tens of thousands and rallied the entire Filipino people to rise in revolt.
The Philippine Revolution of 1896 was a national-democratic revolution of the old type. Though Bonifacio came from the working class, he was in possession of proletarian ideology. The guiding ideology of the revolution was that of the liberal bourgeoisie. Its classic model was the French Revolution and Bonifacio himself was inspired mainly by its ideas. At any rate, the revolution asserted the sovereignty of the Filipino people, the protection and promotion of civil liberties, the confiscation of the friar estates and the elimination of theocratic rule.
At the Tejeros Convention of 1897, the ilustrados who were mostly from Cavite decided to form the revolutionary government to replace the Katipunan and elected Emilio Aguinaldo president, thus replacing Bonifacio as the leader of the revolution. When an ilustrado strongly objected to Bonifacio’s election as minister of interior on the ground that he was of lowly origin and had no education as a lawyer, the latter declared the convention null and void in accordance with a previous agreement requiring respect for every decision made by the convention. The convention manifested the class leadership of the liberal bourgeoisie and likewise the divisive effect of regionalism. The attempt of Bonifacio to form another revolutionary council led to his arrest and execution by the Aguinaldo leadership.
Within 1897, the revolutionary government suffered defeat after defeat. The ilustrados showed their inability to lead the revolution. The liberal-bourgeois leadership finally succumbed to the offers of general amnesty by the colonial government through the mediation of the scoundrel Pedro Paterno. The Pact of Biak-na-Bato was signed to consummate the surrender of Aguinaldo and the payment of P400,000 as first installment to his council of leaders.
While Aguinaldo was in exile in Hongkong, U.S. agents approached him and proposed to him to take advantage of the imminent outbreak of the Spanish-American War. They pretended to help the Filipino people liberate themselves from the Spanish colonial rule. The U.S. imperialists schemed to make use of Aguinaldo to facilitate their own seizure of the Philippines. Thus was Aguinaldo brought back to Cavite aboard an American cutter after Dewey’s naval squadron had sailed to Manila Bay to destroy the Spanish fleet.
Taking advantage of the Spanish-American War, the Filipino people intensified their revolutionary armed struggle against the Spanish colonial rule. Spanish power collapsed throughout the archipelago except in Intramuros and a few negligible garrisons. Even the Filipino soldiers in the Spanish military service took the side of the Philippine Revolution. A situation in May 1898 emerged in which the Filipino revolutionary forces encircled on land the colonial seat of power, Intramuros, and the U.S. naval fleet stood guard in Manila Bay. The Filipino revolutionaries took the policy of laying siege to starve the enemy into surrender while the imperialist navy waited for troop reinforcements from the United States.
On June 12, 1898, Aguinaldo made the Kawit proclamation of independence which carried the unfortunate qualification, “under the protection of the Mighty and Humane North American nation.” Unwittingly, he declared the so-called First Philippines Republic to be a mere protectorate of U.S. imperialism.
U.S. troop reinforcements started to arrive at the end of June. They were landed to take over under various pretexts positions occupied by the Filipino revolutionary forces in the encirclement of Intramuros. Position after position was relinquished to the U.S. imperialists by the weakling Aguinaldo until all the revolutionary forces were relegated to the background.
|MARCH TO MENDIOLA ▼|
|Photo by Jonathan Pimentel|
|Photo by Efren Ricalde|
THE TASKS OF THE SECOND PROPAGANDA MOVEMENT
by Jose Maria Sison
It was Senator Claro Mayo Recto who first expressed the need for a second propaganda movement. It was his intention in 1960 to engage in an intensive and extensive anti- imperialist campaign tour after coming from his journey abroad. He was never able to do what he intended, but his anti-imperialist legacy remains with us.
This anti-imperialist legacy consists of the body of ideas and principles which he defined in the course of his nationalist crusade which he launched in the early 1950s. There was really no need for him to make any formal announcement that he and other patriots would embark on the Second Propaganda Movement. He had started it the moment he began to relate the struggle of the present to the struggle of those who had successfully fought and isolated the first colonial tyranny, but who did not quite succeed in preventing the coming of a new foreign tyranny, U.S. imperialism.
It is important to speak of the Second Propaganda Movement because we need to recall the unfinished tasks of the Philippine Revolution. The Second Propaganda Movement is required to arouse our nation anew to the struggle for the fulfillment of the national-democratic tasks of the Philippine Revolution.
