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Modelling the transition from Violence to Peace – Introduction

28 September 2010

Initiatives and methods to transform violence to less violent and to peace are as varied as the diversities of circumstances and contexts they find themselves in. The creativities of the peacebuilders with the stakeholders have added beauty to these initiatives and peacebuilding activities.

The poverty reduction, conflict resolution and transformation which the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa – Mindanao (RPM-M) have been evolving with its current peace talks with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) are just part of these initiatives. The RPMM shares this experience as its small contribution to the peace building efforts in Mindanao and in the country.

The RPM-M was founded on May 1, 2001. It has been a product of global context and the internal dynamics of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). Both these external and internal factors have positively influenced and radically changed the RPMM concepts of war and peace, belief and ideology. In fact, the dynamics brought about by the rethinking and reinvisioning have greatly resulted and provided reason for RPMM’s being.

The significant changes in the geopolitics after the cold war have caused the disappearance of the bi-polar world order. It can be observed for instance that most of the wars have been fought not anymore between nation-states but rather internal and civil wars where most of the victims are civilians and non-combatants.

This trend can be attributed to the disappearance of the cold war conflicts which had been mainly based on class conflicts (micro and macro levels). There had also been a resurgence of wars caused by issues on nationalism and ethnicity especially during those times. Today, the situation has been changed and made complicated by the post 9/11 event and the eventual launching of war on terror when wars have been declared and waged on global scale and without borders.

The total collapse of the Soviet Socialist sphere and the significant change of the socialist outlook of China have caused not only confusion on socialist paradigm among revolutionary groups but also resulted in an unrestrained expansion of globalization of the neo-liberal led capitalism that has had a great impact on efforts and struggles for nationalist and democratic societies and economies.

The unlimited opening-up of poor countries (like the Philippines) of their economies to the dictates of the global market has fuelled and intensified tensions and conflicts between and among the peoples and their governments and those responsible for these oppressive policies but safely hiding behind the multi-lateral and international institutions.,

International financial and multi-lateral bodies like the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have had more influence and played decisive role in the poor countries’ economy, political and cultural lives of their people and perspectives. There have been obviously increased of globalized conflicts and tensions beyond the control of the governments of nation-states and yet the causes of such tensions remain faceless and hidden behind the international institutions and their policies.

Conflicts and tensions within the poor countries have intensified because of widespread practices of graft and corruption and absence of moral values and ascendancies by governments to continue to govern and to lead their peoples freely and democratically.

The failure to significantly address such changes in the global order and the shift in paradigm of Socialism by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) has caused tensions and conflicts within the Party which eventually led to its splits in the early ‘90’s.

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