There is no literate population in the world that is poor; there is no illiterate population that is anything but poor.” – John Kenneth Galbraith (1908-2006)
" Fear history, for it respects no secrets" - Gregoria de Jesus (widow of Andres Bonifacio)
- WHAT WE FILIPINOS SHOULD KNOW:
- WHAT IS NATIONALISM [Filipino Nationalism]?
- Our Colonial Mentality and Its Roots
- The Miseducation of the Filipino (Formation of our Americanized Mind)
- Our Filipino Kind of Religion
- Our Filipino Christianity and Our God-concept
- When Our Religion Becomes Evil
- Understanding Our Filipino Value System
- The Ambivalence of Filipino Traits and Values
OUR PHILIPPINE ECONOMY: (Post-WW2 Agreements)
- President Roxas Railroaded the Approval of Bell Trade Act (Philippine Trade Act),1946 & Military Bases Agreements
- Bell Trade Act-1946 (Parity Rights)
- The Fallacy of "Philippines First"
- Globalization (Neoliberalism) – The Road to Perdition in Our Homeland
- Five(5) Years of Reasons To Resist WTO's Globalization & Learn WTO's Multilateral Punishments to the Philippines
- Resisting Globalization (WTO Agreements)
- Virtues of De-Globalization
OUR PHILIPPINE MILITARY: (Post-WW2 Agreements)
- President Roxas Railroaded the Approval of Bell Trade Act (Philippine Trade Act),1946 & Military Bases Agreements
- US Military Bases & Military Assistance Agreements (1947)
- US Bilateral Immunity Agreement (BIA) aka Article 98 Agreement
- Status-Of-Forces-Agreement (SOFA): Template for Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA)
THE RECTO READER (Book) is presented in several postings. Click each to open/read:
- THE RECTO READER: Nationalism,Internationalism,Ultra-Nationalism,Part 1A of 6
- THE RECTO READER: Mission of Nationalism,Part 1B of 6
- THE RECTO READER: Economic Independence,Economic Nationalism,Part 2A of 6
- THE RECTO READER: Economic Nationalism Means Industrialization,Part 2B of 6
- THE RECTO READER: Industrialization: The Alternative to Poverty,Part 2C of 6
- THE RECTO READER: The Fallacy of "Philippines First," Part 2D of 6
- THE RECTO READER: Parity Rights, Currency Dependence, Foreign Loans versus Foreign Investments, Part 2E of 6
- MORE TO FOLLOW
NOTE: Recto's cited cases, examples or issues were of his time, of course; but realities in our homeland in the present and the foreseeable future are expected to be much, much worse. Though I am tempted to update them with current issues, it's best to leave them as they are since Recto's paradigms about our much deepened national predicament still ring relevant, valid and true. In short, Recto saw the forest and never got lost in the trees. We native Filipinos have not learned from or not heeded his advice - Bert
We hear and read ad nauseam about the regression of our homeland versus our Asian neighbors; and for the most part, it is our fault; we Malay Filipinos, who comprise the majority, for allowing this disaster to happen. Our fault because we are not a united majority, not a nation, because of our lack/absence of nationalism.
All the while, we prefer to listen to foreigners, especially the Americans and to our fellow Filipinos, technocrats or not, with Americanized minds, in our homeland who warn us of the dangers of nationalism and who equate nationalism with communism (forgetting or not knowing that communist ideology is against nationalism, though it may use it to attain its mission.
Conversely too, nationalism may welcome communism to help its drive for national unity. Recent history demonstrates the victory of nationalism). Any serious student of history, of political economy, will find that all developed nations had strong nationalism on their journey to nationhood, to economic development and growth.
To digress somewhat, let us be reminded that America itself, had nationalism in mind when it implemented protectionism as early as the 1780's and did so for over a century. Even today, America still does employ protectionism in certain business sectors; but in turn preaches "free market/Laissez faire" to and demands absolute free trade from weak countries like ours (via its supposedly benevolent/objective institutional tools: IMF/WB/WTO).
