Wednesday, February 12, 2020

KONTRA-MODERNIDAD

KONTRA-MODERNIDAD:
PAKIKIPAGSAPALARAN  SA PAGTUKLAS  NG SARILI NATING MAPAGPALAYANG  KABIHASNAN


Kung ang katotohanan ay matatagpuan sa pagtutugma ng katuwiran at karanasan, ang kabutihan ay matatamo sa pagtutugma ng teorya at praktika.

--APOLINARIO MABINI, La Revolucion Filipina


ni E. SAN JUAN, Jr.




Bakit naging problema ang modernidad ng Pilipinas? Kasi 12 milyong OFWs ang kumalat sa buong mundo? Di tulad ng maunlad na bansa sa Europa, Hapon, atbp? Nangangahulugang di pa tayo umabot sa modernidad ng mga industriyalisadong bansang siyang modelong halimbawa ng modernidad? Kaya nga naging laboratoryo tayo ng mga dalubhasa sa programang modernization tatak U.S. noong dekada 1960 batay sa paradigm nina Talcott Parsons, W.W. Rostow, atbp. 

Ayon sa teoryang modernisasyon, walang “structural differentiation” sa lipunan natin. Teknolohiya ang humuhubog sa halagahan (values), ang iskema ng paniniwala, saloobin, diwa ng karamihan. Ang tipong pampersonal ay naisillid sa de-kahong “smooth interpersonal relations” (SIR) ni Fr. Frank Lynch, habang ang karakter pambansa ay nakakategorya sa kuwadrong oryentasyong Amerikano. Sa pagsusuma ng mga eksperstong sina Frederick Wernstedt at Joseph Spencer sa kanilang teksbuk, The Philippine Island World (1967): ang Pilipinas “is a unique country, of the ancient  Orient, but more wholly integrated into the world of the Occident than is any other Asian country? (1967, 135). 

Pinuri nito ang pagpasok ng Ingles bilang “lingua franca,” na tahasang kumulong sa kultura sa ilalim ng Amerikanisasyon. Bagamat umunlad raw ang ekonomya base sa tradisyong Malay na sadyang Hispanicized at Americanized, inamin ng mga geographers na nagpatingkad ito ng “internal pressures in such problem zones as agrarian tenancy, capital control, political structure, and social custom” (1967, 297)—ibig sabihin, tumindi’t lumala ang pagtatagisan ng mga uri sa lipunan, ng grupong makapangyarihan at mariwasa laban sa maraming pulubing pinagsasamantalahan. Samakatuwid, litaw ang “structural differentiation” sa posisyon at ginaganap na papel ng mga pangkatin sa lipunan, pati ideolohiyang kinakasangpan nila.

Sinkretikong Akda

Pinaghalong balat at inalupan, o buto’t laman?  Lumilitaw na ang sukatan ng modernidad ay hango sa Kanluran, sa hegemonya ng burgesyang namumuno sa industriyalisadong lipunan. Sa pagtagumpay ng uring kapitalista, nalusaw ang ordeng piyudal at Kristyanong ideolohiyang kaakibat nito. Ito ang base materyal ng modernidad, na naging imperyalistang sandatang “modernisasyon” noong panahon ng Cold War. Laganap ang krisis ng lumang daigdig, saklot ng pragmentasyon at introbersiyon sanhi sa dominasyon ng indibidwalistikong interes. Bukod sa sopistikadong teknolohiyang nasaksihan sa WW1, ang produksyong pangmasa (assembly line), namayani’t sumidhi sa larangang publiko o sosyedad sibil ang mga teorya ng relativity (Einstein), seksuwalid & “unconscious” (Freud), kritika nina Marx & Engels, sampu ng pagdiin ni Nietzsche sa drama ng kamalayang artista na lumilikha ng realidad tiwali sa matandang realismo noong epoka ni Reyna Victoria—sining ang siyang lumilikha ng buhay, ang realisasyon ng sarili—naging pinakaimportanteng katangian ito ng modernidad bilang pluralisasyon ng pangitain-sa-mundo, ng Weltanschaung. 

Nailunsad na ito ng mga Propagandista—Rizal, del Pilar, Jaena—hanggang kina Mabini, Isabelo de los Reyes, Lope K. Santos, atbp.—ang pangangailangang mabuwag ang monolitikong orden ng kolonyalismong Espanyol. Isinakatawan ito sa Katipunan at rebolusyong armado laban sa Estados Unidos hanggang binitay si Hen. Macario Sakay (1906) at rebelyon ng Moro noong 1913. Ngunit napatda, naputol ang kilusang yumari ng katutubong modernidad. Humalili ang Amerikanisasyong ng kolonya. Nugnit hindi ito pagkakataong historikal na tunay na magbabago ng relasyon ng mga tao at personalidad. Ito’y tugon sa problema kung paano pangangasiwaan ang isang kolonyang puno ng taong-may-kulay, hindi puti o Europeo, sa gayon mababang uri, hindi sibilisado, kailangang pasunurin at sanayin.

Paano pamamahalaan at kokontrolin ang katutubong populasyon? Sa halip na todong paghahari ng liberal o utilitaryang gawi, saloobin at halaga, nalimitado ito sa edukadong minorya na dinisiplina upang magsilbi sa burokrasya at institusyon ng adminitratibong kolonyal. Sinanay ang ilang pensionado, guro, abogado’t teknikal na katulong upang patakbuhin ang aparato ng gobyerno, militar, pulisya, korte, bangko, komunikasyon, transportasyon, atbp. Pinatili ang sistemang piyudal, ang pribadong pag-aari ng asyenda’t plantasyon ng asukal, niyog, abaka, at iba pang produktong pang-eksport. Kaya nang ipatupad ang Jones Law noong 1916, nahirang sa lehislatura ang mga miyembro ng mga dinastiyang siyang ugat ng kasalukuyang naghaharing oligarkiya.  

Ugat at Usbong ng Pagbabanyuhay

Sa nabuong balangkas ng sosyedad buhat 1898 hanggang 1935 Komonwelt at pagsuko ng Bataan at Corregidor noong 1942, anong klase ng modernidad ang matatagpuan? Banggitin dito ang estilong modernista sa kultura: punksyonalismo sa arkitektura, musikang atonal, manerismo o abstraksyon sa sining biswal, stream of consciousness sa nobela, vers libre, sopistikadong paggamit ng teknikal na metodo, introbersiyon o matinding pagdududa’t pagtatanong sa sarili salungat sa romantisismong barokong masisilip sa El Filibusterismo o sa Spoliarium ni Juan Luna, na bunga ng ideya’t sentimyentong nasagap nila sa Europa noong panahon ng mga anarkista’t simbolistang makata. 

Sa pangkalahatan, hindi tayo dumaan sa landas ng mga bansang Europa. O maski sa bansang Hapon ng isinabalikat nito ang modernisasyon simula 1873. Bakit wala itong masilakbong suhetibismo sa atin? Bakit mahinang pitlag ng reflexibidad lamang ang masasalat sa mga unang pagsubok nina Jose Garcia Villa at Galo Ocampo? Bakit iba o nagsasarili ang kilatis ng “modernidad” na bumulas sa panahong nagsusumikap makalaya ang sambayanan sa pamatok ng kolonyalismong Amerikano at mga kakutsabang subalterno nito? Retorikal na tanong ito; simpleng sagot ay iba ang daloy ng kolonisadong lipunan batay sa paghahati’t tunggalian ng mga ibat ibang uri, sektor, pangkat at sa magkahalo’t di-singkronisadong moda ng produksyon at reproduksiyon. Hihimayin natin ang masalimuot na habi ng kulturang ito.

Interbensiyon ng mga Dinusta

Sandaling unawain natin ang mapanuring optik sa modernidad ng Latino Amerika sa personahe ni Enrique Dussel. Ang konsepto ng modernidad bilang pangangasiwa ng Planetang Sentralidad, binubuo ng nasa gitna (core) at yaong nasa gilid (peripheral), ay lumipat mula sa pagtuon sa Amerindia (sa ilalim ng Espanya) tungo sa Anglo-Alemanya/Europa. Dahil mas importante dito ang quantum (bilang) kaysa sa qualitas (kalidad), sapilitang pinaging payak ang masalimuot: "This simplification of complexity encompassed the totality of the "life world" (Lebenswelt), the relationship with nature (a new technological and ecological position, which is no longer teleological) subjectivity itself (a new self-understanding of subjectivity), and community (a new intersubjective and political relation; as a synthesis, a new economic attitude would establish itself (capital's practical-productive position)" (2013, 34). Argumento ni Dussel na ang Eurosentrikong modernidad ay sumapit lamang dahil sa kanilang pagyurak, pagsakop, pang-aalipin, at pandarambong sa katutubong Indyo sa kontinente ng Amerika (Timog & Hilaga).  Sa extrapolasyon, ang modernidad ng Pilipinas ay nailuwal sa paggapi sa rebolusyonaryong bansang supling ng 1896 rebolusyon, na bunga naman ng piling kaisipang makabago na hinango o minana sa kolonyalistang Espanya. At itong ahensiya/subhetong umalsa, sakmal ngayon ng krisis ng EuroAmerikanong uri ng modernidad, ay pumipiglas upang makabuo ng kanyang sariling identidad batay sa kanyang kakayahan at pangangailangan. Samakatwid, nakasalang pa sa pandayan ng kasaysayan ang anyo, hugis, kulay at buod ng kontemporaryong kabihasnan ng Filipinas.

Paghimay sa Buhol ng Panahon/Lugar

Sinumang mangagahas mag-ulat tungkol sa sitwasyon ng mabilis na pagbabago sa ating lipunan ay sadyang nakikipagsapalaran. Nakatindig siya sa gitna ng agos ng mga pangyayaring dumarating habang nagsisikap ilarawan ang kanyang nakaraan. Produkto ng panahon at lunan, ang kamalayan niya’y nakasalalay sa sapin-saping dagsa ng mga aksyon, diskurso, tunggalian ng iba’t ibang lakas. Kaya anumang bunga ng pagmamasid, pagkukuro’t paghuhusga, ay pang-sumandali’t bukas sa pag-iiba’t pagbabago. Sa gayon, ang kaisipan hinggil sa modernidad ng ating bansa ay nakasalang sa masalimuot na naratibo ng ating kasaysayan bilang bansang namumukod sa ibang bansa, taglay ang sariling katangiang katutubo’t sariling tadhana. 

Ngunit mayroon na ba tayong napagkasunduang naratibo ng ating pagsasarili? Mayroon ba tayong sariling pagtaya’t gahum tungkol sa uri ng ating kolektibong karanasan ngayon, noong nakalipas na mga siglo, at pangitain ng kinabukasan? Hiram lang ba sa Kanluran—sa Espanya at Estados Unidos—ang ating pananaw o sensibilidad tungkol sa ating pagkatao bilang bayang may natatanging nakalipas at natatanging paroroonan? Sa tingin ko, ang kulturang modernidad ng Pilipinas ay hindi isang paralisadong ideya kundi isang proseso, isang nililikhang gawain na nakaangkla sa nakalipas na karanasan na siyang ugat at binhi ng niyayaring istruktura ng bagong mapagpalayang kaayusan. Hindi utopya kundi relasyong panlipunang kung saan ang kaganapan ng isang indibidwal ay nakasalig sa kasaganaan at kalayaan ng lahat. 

Mahihinuha na ang tema ng modernidad ay sadyang istorikal at may oryentasyong pangmadla. Salungat sa indibidwalistikong saloobing umuugit sa ordeng liberal/neoliberal ng kapitalismong global, ang modernidad ng isang bayang nagsisikap makahulagpos sa minanang kolonisadong mentalidad at praktika ay katambal ng proyektong liberasyong pambansa, ng nasyonalista’t demokratikong pag-aalsa laban sa kolonyalismo’t imperyalismong negasyon ng ating sariling pagkatao’t dignidad.

Maisasaloob na dalawang pagsipat sa panahon ang naisusog ng mga bayani. Isa, sa “Kung Anong Dapat Mabatid” ni Andres Bonifacio. Ipinagunit niya na sa kagandahang-loob ng mga katutubo, pinakain at kinalinga ang mga kongkistador hanggang umabuso’t sinamsam ang ating kayamanan, at hindi na nakuhang magpasalamat at suklian ang pagkamapagbigay ng ating mga ninuno. Samakatwid, himagsikan ang makapagdudulot ng katuturan sa agwat ng panahong nakalipas at ngayon. Kilos at gawa ng mga anak-ng-bayan ang makahihilom sa kakulangan ng naratibo, ang mga puwang o siwang na hindi pagkilala ng pakikitungo natin sa dayuhan.  Sa panig ni Rizal, sa kanyang anotasyon sa historya ni Morga at dalawang akda tungkol sa indolensiya ng mga Pilipino at paghula sa lagay ng bayan makaraan ang isang siglo, hinagap ni Rizal na sa balikatang pagsisikap maibabalik ang mala-utopikong lipunan bago dumating ang Espanya (Agoncillo 1974). Samakatwid, sa kolektibong proyekto madudulutan ng kahulugan ang kawing ng mga pangyayari, at maibabalik ang pagtutugma ng sarili at mundo.

Kapwa nakatuon sina Bonifacio at Rizal sa karanasan ngayon, sa buhay ngayon, hindi noong nakaraan. Kapwa natuto sa mga turo ng pilosopiya ng Kaliwanagan (Enlightenment) at rebolusyong Pranses, ang importante ay kamalayang humaharap sa kasaysayan, ang pakikisangkot ng karakter sa nangyayari, at pagsusuri kung lihis o lapat ang dalumat sa kalikasan ng mga nagaganap. Ang retorika ng modernidad nila ay dinamikong pagtitimbang sa halaga ng kostumbre’t tradisyon ngunit hindi konserbatibong kumakapit doon bilang transendental na katotohanang dapat laging sundin. Bagkus lumilingon doon upang mahugot ang binhi ng kinabukasan, pinipiga’t ginagamit ang salik noon upang buuin ang makabagong yugto ng kasaysayan. Sumisira upang lumikha—ito ang buod ng rebolusyong ipinanukala. Nakalubog sa kamalayang indibidwal ngunit hindi narisistikong obsesyon ang dumurog sa lahat, tulad ng mga nihilistang ideolohiya na binabalewala ang materyales na nakapaligid upang isuob iyon sa absolutong mithi. Taglay ng modernistang kritika ng ating rebolusyon ang maingat na pagkilatis sa tradisyon upang mapili ang mabuti sa salubungan ng mga kontradiksiyon at maiangat ang katayuan ng lahat sa mas masagana at mabisang antas ng kabuhayan.

Matris ng Mga Kontradiksyon

      Pangunahing suliranin ang hinarap ng intelihensiyang katutubo ng masugpo ang armi ng Republika sa pagsuko ni Hen. Aguinaldo.  Paano maipagpapatuloy ang rebolusyonaryong adhikain nina Rizal, Bonifacio, Mabini at Sakay sa panahon ng okupasyon/pasipikasyon? Paano maimumulat at maimomobilisa ang sambayanan upang maigupo ang dayuhang sumakop at itindig ang isang nagsasariling gobyerno, demokratikong ekonomya at humanistikong kultura? Paano malilikha ang hegemonya ng isang diwa’t kamalayang mapagpalaya sa gitna ng piyudal at kumprador-indibidwalistikong pundasyon?

