By Lou Drendel

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But what becomes clear from our reading of Ileto’s work is the mutual inter-penetration between state and society far beyond that suggested by even scholars and activists working before and since Ileto. This is because both leaders and rebels across social classes shared and drew from a common fund of insights and stories — what Ileto calls a partisan but nevertheless “shared, public discourse” centred on heroes — pertaining to the desirability and necessity of freedom and change. This nationalist imperative toward emancipation and transformation was often couched or framed in the religious and especially Catholic idiom of brotherhood, suffering, martyrdom, and sacrifice, carrying with it the emotive charge of pity and empathy, and provoking readjustment of bodily dispositions and orienting these dispositions toward action (see also Ileto 1979).

This well-worn “plot” of the Philippine story can be used to justify the status quo or to challenge it. ” But on the other hand, this benign view of American colonialism in the Philippines was subject to criticism by radical intellectuals and peasant groups. The politician Jose Laurel, who headed the Japan-sponsored government during the war, argued that the United States “had never really let daughter Filipinas become fully independent and so the Revolution remained unfinished”. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Huk leader Luis Taruc, to cite another example, drew a parallel between the American occupation of the Philippines, with its brutal suppression of the Filipino populace in the midst of the Filipino struggle against Spain, and the American return to the Philippines in the midst of Filipino struggle against Japan, with its arbitrary intervention in Philippine politics in support of the Filipino elite “collaborators” against the interests of the Filipino people.

22 • Craig J. Reynolds move quickly to a discussion about ethnicity, religion, communalism, or caste. Not much hope is invested in the nation, and nationalism is seen as a derivative discourse, an unwelcome legacy of colonialism. The Subaltern Studies group contributed greatly to this shift, and the words of Partha Chatterjee in The Nation and Its Fragments, published about a decade ago, are still worth recalling: The continuance of a distinct cultural “problem” of the minorities is an index of the failure of the Indian nation to effectively include within its body the whole of the demographic mass that it claims to represent.

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