And the American public, without much thought, believe that their economic history is all due to Adam Smith's "Laissez faire." Similarly, it should be noted that all (developed) western Europeans and Asian Tigers did not follow/buy that pure market theory to "take off"; else they will not be where they are now.
(click to read/see -->: http://thefilipinomind.blogspot.com/2005/12/adam-smiths-soft-side-by-sherrod-brown.html,
Beyond Economics 101, we ought to realize that the "Laissez faire" or "free market theory" we learned in school or hear/read about constantly is bullshit. Economics is not about "playing fair", nor having an "equal playing field"; economics is between the strong and the weak.
The theory works well for the strong. Thus, America preaches it to the weak. And we know where we are then and now, and it's long overdue that we realize that and do something to radically change this arrangement.
And all these Asian neighbors: Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, India, Vietnam, have strong nationalism. Japan then with its ultra-nationalism led to WW2 in the Pacific; Communist China with its ultra-nationalism led to taking over Tibet. Ultra-nationalism is nationalism beyond one's territorial/national borders.
We Filipinos have to recover and strengthen our nationalism, that is, Filipino nationalism within our borders. We the so-called educated ought to inform ourselves, to understand, should reach out to our impoverished majority to help them also appreciate and know "what really is going on"; and should work towards unity.
Let us make "Malay (Indio) Filipino First," as the late President Garcia did with his "Filipino First" and helped establish native industrialization (but later thwarted by Diosdado Macapagal whose promised priority was to put back the country to foreign subservience. So did Macapagal's successor regimes: Marcos, Aquino, Ramos, Estrada and now her daughter, Gloria Arroyo and apparently, whoever comes next among the present contenders/opposition, in whatever form or grouping).
Though much more difficult now, it is only when we have gained strength through nationalism can we then attain national unity and dignity; it is only then can we fight to radically change our perennial socio-economic and political predicament into the common good; it is only when we have a strongly determined nationalist leadership and nationalist majority can we then earn respect as a nation and people; look the foreigner in the eye and deal with them as an equal.
Else, we will continue to regress at the expense of the present and future generations, to be continually humiliated, ignored or taken for granted in our own homeland.
With our continued disunity, all foreigners subtly encourage us and love us for being continually so, for they are having a field day in our homeland, at our expense... to wallow in ever-worsening misery; praying and waiting for the heaven of the afterlife (as told by the church and therefore unquestioningly believed).
Below is a rare, perceptive and honest commentary by Professor Amy Chua, a Chinese from the Philippines, though speaking here as an American. Her book is good reading.
CHINESE IN THE PHILIPPINES: Power and Prejudice - Globalizing Hate
The inequalities of the free market pit a poor, frustrated majority against a rich “outsider” minority. Add democracy, and the result is often retaliation, violence, and even mass slaughter.
BY AMY CHUA
One beautiful blue morning in 1994, my mother phoned me from California. In a hushed voice, she told me that my Aunt Leona, my father's twin sister, had been murdered in her home in the Philippines, her throat slit by her chauffeur. My mother broke the news in our native Hokkien Chinese dialect. But “murder” she said in English, as if to wall off the act from the family through language.
Angry Indonesian mobs burn cars and Chinese-owned shops as they plundered Jakarta in anti-Chinese riots, May 1998. (© AFP / Choo Youn-Kong)
The murder of a relative is horrible for anyone, anywhere. My father's grief was impenetrable; to this day, he has not broken his silence on the subject. For the rest of the family, though, there was added disgrace. For traditional Chinese, luck is a moral attribute, and a lucky person would never be murdered. Like having a birth defect, or marrying a non-Chinese, being murdered is shameful.
My three younger sisters and I were very fond of Aunt Leona, who was petite and quirky and had never married. Like many wealthy Filipino Chinese, she had all kinds of bank accounts in Honolulu, San Francisco, and Chicago. She visited us in the United States regularly. She and my father—Leona and Leon—were close, as only twins can be. Having no children of her own, she doted on her nieces and showered us with trinkets.
As we grew older, the trinkets became treasures. On my tenth birthday, she gave me ten small diamonds, wrapped in toilet paper. My aunt loved diamonds and bought them up by the dozen, concealing them in empty Elizabeth Arden face moisturizer jars, some right on her bathroom shelf. She liked accumulating things. When we ate at McDonald's she stuffed her Gucci purse with free ketchups.
According to the police report, my Aunt Leona, “a 58-year-old single woman,” was killed in her living room with “a butcher's knife” at approximately 8 p.m. Two of her maids who were questioned confessed that Nilo Abique, my aunt's chauffeur, had planned and executed the murder with their knowledge and assistance.
“A few hours before the actual killing, respondent was seen sharpening the knife allegedly used in the crime.” After the killing, “respondent [Abique] joined the two witnesses and told them that their employer was dead. At that time, he was wearing a pair of bloodied white gloves and was still holding a knife, also with traces of blood.” But Abique, the report went on to say, had “disappeared”with the warrant for his arrest outstanding. The two maids were released.
After the funeral, I asked one of my uncles whether there had been any further developments in the murder investigation. He replied tersely that the killer had not been found. His wife explained that the Manila police had essentially closed the case. Why were they not more shocked that my aunt had been killed by people who worked for her, lived with her? Or that the maids had been released? When I pressed my uncle, he was brusque. “That's the way things are here,” he said. “This is the Philippines—not America.”
My uncle was not simply being callous. As it turns out, my aunt's death is part of a common pattern. Hundreds of Chinese in the Philippines are kidnapped every year, almost invariably by ethnic Filipinos. Many victims, often children, are brutally murdered, even after ransom is paid. Other Chinese, like my aunt, are killed without a kidnapping, usually in connection with a robbery.
Nor is it unusual that my aunt's killer was never apprehended. Police in the Philippines, all poor ethnic Filipino themselves, are notoriously unmotivated in these cases. Asked by a Western journalist why it is so frequently the Chinese who are targeted, one grinning Filipino policeman explained, “They have more money.”
My family is part of the Philippines' tiny but entrepreneurial, economically powerful Chinese minority. Just 1 percent of the population, Chinese Filipinos control as much as 60 percent of the private economy, including the country's four major airlines and almost all its banks, hotels, shopping malls, and conglomerates.
My own relatives in Manila, who run a plastics conglomerate, are only “third-tier” Chinese tycoons. Still, they own swaths of prime real estate and several vacation homes. They also have safe deposit boxes full of gold bars, each the size of a Snickers bar. My Aunt Leona FedExed me a similar bar as a law school graduation present.
Since my aunt's murder, one childhood memory keeps haunting me. I was eight, visiting from the United States, and staying at my family's splendid hacienda-style house in Manila. It was before dawn, still dark when I went to the kitchen for a drink. But I must have gone down an extra flight of stairs because I literally stumbled onto six male bodies.
I had found the male servants' quarters. My family's house-boys, gardeners, and chauffeurs—I sometimes imagine that Nilo Abique was among them—were sleeping on mats on a dirt floor. The place stank of sweat and urine. I was horrified.
Later that day, I mentioned the incident to my Aunt Leona, who laughed affectionately and explained that the servants—there were perhaps 20 living on the premises, all ethnic Filipino—were fortunate to be working for our family. If not for their positions, they would be living among rats and open sewers, without even a roof over their heads.
A Filipino maid then walked in with a bowl of food for my aunt's Pekingese dog. The Filipinos, my aunt continued —in Chinese, but not caring whether the maid understood—were lazy and unintelligent, and didn't really want to do much else. If they didn't like working for us, they were free to leave any time. After all, they were employees, not slaves.
According to the World Bank, UNICEF, and official statistics of the Philippines, nearly two-thirds of the Philippines' 80 million ethnic Filipinos live on less than $2 a day, 40 percent spend their entire lives in temporary shelters, and 70 percent of all rural Filipinos own no land. Almost a third have no access to sanitation.
But that is not the worst of it. Poverty alone never is. Poverty by itself does not make people kill. To poverty must be added indignity, hopelessness, and grievance.