The Second Propaganda Movement occurs as a resumption of the First Propaganda Movement and of the Philippine Revolution even as conditions are far different from those obtaining during the time of the first nationalist propagandists. While old problems have been carried over to the present, new ones have also arisen to make our national struggle more difficult and more complicated.
The Second Propaganda Movement must therefore be more vigorous and resolute. It should be a propaganda movement of a new type, with a new class leadership and a new alignment of forces and with a new ideological and political orientation more advanced and more progressive, if we are to be on the tide of a higher stage of historical development and if we are to win the struggle against an enemy far stronger and far more clever than the old type of colonialism. In other words, the Second Propaganda Movement must surpass the first because it occurs at a higher stage of historical development and because the enemy we face, with its domestic allies, is stronger and more advanced than the old colonialism it replaced.
At the present, however, U.S. imperialism and feudalism, which are the principal targets of the Second Propaganda Movement, are strategically weak as these are confronted with the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal unity of the people under the leadership of the working class. Furthermore, on a world scale, U.S. imperialism and feudalism are fast losing out before the surging forces of national-democratic and socialist revolutions. The present tasks of the Second Propaganda Movement are huge but conditions for its success are also good.
The Second Propaganda Movement is first of all a political movement. It is an educational movement with political aims; for after all there is no type of education or culture that is detached from politics. It aims to replace the old type of education and culture while retaining only its progressive elements. It aims to prepare and guide the people for struggle against their foreign and feudal exploiters. It aims to effect results and it proceeds from a particular political standpoint. Class interests, whether of the exploited or of the exploiters, generate political ideas, values and attitudes that inspire and guide men to action.
Learn from the Masses
In order to move the people to obtain certain results by their collective action, one must first determine their motives based on their concrete conditions and class interests. It is necessary for the Second Propaganda Movement to learn from the masses their conditions, problems, interests and aspirations before it dares teach them what to do. The Second Propaganda Movement is a mass movement in the most genuine sense with the mobilization and victory of the masses as the main objective.
The principle of learning from the masses should never be forgotten even if at this point we are able to take advantage of a fund of general knowledge gathered from past experiences. General or second-hand knowledge is important but what is always more important is the first-hand knowledge of the masses or learning from the masses because it assumes being constantly with them and merging with them. Learning from the masses and being with them will make our generalizations for action and formulation of solutions more correct and more dynamic. We become immediately one with the masses in their mobilization.
The Second Propaganda Movement should never be a campaign to command or dictate above the heads of the masses. One should not throw big theories and big slogans without first learning the concrete conditions and problems of the people. A knowledge of these from first-hand observation, from practice with the masses and from listening to the masses, would enable us to test and verify theories, enrich them and explain them to the people in the most concrete terms that they immediately understand.
We must advance from the behavior and performance of the First Propaganda Movement which unfolded as a movement of exiles in a foreign city while it was supposed to be concerned with Philippine conditions and problems. It will also not do now for the ilustrados or the petty bourgeoisie to assume leadership by simply brandishing their formal or artificial classroom knowledge, or by impressing the people with their bourgeois education.
The agents of U.S. imperialism, the landlords and religious sectarians themselves are trying to mingle with the masses, under the cover of the powerful mass media that they own and control and under the cover of many pretexts with the sole objective of confusing and deceiving the people.
The activists of the Second Propaganda Movement have no alternative but to take the mass line, merge with the masses and learn from the masses. It does not suffice now even to issue manifestoes and proclamations from the cities and big towns where the lazy “leaders” are fond of sitting out a “revolution.” The success of the Second Propaganda Movement will be determined by those who choose to go to the masses and be with them.
In the Second Propaganda Movement, it is necessary to determine whose political ideology should lead the people.
There is a presumption on the part of the bourgeoisie and the landlords that only those with high formal schooling are fit to lead the people. They talk of the people disdainfully as illiterate and uneducated. By asserting that only those educated in the bourgeois or conservative fashion are fit to lead, they wish to entrap the masses deeper within the system of exploitation.
The Second Propaganda Movement should reject this dangerous and undemocratic presumption as a lie intended to mislead the masses. We have given to the products of colonial and neocolonial education more than three centuries and many more decades to solve the problems of the masses. But what have they done? We have given the bright boys or the technocrats of the bourgeoisie and the landlord class more than enough time and yet they are either too dull or too dishonest to see such basic problems as U.S. imperialism and feudalism.
