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Did he fuck the system?

Check this out. Interesting thoughts on the Manila hostage drama here via caffainesparks via MLQ3. It's saying that what Jun Ducat did was a form of non-traditional political action/activism. No, really. They even pointed to new social movements as theory, saying he's a "postmodern cadre."

I don't know. But maybe they're taking it too far. Like I said earlier, the "protest action" is filled with irony: it set aside many legit issues from the public eye, Ducat's statement assailed corrupt politicians while giving them free TV airtime (Chavit entering the bus turned the situation into a bunch of bullshit!). Heck, it even gave Arroyo a photo opportunity.

For me, the hostage didn't aim to change social system, it simply played with the politicians. It illustrated the Filipino urban poor's cynical attitude toward elections and politics.

Last 2004 elections, I was in an urban poor community in Quezon City. During the election campaign, dozens of "neighborhood associations" previously unheard of begin their activity, to "represent" their communities and the voters in their group (this particular community comprises of thousands of informal settlers). They offer to campaign for several politicians in return of favors and jobs for their members.

These groups do their own "Ducatist" (haha!) actions: dangling votes and publicity opportunities, in a sense "hostaging" their members and their neighborhood by falsely representing them and including them in organizations, in return they get favors, job opportunities for their members, welfare opportunities, government connections and whatever.

Take note that it doesn't matter if this particular politician is a "good" politician. For them, they're all the same anyways. What matters is the "winnability" of the particular candidate.

Some call this patronage politics, some opportunism, but for them its just the way politics is. The basic principle is to get whatever you can in this political system that everybody knows is rotten.

At the end of the day, it's the corrupt politicians that win. We get what we want, they get what they want; they stay in power, while we stay poor and abused.

We have to challenge this kind of thinking. We have to give direction to the masses' frustrations. We have to organize them and show them that there is another way, a way of social change and struggle.

In the news:

Please explain what kind of logic and guts this woman has: Arroyo lauds troops in Metro communities.

“Did he fuck the system?”