"Gold amongst the Shit": Salvador Araneta revisited
writeup regarding the efforts of Salvador Araneta
and his ideas all contrary to this class
At first, the person shown above had been much likely to be a part of those considered as enemies of the society, such as those of "oligarchs" and "monopolists", those who controlled entirely the economy. That with his stances are those who favor "Free Trade" and reliance on "Foreign Investment" cry against; but then that person would say he's different from the typical "oligarch", "landlord", "bureaucrat capitalist" as his ideas seemingly different such as envisioning a society whose resources much spen on its own than be carried by others away.
That man from above, amongst the few and enlightened, is Salvador Araneta.
According to Alejandro Lichauco, Araneta was a man of towering intellect whose acomplishments left a good legacy in the history of Philippine society such as his works as an industrialist, government official, educator, writer, and political economist. His action as a constitutionalist during 1934 and 1971 tried much to carry Social Justice and Development as one of the priorities of the state, all despite his background such as those of a landed gentry.
Yes, that in modern times would say that he's a member of the 1% who may possibly chose to be with the 99%. Why?
His record as a "National bourgeois", such as those of attempts for Industrialization, steered employment and creation of domestic goods such as those from Republic Flour Mills, AIA Feeds, Araneta Pulp and Paper, machineries from FEATI, and others that somehow contributed although RFM had survived as one of his companies founded until today.
The flour mill at Pasig, shot by David Montasco, had served as its evidence how Araneta and his idea of Industrializing the Philippines although nowadays RFM had gone different with free trade advocates and policies pitted domestic enterprises whom tried to maintain, worse had to comply with the standards different those of the law like Globalization and others from IMF-WB.
Obviously, his vision, according to Manuel Quezon III is to redeem his homeland from poverty. His efforts in building industries coupled by proposing sound and realistic economic policies tends to create that is based on effort and utilizing raw material and manpower, less on foreign investment, with every Filipino had to enjoy its fruit of their service.
And yet how come free trade advocates like Winnie Monsod and others cry wolf out of National industrialization, favoring foreign investment and the right for foreigners to acquire property, while silent in regards to a nation depending on imports, exporting raw materials, having edifices of glass, steel, and concrete yet predominantly agricultural supplemented by remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers? In other words, their cries favoring the wishes of IMF-WB are all but a call for submitting further to neoimperialism as it assails domestic-based development with emphasis on people's intitative, worse, describing it as a work of the oligarchs.
If so, then how come "oligarchs" like Araneta acted different, an "enlightened" one, even "radical" amongst the elites who rather chose preserving prestige to their class standing. RFM had been founded also because of the Filipino's need to have domestic-made flour with bakeries in dire need of bread, and with Araneta himself thinking how a resource-rich country like the Philippines having vast mass of unemployed and dependent on imports? Like Simoun on El Filibusterismo would say that he calls for initiative, such as strong domestic-based economic policy and oppose neocolonialism having the Philippines a victim of centuries-old foreign rule whose implicators treat a country a farm and its people trash, savages, whores to rape for. Few rich people chose to be deviant, insurgent-like in the eyes of the rotten system as their motives mirror those of the dispossessed, aspirations such as call for jobs, housing, security, land and national dignity. Groups such as Kadamay and Anakpawis are justified in their calls with development lies in national industrialization for the workers, genuine agrarian reform for the farmers, sound housing policy for the homeless, all be put into action.
As according to Emmanuel Pelaez:
"...he underscored the need for mass housing not only because of its social impact on the welfare of the people but also because of its capacity to promote some thirty other industries thereby creating greater employment...."
In other words, it also meant rural-based industrialization and community-based development the way there should be mass housing at Hacienda Luisita for the tillers and workers in an effort to create more and new foundations of a domestic-based economy, with agriculture goes hand in hand with industry, as well as realizing social justice. Again, few "rich" people, other than those who are merely acting, tends to advocate as it oppose neoliberal, neocolonial, that is tantamount to selling the country for few pieces of silver.
Quite pitiful for neoliberals, free trade advocates that constantly oppose industrialization and favoring a policy realistic to their eyes. That they cry oligarch to an advocate of domestic development, communist for those who clamor for social justice, yet silent for a foreign exploiter for that person gives job and investment. US imperialists and others tends to subjugate if not to occupy directly by pressuring the state into their policies favorable to their wishes such as the controversial Bell Trade Act with its "parity rights" during the early days of the "sham republic."
As for the oligarchs would say that they are looking after themselves being the 1%. They are landlords, corrupt bureaucrats, right or wrong that they are looking after themselves no matter how poor and underdeveloped their country is. They would favor free trade as technocrats submit themselves to the wishes of IMF-WB and telling that "Import Substitution" is a byword for industrialization although it had made semi-finished or assembled goods the way steel had to be imported since it is cheaper compared to those made by Jacinto or Puyat.