What a pity that the educated elite does not see clearly the basic problems that are U.S. imperialism and feudalism which the masses, with lesser formal education, can see and feel most acutely, as they are the ones most adversely affected. The masses are in a position to perceive not only their own sufferings but also the benefits that accrue to a few from U.S. imperialism and feudalism.
What the masses experience they can immediately grasp. They can also easily grasp the correct solutions based on the correct analysis of their problems. It is the self-satisfied statesmen, educated men and publicists of the bourgeoisie and the landlords who will consider such terms as imperialism and feudalism too high above their heads, not so much because they are dull but because they are dishonest and are afraid of exposing the negative character of the system that benefits them.
The national and social liberation of the masses will come only from the masses themselves. Only they themselves can understand their problems most profoundly. The activists of the Second Propaganda Movement can only generalize and formulate solutions from the experience of the masses.
The Scientific and Democratic World Outlook
Reliance on the masses and rejection of bourgeois and egotistic education can be understood only if one has a scientific and democratic world outlook.
The scientific and democratic world outlook should be even more advanced than the liberal-democratic outlook that the First Propaganda Movement had as a matter of political posture. The proletarian world outlook is today the most scientific and democratic outlook. It is superior to the narrow viewpoint of the “enlightened” liberal bourgeoisie. It sees clearly the entire range of the opposing class forces operating in society today with their respective viewpoints. It comprehends their basic relations and contradictions and it so masters the situation as to be able to change it through revolutionary practice.
It recognizes the progressive force in any contradiction and at this stage of world history it recognizes the proletariat as the progressive class in the struggle between the U.S. monopolists and the proletariat going on all over the world and in our country. It does not only recognize every progressive force but it takes sides as a matter of commitment. A man who has a scientific and proletarian outlook knows that no man or no small group of men can be detached or excluded from basic social struggles. Outside of one’s consciousness, this class struggle is objectively occurring; one can only side with the progressive or the reactionary force in the moment of crisis. To assume the posture of neutrality is actually to become an appendage of the stronger force.
The class struggle is objectively going on in the Philippines but it has taken the form of a national struggle, with patriotic classes—the working class, peasantry, intelligentsia and the national bourgeoisie—aligned against the U.S. imperialists, compradors, landlords and bureaucrat capitalists. The working class is the leading class, with the peasantry as its most reliable ally, and it conducts its struggle against the U.S. monopoly capitalists and the local comprador bourgeoisie, supported by the landlord class.
The Second Propaganda Movement should advance a modern scientific and democratic world outlook that rejects the religio-sectarian culture of feudal times, the decadent imperialist culture and the egotistic petty-bourgeois mentality. The schools as they are now in the Philippines are the purveyors of these that we must reject.
Alienation in the Present Culture
There has to be a complete overhaul of the entire educational system. But the initial necessary step to be taken is to advance a national-democratic culture of a new type. This national-democratic culture is a part of our political struggle to achieve national democracy. Education must serve our national struggle to gain independence and self-reliance in every field of endeavor, whether political, economic, social, cultural, military and diplomatic.
As a whole, the present educational system in the Philippines is in the hands of forces inimical to the principles of national democracy. Its control is shared by the agents of an imperialist culture and those of a regressive feudal-sectarian culture. It is an educational system which actually shields the ruling class and alienates the formally educated from the masses. It does not at all propagate a healthy scientific and democratic viewpoint; even the exceptional children of the poor who manage to acquire a high degree of education inevitably adopt the decadent and corrupt values of the ruling class and abandon the cause of national and social liberation. This kind of education is a device by which the betrayal of the masses by a few of its own children is assured.
In a period where the ruling class has stability of power, the educated middle class serves as the transmission belt of the ideas and values of the ruling class to the lower classes. Before it is won over or neutralized by the organized masses, the middle class functions as the instrument of the exploiting classes.
As clear manifestation of the alienation of our educational system from the cause of national democracy, it does not perform the function of teaching the students to merge with and mobilize the people for, say, national independence, land reform, national industrialization or any such urgent tasks.
The activists of the Second Propaganda Movement should patiently arouse and mobilize the masses, win over the intelligentsia and develop an alliance with the national bourgeoisie, on the basis of its self-interest, under the banner of national democracy.
