HomeDLSU Dialogue: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Cultural Studiesvol. 24 no. 1 (1989)

What's the Word on the Bases, and Why are they Saying Such Terrible Things About Them?

Isagani R. Cruz

Discipline: Social Science



To a literary theorist, the most interesting aspect of the bases issue is that it is an issue.


The arguments for or against the continued stay of American military bases on Philippine soil are well-known. The bases safeguard our security, maintain regional stability, and provide employment and economic aid; therefore, they should be retained. The bases violate national sovereignty and integrity, expose us to military including nuclear aggression, and cause immorality and human rights violations; therefore, they should be removed. And so on ad nauseam.


When confronted with the bases issue, a literary theorist has good cause to despair of the intellectual literacy of humanity. It is not that questions about the bases are not intellectually sound; it is simply that these questions should not be asked at all.