Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Politics for Hope

If the writing is exceptional it shakes one's complacence, not make one roll one's eyes. It makes one want to act, not vomit. Reading should make one think and reflect. Like this 20 year-old Roselle. On the EDSA Revolution she writes:

Perhaps the error was in reinstating into power the very same bloc that dominated the pre-authoritarian clientilist State. Perhaps the blunder was in the return to State strategies that employed both discursive and actual violence that muffled alternative voices in the ground. Or did we perhaps commit a mistake in waging the Revolution, as it was just a blanket of fictitious hopefulness for the country? Reverting to the final explanation is dangerous: it invites the notion that revolutions are mere fantasy formations conjured out of thin air—a transitory drug that sterilizes dismal conditions in order to prepare for a bigger, brighter future where there can no longer be any faults. This perspective snatches away the interwoven narratives, experiences and struggles that lead up to a political revolution. Moreover, it relegates the animating spirit of revolutionary action into a mere mechanism of governmentality. In defining revolutions as such, we are courting the specters of anti-democracy—its ethereal charm, its powerful guarantees, its poisonous evocation of ungrounded victory—back into the polity. In contrast to all of these, revolutions are political encounters, exchanges, and even opposition by warm bodies in the public space.

In retrieving the spirit of the democratic revolution and allocating it to our own political topography, there is a supplemental need to reappraise our notions of hope and change. A metaphysics for these concepts is inspiring and a good critical juncture at best, but if we leave them hanging within the ranks of collective highfalutin phantasmagoria we betray the struggle purportedly waged in the name of politics. Freedom and democracy are far from empty words: they are charged with the baggage of history and a responsibility for the future. What is asked from us by the active reminder of our revolutionary past is a response in the form of a politics for hope—one that harks back to the past either to ensure that unfreedom will never happen again or to learn valuable lessons from it; one that toils with and for others at the present; and one that commits itself to a future that does not dictate a singular end. The radical democratic spirit solicits much from the ethos of revolutions (though not exclusively); hence, our commitments for democracy must go beyond the realm of attitudes and structures that coddle us from the ruggedness of genuine political life so that we may bring about a transformation of the very processes that shape our constitution as individuals and as a people.

See? She is critical minus the self-loathing. Substantial. Maybe a little difficult to read. And she doesn't make tautological explanations that essentially say - you're stupid because you're dumb!

My greatest pet peeve is writing with a sneer. Some people are able to carry it off because they're brilliant. Some just make me want to roll my eyes. Oh lordy, why do I have to suffer such affront. But hey, the web allocates space for bad prose and even worse political analysis. It is a democracy so all sorts are welcome. Now if only the voices amplified spoke on behalf those who can't and not waste space screaming you're stupid because you're dumb!


Giggle T said...

"highfalutin phantasmagoria"

It sounds to me like she just wants to sling around SAT words. This makes her incredibly ignorant.

sparks said...

its a common term in postmodern and critical theory literature.