Ever since the fragmented left disintegrated into the oblivion and some into the mainstream, remnants of such had filled our more than enough field of experts, talking heads, intellectual analysts, political operators and kingmakers.
They fill the offices of government officials, national to local, and they are with politicians in all levels. Some are even in the media, from the mainstream down to mere blogs.
They fill the chatter of white noise rummaging through several channels and frequencies that unfortunately cannot be filtered. Not that anyone, for the sake of free press, wanted it to be filtered.
But where, really, have all the leftists gone?
For lack of more scholarly sources and with a limited time, I have to be contented with my very “limited” exposure and experience as well as from words spoken by sources from within the left itself.
At the onset with my youthful idealism, I began to wonder why the left, which was practically monopolized by the national democratic movement under the National Democratic Front, more so often would go boycott the elections. The line is clear, they say, parliamentary elections are the playground of the ruling class and the progressive forces had no business dwelling on bourgeois activities. On a national scale the boycott runs, but on a local level, it’s more of a case to case basis.
From the leftist’s point of view, at least back then, it serves no purpose for the masses but to be exploited time and again by these landowners who rule our government. And that the real power to bring about social change is by bringing down the reactionary government through and no less than an armed struggle.
Makes me wonder why we have to worry about mass actions and mobilizations if we all need is arms anyway. Might as well raid the armory and get on with it.
But you see there is a trick. We had to go to the countryside and from there encircle the cities where the seat of government lies and then capture it. That’s how a revolution can be won. If you do it any other way, that would be contrary to the golden leftist rule of sort. Never mind if what Russia did was an insurrection.
So it was the same thing about election. Just stay on the sides cadres. Not until the Big Dog from neverland says so.
Issues Were Not About Election
After the last boycott, some cadres from the left began to question the decisions not to join parliamentary elections. Opportunities, from expanding the mass base to propaganda, were on hand since majority of the population join the election process.
But of course, the argument on why the left should join the polls or not was just the tip of the iceberg. There were other major and fundamental points that were brewing from within. But in so speaking about democratic processes as parliamentary elections, I will stay on.
Being an affluent supporter of democratic principles, the left itself does not believe in democracy. They pretended to believe in democracy as a rallying cry but were actually out to subvert it. The eventual downfall of the establishment would inevitably lead to a dictatorship. It might be a dictatorship of the proletariat yes. It might be dictatorship of the majority over the minority, in which is populist in nature, but a dictatorship nevertheless.
We have to remember, revolutions do not come handy. It comes with a hefty price tag…. lives. And in a dictatorship where due process does not exist, there’s a huge chance that those price tags would not be without innocent blood.
I remember arguing that instead of taking the people up for play, we be truthful about it, what we are and what we espouse for. One time in a rally, me and my college buddies end up in a rally that proudly proclaims that we are for socialism. Others, who surprisingly were among the progressive blocs and themselves were known socialists, looked at us in dismay.
We say then, why hide? Why lie?
The Fragmented Left and Elections
One dear friend who was assassinated by a Communist hit squad after the split said, “How can they believe in elections when the party itself does not vote among themselves?”
The aftermath of the internal struggle within the progressive left eventually surfaced several chunks from the original bulk. The main left was composed of mainly the mass organizations of Bayan, Gabriela, LFS, KMP, and KMU. On the other side of the progressive movements are two groups, the spin-off of its major organizations (Sanlakas, Kamalayan, BMP, and KPML) and the Bisig, Siglaya, Akbayan group.
True enough, when the major blocs separated and went their ways, parliamentary successes were made. The party-list elections have produced progressive representatives in the lower house coming from Sanlakas and Akbayan. Maybe not enough to sway major policies but more than enough to maximize their presence and raise public awareness on issues.
The main left however was left in the streets and now had been left behind on the parliamentary front. But of course given their strength nationwide, and realizing the success that the new front could provide the movement as a whole, they soon swept the party list elections and are now en route to produce first-ever leftist senator(s).
Here, There, But Where in 2010?
And here we are, with the national and local elections come 2010, we’re about to see a glimpse of how these three major left groups play their cards. This election is also an upcoming fiesta. Not only of candidates, but of political operators and personalities from and with ties to the left.
The Akbayan group is embedded on the Noynoy camp, with Riza Hontiveros gunning for the Senate. Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza allies with Manny Villar. Remnants of the original Sanlakas group were scattered with JV Bautista running for the senate under Erap and the others who have allied with the Magdalo group went with Chiz Escudero.
Escudero is down and out and so were his supporters. Erap is on the verge of loosing. Noynoy is at the forefront and Villar not far behind.
I was not surprised the Akbayan group went with Noynoy. After all, this group had become a cornerstone of populism since they broke off from the rest of the mainstream left. And since Noynoy is the perceived lesser among all evils, him is where they lie.
But Noynoy has an Achilles heel, the Luisita Massacre issue that is being brought up by some of the left and being used by rivals. And Akbayan standing behind Noynoy’s behind when this issue comes back during campaign period would definitely be a major distraction. They would also be in danger of being called the greatest turncoat. Turning their back from their progressive origins.
Satur Ocampo and Liza Maza of the Bayan Group are now on Manny Villar’s camp. Personally I believe these two great people are better off without Villar. They can offer more to Villar than what Villar can offer them. And who needs national machinery? They have all the machinery they can get, the very same machinery that brought progressive candidates in Congress. These are the mass memberships of these people’s organizations and cause-oriented groups. I bet it was prescribed by the Highest Physician from wonderland.
And I simply cannot, I repeat I CANNOT, imagine Liza and Satur to raise Loren’s hands up during campaign season. That would make it look like a total sell out.
So What’s Left?
Now I am in such a conundrum. Should I go for the lesser evil? Or should I, just like the rest of the world, compromise. Should I go for winnability to which lies the same face of traditional politics? Or as always, should I just lower my objectives in the same manner I have lowered my standards?
They say political wizardry is being able to compromise. But it is the very same thing that led our country down the path to the lowest of grounds, where only the mere crumbs come trickling down, left behind by abominable vultures who suck our country dry.
But by God, we already have enough suckers in our land.