THE Philippine National Police’s (PNP) plan to monitor student activities in and out of campuses brings up chilling memories of the witch hunt (for communists) the Marcos military conducted during Martial Law.
But knowing where the military is coming from with it, I can agree with the general idea of somehow sparing young idealistic students from indoctrination by some extreme-left professors on what have proven to be erroneous or outdated dogmas in Karl Marx’s and Friedrich Engels’ “scientific socialism” as contained in the Communist Manifesto.
As a panacea, the “dictatorship of the proletariat” has vastly failed in the old USSR which has since broken into independent socialist states and in North Korea where the majority of the population is poor while the ruling politburo is having the time of its life. And where is Communist East Germany now?
Communist China’s economic growth has defied the odds because while it is communist politically it is running the economy along capitalist lines. In any case, the equivocal socio-economic conditions of these (formerly?) communist countries cannot justify the price of millions of innocent lives they paid to win the “class struggle.”
Regarding armed violent revolutions, EDSA has debunked communist dogma that political power can come only from the barrel of a gun. Non-violent people- power toppled a powerful and practically godless dictatorship. The only reason the people’s victory did not translate into a takeover of political power was that they were not prepared, were not organized, to take control of government. Hence, control instead went to the faction of the oligarchy that opposed Marcos, the Ramos-Enrile faction that ruled the country from behind Cory’s throne.
Besides, can we really believe those professors who indoctrinate students on Mao’s Red Book and later immerse them in armed units of the NPA that cutting banana trees, burning trucks and buses, planting improvised explosive devices, killing soldiers, police and barangay officials, terrorizing civilians, abducting entrepreneurs who refuse to pay “revolutionary taxes” will remove the socio-economic problems that plague the nation?
Still, I would caution the PNP to tread gently on their monitoring plans because the conditions that gave rise to what Marx and Engels termed “class struggle” are still present in Philippine society. As long as government fails to improve the socio-economic conditions of the people there will always remain the seeds of discontent that can one day sprout into a violent “class struggle.” Thus, the desperately poor will always be vulnerable, and idealistic in-or-out-of-school youth susceptible to, communist propaganda. (to be continued)