I was talking with an old batchmate of mine when the topic inevitably drifted to the matter of social action. And so it comes with the jadedness of two guys bullshitting: him taking up law, me taking up the challenge of establishing myself as a “theorist” by the time I graduate. In our heyday as young men in undergrad, we both shared the mantra of “down with the system.” With someone like an Antonio Trillanes IV representing that same idea… well, it doesn’t sound so cool or so right anymore.
I’m the first to admit that my social consciousness was made and formed in the streets by virtue of a placard or a streamer. Yup, I was an activist. I still am, although of a different sort. I now make qualified distinctions between “militant,” “progressive,” “Leftist,” and so on and so forth. The reason being is that having grown up with the general movement of the Marxist idea of improving society through struggles of many different sorts, walking the walk is different from talking the talk, and walking the talk is different from talking the walk. Walking while talking is different from talking while walking. It’s the way things are: it took me the better part of five years to figure that out.
“Critical thinking” is more of a catchphrase to me than an actual practice: there is a difference in thinking critically and thinking in the end of criticizing. “We denounce” is the kind of warcry you would see in a political statement, blowing everything out of proportion that every problem that there is in the country – or the world – can be pinpointed when you find someone to blame. I’ve gotten a lot of flak for that over the years: where I have the power to write online, I do not blame. You really have to look deep inside yourself to see if you are in the right plane to point fingers at anybody without your arm tiring. Are you pointing up, or are you pointing down?
All too often, the problems of this country aren’t supposed to be laid upon the finger of blame. Judgment is reserved for those who can judge: those who themselves contribute to the decay of society in any way are bad judges of character.
Jadedness… maybe it’s having to look from things at the other side of the fence for once.