Comrade Carlos Bulosan

Carlos Bulosan

In these days running up to the 2020 elections, with public focus turning to socialist Bernie Sanders and social-democrat members of Congress, it’s perhaps not surprising that memories of FDR’s “New Deal” are circulating once again, and socialism or social democracy is being picked apart, criticized or re-examined. In writer Carlos Bulosan’s heyday, socialism and communism were seen as unwanted “foreign” elements infiltrating the country. It might be a good time to remember Carlos Bulosan‘s socialist (or communist) left-leaning tendencies, how he was perceived by the government and FBI, and how that played out in his life and death.

Rick Baldoz writes, “

“[Bulosan] had long been active in left-wing circles in the United States and saw his career as a cultural worker as inextricably intertwined with his commitment to radical politics. Whether penning articles for left-wing newspapers or writing a semi-autobiographical novel about the socio-economic hardships faced by Filipino immigrants in the United States, Bulosan gave voice to the disenfranchised. He believed that his cultural labor could contribute directly to the struggle for a more just world, declaring to a colleague that, “every word is a weapon for freedom.”

Read his in-depth article, in The Asia-Pacific Journal, in full: “Comrade Carlos Bulosan: U.S. State Surveillance And the Cold War Suppression of Filipino Radicals.”