On behalf of the people (some divergence between Patrick and me)

Alan Bradley alanb at SPAMelf.brisnet.org.au
Mon Jan 22 17:50:33 MST 2001


> From: "Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky"
> I guess Alan is _not_ thinking of me when he speaks of the "left
> nationalists".  I am just a plain Marxist in the Third World.

Well, you are not one of the extreme cases, anyway.  : )

I was being snide about the "left nationalists" because of the elements of
impressionism involved in some comrades' responses to East Timor, Fiji, and
so on.  We should leave this alone for now, I think.

> And as to Estrada's ousting, there is at least one thing that I am sure
> of: whatever makes the US happy spells misery for the Phillipinos. Even
> when one would be happy too.

Certainly.  There are also some distinctly problematic elements in how the
ouster occurred:  Estrada resigned after the military withdrew their
support from him.  In other words, it was something of a soft coup.  This
does not bode well for the future.

In addition, the new president is herself a worm, and, of course, this is
why the US doesn't seem to be upset about the change.  I don't believe,
however, that they engineered it - I think that the causes are pretty much
what they appear to be on the surface:  Estrada got caught taking a cut
from illegal gambling.  He also, I suspect, was enough of an outsider that
he could be sacrificed by the Philippines ruling class without too much
heartbreak.

One curiousity appeared in yesterday's newspaper, which I probably should
have forwarded:  the article suggested that Estrada's support base lay
amongst the peasantry, while those opposed to him were mostly the urban
"middle class".  There is actually a little bit of truth to this, though
sufficiently distorted so as to be complete bullshit.  Estrada was prone to
populist gestures, of a meaningless sort, and got elected in part because
of his personal popularity as a film star.  To a degree then, his support
was "popular" rather than strictly elite.  But he was still a piece of
shit.  In any case, his opponents were not just the bourgeoisie, but
included all the significant working class forces, urban PBs and so on.

So:  no tears for Estrada.  Down with GMA!

(No, I can't spell "Gloria Macapagal Arroyo".  It's the "Macapagal" that I
have trouble with, of course.  In any case, in the Philippines she is
popularly referred to as GMA, so I will probably use this form until
Macapagal sinks into my brain.  It is already starting to...)

Alan Bradley
alanb at elf.brisnet.org.au

Macapagal, Macapagal, Macapagal...





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