Towards a new co-prosperity in a forsaken region
(Or seeing ASEAN as a satellite region of the US
than an independent entity)
"The future of Asia is powerless," says the critics of today in seeing a region that once envisioned as a growing progressive society into an interest seeking bullshit invented by western interests. It is much obvious to see how it had become, especially in the underdeveloped and developing parts of the region. May it be the Philippines, Timor Leste, or some regions in Indonesia to Burma and Cambodia.
And knowing that most Asiatic peoples, specifically in the South East are rather becoming slaves of those who make false promises in which end incomplete or failed to realise, western interests had afford to throw unjustly their surpluses and its trash culture, reducing, if not wiping away heritage all for the sake of illusory progress made out of wholesale "westernization" with standards much likely based on the Atlanticists like the United States. Strange indeed that despite bragging to the world the modern edifices yet obviously having shantytowns, faux-prosperity made by cheap labor and to some extent in other countries, feudalism in the far-flung provinces, the Asiatic peoples had no other choice but to insurrect knowing that their respective systems, being stooges of a repressive international order had chose to tolerate repression whilst speaking words like "progress", "stability", "greatness", and "security".
Or in other words, treating people as if stupid in justifying their failed intentions and a mish-mash of delusions.
ASEAN: a failure?
Like a powerless medusa, organizations within South East Asia such as the Association of SouthEast Asian Nations (ASEAN) had failed to inculcate South East Asian unity and instead acting as a mere organization served for occidental interests such as what this writer stated earlier; it had failed to create a South East Asia that is based on the aspirations of collective justice, security, prosperity, freedom and peace, regardless of its attempt yet still left in pieces of paper if not in the statements of every head of state treating an issue as if to be resolved by a mere rhetoric.
As according to Eduardo Tadem of the University of the Philippines, ASEAN had failed in its integration for decades compared to the status of its European counterpart. Countries like Thailand and Singapore had treated the region merely as a conduit for exports that hence, intensify competition rather than inculcate cooperation and development within the region. In an article at Thailand's "The Nation" last 2013, he had cited 2010 statistics showing intra-Asean trade at just 25 per cent of the entire trade in the 10 member states, compared with 67.3 per cent of intra-trading among European Union members.
And since that Tadem argued that competition among Asean manufacturers was fierce and thus undermined the goal of regional integration, much more that as Raymond Palatino who had stated the failure in resolving transboundary issues that somehow justifies the creation of the said organization. Unfortunately, the current haze disaster reflects the utter failure of ASEAN as a regional grouping. Plus, three countries - Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand - dominate intra-Asean trade, accounting for about 70 per cent.
So to use the term used by the Japanese during the second world war, where's the co-prosperity being envisioned? Of bringing genuine development in developing countries by means of cooperation? What this writer sees is all but intense competition based on interest, that unveils weakness in the eyes of other regions such as China or the Occident.
And since ASEAN also speaks much of collective security and progress, then how come there is a need for outside intervention such as those of the interest-seeking United States? Quite obvious that the organization is all but a weak counterweight out of internal infights and intense competition within nations. A strong counterweight, ideally speaking does not need much of an outside intervenor in a way EU had tried during the cold war. France's Charles De Gaulle, in justifying France's independence includes European Unity to counter both US and USSR, so should be the ASEAN in countering China and the US.
But, knowing that alongside intense competition and putting down developing countries within the region, most are rather as similar to the "East India Companies" of the past, substituting multinational companies for old megacorporations in former colonizers, in countries treated as mere farms for raw materials and factories producing semi-processed and assembled goods; while sovereignty's insistence in domestic-based development being disregarded in favor of a particular interest in making a country weak and dependent in imports coming from what this writer had stated.
Much more that systems whom accommodate largely to the wishes of the west had to circumvent the original aspirations made by its founders, of collective development and unity within brother countries, paving way to much intervention from the west that cares much about their interest in the region. Perhaps one should know that other than the newly emerging China craving for interest (and contrary to their ideology of course), the picture is also that the US, rather than the organization is the master of the region, telling and dictating to all the parties how to behave, what they should do and what it would want them to do. ASEAN is turning out to be a vehicle of the American Empire, existing only in names with the Americans calling the shot and setting the agenda and tone of discussion the way they had done in their former possession. In Indonesia, the idea of Pancasila had been diluted with its economy being geared to Neoliberal, rather than Pancasila itself; knowing that Soekarno, the founder of the modern Indonesian state had abhorred Neoliberalism as same those of Neocolonialism.
Again, like a powerless medusa, the region that tries to emulate its European counterpart had failed to realize its goal, that somehow made outside intervenors, interest-seeking so to speak afford to distort the idea of having a united region with the help of its domestic accomplices. Furthermore, since ASEAN had failed, so is the Non-Aligned Movement that also acts as a counterweight!