Tatlong lapit sa pagtugon sa palaisipang ang mailalahad dito, sa panimula: Una, ang alegorikong pagtatanghal sa sitwasyon ng bayan.  Pangalawa, ang realistiko’t didaktikong paraan, sampu ng paggamit sa kulturang pabigkas, o pistang pangkultura ng balagtasan.  Pangatlo, ang diskursong pedagohikal-agitprop ng United Front ng Philippine Writers League, at sosyalistang pagsubok ni Amado V. Hernandez. Kalakip dito ang paglulunsad na malalimang diskurso hinggil sa layon ng sining, ang etiko-politikong prinsipyo ng mapagpalayang estetika, na sinimulan ni Salvador P. Lopez sa kanyang librong Literature and Society at ipinagyaman ni Carlos Bulosan sa kanyang mga sanaysay at katha.  Sa lohikang mahihinuha sa ibat ibang paraan ng paglutas sa krisis ng bansa, mailalarawan natin ang buod ng singular na mapagpalayang modernidad na may tatak Filipino.
      Paano maimumulat at maimomobilisa ang bayan sa gitna na pagsuko ng Republikang pinamunuan ni Hen. Aguinaldo? Paano makayayari ng panibagong hegemonya o gahum, ibig sabihin, ang lideratong moral at intelektuwal ng masang produktibo (manggagawa’t magsasaka) sa isang nagkakaisang hanay?
Ipinatapon sa Guam ang mga ilustradong irreconcilables na sina Mabini,Artemio Ricarte, Pablo Ocampo, atbp,   Dahil sa mabagsik na Anti-Sedition Law ng Nob. 4, 1901, at Brigandage Act ng Nob. 12, 1902, na ipinataw laban sa mga gerilya ni Hen. Macario Sakay na pinaratangang “tulisan,” samakawid walang makatwirang rason upang tumutol sa soberanyang Amerikano (Agoncillo & Guerrero 1970, 284-95). Sa istriktong sensura, napilitang ipasok sa alegoryang paraan ang publikong protesta ng mga mandudulang sina Juan Abad, Aurelio Tolentino, Juan Matapang Cruz, atbp. Nabilanggo’t pinagmulta sina Abad at Tolentino, gayundin ang may-ari’t editor ng El Renacimiento. Pinakatanyag ang dulang Kahapon, Ngayon at Bukas. 
Malinaw ang impluwensiya ng sensibilidad pangkasaysayan ni Rizal sa sarsuwelang ito, na nilapatan ng mga eksenang may pagbabalat-kayo’t panaginip na hiram sa aparatong teknikal ng sainete, opera, bodabil, moro-moro, atbp. Tulad ng paglilihim ng tunay na identidad ni Simoun sa El Filibusterismo’t mahiwagang pagbababalik ng kaluluwa ng mga biktimang pinaslang ng kolonyalismo,  ginamit ni Tolentino di-tuwirang pagbabangon ng sambayanan, sa pamumuno ni Taga-ilog upang maligtas ang Ynang Bayan sa huli. Natulak si Malaynatin, ang kasalukuyan, na sumang-ayon sa hiling ng madlang kaluluwang bumangon sa kanyang panaginip, pati na si Haring Kamatayan, upang tigilan ang paglalaban ng madla upang mapalaya ang Ynang Bayan sa mananakop (Medina 1972, 211-16). 
Sa alegoriya, ang tunay na problemang inasinta ay ang tunggalian ng mga nasyonalistang puwersa laban sa mga ilustradong umayon sa kapangyarihan ng Estados Unidos: sina Pardo de Tavera, Pedro Paterno, Felipe Buencamino, Benito Legarda, at iba pang dating kasapi sa Republikang Malolos. Walang kolektibong pagpapasiya kung hati ang intelihensiya at ipinag-aaway-away ng Amerika ang mga katutubo.  Lubhang masahol na kasalanan ang pagtataksil, ang pagkatraydor, na tila masisinag sa ginawang linlang ni Dr. Dominador Gomez sa kampon ni Sakay, kahalintulad nina Paterno’t Buencamino.
Puna ni Doreen Fernandez na ang teknik, pamaraan at estilo ng mga dula ay hango sa kumbensyonal na gawi sa teatro noon. Ngunit ang modernista ay nakalakip sa "their concern--national in dimension, political in character, with persuasion and action as goals. Unlike indigenous drama, they were not limited to regional or community boundaries" (1996, 102) dahil ang pakay nila ay magpasiklab ng damdamin/diwang humihingi ng kalayaan at kasarinlan. Nadulutan ng perspektibong makabago ang sensibilidad ng Filipino hinggil sa espasyo/lunan at panahon ng kapamuhayan na lihis sa kinagisnan. Sa paghahalu-halong ito ng iba't ibang tipo o genre, masisilip ang isang tanda ng modernismo.
Sa sarsuwelang Bagong Kristo matagumpay na naisusog ni Tolentino ang proletaryong prinsipyo ng pag-aklas sa kapitalistang mananakop, bagamat alegoriyang hango sa pasyon, senakulo’t pagbasa ng nakalipas na siglo. Masalimuot ang pahiwatig ng alegoriya, kung isasaisip ang paunawa ni Walter Benjamin na siyang metodo ng paglalahad sa isang mundong tinggagalan ng kahulugan, inalisan ng espirit at wagas na kanbuhayang makatao (Jameson 1971, 70-71). Sapilitang sekularisasyon ang mahihinuha sa pag-iral ng alegoriyang estilo. Kung sa bagay, ang modang ito kaakibat ng didaktiko’y mapanturong moda’y laganap na sa gawaing ebanghelyo ng mga misyonaryong Dominikano, Francisco, Hesuwita, atbp. Laganap ang pangangaral sa sermon at edukasyong umiiral mula pa dumating sina Fr. Urdaneta kasama nina Legaspi’t Martin de Goiti. Gayunpaman, mamamalas sa Bagong Kristo na dumudulog na ang awtor sa pag-alsa’t paglago ng proletaryong uri. 

Ang “drama socialista” ni Tolentino noong 1907 ay maituturing na bugtong- anak ng Banaag at Sikat ni Lope K. Santos. Pakinggan ang tila talumpating politikal ni Jesus Gatbiaya sa wakas ng dula:

Mabuhay ang mga obrero sa sanglibutan!….
Ang araw na ito, unang araw ng Mayo, ay araw na pinipintakasi ng lahat ng obrero sa sanglibutan.  Sa mga sandaling ito hindi tayo lamang ang nagsasaya.  Akalain ninyong nagsasaya ngayon ang lahat ng mahirap sa balat ng lupa. At ano ang ipinagsasaya? Walang iba kundi ang pagkakaisang-loob, at pagkakaisang-layon ng lahat ng obrero sa sangsinukuban….Huwag tayong magpahuli, tayo’y umanib at sumabay sa kanila upang tayo’y lumusog at maging katawan din ng nasabing sangkataohang hari…..

Katotohanan, katotohanang sinasabi ko sa inyo, na ang alin mang bayan, kapag nagkadalawang balak, na ang isa’y pawang mga poon, at ang isa nama’y pawang mga alila, ang bayang iyan ay maasahang patay na, bangkay na mistula at wala nang ibang mahihintay kung di na lamang ang mapanglaw na araw ng libing.  (1975, 218).

Binalangkas ng Kathambuhay 

Sanhi sa pagsikil sa teatro at iba pang palabas, nawalan ng awdiyens at tagapanood ang dulang akmang-agitprop. Maselan ang mga pagpupulong sa sperong pampubliko hanggang tuluyang pagkadakip at pagbitay kina Hen. Sakay at kapanalig. Ang 1907 batas sa pagbabawal ng pagladlad ng bandilang Katipuna ay hindi binawi hanggang 1919. Sa buong unang dekada hanggang pagtatag ng Asamblea noong Oktubre 16, 1907, ang mga lathalain ang humalili sa tulang pabigkas o pasalita, at dulang itinatanghal bilang instrumento ng kamalayang mapagpalaya. Bagamat may paghihigpit, kumalat ang mga peryodiko’t magasin na kinagiliwan—pagsambulat ng pagnanasang maibulalas ang tinitimping damdamin, sentimyento’t pagnanasang makapagsalita’t makipagbalitaa’t makipagtalastasan sa kapwa tungkol sa matinding pagdurusa’t paghangad ng ginahawa’t ligayang ipinagkait ng mga Kastila sa mahigit tatlong dantaong pananakop at pagpapahirap sa buong sambayanan.
     Maipagninilay na ang pamumulaklak ng nobela mula sa halimbawa ng Noli & Fili ay utang sa ilang hakbang ng kaunlaran. Bukod sa pagrami ng palimbagan at libreria ng mg librong inangkat mula sa Europa at ibang bansa, nawala na ang sensura ng gobyernong teokratiko. Nahikayat din ang mga manunulat, sa tangkilik ng Republika, na ibuhos ang kanilang imahinasyon at dalumat sa pagsusuri’y paglalarawan ng mabilis na mga pangyayari sa kapaligiran na tiwalag sa romantikong daigdig ng corrido, pasyon, duplo. Lumabas ang mga unang nobela Tagalog nina Gabriel Beato Francisco, Lope K. Santos, at Valeriano Hernandez Pena sa lingguhang Ang Kapatid ng Bayan noong 1899-1901, at iba pang lathalain. Sabay ring bumulas ang mga nobela sa ibang wika (Pampango, Ilokano, Cebuano, Hiligaynon). Nakatulong na mahigit ang libreng edukasyong pampubliko na lumago mula 177,000 estudyante noong 1897 hanggang 530,000 noong 1913; nagdoble ang mga taong marunong bumasa sa pagitan ng taong 1903 hanggang 1918. 
Nagsilbing laboratoryong eksperimental sa pagbuo ng makabansang gahum ang nobelang Banaag at Sikat (1904) ni Lope K. Santos at Pinaglahuan (1907) ni Faustino Aguilar. Makulay ang buhay at gawa ni Santos: naging unang pangulo ng Union del Trabajo de Filipinas UTF) at patnugot ng peryodikong Muling Pagsilang na naglathala ng maraming akda tungkol sa unyonismo mula sa Europa. Bagamat napaghinalaang nasulsulan siya American Federation of Labor, si Santos ay sinuporta nina Isabelo de los Reyes at Dominador Gomez. Kasapi si Santos sa rebolusyonaryong tropa sa Laguna at Batangas—hindi ilustradong nagbabad sa Espanya—at nangasiwa (katulong ang beteranong Hermenegildo Cruz) ng isang “Paaralan ng Sosyalism” (itinuro roon ang mga aralin nina Marx, Zola, Reclus, Gorki, pati na si Karl Kautsky) noong unang dekada.
Itinampok ni Santos sa nobela ang mga ideyang inani sa mga nabanggit na awtor sa pakikipagtalastasan nina Delfin, peryodistang makasosyalista, at Felipe, isang anarkista. Kapwa nakasilid at nakasadlak ang dalawa sa masalimuot na usaping palasintahan, na siyang pain o panghalina sa madlang mambabasang nahirati sa mga romantikong pakikipagsapalarang hilig. Sila ang mga “bayani ng katubusan,” ng pagbabagong-buhay. Ngunit hindi ito tahasang nailarawan sapagkat ang tiyakang hinimay at sinuri ay ang patriyarkong ugali at pamantayan ng pamilya at ang kostumbre sa pagmamana ng ari-arian, sa panig ng mayamang Meni at amang Don Ramon. Tumpak ang puna ni Jim Richardson na kahawig ng isip ni De Los Reyes, ang sosyalismo ay walang iba kundi ang prinsipyong ligal ng pagkakapantay-pantay, sa pangitain ng liberalismong moralidad ng Kaliwanagan (2011, 22). Kaya sa palagay ni Delfin, ang Konstitusyon ng Estados Unidos ay umaapaw sa mga sosyalistang mithiin,” at ang gobyernong Amerikano ay tuwirang nakasalig sa mga prinsipyong sosyalista” na higit pa sa bansang nagpapanggap na sosyalista. Ito ang isang dahilan na halos walang matipunong kritika sa manaakop ang nobela.

Diyalektika ng Indibiduwal at Madla

Napatunayang mabisa ang Banaag at Sikat sa pagkalat ng mga kaisipang anti-kapitalista—3,000 kopya ang nabili sa ilang linggo lamang pagkalabas ng nobela. Marahil, mas makahulugan ang pagmuniin na ang sirkulo ng mga peryodista, manunulat, impresores, at unyonista’y kabilang sina Crisanto Evangelista, Domingo Ponce at Cirilo Bognot, mga tagapagtatag ng Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas noong sumunod na dalawang dekada (Saulo 1990, 6-9).  Bago pa man dumating sina Tan Malaka at James Allen (Sol Auerbach), malusog at mayaman na ang kaalamang mapagpalaya ng uring mangagawa’t artisano sa kalunsuran ng Pilipinas sa yugtong ito ng kasayayan. 
Ang makatuturang naitanghal ni Santos sa nobela yaong wala roon o naipahiwatig lamang: ang pagkakalapat ng teorya at praktika. Ano ang nararapat pag-ukulan ng matamang pagkukuro sa mabuting pagkakatugma ng kamalayan at kapaligiran, ng simulain at pagkilos? Sa kabanatang “Dilim at Kaliwanagan,” nasaling ang pagkakaiba ng rebolusyong sosyal sa rebolusyong pampulitika sa diskusyon ng magkaibigan. Sambit ni Felipe, “panahon na ngayon ng ating Rebolusyong sosyal, sapagkat sa akala ko’y puno na sa pagtitiis ang ating ma maralita.”  Sagot ni Delfin: ‘Hindi pa marahil , sapagkat hindi pa nagsisikilos nang kusa; hindi pa sumsigaw sa kanila ring bibig. Nangangailan pa ng mga taong hirang, ng mga bayaning tagaakay, tagasulsol at uliranin.” Samakatwid, wala pang integral na dalumat upang palayain ang sarili.
Maingat si Delfin sa pagtaya sa antas ng mobilisasyon ng masa; tinitimbang niya kung may saloobin o pagnanais na magbago ng buhay ang masa kaagapay ng kanilang dinaramdam. Kailangan pa ang edukasyon, disiplina, kabatiran sa transpormasyon ng pamumuhay. Sa panig ni Felipe, kailangang buwagin ang anumang poder o “kapangyarihang makagagambala sa pagkaganap ng tunay at katutubong kalayaan ng tao,” alalaong baga’y ibalik ang likas na pakikipamuhay ng walang estado o institusyong mamumuno o mangangasiwa. Alisin man ang pribagong pag-aari, nariyan pa rin ang kapangyarihan “ng iba sa iba/“ Sa anarkistang pag-iisip ni Felipe, “Ang sarili lamang ang dapat makapangyari sa sarili….” Sumasang-ayon si Delfin sa ultimong adhika ni Felipe, ngunit hindi pa napapanahon, sa tingin niya, at isinaad ang isang tanawing kasintunog ng ebolusyonaryong iskema ni Auguste Comte o ng mga alagad nina Herbert Spencer at mga ebolusyonaryong repormista : 

…hindi pa araw ito ng ganap na Rebolusyon. Ang buhay ng mga lahi, ang lakad ng mga bayan, ay nagdaraan sa tatlong baitang ng panahon: una, ang panahong lahat ay iniaasa at iniuukol ng tao sa Maylikha.” Pangalawa, ang epoka ng mga bayani, at pangatlo, ang lahat ay galing sa lahat at mauuwi sa lahat—epoka ng komunismo. Payo ni Delfin: “Iangkap mo sa ating lahi at bayan ang tatlong baitan na iyan, at makikita mong iisa pa ang ating nalalampasan. Kasalukuyan pa tayong nagtutungtong sa pangalawa ng iisang paa, habang di pa naaangat ang isa sa una (1960, 538-39).

Ang naturol na baitang-baitang na pagsulong ay halaw sa linyadong pagsukat ng kasaysayan ng kahayupan nagmula sa mga imbestigasyon ni Charles Darwin. Subalit hindi angkop ito sa kasaysayan ng lipunan na batay sa kontradiksyon ng mga uri buhay maihiwalay ang nagmamay-ari ng mga gamit sa prodyksyon at ang mga walang-pag-aaring mangagawa. Kailangan ang isang diyalektikag paraan ng pagsusuri upang maiitindihan ang problema ng modernidad sa atin. Sa puntong ito, ang ambag ng nobelang Pinaglahuan ni Aguilar ay natatangi. 
Maidadagdag na parikalang interpretasyon ang mahuhugot kung isasaisip na ang anarkista’t sindikalistang ideolohiyang pinag-uusapan ng dalawang magkaibigan ay kapwa lihis o salungat sa alitan ng magulang at anak, at lumulutang sa itaas o ibaba ng kalakarang palasintahan. Balighong pagbubuhol ng dalawang hibla ng naratibo kundi babasahin na sinadyang pag-aayos ito. Ibig ipahatid na malaki ang agwat ng mga kaisipan nina Delfin at Felipe sa kapaligiran, sa daloy ng kalakaran.

