Wednesday, October 12, 2016


photo from

1. On Behalf of Inang Bayan Kuno

PUTANG INA MO, China, hanggang ngayon di ka pa rin nag-aapologize sa
pekeng rice na pinasok mo sa amin, sa mga illegal drugs na pinapadala mo rito sa Opium War by Shabu ninyo laban sa amin, sa pag-okupa mo ng Scarborough Shoal hanggang sa mga oras na ito, sa mga fraudulent loans ng mga pulitiko namin na inasikaso mo, sa dumping mo ng kung anu-anong shady products sa buong mundo, at marami pang iba, . . . China, I wish you see hell!!!!!
    Pero teka, teka, teka, mali yata ang script na binabasa ko. Dapat pala, kung sang-ayon tayo sa script ng pamahalaan ni Rodrigo Duterte, ang Amerika ang hinihingan natin ng apology saaaa . . . let’s see . . . ah, alam ko na . . . sa atrocities nito sa Bud Dajo noong taong 1906. So sige, heto na: Amerika, tang-ina mo ka, padala ka ng padala ng aid pero di ka pa rin nag-aapologize sa Bud Dajo, tang ina at ama mo rin ka! Go to hell!
    Ok na ba yon? Yey! Rak en rol!

2. An "I" Persona

KUNG IHAHAMBING MO ang Rodrigo Duterte script na ito sa, say, Noynoy Aquino script o kahit sa Fidel Ramos script noon, makikita rin natin na ang Rodrigo Duterte script ay karaniwa’y isang “I” persona script, as against the former presidents’ conventionally “we” personae scripts. But of course we can argue that, in effect, all presidential scripts, whether presented in the ‘I’ mode or in the ‘we’ mode, are all largely dictatorial products of the dictatorial presidential system, and are thus all “I” persona scripts at the end of the day (dictating the president’s will upon the nation through either threat of violence, threat of being denied funding, or threat of legalist suit).
    So one could say that Duterte’s “I”-based script is simply more honest, or vulgarly forward, if you will, about it. Or simply more cognizant of the fact that presidential personae are largely all ultimate products of the big “I” hype manufactured by the star system that defines the presidential system as the most star system-reliant form of representative democracy. Duterte’s cognizance and embrace of that privilege now wallows in the very depth of the hype, or at the summit of it, almost as if to test its limits.
    Thus Rodrigo Duterte is now wont to utter such lines as "I might break up with America" or "I might go to China and Russia instead" and "I only want to be at peace with everybody, doing business with everybody, and no quarrels with anybody" in reference to a desire for "an independent foreign policy” for the Philippines. And as if to hide the kingly grandiosity in these pronouncements, at one of his speeches for his police camp audience (as he’s been wont to visit the police camps of the country since day 1), he recently said, referring to the “insulting” United States and European governments’ criticism of his war on drugs, "when you insult the President of the Republic of the Philippines you also insult the Filipino people." Really?
    I am beginning to wonder if all this honesty from the “I” persona of Duterte’s script also means that Rodrigo Duterte now regards himself as independent of the Filipino people's opinion, post-election, so independent in fact as to be able to unilaterally decide on such things as what happens to the Philippines (which he now seems to consider as his) and the Filipino people (whose brains he seems to now consider as connected to his, irrespective of their current individual desires). The thought of referenda on anything major be damned, and fuck even a bit of decrease on his still-high approval rating, and a spit of phlegm perhaps on thoughts of a coup that might subsequently try him for treason. His government has said it not a few times: he was elected by a large majority of the Filipino people, which by his understanding gave him the license (given by that large majority), or prior approval, to do whatever he announced he’d do during the campaign and things he intends to do now and henceforward, ostensibly all for the betterment of the Filipino nation that he loves (often completing such a pronouncement of love with a gesture of touching the flag behind him on a stage in a visited police camp somewhere). But this should not be a surprising proposition, given that that’s precisely the attitude that presidential systems and presidentialism expect presidents to don, post-election.

