[Off the shelf] Dissidente! by Jose Mario De Vega

Introduction and Acknowledgement


Mario De Vega

These are collection of my articles that was published by various Malaysian papers from 2011 up to the present. That was when I was teaching Philosophy, Ethics and Anthropology at Nilai University College in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

I also included in this anthology those commentaries of mine that was posted electronically by the Etniko Bandido Infoshop, CEKU and the Human Rights Online Philippines.

I would like to acknowledge specifically the Hill Top, the Official Student publication of the College of Maasin of Southern Leyte for publishing my article condemning and criticizing to the utmost the controversial Cybercrime law of the Philippines.

In the following pages, “I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense” as lucidly stated by the great Thomas Paine.

The reader will immediately notice that the essays and commentaries deal with varied themes and different viewpoints.

It seems that the writer has something to say on almost any subject under the sun.

Nevertheless, it is also apparent that the author always return to a recurring central theme and that is on the question of humanism, virtue, critical thinking, thinking for one self, the true aim of education and the need for a genuine social transformation in society and the world in general.

To reiterate, this work is a collection of polemical articles and sarcastic commentaries. In the categorical words of Leon Trotsky:

It reflects the dynamics of that social life which is built entirely on contradictions. The impertinence of the schoolboy toward his master; the pin-pricks of envy in the drawing-room, veiled by courtesies; the constant competition of commerce; the frenzied rivalry in all branches of pure and applied science, of art, and sport; the parliamentary clashes that reveal the deep opposition of interests; the furious struggle that goes on every day in the newspapers; the strikes of the workers; the shooting down of participants in demonstrations; the packages of explosives that civilized neighbors send each other through the air; the fiery tongues of civil war, almost never extinguished on our planet – all these are the forms of social “polemics,” ranging from those that are usual, constant and normal, almost unnoticed despite their intensity, to those of war and revolution that are extraordinary, explosive and volcanic. Such is our epoch. We have all grown up with it. We breathe it and live by it. How can we help being polemical if we want to be true to our period in the mode of the day?

Some may accuse the author of being biased and prejudicial; yet I doubt if there is any partisan out there that is truly ‘objective’.

Voltaire said that “to hold the pen is to be in a state of war”. Hence, on every page of this humble work, the author has ravenously wage a brutal campaign and serious war against what he perceived as the mortal enemies of reason and mankind, namely: ignorance, cowardice, oppression, exploitation, superstition, paranoia, dehumanization, racism, sexism, barbarism, inhumanity, ethnocentrism, and all forms of madness and injustices.

My aim is to combat all of these evils through my writings!

The author overwhelmingly concurred with Professor Paul Kurtz that: the “ultimate” value for the humanist is the conviction that life can be found good in and for itself. Each moment has a kind of preciousness and attractiveness. The so-called secret of life is thus an open secret that can be deciphered by everyone. It is found in the experiences of living: in the joy of a fine banquet, the strenuous exertion of hard work, the poignant melodies of a symphony, the satisfaction of an altruistic deed, the excitement of an orgasm, the elegance of a mathematical proof, the invigorating adventure of a mountain climb, the pleasure of quiet relaxation, the lusty singing of an anthem, the vigorous cheering of a sports contest, the reading of a delicate sonnet, the joys of parenthood, the pleasures of friendship, the quiet satisfaction in serving our fellow human beings — in all of these activities and more.

Hence, this is my vehement objections and firm dissent to all forms of inhumanity, barbarity, injustices and exploitation of man by man. Therefore, the title: Dissidente.

According to the Russian historian Roy Medvedev, “a dissident is not simply the one who thinks differently, but one that explicitly expresses his dissent and manifests itself in some way to his fellow citizens and the State.”

I would like to add that, a dissenter is one who does not only thinks differently but unavoidably and necessarily expresses his unorthodox viewpoints and subversive ideas in a radical manner to convey to the people and the whole world, especially to the masses his thoughts and positions in all issues and questions that affects and confronts the whole of humanity and rest of mankind.

The objective of the writer is to counter all of those maladies and cancer that plagued humanity.
This may sound romantic and indeed, melodramatic, but it is the fervent hope of the author that he wrote and stood for the benefit of Man, especially the common people; the masses and the working class.

Hence, the writer categorically would like to declare to the public and the world his ‘biases’, his ‘prejudices’, his ideological stand and political sympathies.

He is a filibuster, a heretic, a Katipunero, an insurrecto, bandolerista, a Jacobin, a Bolshevik, a Marxist revolutionary, a radical practical philosopher, a subversive writer, a devoted and passionate teacher and an irreconcilable atheist.

He maintained that the politico-moral duty of a true philosopher is not merely to observe life and interpret the world, but being a faithful student of Marx: TO CHANGE THE WORLD, FOR THE BETTER!
Again to quote Trotsky:

Thus I know well enough, from my own experience, the historical ebb and flow. They are governed by their own laws. Mere impatience will not expedite their change. I have grown accustomed to viewing the historical perspective not from the stand point of my personal fate. To understand the causal sequence of events and to find somewhere in the sequence one’s own place – that is the first duty of a revolutionary. And at the same time, it is the greatest personal satisfaction possible for a man who does not limit his tasks to the present day.

I would like to thank all the people, my dear friends, comrades and loved ones who in one way or another had helped me in preparing this humble volume of my work.

My sincerest thanks to comrade Anna H. Goldara for all her editorial and emotional support! Without her solidarity, I doubt if this whole enterprise would ever come into fruition.

My special thanks to sister and friend, Grace Teves-Sarmiento for lay-outing my work into an appropriate book form and to one of my PUP “disciples”, Jayson Cerina Jimenez for the beautiful art cover that he designed!
My warmest appreciation and deep gratitude to Professor Dan Reynald R. Magat for writing the explosive, insightful and utterly stimulating Foreword of this humble work!

He never hesitated nor did he think twice, when I approached him to do so. He promptly agreed to do the said honor. For that, I am utterly grateful and extremely thankful — eternally!

I will never ever forget, Sir! Hope that I am worthy of your words and respect!

My sincerest thanks and appreciation to all the newspapers (the print and on-line, local and international), journal and websites that published and posted my articles all throughout the last two years! Thank you very much to all of you!

To all those commentators, buddies and friends who have given their testimonies and viewpoints in introducing the character of the author to the public and for their recommendation to the people to support this book, from the bottom of my heart, thank you all so much!

Nonetheless, for purposes of the record, if there are any mistakes or omissions or shortcoming of this book, it goes without saying that The Radical is solely responsible.

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega
April 1, 2013
Paranaque City, Philippines

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