Kasukdulan, Tapos Kakalasan?

Kakaiba ang lapit ni Aguilar sa suliraning kontra-egemonya. Bagamat tinalakay pa rin sa banghay ng nobela ang hidwaan ng magulang at anak, tumambad ang tandisang tema ng makabagong nobela ni tinurol ni Lukacs: ang problema ng indibiduwal sa mundong walang tiyak na kahulugan o halagang pumapatnubay sa lahat, walang bathala o diyos o anumang batayan nagdudulot katwiran o katuturan sa lahat. Kung sa alegoriya ng mga sarsuwelang rebelde nagkawatak-watak ang mga nadaramang bagay at kahulugan nito, sa nobela naligaw ang tao sa isang mundong kakatwa’t banyaga, hindi mahulo kung saan nanggaling at saan patutungo.
Sinikap ng nobelistang makatugon sa krisis ng lipunang naitulak sa makabagong panahon. Ang problema ng bayaning nangungulila’t giniyagis ng pagkabahala’t pag-aalanganin, ay masisilip sa katayuan ng protagonistang mayamang si Rojalde.  Litaw na kinasangkapan din ang pag-iibigan nina Danding, ang mayamang kasintahan, at Luis Gat-buhay, ang pulubing organisador ng unyon sa isang kalakal na pag-aari ng isang Amerikano, at inilarawang maigi ang maalab na sintahan ng dalawa, binigyan ni Aguilar ng malaking puwang ang realistiko’t sikolohikong analisis sa malikot at mapusok na damdamin ng kumprador-usurerong Rojalde na, bagamat matagumpay sa pagsuyo sa mga magulang ni Danding, ay bigo naman sa pagtamo ng kaganapan: ang anak ni Danding ay anak nila ni Luis, ang nabilanggo’t namatay na katipan. 
Masinop ang pagtatagni-tagni ng mga pangyayari, dramatiko’t kapana-panabik ang pagsunud-sunod ng mga tagpo sa dalawang banghay ng pag-iibigan nina Danding at Luis, kaalinsabay ng maniobra ng tusong Rojalde upang masagkaan ni Rojalde ang kanilang pag-iisang-dibdib. Kasakiman at patriyarkong kalupitan ang sumugpo sa marangal at busilak na pagmamahalan ng dalawang biktima ng sistemang sumusuob sa salapi’t makahayup na pagmamalabis. Mala-Kristo ang pagkasawi ni Luis, himatong na sakripisyo lamang ang mga bayani ng kaligtasan ng uring inaalipin ng dayuhang kapitalista. Sa malas, wala pang kolektibong kapasiyahan at lakas ang mga bisig na yumayari ng produktong nagpapayaman sa kapitalista-kolonisador, bagamat inaangkin pa rin nila ang katapangan, katatagan, at makataong paninindigan na siyang tutubos sa dinuhaging lipunan sa kinabukasan.
Senyal na dalisay na pagnanais ng kalayaan ang anak ni Danding at Luis, sagisag ng minimithing pagbabago. Nang manalo ang Partido Nacionalista (PN) nina Quezon at Osmena, sa bisa ng islogang “kagyat, ganap at buong kasarinlan,” patunay na matindi’t malaganap pa rin, mula 1907 hanggang 1922, ang nasyonalistikong simbuyo ng masa. Isang paraan ito upang malinlang ang sambayanan. Ang Asambleyang Pilipino na pinamunuan ng mga NP politiko, ang bagong prinsipalya na nagsilbing instrumento sa madaling pangongolekta ng buwis upang mapondohan ang administrasyon kolonyal. Patuloy na namayani ang uring panginoong maylupa. malaking burgesiyang komprador, at burokrata-kapitalistang pangkat nina Quezon, Osmena at Roxas hanggang sumabog ang Pangalawang Digmaang Pandaigdig. 
     Namulaklak ang nobela sa kabila ng mga batas kontra-Sedisyon at Bandolerismo, at kasong nagparusa sa pabliser at editor ng El Renacimiento noong 1908. Naging komersiyalisado ang sarsuwela’t humina na rin ang pamimili ng nobela. Ang Filipinisasyong inilunsad ni Taft ay humantong sa pagdami ng mga Filipino sa burokrasya (laluna sa administrasyon ni Francis Burton Harrison, 1913-21).Nang ipasa ang Jones Law ng 1916, nagkaroon ng limitadong awtonomiya—palsipikado, sa tingin ng iba, sapagkat sa bisa ng “malayang kalakalang” ipinataw ng Payne-Aldrich Act noong 1909, sinagip ang bulok na sistemang agrikulturang piyudal na pumigil sa anumang industriyalisasyon, ugat ng katayuang dependienteng lipunan hanggang ngayon.
Sintomas marahil ng mga ilusyon hinggil sa pagkahuwaran ng U.S. bilang demokrasya ang “Ang Beterano” ni Lazaro Francisco. Paniwala ang ilang awtor sa ideyang kung makikilala lamang ang katapangan at kadakilaan ng Pilipinong marunong magsakripisyo para sa uliraning halimbawa ng Estados Unidos, bibigyan ng kasarinlan ang Pilipinas. Tandisang indibiduwalismo ito: ang usaping panlipunan ay malulutas sa panloob na moralidad ng bawat indibiduwal, laluna kung matalino’t taglay ang dugong maharlika sa panig ng Amerikanang si Bertha Carvel, at pagkamasunurin sa Punong Puti ni Arcadio Pulintan. Tugon ng binibini: “Ibibigay ko ang buo kung buhay sa ikapagiging dapat ko sa mga dakila ninyong pagtuturing” (1998, 156).
Bago naitatag ang Komonwelt noong 1935, madugong pakikibaka ang yumanig sa buong bansa. Nagpakita ang mga manggagawa sa Maynila at mga magsasaka sa Gitnang Luzon, Timog Luzon, Bisaya at Mindanaw ng espontanyong karahasan, kaalinsabay ng rebelyon ng mga Colorum sa Mindanao at sa Pangasinan noong 1923-24, 1931; sa mga pabrika ng asukal sa Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, at Iloilo. Noong Mayo 2-3, pumutok ang insureksyon ng mga Sakdalista sa Laguna, Rizal, Kabite, Tayabas at Bulacan, na kasangkot ang maraming pesante, magsasaka’t trabahador. Dito lumantad ang isang tipo ng pagkakawing ng sining at pulitika sa katauhan ni Benigno Ramos, tagapundar ng Partido Sakdalista.

Pananagutan ng Sining

Kung babalik-tanawin, ang arte poetikang sinusunod ng henerasyon nina Lope K. Santos, Inigo Ed. Regalado at mga kapanahon. ay hango sa tradisyong inilatag ng mga Griyego’t Romonang pantas. Ayon kay Julian Cruz Balmaseda, “Ang tula ay isang kaisipang naglalarawan ng kagandahan, ng kariktan, ng kadakilaan,” na kailangang magtipon-tipon sa isang kaisipan (2013, 58). Abstraksyong walang laman ito kung hindi isasakonteksto sa isang tiyak na panahon/lugar. Sa pagtalakay sa paksa ng anong uri ng modernidad mayroon tayo, naimungkahi ko na ito’y isang dulo ng kontradiksiyon, kasanib sa naratibo ng imperyalismo/monopolyo kapitalismo. Walang modernidad o kamalayan-sa-sarili ang kolonisadong lipunan kundi yaong hiram o dulot ng Kanlurang sibilisasyon. Samaktuwid, ang mapagpalayang kilusang lilikha sa modernidad ng mga taong sinakop ay magtataglay ng dalawang katangiang bubuo sa pangkasalukuyang kultura: realistiko’t popular.
Madaling matarok ang dimensiyong pagka-popular: naiintindihan ng masa, ginagamit ang anyo ng kanilang komunikasyon, ipinahahayag ang buod ng kanilang paninindigan.  Sa dimensiyong reaistiko, madaling mawatasan ang aspeto ng pagka-realistiko: kongkreto sa kalawakan ng detalyeng nailarawan, ibinubunyag ang sanhi ng mga pangyayari, ipinapakita ang dominanteng pagtingin na angkin ng mga naghahari. Nasipat natin itong naibadya ng mga nobelang natukoy sa una. Ang mga kaibuturang katangian ng radikal na sining ay hindi pa ganap na naisisiwalat sa nobela nina Santos o Aguilar, at utopikong pahiwatig pa lamang sa mga alegorikong dulang nabanggit. 
Bukod sa paglagom sa aktuwalidad,kailangan kapain din ang potensiyalidad sa hinaharap. Ang mga elementong kailangan pang linangin ay: pagsusuri sa punto-de-bista ng uring taglay ang pinakamasaklaw na kalutasan sa mga masidhing suliraning humahamon sa bayan, ipagdiinan ang dinamikong pagsulong ng lipunan, pagpupunyaging igiit ang pinakaprogresibong paninindigan upang makamit nito ang pamunuan, iangkop ang tradisyon sa kasalukuyan na maiintindihan ng lahat, paglipat ng mga naisakatuparang kagalingan sa mga pangkat na nakikibakang makagabay sa buong bansa—sa madaling salita, ilipat ang liderato ng lipunan sa uring proletaryo/manggagawang siyang susi sa kaunlaran at tunay na kasarinlan (Brecht 1975). Paano naisagawa ito nina Jose Corazon de Jesus, tawag nating “Batute” rito (1896-1932), at Benigno Ramos (1892-1945)?

Puso’t Kaluluwang Nagsandata

          Pinakatanyag sa timpalak-balagtasan (circa 1924) noon, si Batute ay abogado’t peryodista na kadalasa’y lumahok sa mainit na usaping pampulitika sa tuwiran o paambil. Nakalubog din siya sa kapitalistang milyu ng kalunsuran.
Sa panahon ng mass produksyon ng anumang maipagbibiling bagay, gumaya rin si Batute sa pagsasalisi ng talata, parirala, hulagway, na may magkamukhang tabas. Naging pabrika ng palasak na berso ang mga upisina ng Taliba (dalawang makina sa pagtabas ng taludturan ang umaandar doon: "Buhay Maynila" at "Mga Lagot na Bagting ng Kudyapi), Liwayway, Ang Mithi, Bagong Lipang Kalabaw, at Sampagita. Naging negosyante ang makata, salamat sa modernong teknolohiya ng imprenta at distribusyon ng peryodiko't lingguhan, polyeto't libro. Naging pansumandaling libangan ang pagbabasa ng tula, o pakikinig sa balagtasan na nagdulot-aliw sa madlang dumadalo sa mga pista. 
          Mapanganib ang lagay ng manunulat na medyo nakaangat sa mga karaniwang obrero sa imprenta ngunit madaling maalis sa trabaho. Minsan, sinuportahan si Batute ng pabliser sa isang sakdal ng Amerikanong guro; sa pangalawang kaso, tinanggal na siya nang hindi siya tumigil sa pagsulsol sa mga estudyante sa Manila North High School sa pagtutol sa panlalait ng mga Amerikano (San Juan 2015, 178). Bago pa rito, naisakdal at pinagmulta si Batute dahil sa pagtuligsa niya kay Mrs. J.F. Oliver, isang guro noong Marso 2, 1921. Sa tulang “Black and White,” at maraming tulang itinipon ni Monico Atienza (1995), masasalat ang popular at realistikong aspeto na nailahat ko. Tunghayan ang ilang taludtod mula sa “Dugo” at ‘Pakikidigma,” lathala noong 1929, halimbawa: “Ikaw’y makidigma sa laot ng buhay / At walang bayaning nasindak sa laban; / Kung saan ka lalong mayroong kahinaan, doon mo dukutin ang iyong tagumpay” (Lumbera & Lumbera 1982, 215-217). Mas mapusok at mapangahas ang himig ng boses sa “Malikmata,” kung saan ang tema ng dinamiko’t kongkretong kapaligiran ang paksa: “Hali-halili lang ang anyo ng bagay / At hali-halili ang tingkad ng kulay; / Kay rami ng ating inapi’t utusang / Sa paghihiganti—bukas, sila naman” (hinggil sa paksang-diwa ng mga sinipi, konsultahin si Atienza 2006).
Lubos na bantog si Batute sa kanyang tulang “Ang Bayan Ko” (1928), nilapatan ng musika ni Constancio de Guzman, at idinagdag sa tanyag na sarsuwelang “Walang Sugat” (1902)  ni Severino Reyes.  Kalayaan ay birtud ng kalikasan: “Ibon mang may layang lumipad /Kulungin mo at umiiyak /Bayan pa kayang sakdal dilag /Ang di magnasang makaalpas..” (kalakip sa Cruz & Reyes 1984, 142). Hindi lamang makata ng palasintahang paksain si Batute, kundi manlilikhang masaklaw ang dalumat pangkasaysayan, litaw sa epikong tulang Sa Dakong Silangan (1928). Dalawang taon bago pumanaw si Batute noong 1932, naisulat ni Amado V. Hernandez ang kanyang “Kung Tuyo na ang Luha Mo, Aking Bayan” (Cruz & Reyes 146-47), na siyang naging pampasiglang sigaw ng mga demonstrador ng “First Quarter Storm” sa bisperas ng batas-militar ng diktadurang Marcos. Sinamantalang sumakay sina Batute at Hernandez sa namamayaning hilig sa sining-pabigkas hanggang hindi pa ito pinapalis ng pagkagumon sa bodabil, radyo at pelikula sa panahong bago pasinayaan ang Komonwelt.

Paglilitis ng Tadhana

Isang pagwawasto sa ginagawiang haka-haka ang dapat isingit dito. Hindi si Batute o Hernandez ang kumatawan ng kontra-gahum na pakikibaka noong dekada ika-1930-40, kundi si Benigno Ramos. Lumahok si Ramos sa balagtasan noong 1926 sa kanyang “Balagtasan ng Kalayaan” (Zafra 2006, 274). Bago pa naging empleyado sa Senado bilang tagaslin noong 1917, naisulat na niya ang Pancho Villa: Maikling Kasaysayan ng Bantog at Kilabot na Taong Ito sa Mehiko.  Taglay na ni Ramos ang istoriko-materyalistang pananaw na masisinag sa mga akda niya sa peryodikong Ang Bayang Filipino noong 1913  hanggang 1917. Pagkatapos magbitiw sa burokrasya noong 1930 sa kanyang pagtutol kay Presidente Quezon sa usapin ng Amerikanong pamamahala at karapatan ng mga Filipinong estudyante sa Manila High School, ibinuhos ni Ramos ang kalooban sa lingguhang pahayagang Sakdal na matapang na taliba ng sambayanan laban sa oligarkiya at kolonyalismong Amerikano. 
Noong Oktubre 1933, itinatag niya ang Lapiang Sakdalista na sumalungat sa panukala ng naghaharing Partido Nacionalista hinggil sa usapin ng pambansang kasarinlan at katarungang panlipunan. Nang sila’y sikilin at pigilin, naglunsad ng armadong aklasan ang masa noong Mayo 2-3, 1935 sa labing-apat na bayan ng Gitnang Luzon.  Bagamat naging maka-Hapon o kolaboraytor si Ramos pagkaraang mabilanggo noong Disyembre 1939, hindi mapapasubalian ang kanyang pananalig sa nasyonalistikong demokrasya para sa nakararaming anak-pawis (Tolentino 1998).
Bukod sa matalinong pagkukuro sa pagbabago ng anyo ng sining sa mga unang tula niya, si Ramos ay likas na mapanghimagsik at mapagsubok sa pagtatambal ng kamalayan at kapaligiran. Pinagpugayan siyang “poeta revolucionario” dahil sa eksperimentasyon at pagkamakabago. Matayog at mabisang nakapupukaw ang mga tulang “Gumising Ka, Aking Bayan,” “Panulat,” “Asyenda,” “Katas-Diwa,” at iba pa, makikilates sa “Mga Agam-Agam” (inilathala sa El Renacimiento, 28 Abril 1911) ang katangiang realistiko’t popular na sangkap sa paghikayat sa masang magkuro, sumuri, at maghinuha ng kinakailangang kilos sa pagsira ng di-rasyonal na institusyon at pagtutugma ng katwiran at ayos ng relasyong panlipunan. Ang aral o turo na naibigkis dito ay kasingkaw ng imahen o kakintalang maramdamin:

Ang taong kumita sa tulo ng pawis,
sa mga paggawa at banat ng bisig
ay taong marapat sa mga pag-ibig
at sa pagkilala ng bawa’t may isip.

