Saturday, June 20, 2009

A right to revolt

Do we have the right to revolt?

Over beer and pizza, the bloggers of Dona Victorina gathered at Carlo's in Metro Walk to discuss (as Rain B. puts it) plans for a national concern that affects the future of my son.

During the long drawn out discussion which touched on many topics, including Danny Lim's statement against Con Ass or Charter Change and his continued incarceration, I pointed out to Trixie Cruz Angeles that the Philippine Constitution actually enshrines our right -- our duty -- to revolt.

I can't cite chapter and verse right now or pull out a transcript of the discussions when the 1987 Constitution was being formulated, but just point to our electoral process as a form of revolting against the current status quo.

But for sure, others may interpret this to mean bearing arms against the government also and they would also be right -- as this actually conforms to the usual idea of a revolution, that of seizing control over the state by force of arms.

Anyway, Trixie described the idea as Jeffersonian and I looked it up right now. Being hungover, I just opened the first google search result and found an interesting passage in, and to wit, here's something attributed to John Locke:

Locke believed in government to the extent that it was the obligation of government to protect the rights of its citizens to "life, liberty, and property". He further held that there was a "natural law" that was supreme. This latter concept indicated that, when government became corrupt, it was not only the RIGHT of the people to revolt, but their OBLIGATION to free themselves. As Thomas Jefferson penned his Declaration of Independence he quickly established that the Colonies not only had the right to revolt, but that it was almost a fore-ordained obligation to the process of natural law....

And this eventually lead me to look up the American Declaration of Independence and this is something I think is relevant reading at this point.
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
However, a revolution -- even a successful one -- presents a number of problems and that mainly has to do with who gets control over everything.

Certainly, those displaced by the revolution will try to get back power -- if they are not all killed or rendered incapable of posing a serious challenge. Another problem would be that other revolutions may follow, instigated from within the ranks of those who revolted. Moreover, the problems become increasingly more difficult if the general population does not support the revolt but are merely forced to accept the rule of the revolutionaries after they are cowed into submission by violence or the threat of violence.

Nevertheless, revolts are always a threat any government will face if it isn't responsive to the needs and interests of the people it should be serving.

Anyway, just this morning, Facebook Buddy Izabelle Palanca Enriquez tagged me in a note and I sympathize with it's sentiments:

Ang Hukbong Sandatahan ay instrumento ng taong bayan.
Protektor ito ng mamamayan at ng estado.
Hindi nito obligasyon ang sang-ayunan ang katiwalian ng administrasyon.

Hindi trabaho ng AFP ang mandaya sa eleksyon.
Hindi dapat binibigyan ng premyo ang mga heneral na mahilig magbenta ng serbisyo sa mga politico.

At lalong hindi gawain ng sundalo ang pumatay sa mga aktibista, mga mamamahayag at mga taong walang kasalanan at walang kalaban laban.
The rest of the note goes on to explain that General Danny Lim (I assume) denies that his statement against Con Ass and Chacha was not a call to arms.

Sorry Trixie, I still don't buy this one.

Anyway, to the note, perhaps I would add that:
Hindi trabaho ng sundalo ang makialam sa mga demokratikong proseso at makialam sa politika.

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