Man-Made Disasters?

‘Our fault’? More than just ‘man-made’, some of the biggest disasters are in fact the direct consequence of the world capitalist system of production that has concentrated wealth in a handful of monopoly capitalists at the expense of the environment and the majority of the toiling classes who wallow in abject poverty and desperation. The…


Gramsci on Philosophy and Common Sense

Is a philosophical movement properly so called when it is devoted to creating a specialized culture among restricted intellectual groups, or rather when, and only when, in the process of elaborating a form of thought superior to ‘common sense’ and coherent on a scientific plane, it never forgets to remain in contact with the ‘simple’…


The Political is Personal: Roque Dalton’s Poetry

Small Hours of the Night: Selected Poems of Roque Dalton, edited by Hardie St. Martin and published by Curbstone Press, is a selection of poems from throughout Dalton’s poetic career. Included here are poems from 10 of Dalton’s books — a virtual chronicle of the maturing of Dalton’s poetic talents. Rightly so, the poems in here form a record of his development as a writer who has step by step combined political commitment as a revolutionary fighter and as a poet.


Debunking PH language myths

Last month, I criticized the article “Inglesero, Hispanggol, and the myth of the great cultural divide” by Erwin Fernande for its extreme regionalism and unabashed colonial mentality. Fernande attacked those who defended the Filipino language for their supposed “bullshit nationalism” in the wake of a memo issued by the Commission on Higher Education’s removing Filipino…


Brecht On Painting and the Painter

To Me-ti as a young painter, whose father and brothers were barge-haulers. There ensued the following conversation: “I don’t see your father, the barge-hauler, in your pictures.” – “Should I only paint my father?” “No, there could be other barge-haulers, but I don’t see any of them in your pictures.” – “Why does it have…


Ilustrado: A Fragmented View from the Apex of Privilege

Criticism of didacticism is common fare when talking of works of literature. Poems or novels must not express political views. They must shy away from social commentary. Ideologies must not be hammered on the heads of the readers. Yet this general rule seems not to be the case with Ilustrado, an intensely political debut novel…