Ang mga mahirap ang pinanggalingan
ng salaping hari ng nangabubuhay,
sa kanilang palad ito namuhatan
at sa tuyong bulsa’y siyang nagpayaman.

Ang bawat may milay ay nagmula muna
sa buhay-hikahos ngayong nakikita.
Humigit-kumulang ay nangagtamasa
ng sa mahihirap na taglay na dusa.

Ang bawa’t hangingging ng mga pagbulyaw
sa mga mahirap ay isa rin namang
hukay na sa ganid na paglilibinga’t
sasaksi sa kanyang waka na mapanglaw.

Ang palad ay walang palagiang banig
ni isang uupang sukat na makamit.
Pagkagiring pula!  Siya’t magtitindig
ng api’t mamamatay sa mga malupit.

Hindi nasisilip agad ang ligaya
kung hindi magwagi sa pakikibaka.
Ang mga mahirap na nananandata
kung api ma’y busog sa mga pag-asa.

Tubig na malinis ang nakakatulad
ng pusong bayani ng isang mahirap,
kahi’t tampisawin ng paang may burak
ay hindi malabo: di mapapaglusak.

Ang pigil ng sama’y nasa dakong huli,
at kung sa gayon ma’y laging nagwawagi
asahan at bukas nama’y mga api
ang magtatagumpay at hindi ang imbi. (Ramos 1998, 13-14)

Dalawampung taon pa ang magdaraan bago pumutok ang masigabong martsa ng bayan sa Kaarawan ng Paggawa na idinakila ni Ramos sa kanyang tula. Binuo at pinamunuan ng Partido Komunista ang aksyon, na winasak ng papet na konstabularya ni Quezon sa utos ng imperyalistang Amerikano. Maraming inaresto’t ibinalanggo. Ulat ni Amado Guerrero: “Ang Partido ay ipinagbawal ng papet na Korte Suprema at ang mga lider ay sinintensiyahang mabilanggo [noong 1932]. Gayunman,  sa kabila ng pagbabawal sa Partido, sumiklab ang mga espontanyong pagbabangon ng mga magsasaka tulad ng naganap sa Tayug, Pangasinan, noong 1931 at ng ibinunsod ng mga Sakdal” (1970, 52-53)  noong 1935, na naibadya na sa unahan.

Aklasan: Pagsalungat sa Kapalaran

Inihudyat ng mga pagbabalikwas ng nakararaming mamamayan na nakahulagpos na sa antas ng rebolusyong Pranses ang modernong kabihasnan at humhangos na sa yugto Komunidad sa Paris ng 1871. Magkatalik na ang uring magbubukid, manggagawa’t intelektuwal sa kalunsuran sa nagkakaisang pagsalakay sa  kapangyarihang piyudal, kumprador at kolonyalistang dayuhan. Unti-unting nayayari ang lideratong moral-intelektuwal ng makabayang pangkat. Masasalamin ito sa imahen ng aklasan. Mabalasik na naihatid ito sa tulang “Aklasan” ni Hernandez, na kasama sa kanyang librong Kayumanggi (1940). Nakalutang sa isang argumento na kung hindi napapalitan ang mali o masamang pamamalakad, iigpaw ang udyok ng himagsikan. Narito ang huling talugtod ng pagbabanta’t pagbabala:

Ngunit habang may pasunod
na ang tao’y parang hayop
samantalang may pasahod
na anaki’y isang limos….
at may batas na baluktot
na sa ila’y tagakupkop,
ang aklasan ay sisipot
at magsasabog ng poot,
ang aklasa’y walang lagot,
unos, apoy, kidlat, kulog,
mag-uusig, manghahamok
na parang talim ng gulok,
hihingi ng pagtutuos
hanggang lubusang matampok,
kilalani’t mabantayog
ang katwirang inaapop,
hanggang ganap na matubos
ang Paggawang bagong Hesus
na ipinako sa kurus. (Medina 1972, 345)

Pansinin na ang harayang Hesukristo ang ikinabit sa “Paggawa” ay nagpapagunita sa atin ng imahen sa huling tagpo sa nobelang Pinaglahuan, wari bagang ang sakripisyo ng sambayanan ay nagpapangako ng di-mahahadlangang katubusan sa wakas.  Maaaring hinagapin na sagisag ito ng nakaugat na tradisyong milenaryo ng mga Colorum, sektaryang pangkat tulad ng Cofradia ni Hermano Pule, atbp. Sa kabilang dako, isinaalang-alang ng makata’t nobelista ang gawi, ugali, hilig ng madla na inilubog sa Kristiyanong ritwal ng cenaculo at pagbasa sa Pasyon.

Montage: Sintomas ng Kinabukasan

Ang aklasan ay nailarawan naman sa mas realistikong paraan sa kuwento ni Brigido Batungbakal, “Aklasan.” Maantig at maudyok ang ritmo ng mga pangungusap sa naratibo, katugma ng daloy ng pagbabalita sa radyo, isang teknolohiyang lumaganap na noong Komonwelt. Mas makapangyarihan ang impluwensiya ng pelikulang may tinig noong dekada 1930 (Lumbera  1998, 397-98), kung saan ang metodo ng montage ang kontra-egemonyang lakas na dumurog sa katahimikan, sa kunwaring-rasyonalidad ng kapaligiran. Maihahalimbawa na ang maikli’t putol-putol 
na taludtod sa unang bahagi ng “Aklasan” ni Hernandez. Sindak sa sigalot ang hiwatig ng puta-putaking detalye sa “snapshots.” Sa kuwento, hindi lang maramdaming paglalarawan ang kinasangkapan ng nag-uulat na reporter, kundi ang pagtatagning parataktika ng eksena ang mabisang representasyon ng gulo, paglalaban ng hinagap at kalakaran—sa malao’t madali, ang sindak ng krisis sa montage ang nakasiwalat ng katotohanang binaluktot ng inilimbag na ulat ng pahayagang Katarungan.  Subaybayan ang indayog ng mga pariralang nakapaloob sa talatang ito: 

          Muling nagsalita si Andres Santos sa kanyang mga kasamahan. Sinabi niyang ingatan ang pagsakit sa mga taong hindi kasang-ayon ng kanilang simulain. Umugong ang hiyawan.  Tumututol ang marami sa kanyang ibig mangyari.  Hindi maaari ang ganyan. Kailangang patayin ang sinomang mag-eskirol. Walang itatangi. Isang babae ang tumindig. Nagsalita. Kailangang ipagtanggol ang karapatan ng mga nagsisi-aklas. Kailangang ipagtagumpay ang simulain natin sa kabuhayan.  Umugong ang sigawan ng mga sumang-ayon. Pamaya-maya,  isang trak ang huminto. Saka naghiyawan ng Mabuhay.  Makikiramay sa atin ang mga taga-La Insular.  Hindi tayo pababayaan ng mga taga-La Yebana. Tigas ng loob laman ang kailangan natin upang tayo’y magtagumpay (1982, 227-28).

Kung aalagatain ang mabagal at mabigat na paglalatag ng mga pangyayari upang makabuo ng kapanabikan sa sinaunang kuwento nina Cirio Panganiban, “Bunga ng Kasalanan,” o ni Deogracias Rosario sa “Walang Panginoon,” malaki ang kaibahan ng paraan ng pagsasalaysay  (Abadilla, Sebastian & Mariano 1954, 84-112). Pwedeng banggitin din ang sopistikadong pagsasalaysay ni Narciso Reyes sa “Lupang Tinubuan,” na pinagsusudlong ng pagtuklas ng nasyonalistikong saloobin sa pagkilala sa gunitang nagbubuklod sa salinlahi sa isang angkan sa isang tiyak na lugar. Dugo at lupa ang batayan ng pag-ibig sa bansa, hindi ang pakikibaka para sa kasarinlan at kalayaan ng mamamayan. Namumukod ang “Aklasan.” 
Walang pasubaling kinagiliwan ang mga kuwentong nabanggit, naging popular; ngunit nakatuon ang pagmamasid ng naratibo sa inbididuwalistikong sikolohiya ng mga tauhan. Nalulutas ang tensiyon at suliranin sa moralistiko’t sikolohiyang pagkakalas ng mga komplikasyon. Sa akda ni Batungbakal, ang pag-inog ng mga pangyayari ay nagmumula sa igting ng relasyong sosyal, popular at realistiko sapagkat idinidiin ang dinamikong sagupaan at salpukan ng makabuluhang lakas sa lipunan at ibinubunyag ang pagkakaugnay ng mga puwersang siyang nagpapagalaw sa bawat sulong ng mga pangyayari sa kasaysayan. Ito’y ambag sa kabatiran ng masa at sagot sa kung paano mababago ang buhay sa kolektibong pagtutulungan.
Naitulak na naman tayo sa asignaturang ipinukol sa atin ng pilosopong Enrique Dussel nang isinakdal niya ang kapalaluan ng tinaguriang modernidad ng kapitalistang "world-system." Ipinagtanggol niya ang etika ng liberasyon sa panahon ng krisis ng makapangyarihang kabihasnan ng Kanluran, ng kapitalismong global. Ipinataw at ipinilit sa atin ito. Ang mapanghamong tanong: tatanggapin ba natin ito? babaguhin ba, o tuwirang itatapon kung pwede? Sa kabilang banda, posible bang magsimula sa wala? Posible bang lumikha ng talagang bago, burahin ang nakasulat sa borador at mag-umpisa sa blangkong papel?

Paglalakbay sa Sangandaan ng mga Barikada

Paano nakaabot sa antas na ito ang mga manlilikha? Paano naisiyasat at naikintal sa mabalasik na artikulasyon ang pag-uugnay ng nag-iisang kamalayan/isip at ang masalimuot na pakikisalamuha sa obhetibong realidad?
            Nagbago ang klima ng opinyon sa larangan ng komunikasyon at diskusyon pampubliko noong dekada ika-1930 hanggang 1942. Sumidhi ang digmaan ng mga uring panlipunan. Bukod sa pagkayanig sa status quo ng insureksiyon ng Sakdalista, at mabulas na demonstrasyon ng mga alagad ng Partido Komunista ni Crisanto Evangelista at Partido Socialista ni Pedro Abad Santos, na humantong sa pagkakasanib ng dalawang kilusang ito, naitatag ang Philippine Writers Leaguenoong 1939.  Pinamunuan nina Federico Mangahas, Teodoro Agoncillo, Salvador Lopez, Manuel Arguilla, Arturo Rotor, at iba pang intelektuwal, nagkaroon ng kolektibong kamalayan at plataporma ang nakakaraming manunulat. 
Ibinuod ang pagtugon ng mga manlilikha sa maselang problema ng bansa sa analitikong sanaysay ni Lopez sa librong Panitikan at Lipunan (1940). Maituturing na si Lopez ang pangunahing kritiko-intelektuwal ng modernidad bilang pag-uugnay ng pandaigdigang bisyon ng sosyalismo at kulturang katutubo. Subalit sa usapin ng wika, hindi pa rin nakahulagpos ang League sa pagdakila sa wikang Ingles: walang nobela sa Tagalog ang nagkamit ng primera premyo sa timpalak nila noong 1940. Depende pa rin sila sa "benevolent rule" ng Estados Unidos (Mojares 1983, 306-08).
Naigiit ko na sa bungad ang dalawang katangiang pagkapopular at pagkarealistiko na kailangan upang makabuo ng hegemonya ng uring manggagawa. Nakasalalay ito sa pamumunong moral/espiritwal ng mga organikong intelektuwal ng masa. Utang sa pananalig ng uring manggagawa’t magbubukid, sa kanilang pagtutol at pagkilos laban sa pang-aapi ng imperyalismo’t kakutsaba nito, namulaklak ang damdaming mapagpalaya sa kaisipang nailahad ni Lopez sa kanyang akda. Nahati ang pangkat ng mga manunulat sa dalawang bahagi: una, ang mga aesthete na naniniwala sa primaryang aksyoma ng sining-para-sa-kapakanan ng sining” at, pangalawa, ang naniniwala na ang pinaimportanteng layon nila ang “pagpapaunlad ng kagayan ng tao at sa pagtatanggol sa kanyang karapatan.” Nag-panukala na “makikilala lamang ng tao ang kanyang sarili sa pamamagitan ng pagkilala sa iba,” masinop na nilagom ni Lopez ang sitwasyon ng alagad-ng-sining sa katanungang ito: “Tutugtog ba sila ng biyolin habang nagliliyab ang Roma? …O nang hindi nakakalimutan na ang sining ay dapat manawagan sa tao sa pamamagitan ng ganda’t kapangyarihan, gagampanan ba nila ang kanilang tungkulin sa daigdig ng mga tao, hihingahin ba ang hanging hinihinga natin, pag-iisipan ba ang mga problemang lumilito sa atin, ipapahiram ba ang pananaw at pagkahenyong ipinagkaloob sa kanila upang ganap na malutas ang mga ito?” (1984, 255).
Nasambit ang tugtog ng biyolin habang naglalagablab ang lunsod. Walang puwang rito upang dumulog nang maigi sa masagana't masinop na pag-aaral ni Teresita Gimenez Maceda, Mga Tinig  mula Sa Ibaba (1996). Sa Kabanata 3 ng kanyang libro, sinikap ni Maceda na talakayin ang pagsasanib ng tradisyong katutubo at radikalismo ng Partido Sosialista ni Pedro Abad Santos.  Ang tendensiyang popular ng magbubukid, ang damdamin at hinagap na nilalaman ng mga awit, ay binihisan ng nasyonalistikong porma sa halimbawa ng Sakdalista ni Benigno Ramos (Maceda 1996, 61). Ang nasyonalistikong anyo ay nasidlan ng simulaing unibersal ng sosyalistang plataporma, nakasentro sa hangarin ng proletaryong uri na matamo ang katubusan ng buong sangkatauhan sa pagpapalaya niya mula sa tirano ng kapital. Sumalupa ang utopikong panaginip, nagkatawang-lupa ang pangarap at pag-asam sa maluwalhating kinabukasan. Patunay na ang metodong diyalektikal ay siyang tahasang bumalangkas at umugit sa mga likhang-sining na taglay ang makabago't siyentipikong kamalayan sa pagkakaposisyon ng bayan sa ekonomiyang pampulitika ng kapitalismong global, sa daluyan ng monopolyo-kapitalismo o imperyalismo.

