We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

U.S. IMPERIALISM IN THE PHILIPPINES

by Philippines Cultural Studies Center Monday, Oct. 12, 2009 at 10:56 AM

After more than a century of brutal colonization of the Philippines, U.S. troops continue to battle Moro insurgents and the New People's Army guerillas to protects its investments, support the bloody oligarchs headed by the Arroyo clique, and preserve its neocolonial stranglehold. The U.S. public should wake up to demand that Obama stop its support of the Arroyo regime and withdraw U.S. troops. E. San Juan's two books might help inform the US public of what's going on in the Philippines today.

U.S. IMPERIALISM IN ...
philhistory.jpg, image/jpeg, 280x330

THE 'FILIPINIZATION" OF CRITICAL PEDAGOGY

By Michael Viola
University of California, Los Angeles

A Review Essay of:

San Juan, E., In the Wake of Terror: Class, Race, Nation, Ethnicity in the Postmodern World (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2007).

San Juan, E., U.S. Imperialism and Revolution in the Philippines (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).


“The oppressor elaborates his theory of action without the people, for he stands against them. Nor can the people – as long as they are crushed and oppressed, internalizing the image of the oppressor – construct by themselves the theory of their liberating action. Only in the encounter of the people with the revolutionary leaders – in their communion, in their praxis – can this theory be built” (Freire 1989: pg. 183)

In his renowned book, The Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire contends that the fundamental theme of our epoch is one of domination. As a radical intellectual, he came to this conclusion in his engagement with the barbaric realities of state terrorism, impoverishment, and forced disappearances throughout Latin America during the 1960s and 1970s. His pedagogical approach takes the standpoint of the marginalized, in the belief that such groups have both the insight and the motivation to challenge their oppression. In the words of Terry Eagleton (quoted by San Juan), “In a condition in which the powerful run insanely rampant, only the powerless can provide an image of that humanity which must in its turn come to power, and in doing so transfigure the very meaning of that term” (pg. 65).
The multidisciplinary writings of Filipino cultural and literary theorist Epifanio San Juan, Jr., continue the Freirian project. Using an internationalist and historical analysis of the conditions facing Filipinos, San Juan argues that it is only in struggle that racialized groups can see beneath the surface of unjust social relations. In the Filipino struggle for national liberation (a project dating back, at the very least, to the Filipino-American War in 1898), emancipatory forms of knowledge production are evolving. However, an authentic education that seeks to maximize human potential – as opposed to the profit of a few – can only be realized in transcending the social relations of capitalist production (McLaren 2005). For San Juan, this enormous task is not possible without a critical understanding of social class as a relation of ownership over land and labor.
San Juan’s latest writings, which interweave an analysis of nationalism, culture, class, race, and history, have important implications for critical pedagogy. His work offers the discipline of education a needed internationalist framework to address the globalization of racism or what Manning Marable calls “global apartheid.” Under global apartheid today, the logic of a master race (Herrenvolk) is embedded in unequal political and economic exchanges that impoverish the vast majority of people in countries of the Global South (Marable 2004). The Philippines is one such country. The two books under review allow us to “filipinize” critical pedagogy: to link critical pedagogy with the transformative activities of Filipinos in a global diaspora. Such an approach can help counter the shallow strategies of multiculturalism in the United States and the unbridled racism most evident in U.S. “wars of terrorism” (Roy 2003) that haunt people of color throughout the world.
In the Wake of Terror provides a powerful assessment of various mainstream theorists who speak to the issue of ‘race.’ The book is an important resource to understand how academic understandings of ‘race’ have become consumed in interstitial alibis and nuanced enigmas. San Juan argues that if intellectuals continue to turn their backs on the historical specificity of racialization and the role it plays in sustaining capitalism, academia will be nothing more than a site for generating sophisticated projects that have no practical impact. He urges “that we focus our attention on … the ensemble of economic and political contradictions that underlie the racializing process in society” (pg. 145.) He reminds us that although relations between cultures are often theorized as reciprocal, in reality the social, political, and economic relations between the people of such cultures are anything but equal.
San Juan points out that the mainstream understandings of “culture” and “identity” ignore the asymmetrical power relations that plague communities of color throughout the United States. The resulting strategies of multiculturalism in urban schools cannot address racism and ethnic conflict. The fight for a genuine multiculturalism, where one ethnic group or culture does not predominate, is an important political project. But can such a vision be pursued within the present economic system? San Juan insists that we interrogate the totality of capitalism and the contradictions of history. Yet, with the marriage of multiculturalism and neoliberalism the reality of racial oppression is replaced by celebratory lipservice to the ideas of identity and difference. The brutality of history evident in the genocide committed against Native Americans; the enslavement of African Americans; the colonization of territory from the peoples of Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines; and the systematic appropriation of Asian labor is disconnected from the social realities of the present.
The current educational debate in Arizona demonstrates that the benevolent language associated with neoliberal multiculturalism might no longer be relevant for a society mired in crisis. In April 2008, Arizona Republican Russell Pearce introduced into the state Senate a bill (SB 1108) that would prohibit public schools from teaching course material deemed counter to “American values and the teachings of Western civilization.” Furthermore, this xenophobic legislation would prohibit public schools, community colleges, and universities from allowing student groups to operate if their mission, in any way, organized around criteria of ‘race.’ Republican John Kavanagh, was reported as saying that he hopes this measure would return cultural studies in Arizona to a “melting pot” model where various ethnic groups “adopt American values.” In the Wake of Terror calls on critical pedagogy to confront the escalation of such policies intended to pacify unruly subalterns here at home. For San Juan, such an analytical confrontation requires linking racism in tandem with the social structures that set such ideology in motion: capital accumulation and class rule.
One of the most important essays in In the Wake of Terror is “From Racism to Class Struggle.” Here, San Juan engages the concerns of Richard Delgado, one of the architects of Critical Race Theory (CRT), who observes, however, that “the younger crop of CRT theorists are enamored by the easy arm-chair task of writing about race in the word and not race in the world.… A new movement is needed” (quoted in Cole 2007, pg. 117). After reviewing the historical context of CRT’s formation (the 1970s and 1980s), San Juan argues that a transformative movement is feasible through CRT’s incorporation of a Marxist understanding of class. While adamant that not all individual instances of racism are reducible to the economy, he argues:
A study of racist practices and institutions, divorced from the underlying determinant structure of capital accumulation and class rule that allow such practices and institutions to exercise their naturalizing force, can only perpetuate an abstract metaphysics of race and a discourse of power that would reinforce the continuing reification of social relations in everyday life. (pg. 101)