Towards a new co-prosperity in a forsaken region
As this writer had assessed ASEAN as a possible failed organization with its infights and irreconcilable differences, then people seeks for an alternative knowing that the organization that supposed to bind the entire region didn't realize aspirations nor having its people having less benefit from it. Being a powerless medusa and a dummy that had been carried by a clique of someone else's stooges, people within the region has to insist a region firm in unity and brotherhood with cooperation and co-prosperity given. Sorry to use the term used by the Japanese during WW2, but the>real essence of co-prosperity is making every country within the ASEAN region and perhaps others a folk-oriented community and at the same time geared to the aspirations of the laboring people. An Internationalism that counters what is system-sponsored globalization.
Contrary to the wants of modern day "east India" companies in the form of multinational exploiters, having a strong folk-oriented community of nations inculcates genuine cooperation and respect amongst countries, regional development different from the present orientation insisted by so-called international banking and finance organizations, and a counterweight, a genuine counterweight against interest seeking entities like the Imperialist United States and Social-Imperialist China. One may look at the orginal agreements such as those of the Bandung, Belgrade, and others whose primary objective is a union that speaks of co-prosperity and genuine mutual respect amongst newly emerging nations, in which time and again insisted by peoples and distored by systems.
It is obvious that exploiters and its apologists may attempt to undermine the idea of building a sphere of co-prosperity over the South East Asian region and others. Soekarno and had once envisioned a Newly Emerging Force that was to counter the predominance of Neocolonialism not just in Asia but around the world. Gaddafi had somewhat shared the view of Soekarno in trying to create a united Africa alongside those of Julius Nyere and Kwame Nkrumah, so was Gamal Nasser in his dream of a united Arab federation with socialism as its foundation.
But sadly, those aspirations were partially built, and eventually destroyed by the accomplices of the dominant order and its domestic apologists. Qaddafi was killed and his Libya done destroyed, Soekarno being ousted by Soeharto with the latter distorting Pancasila and justly accepting Neoliberalism; seeing rampant poverty, repression and policies centered on dependency rather than independence and respect, perhaps the laboring people within the region had still insisted a community far from the descriptions insisted by their respective systems, with their near long-lost aspirations be realized in a way Fichte speaks of uniting material and spiritual wealth to create a healthy living being.
Come to think of this, since Pancasila and the aspirations of Andres Bonifacio speaks of social justice, then why neoliberalism made people march to the streets against institutionalized poverty? Farmers had even insisted land to the tiller to feed their communities than those of corporations making cash crops merely for export. Workers had worked overnight just to earn a wage far from the perscribed, 9.50 pesos from Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac for an average farmworker's daily needs? 52 or 58 pesos to consider an a average Filipino unpoor in midst of rising costs of commodities? In Indonesia, where 70 per cent of the population lives in rural areas, poverty is increasingly concentrated in these areas with 16.6 per cent of rural people are poor compared with 9.9 per cent of urban populations. What a mockery of greatness, justice, stability for respective systems towards the average Juan and Marhaen!
Anyways, still unable to control its borders, of intense competitions and quarrels, and failure to heed the genuine call of the people in countries within the region rather justifies being dominated by the mania of free-trade under multinational megacorporations, and subject to both Imperialist American and Social-Imperialist Chinese domination.
Anyways, this writeup speaks far from those who think madly and based on computer games and obsession with science fiction and calling it as idealism. People had rather demand looking at the reality and have it respve realistically instead of a mish mash of pseudo-thought based on fiction. Tolerable indeed that there are some who had afford to use their creativity in pursuit of realizing the goals of the people such as those of Futurism and of skyscrapers, but these on the other hand aren't merely made to justify progress alone but of dealing with a population that is growing, hence making edifices higher rather than wider to accomodate a growing urban populace, so were the cars had been made in pursuit of replacing horses and inspired by trains that can be rode on roads than on tracks; the steam engine did not create out of mere books but of a desire for an efficient alternative to both man and horsepower; and so are the succeeding machineries that drives humanity into progress, that sadly still kept in the hands of the few who cares about profit than the people who took time making those "work."
Personally, in reading such writeups and looking at their graphics trying to illustrate their so-called aspirations and of the future, had find it if not a mockery, a free flow of imagination that again, based largely on science fiction and computer games rather than realities. They may quote Marx and Lenin, or even those of Mussolini and Hitler, but they failed to understand but instead creating a distortion in a way Holywood had depicted Soviets, Nazis largely in its movies.
In the Philippines for instance, youngsters whom afford to praise the late Ferdinand Marcos had relied largely on those who, born in the generation of the "new society" failed to see the obvious reality such as slums and garbage at Tondo's Smokey Mountain, new wave of Oligarchs with its crony capitalism, and of the debt being left by the regime they had admire most; some had even distort by insisting that Marcos made Philippines "second to Japan" that in fact it was under his predecessors like Garcia or Macapagal, for sure people also know that Marcos had failed to keep the peso strong and instead keeping it floated just like his predecessor.
So were the others like Soeharto whose idea of a new order was nothing but submission to the wishes of the west.