3. Braggadoccio

AND SO IT was no surprise to read that report wherein the President claimed that the Philippines can survive without foreign aid, referring to aid we have received mainly from the United States and Japan.
    Well, unang-una, there's no such thing as aid na walang kapalit (which kapalit might take the form of export or import concessions); madalas din ang aid ay synonym for a loan/debt.
    Pangalawa, this is total bullshit from a government that has been in close contact with the AIIB from day 1.
    Otherwise, this almost sounds like taunting Western banks and the ADB to leave us, I suspect as per instructions from AIIB officers whose institution must be eager to send its people in droves to our archipelago in the way a Russian missile system triumphantly entered Syria last month.
    My friend Hubert Posadas, a security consultant, commented on a post of mine on Facebook on this subject and wrote: “There will be a trade-off, and it will work if we are a country united. However, he could have done it more smoothly, without creating overt tension and hostility in a growingly threatening climate. In a country rich with natural resources, we have become addicted to aid, which has only perpetuated our being a natural resource-rich country with a poor populace, a country exporting natural resources without added value and buying it back as finished products we could have created ourselves (thus a country importing produce we can actually produce on our own), a country furthermore exporting fathers and mothers to become slaves abroad and leaving a generation of kids without guidance in return for material goods that addle our children's brains. . . . We are addicted to aid to the point that we do not learn to manage what we have for our collective good, never questioning businesses that perpetuate this cycle where only the few oligarchs and industrialists prosper. We never question the control that AID and Borrowing creates for the Lendor, believing in the institutions that create the machinery that exploit us, how the World Bank loans us on paper money they never really give as we hire their contractors and pay their services with siphoned resources. We never understand our complicity in the deaths of other civilians around the world that suffer a war for pretended causes just because they have resources our big brother wants. We have to ween ourselves from these addictions.”

I WON’T COMMENT on my friend Hubert’s trust and optimism towards the Duterte thrust towards China away from the West, if that’s what he meant by his first sentence, nor would I comment on his preference for a more statesman-like Duterte mouth (especially as I suspect it is all from a script suggested by the President’s targeted main creditor and possibly foreign election campaign donor, the AIIB), nor on his view of foreign aid as motivated by some blind addiction, if I got him correctly on that. But I definitely agree with much else that he wrote. Not because I believe that our leaders (national and local) have been treating foreign aid from a position of blind addiction, but because I believe that foreign aid (from whichever source) has always been that product peddled by foreign banking or governmental interests (of whatever nationality) to countries such as ours, where these in turn are received with warm welcome by these countries’ respective lumpenbourgeoisie-gone-wealthy.
    In fact, in the Philippines’ case, that state of affairs described above by my friend is all due to our having been through decades of being managed by elements of the lumpenbourgeoisie, a lumpenbourgeoisie whose instincts are naturally inclined to the enriching of themselves and the neglect of those they would pretend to serve. Here’s where I have qualms on any shift from West-based creditors to a China-based credit source: a pro-American lumpenbourgeoisie replaced by a pro-China lumpenbourgeoisie is not going to remove us from the shackles of conditions imposed by global banks (which banks also happen to be attached to governments with their attached conditions and impositions). And, worse, while you can shame Western banks when certain details about them are exposed, there's no shaming the AIIB (China's West Philippine Sea attitude is already an omen of what our relationship with our new creditors are going to look like).
    For as long as we are managed by this niche, this class, we are never going to be united, precisely because the elements in this niche (the lumpenbourgeoisie, now also interestingly containing elements from the Left) are, to repeat, naturally inclined to forever work for themselves and their factions in the guise of working for the nation. Being thus predisposed, they are likewise necessarily inclined to divide us, us who are easily duped into siding with the competing left-right-center factions of the lumpenbourgeoisie on various issues other than their lumpenbourgeoisie-ness. That is to say, we are led to debate and curse each other on distracting issues (or false flags) that hide the bigger issues that define their being lumpenbourgeois. We are divided the way TV viewers have been duped into joining either a kapamilya or kapuso or kapatid kind of TV channel brand loyalism, where we get deeply passionate about these myriad team affiliations for groupthink while missing what the lumpenbourgeois man did to our country for his and/or his faction’s enrichment and/or their personal ideas’ fulfillment.

