Sunday, 22 June 2014

"Internet is American, and Democracy is Greek."

"Internet is American, and Democracy is Greek"

It was last time during the protest against Obama's visit to the Philippines when Carlos Celdran, and others had afford to make a comment about activists using the internet. 

Like Celdran's statment telling that the Internet was made by the Americans seemed to be rude towards the left for being anti-Imperialist (or let's just say in their terms as anti-American), so are the others to think that to be "Anti-Imperialist" is to abhor anything modern, that anything modern is anything but "foreign", or to accept "Globalization" is an act of "Internationalism".

That is somehow quite contradicting. 

This writer, in reading those posts made in response to the protest against Obama and the latest agreement permitting US troops having unoffical posts in Philippine shores lies the fact that these people chose to capitulate, save for the Philippine flag to its once overlord and its trying hard paternalism. But come to think of this, just because the United States of America had offered modern gadgetries, you, the Filipino whom supposed to modernise on its own rather chose to be "the white man's burden" like before? Do they have any options other than having US troops, policies stationed and imposed? Are there any students from the National Defence College willing to create new military doctrines instead of contenting at having the Philippines acting as a buffer zone? So are patriotic industrialists whom, regardless of using western thinking willing to utilize those thought for genuine domestic development?

In fact, this writer had earlier made a poem in response to Celdran's statement, here it goes:

Rockets were invented in China
Democracy was started in Greece
America was settled by English
Sitting Bull does not consider himself American.

Guns were made in Europe
While Republicanism was idealized in Rome
Jefferson was inspired by Voltaire, the French
And Spaghetti and Pizza is Italian

Then you say Internet is made by Americans?

Anything you have said is beyond parameters nor boundaries
For these people behind those things benefited Humanity
It is the systems repressive made Filipinos against
And not the people who are sick and tired of an endless test.

People may had thanked America and its peoples
But does it mean you should also thank the rotten system too
The Philippines should step itself alone like the most
To show its own independence, against aggressors both the "cracker" and the "gook"

(Sorry for the racist rant, but that's what Americans love to describe)

That poem somehow should recall that things and idea around the United States and all over the world are from other countries. But does not mean despite having those things they have no right to assert independence and the will to be themselves as a community. The system chose to get content in aid on the first place, that people rather chose to be just consumers of wholesale westernization leaving the domestic made ones, regardless of being modern be crippled by the former's massive imports. Failure to assert independence by means of self development had unveiled weakness just like what happened in China during the Qing dynasty. 

Speaking of self-improvement as a nation, one may remember how Japan during the Sengoku and Tokugawa periods did have some western ideas used for their development regardless of their isolation. Some intellects who used to have Samurai swords and writing haiku had to study Ragaku "western learning" in pursuit of utilizing western idea for domestic development; one should even remember that Panday Pira, a craftsman-blacksmith had developed Cannons copied from foreign designs even those of Europe just to defend Manila against Spaniards, Pirates and marauders from the sea, but does it mean they had compromise entirely ptheir patriotism by using western or eastern thought in pursuit of domestic aspirations? Even Andres Bonifacio did inspired from both foreign and native influences in pursuit of struggling for independence against Spain. Obviously, it is human choice,  has the decision whether or not to use modern gadgetries made in America or in any other country in their daily lifestyle, even the famed Anti-Imperialist Recto and Tañada also used things from America or speaking in Spanish, but it didn't compromise their political standing nor character as an individual especially in insisting Philippines as an independent, self reliant country than a mendicant one. 

But despite all these what this writer had stated, people rather think of the future as devoid if not reduced of patriotism. Those who had favored globalization insist less or no tariffs and an entirely open trade without any restrictions. They would even say that anything is based on international, rather than production capital with foriegn investors willing to invest in the Philippines, so is the influx of foreign goods that would say "benefit everyone" since it is cheaper than "domestically produced."