And in regards to their "Patriotism" as more of a rhetoric as it negates, if not disregards issues by promises not to be fulfilled. Araneta had tackled seriously such as his concept such as "'Capitalism' for all" and "Socialization of Assets". One of his books even praised the Soviet Union despite having ideological differences with them. After all, oligarchs chose to remain aloof to think about contrary to their privilege the way Hacienda Luisita, Looc, Yulo, and others haven't been distributed directly to the farmers and instead be developed in a way Manny Villar did to the once ricefields of Cavite and Bulacan. Food security and productivity had been threatened much if not for the socially unjust thinks about cash crops for exports, contentment for imports while making lots of rhetoric how "prosperous" the society is.
Well, this writer rather say that few amongst the elite, such as Araneta chose to act different, radical by those of the status quo in regards to their stances. If most cling thoroughly to their overtly traditionalist motions, sentiments of the old, and treating serious issues such as poverty be solved by prayer and charity.
Few chose Democracy and Development in all spheres to create a community founded on Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and Justice to all the way Babeuf had envisioned that moderate yet patriotic ones like Araneta and Puyat, or the Radical such as Pedro Abad Santos or Isabelo de los Reyes, even Luis Jalandoni who chose to be a rebel against the system regardless of his class background.
Looking at social realities, fueled with patriotic sentiment and love for the people made things quite contrary to the supposed plans such as those of a person "with a silver spoon", all to the norms, and mores of a decadent society fueled by Globalization that supported by those who who are claiming to be "against the system" yet aloof in regards to similar exploiters such as foreign capitalists seeking property and technocrats that also treat state affairs as private enterprises no different from a corrupt bureaucrat.
Come to think of this: since the Philippines had been 'developed' thanks to import substitution, the creation of call centers, construction boom and OFW remittances, how come Land Reform, Rural Development, and National Industrialization failed to be tackled by the people behind progress, especially those who obeys IMF-WB policies and diktat such as those from the United States?
American economic planning for Asia, started after the war, had made Philippines primarily as predominantly agricultural, less industrialized compare to the booming economies such as Japan and Korea.
Japan had been defeated b the United States after the war, but in its reconstruction the Zaibatus had been rehabilitated as most of its industries been crucial to US strategic military interests. As according to Wikipedia:
"...complete dissolution of the zaibatsu was never achieved, mostly because U.S. government rescinded the orders in an effort to reindustrialize Japan as a bulwark against Communism in Asia. Zaibatsu as a whole were widely considered to be beneficial to the Japanese economy and government, and the opinions of the Japanese public, of the zaibatsu workers and management, and of the entrenched bureaucracy regarding plans for zaibatsu dissolution ranged from unenthusiastic to disapproving. Additionally, the changing politics of the Occupation during the reverse course served as a crippling, if not terminal, roadblock to zaibatsu elimination."
Most of them, such as Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Sumitomo had survived and thriving being remnants of the old economic order such as those deemed as oligarchic. US interests made them surviving such as their technology been helped in the military effort.
So was Korea, it was also developed by the US after the Korean war. Park Chung Hee's economic policies include "Development" based approached comparable to Kim Il-Sung's, although the former had been supported thoroughly by the US as an aid "against Communists". But, according to Benigno Aquino Jr, during the Marcos' administration's insistence to apply the South Korean model:
"This World Bank and the International Monetary Fund tried to impose on us (Filipinos) the South Korean model without taking into consideration that South Korea is a command society with a strong, no-nonsense military government. South Korea doesn't have any pretensions to Democratic orientation or Tradition, and at that time it was pulling an economic miracle the western economies were booming... what was the main fuel for the Korean economy? The Vietnam War! That's how they got started. They made the shoes for the soldiers in Vietnam-uniforms for Vietnam. This was the beginning of their textile industry... then electronics came in."
Quite strange though that the the United States have to impose "minimums" to the Philippines as it prioritizes Japan or Korea to maximize efforts in reconstructing and innovating, renovating into one of the so-called booming economies in Asia. Originally "developed" to counter Red China and Juche Korea so to speak that they had to spend Dollars in aid while its very own partner had to get contented in influx of foreign goods other than limiting its own industry to semi-processed, assembly line, import substitutes, ersatz while media present it thoroughly how the Philippines been industrialized.
But then, Import Substitution does not mean Industrialization as it doesn't utilize its own resources other than cheap labour. Korea's Daewoo, Japan's Mitsubishi had processed its own from scratch, they even have technology so to speak to develop further on its own while Sarao's own jeeps had to rely on Isuzu for engines while doing steel fabricating in assembling the vehicle; and making steel seemingly reduced for making construction purposes the way Puyat's Apo promotes its roofs. Yet still the call for Industrialization and the utilization of resources for domestic use, genuine self reliance remained a call and a vision to those who wanted to end dependency on imports and dictates of those inimical to National Development. It cannot be considered a mere individualistic sentiment at all that caters much to the self as it encompasses those greatly affected by the crisis and shackles of the ruling gentries and interest.
That also made those gold amongst the shit tries to beg differ from their kind who did nothing other than mere rhetoric. Anyways, Araneta's quest may remain still, but in a new type, this time by those who took the hard job and wearing the blue collar.