Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Ramblings on a soiled, failed republic

Ramblings on a soiled, failed republic

"Many of our thinkers believe that one of the things we need to ensure the success of our program of government is an ideology. There can really be no disagreement about the significance of ideology to our national planning. Questions arise only on the level of ontology- that is, on whether or not our conception of the "New Society" predicated on an ideology."

Many things have happened since the conception of this so-called "republic". Backwardness, dependency, extreme fatalism, poverty, various internal and external factors really brought a true face contrary to what the system had shown much to its subjects, that behind edifices of glass, concrete, and steel are shantytowns and backward mode of agriculture. 

That crisis, indeed, is still with the people, and although the system afforded to say it is manageable, it failed to surmount the issue with whatever means, be it rhetoric, or half-baked solutions, worse, without any regard to the needs of the people. Ideology, supposed to support the foundations of a promising society, often disregarded in favour of just practicality as most countries do, in a way certain supposed "adherents" rather treat the idea as means to control than to assert its gains, beyond the construction and renovation of an ideal nation- state, of favouring, seriously adhering to neoliberal free-trade agreements than rolling sleeves, increase production quotas, and invest in agriculture, science, and technology. 
The successes, as well as the perspective lies in its program, but to see its actuality, one would ask: given the present views of people trying to internalise a thought, of babbling some quotations yet doing its contrary through certain agreements, are they really building a country and serving the people? 

Obviously, given the existing contrarian agreements, of deemphasising the needs of the people save for the sake of patronage politics, of breaking social concord, lies the inconvenient truth behind the society called "promising". The ideology the system tried to insist towards Filipinos has trying to create a promise different from its frustrated Liberal-Democratic past, of what say described as inspired from the desires of the Katipunan and of the Propaganda Movement; and yet after 1986 it again reverted to western-style Liberal-Democracy and its populist equivalents coming from succeeding administrations. 
Most bear the same babble and action, of both what they promised and the actual contradiction, that somehow shows the actual reluctance in keeping the "thought" in favour of keeping firm in an order rooted in interest.  After all, most of them are landlords, compradores, oligarchs in their rooted backgrounds afforded to sneer people through the ears with rhetorics and half-baked "development."

The failure to internalise the so-called "Filipino Ideology", as well as any other thought somewhat rooted in the "desires of the past", stems from the system's reluctance, if not failure to seriously adhere to patriotic, if not nationalist, goals particularly those of its constituents, in a way words like "liberty", "freedom", "equality", "fraternity", "peace", "social justice", or even "revolution" has been treated as mere rhetoric, or aesthetic in pursuit of appeasing people, particularly in today's intentional crisis. 

To the absolutist, those words stated are stood as first principles of human society, and justified since they proceed from man's intrinsic nature. Pragmatists, however, insist relevance, its justification, especially from a system that promotes those kind of values absolutists think as natural. It is easier to say those words though, but people also demand what is tangible, or rather say how will they turn the idea into practise. The "Filipino Ideology", and its idea of political and economic liberation, as well as social concord used those words stated in this post, but given the system's trying to keep firm in its interests, then comes the contrary.

 How come it lies the contrary?  Those whom failed to internalise yet afforded to brag an "ideology" are neither absolutist nor pragmatic, or in this person's terms as idealist nor realistic; they may create some at least façades enough to "justify" terms this person stated, be it land reform, export-oriented industrialisation, or even an independent foreign policy and be justified by terms like "liberty" and "justice", but if this person may ask those on high: are these façades true to the aspirations of the people? Did it brought justice, peace, land, and bread to the suffering many? Most likely not regardless of their "actions", for those façades are treated same as those words: rhetoric, aesthetic, all meant to appease people yet failed as these people on high aren't really men true to learning and service, but assuming to be learned or serving as they crave for power and maintaining interests; worse, diluting the essence of what they babble since most of it hinders ambition. 
Will a compradore favour industrialisation like those of the devleoped countries? Will a landlord favour agrarian reform? In theory maybe, but in actual they cannot assert further industrialisation especially those of making necessary products as they heavily benefit from trade, or making corporate farming be an alternative to land reform the way Hacienda Luisita has tried to; yet again these dilutions failed to resolve the problem of those who forge and till for a promising society, what more that they afforded to use terms such as Justice, Freedom, and Liberty in their series or speeches assuming to be concerning?

To use one of Marcos's writeups on "Filipino Ideology", such terms has becoming part of a value system, and some of which are contrary to what is truly inherent in Filipino culture. Worse, with having a system that has justified anything contrary to any of those statements:

"It is still fashionable, however, for Filipinos to adopt personal freedom, individualism, and private initiative as part of their value system. Similarly, an unhampered "free enterprise" economic system is still the ideological commitment of the upper class in the Philippines.

