Archive for the 'history' Category



Postcolonialism and Globalization

Postcolonial

Charting the trajectory of postcolonial studies, R. S. Sugirtharajah writes about globalization and colonialism:

The current globalization is not something that happened suddenly.  Its roots go back to colonial history and it is a legacy of European colonialism and modernity…Recently, the flow has been mainly from West to the rest of the world.  Previously it was the other way around.  It was Europe which was assimilating Arabic science and technology and Indian mathematics, and consuming goods from China. Like most of the cultural forces of our time, globalization manifests itself in a variety of ways – economically, politically, and culturally – and all of these evolved over several centuries of European imperialism.  In some ways, what the present globalization does, following the demise of the old colonialism, is to intensify the power relations in a more acute manner.  The crucial difference between the old colonialism and the current globalization is the unrivaled grip of the United States on the world economy through military and foreign policies, its financial and mercantile corporations, and its hold on world culture through its massive media outputs – television, film, and publishing. (Sugirtharajah, 20-21)

Source

Sugirtharajah, R. S., “Charting the Aftermath: A review of Postcolonial Criticism,” in The Postcolonial Biblical Reader, ed. R. S. Sugirtharajah.  Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2006.

After the Fall of Marcos

Philippine Economy and Politics

Jose Maria Sison wrote that some of his political opponents, after the fall of Marcos and the rise of Aquino:

misconstrued democracy as merely the “democratic space” for them within the ruling system in terms of civil and political liberties, claimed that there was no more ground for people’s ware and deliberately obfuscated the fact that the joint class dictatorship of the comprador big bourgeoisie and the landlord class and the open rule terror was persistent, despite the temporary liberal facade of the Aquino regime. In fact, the Aquino regime retained or made worse the antiworker and antipeasant decrees of Marcos and General Ramos intensified the military campaigns of suppression against the revolutionary forces. (Sison, 13)

Source

Sison, Jose Ma. and Julieta De Lima.  Philippine Economy and Politics.  Philippines, Aklat ng Bayan, 2002.

Repression Under President Aquino

During the uprising against Marcos, taken form the book "People Power: An Eyewitness History"

During the uprising against Marcos, taken form the book "People Power: An Eyewitness History"

In an interview then chairperson of KMU Crispin Beltran on the “progress” made under President Corazon Aquino after the fall of martial law and Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines, Beltran states:

…from 1980-when KMU was organized-up to the overthrow of Marcos, a period of five and a half years, we recorded only 501 violations of  human rights workers.  For the whole year of 1987 along, we have recorded 735 human rights violations suffered by workers…(Scripes, 61-2)

Source

Scripes, Kim.  KMU; Building Genuine Trade Unionism in the Philippines, 1980-1994.  Quezon City, Philippines: New Day Publishers, 1996.

The Assassination of Rolando Olalia

Rolando Olalia of the Kilusang Mayo Uno Labor Center

Rolando Olalia of the Kilusang Mayo Uno Labor Center

Kim Scripes writes about the assassination in 1986 of KMU chairperson Rolando Olalia:

There was a mass outpouring of grief among Filipino workers and peasants in response to “Ka Lando’s” assassination.  Twenty-five thousand people spontaneously protested outside the military headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.  But the biggest show of respect was the 12-hour funeral march that drew close to one million people.  (Scripes, 47)

After the killing of Olalia and the deaths of other workers rights activists and KMU union women and men the KMU began to actively campaign against the right-wing Aquino government.  Scripes quoted then newly elected Chairperson Crispin “Ka Bell” Beltran as saying:

UP to that time, KMU was totally for the preservation and protection of the Aquino government; we can say, without any fear of contradiction, that Lando Olalia was sacrificed for this government.  Evidence is now cropping up [that] he was targeted to create chaos, especially among the workers’ ranks.  The anger [of] the workers against the government [was supposed to] create a revolutionary situation and then the military would have this as a pretext to crush the workers’ movement and establish a civilian-military junta.  The over-all game was to move the Aquino government as a whole towards the right.  And under the complete control of United States imperialism.

After this incident…we adopted an oppositionist stance [to] the policies of the Aquino government.  (50)

Source

Scripes, Kim.  KMU; Building Genuine Trade Unionism in the Philippines, 1980-1994.  Quezon City, Philippines: New Day Publishers, 1996.

The funeral march of Rolando Olalia.

The funeral march of Rolando Olalia.

Genuine Trade Unionism in the Philippines

KMU Rally

Kim Scipes interviewed a top leader in the Kilusang May Uno (KMU, or May First Movement) Labor Center in 1986 about what it meant to be a genuine and militant trade union:

By “genuine,” we mean that the KMU is run by its members.  The members are given all information and decide the policies which run the organization.  By “militant,” we mean that the KMU will never betray the interests of the working class, even at the risk of our own lives.  The KMU believes workers become aware of their own human dignity through collective mass action.  By “nationalist,” we beleive the wealth of the Philippines belongs to the Filipino people and that national sovereignty must never be compromised.  The KMU is against the presence of the U.S. bases. (Scripes, 10)

Scipes states that:

The statement about never betraying the interests of the working class, even at the risk of KMU leaders’ own lives, is not hyperbole; many KMU organizers, leaders and members have been arrested and or killed. (ibid.)

Source

Scipes, Kim.  KMU; Building Genuine Trade Unionism in the Philippines, 1980-1994.  Quezon City, Philippines: New Day Publishers, 1996.

DeNazifacation and the Judicial System

Iosef Jughashvili Stalin (left) and Georgi Dimitrov, a Bulgarian communist, converse.  Dimitrov won world reknowned fame for his vibrant defense of Communist ideals and of himself during the trial against him in Germany over the Reichstag Fire.

Iosef Jughashvili Stalin (left) and Georgi Dimitrov, a Bulgarian communist, converse. Dimitrov won world reknowned fame for his vibrant defense of Communist ideals and of himself during the trial against him in Germany over the Reichstag Fire.

Michael E. Tigar and John Mage write:

Gradually in the years after the “thaw” that followed on the death of Stalin, the rise of Khrushchev, and the end of the Korean War, the truth of the allegations could no longer be denied. It was established beyond question that Hitler’s loyal servants occupied key places from the top of the West German regime on down. West German Chancellor Adenauer’s chief of staff, Hans Globke, had played a central role in the drafting and enforcement of the infamous Nuremburg Laws and the extermination of the German Jews. Of the 160 top officers in the West German army in 1961 all but one had been a colonel or general in Hitler’s Wehrmacht. In West German university chairs in law there were professors who had written vicious articles on the “Jewish problem” in the years leading up to its “final solution.”…

The great bulk of German opposition to the Nazis had been from leftists, and it was in the government of the communist East German state—the German Democratic Republic—that it was easy to find those who had fought the fascists arms in hand, and those who truly had been opponents of the Nazis. A more promising alternative was to exculpate the Nazis—who after all had been staunch anticommunists—and in particular the Nazi legal system. A further, and more material, concern was the presence of substantial claims from Jewish victims of the Nazis, demanding restitution of property they had lost (of course always in accordance with legal process of some sort) in the first years after Hitler came to power.

Source

Tigar Michael E. and John Mage.  “The Reichstag Fire Trial 1933-2008: The Production of Law and History.”  Monthly Review 60, no. 10 (March 2009).  (Accessed June 23, 2009)

Marx and Mode of Production and Social Formation Theory

The Third International Comintern where some of the MPSF theory was hammered out.

The Third International Comintern where some of the MPSF theory was hammered out.

Erik K. Olsen writes about the historical formation of Mode of Production and Social Formation Theory (MPSF):

Looking beyond the Preface [to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy] to other parts of Marx’s mature writing, the claim that MPSF accurately represents Marx’s theory of society and history becomes even more difficult to sustain because the theory is plainly incompatible with them.  In the introduction to the Grundrisse (1973), for example, Marx describes the relationship among various aspects of the economy and society as “organic,” and his historical analyses illustrate this.  Marx’s nuanced and multifaceted discussion of the development of capitalism in Britain in volume 1 of Capital (1967, pt. 8), for example, would be irrelevant if he hled a view of society and social change based on a simple expressive totality.  Instead, the three basic sociological laws of MPSF theory imply that a history of technology would be sufficient to describe the origins of capitalism in Western Europe.  The analysis Marx does provide would not only be unnecessary, but it would distract attention from the prinum agens.  Marx’s writing on the prospects for changes in class relations in nineteenth-century Russia (collected in Shanin 1983) provide another, similar counterexample.  In neither case does he approach the question from the perspective of how the social structure conforms to the necessity imposed by production technology.  Instead, he analyzes these situations in terms of the complex set of forces and factors that contest and shape one another…The basis for the expressive-totality ontology in Marxist theory is found not in Marx but rather in Engels.  (Olsen, 183)

Source

Olsen, Erik K.  “Social Ontology and the Origins of Mode of Production Theory.”  Rethinking Marxism 21, no. 2 (April 2009): 177-95.


Archives

My Tweet Ramblings

My Internet Ramblings