Certain “thought leaders” are crying “academic freedom” in light of recent allegations that state forces are cracking down on university campus activism and “red tagging” militants. They argue that educational institutions should be encouraging “revolutionary” thinking and should be a “rebel” during “tyrannical times”.
Let’s not get too carried away, however. While it is true that nothing short of revolutionary can change Philippine society, “revolutionary” used in that context does not cover the “revolution” espoused by garden-variety campus “activists”. As most people know, campus “activism” in the Philippines is almost wholly monopolised by communists and their satellite organisations. Thus “revolutionary” is hardly the forward-looking notion the earlier statement intends to convey. Indeed, much of what traditional “activists” have on offer remains anchored to Cold War historical relics — that favourite bogey of tyranny the “Martial Law Years” and the ironic “dictatorship of the proletariat” campus activists would like to replace it with.
The right to be a communist may be covered by “academic freedom” but communist ideology comes nowhere near the coverage of the true revolutionary thinking needed to solve the Philippines’ problems. As renowned physicist Albert Einstein famously said, you cannot solve a problem using the same thinking that created it. Einstein moved the field of physics forward by leaps and bounds on the back of unprecedented and groundbreaking ideas. The idea, for example, that gravity is not a “force” but the effect on moving bodies of curved spacetime was truly revolutionary.
Using this measure of what is truly revolutionary, Filipino campus “activists” don’t measure up. They are even too lazy to apply lipstick to their ideological pig and continue to use those “Overthrow US-[insert current president’s name here] Dictatorship” slogans in their protest rallies. For that matter, politics has a very poor track record of solving the Philippines’ problems. What these “thought leaders” don’t seem to understand is that academic freedom does not cover only political movements. It covers every academic endeavour, and that includes fields of study Filipinos have long known to be poor at — like science, technology, and engineering.
Much of what would constitute as real hope for Filipinos does not lie in their politics but in these hard fields of study and development. As such, campus activism in its current form is an utter waste of time as it is all political and dominated by politically-oriented people. What would be far more worthwhile is something truly revolutionary coming out of the Philippine academe in the fields of science and technology. Indeed, the prosperity of the First World was built on the back of the wealth created by advances in science in technology and the way these contributed to discovering and colonising territory, winning wars, curing disease, improving labour productivity, creating entirely new industries and markets, and finding new sources of energy, among others. All of these made entire societies competitive.
It is therefore an absolute injustice that members of the Filipino university student body that are celebrated and regarded as “heroic” in song and poetry predominantly fit these leftist and communist tubao-sporting “makabayan” stereotypes. And the “thought leaders” who write gushing articles on the Philippines biggest broadsheets refer to them and these cliques by default.
Philippine society, its character, and its culture will remain the same, regardless of what constitution is implemented, whether under a presidential, pariamentary, federal or totalitarian form of government, or whether a Dutertard or Yellowtard or a bunch of commies are in power. Rice yields and sources of energy will not change whether or not corruption is eradicated. No hero will gallop in from the horizon no matter how hard Filipinos pray. Only when modern thinking is applied to the challenge of overcoming these issues will the Philippines move forward. That’s not gonna happen under the moronic notions of what is “revolutionary” that is held dear by the communists that continue to infest the Philippines’ university campuses no matter how much “academic freedom” they are given to spread their ideology.
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