He wrote editorial columns criticizing President Manuel Quezon , which earned the attention of the President by responding to the article in one of his speeches. When the Second World War erupted, Constantino fought in Bataan and was a member of an intelligence team spying on the Japanese. He also worked as a journalist during the war. At the conclusion of the war, Constantino joined the Philippine Mission to the United Nations from to as its Executive Secretary.

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Rolando M Gripaldo [Slightly revised paper originally published in , , and Filipino philosophy: Traditional approach, Part I, Section 1. It concludes with the relevance of the nationalist challenge. His parents were middle-class. The nationalism he developed, however, was not elitist but mass-based. For Constantino, nationalism must be people-oriented. The authentic ilustrado nationalist must articulate the nationalism of the people by combining theory and practice.

As an intellectual, one must be well-versed in social theory but as a social reformer or a believer in social change, one must engage onesel f in activism, and thus be in constant contact with the people. Constantino argued that to be highly intelligent need not necessarily redound to becoming an intellectual. Intelligence is basi call y analytic while intellect is basicall y synthetic. Constantino b: quoted Hofstadter 25 : Whereas intelligence seeks to grasp, manipulate, reorder, adjust [data and facts], intellect examines, ponders, wonders, theorizes, criticizes, imagines.

Intelligence will seize the immediate meaning of a situation and evaluate it. Intellect evaluates evaluations, and looks for the meanings of situations as a whole. Though left-leaning, Constantino is not by conviction a communist.

In attitude he was much closer to the socialist Robert Owen Merrill who identified his bourgeois interests with the interest of the workers. According to Owen, if one takes care of the needs of the workers by giving them good wages and adequate fringe benefits such as sound living conditions, schools, nursery, houses, sports facilities, and the like, then they can work harder.

Consequently, production increases and profits rise. Like Owen but unlike Marx, Constantino see was fundamentally a reformist through education and dissent. For Constantino, the interests and wel fare of the people are the interests and wel fare of the nation. It argues that the effects of col onialism took root among the people in a post-col onial setting where neocol onialism and imperialism were at work.

It advocates the study of the past to learn 1 lessons, to understand the present, and to help shape the future with nationalist underpinnings. To understand Constantino, one needs to study two dimensions in his works— psychologi cal and economic. The Spanish friars saw to it that the natives, through religious conversion, became doci le and illiterate, obedient and fanatical. The Americans, on the other hand, by using education with English as the medium of instruction, saw to it that the natives developed West ern preferences, thereby im bibing a West ern consumerist orientation.

Captive consci ousness is therefore col onial consciousness. There is a need for a counter consciousness t o it, and that is the nationalist consciousness. Colonial Consciousness The friars, or the various religious orders—Augustinians, Dominicans, Franciscans, Recollects, and Jesuits—were responsible for shaping the col onial consciousness of the natives during the Spanish era through the use of religion.

With religion as the instrument of domination, the friars were a ble t o control the consci ousness of the masses. The Spanish col onial government had them as staunch allies in what Karl Marx suspect ed all along: that religion was the opium of the masses. Prior to the educational reform of , the friars never taught the Spanish language t o the natives. The net result was a colonial consciousness that was basicall y ignorant, illiterate, subservient, servile. To quote Constantino b: 30 : Psychol ogical control was as easil y established.

The fact that the people became Catholics made God the powerful ally of their rulers. The friars enlisted God on the side of colonialism. To the fear of ph ysical punishment was added the infinitely m ore pot ent fear of supernatural retribution.

Thus one priest was usuall y enough to control a village, for rebellion against the priest was equated with rebellion against God and therefore with eternal damnation. The priest wa s their accepted ruler, the representative of their God on earth and the intermediary for their souls aft er death. During the American era, said Constantino, the manipulation of consci ousness t ook the form of a miseducation: historical facts were distorted as to make it appear that the American conquerors themselves were the protect ors and heroes of the natives; American atrocities during the Filipino resistance against the U.

Constantino b: distinguished four t ypes of people who claim themselves t o be nationalists. First, those who only pa y lip service to nationalism: they are the faddists or poseurs or fair-weather nationalists who are quite dangerous since they are unreliable and can even betray or misrepresent nationalism; second, the emotional nationalists who are most often loyal t o the cause but who hardly understand it and so sometimes they misrepresent nationalism; third, the purely intellectual nationalists who understand the cause but are not willing to sacrifice their comfort or position and so they accommodate the status quo; and lastly, the genuine nationalists who comprehend the cause and whose dedication is unswerving.

The last group attempts to transform a pluralistic grouping of activist movements, including rightists and leftists, into a united and active front of protest and dissent. It rehabilitated the economies of its European allies, and later those of Japan and Germany, and integrated their economies to the world capitalist system.

The next phase of this goal was t o control the Third World economies t o insure the steady suppl y of raw materials. In the guise of helping the economies of newl y independent states devel op, the First World countries sought to transform them into neocol onies, that is, to continue as appendages of the former colonizers. Cheap labor and raw materials from Third World countries would be utilized to sustain the high profits of transnational corporations TNCs , thereby perpetuating povert y and underdevelopment.

In the New International Division of La bor the TNCs transfer their low-technology, labor intensive industries to Third World countries while retaining the high-technology, capital-intensive industries in their home countries.

