An assault on famous thinking
The term “enemies of the narrate” used to be used loosely by repressive regimes worldwide in the 1970s to account for the persecution of political opponents and activists.
The Marcos regime used it as an all-embracing stamp in opposition to the enormous vary of citizens opposing the defense force-backed dictatorship. For these of us who had been labelled as such, it used to be idea of a badge of honor and a sign of appropriate citizenship. Nonetheless it also uncovered us to exact risks, as we had been idea of official targets for harassment, arrest, even assassination.
The defense force and defense institution resurrected the disgraced stamp remaining week with the announcement of the unilateral termination of a 1989 accord between the Division of National Defense (DND) and the College of the Philippines (UP). It used to be used to tell UP students and graduates who had joined the armed riot dawdle, unassailable proof, they mentioned, that the Affirm College has been providing “refuge for communists” and has become a “recruiting ground” for the New Folk’s Military (NPA).
The officers provide shrimp in the approach of info or proof to red meat up this narrate. And by invoking the “protection of the childhood” as their motive for terminating the accord, they most efficient invited scorn from quite loads of the UP neighborhood. I tell “most” due to recent administration has its portion of supporters from UP, including senior govt officers. That alone exposes the fallacy in the relieve of the sweeping assertion.
Interestingly, the defense force considers UP students as gullible or unsuitable childhood in want of protection from communists, the same argument superior by Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., the spokesman for the government’s anti-communist process force, when he red-tagged several feminine celebrities about a months relieve. Nonetheless the defense force, as neatly because the Philippine National Police (PNP), could perchance barely qualify as protectors of the childhood, given the documented conditions of torture, abuse, and killing of childhood and students in the fingers of the defense force and police.
The reasons equipped for terminating the accord are logically and legally untenable. Nonetheless it has every tactical and strategic worth for presidency.
Observers look it as a diversionary tactic. In the face of licensed hunger and poverty introduced on by the pandemic, govt’s rudderless response and the series of scandals, the assault on UP has certainly preoccupied the time and vitality of activists.
At some point, nonetheless, the accord’s termination could perchance also be considered as advancing the defense force’s purported agenda to total the communist insurgency by 2022.
Defense and military officers, therefore, weren’t indulging in nostalgia as soon as they dusted off the “enemies of the Affirm” stamp. They had been signalling that the defense force’s pressure in opposition to so-known as aspects of the left has entered the next, and extra abominable, stage. This could perchance quiet be trigger for pickle for all of us.
The pickle with the defense force’s “consume-no-prisoners” attain is that it makes no distinction between hardcore leftists and liberal-minded advocates. Merely sharing the same advocacies as so-known as leftist groups makes one a communist in their eyes. A pupil or graduate of UP is routinely branded as a communist and, therefore, a real target, an “enemy of the Affirm.”
If it had been up to the defense force, UP could perchance quiet most efficient manufacture obedient and uncritical graduates who will neither elevate voices nor hands to quiz authority. They’d be no loads of from the childhood supporters of socialist totalitarian regimes, whose give draw in the 1980s reshaped world politics, and whose guiding communist ideology the defense force remains in battle with.
The irony appears to be lost to the defense force, and so is the lesson that even basically the most repressive regimes failed to suppress famous thinking. At some point these regimes had been toppled by mass movements that emerged because of licensed poverty, repression, and injustice, no longer thanks to “gullible” students.
The defense force’s assault on UP is an assault on famous thinking. It is an assault on the precept that no authority, idea, or conference is sacred and beyond questioning. Extreme thinking leads to advances in science, medication, arts, and society. Stifle it and also you choke growth.
The assault on UP could perchance be an assault on democracy itself, since democracy attracts its strength from famous thinking and the approach of renewal that it proffers. In a democracy, the role of education goes beyond providing a actual crew for enterprises. It is imbued with the noble reason of providing citizens the instruments to teach independently and severely, to search themselves as contributors to the regeneration of society.
Without famous thinking, democracy and its institutions will atrophy. Incessant assaults, until confronted and defeated, could perchance result in its demise.
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2021-01-26 23: 51: 00