Based on extensive research spanning the course of a decade (1991-2001), this study offers a powerful analysis of Philippine politics and society inspired by the writings of Antonio Gramsci. It draws on a rich collection of sources from archives, interviews, newspapers, and participant-observation. It identifies a cycle of recurring “crisis of authority,” involving mounting threats – from above and below – to oligarchical democracy in the Philippines. Tracing the trajectory of a Gramscian “dominant bloc” of social forces, Hedman shows how each such crisis in the Philippines promotes a countermobilization by the “intellectuals” of the dominant bloc: the capitalist class, the Catholic Church, and the U.S. government.