Isang Nagbunga ng Dalawang May Pangatlo

          Sa matalas na komprontasyon ng dalawang ideolohiyang natukoy, ang isa nakaugat sa burgesya/kapitalismong orden, at ang kasalungat na nakaugat sa uring pinagsasamantalahan, sumipot ang malinaw na kontradiksiyong hinaharap ng sambayanan. Ito ang kontradiksiyon ng mga gumagawa o yumayari ng kayamanang panlipunan, at ang mga makapanyarihang sumasamsam sa kayamanang iyon at nagpapalaganap ng kahirapan at kasamaan. Hustisya sosyal ang programa ni pangulong Quezon upang malutas ang kontradiksiyon. 
Samantala, sa panig ng mga organikong intelektuwal ng sambayanan, ang tugon sa krisis ng demokrasyang liberal na nakasalig sa kapitalismo ay rebolusyong sosyal at pulitikal—ang pag-alis ng pribadong pag-aari ng gamit sa produksiyon, pati lupaing sinasaka, kasabay ng pagtaboy sa mananakop, sa kolonyalismong Estados Unidos.  Ang modernidad ng Kanlurang sibilisasyon ay barbarismo, samantalang ang modernidad na sumisibol at lumalago sa Pilipinas ay nagmumula sa kawalan o kabiguang nasa pusod ng Kanlurang sibilisasyon: ang kalayaan at kasarinlan ng inaalipin, inaapi, pinagsasamantalahan.
Sa mga akda ni Carlos Bulosan, ang manunulat na tumungo sa U.S. noong 1930 upang makipagsapalaran kasama ang ilang libong Filipinong kinontrata ng mga pabrika’t plantasyon doon, natugunan ang hinihinging pakikipagbalitak ni Lopez at mga kapanalig sa Philippine Writers League. Naging kaibigan niya si Amado Hernandez at tumulong sa pagpapalathala ng Born of the People, talambuhay ni Luis Taruc. Nakilala rin niya sina Mangahas, Lopez, Rotor, at iba pang kababayang nakilahok sa kilusang makakaliwa (San Juan 1995). Noong 1946 lumabas ang kanyang tala ng mga karanasan niya at madlang kalahi: America Is in the Heart. Tumulong nang matagal sa pag-organisa ng mga unyon at pagtaliba ng mga simulain ng kilusang progresibo’t sosyalista, naitanghal ni Bulosan ang pagsasanib ng digmaan laban sa kapitalismo sa U.S. at ang anti-imperyalistang pakikibaka ng masang Filipino sa kanyang nobelang The Cry and the Dedication.  
Ang modernidad ng bansang bumabalikwas, nagsisikap tumakas sa pagkaduhagi, nagtataguyod ng mapagpalayang diwa’t damdamin, ay makikita sa mga akda ni Bulosan. Isang testimonyo nito ang tulang “If You Want to Know What We Are,” na kalakip sa Literature Under the Commonwealth, na pinamatnugutan nina Manuel Arguilla atbp. Sinisipi ko ang bahaging sumasaksi sa panahon ng pagkamakabago na katambal ng mapanlikhang bayanihan ng mga anak-pawis bilang pangwakas sa aking diskurso:

Kami ang mga nagpapakasakit na nagdurusa para sa likas na pagmamahal
ng tao sa kapwa, na gumugunita sa pagkatao
ng bawat nilalang; kami ang mga manggagawang nagpapagod
upang ang tigang na sangkapulua’y maging isang pook ng kasaganaan,
na nagpapabagong-anyo sa kasaganaan upang maging halimuyak na walang kamatayan.
Kami ang pita ng mga di-kilalang tao kahit saan,
na nagpupunla ng yaman sa kaningningan ng malawak na daigdig
kami ang bagong diwa
at ang bagong saligan, ang bagong pagsasaluntian ng kaisipan;
kami ang bagong pag-asa bagong kagalakan kahit saan.

Kami ang pangarap at ang bituin, ang nagpapahupa ng dusa; 
kami ang hangganan ng pagsisiyasat, ang simula
ng bagong kilusan; kami ang lihim ng landas
ng pagdurusa; kami ang mithiin ng kadakilaan;
kami ang buhay ng katibayan ng isang sumisibol na lipi.

Kung nais ninyong mabatid kung sino kami—
                           KAMI ANG REBOLUSYON!


SANGGUNIAN

Abadilla, A.G., F. B. Sebastian and A.D.G. Mariano.  1954. Ang Maikling Kathang Tagalog.  Quezon City: Bede’s Publishing House Inc.
Agoncillo, Teodoro  1974.  Filipino Nationalism: 1872-1970.  Manila: R. P. Garcia Publishing Co.
——-& Milagros Guerrero.  1970.  History of the Filipino People. Manila: R.P. Garcia.
Atienza, Monico.  2006.  “Mg Tula ng Pulitika at Pakikisangkot ni Jose Corazon de Jesus.”  Nasa sa Kilates. Ed. Rosario Torres-Yu.  Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press.
Balmaseda, Julian Cruz.  2013 (1938).  “Ang Tatlong Panahon ng Tulang Tagalog.” Mga Lektura sa Kasaysayan ng Panitikan. Ed. Galileo Zafra.  MetroManila: Aklat ng Bayan.
Batungbakal, Brigido.  1982 (1935).  “Aklasan.”  Nasa sa Philippine Literature: A History and Anthology. Eds. Bienvenido Lumbera and Cynthia Nograles-Lumbera. Manila: National Book Store.
Brecht, Bertolt.  1975.  "The Popular and the Realistic."  Nasa sa Marxists on Literature:  An Anthology. Ed. David Craig.  Baltimore: Penguin Books.
Bulosan, Carlos.  1984 (1940).  “Kung Nais Ninyong Mabatid Kung Sino Kami.” Salin mula sa Ingles nina Lilia Antonio, H. Beltran Jr., at Richie Valencia.  Nasa sa Ang Ating Panitikan. Eds. Isagani Cruz & Soledad Reyes. Manila: Goodwill Trading Co.
Cruz, Isagani & Soledad Reyes.  1984.  Ang Ating Panitikan.  Manila: Goodwill Trading Co.
Dussel, Enrique.  2013.  Ethics of Liberation. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Fernandez, Doreen G.  1996.  Palabas: Essays on Philippine Theater. Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press.
Francisco, Lazaro.  1998.  “Ang Beterano.”  50 Kuwentong Ginto ng 50 Batikang Kwentista.  Ed. Pedrito Reyes.  Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press.
Guerrero, Amado.  1971.  Lipunan at Rebolusyong Pilipino.  Maynila: Lathalaang Pulang Tala.
Jameson, Fredric.  1971.  Marxism and Form.  Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Lopez, Salvador.  1984 (1940). “Panitikan at Lipunan.”  Nasa sa Ang Ating Panitikan.  Eds. Isagani Cruz & Soledad Reyes.  Manila: Goodwill Trading Co.
Lukacs, Georg.  1971 (1920).  The Theory of the Novel. Tr. Anna Bostok.  Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Lumbera, Bienvenio & Cynthis Nograles Lumbera, eds.  1982. Philippine Literature: A History & Anthology.  Manila: National Bookstore.
Maceda, Teresita Gimenez.  1996.  Mga Tinig Mula Sa Ibaba. Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press.
Medina, Ben S.  1972.  Tatlong Panahon ng Panitikan.   Manila: National Book Store.
Mojares, Resil B.  1983.  Origins and Rise of the Filipino Novel.  Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press. 
Ramos, Benigno. 1998.  Gumising Ka, Aking Bayan.  Ed. Delfin Tolentino, Jr..  Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press.
Reyes, Soledad.  1982. Nobelang Tagalog 1905-1975.  Quezon City: Ateneo University Press.
Richardson, Jim.  2011.  Komunista.  Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press.
San Juan, E. 1995.  On Becoming Filipino: Selected Writings of Carlos Bulosan.  Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Santos, Lope K.  1960 (1906).  Banaag at Sikat.  Quezon City: Manlapaz Publishing Co.
Saulo, Alfredo B.  1990.  Communism in the Philippines.  Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press.
Tolentino, Aurelio.  1975.  Selected Writings. Ed. Edna Zapanta-Manlapaz.  Quezon City: University of the Philippines Library.
Tolentino, Delfin Jr.  1998.  “Paunang Salita.” Nasa sa Gumising Ka, Aking Bayan: Mga Piling Tula ni Benigno Ramos.  Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press. 
Wernsted, Frederick L. & Joseph Spencer.  1967.  The Philippine Island World. Berkeley: U of California Press.
Zafra, Galileo.  2006.  “Ang Dalumat ng Katwiran sa Balagtasan Bilang Salik ni Estetikang Pampanitikan.”  Nasa sa Kilates. Ed. Rosario Torres-Yu.  Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press.

Friday, January 31, 2020

OPPOSITIONAL VOICES FROM ASIAN AMERICA (circa 2009-2010)


Filipino American Voices in Asian America 
(circa 2009-2010)


by E. SAN JUAN, Jr.
Philippines Research Center, Washington DC


The starting point of critical elaboration is the consciousness of what one really is, and is "knowing thyself" as a poduct of the historical process to date, which has deposited in you an infinity of traces, without leaving an inventory, therefore it is imperative at the outset to compile such an inventory.

---ANTONIO GRAMSCI, Prison Notebooks



          After the precipitous collapse of financial giants like Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual, Merrill Lynch and other US banks and the October carnage in the global stock market,  US finance-capitalism's substance seems to dissolve rapidly into shadows. US finance capital, once unimpeachable, is suffering a rapid slippage not into Derrida's vertiginous abyss of textual undecidability but into bankruptcy. How are the humanities and literary studies, specifically that “peculiar institution” called Asian American Studies, impacted by this epochal and now traumatic event? Before we can answer the challenge of our communities as to how to understand imperialism as a haunting predatory presence, indeed, the "history of the present" shock-and-awe of an unprecedented crisis, we need to review why Asian American literature--to refer tentatively to a discursive fabrication--seems unable to transcend its paralyzing conceptualization as a plural unstable ethnic identity, despite its imagined or hypothetical foundation in centuries-old civilizations (China, Japan, Korea). This paper rehearses and evaluates the key theoretical schematics and initiates a pedagogical critique of two Filipino American novels as an example of an alternative to the status quo. 
For this modest academic exercise, it is not necessary to invoke the legacy of the pre-Columbian past to revitalize "the exhausted tropes of solidarity and coalition" because such tropes--except for a brief period during the popular-democratic upheavals in the sixties--never appealed to the "political unconscious" of each specific "Asian" group undergoing the "labor of the negative," by which I mean the ordeal of their normative and routinized exclusion, exploitation, inferiorization, stigmatization, and destruction by the white-supremacist polity and its hegemonic apparatuses in the domain of the State and civil society. The rubrics of transnationality, citizenship, immigration and globalization are the symptomatic indices of our contemporary predicament under the shadows of Empire. 

Orientalizing the Buffer Race

As the Vietnam quagmire deepened in 1966, sociologist William Petersen declared the Japanese Americans "a model minority," rescuing them from the trauma of the internment years. A decade after, Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior appeared in 1976, hailed as a breakthrough for Asians. After the US debacle in IndoChina and the eclipse of the Civil Rights struggles, Newsweek  in 1982 headlined a leading story "Asian-Americans: A Model Minority" (Kitano and Daniels 1988, 51). This is the year when Vincent Chin, a Chinese American mistaken for a Japanese in Detroit, was killed by two white workers. The gospel of neoliberal globalization, also known as "the Washington Consensus," took off with a retooling of methodological individualism in "rational choice theory" and officially sanctioned Establishment multiculturalism. To maintain the hegemonic common-sense of a racial hierarchy, the U.S. dominant bloc requires a "buffer race" to split the toiling majority, keep blacks visible but subordinate, and thus deflect class conflict by preserving the civil-society consensus of white color privilege (Gran 1999). To preserve the status quo, the identity of the white working class needs to be defined by race, not by class consciousness. 
Before the ascendancy of the global village of multinational corporations and its administered pluralist ethos in the 1970s, the U.S. elite under Nixon reinforced the racial hierarchy by its attacks on radical trends among people of color; soon, covert and open repression encouraged religious separatism, national chauvinism, and the consolidation of the underclass(chiefly, African Americans). At this conjuncture, East Asians on the West Coast in particular were instrumentalized to breathe new life into the assimilationist syndrome. Later on, with the return of finance capitalism in the Reagan-Bush years and the influx of Irish and Mexican immigrants after 1965, modernism as an ideological disciplinary complex and structuring habitus (to use Pierre Bourdieu's [1993] category) is displaced by postmodernist tendencies--subaltern studies, deconstruction, postcolonialism, Foucaultian modalities of suspicion, etc. Asian American cultural production, with its scholastic authorities and texts, finds its niche in this new tri-polar world (U.S., Europe, Japan as leaders in the G-7 bloc) characterized by the rise of Japan as a peer partner in global hegemony, with Asians as "no longer 'second class citizens' " (Gills 1993, 212).
With ethnicity today as the equalizing mechanism of conformity, we rarely hear special pleas for the plight of "the model minority."  In Taiwan-born Eric Liu’s provocative brief for “model minoritism,” The Accidental Asian, we find a rather nostalgic diagnosis of the madness labeled “ Mongolphobia, “an archaic but insidious” belief that Asians threaten the American Way of Life. Liu ascribes this primal terror, the “fear of a yellow planet,” to yellow journalism—The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu, the Evil Genius—and to the annals of early psychoanalysis. A history of collective psychosis is recounted: the riots and lynch mobs against Chinese in the 1870s leading to  the infamous 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act; the internment of Japanese Americans in the concentration camps of the 1940s; and, with the Wen Ho Lee scandal, the conspiracy theory of China as the new source of the “yellow peril.” 
But Liu believes the “last judgment” is on the horizon. From “perfect Manichean scapegoats,” or subhuman creatures to superhuman monsters or machines, Asians have multiplied and “breached the mainstream,” with the “advance guard” reaching “the commanding heights of power,” while a resurgent Asia is profoundly altering American language, manners and dreams. Liu prophesizes the third possibility that reconciles extreme aversion and extreme idolization: “Asians are, in fact, human; that they have left our imagination and arrived in our lives. Soon we may have to admit: We have already met the East, and it is us” (1998, 135).  Welcome to/from Disneyland, gated Asians!  In this sleight-of-hand version of Hegelian dialectics (unwittingly parodying Francis Fukuyama), Liu has ironically collapsed the heterogeneous Other into the banal Same. This passage from the thesis of the wholly Other into the worshipped "model minority"--still being resurrected by Helen Zia and other tokenizing gatekeepers--may serve as an allegorical figure for the vicissitudes of the Asian presence in the landscape of the United States in the era of globalization and the post 9/11 war of terror and the crisis of a retrenchingneoliberal dispensation.

E Pluribus, Unum? /  Out of Many, One?

    The neoconservative triumphalism of "free market" Weltanschauung from the Reagan administration up to the collapse of Lehman Brothers marked a decisive
turn in the way white-supremacist hegemony operated. The Cold War required a pretense or premise of defending the "Free World" from the evils of Soviet and Chinese communism. While the 1965 Hart-Celler Immigration and Naturalization Act opened the floodgates to more immigration from Asia, abolishing the "national origins" quota, it was the Vietnam War and its aftermath that dissolved the Chinese/Japanese monopoly of the cultural field of Asian America. In 1975, over 130,000 refugees from Vietnam, Kampuchea and Laos were allowed into the U.S. It is at this point when formalist New Criticism in literary and humanistic studies, already battered by the Civil Rights demand for revising the Western canon, had to be overhauled in order to allow the implementation of a new mode of racial hierarchization. Since the old narrative of assimilationism and adaptation (retooled as the cyclic pattern of suspicion and adjustment) has lost purchase, in anticipation of finance-capital's ascendancy over a de-industrialized America, a new paradigm had to be invented to preserve the myth of consensual democracy. This is summed up in Lisa Lowe's (1991) triple shibboleths of "heterogeneity, hybridity, multiplicity."
     With the advent of the IndoChinese and the heightened influx of Filipinos, Asian America--by which I mean the Chinese/Japanese monolith--had to confront changing reality. This is not what Lowe had in mind despite her claim of recognizing the material contradictions among Asian communities in the US (see the synoptic analysis of those contradictions by Paul Ong, Edna Bonacich and Lucie Cheng [1994]). For her, asserting ethnic multiplicity was a means of disrupting Eurocentric hegemony, quite a novel revision of Gramsci's original use of the concept as a political strategy of a proletarian-led historic bloc to overthrow capitalist power. But aside from intra-ethnic differential relationships and hybrid mixings, multiplicity serves as the theoretical wedge to displace the organizing category of class, founded on the unequal division of social labor and therefore unequal power, as the ordering principle of US capitalism. Asians are now contingently determined by "several different axes of power,...by the contradictions of capitalism, patriarchy and race relations" (2000, 429). This may be useful in explaining the cycle of acceptance and abuse that historian Iris Chang observes in the history of the Chinese in the U.S. (2003). But in effect it merely replicates the repressive teleology of mainstream functionalist empiricism and its coercive agencies.
We no longer dream of the pleasures of victimhood, to be sure, at this late date. In the age of cosmopolitan self-help and cyborgean bootstraps, we want agency. Deploying Spivak's "strategic essentialism," Lowe claims that privileging this socially constructed uneven cultural terrain will enable Asian subalterns to contest and disrupt the discourses, laws, norms, rules and practices of racial prejudice, exclusion, discrimination, scapegoating, oppression, etc. She also invokes Stuart Hall's notion of cultural identity as a matter of "positioning." Consequently, she rejects class solidarity because it erases ethnic particularity. This then becomes a theory of politics as social movements moving in parallel lines, diverse alliances and coalitions striving to transform hegemony--to be sure, not only capitalist but also scattered racist and sexist hegemonies.

