As much as neoliberal economists, bureaucrats and joe capitalists everywhere would love to refuse listening to reason, Karl Marx and his brothers-in-arms everywhere have every reason to say “I told you so” in light of what analysts perceive as an all-too-familiar throwback to the Great Depression of the 1930’s, with the difference of it only being worse. Russian socialist Lenin prophetically proclaimed that Capitalism, the free market economy that fed on the surplus value of labor, is now in its final and degenerate stage of Imperialism, and the current crisis and its implications ominously quantify this as the financial meltdown has translated into a seemingly innocent but essentially linked slew of wheelings and dealings by global capitalism.
The $900B bailout by the US state of Wall Street, while propped up as a nationalization of an industry and thus given a socialist nametag, is actually nowhere near it as White House only intervened to save the corporations from bankruptcy, with little or no buffer funding to the grassroots who actually bare double the brunt as they face the chaos of prices and get taxed more at the same time. Beyond their domestic laity, however, the capitalist order looks to its neo-colonies as the primary source to squeeze money out.
Stepped-up efforts by international financing institutions (IFIs) like IMF, World Bank and ADB to influence underdeveloped nations around the world to gear policies towards its major tenets of trade liberalization, deregulation, and privatization are clearer signs of this desperation, as they explore new venues for exploitation. An innocuous example would be the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) to be held on Philippine soil, where the concept of the Arroyo regime’s labor export economy will be sold to other developing countries ripe for enslaving. A more blatant example that complements the GFMD would be U.S. now considering taxing our OFW’s remittances.
And therein lies the GMA regime’s deceptive talk of the Philippine economy remaining stable and able to weather the storm that has led to Iceland’s bankruptcy. Therein lies evidence that proves the policy trends of the Philippine government being ruthlessly in favour of the Imperialist US. We have remained a semi-feudal, semi-colonial state to date because of their dire need for cheap raw materials, and recently, cheap labor, which the Philippine government seems all too happy to comply to their needs. in the 90’s they were Information Technology (IT) professionals, in the early parts of 2000 they were caregivers and semi-skilled workers, and now the call-center agents continue to be the latest popular choice. Even the planned taxation on OFWs, as well as the regular risk of dying at the hands of abusive foreign masters, as demonstrated in the recent execution by decapitation of a worker in Arab Peninsula, are remedied by the GMA regime by simply promoting their status name to expatriates.
Yet the sad truth remains that the Philippine government finds kissing the behinds of its global masters to be more important than striving to provide the welfare that the Filipino people rightfully needs. Every state policy continues to be geared to capital outsourcing, such as NFA’s increased rice imports, DOLE’s lack of support to workers in and out of the country, and TESDA’s intensified promotion of semi-skilled education, to name a few, all adhering to the market demands of imperialist US.
This systemic shift of state servitude from the stakeholders to the power-bearers is indeed indicative of the times. The epic proportions of the contradiction between the capital and feudal powers against the toiling masses continue to increase as a reaction to the sundering fantasy empire of IFIs. Those ravaged by greedy shenanigans get shoved off from the seat of democracy, and in cases like the Philippines where only the moneyed few has access to democracy, there can be no blame when the oppressed tries to get their voices back by force. There is no reason to wonder why revolutionary and separatist forces exist in the most economically discordant societies: they will continue to exist so long as people go hungry while the Cojuangcos, Ayalas and Arroyos of the world continue to take from them to live in opulence.
And they continue to believe that capitalism is the final stage of social development, that this is just the part of its cycle where it shrivels into ashes and bursts alive into flames like a Phoenix, and local apologists like John Nery believe this nature of creative destruction to have gone under Marx’s radar. What went under Nery’s radar is the basic concept of imperialism, how every boom and bust cycle that a capitalist economy undergoes, regardless of whether it’s free market or mixed, is only able to continue doing so by stepping up its abuse on its satellites to sustain its own economy.
Such is proven in the renewed efforts of imperialist US and its ilk to further its neoliberal agenda across borders, as shown in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and of course, its best pet the Philippines. But this vicious cycle will only persist until either of two things happen: the first option would be for the neo-colonies of Imperialism to snuff it and die, all capital, raw or labor or service, all exhausted. The second option, one that everyone who genuinely has feelings for compassion and justice should consider well, is to serve as one with the force that will destroy the chains of the stranglehold of global capitalism has on the people of the world, as these chains will not relinquish themselves.
Being part of the broad anti-imperialist mass movement might seem like a task too ambitious for the common Filipino, but as all waves start out with ripples, even the most minute efforts such as the continued education on these issues, the spread of this knowledge to others to instill an atmosphere of awareness, and more importantly, the application of this knowledge by acting, even with just the littlest contributions to the overall campaign of people’s organizations and movements. Every action that follows and contributes to the people’s principled advocacy for social justice, actions that take concrete steps into developing your commitment in this advocacy to its fullest extent, is an important deal that contributes to the blows that will finally topple down the capitalist system which is, after all, the root of all poverty.