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Walden Bello New Left Review

Walden Bello New Left Review

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Published by yanac
PACIFIC PANOPTICON: Walden Bello (New Left Review)

Walden Bello is a senior analyst at Focus on the Global South, a program of Chulalongkorn University’s Social Research Institute, President of the Freedom from Debt Coalition, and a fellow of the Transnational Institute. He is the author of numerous books on Asian issues and globalisation, including Dilemmas of Domination: the Unmaking of the American Empire (2005), The Anti-Development State: the political ecnonomy of permanent crisis in the Philippines (2004) and Deglobalisation: ideas for a new world economy (2004). His articles have appeared in numerous periodicals including Review of international Political Economy, Third World Quarterly, Foreign Policy, Race and Class, Le Monde Diplomatique, Le Monde, Guardian, Boston Globe, Far Eastern Economic Review, and La Jornada. He is currently a columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Foreign Policy in Focus. He won South Korea's Suh Sang Don Prize in 2001, and in 2003 he was given the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize, for "for outstanding efforts in educating civil society about the effects of corporate globalisation, and how alternatives to it can be implemented. " (See Walden's acceptance speech The Future in the Balance)

An academic as well as an activist, Bello obtained his PhD in sociology from Princeton University in the US in 1975 and has been a full professor at the University of the Philippines at Diliman since 1997. He has also served as visiting professor at the University of California at Los Angeles (2002), UC Irvine (2006), and UC Santa Barbara (2006). He also taught for four years, 1978-82, at UC Berkeley. He was Chancellor's Fellow at UC Irvine in 2004 and was awarded an honorary PhD by Panteion University in Athens, Greece, in 2005.

PACIFIC PANOPTICON: Walden Bello (New Left Review)

Walden Bello is a senior analyst at Focus on the Global South, a program of Chulalongkorn University’s Social Research Institute, President of the Freedom from Debt Coalition, and a fellow of the Transnational Institute. He is the author of numerous books on Asian issues and globalisation, including Dilemmas of Domination: the Unmaking of the American Empire (2005), The Anti-Development State: the political ecnonomy of permanent crisis in the Philippines (2004) and Deglobalisation: ideas for a new world economy (2004). His articles have appeared in numerous periodicals including Review of international Political Economy, Third World Quarterly, Foreign Policy, Race and Class, Le Monde Diplomatique, Le Monde, Guardian, Boston Globe, Far Eastern Economic Review, and La Jornada. He is currently a columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Foreign Policy in Focus. He won South Korea's Suh Sang Don Prize in 2001, and in 2003 he was given the Right Livelihood Award, also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize, for "for outstanding efforts in educating civil society about the effects of corporate globalisation, and how alternatives to it can be implemented. " (See Walden's acceptance speech The Future in the Balance)

An academic as well as an activist, Bello obtained his PhD in sociology from Princeton University in the US in 1975 and has been a full professor at the University of the Philippines at Diliman since 1997. He has also served as visiting professor at the University of California at Los Angeles (2002), UC Irvine (2006), and UC Santa Barbara (2006). He also taught for four years, 1978-82, at UC Berkeley. He was Chancellor's Fellow at UC Irvine in 2004 and was awarded an honorary PhD by Panteion University in Athens, Greece, in 2005.

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Published by: yanac on Oct 04, 2008
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12/13/2012

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68
new left review 16 july aug 2002
walden bello
PACIFIC PANOPTICON
Could you tell us about your education and family background?
I
 
was born in
Manila, in 1945. My father was in the moviebusiness in the Philippines, and involved in advertising andentertainment. My mother was a singer and composer—both of them were interested in the arts. My father read widely. The storygoes that he was immersed in Thoreau when I was born, and decidedto name me Walden; though I have two or three Spanish names as well.My parents were both Spanish-speakers, but they didn’t transmit it tous—English was more or less the first language in our household whenI was growing up. I had two other Philippine languages, but just spokenones, not written. I was taught by Jesuits, from first grade through to col-lege graduation, and my initial radicalization was a reaction against thatconservative educational system—the Jesuit schools in the Philippinesessentially catered for the children of the elite. I wasn’t from that back-ground, and was instinctively opposed to their strict class bias, in apre-political way.
This was prior to the development of liberation theology?
There were only a handful of people from the university who took upradical positions in the early part of the Marcos period. For the mostpart, the Jesuit system has been a fairly efficient producer of ruling-classminds. As in Latin America, a layer of Christians with a national-liberation perspective did emerge from some of the religious orders,especially the relatively newer ones, such as the Redemptorists. But thatnever predominated among the Jesuits. I knew them all, and very few of 
A Movement of Movements?—8
 