Essentialism of the Signifier

     The eighties and nineties witnessed the propagation in the US academy of the ideas of Derrida, Foucault, Deleuze, Lyotard, etc. following the decline of Althusserian Marxism. This was signaled by the revised Gramscianism of Stuart Hall, the founding father of the Birmingham School of Cultural Studies. One offshoot is Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe's 1985 book Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, the scriptural testament for "new social movements," whose anti-totalizing obsession resonates in the theory of "minority discourse" sponsored by David Lloyd and Abdul JanMohamed in Cultural Critique (Spring-Fall 1987). At the same time, the intervention of Michael Omi and Howard Winant's  (1986) "racial formations" approach reinforced the vogue of cultural relativism and voluntarist idealism that conceives of society as a random collection of social practices lacking any necessary integrating structure (Callinicos 1982; see San Juan 1992; 2002). Philosophical adventurism and Nietszchean metaphysics of "the will to power" began to prevail in Asian American literary studies. Recycling the Althusserian motif of "multiple articulations" to counter the ideology of pseudo-universal humanism, Lowe follows these revisionists in firming up the deconstructive-anarchist trend in Asian American criticism.
     With this linguistic/culturalist turn, criticism becomes solipsistic and uncannily tendentious. Amy Tan's sensational blockbuster, The Joy Luck Club (1989) and its movie version, may have sealed the fate of Asians as potentially subversive agents of social change. As soon as the Asian American canon began to be institutionalized in the eighties as part of the "cultural war" maneuvers, teachers/scholars in this peripheral region needed to justify their scholastic anti-legitimacy. By 1995, Lowe herself had to shift gears by instructing us that the Asian American canon (Bulosan, Okada, Kogawa, Cha) is really a defiance of the reigning Western canonical tradition since it upholds unevenness, indeterminacies, inassimilable alterity, nonequivalence, irresolution--all against unification, reconciliation, development, linear narrative, uniperspectivalism, ethical formation, etc. that constitutes American imperial nationalism. She concludes her thesis: "The teaching of racial, ethnic, and postcolonial texts decenters the autonomous notion of Western culture by recentering the complexities of racial, ethnic, and postcolonial collectivities, and unmasks the developmental narrative as a fiction designed to justify the histories of colonialism, neocolonialism, and forced labor and to erase the dislocations and hybridities that are the resulting conditions of those histories" (1995, 66).

Postmodernity's Revenge

          The exorbitant addiction to Derridean maxims and post-structuralist doxa has continued unabated. As one of the Establishment gatekeepers, Shirley Geok-lin Lim prefaces her widely used 1992 anthology Reading the Literatures of Asian America with an essay on the "ambivalent American," meaning herself as a "new new American." She resents the habitual tokenism inflicted on fellow poets like the Polish Czeslaw Milosz, rejects Lynn Cheney's Eurocentric universalism, and invokes Werner Sollor's notion of symbolic "multiple choice" ethnicity as the way out and into the majoritarian consensus.  Unfortunately she succumbs to the lure of the immigrant paradigm and all its insidious implications (including the belief that American English is a life-line for the pariah's salvation). Her idea of a dialogic identity, "identity on the cusp," as it were, construed as a compromise between a Utopian American future and the ancestral golden past of the native folk (as in Carlos Bulosan's America Is in the Heart, and in other authors such as Kingston, Chin, etc.) exudes a pathos of wish-fulfillment that undermines the realism of her initial polemic. 
Aestheticist individualism overrides the constraints of historical structure and other social determinants. With the shift from the white majority nation to a multiethnic nation of minorities, Lim hopes that the paradigm of conflict and ambivalence in Asian American texts "will be transformed into a productive multivalence: " 'Valences' speak to the abilities to integrate, combine, fuse, and synthesize different elements. Conflict is almost always a product of dualities; perhaps synergisic commonalities will be the product of pluralities of ethnic figures, pluralism which we know is already on its way" (1992, 28-29). This may be an improvement over Elaine Kim's (1982) inaugural configuration of Asian American literature as modeled on the ethnic immigrant success story; but, in actuality, it reinforces the pluralist/multiculturalist dogma of neoliberal globalized capitalism.
       "Pluralism" may be an exhausted idea, but it can be refurbished disguised as "transnational" or "diasporic." Arjun Appadurai and Theodor Adorno are called in by Susan Koshy to rescue entropic US hegemony. In an attempt to inflect Lowe's standpoint into something contestatory, and "ambivalence" into something contingent or aporetic, Koshy posits the notion that the inferential value of "Asian America" resides in "the catachrestic status of the formation" (2000, 491). Agreed that there is no objectively verifiable referent to "Asian America," Koshy's agnostic and complaisant response is that we should resign ourselves to "the limits of its signifying power."  Do we need another exhibition of crippling Derridean discourse whose purpose is to shift our concern from the analysis of the political economy of production relations to the metaphysics of sliding and floating signifiers?  Ludic semiotics, to be sure, does not threaten the profit-making machine of the "free market." Nor does it question the ethics or morality of ruthlessly extracting surplus-value from the super-exploited peoples of the world. This cultural/linguistic turn can only hide, if not obfuscate, the material contradictions that our critics claim to confront; rather, as Teresa Ebert and Mas'ud Zavarzadeh points out, "it generates an imaginary re-patterning of the social by displacing class with 'difference,' 'performativity,' and 'desire,' thereby remaking the social: erasing it as an effect of labor and rewriting it as an effect of meanings, affects, hospitality, and the unrepresentable" (2008, 29).

Discombobulated and Compromised

This labor of decentering the Western bourgeois standards of truth, beauty and goodness was the primary task of Marxist ideology-critique before the Nietzschean/Heideggerian vogue. Despite the brief renaissance of Marxist thought in the 1968 May uprisings and the popularity of Marcuse and the Red Book, the heavy weight of Cold War repression aborted a full-blown mobilization of the working masses. Within the Asian communities in the United States, youth re-discovered their ethnic roots and impelled the composition of linear narratives now anathema to Lowe and postmodernist epigones. 
The histories of the "tribe" by Sucheng Chan and Ronald Takaki, however, recontextualized the protracted agon of the Chinese, Japanese, Filipino and Korean workers, their suffering punctuated by collective insurrections and solidarity actions with other groups. This perception of a multilayered narrative seems to have registered the significant theoretical intervention made by Robert Blauner which, for me at least, exploded the myth that all Filipinos were immigrants and thus could not but follow the venerable itinerary of European immigrant success. Blauner distinguished colonized from immigrant minorities in the pluralist order; metropolitan nations incorporated "new territories or peoples through processes that are essentially involuntary, such as war, conquest, capture, and other forms of force or manipulation" (1972). The case of the Philippines and Puerto Rico are the obvious examples. Colonization--this time, the "internal colonialism" (Allen 2005) of racialized groups--and immigration of ethnic Europeans represented two ideal-types or polar ends of a continuum that explains the peopling of the US social formation. Takaki understood this, but he could not hold on to and elaborate this crucial distinction in his 1989 opus, Strangers from a Different Shore. His world-view was still imprisoned within the mystified ideal of American Exceptionalism, as attested to by his 1994 comment on the "culture wars" then raging at the end of the Reagan era.  
Takaki  locates the problem in the linkage of "democracy to national identity" (1994, 299), not to capitalism. Consequently, his solution to economic and racial inequality, including the intensifying exploitation of ethnicized or racialized workers, is the extension of rights and citizenship to everyone. There is a rich, flourishing archive of scholarly texts and discourses by Asian American lawyers (especially those engaged in "critical race theory") and activists devoted to this reform-minded approach, none of which has prevented the worsening inequality and anomic decay among Chinese, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Laotians, Kampucheans and Hmongs, since the liberalization of entry in 1965 (Hing 1998). The prophylaxis of citizenship rights offered by Lowe, Takaki, Okihiro and others should be laid to rest by Natsu Taylor Saito's (2002; 2003) cogent argument that such belief in citizenship as the cure can only reinforce the state's systematic "plenary power" over the others, especially in cases of immigrant persecution, dating back to the 1882 Exclusion Law. So we are back to the analysis of the capitalist mode of production and reproduction as the enabling principle and legitimizing guarantee of the racial polity (Meyerson 2001).
          An affliction of similar proportion may be discerned in Gary Okihiro's apologetic, if not opportunistic, mode of historicizing the vicissitudes of Asian American existence in late-capitalist United States. Okihiro intends to denounce the crimes of white-supremacist America on Asians, but at the same time he doesn't want to be seen as an angry ideologue, an uncouth left-wing doctrinaire scholar; his tone varies, at once serious but complacently ironic; he strives to distance himself from the anecdotal Takaki and the more schematic style of Sucheng Chan by gestures at once hedging and temporizing, almost verging on a defense of McKinley's "Benevolent Assimilation" policy eventually administered with Theodore Roosevelt's big stick. Okihiro may be the authentic by-product of Lowe's hybridized discourse-deconstructing machine. 
At the end of the Cold War, the bombing of Yugoslavia, and the inauguration of a more fiercely predatory pax Americana with the impending US invasion of Iraq, Okihiro's confession of partisanship for the mystique of "multicultural America" speaks volumes, rivalling Eric Liu, and provides the key to the current stagnation and malaise in the discipline:  "But class has never, I believe, been central to our analysis. We persist in our belief in the push-pull (or some variant thereof) hypothesis of Asian migration, we see articulation as a racial encounter, and we present our work and subject matter as yet another aspect of multicultural America" (1998, 32). Okihiro and other functionaries in the academy cannot resolve the impasse of duplicity, not ambiguity, while negotiating between the old panethnicity model based on racial formations (see Espiritu 1992; San Juan 2002) and the siren song of incommensurable discrepancies and undecidabilities. This may be due to an Orientalized "cunning of history" missed by Edward Said.

Therapy or Exorcism?

         On this emergence in the nineties of the Asian American penchant for schizophrenic inquiry, the best diagnosis is, to my mind, the insightful and wide-ranging treatise of David Palumbo-Liu, Asian/American: Historical Crossings of a Racial Frontier. Palumbo-Liu comments on the schizophrenic symptoms found in three texts, among others: Daniel Okimoto's American in Disguise, Yoshimi Ishikawa's Strawberry Road, and Chang Rae Lee's Native Speaker. Just as Lowe manifests symptoms of the process of transnationalism and transmigrancy that forces into crisis the once sacrosanct notions of citizenship and nationhood, the protagonists of those texts, in particular that of Lee's novel, testify to the splitting and disintegration of social and political subjectivity in the age of globalized finance-capitalism. Palumbo-Liu notes: "If the 1970s named Asian Americans as dual personalities, the 1980s and 1990s have produced a particular vision of the schizophrenic, one intimately linked to transnationalism" (1999, 320), who may no longer be amenable to the programmatic techniques of healing, reconciliation, and adaptation beloved by pragmatic social scientists and technocrats of the Cold War era.
Faced with the civilizationalist racism of post-9/11 Homeland Security State, Vijay Prashad for his part attempts to revive a moribund Ethnic-Studies institution by replacing the epistemology of identity with that of polyculturalism. Comparative ethnic studies, for him, is the way out of the deterministic, vulgar optic of class exploitation. One would think that this hegemonic apparatus of mis-representation has already been rendered inutile long before the actual bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, and so on. But not for Prashad. This refurbished version of the old cultural pluralism may be discerned also in current historiography where, for example, the United State's "calibrated colonialism" (Kramer 2006) becomes a dynamic interactive field where the colonizer and colonized transact the business of politics as equal partners. The fallacy of equating exploiter and exploited in order to ascribe agency/humanity to the subjugated but emotionally appealing victim vitiates many empirical studies of Filipino overseas migrant workers (e.g. Tung 2004). Supposedly novel in inventing agency for the colonized, this new epistemology in the disciplines of history and sociology interprets colonial domination as consensual negotiation between rulers and ruled, reducing hegemony into an exercise in Habermasianesque rational communication. Polyculturalism thus becomes the alibi of imperialism suddenly capable of "bad faith."
It is thus not surprising to find Prashad nostalgically enthused with the obsolete panethnicity nostrum and the anti-totalism of Lowe's Immigrant Acts, unwittingly generating an aporia that is both paradoxical and unintelligible: for him, "ontological incompleteness" fetishized by Lowe, Koshy and others "need not obscure for us the social completeness of identity and identification" (2006, 169). This rhetorical contortion may be an instance of what Fredric Jameson (1991) calls "schizophrenic nominalism," a postmodern malady in which the traditional markers of  identity and historical progression, coherence and continuity have disappeared so that everything now is characterized by fluidity, disjunctures, aleatory slippages, nomadic drifts, and other symptoms that defy thought and logocentric reason. We enter a realm of ludic terra incognita about which we cannot speak, much less intuit and reflect.

Malays Running Amok?

     At this juncture, it would be useful to explore how Filipino writers in the United States responded to the shift from racialized pluralism to globalized differentiation. As everyone knows, Carlos Bulosan's problematic exemplum, America Is in the Heart, has become an ever contentious object-lesson. The reason lies in the fact that practically all readers ignore or choose to elide the historical singularity absent from textbooks and mass media: the Philippines was violently subjugated by US imperialism in the Filipino-American War (1899-1902) at the cost of 1.4 million Filipino lives (San Juan 2000; 2008). This is the submerged text of the first part of America, whose revolutionary impulse surfaces intermittently in the stories and essays, but more fully in the novel of the McCarthy/Cold War period, The Cry and the Dedication. Because of the persisting amnesia about this ugly truth in monumental US history, only dredged up recently when apologists of the Iraq War invoked the "humanitarian" occupation of the Philippines by the US military at the beginning of the twentieth century; or when the recently reported practice of "waterboarding" on Iraqi and Afghani prisoners was discovered to be a common form of torture against captured Filipino insurgents, Bulosan remains unread, or inadequately appreciated, up to now.
     Almost equal if not surpassing the total population of Chinese Americans, the Filipino community (more than three million of 12 million Asians) in the US exists due to the political instability and economic underdevelopment of the Philippines (Hing 1998). Perhaps one should really define the Philippines from 1898 to 1946 (when the US granted formal independence, with many strings attached) not as a classic colony but as a dependency, thus an internal colony like the Native American territories. Virtually a neocolony today, the Philippine social formation cannot be understood by means of postcolonial concepts of hybridity, in-betweeness, interstitiality, and so on. Nor can decolonization of Asian American Studies' paradigms of cultural nationalism, identity politics or national assimilation be carried out by using the phenomenon of the global diaspora to expunge anti-imperialist liberation struggles that mobilize the sedimented nationalist traditions of peasants and workers in the neocolonies. The durable recalcitrance of Filipino subjectivity saturated with nationalist memory-traces explains why, unlike the relatively assimilated Japanese, Korean and Chinese middlemen strata, Filipinos who have been disenfranchised and demonized for a long time cannot function as the "buffer race" between the white majority and the castelike black underclass. This remains the case until today, even though these colonized "nationals" were not locked out in 1882, nor banned by the Gentlemen's Agreement of 1907-08, nor by the 1924 Immigration Act which favored  "desirable" Europeans and denied citizenship to Asian "aliens." Nonetheless, all Filipinos are Americanized to one degree or another, in more ways than one; and if what Arif Dirlik says is correct, that Americanization is synonymous with racialization, then all Filipinos have been thoroughly racialized, "not just fitting into a racially organized society but also thinking racially" (2008, 1367).
A few years ago I pointed out how the postcolonial notion of transnational citizenship, fluid and flexible, originated from the dynamics of circulating use-value whereby all goods and services (as health care given by Filipino domestics) are commodified and made equivalent , translated or quantified into exchange value via the cash-nexus (San Juan 2005). The Philippines to this day remains a neocolony, formally independent but politically a client-state of Washington and the Pentagon. It functions as a strategic testing laboratory for US Special Forces fighting the proxies of Al Qaeda (shadowy Abu Sayyaf bandits some of whom work for local politicians and the government military) was long prepared by more than a hundred years of trying to preserve the oligarchic rule of a corrupt and murderous elite whose subservience to the "Washington Consensus" guarantees the accelerating Filipino "warm body export" part of which services the US military bases in Iraq, Europe, Guantanamo, Hawaii, Guam, and elsewhere, including the secret "launching pads" of CIA clandestine operations in the Philippines itself (Mahajan 2002).
     During the thirties and forties of the last century, Filipino workers exposed to the insurrectionary and seditious milieu of the islands were considered nasty trouble-makers, aside from being perceived as a threat to the purity of  Caucasian women. They collaborated in strikes with Japanese, Mexicans, and other ethnics in the Hawaii plantations and West Coast farms. From the outset up to 1946, Filipinos were legally considered "nationals" without any rights but only the "duty of permanent allegiance" to the U.S. nation-state (Hall 2002, 101).  They were not allowed to vote, own property, start any business or marry Caucasian women. However, Filipino surplus labor as a rule were Americanized enough to warrant their candidacy for model-minority status; migration is thus valued as "an opportunity and mechanism for upward social mobility," according to functionalist sociologists (e.g., Carino 1996). 
With the post-9/11 racial profiling, the Filipino re-entered the target-vision of the alarmed racial polity, i.e. "white supremacy... as a political system in itself" (Mills 1999, 25). In August 2002, for example, 63 Filipinos were herded into an airplane for a direct flight to the Philippines, all the deportees manacled during the flight. In December, a second batch of 84 Filipinos were deported under the same humiliating condition, legitimized by the Absconder Apprehension Initiative Program of the US Dept of Justice (effective since Jan. 13, 2001) and other laws which criminalized the Filipino for being undocumented workers (Mendoza 2003).  From October 2001 to April 2002, 334 Filipinos were deported through authoritarian executive orders, justified by legislative actions (including the USA Patriot Act) under the Bush administration. This is quite unprecedented: Filipinos have never been deported in this brutal way in such large numbers. With the discovery of terrorists in their country of origin, Filipinos are now doubly marked as a "brown peril" of sorts, with affinities to Muslim Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis, Indonesians, Afghanis, and so on. The old somatic/physical markers of race as well as the ethnic/cultural signifiers have now become either amalgamated or sublimated into the prevailing computerized "terrorist" profile.
How does a novelist like Jessica Hagedorn, for instance, respond to this new regime of "civic nationalism" engaged in a "just war" to defend "civic order and democratic liberties"? How does this post-Cold War "insecuritization" (Thornton 2002) under the aegis of the "global war on terror" provide an opening for Hagedorn's volatilization of the old formal properties of mimetic art which foreground versimilitude of character and plot? 