San Juan observes that because CRT leaves relations of production untouched it is unable to adequately come to grips with pressing issues worldwide. Such issues include perpetual “wars on terror” and a globalized racism (i.e. Islamophobia) that keep the U.S. populace compliant to ruling class agendas of global profiteering.
In U.S. Imperialism and Revolution in the Philippines, San Juan shows that a vibrant critical pedagogy can be found among a people seeking national liberation. The military repression, forced disappearances, and widespread impoverishment that pervaded Latin America in the last generation have been recreated in the Philippines in the present. Imperialism and Revolution is invaluable not only for shedding light on the consequent atrocities but also to demystify what binds the project of U.S. Empire.
Various critical theorists have argued that the mainstream preoccupation with postmodernism in academia serves as an ideological support for global capitalism and the New Imperialism (Wood 1997; Harvey 2005; McLaren 2005). San Juan builds upon their arguments with a particular focus on the Philippines as a contested site for “globalization.” He notes that “the Philippines remains a tell-tale gap or omission in the public understanding of world affairs.” (pg. xxi) He maintains that the limited attention to Philippine history in U.S. academia has been characterized by triviality and mysticism, allowing white supremacy and exploitation to become acceptable points of view. Using a class-based analysis, San Juan’s essays foreground important issues such as language, indigenous struggle, and nationalism as useful sites for a project of humanization in the Philippines. He rejects the reductionist stereotype of historical materialism, arguing that “the whole or totality of history is an ideal but it does not necessarily dictate a necessary future – the future depends on what we do at present to realize it.” (pg. 125)
Imperialism and Revolution notes the important task for scholars to critique the neoliberal state, which institutionalizes the pilfering of a country’s natural resources. But corrupt presidential leadership is not the sole cause of Philippine injustice and deprivation. Without an understanding of workings of U.S. Imperialism and its inbuilt tendency for growth and spatial expansion, blame can be directed towards a nascent Filipino nationalism and a supposedly sovereign populace for their inability to elect moral leadership. San Juan contends that because power has been widely accepted as diffuse and virtually independent of class struggle and politics, “post-al” theories run the risk of regurgitating a “white-supremacist triumphalism.” (pg. xxvii)
The case of the Burgos family exemplifies the historical atrocities confronting a Filipino polity and the role theory must play in elucidating such conditions. Edith Burgos is the widow of José Burgos, a journalist who spearheaded the launching of opposition newspapers at the height of Ferdinand Marcos’ dictatorship. In 1982, the Philippine police detained José in an effort to suppress and intimidate dissident voices. Despite threats to his life, José survived and would later receive the 1986 International Journalism Award of the Inter Press Service for his dedication to the ideals of press freedom. In his acceptance speech, he said: “If I had my way, I would rather that this award should go to each and every one of the Filipino media men who were killed or who vanished during those years of unspeakable oppression.” Twenty-two years later, José’s wife, Edith Burgos is alone in search for her son, Jonas, a present-day desaparecido. Jonas Burgos is an agriculturist who advocated for farmers’ rights in the Philippines. He was reported abducted by elements of the Philippine military in April 2007. His situation is one of the highest profile cases of the more than 300 forced disappearances and over 890 Filipino victims of extrajudicial killings since the U.S.-supported Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took office in 2001. Such atrocities are not some discursive aberration; they must be understood historically, as the logical consequence of an economic order and its political manifestations.
Critical pedagogy has much to learn from the long history of liberatory praxis in the Philippines. The activities of Filipinos in a global diaspora, who are learning about the world not simply by reflecting upon it but by changing it, offer an invaluable resource to augment critical pedagogy from the ground up. The “filipinization” of critical pedagogy provides educators with an archive of practice and theory that they “can dare use, test, enrich, and appropriate for a future waiting to be born” (pg. 154).