A LIBERATING VIEW of a truer division has yet to be seen. It is a view within which we can glimpse and acknowledge how we are actually divided: into two separate nations, with the mob of the lumpenbourgeois-gone-wealthy on the one hand and then the rest of us on the other. When the time comes for us to awaken to the ideals of true democracy, let’s say participatory democracy wherein we become participants in decision-making, especially on matters pertaining to what happens to our country, only then can we say that we have attained the first step to independence, to a true freedom to choose among policy choices and not merely to be led into obeying the readymade choices of messiahs from the center, right or now-included-left of the lumpenbourgeois class with their foreign bank and superpower-big-brother preferences.

4. The problem with us, the people

NOTICE THAT I used the clause “time for us to awaken . . .” Now, is that day near at all? Hmm. Presently, there is reason to be pessimistic. For every time we start talking about “we,” we usually do not examine the we-ness in it or of it.
    The "we the people" phrase that we often use, for instance, is—true—often associated with democracy, more specifically representative democracy, almost never for an absent demand for some direct democracy. And there's the rub. The Philippine problem is that "we the Filipino people" have a political culture of always wanting to fight not for our personal or collective causes primarily but for politicians and such personalities, primarily. We would fight wars and die for these in the name of our politician or celebrity or sports team/athlete or favored TV channel. In that fact alone we can already say that "we the Filipino people" are still living in a kind of monarchic system akin to those before the occurrence of the events that led to the French Revolution.
    I agree, it is our poverty that has pinned us to this ignorance about the vicious cycle of exploitation by various actors. And so, perhaps, even in the attainment of true democracy, we might still need the miracle of being blessed with true leaders of the people, as against mere actors pretending to be leaders of the people. The French at the onset of the French Revolution were poor, but a culture of revolt was propagated by an intelligentsia that realized what was in this intelligentsia’s minds by making revolt the inevitable through the inculcation of that culture in the people, making the latter own this culture as if it derived from them, because, after all, it was for them and not for anyone else or for any political party seeking one-party rule. Unless, by some Marxist criticism, we propose that that culture may have actually derived from them, the masses, and was merely articulated by the intelligentsia.
    “When do we really start comprehending Rousseau and get away being puzzled by Montesquieu?”—wrote my Facebook friend, the banker and gallerist Remigio David. “For the time being, it's self destruction, defeat, disaster!”
    Expect to see light at the end of this tunnel of horrors soon, ser David. That's the optimist side of me speaking. :)
    “We shall celebrate when we bump into our own ‘Age of Reason’,” he wrote. “And when it does, let us hope it will endure despite the social contention. Little by little, our old world should crumble! I am an optimist like you, tu vois!”
    My friend Hubert P- came back with this: “Ah, but we are growing. All the institutions are being questioned, all crumbling. Catharsis begins with these kinds of event, helped by the dawning of awareness given insight by people like you. Frame the positive outcome and prescription and we’ll see that the change is already here with people like you. Know that it is hard to break old habits but easy to create new ones. That is why the revolution in psychology has been to steer away from talking about the past and more on reframing the positive outcome one wants to produce. Conditioned helplessness is the condition one finds oneself in by constantly complaining without looking for a solution. The mind works by seeing a proof of concept, not by discussing logics. The ability to train the mind to see a problem as a situation is the first skill in training the mind to find the solution. That is why we keep changing our leaders without success, because we only know what we do not want without knowing what we need to do. Most Filipinos think that a movement is to find a fault and ask others to join in agreeing to find fault and rally behind that negative statement. They are actually talking about a reaction, not a revolution. A revolution is a dynamic of change from one State to another. But without a clear scalable proof of concept, it never really becomes a movement. Change begins with a small group with clearly defined acts that prove a new reality. Everything else is reaction.”
    À votre santé! Vive la démocratie directe!