Filipinization of the Educational System
One immediate step that can be taken with regard to the present educational system is its Filipinization. This should be taken with the view of replacing foreign ownership, control and influence over the schools with that of Filipinos imbued with the spirit of national democracy.
Teachers educated in the old way should themselves be reeducated. The process of their education will accelerate as the political situation consistently develops in favor of the revolutionary masses.
The adoption of textbooks and other study materials that are Filipino-oriented and progressive should be used to counteract the hundreds of years of our colonial, imperialist and neocolonial mental subjugation. Filipino authors should struggle to replace the materials and textbooks now being used which are alienated from the conditions and problems of the masses.
The Filipino students and the people should be alerted to the foreign agencies and devices by which the colonial and feudal mentality is meant to be perpetuated. The imperialist and subversive character of the activities and influence of the AID, USIS, the Peace Corps, U.S. scholarships and grants, the ALEC, IEDR, the research grants extended by U.S. corporations, Asia Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation and the Congress for Cultural Freedom should be thoroughly exposed. These agencies have been exposed before as imperialist agencies or as CIA fronts and conduits.
When your enemy makes you think the way he does, he becomes your friend superficially even if he takes advantage of your interests and exploits you. As Senator Recto said in a message addressed to the youth, a “brainwashed” generation followed the military defeat of the Philippine Revolution. The result has been the abandonment of national-democratic tasks.
As proof of the abandonment of the historical tasks of the nation and the betrayal of the Philippine Revolution, it has been deemed “subversive” for the youth and the people now to recall the Philippine Revolution and to strive for national democracy.
The Second Propaganda Movement should likewise be alert to the friar enemies of the First Propaganda Movement. They are now, in collaboration with the imperialists, fast expanding their ownership and control of the educational establishments. The religious hypocrisy of a Padre Salvi and a Padre Damaso should not deceive the people again.
As we all believe in the freedom of religion, they are free to preach in their churches, but they should not oppose the struggle for national democracy and try to discredit us as heretics and filibusters by abusing the credibility that they have among their faithful. Religion should not be used as a cover for the people’s enemies. Both the church and those striving for social change should avoid the conversion of a national and social struggle into a religious one. Otherwise, those who claim to be concerned with the spiritual welfare of their faithful will only be exposed as tools of those who want to perpetuate the political power of the exploiting classes. It is the prevalent imperialist culture and the decadent feudal values of the exploiting classes which create the monsters and demons of this society.
A scientific and democratic type of education should be fostered by all means and should not be run down by the expanding schools of foreign friars. The national-democratic movement, that is, the Second Propaganda Movement, should demand that the clerical type of education should not be allowed to prevail over a scientific and democratic type of education. Clerical schools have only become bastions of class discrimination, authoritarianism and anti-secularism.
Within and outside the schools, progressive scholars and researchers who consider themselves part of the Second Propaganda Movement should work assiduously for the replacement of those historical writings and social researches which unilaterally misrepresent the colonial and imperialist aggressors as great conscious benefactors of the Filipino people.
There should be an objective presentation of our historical development as a nation. The struggle of social opposites must be objectively presented with a clear appreciation of our national efforts and with the clear understanding that the revolutionary masses make history.
Our colonial-minded and bourgeois historians and scientists have even gone to the extent of obscuring the most important historical documents of the Philippine Revolution in their attempt to play up their colonial heroes and their intellectual subservience.
The step taken by an increasing number of scholars in taking the Filipino orientation in the writing of Philippine history is a positive step which does credit to the national-democratic efforts of our people. The most progressive step to be taken by our Filipino scholars now is to present objectively the struggle of the nation and of the various patriotic classes in our society for democracy and progress.
A National Language and Revolutionary Arts and Letters
In language, literature and arts, vigorous efforts should be exerted for these to serve the interests of the masses.
While we should preserve the culture of localities and minorities as part of our cultural heritage, we should develop a new and truly national culture by propagating and making use of a national language that is a cognate to all our local languages and can therefore, unlike English, be easily grasped by the masses everywhere. Vigorous steps must be taken to make Pilipino a language ascendant over English. The main reason for this is to have a medium for the rapid promotion of national-democratic understanding among the people of the entire archipelago. The educated elite has made use of a foreign language as a language of conceit over the heads of the masses. The laws are still in Spanish and English; this is one sign of how alienated are the laws of the ruling class from the masses.