Hagedorn's Untamed Flicks

     As though afflicted with a severe attack of "repetition compulsion," Hagedorn does a reprise of her 1988 Dogeaters in her new production, Dream Jungle. We encounter here a postmodern repertory of combining parts and suturing disparate fragments.  This technique of collage/pastiche may be viewed as imitation or copying without laughter. And since there is no original common language of bourgeois individualism and its attendant metanarrative, parody is ruled out. If the real, assuming there is some agreement that reality is out there, can no longer be captured or expressed by language and its resources, what is there to write about? What is striking in this setup, despite the postmodernist obsession with  the materiality of the sign as image, not a vehicle of meaning, is that readers and reviewers refuse to give up summarizing, decoding, and making sense of bits and pieces somehow stitched together in Hagedorn's artifice. 
Hagedorn's Dream Jungle weaves two constellations of events. The first  centers on the wealthy playboy Zamora Lopez de Legaspi who discovers a tribe of Stone-Age cave dwellers (alluding to the Tasaday tribe found in 1971 before Marcos' declaration of martial law). The second gravitates around a servant girl, Rizalina Cayabyab, daughter of Zamora's cook, who flees to Manila, becomes a go-go dancer, and meets an American actor, Vincent Moody. Moody happens to be working on the crew of Napalm Sunset (alluding to Apocalypse Now), a Vietnam-war movie being filmed in Mindanao, Philipines, where the indigenous Tasadays were discovered. These two event-networks, for one reviewer, function as semantic indices to convey what Hagedorn feels are the effects of Spanish and American colonialism. They are decipherable signifiers that convey the novel's major themes, making this bricolage intelligible: "explorers [Magellan; Coppola; other foreigners] turn out to be conquerors, Westerners are still bending Philippine destinies and lechery continues to bind colonizer and native" (Ramzy 2003). If so, then Hagedorn has wasted time and energy on banalities. At best, she has distracted our mind from the toxic and barbaric disasters inflicted by US power on the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines, and elsewhere.
     What strikes our critical intelligence is the standard by which Hagedorn can be said to represent a Filipino response to the historical conjuncture I have addressed here. Tentatively we can say that this schizophrenic mode of fabulation is actually both the form and substance of Hagedorn's attempt to make sense of the historical period from the end of the Vietnam War to the 9/11 terror attack. Pastiche, variegated points of view, alternation of episodes, may indeed achieve what The New York Times reviewer suspects is Hagedorn's singular intent: to engage with the "unreliability of the realities it depicts" (Upchurch 2003). But then we have to ascertain if the realities--among others, for example, Secretary Manda Elizalde/Marcos' abuse of power on all levels, and the corruption of Filipinos by Coppola's filming of Apocalypse Now in the Philippines--have been convincingly presented, and scrupulously documented, as claimed by clever reviewers.  
Metropolitan taste demands more than humdrum anecdotes. It turns out that Hagedorn's real concern--to zero in on "the societal repercussions of heavily staged-managed creations," such as the alleged anthropological findings, or the publicity surrounding that and Coppola's representation of the Vietnam War experience--was achieved by simply intuiting or insinuating "her way around a dozen memorable characters and milieus, letting her concerns swarm beneath the busy surface of her narrative" (Upchurch 2003). Granted; but this technical experimentalism itself relies on a dense texture of surface details, an incoherent assemblage that reproduces the illusion of an interminable present without depth or resonance. 
As Shelley Jackson acutely puts it, Hagedorn's is "a scavenger aesthetic, choosy but eclectic" (2003). It chooses, yes, but in a rather brusque, self-conscious, astutely exhibitionistic fashion. Given the fact that Hagedorn (since Dogeaters) has rejected the typifying realism of the bourgeois narrative for the abstract, psychologizing mannerism of high modernist art (Lukacs 1995), which is the ideological aura of finance capital in the age of globalization, we can conclude that Dream Jungle serves precisely the agenda of the racial polity caught in an emergency : namely, human existence is a matter of individuals with arbitrary experiences, society an accidental collocation of idiosyncratic characters, and history a wild, arbitrary and ultimately chaotic iteration of scenes for which there is no overarching vision or framework that can make sense of the whole. Isn't this a version of the fluid, heterogenous, border-leaping Asian American creature fashioned by Liu, Lowe, Lim and their disciples?

Homecoming Trajectory

Let us now turn to Bienvenido Santos, a Filipino writer whose career spans two generations: the Manongs of the forties and the immediate postwar period, and the post-1965 immigrant community of professionals and exiles from the Marcos dictatorship. Now, the vintage Santos beloved by anthologists, the author of You Lovely People (1955) and Villa Magdalena (1965), can certainly be aligned with the "model minority" scheme that could not resist the inroads of alienating bureaucracy, consumerism, utilitarian standardization, and the predatory Social Darwinism of the seventies and eighties. Santos' novel What the Hell For You Left Your Heart in San Francisco (1987) may be regarded as the melodramatic and at times self-ingratiating response of the petit-bourgeois stratum of the Filipino community to the shock of its continued marginalization, subordination, and exclusion. 
One peculiar feature of Santos' life may be contradistinguished from Hagedorn's. While Hagedorn's sensibility was shaped by the "Beat"generation of the sixties and the trendy cosmopolitanism of New York, Santos' world-view emerged from his forced stay in the US when World War II broke out in 1942, and from his voluntary exile from the Philippines when his novel The Praying Man was banned by the Marcos authoritarian regime in 1972. By circumstance and choice, Santos aligned himself with the fate of the Filipino community in a period when the pressures of fascist power and reactionary ideology impacted heavily on the daily lives of his compatriots, pressures registered in the episodic but chronological unfolding of his 1987 narrative. It serves as the inchoate national allegory of Filipinos in the interregnum between World War II and the Iraq War.
Santos' attempt at a totalizing narrative may be conceived as an emergent national allegory, or if you like, a national allegory-in-the-making. I believe Fredric Jameson's theory of "national allegory" is more useful in describing the situation of Asian American writers trying to represent their group for the racial polity. The reason is that the personal and political for the Asian writer is always intertwined, given their reification and subjection to the dominant norms; hence the logical distinction between the spheres in Asian experience is not as rigid or fixed as European aesthetic doctrine since Kant and Coleridge would have prescribed. Jameson defines his concept of national allegory: "Third-world texts, even those which are seemingly private and invested with a properly libidinal dynamic--necessarily project a political dimension in the form of national allegory: the story of the private individual destiny is always an allegory of the embattled situation of the public third-world culture and society" (2000, 320). As a reaction to Jameson’s hypothesis, Aijaz Ahmad (1986) calls attention to the sheer plurality of the cultural production in “third world” societies which defies reduction to a formula. However, I contend that Jameson’s paradigm takes into account distinct national bourgeois formations with specific histories determined by the international division of labor organized by imperialism. Imperialism is thus grasped here as a concept, not an experience. Unfortunately, Ahmad confuses these two spheres of discourse and analysis, hence the need to experimentally assess Jameson’s theory and mobilize its potential with the necessary mediations, as I do here. 
As a heuristic proposal, Jameson emphasizes the pervasive reification and alienation characteristic of the culture and sensibility of the metropole, part of which are relayed in colonial institutions and ideological practices. National allegory then functions as the typical colonized people’s response to this ideological fragmentation and commodification. Of course, there exist sub-categories or variants of this archetypal response.  By extension, an allegorical project of reconstituting a self-determining collective subject or subject-position may be discerned in those artists operating within the internal colonies of the United States (Asians, Latinos, African Americans, Native Americans). In the perspective of "internal colonialism," the Asian communities resemble the underdeveloped "third world" of the sixties and seventies. What a world of difference it would have made if the canonical texts by Kingston, Bulosan, Okada, Villa, Theresa Cha, Frank Chin and others were read as allegories of their specific nationality formations and not one-sidedly as emanations of individual psyches reacting to hostile environments. 
Parenthetically, it would be prudent to remark that I reserve a full exposition of this new approach for another occasion.  Here I can only signal the inadequacies of past and existing theoretical frameworks where critical interventions can be launched. Such interventions will be collective and experimental in nature. In the process of critique one may discern the seeds of emergent trends and new directions. Meanwhile, I urge that Kingston's three major works, The Woman Warrior, China Men, and Tripmaster Monkey,  be read as national allegories of a kind, critical articulations of Asian American feminism wrestling with racialized patriarchy and class exploitation. I nominate two powerful examples of a "national allegory" that elaborates a metanarrative of multiethnic solidarity: first, Yuri Kochiyama's autobiographical assemblage, Passing It On, which resists Derridean or Foucaultian subsumption; and second, Marilyn Chin's shrewd recasting of the dramatic monologue genre in "A Portrait of the Self as Nation, 1990-1991" (1997, 159-163).
 Realism and the Cartesian ego have been jettisoned together with all kinds of nationalism--except the unmarked one of U.S. Herrenvolk patriotism, and the equation of its national interest with democracy and liberty (of the "free market") everywhere. And so the hegemonic ideology continues to prove tenacious and instrumental for careerist ends. Otherwise, we could have easily liberated ourselves a long time ago from the corrupting spell of the "model minority" myth inflected in postmodern ambivalence, multiculturalism, and compensatory postcolonial mimicries. National allegory requires a dialectical method that would mediate historically specific experiences and establish their coherence in a meaningful totality, a unifying meta-narrative of historical development anathema to our current orthodoxy. With finance-capital dictating the parameters of globalization, Asian America remains locked up in a world of virtualization where an emergent configuration of wholeness, autonomy, and unity dissolves in simulacra, spectacles, and illusions of alterity regurgigated from the mechanical reproduction of the commodified Same, and finally assimilated in the absolutist Leviathan corpus. 

Adumbrations of Pinoy Existentialism

Conventional wisdom has recycled platitudes about the Filipino community in the US: family- and clan-centered, regionalistic, with unique resources drawn from the cultural heritage (barangay, plaza complex) such as the "bayanihan" (cooperation) spirit and "balikbayan" (returning to the homeland) practice, which allegedly harmonize the native-born Pinoys/Pinays from the interfacing Philippine-born immigrants (Guyotte 1997). Santos' novel dramatizes those stereotypes and cliches only to satirize them tactfully, as shown by the choreographed behavior of the circle around Dr. Vicente Sotto, the employees and bureaucrats of the Philippine Consulate, the Filipino-American organizations at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, and Dante's students and colleagues at City College. 
David Dante Tolosa's journey, ostensibly a hunt for his lost fugitive father, turns out to be an education/initiation plot, a learning process. Although filled with a menagerie of character types, whose relatives inhabit Hagedorn's Dream Jungle, Santos' narrative revolves around the writer Dante's search for a viable community. He pursues solidarity linkages with American lost souls (Judy), enigmatic survivors (Cesar Pilapil), and anti-"model minority" derelicts like Professor Arturo Jaime's family. Right from the start, Dante moves to settle the issue of ambiguity by identifying himself as typical Americanized colonial subject: born in 1938 "on the outskirts of the American naval base near Subic Bay in the Philippines. An oriental with broad hints of Malay-Indonesian, perhaps Chinese, strain, a kind of racial chopsuey, that's me.  Better yet, for historical and ethnic accuracy, an oriental omelette flavored with Spanish wine" (1987,1). Well-meaning pastiche breaks down here into culinary grotesques. 
In Dante's search for support for his project and his vocation, Santos allegorizes a whole nation's struggle for genuine sovereignty, for recognition as a singular nation. Not so much the character of Dante as the itinerary of the quest for solidarity, the deracinated individual's need to communicate and connect with others (the priority of audience and context for the Filipino artist) and thus unify the fragmented collective psyche--that is ultimately Dante's over-riding motivation.  It is none other than to articulate the dream of nationhood, to imagine the birth of national self-determination. It is not so much the solitary artist's agon for self-fulfillment that we see in Dante's comic if pathetic maneuvers for self-recognition, but the Filipino organic intellectual's dilemma of deciding whether to succumb to self-indulgent anarchist gestures--the fate of Jose Garcia Villa, a contemporary exiled artist, and kindred compatriots--or to mediate the shipwrecked psyche's anguish and craft with the suffering and oppression of the larger community to which, by descent or consent, he belongs. Dante confronts this ethical imperative during his sojourn in America.
Hegemony in politics and art is a matter of calibrating the ratio of force and consent. Dante was driven into exile by geopolitical forces beyond his control. His reservoir of "consent," fueled by conscience or naivete, is what explains Dante's sympathy for Estela, the invalid in a wheelchair in a mansion on Diamond Heights--the child whose inability to control the psychosomatic symptoms of her life symbolizes the existential plight of the Filipino community. Estela's fascination with the blazing lights of San Francisco from the Heights is the general Filipino enchantment with the surface glitter of industrialized America as the incarnation of the mythic "City on the Hill," the promised land of freedom and equality and redemption. The scene epitomizes Bulosan's enduring fantasy of a fabled America, innocent and virginal before the Puritans' bloody errand in the wilderness.
This theme of fantasy and disillusionment is recapitulated by Santos for this period of "colorblind" racism and brutal fascist violence in the Philippines and other U.S. imperial outposts before the advent of a "global apartheid" (Marable 2006). Unfortunately, this doctrine of American Exceptionalism--a Messianic ideology embodied in the policy of "Manifest Destiny" and affiliated slogans of the Cold War and Bush's "war on terrorism" (Pease 2000)--appears as a healing trope, even though ironically fused with a horribly diseased, helpless Filipina child. Ultimately, the "American Dream" evaporates in the flood of sordid disenchantments that hound Bulosan's characters, a lesson not lost to Santos' protagonist. Dante survives owing to a peculiar mixture of native resources: susceptibility to seduction, intellectual naivete, convivial will-power, sensuality, and strong animal instincts. At times, he manifests the DuBoisian virtue of double-consciousness. For the mass audience of the global North,  however, Dante serves to personify the model citizen of  impoverished, underdeveloped "third world" countries vulnerable to the temptations offered by the World Bank/International Monetary Fund, US Agency for International Development, and transnational corporate investors hungry for super-profits. 

