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Cashing In On the Gullible – Nationalism

Liberalism is associated with freedom, with human rights. Like, man has right to travel and to move freely, free of political restrictions. That man should be free to be anywhere he [they want] to be. That’s the human spirit moving towards oneness, folks. In fact, advanced countries have been moving towards that goal. In regions where countries are about equal in potentials, usually people will want to travel for reasons except economic opportunism. For a start some countries no longer require visa of their neighbors.

But those countries don’t extend that policy to all.  This has little or nothing to do with race or nationalism. The reason is obvious; they will be swarmed and swamped by the third world that are fleeing their country mostly for economic reason, which by itself is deemed nothing wrong except for the many negative complications that it will cause the host country.

Nationalism and the Filipino People

Nationalism has its deep root at race.  It is one recognized and acceptable form of racism actually. It is a norm by present-day people. Simply and nicely defined, nationalism is one’s love for own country and its people.

nationalism [násh’nəlizəm] noun

  1. desire for political independence: the desire to achieve political independence, especially by a country under foreign control or by a people with a separate identity and culture but no state of their own
  2. patriotism: proud loyalty and devotion to a nation
  3. excessive devotion to nation: excessive or fanatical devotion to a nation and its interests, often associated with a belief that one country is superior to all others

nationalist, noun adjective

Nationalism is one popular political issue. Adolph Hitler rode on it. So did Mao Zedong and all other revolutionary movements. They have no monopoly of it, though, because everybody going for power somehow rode, or hopes to ride, on that popular matter, too. Who in politics does not in any way?

President Elpidio Quirino had “Filipino first policy” for his trademark.  Even media, those which are obsessed about ratings, employ them… focusing on race where the matter is in fact irrelevant or needless. Filipino is one of the most repeated words of shows like Wowowe which is actively promoting Filipino. Of singers and songs, there are a lot of them. And ex-President Joseph Estrada says he is running for President this 2010 “…para sa masang Filipino.” Manny Pacquiao, behind the line “dala ko ang pangarap ng bawat Filipino” was not outdone. I guess it must have sounded more preposterous if the ad says dala ko ang pangarap ng bawat tao.  [He is the current supreme human in his category, actually.] But why did not they just say “dala ko ang  pangarap ng bawat isa sa inyo.” And, cannot a commercial product be sold on its  own merits by him?  🙂 Things sold by their own merits or they stayed because they delivered, mind you.

Filipino is a word that has evolved. It means of the Philippines, its people. During colonial time it was a term applied to island-born Spaniards and Spanish mestizos to differentiate from Spain-born or full-blooded Spaniards.  Of  no  Spanish blood were referred to as Indios.

Ok, one thing good in promoting Filipino [synonymous Bayan] in the country is because the country is composed of many ethnic groups. Promoting Filipino erodes tribalism or Philippine regionalism. But this has to reconcile with Philippine commitment to the world – man’s commitment to the human race itself. Pushed or carried too far, Filipino [or whatever nationality] boils down to what it really is – bare racism by naked racists behind it.

Nationalism is purely a political issue. By invoking or promoting nationalism, one is in fact  involving  the self in a political exercise, one is aware of it or not. And except for being political, nationalism is irrelevant in many matters, actually. Let’s take creation of more jobs and alleviation of poverty in the country, for example. Does the color of money, the color of people, the imaginary lines of the world, or the political lines drawn in the map, matter in there? As we can see clearly, the answer is no. If there are relevant issues in there, they are about social justice, social-economic-environmental impacts, or anything other than race or nationality.

Nationalism is behind protectionism which is considered counter-progressive and against consumers’ interest. It is against freedom of competition. It is  about protection of industries that might  not be competitive and/or are incompetent [in  price and in quality of products or services].   There might be legitimate issues but, again, definitely they must have nothing to do with race or nationality, and  politics – meaning politicking.  [Nobody escapes politics.]

politics [póllətiks] noun

  1. theory and practice of government: the theory and practice of forming and running organizations connected with government (takes a singular verb)
  2. policymaking activity: activity within a political party or organization that is concerned with debate and the creation and carrying out of distinctive policies rather than merely the administration of the state (takes a singular or plural verb)
  3. [omitted by this blog]
  4. [omitted by this blog]
  5. [omitted by this blog]

In the other hand because of the rise of anti-racism, some may drop mention of race or nationality yet may have trace or smack of them.

Talking about race, I’m reminded of dormitory life when I was a young student in Cebu. Ilonggos were like birds of same feathers, me among them there.  In the other side was the Bisaya block composed of Cebuano, Waray, Boholano and minorities from Mindanao. I remember the mutual ridicule, dislike and mistrust between the two blocks. It was a situation that existed before I came, so there’s no telling who started what. I guess tribalism was already a way of life even before everyone there was born. Like they say, racism begets racism. Now, that reminds me of Adolph Hitler, the Jews and by-gone history.  It might have been the Ilonggos if not the Bisayans. Or, it might have been the Chinese but incidentally it was the Jews – the Jews and Adolph Hitler, and him  against the world. I mean ethnic cleansing can happen when racists collide.

Tribalism has become taboo in national politics. We already have people from minority ethnic groups who made it in our national elections. Today it would be most stupid for a political aspirant to even mention one’s regionalism [same as religion] in public. Nobody won national election for declaring one is an Ilocano, an Ilonggo, a Bisaya, a Waray, a Moro, a Chinese, whatever, to the nation i the manner like he is proud of it. Promotion of one’s race may also be promotion of its counterparts. Racism is self-isolationism. And when racism is generated, any one is small against a gang of all, thus, is at the losing end.

Every political figure without exception comes from a certain tribe. And political observers usually already knew who is what from gossips. Nobody can do anything about his their origin. And everybody is expected to win in their region. They are accepted and acceptable realities in Philippine politics. Matters end there since race was never made an issue, has become non-issue in politics today. If we look at members of minorities who made it nationally they are well adapted and well-integrated. Nothing indicated them separated from all the rest. That feeling for oneness is reciprocated.

Going back to Nationalism which is a higher form of tribalism, it makes people [no statistic of them] feel good inside. People can be made happy, angry, laugh, or cry, by it. But while Philippine nationalism has its sharp edge pointed at tribalism, it has a double edge that is pointed at the world. Imperialism is no different. It is nationalism pointed at the world, pushed too far to the point of being  unfair or unjust.

Well, a hundred years or a millennium from now, the word nationality will probably mean permanent residence,  address, while nationalism would be funny silly or anything. And nationalist, boiling down to itself, will probably be synonymous with racist that in street lingo today means pig. Actually, there are people who believe that that day has come long time ago. Some of them are maybe playing along with politics when some of them perhaps have their tongues firmly in check. And, yes, there are  ones who simply love spelling things out.

Every word has its use, or is intended to be used. But next time you hear that word Filipino [or any race] mentioned where it is in fact needless and can be omitted or supplanted without losing any point or thought, well, we have a politicking politician there, folks. Or, maybe it’s just another of those… umm…nationalist walking around.

I think politicians should be riding on anti-racism instead. It’s a more popular universal thing that’s in today. Nobody with mind enough loves a racist anymore.

What is my nationality? I am a Filipino. That’s something I can’t do anything about. I’m a proud Filipino if you’ll ask me about that… a proud person actually, an individual with my own personal identity, merits, and demerits  if I screwed up. 🙂

block quotations are from:  Microsoft® Encarta® Premium Suite 2005. © 1993-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

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One Response

  1. And how Filipino can I be? Real enough to hate anybody who is giving it a bad taste and name, which is putting down than promoting everybody, actually. I think, yes I think, I’m sure about that.

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