Friday, March 12, 2010
The Philippines is a traditional exporter of sugar. The country has always produced more sugar than the country needs. Even ‘at its lowest’ the country produced more than its consumptions. The country has always a “glut” of this commodity or it wont be among the Sugar exporters. “Glut” of sugar in the local market as reason for very poor mill gate’s prices is therefore outrageous and insane.
Sure, sugar from other producing countries have entered the country but records also show trafficking to be two-way. And what is the difference of SRA’s classification of A, B, C [“export”, and ”domestic”] for locally produced sugar? Practically nothing except for their prices. Price manipulation. You see, cheaper and bulk “domestic sugar” quota is of no different quality to limited “export sugar” quota. They are mere classifications purely on paper, and domestic sugar also find their way abroad – exported. Cheapest buy-for-sale to highest paying market.
The world needs sugar. It is world’s demand why the country has produced and must produce a lot of sugar. There is no real glut of sugar in the world especially now when sugar is converted to bio-fuels wherein demand is increasing. In fact, the world is more on the worried side that development of bio-fuels from, say, sugar might come to a sugar-for-food crisis. A “glut”, therefore, is imaginary, artificial, make-believe. Obviously, there is manipulation of supply and demand by traders. And it is this bad tinkering that is inching the world closer to its fear more than might be caused by converting sugar to ethanol.
Trading sector, especially in the third world, obviously, is getting the meat of the industry to the point that it has become unprofitable to the producing sector, which has resulted to a diminishing supply when demand for the commodity is actually on the constant rise. There is no de facto demand for the commodity as far as the farming sector is concerned. Many people cannot understand why the state has failed to address the problem.
Let’s start with the State. The State is an instrument of the people – an instrument of everybody for everybody. That’s the principle of democracy and nobody, anywhere in the world, is disputing that. Not even the Leninist-Maoists are disputing that principle. In fact, the oldest reason why they want to overthrow states is to institutionalize exactly that. The state as an instrument of all is an ideal.
The State is an instrument of a class – that’s Karl Marx talking about reality of the matter, as they are, before and during his time. That’s materialism or present day reality aka realism. By the way, Social class is not really about rich and poor. That may be politicking and misleading. Social class is all about relationship between people. The point of the matter is the kind of relationship . There can be exploitative relation resulting to what we see wide disparity we call rich and poor.
The State as an Instrument of the People
But let’s go back to the future where States are instruments of peoples. So, why are traders happy while the sugarcane farmers and the farm workers are not? The answer is because the state has failed to look after the interests of sugarcane farmers and farm workers, while there is wide leeway for the traders in this part of the world. Well, If you see a shadow of one ghost there, that’s him Karl Marx as if saying “did not I tell you before, the state is just an instrument of a class?”, in this case he means likely the trading class, which in his time was pointed mostly at owners of industries.
OK, the state as an instrument of the people must have been usurped by one class. That gives revolutionaries justification to overthrow the state since a class and the State have become one to the point of being disadvantageous to another class or classes. The State has become an oppressive instrument of one class.
But let’s talk about legal political-economic struggle. Another way is to get elected and then work from within to push for class interests. Equally usurpation of state by one class to dominate another. The state is by one class or by the other, nothing is new and nothing is changed. This is as old as the right of suffrage. In fact, peoples’ advances through this fashion gained in advanced democracies have already been copied into our system.
Between democrats and revolutionaries stands some gap, though. There are loose ends that cannot reach so they do not meet. Or, maybe they do not reach so they cannot meet. But maybe some of them do, like they did in Edsa-1 and Edsa-2 revolutions, and in later similar attempts that failed.
There is standing conflict in so far as democrats work within the system while revolutionaries are posed or poised at overthrowing the system. Democracy stands for majority rule – real time, and wherever it will take the whole. It is based on the principle that majority is always right. Democrats stick to that rule. Sure, the system is far from being perfect. While leaders and law makers are chosen by majority rule, we are also a republican system wherein leaders are allowed considerable leeway at discharging their functions while in office. And once in a while we get to see acts or tendencies of arbitrariness by some of them. One clear example of them was the aborted MOA-AD.
The most critical political arenas in a democracy are congress and the constitutions and by-laws of the land. They are where laws are made telling people what they can do and what they cannot do.
There is no such thing as a rightful minority and a wrong majority. Such set of mind can easily lead to fascism and tyranny. For a minority to force itself upon a majority, and for it to attempt to perpetuate itself in power, will necessitate suspensions of free elections, of freedom of speech, and of other rights of people. For tyranny to claim that they are representative of the whole is imaginary, ridiculous, absurd – a big joke. Rigging of elections is no different. Well, if they don’t spell and smell like M-y-a-n-m-a-r. But sometimes they are pronounced like Pa-kis-tan 🙂
Anyway, whatever, the State shall be an instrument of the people. It is by one class or by the other, unless and as long as there is room for two of course – if people may add. Nothing has really changed, nobody argues. Yes, folks, the state is just an instrument of a class is where we Filipinos are yesterday, today and tomorrow.
So, say, why are farm and industrial workers not happy? Well, simply stated, they are in a state where they are not really or strongly represented. In a free democracy, for some to blame the matter to the system is deemed invalid – a lousy excuse by them, actually. People should be asking themselves why because problems and solutions are usually internal to them – starting with them.
Why an apparent majority lacks representation, I think, needs serious and deep scrutiny by those in there.
By the way, if you are in the Philippines and if you happen to go Videoke bars hopping, never ever select the song My Way popularized by Frank Sinatra. It is one song that makes people stop look and listen. It is one song that killed, and killed many patrons in Videoke bars already. You might get yourself shot, stabbed or bashed by some drunk for it! Maybe it is in the song. Maybe it is the singers. Maybe they did not get Mr. Blue Eyes right that irked or irritated some listeners. I really don’t know except for the facts. And they are true, ask any Filipino who knew about them. Really. 😦