Isolationist strategy-A A +A
Friday, October 19, 2012
THE militant left has once again shot itself in the foot with the latest caper of members of youth party-list group Anakbayan. A gmanetwork.com report said five Anakbayan members slipped into party-list group Akbayan’s press con and disturbed the proceedings. A heated verbal exchange and a scuffle ensued.
There is actually no love lost between the moderate Akbayan and its allied groups and the militant Anakbayan and its allied groups. The cause of the rift is ideological—-the two factions of the left differ on how to advance the causes they are espousing.
But one can add clash of egos there. Both brag about the “correctness” of their respective world views.
The rivalry is ironic considering that they generally belong to the same spectrum: left. The irony gets even more obvious in the fact that the various leftist factions (not only Anakbayan and Akbayan and their respective allies) are open to forging alliances with politicians and parties of the right (the factory of oppressors and exploiters). Yet these “leftists” couldn’t even be civil to each other.
In the 2010 elections, Satur Ocampo of Bayan Muna and Liza Maza of Gabriela joined the senatorial slate of then presidentiable Manny Villar, who was also allied with Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. Rissa Hontiveros of Akbayan, meanwhile, was in the senatorial slate of Noynoy Aquino.
If I were to attach blame for this unfortunate situation, I would pin the bigger one on the militants (Anakbayan, Bayan Muna, etc.) for their sectarian tendencies.
Anakbayan’s objectionable act, for example, was an offshoot to the effort of the militant faction to oust Akbayan from the party-list elections. It was not the rightists that initiated the move to oust Akbayan but its fellow leftist.
Within the left spectrum, it is the militants who are practicing an isolationist strategy. It has targeted the so-called social democrats (Socdems), the various rejectionist (RJ) groups, remnants of the old communist party, the Marxist-Leninists and, yes, Akbayan and its allies. Which is wrong because being the bigger faction and considering their nationwide reach, militants could have been an effective unifying force.
I can understand the action of the youthful members of Anakbayan because I too developed the same mindset when I was young activist. I viewed the outside world using the colored glasses of the national democratic ideology. I hated the Socdems, remnants of the old party and the others who “muddied” the immaculate ideology I was holding on to.
But militants have to mature if they want to recover the grounds they lost when they missed the train that was the 1986 Edsa People Power uprising. They seemed not to have learned much from the lessons of Edsa and have continued to commit errors that are pushing them to the brink of irrelevance. One of those lessons is to be able to know who the enemies and who the real friends are.
On this, the experience of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua stands out. The revolution waged by the Frente Sandinista de Liberacion National (FSLN) triumphed against the regime of Anastacio Somoza Debayle in 1979 not because a single correct line won over competing incorrect lines but because of a “convergence or synchronization of sometimes competing but ultimately complimentary strategies” of various groups.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 19, 2012.