Works Cited


Cole, M. (2008). Marxism and educational theory: Origins and issues. London ; New
York: Routledge.

Constantino, R., & Constantino, L. R. (1975). The Philippines : A past revisited. Quezon
City: Renato Constantino

Foster, J. B. (2006). Naked imperialism: The U.S. pursuit of global dominance. New
York: Monthly Review Press.

Freire, P. (1989). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: Continuum.

Harvey, D. (2005). The new imperialism. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University
Press.

McLaren, P., & Farahmandpur, R. (2005). Teaching against global capitalism and
the new imperialism : A critical pedagogy. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Roy, A. (2003). War talk (1st ed.). Cambridge, MA: South End Press.

Wood, E. M., & Foster, J. B. (1997). In defense of history : Marxism and the
postmodern agenda. New York: Monthly Review Press.

Michael Viola
University of California at Los Angeles
mviola@ucla.edu
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Actor Patrick Kilpatrick Discusses and Signs his New Book Dying for Living J23 10:57PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen Heads to the Lincoln Center J23 8:45PM

WILLIE BROWN, YOU TALK TOO MUCH J23 7:00PM

FUZZY MATH J23 4:36PM

MR PUSH, WHERE IS YOUR WIFE? J23 4:32PM

Paraphysique du burnout post-démocratique J23 9:06AM

911 : establishment terror J22 11:18PM

Actor Patrick Kilpatrick Discusses and Signs his New Book Dying for Living J22 10:42PM

The Attack of Corporations and the Rich on the Rest of Society J22 2:36PM

bataclown J22 12:32PM

bataclone J21 8:08PM

VAN ATTACK HOAX J21 7:35PM

Mobile Royale Hack Online Generator - Get Unlimited Crystals J21 3:03PM

Unification, séparation et fragmentation J21 2:48PM

Testing Upload J21 7:10AM

FARCELONA.2 J20 7:18PM

FAKE NEWS POR SOROS J20 6:11PM

Chemtrails and Prince J20 2:43PM

Wages For Housework J20 2:41PM

Tutelle comportementaliste J20 9:18AM

A Mistake: Jesse Jackson-Toyota deal-in Lexington -Ky is .8 billion over 10 years 2018 J20 1:17AM

If Trump Declares a AantionalEmergency, He'll Be Breaking the Law J20 12:47AM

Jesse Jackson's Sneak Attck on Toyota Lexington Ky and it's workers 2018 J19 9:12PM

Video: Chris Herdges in Eugene, 1 hr 24 min J19 5:37PM

FAKE NEWS J19 2:31PM

MACROTHSCHILD.2 J19 11:03AM

Judge Delays Ruling on Puerto Rico Debt Deal White House Opposes Island's Food Assistance J18 6:04PM

BATACLOWNS J18 9:28AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy