Wednesday, April 26, 2017

DYSTOPIAS









ALL these environmentalist posts I made yesterday on Facebook, of the YouTube videos above profiling this year's Goldman Environmental Prize awardees, could perhaps together have acted (qua posts/shares) as also my way of explaining to my Facebook friends why I cannot be for the Bongbong Marcoses and the Mar Roxases and the San Miguel Corporation-backed Grace Poes of this world, and why I cannot be a loyalist of any of them, unlike some of these Facebook friends of mine. And I said I'm sorry.
    That non-partisan, anti-loyalist rationale behind those Facebook posts is perhaps also what's behind my belief that says the Duterte government's support for, on the one hand, Gina Lopez and, on the other hand, Bongbong Marcos, is really nothing more than a fragment of Rodrigo Duterte's Big Tent ploy to get contending forces everywhere within his government to fight it out. And they will continue to fight it out from within that Big Tent while he, the President, dangles to all of them bits of promises in order to keep them all within his side of the fence and still in line, so he can do whatever he wants from that secret of a soul that he has unimpeded by any real opposition, if ever there is going to be much of an opposition left in the landscape. That belief of mine continued in telling my friends that this Big Tent ploy will certainly unravel in the end, but also that the pessimist in me senses that that unraveling is not likely to happen anytime soon, despite changes in the Cabinet which were minor. So, the Bongbong Marcoses and Gina Lopezes operating within such Big Tent governments as Duterte's will continue to fight it out from within, while the Dutertes of those governments laugh all the way to the (seas') horizon to meet the oncoming realization of their utopias.
    From my point of view, those imminent utopias today are going to be our dystopias tomorrow. Our dystopias. Mine, and my friends' too, whichever loyalism now they happily belong to. [S / -I]



Sunday, April 23, 2017

LEADERISTS ALL


Isabel Magkoeva, a Russian political activist and socialist opposed to strong leaderism in her country. (Photo grabbed from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Isabel_Magkoeva.jpg)


1.
WHAT kind of leaders are our politicians and those leading government institutions? Well, I'd venture to say that probably 99% are leaderists, Vozhdists.

2.
But before that, we should congratulate Turkey for voting for a dictatorship constitution that emulates ours, and winning. Welcome to the club, Turkey!
    Well, everywhere you look these days, nations are all agog to see the fruits of leaderism.
    Are armies ever going to emerge to resist the trendy global rise of leaderism? As of the moment, I doubt it.
    So, back to our original question: How many Filipino politicians and government institution leaders are displaying a voice against leaderism?
    That is, of course, a statistical question, the statistical data for which would be hard to come by.
    But there are ways of proving the possibility of the number that purports to be the above conclusion, 99%. We can start with a backyard scan of, say, . . . how about a government institution with a reputation for independence? The University of the Philippines? You okay with that?

3.
Incidentally, ever heard of the rumor that the UP is going to bestow on Rodrigo Duterte an honoris causa?
    Talaga? Wow.
    Pero, hoy, teka muna. Ano ba ang honoris?
    A better and more specific question would be: sino ang mga naghonor sa hohonorin ng honoris causa na ito?
    Sabi at tanong ko pa nga sa anak ko na nag-graduate sa junior high with honors: "anak, nakuha mo ang honors na yan dahil sa dunong na nakuha mo at sa pagdisplay mo ng dunong na iyon. Ngunit sino ba ang mga kasabwat mo sa pag-absorb mo ng dunong na iyon? Sino silang mga pumapalakpak sa display na iyon?"
    "Isaisip mo," tuloy ko, "na ang honor ay nag-pre-presume ng existence ng isang hinonor at ng isang nag-honor o mga nag-honor."
    "Kaya," sabi ko, "pasalamatan mo hindi lang ang gods (o si God) kundi pati rin ang mga nagbigay ng honors (o nag-honor) sa iyo, silang mga naghonor sa honorable display mo ng dunong na tinutukoy, dahil malamang sa kanilang pagsusumikap din naman nanggaling ang mga bagay na iyon na na-absorb mo at siyang naging honorable dunong mo. In short, kasabwat o kasama mo sila sa achievement na ito."
    "Uhuh," sabi niya, sabay ngiti at kamot ng ulo sa sermon ko.
    Ngayon, mga anak, pag-usapan na natin ang honoris causa. Hehehe, sermon na talaga 'to.
    Maganda lang naman na malaman natin kung sino-sino ang mga nagbigay ng honoris causa sa isang tao at bakit. Kasama yun dapat sa kasaysayan ng isang honoris causa. Dahil malamang ay sa kanilang pagsusumikap din naman nanggaling ang pag-"honoris causa" na ito sa isang tao na inabsorb lang din naman ng mga ngiti ng tao na ito, totoong honorable man siya ayon sa mga naghonor sa kanya o hindi. Kailangan isaisip na ang honoris causa ay hindi lang dahil sa "achievement" ng isang tao, ano man iyon, kundi rin dahil sa mga kasabwat o kasama niya sa isang institusyon sa pagtukoy at pag-validate sa "achievement" na ito, ano man ito.
    Ang honoris causa ay tagumpay hindi lang ng pinarangalan, sino man siya, kundi rin ng standards ng mga nagsukat at pumalakpak, sino-sino man sila.
    "Hindi ako Duterte, Pa," bulong ng anak ko.
    "Alam ko," bulong ko pabalik. "Ginagamit ko lang ang honors mo sa aking alegorya tungkol sa isang suspect na honoris causa. Okey lang ba?" :)
    "Gets ko naman yun, ikaw naman," sabi niya.

4.
Sorry, we got waylaid there. Back to our question and hypothesis: What kind of leaders are our politicians and those leading government institutions? Well, I'd venture to say that probably 99% are leaderists, Vozhdists.
    On second thought, I think we were lucky to have been waylaid there, for it got us to an incident which probably amply proves our number, if you can put two and two together.

5. Leaderists! Leaderists! Leaderists! Leaderists! . . . [S / -I]





Thursday, April 13, 2017

Holy Week Issue


A social media post reacting to a PR firm's "win a date with Sandro (Marcos)" promo that resulted in a backlash against deniers of post-Proclamation No. 1081 atrocities/abuses. Photo grabbed from https://www.newsgra.ph/1646/winadatewithsandro-marcos-event-hijacked-with-martial-law-references/


DIYOS ko. Holy Week na Holy Week ay gusto akong hatakin ng isang tarantadong Marcos loyalist sa debate tungkol sa katotohanan ng mga nakasulat sa mainstream History tungkol sa Marcos martial law atrocities at abuses. Gusto niya akong hatakin sa kanyang alternative facts. Ano ang tingin niya sa akin, tangang isda na papatol sa bulateng pain niya? Hindi ako hangal na kakagat sa gusto niyang mangyari, na ako ay magalit at maglitanya tungkol sa maraming facts ng kasaysayan at tuluyan na ngang mailagay niya sa posisyon ng may burden of proof na siya ngayong magpapatunay na totoo nga ang lahat ng detalye ng History na binanggit ko. At sa bandang dulo, may alas siyang itatapon sa mesa na magtatanong sa akin kung sigurado ako sa aking mga facts at kung ilang units sa History ang nakuha ko sa kolehiyo at sa kung saang paaralan, and so on. Trial niya, at History ang nasa defensive sa aggression ng kanyang confirmation bias. Hindi ako mangmang na kakagat sa gusto niyang mangyaring ang History ang mailagay niya sa gitna ng kanyang dakilang imbestigasyon.
    Pren, sasabihin mo, pero di ba dapat ding mailabas ang katotohanan? Totoo, dapat ilabas ito. At sasabihin ko sa iyong ilabas mo ito sa madla. Subalit dapat mo ring malaman na walang patutunguhan ang pakikipagdebate sa deniers ng anumang kasaysayan, dahil sa either of two reasons lamang. Ang one of the two reasons, malakas ang paniniwala ng isang denier sa kanyang sariling bersyon ng katotohanan, kung kaya’t wala kang mararating sa iyong mga facts. May mababali ka bang relihiyosong malakas ang paniniwala sa kanyang relihiyon o bersyon o konsepto ng Godhead or Godness? Wala. The other reason, mayroon siyang motibo. Kung kaya’t ikaw ang paglalaruan niya. May makukumbinse ka bang isang tao sa prinsipyo ng katotohanan kung alam niya rin naman ang katotohanan at alam din niyang nagsisinungaling siya sa ngalan ng kanyang mga sikretong motibo?
    Wala akong oras makipagdebate tungkol sa katotohanan sa mga taong either may malakas na paniniwala sa kanilang bersyon ng katotohanan, at di kailanman makukumbinsi ng anumang ibang bersyon, o dili kaya’y may suwapang na motibo sa likod ng kanilang mga salita, at di kailanman magpapatinag sa talino ng anumang may saysay na interpolasyon.
    Kung mag-aaksaya man ako ng panahon sa kanila, hindi ang isyu nila ang papatulan ko kundi ito—sila, bilang ang isyu. Itatanong ko sa akademya ng tao, sa bawat nakikinig na may sariling isip, kung ano ang interes ng isang tao sa isang kasaysayan. Bakit niya ba kinikuwestiyon ito? Ano ang motibo niya? Maganda kaya ang motibo niya o hindi? Kinukuwestiyon niya ito sa ngalan ng ano? Sa ngalan nino? Sa ngalan ng anong korporasyon o paksyon pulitikal? At kung sasabihin niyang pure ang kanyang motibo at walang halong selfish interest, dapat ba siyang paniwalaan? Ano ang power o supremacy na makukuha niya sa pagkapanalo ng kanyang metanarrative?
    Para sa akin, sapat nang malaman na natural lang sa isang apologist ng dictatorial system at militarismo na maghanap ng isyu tungkol sa kasaysayan ng anumang dictatorship at militarist rule. Sapat nang malaman na galing siya sa isang pamilya, barkada, ethnic o linguistic group, o anumang sistema ng groupthink, na nakinabang o makikinabang sa sistemang diktadurya o militarista, para maliwanagan ako sa tunay na dahilan sa likod ng kanyang behavior o mental anatomy bilang isang denier.
    Uulitin ko. Sa harap ng mga taong ganito, pipilitin kang hatakin sa isyu nila, kung saan ang History ang magiging isyu. Subalit ang isyu ay SILA at ang MGA MOTIBO NILA. Kung may pagdedebate, dapat ito umikot sa pagkatao, o sa mga facts and figures sa likod ng pagkatao, NILA. Take it from there. . . .
    Hay, sus. Pasensya na, mga bes, at binulabog ko ang Holy Week niyo. . . . Pero, on the other hand, baka Holy Week issue rin naman ‘to. Di nga ba’t may mga denier din dyan na nagsasabing mas mabuti ang naging kalagayan ng Ancient Israel sa pamamalakad ng Roma, o na si Satanas ang tunay na maka-kapayapaan dahil hindi niya hahayaan ang mga sakuna? Well, wala namang masama sa pagkuwestiyon sa anumang mga detalye ng kasaysayan o ng mitolohiya per se. Ang masama ay kung ayaw mong isama ang sarili mo sa imbestigasyon, kahit ikaw ang may dala ng mga kuwestiyon. Pag ganito ang nangyayari na hinahayaan natin ang imbestigasyon sa anumang teksto nang walang pag-iimbestiga sa masama o mabuting motibo ng kumukuwestiyon, may mga rewriting na nangyayari at nagtatagumpay nang ganun-ganon na lang. Tulad, halimbawa, yaong pagkarewrite sa kuwento tungkol kay Maria Magdalena upang palabasin na siya ay nagbagong prosti at hindi babaeng disipolo ni Hesus na ka-lebel, kung di man mas mataas sa lebel, nina Pedro. And for what motive? To deny women the priesthood? Go, take it from there! [S / -I]




Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Duterte-phobic Notes of the Week



1. ONE basic thing you need to know about history deniers, fact deniers, fake news writers, and their ilk. They will name anything and anyone as a case to study and confront so to avoid focus on themselves. Don't fall into this trap. They are the cases that you need to examine and confront! The focus ought not to be on anything or anyone other than them! They are the basic issue! Expose everything there is to know about them!!

