Fri. Jul 30th, 2021

(Ed’s note: Mauro Gia Samonte was in his late-twenties when he enlisted into the national democratic movement began by Jose Maria Sison, eventually becoming full-fledged card-bearing member of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

The sudden declaration of martial law on September 22, 1972 sowed chaos with the CPP causing him to be separated from his party unit. He continued on as a self-styled labor organizer but at some point, ending in violent disagreement with Sison’s strategy of protracted peoples war.

Forced to surface from the underground, he turned to screenwriting, winning the 1977 best screenplay award in the Metro Manila Film Festival, and eventually becoming a movie director himself.

Edsa One ended his revolutionary involvement. Ironically, it created a doldrum in his writing career. This is why he did not hesitate to accept an offer by Manila Times to write a regular column, a few years back.

Today he still advocates for a revolution, this time with an ideology relevant to our history as a nation, one he describes as “a non-war, immediately practicable, self-help methods productive of envisioned people’s well-being.”)

3.0 Komun: The Concept

(Third of a Series of Four)

KOMUN, as a name, is a contraction of the Tagalog term for community, Komunidad.

It is shortened for easy recall, uniqueness of visual appeal and power of tonal impact. Overall the name immediately evokes imageries of unity, communal living and camaraderie.

KOMUN, as the name implies, is a lifestyle designed to assuage the poverty of the Filipino people. It is envisioned as the practical implementation of the ideal principle of “each according to his needs, each according to his ability,” envisioned by the initiators of the communist revolution as realizable only in the far future.

Communist principle has, as history has shown, successfully proven to be most effective in installing in political power individuals motivated solely by selfish interests. In many cases after such installation in power of revolutionary leaders, the people stay suffering as ever.

On the contrary, KOMUN is a social resolve for ending people’s suffering not in some promised heavenly society in the far too far imperceptible future but in the practical reality of the here-and-now. Such a resolve, therefore, presupposes an abhorrence of all things that cause misery for the people, like internal social upheavals and wars among nations.

The simmering situation in the South China Sea has the great imminent potential of causing the Filipino masses to lose sight of this primary resolve thereby allowing themselves to be completely diverted to a cause that is not theirs but those of the ruling elites of Philippine society. In a society ruled by the bourgeoisie, national interest cannot but be the interest of the bourgeoisie alone.

At the same time, added trouble is being caused by various sectors which evidently have banded together to compose a so-called Oust Duterte Movement. On the elementary principle of “birds of a feather flock together,” it becomes easy to tell that this movement is a US-instigated action.

It aims to oust a Philippine President who precisely won’t do the US goading for the Philippines to go to war against China. Proclaiming themselves at the forefront of this movement is the CPP/NPA/NDF triad, doing a strange-bedfellow act with US imperialism which it shouted to high heavens to down fifty years ago.

As much, therefore, as denying the United States the high moral ground to intervene militarily in the South China Sea dispute between the Philippines and China, KOMUN pulls the rug finally from under the feet of the Jose Maria Sison insurgency.

The same principle of countering the Sison insurgency by KOMUN applies in the case of the rebellions of the MILF, the Abu Sayyaf and the Maute groups, all of which have been exposed as taking roots from the United States and therefore instrumentalities for advancing grand US sinister designs in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia.

4.0 Komun: The Objective

History should teach us that once a system of production of commodities gets institutionalized in one section of the world – institutionalizing in turn social living in all aspects of its existence, like economy, culture and politics – that system inevitably gets to be the dominant one the world over.

In the primeval stages of man’s social development, human societies took separate paths of progress. It took eons before man was able to leap from food gatherer to food producer, but once food production came into place with the use of technology (i.e., the plow for cultivation of food crops), similar advances in technology developed for producing man’s other needs (i.e., the hand loom for weaving textile).

Production based on nature (i.e., palay and fruit trees on land) had a way of developing separately among disparate human settlements in the world, each progressing in varying degrees according to advancement each attained in discovering technologies. Widespread cultivation of land and domestication of animals gave rise to feudal lords who centralized the fruits of production in a system which political economists called feudalism, ruled by sovereigns variably called kings, monarchs and emperors, all claiming roots from Divine Providence.

Up until the stage of feudalism, military conquests were the means for imposing a nation’s authority over a less-developed society. And the society succeeding in such conquests did so because of its superiority in war technology. Thus, did the Spanish conquests beginning in 1521 succeed in subjugating the Philippine inhabitants, who at the time disparately formed the barangay societies across the archipelago.

Feudal system

Over a period of 300 years, the feudal system was spread all over the country through the encomienda system whereby the archipelago was divided into administrative units which down time became the provinces of the Philippines. There had been patches of revolts by the inhabitants during this period, like the Dagohoy revolt in Bohol or the Sumuroy uprising in Samar, but in the end those rebellions were quelled due to the Spanish superior war armaments and strategy.

At the advent of the 400th year of Spanish colonialism in the Philippines, the French Revolution had already installed the bourgeoisie as the new ruling class in Europe, replacing the monarchy that had ruled France for centuries. Along with that installation was the establishment of a new system of economy – capitalism.

Spain, like other European countries, adopted the system, consequently imposing heavy demand from the Philippines for sugar, copra and hemp, among other raw materials, in order to feed Spanish rising capitalistic industries. This gave rise to the hacienda system in the Philippines in which the encomiendas were transformed by friars into vast estates, the haciendas, for producing the raw materials needed by these capitalistic industries.

The extreme oppression suffered by the Philippine natives in this development was the main catalyst for the Katipunan revolt in 1896.

The discussion at hand has nothing to do with that revolt. Rather what is significant in the preceding narrative is that while up until the stage of the feudal evolution social systems change was a product of military conquests, in the capitalist stage, systems change came about as a matter of course.

In other words, beginning with capitalism, once a system of economy has gotten itself institutionalized in one section of the world, such economic system simply supplants the old economic systems in the world all because the latter are the inferior ones.

Until the late 1800s, Japan had tightly maintained its isolationist, closed-door feudal setup. But once it was forced by the United States’ gunboat diplomacy to open up, Japan let go of all fetters to its own development as a capitalist economy, ultimately achieving the stature of being the supreme power in the Far East until its defeat in World War II.

Finally, the point is hereby made.

Once socialism has placed itself as the dominant economic system in the world, all the other world economic systems, for being inferior, must melt in inevitable integration into it. It is to the misfortune of the Filipino nation that agents of the bourgeoisie, particularly US imperialism, had gained control of the Philippine revolution and succeeded in diverting the otherwise correct peaceful path of integration by Philippine society into world socialism by launching the muddle-headed Program for a People’s Democratic Revolution (PPDR) of revolutionary usurper Jose Maria Sison.

As enunciated in the program, the objective was to overthrow “US Imperialism, Feudalism and Bureaucrat Capitalism” through an unending protracted people’s war. Today, after a half-century of armed struggle, the Sison strategy just protracts on and on.

It is high time the Filipino people hoodwinked by Sison into taking up the armed struggle were released from their ideological enslavement. They must be made to realize that the socialist ideal of a truly just, humane and prosperous society is attainable through non-war, immediately practicable, self-help methods productive of envisioned people’s well-being. (ia/

(To be continued)

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