In literature and the arts, the process of raising aesthetic standards and popularization should go hand in hand. For the masses who constitute our biggest audience can appreciate our literature and art only if our writers and artists make use of the life and struggles of our masses as raw material. If we adopt this raw material, it can be given the form that our artistic talents are capable of making.
Our heroes and values must change if we are truly for revolutionary progress. The workers, peasants and revolutionary fighters should prevail in our representation of life. The content and themes of our literary and artistic efforts must shift from pseudo-aristocratic and petty bourgeois concern over a narrow and limited portion of our national reality. The task of our writers and artists now is to turn to the great drama of the struggle of the masses for national and social liberation.
Those creative writers and artists who fail to use the life of more than 90 percent of our people for their raw material must be pretty narrow-minded. Or, they are too misled by or absorbed with getting travel grants and other concessions from the Rockefeller Foundation, the USIS and other imperialist institutions which have calculatedly planned to make our writers and artists flighty and escapist.
The petty-bourgeois writer or artist should realize once and for all that there is no such thing as being declasse, above classes, apolitical or detached from politics. An honest analysis of the work of the people who take this presumption will show their real objective partisanship on the side of the ruling classes which give them the crumbs and the plums. They are actually reactionary through and through, either praising the regressive values of the primitive or feudal life or presenting the helpless or the self-indulgent individual who is trapped by a system which he does not care to understand or which he deliberately mystifies.
Those who write for the proletariat or the masses and for their cause are regarded by the imperialist, feudal or petty-bourgeois writer as being gross and utilitarian. But look at the works of our supposedly refined and arty writers or artists: the presentation of their egotistic obscure concerns actually represent a narrow-minded grossness and incapability to grasp the basic tensions of life. They are capable only of presenting a narrow part of reality, the alienation and psychology of the individual alienated from the more dynamic forces of society.
The Second Propaganda Movement should be pushed forward by cultural workers who can surpass even the tradition of critical realism of Dr. Jose Rizal in his novels, the Noli and the Fili, and Juan Luna in his painting, La Spoliarium.
Literature and the arts are a concentrated expression of reality. In the present era, one must unswervingly take the proletarian standpoint in order to achieve the greatest progress in art and literature. Literature and the arts should reflect the revolutionary struggle and point towards its triumph.
Science and Technology for National Industrialization
Let us consider science and technology. It is not true that science and technology are free from political or class dictation. The feudalists and imperialists have a particular way of using them or restricting them and for definite reasons.
The feudalists wanted to restrict science and technology because they did not want their religious dogmas to be challenged and exposed. Today, imperialists use science and technology to make weapons of destruction for their wars of aggression and they also restrict production for the sake of maximizing their rate of profit.
In the Philippines, we wish to make use of science and technology for our industrial progress and for producing more for our people. In intellectual perspective, we have advanced far from that period when the friars opposed scientific knowledge as “heretical” and mishandled “A Class in Physics” in order to subvert our intellectual development.
When U.S. imperialism took over the Philippines, it first showed, relative to the friars, some desire to share science and technology with us; but now, as we want to use science and technology to pursue national industrialization and effect economic emancipation, we find the American capitalist society, with its own scientific and technological progress, inimical to our progress. U.S. imperialist politics does not permit us to make full use of the science and technology within the grasp of our scientists, technologists, and our people because the economic development we would create will set us free and cut down the market and profits of U.S. industries. It is wishful thinking, therefore, to consider that science and technology have no necessary connection with politics and with class dictation.
Science and technology and production in socialist countries are within the realm of politics, that is to say, of satisfying the needs of the people. But, in capitalist countries, despite the high level of development in science, technology and the forces of production, altogether these are made to serve the profit-making and political power of the monopolies against the interests of the masses and nations abroad.
In the Philippines, we should pursue a thoroughgoing program of increasing our scientific and technological knowledge for political and economic purposes; that is, for our political emancipation and economic welfare. We want to have the skills for national industrialization and agricultural development. In order to ensure the participation of the masses of our people in production and in accelerated social development, we should popularize the most advanced skills; but, before we can put these to use, the masses must first arm themselves politically, liberate the nation and themselves from the political forces that restrict our economic growth and our scientific and technological progress.
