Challenges and Opportunitof Modern and Postmodern Politics in the Global Capitalism

The drastic and rapid change of society creates new form of discourses and formation and new social, political, economic, and cultural platforms which have a direct and indirect impact to the relations and behavior of international system, political institutions, processes, movements, participation, interpersonal interaction and even our own behavior and values. Evidently, the emergence of internet as a product of scientific and technological revolution provide the people a new platform and higher degree of people’s participation to easily gain sympathy to the people  about their advocacy and campaign and also to lobby their demand and interest in the locus of political system. For instance, #BlackLivesMatter a Black movement in America gained enormous and overwhelmingly support from the people through the use of social media. Another was the Arab Spring, a longest uprising in the Middle East which also gained popular support from the local and international movements through the use of social media particularly, facebook. On the critical perspective, these socio-economic, scientific and technological changes are a product and project of global capitalism that wanted to control, alienate and manipulate the behavior of an individual from the tendency of having radical ideas, discourses and actions. More so, global capitalism transcends or goes far beyond from its traditional process of accumulation which become more and more inevitable and indirect. This paradigm shift was underway in the realms of theory, the arts, science, and culture at large. It only means that capitalists were not only concentrating on structure and superstructure base but capitalist in its restructuring form goes into the culture, identity, values and consciousness of an individual. The sophistication of capitalist in the present context is lining to emancipation and development of an individual. For instance, culture of political apathy among millennial is phenomenal and prevalent nowadays, it is because relatively millennial prefer to work, get paid, buy material needs, watch American series, listen spotify and mtv than having a boring discourses on socio-political issues or supporting the assertion of Indigenous people and Moro in their right to self-determination, or having a sympathy to the Palestinian people in the Israel.

These products of global capitalism become the failure of Modern Politics. According to the authors, Modern views failure to achieve its objective to emancipate people from oppressive and exploitative capitalist system. The promises and yearnings of modernity and modern politics were elusive and seldom realized. For instance, in the present context workers were still exploited throughout the modern epoch by rapacious capital and low wages; women were only able to gain full democratic rights by the early decades of the 20th century and continued to suffer patriarchal domination; LGBTQI++ are not even recognize in the society; people of color were systematically discriminated against by the forces of racism; and the developing countries like the Philippines continued to be oppressed indirectly by the imperialist powers through international convention and treaties. Another failure of Marxism, Liberalism and other modern political perspective according to the authors was the occluding differences and neglecting more specific oppressions of individuals and disparate groups. The liberal project of providing universal rights and freedoms for all has been challenged by specific groups struggling for their own rights, advancing their own specific interests, and championing the construction of their unique cultures and identities. The Marxian project of revolution, worldwide and global in scope, has been replaced in some quarters by more localized struggles and more modest and reformist goals. This is very true in the case of National Democratic Movement in the Philippines, they believe that the Moro and Lumad struggle, the struggle of women and lgbt in patriarchal domination and other localize struggle are aligned with national democratic struggle and through collective and national liberation is the only way out to liberate these people and the Philippine as whole from fascist regime, bureaucratic capitalist, feudal and imperialist power. At some point, Natdem is right about the struggle of Moro and Lumad in terms of Land and economic oppression brought by dominant system. However, Natdem on the other hand neglect to see the crucial role of cultural and identity dimension in the struggle and disregard to that these peoples have different way of forwarding their demand. This rigid nationalist view also gave way to fragmentation, as the movement started to debate on the strategy and tactics that lead to faction between Rejectionist and Reaffirmist. Thus, the CPP-NPA-NDFP as the bearer of national democratic movement need to re-examine and rethink their strategy and approach of waging revolution into a more inclusive and localize version. Further, the experience of CNN is analogous to other social and nationalist movements around the world they neglect to see the emergence of Black struggle and Native American struggle, LGBT struggle, radical and liberal feminist struggle and other local and specific struggle within the movements.

