It’s October once again. One notable bookmark in history that transpired at this time of year was the October Revolution. Bolsheviks took control of political power in Russia in 1917. Russia’s Plutocracy was ended and replaced by class dictatorship of the proletariat. The first revolutionary Socialist State was established.
My late mother was also born October. We were quite opposite in many things. I must have been the most quarrelsome to her of her seven children. Like, we easily conflicted when it came to politics and in our views of society. Everyone has only one mother so I guess we all love / loved them the same.
There seems nothing to rant about these days. Graft and corruption is becoming a boring subject matter. I guess it’s because media have been dishing them out daily for quite a long time now and there seemed to be no end to them. Talks about national progress and economic growth are equally becoming quite boring, too. Rhetoric is good but people need basic services, and food on their tables. And the country has become a liability of the world: We rely to the world for food. We rely to the world for employment. We are a huge population of 88 millions that is of little use to world industrialization as we consume little. I wish these impressions are mine alone.
I’ve been out of touch with reality for about a week now that seemed like an eon. I mean, last week in TV, it was about a hectare of land owned by the family of Senator Manny Villar, acquired by government for 200 million pesos. To the millions of deprived Filipinos the cost must be unreal. Or, Yamashita’s treasure must be buried in there! And there was one public work contract allegedly appropriated twice. Maybe Senator Ping Lacson has sprung the trap a little bit early. No crime was committed as some people defended since not a centavo of public money has been released yet. Everything was honest mistake. Ok, there must be a moron somewhere who made the mistake that would have cost the State several hundreds of millions of pesos that could be released to whoever is interested in the amount. In the country, the kind of such moron gets faster promotion actually. But wait; there are two projects and not one as now explained. Yeah, there must be a plan B.
As expected, things are cooling down and people can only surmise now which is what. And as usual, issues go to the shelves and the quest for truth will never suffice. The going gets predictable, which I guess is the boring side of them. Whatever, Senator Manny Villar used to be a nice figure. He must have been set-up! The way I look at it now, I doubt if he’ll make it to the presidency in 2010. This is the Philippines, remember? A public official is presumed corrupt unless proven honest is the general rule of the day. And, the young Senator Allan Peter C did not do his ally good by killing the issues outright and he is not the young Joker Arroyo many people thought he was. Next issue, please.
I watched TV Patrol yesterday. Like I said, it seemed I was gone away for eons. Everyone was talking about U.S. economy being in trouble. I found it quite refreshing, away from the usual boring domestic issues this time.
The United States is one of the strongest economies in the world. That it could be in real trouble is nonsense and unreal. Media is simply focusing at the losers, or half of the business world. Sure, it must be real bad time for people who bought high but are now selling low. There are winners in the situation and nobody said anything about them. When there’s a problem there’s a solution. The U.S. will always stand and will surely whither it through. The end of Lehman brothers is not the end of America. A loss of one company is a gain somewhere else.
One thing though that we Filipinos are really, indeed concerned about is that while the United States of America will surely manage through difficulties, there may be possible fall-out that could affect others. American solution to American problem does not always, necessarily, and automatically mean also good for others like the Philippines. Such have included, in different [moderate] language, what they call export of toxins, while others [radical left] call them extension of exploitation whatever they mean.
Just a little backsteps by advanced countries as they readjust or retrench could cause a big blow to us. To cite some softest spots in our economy, our major industries are export oriented with limited market in the home front. We also compete for employment in foreign soils. But they’re all our look-out. We Filipinos are none of America’s look-out and direct concerns.
Advanced, developed countries like the U.S.A. are no island. Not one is totally or effectively fire-walled with the rest of the world. Either Uncle Sam uplifts the world or the world weights him down. I think that’s where he is.
