He Who Rides The Tiger [ePub]

by Luis Taruc

Taruc was the former head of the Huk rebellion, both during WWII and as one of its key military leaders during its uprising in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Taruc gave himself up after being expelled from the party for his refusal to completely submit to party discipline, his willingness to consider peace terms to end the uprising, and if he is to be believed, its increasingly dogmatic Communism. Following his capture, he was denied the pardon he was promised by Pres. Magsaysay and was still languishing in prison while he wrote this work.

In some ways it is a classic anti-Communist text, written by a former Communist (at least formally, Taruc was a Socialist Party member before it merged with the Communists in 38) who decries Communist excesses and dogma from the perspective of someone who was at the very center of its leadership. He goes into considerable depth in describing the violence and atrocities of the Huks, especially in its last phase and also provides an interesting analysis of its final failures after it peaked around 1950.

However, Taruc was never the former true-believer who turned against the party, in the form of Koestler, for example. Taruc was somewhat religious, stubbornly undogmatic, and of a different form of pragmatism than that of the party. As a charismatic populist leader not well versed in Marxism, he was known to have frequently clashed with the party leadership long before he was expelled by it for his treasonous peace overtures. He was an agrarian reformist who believed deeply in the cause of Socialism with a nationalist character and, at least in this work, gives the impression of having remained closer to the military and economic realities of the flagging cause of the Huks in its last years.

20.04.2016

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