The article entitled “Behind the prosperous facades on Global Rethinking Marxism and Filipino Women”, by Delia Aguilar, stated her preposition in three discussions, (1), she well-explained the retrogressive impact of Neo Liberal Globalization in the periphery nations like Philippines; (2) the impact of global restructuring to the women sector particularly women in labor forces; and (3) the challenges and opportunities of the progressive intellectuals and movements in the inevitable contradictions.
The author, Delia Aguilar, provided a radical and dialectic discussions from a macro level to a micro level of analysis by which could be a strong point of reference and literature for the radical ideologues and intellectuals including those middle-class and academe intellectuals to reflect to her article. It could also be good readings for progressive movement’s particularly progressive non-government organizations (NGOs) to reexamine their operations and programs that creates the organizations reformist rather than revolutionary. She presented the article in a scholarly manner through connecting and relating the broader facets to a narrow and specific analysis and examples by which the readers could understand the terrain and complexities of globalization.
She started her discussion by giving a clear picture on how the Philippines adopt the Neo-Liberal Policy as part of globalized order and how the Philippines eventually suffered from this scheme. She pinpoint and highlighted if not all but major impact of Globalization in the Philippines such as the proliferation of transnational and multinational corporations that continuously operate and extracted our natural resources; immediately after the Philippine joined the World Trade Organization (WTO, created under the terms of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, GATT) in 1995, a rice shortage transpired; the government policy of agricultural deregulation and trade liberalization resulted in the virtual collapsed of agricultural production; from the mandated WTO Policies alongside with IMF and WB-imposed structural adjustment programs (SAPs) have spelled import liberalization, new taxes, removal of government subsidies to public utilities, social services, and education, wage freeze and layoff because of contractualization scheme, and export-oriented and import dependent production. All of these are inevitable contradictions in the advent of globalization that brought backward and mal-development in the Philippines according to the author.
Her second discussion focus on women sector in the advent of Globalization, which according to her Filipino women are the most direct victims in the globalized reality. She also stated evidences and manifestation where women are exploited and inferior in the labor force. According to her the rapid increase of number of labor migrants as also part of globalization, women contributes 60% of the population and most of them are in the domestic workforce; another are of work in which women predominate is the informal and service sector which suffered from casual and temporary job; and prostitution are in demand under the service industry that answers to the requirements of tourism. These further demonstrate that women become vulnerable and direct subject of exploitation and accumulation of the globalization.
On the other hand, the author also provide a constructive criticism to the progressive intellectuals and social movements in the Philippines such as civil society organizations (CSOs) that indirectly and unconsciously become part and apparatus of the dominant system. The author was referring to radical energies of the revolutionary movements during 80s and 90s who resorted and redirected to non-government organizations (NGOs). Nowadays, most of the NGOs relied or dependent to the foreign aids and donors from different international institutions such as US aid, EU, and among others. This dependency could detrimental and do harm than good to the principles and practices of the progressive movements because of project-based and reforms characteristics. NGOs are now more focus on reforms development because of the mandates from the donors rather than organizing the masses and building socialist society. According to Delia, NGOs and their claim to exist in a space separate from the state or the political order has led to their depoliticization and the consequent monopoly of politics by the apparatuses of the state. In short, “civil society” is a code word for the negation of revolution struggle in favor of reform within the status quo. It shows that these donors and aids are leverage and part of global reconstruction order that will eventually pacify, alienate, and kill radical movements. The article could be reminders and reflection to all progressive movements who continously receive donors from these international entity.
For my contribution in the discussion, I would agree to the claims of the author in the regressive effect of the globalization and liberalization in the Philippines based on evidences and observations. Unfortunetely, Philippines as a third world country is part of international labor force of global capitalism and serving the imperialist countries to industrialize and progress more while third world country like philippine remains as it is. More particularly, the philippines is one of the asian countries who have been actively send workers in Middle East, US, and Europe countries because of unemployment and low wages problem in the domestic. Filipino opt in to work abroad to search for greener pasture because comparatively there is higher salary abroad even you work in the service sector. However, it is not about the filipino have no options but instead it is pre determine role of the third world country to be part of the reserve army or international labor force and the state become the machinery to serve the interest of the capitalist. This structured pre-disposition role of labor migrants particulary women sector since they constitute large population in the overseas workers provide and maintain the hegemonic power of the imperialist states. Unfortunately, this facades of economic growth was a festive and triump to the side of ruling and local elites, transnational corporations, imperialist states while the large majority suffered from hunger and poverty.
The same views with the author, it will be a huge challenge and opportunity for the radical intellectuals and movements to provide alternative or countre-solutions that could destroy the monstrous dominant system. Indeed, it will be a long shot but to start with simply