Tuesday, 19 July 2016

A non-western "Atlanticist"?

A non-western "atlanticist"?

Notes on the Philippines as a vassal of the United States,
and how that non-western "Atlanticism" means stability
(or even freedom and development) for them

Quite relevant: Free trade, Dependency, and Vassalage
"Under the humane and benevolent protection
of the United States of America"

Filipinos may find it new or strange about terms such as "Atlanticism", "Atanticist", "Eurasian", or "Eurasianist", all in regards to international socioeconomic policies. But to think with most policies that is patterned after those of Western, specifically American socioeconomic policies, it appears that the Filipinos are rather less Asiatic as those of its non-aligned neighbours, but more of the occident, and hence, "Atlanticist."

And although the term itself is as closely related to the geopolitics of the western hemisphere, of the mainland United States, Canada, and those of Europe under the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union, Atlanticism may have also encompassed those whose interests are as same those of the United States: be it those of free trade and security to those of "cold war hysteria" against so-called "rouge states" and even a possible sense of multinational integration even at the expense of sovereignty.

South East Asia Treaty Organisation:
an example of non-western 'Atlanticism' that involved the Philippines,
Vietnam, Australia, South Korea, as well as the United States
It may sound interesting, or even agreeable according to those whose idea behind non-Atlantic "Atlanticism" means keeping themselves at the side of the United States and to keep global capitalism as it is, knowing that with "implying broader cooperation, deeply shared values, and a sense of community" as promised by the west, lies chances of development despite its actual exploitative nature and a sense of order through America's hegemonic nature. After all, why there are non-NATO allies (especially those from the former Southeast Asian Treaty Organisation) tries its “best” to be one of the United States’ favoured “non-western allies”? Why were the Presidents of the United States urged the people of the so-called "Free World" to oppose those who stand on its way? Is being non-aligned be synonymous to being rouge whilst being Atlanticist be synonymous to being free?

Such nonsense may have meant that those countries that are supporting the interests of an exploitative overlord are rather those suffering from what Jalal-e-Ahmad described as "Occidentosis": That from the "Banana Republics" of Central America, the so-called "Newly Industrialised" yet dependent countries like the Philippines, and even the developed yet preferring to be dependent societies like Taiwan, Japan, and Korea, the socio-economic and cultural "Atlanticism" and its effects like "Occidentosis" has made those countries really depending on the whims of the west, particularly the United States with the latter, in pursuit of its survival, has to depend on its vassal's loyalty.

But come to think of this: South Korea may have chances of peaceful reunification with its northern neighbour if not for American (or even Japanese) intervention on the pretext of Cold War hysteria. while Japan may have chances of becoming same as its own self-sufficient past within its own sphere since they have industry and technology as its pillars and foundations of a progressing country, but then Cold War and its subsequent effects made it becoming dependent on the United States for external defence.
And the Philippines? Sadly to say that again, with the policies prevailed since 1935 and "updated" through various agreements, that 7,107 isles chose to remain a neocolony amidst popular opposition to those policies with apologetics justifying it as be it "for the economy" or "to protect sovereignty".

Strange isn't it? That all due to the sugarcoated statements of the west, if not seeing the west as an embodiment of progress and modernity as in the past, societies meant to be politically and economically independent end rather becoming vassals including those that are self-sufficient yet having a system preferring to "be contented" in its geopolitical vassalage.

However, to some Filipinos, as any other Asian or "thirdworlder" whose patriotism includes a radical political and economic independence, having policies that are favourable to American or any allied interests rather creates hinder to domestic-based development be it those of industrialisation, agrarian reform, to those of utilisation of natural resources and the desire for "patriotic, scientific, and popular" form of education and culture.
And having a system that chose to remain vassals with alibis such as "trans-Pacific/Atlantic cooperation", "globalisation", to those of "sharing values" does not equate to a genuine sense of coprosperity nor even coequal-cooperation what more of seeing most having less emphasis on realpolitik and more into nostalgia such as those of the cold war. The Philippines has tried to be "Non-Aligned" as in case of Marcos trying to cultivate relations with Maoist China and Gaddafist Libya, but being "naturally" attached to Atlanticist interests, such as those of the United States makes the latter decides, directly or indirectly (and in acceptance by the ruling system) all for the sake of retaining the old semifeudal-semicolonial order.

To quote Hilarion Henares jr. that Atlanticism as frustratingly cherished by the non-western world may have been do with promises of freedom, stability, and others the west has peddled to for years, but for the west, it is more of keeping interests firm as he said:

"...Western nationalism, at first a liberative force had become an enormous obstacle to political, economic, and cultural progress. Morally, its record was damning: Three centuries of the spoliation of the world in the name of 'western civilisation' as if by some cruel logic, Asia and Africa were obliged to pay the cost, in tears, agonies, and death, so that the people of the west could be prosperous, cultured, and dignified human beings. "

So to a country that desired to have a place in a sun, why need to be reluctant in standing up on its own and relying on those of others with its promise of cooperation and stability yet in fact interest-driven? Even western countries themselves are tired of being attached or supportive of what the United States as asserted, thinking that it has made themselves same as any other vassal. In case of France, De Gaulle chose to break with "Atlanticism" in favour of detente with the Soviet Union and Red China all for realpolitik's sake, while Germany's Adenauer clings to it that makes itself initially reluctant to create a strong armed forces, if not thinking that through Atlanticism means defending "democratic values" same as those of the United States.
The latter may think about through an Atlanticist oriented policy may bring stability at the expense of people's desire for self-determination as Germans insisted, while the former, in pursuit of building peace in a world filled with nuclear fear, has to discard Atlanticism and favours independence in socio-economic and politico-diplomatic policies.

Currently, the situation may remain as it is for those who chose to remain weak and dependent on an overlord's whims and opposing moves for self determination. That as time goes by, seeing a system frustratingly clinging to its borrowed "Atlanticism" such as the Philippines does not translate fully to development nor security in its full strength despite all the promises stated by the west.

But culturally (or due to the comments in social media sites), that "Atlanticism" means clinging to the west and its so-called security and stability (similar to Adenauer as in its past), especially with growing tensions with "Red China" for an example. Of course, with all the comments this person and others concerned read in social media sites, Cold war nostalgia in a form of "red scare" and "McCarthyism" has been intensified in a form of insisting China's expansionism as synonymous to those of "communist expansionism" the way it tries to curry favour with the United States and its allies in the so-called "free world" rather than treating the issue with those of realpolitik.
Quite strange isn't it? But people may agree to it thinking that "China is a communist" and the Philippines has to cling to America and its policies as part of "keeping the world safe for 'democracy'".

And as in the past (or all in its continuing past), such politico-economic situations may also meant having a semifeudal-semicolonial country skeptic, if not reluctant to self-development like its neighbours, all due to its "natural" alignment to those of the west and its promise of "non"-or-"limited" industrial "development" with emphasis on international (debt-driven) capital, commerce, and trade while keeping itself agricultural (and extracted of its own resources for export) under the whims of the west shows how that country meant to be independent is still in its "continuing past", clinging to its cherished "Atlanticism" despite being non-western, and its effects like "occidentosis" fails to revive patriotism, what more of nationalism and its desire for redemption if not a "place in the sun" like its progressive, self-determined, independent-minded neighbours.