Unfortunately, "free enterprise", "free elections", and unlimited democracy as defined and practised in the Philippines have led to the growth of glaring economic inequities between the rich and the poor. Western "democracy" paradoxically became the instrument of the oligarchs for consolidating and perpetuating their power and wealth. Despite its rhetoric of equality, the system did not function to serve the interests of the Filipinos. It was in this sense, an alien ideology propagated to mislead Filipinos into believing that the system could insure political, social, and economic equality. It created illusions and a false consciousness among Filipinos; the frustration it wrought led to violent responses and the further repression of the human and compassionate impulse."

In a society marred by a man made crisis, of scandals, and various bullshits, the system tries to act paternalistic just to directly "ensure political, social, and economic equality". But that same system tolerates its own corruption that undermines the essence of what being babbled, regardless of its actions "enough" to serve as basis for their service and social amelioration. True that Democracy has been used by the system to consolidate their power, or as what one Greek researcher stated that the term is true to its term referring to be the rule of the privileged, hence excluding the have not. 
Of course, in an underdeveloped country, such terms has to be tempered with relevance, what more of its practise; the need to modernise and improve the country has been rooted in the need for ameliorate social tension, of having an order assuming to be a benefactor trying to create a social concord, but with repressive policies being emphasised and taken into practise, of what is democracy, justice, and freedom if it is not for the ones really clamored for it? Sarit Thanarat tried to modernise, yet age old repressive policies continue to be tolerated in the name of "tradition", with the latter being synonymous with "order". Modernisation, as what most conservative-minded statespersons observed, is all but adapting modern methods, of technology and various needs to consolidate order; China's "Four Modernisations", as well as other "modernising" reforms did succeed, but did it guarantee fulfillment of its egalitarian and humanitarian goals? Or  will retain the supremacy of both old and new oligarchs? 

Well, to use Marcos's terms, the "New Society", which was based from a "Filipino Ideology", as well as its successors whose inclination is blatant, rabid neoliberalism and globalisation hidden beneath the same belief as the former,  has been a hodgepodge of rhetorics, programs meant to be bragged, besides those of infrastructure most of which are funded by loans decades old and still paying. The reactions coming from the people would be mixed, especially when it comes to the contributions enough to consider one or another as a capable ruler. But, no matter how good the intention, such as the infrastructure, food distribution, and the favorite topic of having peace and order, its effects be deemed worse with all the debts and repressions made against the people. 
True that in a matter of survival as a community a revival of national consciousness has to be enacted, of recultivating national awareness in pursuit of reclaiming national identity and a profound sense of pride as a nation, as well as a social concord between the state and the people. But to think that the system has been inclined towards contrarian policies like globalisation, mendicant foreign policy, with all its negative effects would be deemed themselves as patriotic or nationalist? Will be also deemed themselves for the people as they commercialise public assets and repress via unfair policies? Todays rulers tried to emulate well-known personages such as Tony Blair, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, or even Carlos Andres Perez and Lee Kwan Yew, they find expression the idea of a nation as a source of well being yet at the same time bound in a "global village" founded in a set of socioeconomic beliefs and bonded by existing agreements mostly disenfranchised the poor with its set of policies and actions taken. Ironically, these heads of state afforded to babble certain ideas different from their neoliberal set of beliefs, such as self-sufficiency, economic planning, or even national consciousness; but in the end they lean towards integration with preserving the neoliberal or even reactionary social order as its perspective. 
 For sure some, if not few ought to accept the inconvenient truth and a need for a truly radical change. Even Marcos admitted in his writings that the self-gratifying Ilustrados and Spaniards in the bureaucracy has cultivated corruption and other acts putting the state in a spiral of problems, that with the Americans brought Pork Barrel, tolerated landlordism and age-old caciquism, and has been cultivated corrupt officials doing socioeconomic sabotage for generations; but did he and his successors lessen, if not end the problem altogether? Series of socioeconomic scandals, of socioeconomic sabotage made by bureaucrats failed to bring back integrity in the bureaucracy for the system also benefited from its corruption and negligence. 

Thus, no wonder why there are protests of various legitimate reasons, be it "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," or to the obvious reason of "Peace, Land, and Bread." But after all, how legit is the message, that "The main principle of the ideology is that the state can, and must undertake social change, and that this change must reflect the aspirations of the historically underprivileged sectors of the society- the poor." But the point is, to prarphrase Marx, "is how to change it."

But how?