Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Our Native Filipino Naivete and Sentimentality - An Impediment to Nationalism, Real Nationhood and the Common Good (Updated 10/28/2015)

 “Colonies do not cease to be colonies because they are independent” – Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister (1804-1881)

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Sentimentality and Naivete

Hi All,

One of our strengths as a people is our capacity to empathize. We Filipinos, just like other humans, form friendships with people of different nationalities and cultures as a result of immigration, travel, work or schooling. 

However, we native Filipinos unfortunately tend to confuse friendships between individual human beings and between our country and another, i.e. as applied to the so-called "special relations" or "friendship" between our homeland Philippines and the United States. 

This confusion is a continuously great and disastrous mistake for us as a nation or people. Because no truly independent and self-respecting country defines its socioeconomic and political policies -domestic and foreign- on so-called "friendship". Its foreign relations/policies are,first and foremost,based solely on its own national interests.

To hope, to apply and to expect a nation-to-nation relationship as one would expect between personal friends are pure sentimentality and naivete. We native Filipinos seem to have made it sacrosanct to feel "utang na loob" with endless and servile gratitude to the Americans for "granting" us the so-called independence.

For most of us natives not knowing and understanding, it is an apparent or hollow independence; when all the while the roots and structures of colonialism were retained, or more precisely, of neocolonialism (neoimperialism) were established and embedded via the economic and military agreements, most disastrously for us the (click each item 1 & 2 to read linked essay):

  1. Bell Trade Act-1946 (Parity Rights),
  2. US Military Bases & Military Assistance Agreements (1947), etc.

 imposed on our country as preconditions to the granting of national (political) independence and war reparations.

Throughout our "independent" post-WW2 years, these Agreements have greatly contributed to the underdevelopment of the national economy: lack of incentives for and discouragement of native entrepreneurship, absence of real and heavy industrialization (beyond assembly and light industries), inefficient agriculture and dependence on quota, etc; therefrom continued poverty of the majority of the Filipinos. 

The first occasion for national economic bankruptcy almost came about within 5 years of our so-called "independence" because those in business completely repatriated their profits (as in the case of American companies) and the landed aristocracy, who profited from the quota system per Agreements, spent their money primarily on luxury items rather than re-investments for national development.. These facts are difficult to appreciate because they are not obvious and overtly blatant, thus demonstrating the efficiency of neocolonialism.. However, the adverse effects to the Filipino people are the same.

American and Filipino politicians always talk about "US and Philippine Special Relations" most especially when July 4 approaches (nowadays so-called "Filipino-American Friendship Day").. Little that most native Filipinos know and appreciate that we the native majority are not that special to the USA as a country and people behind the empty, emotive pronouncements.. 

Here are a few facts:

  1. After WW2, America completely rehabilitated Japan, its Asian enemy that smacked her hard in Pearl Harbor; while its ever-loving Filipinos, many of whom suffered or died during WW2 for America, were continuously gullible and forced to swallow the Bell Trade Act-1946 (Parity Rights)US Military Bases & Military Assistance Agreements (1947), to obtain U.S. promise of war reparations; and the bulk of the reparations money actually went to the local American businesses, the ruling elite, their relatives and friends in the Philippine Congress/Senate.
  2. When, during the late 1950's, President Carlos Garcia pushed for Filipino First (not Philippine First) which imposed foreign-exchange control to help native industrialization and minimize importation of luxury items, American foreign policy-makers helped Diosdado Macapagal defeat Garcia since Macapagal promised to remove the exchange control.
  3. When Marcos imposed martial law to perpetuate his presidency beyond the two-term limits of the Philippine Constitution, America disregarded the "showcase of democracy" in Asia and instead supported Marcos - because Marcos promised to send Filipino troops to Vietnam and let her use its military bases in bombing Vietnam.
  4. Filipino politicians/bureaucrats/technocrats, etc. continue to practice and
    show mendicancy by 
    talking brave while having one eye--awaiting approval --at the United States. 

No wonder other Asian countries do not respect the Philippines; no wonder American policy-makers take for granted/do not respect the homeland and native Filipinos-in-the-Philippines..

Any thinking Filipino who has experienced being, living and working in America knows whether a fellow is honest or just bullshitting. Sadly, many Filipinos in the United States, the Philippines and elsewhere still have not learned that all the public relations, in the Philippine or American media, about the Filipinos/the Philippines as having "special relations" with the United States, as being special to America, to put it again in street lingo, is plain bullshit.

Truly independent countries with nationalistic leaderships primarily define their relationships with other nations only in terms of selfish, national interests, i.e. the common good and welfare of its own citizenry.

If the national leadership or government does not pursue the common good of its people, it ought to be removed, either peacefully or forcibly.

Our republican, self-proclaimed democratic government has to be of the people, by the people and for the people. We seem to have forgotten this fundamental fact - a government is formed to provide essential needs and welfare to its constituents in society. This should be in the mind of our representatives in government in formulating policies and actions towards ANY foreign country, friendly or not. Let us recognize nad keep in mind that it is how the other does so.

In our case with our "special friend' USA, ignore what its president, ambassador, military ranking officer, politician, etc. might tell us. As such are deniable and useless. 
 Any visiting American official, civilian or military, who promises whatever; promises a BS as such prouncements are not binding to their country.

Let us not eagerly and smilingly sign international agreements. Look, critically read and undestand the fine print, so to speak. Because in most cases, they have to be approved by a 2/3 majority in the U.S. Congress and ratified by its President, which would then make any agreement final and binding.

- Bert

"Upang maitindig natin ang bantayog ng ating lipunan, kailangang radikal nating baguhin hindi lamang ang ating mga institusyon kundi maging ang ating pag-iisip at pamumuhay. Kailangan ang rebolusyon, hindi lamang sa panlabas, kundi lalo na sa panloob!" - Apolinario Mabini La Revolucion Filipina (1898)

“The HISTORY of an oppressed people is hidden in the lies and the agreed myth of its conquerors.” - Meridel Le Sueur, American writer, 1900-1996

“Nations whose NATIONALISM is destroyed are subject to ruin.” - Colonel Muhammar Qaddafi, 1942-, Libyan Political and Military Leader

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