[I’m not arguing here about the issue of Imperialism – factual, myth, real, imagined whatever. But I think U.S. Imperialism is one very complicated, becoming obsolete political issue in the 21st century Philippines. Really, if the 10 million OFWs had their way, they are all in America now where it pays 5X than the Middle East and 10X than the Philippines, for Filipinos to understand the issue anyway. Peoples Republic of China pays as much as the Philippines, by the way. No, they don’t have a social class that owns multiple mansions and fleets of luxury vehicles except perhaps in special economic zones like Hongkong. Chinese government has become so rich to buy the world at the heroic sacrifice of their Proletariat, of course. American progressives call them slave labors. ]
And we Filipinos had better be good at looking after ourselves because while we cannot really say we are doing well today, the situation could worsen sooner or later. Like the old Filipino sayings bahala na bukas and kapit sa patalim, harsh realities at certain point override sanity as we all know. We already saw some of its forms out there. That’s a fact and there’s the problem.
“What is rational is real and what is real is rational.” –so argued Georg W.F. Hegel. But there are times when what are rational and real can be different from actual reality. Like it’s been said, that in WW-II a Japanese Zero fighter was downed by Allied planes somewhere in Cauayan, Negros. The young pilot survived the crash and was taken prisoner. Guerilla headquarters in Binicuil ordered the prisoner brought in. The escorts came but without the prisoner. “Sorry sir, but the boys wondered how the prisoner……..”
Cannibalism is none in Philippine history and culture. It is unthinkable, irrational if not total insanity. But then four years of war disrupted agriculture and totally consumed all cattle and animals. People were eating not only bananas but banana peelings as well. They also discovered that stewing shoe leather after a day or two made good broth. And I guess somebody who was feeling hungry had taken a keen interest in the tender prisoner. What followed was real, product of the realities. Besides, the Japs, said to be mostly conscripts from Korea, were suspected to have done the same to some of their prisoners, too. But that is rationalization. What is false and insane was rationalized.
Where were we…No point particular in mind, actually, when I started writing all these. Ah yes, the month of October. I almost forgot that my wife is one of those born in October. She almost always sided with my own mother in all our arguments. That proves that in-laws can sometimes be good gang mates. [I think I hate the month of October the most!] 🙂
And yes, Revolutions. In the Philippines we had the two EDSA Revolutions in the last two decades. Later attempts to overthrow Malacañang Palace by extra judicial People’s power were all flops. Filipinos have learned from earlier Edsa-1 and Edsa-2 exercises. They have become wiser. People are not really gullible as some think they are. Removing something taken as rotten is easy. Replacing them with something worth the trouble is another thing. People are impatient. But the nation cannot be run by a handful of even the best men and women. Who are in the wagon train was an issue. 2010 election to effect change, then, appeared most rational and the real thing.
Anyway, Social evolution goes only one direction – towards a better world. Trust Eduard Bernstein on that. Human Societies are not the same since the dawn of civilizations. Societies have undergone unending process of change called evolution. To cite several changes, just around a hundred years ago most part of the world did not have free elections. Where there were elections, women and workers did not have rights to vote. Children and minors were preferred workers by industries. Health and safety in work places were despicable. There was no education for the public.
But the path of evolution did not always go smooth. History is full of internal social conflicts, big and small, wherein at some points culminated in violence and in movements called revolutions. They are all but erratic segments, sequences in the context of social evolution.
Man is stuck to his [class] natures or should we say weaknesses. That’s reality since dawn of history. Matter over consciousness, that’s where man has been. That made it possible for people like Karl Marx to predict or theorized the path of social evolution. The same thing also created the modern evil that we Filipinos call Trapo or “Traditional” politics. Politicians, even those born of high spirits, simply drifted and played along with actual realities in the end. Everybody is trapped and resigned with no choice, it seemed(?) Like, what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad, or what is real and what is false, is matter of self or class interest.
But man happened to be also an intelligent being. Thus, maybe he always has a choice and a will, which may be independent over matter (?) [This is known to some as Historical Idealism – learning from the past and striving for perfection.]
The world has barely gone through the wave of a fuels’ price crisis. It is yet reeling from the effects. Fuels price crisis sucked the buying power out of people causing imbalances and crisis somewhere else. I don’t think we have seen the last of it. And, I don’t think Filipinos have learned. Bahala na bukas.
Whatever, I guess Mother Nature is constantly in the act of herding us all, whether some like it or not, the easy or the hard way, the short or the long way. And she always wins at the end of every round.