Resistance to the Philippine War
MONTHLY REVIEW I FEBRUARY 1973 What Quartim terms a leftist deviation holds that only the workers and poor peasants can be drawn into the struggle, that the urban and rural petty bourgeoisie are not worth winning over, and that the stated goal of the revolution must be socialism. The correct strategy, according to Quartim, is one which appeals to the petty bourgeoisie, which combines anti-imperialist and anticapitalist activity without confusing the two, and which has the overthrow of the
... rthrow of the dictatorship as its stated goal. The difficulty here ,is that the author fails to define what he means by the "petty bourgeoisie" -a somewhat overworked term on the Left-s-and that he does not distinguish between those elements of it, such as the students, who are in the forefront of the struggle, and those other elements, such as owners of grocery stores, bars, etc., who seem to be the most amenable to fascist demagogy. Furthermore, what he tells us about the countryside would indicate that the rural petty bourgeoisie-the rich peasants, or kulaks-is far less significant than in many other countries. Quartim ends his book on a pessimistic note. "Victory is not inevitable because it is not inevitable that socialism will triumph." Given what he has told us about Brazil, it is hard to see how he could have reached that conclusion. When the administration of President William McKinley made war on Spain in 1898 for the purpose of taking over Spain's colonial possessions in the Caribbean and the Pacific, it discovered that the natives of the Philippine Islands had themselves organized an army against Spain with the aim of winning independence Cheryl Payer has spent several months in the Philippines and several years in the Boston area antiwar movement.