However, all despite the influx of foreign goods and wholesale westernization does it mean Filipinos should give up the right to say no and assert independence by developing its own? How wonder people had afford to oppose Chinese intrusion yet numb in having American presence. Yes, America did contribute to anything around the world, even the Chinese had benefited from America such as TsingHua University, but how come some countries whom afford to have things foreign also assert independence by developing its own? By making copies and adapting certain things, or ideas into their settings? Did those thoughts entirely compromise native thought? Maybe yes because it had used things foreign and hence likely to embrace things foreign, or maybe no because those "foreign" things had also contributed to native thought by adapting to native setting, if not modifying such as in music played by a Visayan singer or in tropicalized car batteries from Motolite. 

It's just that, sorry to say, that most people whom gone consumerist due to the massive influx of westernization had end what had been stated earlier: Globalization as Internationalism, Protectionism as Oligarchic, Patriotism as Isolationism, and Anti-Imperialism as against the people in general than the system who had afford to occupy or subjugate a country such as the United States in pursuit of its own interest. Celdran's statement saying that "Internet is made by Americans" mocks those who designed thinking that those inventions are made "for humanity" such as those who clamor for software freedom and internet as a right. 
Internet, computers, anything modern may had been made in the United States of America, but those who had contributed to its development does not care about which specific country, even theirs who should use, but for humanity in general. To use Celdran's logic then he should remember that Democracy is Greek, Republicanism is Roman, and His race is a hybrid of Malay and Hispanic bloodlines. Even the Intramuros he had used to be proud of was Spanish with its churches made hy the Catholic Church he had abhorred. That left-wingers trying hard conservatives and self-proclaimed  people of the third way had been opposed due to their "barbarism" are staunch advocates of 8 hour work days and social security nets. 

And Left wingers are also Internationalists despite being Patriotic. In fact, Marx had solidarise with the Poles in their self determination against Russians, that the Soviet Union, then Maoist China and Titoite Yugoslavia had solidarise with the Palestinians, Celdran and his folk are ignorant of this if that's the case:

"Workers of the world, Unite!"

Mark Twain, known for his Tom Sawyer and Hucklebery Finn, also opposed American intrusion in Philippine shores. And at once announced his anti-imperialism in several newspaper interviews, which were widely reprinted. As according to the New York Herald in the 1900:

“I have read carefully the treaty of Paris [between the United States and Spain], and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem.... And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land.”

Then to use Celdran's statement then Mark Twain, the American is also anti-American for he's anti-Imperialist and anti-Internventionist. Pat Buchanan, the well known Palaeoconservative can also be considered anti-American for Palaeoconservatism, especially within the Republican Party opposes Interventionism as what Neoconservatives, also in the same party advocated. 

As a writer, would say that anything had end blurred due to the lack of foundation for a self reliant economy. Did the government promote inventors, innovators, improvers of existing foreign things to promote genuine development? Nope, students from the Mapúa Institute of Technology whom used to design, invent sophisticated weaponry for the Armed Forces had their designs be sent to the United States for "improvement", simply because America is Modern, America is better in military weaponry, but damn! Why not improve the Military Arsenal at Bataan so that these students from Mapúa that happened to be inventors can able to realize their blueprints domestically? Perhaps that's the problem of relying to a bigger superpower while China, during Mao Zedong had afford to reverse engineer Scud missiles, T-55 tanks from the Soviet Union! It took years for them to have that country, a once weakling during the era of CiXi, Puyi and Chiang Kai-Shek to become a threat. They do have things and ideas from the west, but they do have a mindset, creativity, ingenuity to make something better than what they had been bought.

Regardless of contribution does not mean you need to give wholeheartedly your national dignity. It takes years to mold a modern society by using both foreign and native thought. Thailand during the era of Mongkut and Chulalongkorn had used western thought in pursuit of keeping Thailand independent. Turkey under Ataturk had to modernise Turkey and at the same time keeping traditions firm so as to revive lost ones in pursuit of rebuilding Turkey from the ashes of the Ottoman empire. The Philippines has chances of be on its own by having them reinstruct time and again as a nation. For failure to control wholesale westernization by utilizing both native and western thought ends its people having less patriotism save for a flag being waved and a national anthem being sung during a boxing match.