Friday, February 11, 2011

On What Can Be the Fleeting Victory of People Power

Keep in mind the Philippines had a People Power movement every bit as fiercely contested by the United States. This was not because of oil interests and Israel, but because of the powerful Leftist movement that existed in the Philippines in the early to mid 80's. During this time Maoist guerillas controlled most of the countryside and held sway in the urban slums. Leftist groups boycotted the 1986 election, leaving the door wide open for a different faction of the ruling class - one that had been shut out by Marcos - to take power.

So today the Philippines is a democracy, but one ridden with corruption and dominated by a narrow aristocracy that in many cases goes back to the Spanish days. It is also an extremely poor country, far below Egypt in per person GDP, despite an educated population that in most cases finds its success overseas.

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