2. Degrees of Corruption
    True, if you're a media or religious institution or persona fixing every now and then the function of your privilege in order to serve the interests of holding companies or specific corporations or of political factions, you deserve to be called corrupt by the President of the State.
    Then again, if you're a President of the State who has devoted himself to the facilitation of another state's natural resource and market interests in this state, you are not just displaying corruption of the third or second degree, but absolute treason being committed by no less than You as the leader of the government of this State. That is corruption of the supreme or highest universal degree.

3. Planning a Novel
    What if I explore this premise for a novel's plot?---
    The 21st century. China would only have to look at its history where, once upon a time, there was this British-instigated Opium War against it designed by Britain to get its silk, porcelain, and tea. In that looking back would be born enough inspiration for a now-rich China to plan a 21st-century fear-farming War on Drugs false flag on a neighboring state. They will have to do this through---or care of---a potential puppet in that state that they can sponsor and install as that state's new leader. Once installed, that leader can farm all the fear he wants through that new "Opium War", through which fear-farming the leader can facilitate China's slow and smooth entry into the state to get that neighboring state's not just silk, porcelain and tea but resources more precious for a hefty harvest. Does that sound like a good plot for a fiction novel to you? Or would I be plagiarizing life for a historical one?

4. In the Era of Simplified Psychometrics
    Garth Jowett and Victoria O'Donnell have provided a concise, workable definition of the term "propaganda," viz., "Propaganda is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist."
    Following that definition, it should be easy for us to see why government would be busying itself presently with the labeling of everyone in the divided opposition as "bobos" (stupid people), most especially the Vice-President in recent days.
    Is the intent of this propaganda move to shape the manipulable public's perception that it is the critics of this government's policies who are bobo, in order to hide its own series of boo-boos?
    Is it to manipulate cognitions that everything that it is doing is the smart thing, if not the only smart thing, which process of manipulation may involve the hyping up of the truly smart it's done and hiding beneath the quilts all the stupid moves it had committed?
    Is it to direct behavior towards a derogation of critics and the celebration of this government's being supposedly revolutionary?
    I think we're all intelligent enough to know when propaganda is twisting us or sucking us in. Or are we?
    And if we are and suspect we are being sucked into it, how do we fight it? Do we fight by throwing the same techniques it is using? Or do we fight it by exposing its lies? By exposing all the truths behind its lying?
    Do we expose the whole anatomy of processes in its propaganda that aims to "achieve a response that (will further) the desired intent of the propagandist"?
    What are those desires?
    Are we as a nation intelligent enough to in turn desire answers to these questions? Or are we truly bobos enough to desire nothing, to simply wallow in never-ending trust?

5. THE argument that says Duterte's spitting on due process ought to be thanked because the drug pusher and his addicts that used to be the kings in one's neighborhood are now all gone . . .
    is no different from the argument that says Hitler's regime should be thanked because it furthered the popularity of Wagner.
    Or don't you see the similarity? If you don't, well, . . . perhaps you never will.
    Perhaps you never will see that that legitimization of Hitler by one's deep love of Wagner is the same sort of legitimization that you are placing on Duterte's aggressive wariness towards all his critics, in this republic and outside, a legitimization motored by your understandable love of peace in one particular anecdotal neighborhood.

6. UNTIL that day comes when good people in a land start invoking violence in order to protect rights, violent evil will continue to prosper in that land and in other lands. That is not inciting rebellion. That is a mere articulation of a historical truism operative among a frightened people in repressive, suspect regimes.

7. ARE we afraid? My friends: government is excited about and not wary of creating a fearful people, for the fear-farming reasons we articulated above.
    But it, government, seems to be ignorant of the fact that courage is actually 100% fear. Let us rejoice, then. For as government makes progress in creating more frightened people, its hold on the people is not strengthened, it is lessened. Fear pa more! [S / -I]