The tradition of socialist theory and practice associated with the Frenchmen Jean Jaures and Leon Blum is virtually unheard of in the Philippines. In a way, this is not surprising in a polity where ideological distinctions are not fully understood and appreciated, and where "socialism" is often equated with the "communism" espoused by the underground Communist Party of the Philippines and its allies. But such a gap in knowledge, while understandable, is most unfortunate. The aim of this note is to help fill this intellectual void in Philippine political-economic literature. The note also intends to show that this particular French contribution to socialist thinking can be used as a prism through which the current dilemmas facing the Philippine political economy may be discerned-particularly by those who have a deep commitment to both political democracy and socioeconomic justice. We should, of course, guard against any facile comparisons between the French and Philippine experiences. Certainly, there is no comparing February 1986 in the Philippines with the French Revolution of 1789, nor can we simply compare the Philippine Democratic Socialist movement with its counterpart in France. At the same time, however, if we were to study carefully the complex political position of those whose twin commitments to democracy and socialism have led them to defend the Aquino regime against extremist challenges--despite this government's obvious limitations and failures-perhaps a comparison with the dilemmas of French Socialism may not be as pointless as it may seem initially.
The contemporary political project of both "defending" the genuine "democratic gains" of the popular victory against the Marcos dictatorship and at the same time of "transforming" the very limited and formal nature of democracy restored under the Aquino regime, finds a parallel in the French experience. The desire "to complete an unfinished revolution"-to extend democracy from the political to the socioeconomic sphere-is at the heart of the theory and practice of that strand of French Socialism identified with Jaures and Blum. It is an important element in the heritage of international Democratic Socialism which no serious student of political economy can afford to ignore.
Tolosa, B. (1992). The Socialist Legacy of Jean Jaures and Leon Blum. Philippine Studies, 40(2), 226-239.