bello:
Interview
69them—maybe eight or ten—ever embraced a progressive politics. TheJesuits always had a liberal façade; but in terms of their education andthe people they produced, they were really quite conservative.
What did you do after graduation?
Upper-class education in the Philippines led automatically either to acorporate career with the multinationals, or into law and government.I didn’t want to be trapped in either—at least, not so soon. So I wentdown to Sulu and taught in a college in Jolo for about a year. ThereI got involved in discussions with Muslim intellectuals—people whowould go on to form the Mindanao National Liberation Front, in whicha number of my students later became active too. I was in sympathywith their analysis of a systematic discrimination against Muslims in thePhilippines, although I might not have supported outright secession.After that I worked for a few years as publications director of the Instituteof Philippine Culture, which had been set up by anthropologists fromthe University of Chicago. Their approach was highly empirical buttheir ideas about Filipino social structure and behavioural patterns stillhad a lot of influence. They were closely linked to the US Agency forInternational Development. At that time, a huge proportion of Americanfunding for social-science research came from the military. People wouldgo to the Philippines—to places like the IPC—on US naval-researchgrants. This was in the second half of the sixties, at the height of thewar against Vietnam—but the social scientists there still claimed theirresearch had no military application. It was a highly politicizing momentfor me, in understanding how the system worked: that there was no dis-tinction at all between this sort of funding and academic research.
Was this the time of Marcos’s re-election?
I left for post-graduate studies at Princeton just before the elections in69—it was a vicious campaign. These were momentous times. In 1970there was the so-called First Quarter Storm in the Philippines, with therise of the student movement. But it was the American student strug-gle against the war in Vietnam that really politicized me, in the UnitedStates itself. My next important experience was going down to Chilefor my doctoral research in 1972. I was attracted by Allende’s constitu-tional road to socialism, and wanted to study political mobilization in
 
70
nlr 16
the shanty towns. I spent a couple of months working with Communistsorganizing in the local communities, but as soon as I arrived I realizedthat the correlation of forces had already shifted: it was now the counter-revolution that was in the ascendant. So I ended up re-focusing bothmy academic work and political interests on the emergence of the reac-tion in Chile. Coming from the Third World, this wasn’t easy to do. If you weren’t Chilean, and were brown-skinned, you tended to be markeddown as a Cuban agent. That got me into trouble a number of times.The dissertation developed into a comparative study of counter-revolutionin Germany, Italy and Chile. It acknowledged the role of the CIA, butput equal, if not greater, weight on domestic class forces in explainingthe consolidation of the anti-Allende bloc. The experience gave me ahealthy scepticism—running clean against much standard Americanpolitical science on developing countries—about the democratic role of the middle class. I could see that this was a very ambivalent layer.By the time I got back to the US to defend my thesis in early 73,Marcos had declared martial law, and the Filipino community in theStates was in uproar. It was then that I first became active in exileFilipino politics. Various groups were forming. There was a Movementfor a Free Philippines, associated with Senator Raúl Manglapus, one of the stalwarts of the elite opposition to Marcos who had fled to the USstraight after the declaration of martial law. A number of Americans,some of them specialists in the area, set up a group called the Friendsof the Filipino People; among them was Daniel Schirmer from Boston,who had just written
Republic or Empire
. I gravitated towards the Unionof Democratic Filipinos—the Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino(KDP)—which was allied to the Communist Party of the Philippines andthe New People’s Army.
Given the direct relationship between the US and the martial-law regime,which you analysed at the time in
Logistics of Repression,
1
how far did thebroad Left in the Philippines see its fight as a national liberation movement,rather than simply opposition to military rule?
Marcos, of course, claimed that the rising revolutionary movementwas his central reason for declaring martial law, saying it demanded a
1
The Logistics of Repression: the Role of US Aid in Consolidating the Martial Law Regimein the Philippines
, Washington, DC 1977.

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