Beyond February: The Tasks of Socialists

Francisco Nemenzo


There are divergent interpretations regarding the meaning and significance of the February revolution. This paper provides a critical analysis of these various interpretations, as it traces the events and factors involved in the February events. The arguments that come from a sectarian view dispute the revolutionary character of the February revolution on the following grounds: it was not bloody enough; it was confined to Manila; it did not destroy the military, the bureaucracy and the socio-economic elite. Casting these aside, it posits that real revolutions in history are less dramatic as the novels written about them. The military and the bureaucracy do not crumble all at once, and the socio-economic structures are eroded over time, through persistent popular pressures. More importantly, by achieving a political revolution, the events in February raised to a higher level the continuing social revolution. Thus, it also critically examines the present Aquino government – what the revolution was unable to change; the forces that influence the government; and the forces at the periphery of power that need consolidation. Finally, it presents a listing of crucial tasks that must be endeavored by the new socialist movement in order to achieve meaningful reforms.


February revolution; bureaucracy; Aquino government; military; new socialist movement; elites

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