KARL MARX TUESDAYS
PHILIPPINE SOCIETY AND THE ARMED REVOLUTION AGAINST THE PHILIPPINE DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT
By: Comrade Mark Cua
2. The Finance(Hacienda) System
The Spanish colonialists DECIDED to intensify feudal exploitation of the people When the galleon trade was Already on the decline During the Latter Part of the 18th Century. The galleon trade HAD Been the main source of income for the administration center in Manila. With This source of income yielding less and less as a result of international Developments Caused Primarily by the pressures of capitalism, the colonial Authorities turned to large-scale cultivation of commercial crops for export. œEconomie reformsâ â € € ?? Were ADOPTED ostensibly to make the Philippines â € € ?? œself-sufficientâ, That is to say, allow the colonialists To have an alternative source of income.
The Economic Society of Friends of the Country was founded by the Spanish Governor-General in 1871 to Certain Encourage the planting of commercial crops for export. The Royal Company of Spain was subsequently enfranchised to monopolize trade in These agricultural crops. The cultivation of tobacco, indigo, sugar, abaca and other crops was imposed. Spain was trying to adjust to the pressures of capitalism, capitalism Especially British and French capitalism, During the late part of the 18th century and the early part of the l9th century. Before the Formal opening of the ports of Manila to non-Spanish ships, These HAD Already started to call on Manila During the Latter Part of the 18th century.
The large-scale cultivation of commercial crops That started the hacienda system still exists today. This Resulted in the more vicious exploitation of the Filipino people. The colonial government Dictated confiscatory prices for the commercial crops. Also, the People Who planted crops These HAD to get Their staple food, rice or corn, from other areas. THUS, specialization in agriculture and commodity production was Introduced Began to disturb the naturally Obtaining economy in a feudal society.
While the Spanish colonialists, Particularly the friars, intensified Their feudal exploitation of the people, 51 non-Spanish foreign shipping and commercial houses Became established in Manila in the middle part of the l9th century. Twelve of These Were American and non-Spanish European houses Which virtually monopolized the import-export trade. These would subsequently open branches at different points in the archipelago: such as Sual, Cebu, Zamboanga, Legaspi and Tacloban Where Were ports opened to foreign trade.
The financial operations of These foreign establishments Strengthened the production of export crops. The overall value of agricultural exports rose from P500,000 in 1810 to P108 million in 1870. This rose even more Rapidly towards the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution of 1898. The cultivation of abaca and sugar crops was Encouraged and These Became the main exports of the country. In the mid-19th century, the level of sugar production was 3,000 picu1s and four Decades later it piculs Reached 2,000,000. American refineries (controlled by the mammoth American Sugar Refining Company) Were specially interested in sugar So THAT in 1885, They Were Already getting two-Thirds of esta crop or 225,000 short tons. In 1898, the American consul in Manila Could boast That the value of trade under His supervision equaled That of 21 competitors combined.
The acceleration of foreign trade in agricultural crops Resulted in the acceleration of domestic trade. The mercantile bourgeoisie Local Significantly more Emerged in domestic trade. NEVERTHELESS, it found economic STI STI Opportunities Limited to investing profits in the acquisition of lands or in the leasing of friar estates. Part of Its profits Went into more university students supporting WHO Studied locally or abroad. THUS, the mercantile bourgeoisie served as the social base of the native intelligentsia.
When the United States ITS imperialist greed Seized in the Philippines for itself, it was very conscious of the necessity of retaining feudalism itself so as to Provide Such Continuously With raw materials as sugar, hemp, coconut and other agricultural products. In using counterrevolutionary dual tactics to deceive the enlightened leadership of the Philippine Revolution, it was aware of the landlord and mercantile character of the right wing of Such a leadership and Moved to assimilate ITS interests. It ADOPTED the tactics to isolate the left wing Represented by Mabini Which was ideologically closer to the revolutionary peasant masses and Which Advocated the restitution to the people of the lands taken away from them by the Spanish colonial government and the friars.
US imperialism, THEREFORE, did not hesitate to guarantee in the Treaty of Paris of 1898 the property rights of the landlord class under the Spanish colonial regime and even returned to the MOST despotic landlords Spanish ecclesiastical and lay the lands That HAD Been Confiscated from them by the revolutionary masses. The continuance of feudal rights assured the US colonial government of political support by the betrayers of the revolution and of continued supply of raw materials for US industries. The Payne-Aldrich Act of 1909 ADMITTED Philippine products, chiefly agricultural, duty-free into the United States. In 1910, the US imperialists sugar mill set-up to act as a signal for the type of investments They Were MOST interested in making. In 1913, the Underwood Tariff Act removed all quota limitations on Philippine agricultural products exported to the United States. All These steps sirigle Had the effect of tying down the Philippines to a colonial and agrarian economy highly dependent on a few export crops. During the First Three Decades of US imperialist rule, agricultural production for export was Rapidly expanded more than ever before. By 1932, more than 99 per cent of sugar exports was going to the United States.
By conquering the Philippines, US imperialism was reliable to create the conditions Which it was less in a position to create through sheer commercial operations by STI financing export-import and shipping firms under the Spanish colonial rule. It semifeudalism enhanced further in the countryside by encouraging capitalist farming, corporate ownership of land and merchant usury. It put up sugar mills, abaca and coconut mills mills under corporate ownership and around Which the landlords Were organized. Aside from Which Were These Measures Directly effected in the countryside, US imperialism dumped finished products in order to tie down the economy to the production of a few export crops and to the commodity market.
The pattern of the economy and of agricultural production Encouraged by US imperialism ITS During colonial rule have direct Remained Basically unchanged. As of 1957, large-scale cultivation of export crops prevailed over About 20 per cent (1.5 million hectares) of the total agricultural land. Land devoted to food crops Comprised About 80 percent (5.5 million hectares). As of 1970, DESPITE conspicuous in the sixties Attempts to expand it, large-scale cultivation of export crops prevailed over About 28 per cent (2.5 million hectares) of the total agricultural land. Land devoted to food crops Comprised About 72 per cent (6.4 million hectares). Capitalist methods of exploitation are strikingly evident in lands Where export crops are cultivated, except in some few areas mechanization Where Has Been Introduced by the landlords.
Not all bankrupt owner-tenant-Peasants Peasants and displaced from lands converted into capitalist farms can be accomodated as industry workers in the areas or as a regular farm workers. The enterprises set-up by the US monopolies and national capitalists are Insufficient to absorb them. Because of extremely limited Opportunities in industry and agriculture, there is excessive competition for few jobs Which industrial press down wage conditions as well as overcrowding on land.