Let the fire of nationalism burn

Ang Bayan
June 21, 2012

US imperialist intervention in the Philippines under Benigno Aquino III's regime is brazen, widespread and intense. What could not be done with completion under previous regimes can now be implemented with full force, because the Aquino regime plays to the hilt its role as a stooge of its imperialist master.

Under the Aquino regime, the presence of US military troops and equipment will be heightened and the facilities left behind by the US in their abandoned military bases in Clark and Subic will be put to use once more. US military and police intelligence units are overtly stepping up their operations in the country under the guise of "coordination." The Aquino regime is also paving the way for charter change to thoroughly open the economy to foreign plunder. Through programs like K+12, imperialist intervention will likewise be finding its way to the very core of education and consciousness.
Aquino's puppetry to US imperialist dictates and military dominance underscore the absence of genuine national freedom and sovereignty.

The prolonged economic depression of the US compels it to more vigorously assert its own interests and expand its markets. US efforts to intensify the exploitation of labor and tighten control of trade routes in order to ride over its economic depression are resulting in worsening socio-economic conditions in semicolonial and semifeudal countries such as the Philippines.

Aquino's claims of "freedom from poverty" as the supposed fruit of his so-called "righteous path" are full of air. Afer two years under Aquino's US-imposed neoliberal policies, the Filipino people are suffering more than ever from unemployment, hunger and massive poverty.

In the face of the US-Aquino regime's extreme contempt for Philippine sovereignty, there is urgent need for the Filipino people to reaffirm and reassert their nationalist aspirations and struggle for national liberation and self-determination.

There must be a renewed vigor in upholding nationalism or anti-imperialism. The people must oppose the imperialist-sponsored notion that under a "globalized world," nationalism and the need to build a dynamic, self-reliant and industrialized economy are antiquated ideas. Apologists of imperialism turn a blind eye to the fact that the imperialist countries and other secondary capitalist countries are among the most zealous ultra-nationalists in terms of economic protectionism.

The Filipino people are at a crucial juncture where upholding nationalism especially in the field of economic policy and foreign relations is of utmost importance. US imperialism and their puppets seek to extinguish the fire of Filipino nationalism or depreciate its meaning to a narrow concept of pride in the nation's heritage or individual accomplishments by Filipinos. The history of US imperialism's oppression and plunder of the Philippines must never be banished from the consciousness of future generations of Filipinos.

The Filipino people, especially the Filipino youth must look back to our history of revolutionary resistance and struggle for national liberation. They must give serious time and effort to nationalist studies in order to gain the knowledge that has been stricken off the World Bank-designed curriculum of Philippine education.

They must look back to the works of Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio of the late 19th century, the nationalist ideals of the heroes of the working class movement in the early 20th century, the nationalist assertions of Claro Mayo Recto, Lorenzo TaƱada and Renato Constantino from the 1950s as well as the more recent expressions of Filipino nationalism set forth by Jose Ma. Sison and the national-democratic movement from the late 1960s to the present.

They must study, promote and seek inspiration from the heroic revolutionary resistance of the Filipino people in launching people's wars against Spanish and American colonialism, as well as in the struggle to achieve national and social liberation in the past four decades.

The nationalist studies movement must take root among young Filipinos and impact on the Filipino national consciousness. In so doing, the Filipino people can further raise the struggle for national liberation to unprecedented heights.

Nationalism or anti-imperialism should be brought to the core of the people's mass struggles. In fighting oil price hikes, we must expose foreign monopoly control of the oil industry. In struggling for wage increases, we must expose the policy of cheap labor as a way of attracting foreign investments. In demanding greater social subsidies, we must expose deregulation, privatization and denationalization as policies of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. In fighting the demolition of urban poor communities, we must expose the fact that they pave the way for the foreign interests behind the Private-Public Partnership program of the US-Aquino regime. And in demanding the abrogation of the Mutual Defense Treaty and the Visiting Forces Agreement, we must expose US military interventionism and the master-client relations between the US imperialists and their puppet state.

The war of national and social liberation that has long been waged by the revolutionary movement led by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is a continuation of the Filipino people's unfinished revolution. The people have achieved great victories in the past and are poised to achieve bigger victories in the next few years.

The nationalist movement is one aspect of the national-democratic movement, with the revolutionary forces as among the most determined advocates of the people's nationalist aspirations. As the national-democratic revolution advances, so does the cause of nationalism. A broad nationalist movement rouses the people in their millions to the need for a national-democratic revolution. The mutual causes of Filipino nationalism and the national-democratic revolution advance hand in hand.