In the Philippines, millions of ethnic Filipinos work for Chinese; almost no Chinese work for Filipinos. The Chinese dominate industry and commerce at every level of society. Global markets intensify this dominance: When foreign investors do business in the Philippines, they deal almost exclusively with Chinese. Apart from a handful of corrupt politicians and a few aristocratic Spanish mestizo families, all of the Philippines' billionaires are Chinese.
By contrast, all menial jobs in the Philippines are filled by Filipinos. All peasants, domestic servants, and squatters are Filipinos. Outside Manila, thousands of ethnic Filipinos lived on or around the Payatas garbage dump: a 12-block-wide mountain of fermenting refuse known as The Promised Land. By scavenging through rotting food and animal carcasses, squatters eked out a living. In July 2000, as a result of accumulating methane gas, the garbage mountain imploded and collapsed, smothering more than 100 people, many of them young children.
When I asked an uncle about the Payatas explosion, he was annoyed. “Why does everyone want to talk about that? It's the worst thing for foreign investment.” I wasn't surprised. My relatives live literally walled off from the Filipino masses, in a posh, all-Chinese residential enclave, on streets named Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Armed, private security forces guard every entry point. Each time I think of Nilo Abique—he was 6' 2" and my aunt was 4' 11"—I well up with a hatred and revulsion so intense, it is actually consoling.
But over time, I have also had glimpses of how the Chinese must look to the vast majority of Filipinos, to someone like Abique: as exploiters, as foreign intruders, their wealth inexplicable, their superiority intolerable. I will never forget the entry in the police report for Abique's “motive for murder”: not robbery, despite the jewels and money the chauffeur was said to have taken, but just one word:“Revenge.”
There is a connection between my aunt's killing and the waves of global violence and mass murder that we read about with mounting frequency. It lies in the relationship—and increasingly the explosive collision—among the three most powerful forces operating in the world today: markets, democracy, and ethnic hatred.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, a common economic and political consensus emerged, not only in the West, but to a considerable extent around the world. Markets and democracy, working hand in hand, would transform the world into a community of modernized, peace-loving nations.
In the process, ethnic hatred, religious zealotry, and other “backward” aspects of underdevelopment would be swept away. The sobering lesson of the last 20 years, however, is that the global spread of free-market democracy—at least in its current, raw, for- export form—has been a principal aggravating cause of ethnic violence throughout the non-Western world.
The reason has to do with a phenomenon – pervasive outside the West, yet rarely acknowledged—indeed often viewed as taboo—that turns free-market democracy into an engine of ethnic conflagration. The phenomenon is that of market-dominant minorities: ethnic minorities who—for widely varying reasons ranging from entrepreneurial-ism to a history of apartheid or colonial oppression—can be expected under market conditions to economically dominate the “indigenous” majorities around them, at least in the near to mid-term future.
Examples of market-dominant minorities include the Chinese, not just in the Philippines, but throughout Southeast Asia. Most recently, in Myanmar, ethnic Chinese have literally taken over the economies of Mandalay and Yangon. Whites are a market-dominant minority in South Africa and Zimbabwe—and, in a more complicated sense, in Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and much of Latin America. Indians are a market-dominant minority in East Africa, Fiji, and parts of the Caribbean, as are Lebanese in West Africa and Jews in post-Communist Russia. Ibo are a market-dominant minority in Nigeria as were Croats in the former Yugoslavia and Tutsi in pre-genocide Rwanda.
In countries with a market-dominant minority, markets and democracy will tend to favor not just different people or different classes, but different ethnic groups. Markets magnify the often astounding wealth of the market-dominant minority while democracy increases the political power of the impoverished “indigenous” majority.
In such circumstances, where the rich aren't just rich—but belong to a resented, “outsider” ethnic group—the pursuit of free-market democracy often becomes an engine of catastrophic ethno-nationalism, pitting a poor “indigenous” majority, easily aroused and manipulated by opportunistic politicians, against a hated ethnic minority.
Consider Indonesia: Free-market policies in the 1980s and 1990s led to a situation in which the country's 3 percent Chinese minority controlled 70 percent of the country's private economy. The introduction of democracy in 1998—hailed with euphoria in the United States—produced a violent backlash against both the Chinese and markets. Some 5,000 shops and homes of ethnic Chinese were burned and looted, 2,000 people died, and 150 Chinese women were gang-raped.