Further, the failure of the Modern Politics to counter the dominant narrative and ideology and also to address the local and specific struggle could be address in the postmodern politics as a new form and paradigm of discourses and practices. The postmodern politics basically a mutli-perspective approach that provide a new mode of analysis in understanding the terrain and complexity of contemporary society. Also, postmodern models of politics attempt to redefine the “political” based on changes in society, technology, economics, and everyday life. Thus, in modern views, power relation can only be seeing in horizontal and vertical relation such the relation of borgouise (oppressor) and proletariat as the working class (oppressed).  However, postmodern argued that power struggle can be seen in different public and private spheres not only in the factories, but in the schools, prisons, hospitals, and all other institutions. This insight according to Foucault, is both depressing, since it acknowledges that power saturates all social spaces and relations, and exhilarating, because it allows for and demands new forms of struggle.

In postmodern politics also highlight the vital role of culture and identity in the struggle of a person or a group. For instance, #BlackLivesMatter has specific cause and demand for Black Movement in America. At some point, we can insist that there is class struggle in the struggle of racism based on appropriation of resources among black people however this may lead to a wrong interpretation, fragmentation of the movement, and long debate whereas in postmodern views, racisms is an identity struggle of the black people demanding for specific cause and demanding for a specific solution. The same goes with the LGBT and Women movement, you cannot demand universal rights for women and lgbt rights because both sector have different identity and culture. Also, in postmodern politics, the emergence of the spectrum within the movements is regarded or recognize. For instance, the feminist movement have various specific demand depends on their objective whether they part of the radical, liberal, alternative feminist group, and inclusive feminist. This recognition is very crucial to take into account because it will make the movements more efficient and inclusive. It will also be more pressure to the dominant system since the demand is more specific and practical in the sense that these issues are experienced by the people and it needs legitimate action to put end.

Even postmodern politics recognize the plurality and diverse demand and interest of the peoples, it also encounter critical scrutiny, major challenges and limitation as well as opportunity in the contemporary society. First, challenge of postmodern politics, particularly identity politics is on the notion of social reconstruction of the dominant norms and narrative in the society because undeniably these norms and narrative already embedded in the culture and values of the people. Identity politics is highly believed that these social constructed norms are a product of a dominant system and there is a need to deconstruct these values and culture. However, operationalizations of action from postmodernist movement are still ambiguous. Second challenge, according to Leninist view that pluralized struggle only dissipates the centralized forces needed to combat capital and the state, a politically radical postmodernist would respond that the new struggles attack the weak links of the system and spread resistance everywhere, thereby allowing for the general attack that Leniniswts rightly think is necessary for overthrowing capitalism. It only means that having various demands and pluralize struggle can lead to a fragmented and disunited movements and it also be another festive to the global capitalism since within the movements there is external dynamics and turmoil. Thirdly, the authors also pointed out the overcoming limitations between modern and postmodern politics for the reason that modern and postmodern positions have strengths and limitations, and should seek a creative combination of the best elements of each. Thus, we should combine modern notions of solidarity, alliances, consensus, universal rights, macropolitics and institutional struggle with postmodern notions of difference, plurality, multiperspectivalism, identity, and micropolitics. With that, there is a need to reconcile and have a convergence between modern and postmodern politics to build an inclusive and strong alliance and solidarity in the challenges of the coming millennium. Lastly, to connect and configure local struggle to the national and international sphere is another struggle of postmodern politics. While sometimes only local struggles are viable, a new politics must also learn how to go beyond the local to the national and even global levels, requiring new forms of struggle and alliance against the growing power of transnational capitalism, the superstates that remain the dominant political forces, and the rapidly expanding culture industries of contemporary technocapitalism. In particular, the assertion Indigenous People in Mindanao can go beyond the boarders or call for solidarity and alliance from Indigenous People in America, Latin America, Australia, which also have the same land and identity struggle. The same goes with LGBT movement in the Philippine can call for alliance and support from other LGBT and Queer movements in America. The same goes with Revolutionary and Progressive movements in the Philippines can build a strong solidarity and alliance internationally to counter the contradictions from global capitalism.


Author: kadree

An EcoSocialist Marxist-Leninist with Che Guevara inked. A Freelance Activist and Writer.

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