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Application of Marxist Theory of Socialism in Philippine Setting

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This integrating paper shows how the Philippines will look like if Marx's theory of socialism is applied in our current situation. It does not suggest, however, that we change our system to socialism. It seeks, rather, to present information and discussion for consideration by those who are interested in expanding their knowledge.

Socialism is one of the two offshoots of Karl Marx's writings; the other being communism. It is both a critical analysis of and an answer to the excesses of capitalism. Its basic theoretical foundations are dialectical materialism, labor theory of value, and class struggle. It embodies two primary concepts, namely abolition of private ownership of the means of production and centralized economic planning in contrast to private ownership of property and free enterprise in capitalism. Socialist society is a transitory stage under the dictatorship of proletariat towards communism.

Co-Existence of Democracy and Socialism

The idea that Marxism and democracy are opposites is false. The fact is that under capitalism (which is usually referred to as "democracy), there is no real democracy. Yes, you can vote every few years in the presidential and congressional elections. But look at who stands in those elections. Only those who have enough money to do so. Who finances their campaigns? The big corporations. So you do not have a real choice. In practice, there is democracy only for the rich and powerful - bourgeois democracy.

Under socialism, the economic resources of the country would not be in private hands, but in the hands of the majority of the population who would run and control them democratically. This would be a real democracy where the people would have real control over their lives. They would be able to democratically elect their representatives in government, and at the same time, these representatives would have real power over the economy to really change things. These officials would be subject to immediate recall if they did not satisfactorily do their jobs they were elected for. The people would then elect someone else who they think would do things better. Also, these elected officials would not earn any more than a skilled worker. Unlike today where the "perks" often outweigh the salary of our elected officials, this will get rid of go-getters and make sure that the people doing the jobs are there because they want to be there, not so they can get extra benefits from the jobs. These elected officials would also come from all members of society - it would be truly a people's democracy.

Having a Socialist Society in the Philippines

Although no one can provide a blueprint in advance of what such a society would look like, we can say that this form of social ownership and democracy would mean the beginning of the end of the class division of society, and indeed of the social division of labor. The working class, having taken power, will proceed to radically transform the economy and society is run. Socialism is democratic or it is nothing. This refers not to some formal democracy on paper - more accurately, bourgeois democracy where you are allowed to vote every few years for a government who then runs things in the interest of capitalism - but a democracy where we all play a full and active pat not just in voting but in actually running our communities, our workplaces, and our society. Once the modern economy, industry, science, and technology, are in the hands of all members of society, we will be able to achieve full employment and shorter working hours - giving us the time, as well as the resources, we need to really begin to realize our talents. We could see the economy forge ahead at 10 percent a year. This would be entirely possible once we have done away with the anarchy of private ownership and the profit motive. Such growth could double the wealth of society in five years.

The reduction of the working day and an increase in the productivity of society are the prerequisites for the disappearance of the class division of society, and for the birth of socialism. It would be, as Marx put it, a society where everyone contributes according to their abilities and receives according to their needs. Such a society is no utopia but the only alternative to a slow and painful descent into barbarism. But it will not come about automatically even in a million years. Only a socialist revolution, that is, the conscious movement of the working class to take control over their own lives, can effect this change. This requires the building in advance of a trained and educated leadership that can ensure its success. For the last hundred years, the capitalist system has ceased to play a historically-progressive role. It stands like a roadblock in the path of human progress. We cannot wait for its instability to drive us back into the dark ages. There will be many opportunities for us in the coming years. But the success of socialism is not inevitable; it can only be guaranteed in advance by the extent to which we being preparing for it today.

Socialism is Impossible

Socialism absolutely needs to be based on a high level of productivity. The lowest stage of socialism must be the highest stage of capitalism. If so many of the problems in the country today are due to the unequal distribution of resources, then the only solution is to produce more than enough and distribute it democratically in order that people have no reason to oppress one another.

The disadvantage of socialism is that only the Communist leaders and their close friends will benefit. Even if the communist leaders are successful in converting the Philippines to a Red Philippines, they will still end up using capitalism or free market economy like in Red China, because only the free market economy can determine what the current market consumption trend is or what the market presently needs or wants at any given



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