Asian America: A Utopian Project?

What I find somewhat disconcerting, though in hindsight perfectly understandable, is Santos' resort to a tired humanistic formula to resolve his protagonist's problems. Having gone through the grotesque and painful ordeals in his search for some mooring (emblematized by the lost father) in a chaotic consumerist milieu, Dante settles for an ending to his existential search. The novel's closing scene with his final goodbye to Estela may be read as an attempt to transpose to this vacant placeholder the old Jamesian "central intelligence," a scene that emits somehing like the "Great Gatsby" intuition that would reconcile all contraries and pacify everyone. Dante imagines Estela watching the landscape before her as her limbs twist, eerily crying and frothing, the convulsions of "wounded beast" that operates as Santos' "objective correlative" for the diseased body politic and the metropolitan wasteland at the end of the Vietnam War and the onset of deadly Reaganite repression and missile warfare against the unruly "third world" subalterns in Libya, Nicaragua, Grenada, Philippines, etc. (Blum 2005):
There are no stars blinking at our feet, no encrusted jewels, such as you might imagine, winking over our heads.  We are flesh and blood, tired before the day is over, seeking to find after the rains, a welcome door, a smiling face, both the familiar and the strange. Surrounded by strangers, we look for friends in a continuing search against despair.
We have left native land but our hearts are still there, not here, Estela, not in this golden city by the bay. We like to think we gain a lot from day to day in hope, that we are not as we often suspect we are, sentimental fools.  But we believe in love, that's all we live for, love. But what the hell is that? And like you, Estela, we carry our own deformities as nobly as we can, but unlike you, we hide them well. (1987, 191).

Unlike Hagedorn's slyly cynical if proprietary distance from her creations, Santos' empathy is, to my mind, somewhat patronizing and even excessive for the real worth of the problems his characters are grappling with. Perhaps Santos senses this danger of pathos-becoming-bathos so that he catches himself and asks rhetorically: "What the hell for you left your heart in San Francisco"?  The colloquial register seems to offer a fitting denouement to a memorable verbal performance, analogous to how the Chinese artist Zhang Huan incarnates genealogy in his theatrical art. In enacting "Family Tree," Zhang asked three Chinese calligraphers to write directly on his face and shaved head until all his skin was covered. Not the substance (Chinese folktales, poems, names) but the form soon becomes legible: the ink-brushed characters gradually darkened his entire head. In the last of a sequence of nine photographs of this unrepeatable happening, Zhang's face is completely black "as if erased by, or completely absorbed into, language" (Cotter 2007). This may apply to Hagedorn's art, but not to Santos' stylized realism and his stubborn drive to articulate the tale of the "tribe."
In any event, Santos' performance values signifiers but not at the expense of the signifieds and their sociohistorical grounding. References to public conduct and speech-acts are not manipulated simply for a psychological reality-effect; they index the kaleidoscope of scenes and characters to specific embodiments, to concrete historical contexts: Marcos' authoritarian rule and the suspended state of animation of the Filipino pettybourgeoisie in California.  In a time when "Only English" became the latest outburst of the racial polity(San Juan 2005b), with de-industrialisation, outsourcing, and cutbacks wrecking middle-class lives; with the abject failure of Brown vs Board of Education to remedy de facto discrimination; and when the gains of the Civil Rights struggles have been coopted or eviscerated by right-wing assaults on social services and public programs--long before the Katrina disaster will demonstrate that equality and freedom for people of color remains a hope or dream--Santos dares to write in Tagalog and other vernaculars with English words. Maxine Hong Kingston praised Santos for this miraculous feat, for his being "a master at giving the reader a sense of people speaking in many languages and dialects" (Cruz 2005, 36). This dialogic, more exactly polyphonic or heteroglossic (after Bakhtin), method of constructing the scaffolding of a particularized "national allegory" is, I contend, a much more subversive and radically transformative strategy for thwarting finance-capital's attacks on immigrants, ethnic minorities, and internally colonized peoples than the calculated ruses and panaceas of multiplicity, leveraged ambivalence, transnational cosmopolitanism, and other new-fangled nostrums sold in the now bloody, turbulent marketplace. 

On the Eve of the Collapse

 Meanwhile, history unfolds as we engage in our Wittgensteinian language-games. We are informed by a New York Times op-ed piece (March 31, before the present crisis) that the era of the white man and woman has ended, with the "baton" passing to Asia: soaring growth rates in China, India and Vietnam; 450 million cell phones in China; with Hong Kong's "efficiency and high-speed airport" making "New York seem third-world." Postmodernist motifs overflow in this passage: "These alternate faces of globalization--fluidity and tribalism--define our frontier-dissoling world....Everything passes.  In the 17th century, China and India accounted for more than half the world's economic output. After a modest interlude, the pendulum is swinging back to them at a speed the West has not grasped" (Cohen 2008). And so, inscribed in this cosmic panorama, the unfortunate episode involving CalTech aerodynamics professor Dr. Tsien Hsue-Shen who was deported at the start of the Cold War, or the somewhat comic refusal to allow Congressman David Woo to enter the Dept of Energy hall in Washington DC to deliver an invited speech celebrating Asian History Month, need not deter us. Nietszche's Eternal Recurrence or some updated version of Kierkegaard's "Repetition" may appear more "sexy" than this challenging project of national allegory. We beg to dissent.
This is a modest proposal. This is not the occasion to elaborate in nuanced detail a new theory of Asian American Studies suitable for this new millennium. All I can do here is sketch alternative routes and emancipatory possibilities.  What I am proposing here in this brief survey of critical theories is the need to shift our attention away from the current nihilistic and cynical impasse. Instead of privileging the "free play" of discourse released from any contextual anchoring, we need to focus on the whole intellectual formation of Asian organic intellectuals (instanced in Peter McLaren's interview of Lisa Chin [1994]). We need to examine the structure and dynamics of specific cultural modes of production in each Asian collectivity within the systemic constraints of late capitalism. In the process, we move beyond the now routinized genealogy of power/knowledge to the inventory of concrete historical limits and possibilities for radical transformative praxis.
For an effective counterhegemony against the disingenuous and ingenious weapons of the racial polity sustained by a protofascist State--the Homeland Security State of Bush and the neoconservatives--which has gutted Constitutional rights and international law (practising torture, "renditions," preemptive bombings, unwarranted surveillance, and other abuses of power), it is obligatory for progressive scholars to draw up an inventory of our resources derived from both the native cultural legacy and the Western Enlightenment, however ridden with "orientalizing" traits, in order to forge a synthesizing plot of collective emancipation of working peoples across color-lines and ethnic boundaries, as well as across class, gender, and religious barriers. We need to collaborate together in a struggle that will destroy the basis of the racial polity in the unjust division of social labor and the unequal power stemming from that exploitation, which is the overarching narrative of all communities fragmented and divided among themselves, under the shadow of a dying Empire.
     
REFERENCES



Ahmad, Aijaz.  1986.  “Jameson’s Rhetoric of Otherness and the ‘National Allegory.’ Social Text (Fall): 65-88. Reprinted in Marxist Literary Theory, ed. Terry Eagleton and Drew Milne.  Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
Allen, Robert L.  2005.  "Re-assessing the Internal (Neo)colonialism Theory."  The Black Scholar 35.1 (Spring): 2-11.
Blum, William.  2005.  Rogue State. 3rd edition.  Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press.
Bourdieu, Pierre.  1993.  The Field of Cultural Production.  New York: Columbia University Press.
Callinicos, Alex.  1982.  Is There a Future for Marxism?  Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press.
Carino, Benjamin. 1996.  "Filipino Americans: Many and Varied."  In Origins and Destinies, ed. Silvia Pedraza and Ruben Rumbaut.  Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co.
Chan, Sucheng.  1991.  Asian Americans: An Interpretive History.  Boston: Twayne.
Chang, Iris.  2003.  "Interview" by Robert Birnbaum (2 June). <http:www.identitytheory.com/interview/birnbaum109.php>
Chin, Marilyn.  1997. "A Portrait of the Self as Nation, 1990-1991."  In Making More Waves: New Writing by Asian American Women, ed. Elaine Kim et al.  Boston:  Beacon Press.
Cohen, Roger. 2008.  "The Baton Passes to Asia." The New York Times (March 31).
Cotter, Holland.  2007.  "Chinese Art, in One Man's Translation." The New York Times (Sept. 7). 
Cruz, Isagani. 2005.  The Lovely Bienvenido Santos.  Quezon City: University of the Philipines Press.
Dirlik, Arif.  2008.  "Race Talk, Race, and Contemporary Racism. "PMLA  123.5 (October): 1363-1379.
Ebert, Teresa and Mas'ud Zavarzadeh.  2008.  Class in Culture.  Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers.
Espiritu, Yen Le.  1992.  Asian American Panethnicity: Bridging Institutions and Identities.  Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Gills, Barry. 1993.  "The hegemonic transition in East Asia: a historical perspective."  In Gramsci, Historical Materialism and International Relations, ed. Stephen Gill.  New York: Cambridge University Press.
Gran, Peter.  1999.  Subaltern Studies, Racism, and Class Struggle: Examples from India and the United States. No. 4 of the Working Papers Series in Cultural Studies, Ehnicity, and Race Relations, ed. E. San Juan, Jr.  Pullman, WA: Washington State University, Department of Comparative American Cultures.
Guyotte, Roland L.  1997.  "Generation Gap: Filipinos, Filipino Americans and Americans, Here and There, Then and Now."  Journal of American Ethnic History (Fall): 64-70.
Hagedorn, Jessica.  2003.  Dream Jungle.  New York: Viking.
Hall, Kermit, ed. 2002. "Citizenship."  In The Oxford Guide to American Law. New York: Oxford University Press.
Hing, Bill Ong.  1998.  "Asian Immigrans: Social Forces Unleashed."  In Immigration Reader, ed. David Jacobson.  Malden, Mass: Blackwell.
Jackson, Shelley. 2003.  "Primal Time."  BookForum (Fall). <http://www.bookforum.com/archive/fall_03/jackson.html>
Jameson, Fredric.  1991.  Postmodernism: or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
-----.  2000.  The Jameson Reader, ed. Michael Hardt and Kathi Weeks.  Oxford UK: Blackwell Publishers.
Kim, Elaine.  1982.  Asian American Literature. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Kitano, Harry and Roger Daniels.  1988.  Asian Americans: Emerging Minorities. Englewood Cliffs,NJ: Prentice Hall.
Kochiyama, Yuri.  2004.  Passing It On--  Los Angeles, Ca: UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press.
Koshy, Susan.  2000.  "The Fiction of Asian American Literature."  In Asian American Studies: A Reader, ed. Jean Yu-wen Shen Wu and Min Song.  New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Kramer, Paul A.  2006.  The Blood of Government: Race, Empire, the United States and the Philippines.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina.
Lim, Shirley Geok-lin. 1992.  "The Ambivalent American: Asian American Literature on the Cusp."  In Reading the Literatures of Asian America, ed. Shirley Geok-lin Lim and Amy Ling.  Philadelphia: Temple U Press.
Liu, Eric.  1998.  The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker.  New York: Random House.
Lowe, Lisa.  1995.  "Canon, Institutionalization, Identity."  In The Ethnic Canon: Histories, Institutions, and Interventions, ed. David Palumbo-Liu. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
-----.  1991.  "Heterogeneity, Hybridity, Multiplicity: Rethinking Asian American Differences."  Diaspora (Spring): 24-44.
Lukacs,Georg. 1995.  The Lukacs Reader, ed. by Arpad Kadarkay.  Oxford UK: Blackwell Publishers.
Mahajan, Rahul.  2002.  The New Crusade: America's War on Terrorism. New York: Monthly Review.
Marable, Manning.  2006.  "Empire, Racism and Resistance: Global Apartheid and Prospects for a Democratic Future." Speech given at the Fifth Annual Michael Manley Lecture, Sagicor Life of Jamaica Auditorium. Kingston, Jamaica. 10 December.  <http://www.blackcommentator.com/211/211_cover_manley_speech_
marable_ed_bd.html>
McLaren, Peter. 1994.  "A Dialogue with Lisa Chin: An Asian-American Feminist Perspective."  International Journal of Educational Reform, 3.4:  456-463.
Mendoza, Jay. 2003.  "War. Immigrants, and the Economy: Filipinos in a Post 9/11 World." Inform? Special Report  (January 25): 1-28.
Meyerson, Gregory. 2000.  "Rethinking Black Marxism: Reflections on Cedric Robinson and Others." Cultural Logic 3.2 (Spring).  <http://clogic.eserver.org/3-1&2/meyerson.html>
Mills, Charles.  1999.  "The Racial Polity."  In Racism and Philosophy. ed/ Susan Babbitt and Sue Campbell.  Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Okihiro, Gary.  1998.   "Teaching Asian American History."  In Teaching Asian America, ed. Lane Ryo Hirabayashi.   Lanham, MD: Rowman Littlefield.
Omi, Michael and Howard Winant.  1986.  Racial Formation in the United States.  New York: Routledge.
Ong, Paul, Edna Bonacich, and Lucie Cheng, eds.  1994.  The New American Immigration in Los Angeles and Global Restructuring.  Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Palumbo-Liu, David.  1999.  Asian / American: Historical Crossings of a Racial Frontier.  Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Pease, Donald.  2000.  "US Imperialism: Global Dominance Without Colonies."  In A Companion to Postcolonial Studies, ed. Henry Schwarz and Sanjeeta Ray. Oxford UK: Blackwell Publishers.
Prashad, Vijay.  2006.  "Ethnic Studies Inside Out."  Journal of Asian American Studies 9.2 (June): 157-176.
Ramzy, Austin.  2003.  "The Lust of Exploration."  Time (Dec. 7).
Saito, Natsu Taylor.  2002.  "Asserting Plenary Power Over the "Other": Indians, Immigrants, Colonial Subjects, and Why Jurisprudence Needs To Incorporate Inernational Law."  Yale Law and Policy Review 2-.2: 427-480.
-----.  2003. "The Enduring Effect of the Chinese Exclusion Cases: The 'Plenary Power" Justification for On-Going Abuses of Human Rights." Asian Law Journal 10.1 (May): 13-36.
San Juan, E. 1992.  Racial Formations/Critical Transformations: Articulations of Power in Ethnic and Racial Studies in the United States. New Jersey: Humanities Press.
-----.  2000.  After Postcolonialism: Remapping Philippines-United States Confrontations. Lanham, MD: Rowman Littlefield.
-----.  2002.  Racism and Cultural Studies.  Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
-----.  2005a.  "Asian-American Melting Pot."  Asia Times Online (June 14) www.asiatimes.com
-----.  2005b.  "Inventing Vernacular Speech-Acts: Articulating Filipino Self-Determination in the United States."  Socialism and Democracy 19.1 (March): 136-154.
-----.  2007.  In the Wake of Terror:  Class, Race, Nation, Ethnicity in the Postmodern World.  Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
Santos, Bienvenido.  1987.  What the hell for you left your heart in San Francisco.  Quezon City: New Day Publishers.
Takaki, Roland.  1989.  Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans. Boston: Little Brown.
----ed., .  1994.  From Different Shores: Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in America. 2nd ed.  New York: Oxford University Press.
----.  2000.  "Heterogeneity, Hybridity, Multiplicity: Marking Asian American Differences."  In Asian American Studies: A Reader, ed. Jean Yu-wen Shen Wu and Min Song.  New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. 
Thornton, William H.  2002.  "Insecuritization: The Hidden Cost of the Asian War on Terrorism."  Radical Society (July):  57-64.
Tung, Charlene.  2004.  "The Cost of Caring: The Social Reproductive Labor of Filipina Live-in Home Health Caregivers."  In Asian American Women: The Frontiers Reader, ed.  Linda Vo et al. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
Upchurch, Michsel.  2003.  "What's Cooking on Mindanao?"  The New York Times -(October 5).--##
____________________________________