Free and fair elections in the midst of all this gave rise to ethnic scapegoating by demagogic politicians, along with calls for confiscation of Chinese assets and a “People's Economy” that would return Indonesia's wealth to the country's “true owners,” the pribumi (indigenous Indonesian) majority. The wealthiest Chinese left the country, along with $40 billion to $100 billion of Chinese-controlled capital, plunging the country into an economic crisis from which it has still not recovered.
Indonesia is part of a much larger global problem: Whenever free-market democracy is pursued in the presence of a market-dominant minority, the result is not peace and prosperity but tremendous instability and some form of backlash—even mass slaughter. Sept. 11 brought this same dynamic home to the United States.
While Americans are not an ethnic minority, the world now sees us as a kind of global market-dominant minority, wielding outrageously disproportionate economic power relative to our numbers. With just 4 percent of the world's population, the U.S. is the principal engine and beneficiary of global capitalism. We are also seen as “almighty,” “exploitative,” and “able to control the world” by the world's poor, whether through military power or through the IMF-implemented austerity measures forced on developing populations. As a result, the United States has become the object of the same kind of mass popular, demagogue-fueled resentment that afflicts so many other market-dominant minorities around the world.
For the last 20 years, the United States has been promoting throughout the non-Western world a bare-knuckled, laissez-faire brand of capitalism abandoned by every Western nation—including the United States—long ago. At the same time, it has been urging most of the developing world, with the conspicuous exception of the Middle East, to hold immediate majority-rule elections—“overnight democracy” —whereas Western democracies evolved much more gradually.
The U.S. attempt now underway in Iraq to install free-market democracy raises grave concerns. Like the former Yugoslavia, Iraq's ethnic dynamics are extremely complex—including long-suppressed hatreds among Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis—and cross-cutting desires for revenge, especially against the brutal Baathist regime and its allies. Post-invasion chaos has made predictions impossible, but many fear that overnight elections could create a fundamentalist Islamic state that is opposed to free markets, to Washington, and to individual liberties, especially for women.
Moreover, because the U.S. is the world's most powerful and resented market-dominant minority, every move it makes with respect to Iraq will be scrutinized by hostile eyes. The best strategy for the U.S. may be the same one that market-dominant minorities everywhere would be well-advised to pursue: cooperate openly and fairly to advance a broad public interest, and support a government that ensures that the country's resources and wealth—in the Iraqi case oil—benefit all the people.
Amy Chua is professor of Law at Yale University and author of the New York Times bestseller World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability (Doubleday, 2003), from which this article is adapted.
"Let us not ask for miracles...let us not ask that he who comes as an outsider to make his fortune and go away afterwards should interest himself in the welfare of the country. What matters to him the gratitude or the curses of a people whom he does not know, in a country where he has no associations, where he has no affections? Fame to be sweet must resound in the ears of those we love, in the atmosphere of our home or of the land that will guard our ashes; we wish that fame should hover over our tomb to warm its breath the chill of death, so that we may not be completely reduced to nothingness, that something of us may survive. Naught of this can we offer those who come to watch over our destinies."..- filosofo Tasio to Ibarra (NOLI ME TANGERE.), quoted in Hernando J. Abaya's THE UNTOLD PHILIPPINE STORY, 1967
The postings are oftentimes long and a few readers have claimed being "burnt out." My apologies. As the selected topics are not for entertainment but to stimulate deep thought (see MISSION Statement) and hopefully to rock the boat of complacency (re MISSION).
(3).Visit my other website SCRIBD/TheFilipinoMind; or type it on GOOGLE Search.View/Free Download pdf versions of: postings, eBooks, articles (120 and growing). Or another way to access, go to the sidebar of the THE FILIPINO MIND website and click on SCRIBD. PLEASE Share!
(5) Translate to your own language. Go to the sidebar and Click on GOOGLE TRANSLATOR (56 languages - copy and paste sentences, paragraphs and whole articles, Google translates a whole posting in seconds, including to Filipino!!).