In this regard, 1 they save on labor costs; 2 they expl oit the local raw materials, utilize local credit, and sell to the local market some of their products; 3 they pass on obsol ete equipment to devel oping nations while applying new advances in science and technology in the home front; 4 they meet the desire of less devel oped countries to achieve a modicum of industrialization thereby transcending extreme backwardness; and 5 they produce cheaper products that are more competitive in the international market.

The continuation of povert y and underdevel opment despite so-called devel opment programs led Third World countries to demand for a New International Economic Order where economic sovereignty would be emphasized: that is to sa y, the full control of natural resources and all economic 3 activities, including the right to nationalize.

The Trilateral Commission was established by the First World in to alleviate the growing dissatisfaction of the devel oping countries. It tried to accommodate the following: improved access to First World markets, higher prices of raw materials, and limited transfer of obsolet e technology. In a sense the Third World is the battlefield of nationalism and transnationalism. Constantino contended that government policies on any devel opment program must satisfy two conditions: they must be attuned to the weakening of imperialist control and they must benefit primaril y the majority of the population.

Philippine Economic Situation. In the Philippines in , 69 percent of Filipinos did not meet the basic requirements of life in terms of food, housing, clothing, fuel, and medical care. There were more Filipino fa milies bel ow the povert y line.

The figures cited by Constantino indicated the worsening of povert y: the number of those belonging to the povert y level increased from Transnationals can fully own firms in pioneer industries, in Export Processing Zones, in firms exporting 70 per cent of their products, and in industries not considered overcrowded.

They can repatriate their profits, estimated in as approximately t wo t o three dollars for ever y dollar invested in the country. Pioneer firms are tax exempt while exporting industries can enjoy tax credits, tax deductions, and tax exemptions.

The Philippines borrowed from international financing institutions to finance infrastructure projects required to attract foreign investments. The International Monetary Fund dictated the conditions of borrowing. It is controlled by capitalist states which contributed three-fourths of its capital and which controlled t wo-thirds of the vot es. It finances infrastructure and agricultural projects but never allows substantial credit for setting up basic industries of creditor countries. It dictates when to devalue the currency and consequently the purchasing power of that currency continues to decrease over the years.

At least half of the Brazilian and South Korean populations were poor. To earn the necessary foreign exchange, South Korea exported labor and promoted tourism, even prostitution. All the South Korean wealth or profits went to Japanese and American transnationals in key and export industries and to the ruling political and technocratic elite.

TNCs and the Imperialist Argument. First, the industrialization which takes place is one that is controlled by and serves the interests of international capital. Its econom y becomes a mere appendage of the global giants, the whole country a sweatshop with an unlimited supply of cheap labor. In some , workers were directl y employed by foreign invest ors which was onl y one percent of the employm ent figure. Filipinos have minimal access to such technology and therefore are denied the opportunity to add to their stock of industrial knowledge and skills.

What then should be done? Constantino believed in a nationalist economic alternative and in an ethics for nationalists. Nationalist Economic Alternative Historical Background. Philippine nationalism is historically associated with its long struggle for political independence. It was mistakenly believed that nationalism was accomplished after when the Philippines beca me independent. In the neocolonialism of the s, nationalism became a subversive word associated with Senator Claro M.

Rect o, who advocated complete independence from the United States both politically and economicall y. While President Carlos P. The nationalism that emerged during this time was the nationalism projected by the middle and upper classes of societ y t o serve their own interests see Constantino a: Genuine Nationalism. Constantino 71 believes that genuine nationalism as an ideology of liberation must have two basic characteristics: 1 it must be mass nationalism and 2 it must be anti-imperialist.

Nationalism must attain the twin goals of national and social liberation. The middle class must realize that there is a connection bet ween imperialism and their economic woes in that they are both beneficiaries and victims of imperial control. Their economic positi on is steadil y deteriorating due to inflation. Philippine labor should forge itsel f for economic unionism at the national level and not just in the fragmented individual firms.

The peasantry lacks homogeneit y and should be brought to the mainstream of economic nationalism. Part therefore of the leadership will have to be drawn from progressive pett y bourgeois elem ents during the initial educational campaign for nationalism.

Once united, the principal focus of the national phase will be on anti-imperialism. The labor-peasant sector by then would have grown in strength and experience.

They should establish cooperatives. According to Constantino, the masses and the leaders from their ranks will then be in the front lines and will serve a s 5 the main force of the nationalist movement.

This happens when mass nationalism becomes the order of the da y, and unity among the various strata is essential. Constantino 76 goes on: Unit y in diversit y can only be achieved through constant dialogue among the various social strata having different experiences and ideological positions.

In this sense, the struggle against imperialism becomes a struggle for a new t ype of dem ocracy wherein the masses have effective participation in directing the economic social and political life of a nation.

Initial Phase of the Nationalist Movement. In the initial phase therefore the nationalist movement need not concern itself with radical demands Constantino 71, 77 implicit in the advocacy of alternative syst ems. A broad nationalist movement is just the beginning of the process of real liberation.


Dissent and counter-consciousness.

Get custom paper He had been a nationalist in heart and spirit. I will be faced with the task of analyzing the said compilation, giving insights and overviews and the much-awaited conclusion. As a former subversive, I was dogmatized with Karl Marx, Mao Tse Tung and Renato Constantino not because the latter was a leftist like me but more of a nationalist in the truest sense of the word. He was born on March 10, He was the eldest among the three children of Atty.


A Condensed Version of Renato Constantino's Works on Nationalism Essay



Dissent and Counter-Consciousness


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