5. The problem with our intelligentsia

BUT FOR NOW I don’t see things as brightly as my friend Hubert, despite my desire to continue to rally people towards direct democratic and participatory democratic directions. That’s the pessimist side of me speaking.
    "I don't blame the Americans for keeping to their interests. Ang problema is how well we fight for ours," Filipino historian Xiao Chua said in a talk show on Net25.
    Well, mabuhay ka, ser Xiao. Natumbok mo ang anatomiya ng lumpenbourgeoisie-ness; ang lumpenbourgeoisie-ness na hindi mawawala sa paghahanap ng ibang amo.
    And so, if our French Revolution of sorts is to be provoked by our intelligentsia, we should wonder where our intelligentsia are.
    Recently, this news came out about Duterte defender and former journalist pundit Teddy Boy Locsin’s engaging Duterte-critical netizens in a word war as he defended the President, specifically on Twitter: click here. Locsin has been designated by the new President as the new Philippine ambassador to the United States.
    We do not begrudge Locsin his newly-avowed opinion and position, as this new position may reflect his utopia of a better world articulated in his criticism as a journalist. Perhaps his fans’ dismay at his “having changed” is a mal-appreciation of what he stood for on the whole in the past, thus their shock at his present behavior.
    Nevertheless, it also cannot be denied that elements of the intelligentsia in this country, like their contemporaries in government, find it easy to sacrifice old ideals for new pragmatisms, being armed with the articulateness to justify flip-flops when a flip-flop or perceived flip-flop occurs.
    And whenever that adaptation happens, and I’m not saying that that’s what happened in Locsin’s case, it’s because that’s precisely what happens when our intelligentsia elements unwittingly or subconsciously promise themselves not to fight for their causes of old (or even new causes) but for a politician, especially when they fight for their selfish enjoyment under the patronage of those politicians. There are way more “fuck-faces” in this republic than the number of letters in the name of Teddy Boy Locsin. Politician-directed loyalism is the national disease in this our disguised monarchic system, in this our era before the far future occurrence of events that may lead to our French Revolution of sorts. [S / -I]

1 comment:

  1. I agree fully with your article. Just to correct a bit, I am neither pro Duterte nor anti Duterte. My views are based on an attitude of asset based thinking, as alas, it is the attitude that served me best in times of Chaos. As far as he is concerned, I believe him to be a historical reaction to the very dynamic you so aptly described. If ever I have optimism it is placed on people like you and other Filipinos who keep perspective in light of the changes that this President affords, for good or bad.

    Agreeing on a situation does not mean seeing the same conclusion. As I am reminded by De Bono, a Lateral Thinker will find solutions where others will see only problems. Problems are aplenty, and for most it is a valid starting point to admit they exist.

    The context of the attitude I have always taken is that from experience turning that phrase "problem" into "situation" will afford a path and clear direction to action, which is a personal attitude I have adopted to counteract the conditioned helpless state I found myself in before, a state where I only found problems and complained without proposing solutions.

    It has served me well in solving real, on ground problems, and given me the eye to see the whole gestalt of the thing, the trade offs that are present, and the context of another's action.

    We may appreciate this when we find ourselves in the position of responsibility, realizing that constraints do exists, and that there is a reason for a certain dynamic to exist, thw paradox being that oftentimes my reaction and personal perception creates the necessary spark to change the situation.

    So kudos to you my friend. Your clear presentation of the situation will lead others to find the way.

    Bilog ang mundo, Bro, ang bida sa simula nabubugbog.

    Ganun tayo. Even if things look bleak, the killing of sacred cows, the destruction of our faith in the boxes of our systems and institutions will create the proper context to bring about a new Filipino, one that is creative enough to create the changes necessary to create a country more to all our liking, whatever class you come from.

    Keep it up Bro!