What I found amusing is the fact that Alex could have called the students any number of things but he chose to call them fascists. It's funny because fascists is the favorite term leftists like to call people in government and people supporting government, these same students will probably brand Alex Magno as a fascist for his support of the Arroyo government.
Another thing I found amusing from his column was his description of the students "whooping madly as someone on a megaphone announced that they had received a few hundred thousand from the pork barrel of Bayan Muna." I find this funny because I remember quite distinctly in my younger years that the people most critical of the pork barrel of the trapos were the left organizations. Yet, they had no qualms utilizing their share of pork when they were elected into Congress. Of course they may argue that what they were criticizing were the corruption that accompanies the pork of the trapos. But that is a hollow argument, if you want to end the corruption from pork, the best way is to end pork barrel not wallow in it.
It MLQ3's latest post that got me into this harangue. He quotes an interesting though fairly long e-mail from R. Jitana. I will only quote one sentence from it
"One of the greatest things I learned at UP was that the middle stance as the correct stance, is well…a funny assertion. A blind man’s perspective. A joker’s. “Middle” denotes balance and equality. Can the Right ever be equal with the Left? Only in mathematical equations. Never in social reality. The Right has arms and might, while the Left derives its might only from being on the democratic side. “Middle” is only for referees in a boxing fight."I think he read the statement of the Association of Political Science Majors (APSM) which is why he reacted this way. I received a copy of the statement, the one I linked to above from the UP Samahan sa Agham Pampulitika (UP SAPUL*) e-group. The APSM proudly proclaims that their organization is a non-partisan organization with the slogan "where both ends of the political spectrum meets".
I agree with Mr. Jitana that taking a non-partisan or middle stance is self delusion. You are only deluding yourself that you are non-partisan, when you are in fact defending the status quo. As Political Science and as UP students, the APSM should know better. And their teachers should remind them of it.
But I must demur from Mr. Jitana's simplistic dichotomy of left and right where he equates the democratic struggle with the left. Yes, historically, the left has been in the thick of the democratic struggle in the Philippines but at the historic moment of EDSA, the majority of the left was nowhere to be found (naiwang natutulog sa pansitan). And in the last several months we have seen the left call for a revolutionary transition government, ally themselves with the Estradas, ally themselves with military coup plotters. These are not democratic endeavors.
Yes, we need to work for more democratic space, for a more transparent government, for more accountability in our public institutions, but these are not necessarily the exclusive domain of the left. These causes are the causes of all Filipinos.
*The UP Samahan sa Agham Pampulitika (UP Sapul) is the oldest (and best) Political Science organization in the University of the Philippines. It was established in the 1930's as the Political Science Club and changed its name to its present one in the 70's. We have no official slogan although the closest we have come to is a phrase directly lifted from our constitution
"tungo sa pinakamataas na uri ng paglilingkod"which can be roughly translated as towards the highest form of service.