Filipinization of the Mass Media
Let us consider the newspapers, radio, TV, movies and other like media of information, opinion and entertainment which are now powerful instruments of either progress or reaction in this era of the Second Propaganda Movement. We know that these are not controlled by the masses. The masses, on the other hand, are reduced to passivity in relation to the emissions of these mass media.
Because of the fact that most of the corporations owning these media or sponsoring the programs are imperialist and imperialist-oriented, our mass media at present cannot be used for propagating national democracy. On the other hand, it is through the mass media that the glorification of sex and violence, characteristic of imperialist culture, is propagated to the detriment of our youth and people. Just take note of the James Bond cult and the cowboy fare and the rat-race mercenary kind of justice dished up by the imperialist-controlled mass media. They are the vehicles for imperialist propaganda and likewise for anti-Filipino and anti-democratic prejudices. Because of commercial advertising, the tastes, attitudes and consumption habits of the Filipino people are anchored on the products of U.S. imperialism. As a whole, foreign control of the mass media and their content (ranging from local sensationalism to slanted reports of U.S. press agencies like AP and UPI) constitutes intervention in our political life; and, in the most subtle way, it actually conditions the minds of the people to accept not only the commercial products but also the political products in the form of political agreements and fair-haired boys of U.S. imperialism.
In the field of mass media, let us recall the glorious tradition of Kalayaan and La Independencia, which were the genuine journalistic instruments of the national-democratic movement. In the spirit of these publications, let us convince our journalists that the truth does not lie only within the framework of imperialist and landlord political power. Many of them have realized this; and they are bound to widen their freedom of expression more and more.
There is no such thing as freedom of the press in the abstract. Only a liar or a dull person would make that claim. The reporters are bound by editorial policy; the editorial policy is in turn bound by the publisher’s policy or that of the company board of directors; the publisher or the board is in turn bound by the advertisers’ policy. It is foolish to make the liberal argument that by having different or several advertisers, none of them would be able to control the paper. The advertisers are well organized in their chambers of commerce and national advertisers’ association and in many more business groupings. If the press depends on them for survival, it is bound never to violate the basic class “truths” of their interests.
It is common knowledge how U.S. companies have tried to quell the expression of national-democratic views in the press. The patriotic and progressive members of the press should struggle for greater press freedom by siding in so many ways with the forces of national democracy.
Professionalism in the service of the exploiters means political subservience to them, inasmuch as it serves to shape and foster opinions in the service of the exploiters.
One concrete step that can be taken by the Second Propaganda Movement is to fight for the Filipinization of the press so that direct ownership by foreigners of such anti-national and anti-democratic media like Philippines Herald, Manila Daily Bulletin, DZBB, DZHP, DZBU and others can be removed. If we succeed in Filipinizing the press, the popular support we shall have generated will automatically serve to back up national-democratic publications. At present, we should consistently expose and isolate all those anti-national and anti-democratic media directly owned, supported or controlled by foreign monopolies and compradors.
If our newsmen should wish to play a role in the national-democratic tradition of Jose Rizal, Lopez Jaena, Del Pilar, Jacinto and Luna, they should organize themselves as militantly progressive journalists and workingmen who wish to broaden their freedom of expression. Their unity should serve to counter the power of decision of the publisher who is tightly bound by financial compromises with the anti-national and anti-democratic advertisers and stockholders.
Within and outside the field of journalism, the Second Propaganda Movement can vigorously call for the nationalization of the economy and for national industrialization so that ultimately the foreign advertisers can no longer have the press at their mercy.
What the Second Propaganda Movement can do now by itself in widening press freedom is to establish a publication where there is the untrammeled freedom to express and advocate national-democratic views. This publication, as envisioned by Senator Claro Mayo Recto, should articulate and organize the resurgent forces of the Philippine Revolution. It should therefore be guided by the patriotic style of our revolutionary forefathers and the true revolutionaries of the present. The Second Propaganda Movement should use this publication to help break down old ideas, old customs, old habits and old attitudes and help the Philippine Revolution advance.
The Second Propaganda Movement should be a thoroughgoing cultural revolution. It should shatter the present semi-colonial and semi-feudal superstructure. A new national and democratic culture is crying out to be born. Mass organizations, especially of the youth, play a great role in promoting this new culture under the leadership of the proletariat. #
 Speech delivered at the St. Louis University, Baguio City, on October 12, 1966; sponsored by the St. Louis University Student Council.