What does change mean? Going back to our old ways as a people is change. Moving on with a more relevant way of life is change. Replacing political leaders is change; so is shifting to a new form of government. Which of these and myriad other changes do Filipinos want?
That depends on the why of change. If we wanted it, as we all should, to reduce the scandalously great number of under-employed, underpaid, jobless, landless, homeless, undereducated, uneducated, and undernourished Filipinos, it cannot be done by simply replacing elitist leaders with another set of equally elitist leaders.
All these years, we have done this regularly to no effect, to no significant reduction of poverty in the country. Yet, we have no choice but to let this happen again in 2022 when the same factions of the oligarchy will insanely promise, and the same culturally exploited nation will insanely expect, a different result.
As Albert Einstein so correctly said, it is insanity to do the same thing over again and expect a different result. The only time the Filipino masses’ systemic poverty will be given the priority attention it deserves is when we would have broken the monopoly on power of society’s elite and elected a working-class President that represents the interests of the marginalized sector.
That leader can only rise to the top if he/she is backed by a united Workers-Farmers Party. But this can only happen if we changed to a genuine representative democracy where the government of such a state, by constitutional mandate, funds the creation and operation of public institutions like political parties. Without state support, the marginalized sector has no chance of organizing their political party.
Ruling oligarchs, however, cannot be expected to shift to a form of government that would provide for the formation of a party or parties that would work to break their monopoly of political power. Hence, workers and farmers have to undertake on their own the arduous and daunting task of organizing a Farmer-Worker’s Party.
Arduous because this party, to be assuredly loyal to worker-farmer interests, must be organized from the ground up and led by worker-farmer leaders. By no means must it be funded and led by personages from the upper classes.
Daunting because, as F. Sionil Jose wisely prescribes, this party must be non-communist and non-religious. Non-communist to preclude violence as a strategy for change and to avoid the oligarchy’s pushback via red-tagging. Non-religious to escape from the numbing cultural prison of oligarchs in religious garb.
Only the poor can want to eliminate poverty badly enough. Thus, not unless their representatives are in power will poverty’s solution get top priority attention.