I thought I’d revisit my emo days after reading the goings-on in Subic at the height of the APEC Summit.. Ewan ko, nangilabot ako sa nabasa ko. As in.. so baduy! LOL. The uber- emo narrative goes like this
Like most people in the progressive left, I was against it. I believe that if businesses can be allowed to globalize, we should also allow the workers to globalize. If capital can go around the world looking for cheap labor, then labor itself should also be allowed to find better pay anywhere in the world. What I’m for is simply for fairness.
My problem with the Philippines “progressive left” is that – it is not at all “progressive” – it has lost its edginess and substituted reason for dogma. In its quest to follow the “mass line” – the Philippine left imploded when it was filled with populist but naive ideas which sent it to sheer irrelevancy – just like its counterparts overseas.
Look at the specific statement above – no one’s stopping the workers to globalize – go ahead and globalize. Typical strawman fallacy.. hahay. Labor itself is already finding better pay anywhere in the world – in case you forgot, they are called OFWs.
As you see, the Philippine Left’s development paradigm is still stuck in 1900s Marxist dogma – not to diminish Herr Karl Marx’s contribution on historical materialism but I just upgraded to Michael Mann’s 4 Networks Theory, Alvin Toffler’s Third Wave and John Naisbitt’s Global Paradox.
Class struggle and class conflict have their respective roles in a certain framework – but it is not the end all and be all of what we aspire to do and achieve. Class struggle and class conflict are simply a means to an end – a better life not just for Pinoys but for humanity. The East is Red? I don’t think so. Between Marx prophesy of the present – and John Naisbitt’s more encompassing and greatly substantiated view:
The major new trends in global economics, politics, and social life all point toward a “global paradox,” according to John Naisbitt — “the bigger the world economy, the more powerful its smallest players.” As the overall system grows in size and complexity, the importance of the individual parts increases in direct proportion. This apparent contradiction is at work in both business and politics, he says. To survive, big companies today are decentralizing and restructuring. Many have discovered the increased efficiency and effectiveness of lateral rather than vertical organization — networks of autonomous units rather than formal hierarchies. Similarly, as the world economy gets larger, the component nation players become smaller and smaller.
By way of example, Naisbitt describes the political and economic imperatives underlying the break-up of the former Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, as well as the push for national sovereignty that has characterized such states as Andorra. While economic and technological forces have weakened the traditional nation-state, he maintains that they have strengthened, not separated people from, longstanding identities of language, culture, religion, and ethnic heritage. Paradoxically, “the bonding commonality of human beings is our distinctiveness.”
Both of these trends, universalism and tribalism, are supported by technological advances in electronic communications, according to Naisbitt. Telecommunications are the driving force that is simultaneously creating the new world economy and making its parts more and more powerful. We are moving in telecommunications to a single worldwide network of information networks, with everything linked to everything else, he remarks. This change has important consequences for democracy worldwide — it can be likened to the shift from sluggish, centralized mainframe computers to interlinked PCs. “As the power and reach of the communications infrastructure expands, the tools needed to harness that capability shrink.”
Consequently, the idea that the central government — “one huge mainframe” — as the most significant part of governance is obsolete, he says. In fact, traditional representative politics is coming to an end for “now citizens who live in representative democracies have the power to radically decentralize and to evolve into direct democracies.”
Naisbitt devotes a chapter each to a look at the telecommunications revolution, the tourism and travel industry, the emergence of new “codes of conduct” in business and politics, the burgeoning Chinese economy, and the increasing importance of Asia and Latin America in the global marketplace. In each of these areas, he surveys the major trends and observes the “global paradox” at work — as the world becomes vastly more integrated, the small, agile, and informed players will profit the most.
Like his book Megatrends, this is a quick and dirty account of infinitely complex global trends. The prose has the same breezy tone as your average newsweekly. Naisbitt’s pop sociology may not be to everyone’s liking, especially those looking for a deeper and more complex analysis. Nevertheless, this book has has an important function, I think. It summarizes sweeping global trends that we need to recognize and reckon with — all of us, not just those the opinion-makers or those looking to profit from the new economy.
When the Philippines “progressive left” kept the “evil” foreign monopolies out – it unwittingly strengthened the LOCAL monopolies – PLDT, MAYNILAD, MERALCO, GLOBE, BAYANTEL, ABS-CBN, etc). Thus, if you had lousy service, you had nowhere else to go. If you had cheap wages, you had nowhere else to go but out of here – anywhere but the Philippines. It would have been nice if there was competition – but the Constitution kept them out – thanks to the Philippine “progressive” left and the oligarchs – the Philippines is anything but progressive. Remember this – whenever you see an OFW – he/she is pursuing the job overseas, because the investor from overseas was kept away by the Philippine Constitution’s 60/40 provisions – If the mountain will not go to Juan, Juan will go to the mountain.
When the Philippines “progressive left” kept the “evil” foreign businesses out – it allowed the “good” domestic businesses lots of leeway to continue with EVIL practices, EVIL pricing structures, and EVIL anti-labor legislation (there aren’t that many foreign businesses… duhh).
Do you know why the OFWs went to the better paying jobs? Because “progressive” leftists bought the protectionist line of the oligarchs – and kept businesses that provide better pay out of the Philippines. Sakit na nga ng ulo sa oligarchs, dinagdagan pa ng “progressive left” – sumakay sa protectionism – ayun, nadenggoy tayo.
Here’s another case – Mexico and the US in NAFTA. If classical protectionist theories were to be believed, Mexico’s agricultural sector, particularly the farmers would be affected. What has been the experience thus far? According to a recent study on globalization:
There is substantial evidence for North America that free trade has led to higher levels of productivity and real wages. That is especially true for Canada and the United State. So far, Mexico has not shared in productivity gains in manufacturing to the same extent as those with its neighbors to the north. So this is subject for ongoing investigation. At the same time, the chief concern when Mexico joined NAFTA was with the potential competitive effects in agriculture, and especially on corn, which is a staple crop for the rural poor in Mexico. Fortunately, it appears that competition from U.S. exports of corn has had a much more modest effect than was expected (McMillan, Zwane and Ashraf, 2007). There are several reasons for this outcome. First, the poorest farmers are not sellers of corn, but instead consume it themselves while buying the extra that they need. So these farmers benefited from cheaper prices for corn imported from the United States. Second, the Mexican government was able to use subsidies to offset the reduction in income for other corn farmers. Surprisingly, the total production of corn in Mexico has actually risen after NAFTA instead of falling.
For those who have the time, you can read the details of the study below:
Rally? I say, let’s make money. We only have 24 hours in a day – those hours, whether we use them or not, will never come back. We can use the 24 hours to join a rally – or learn a skill that can create a career that will lead into a business that creates new jobs for our countrymen. So what happened after you left the hospital? Nothing, exactly, pobre ka pa rin, kasing-hirap pa rin ng ipis at daga. Subalit lalong yumaman ang ABS-CBN, from the ad placements during the APEC summit – plus yung mga eksena mo ng masugatan ka – haneps sa coverage, good for ratings. Malay ba ng “progressive left” – give them exposure, they’ ll do anything – even becoming the capuchin monkey of the organ-grinder/media conglomerate –na sila ay niluto sa sariling mantika.
Another myth promoted by the Protectionist bloc is that Infant Industries Will die if Exposed to Open Competition
Infant industries can actually thrive in open competition. For example, under open competition, a Filipino startup in say renewable energy can have a novel idea funded by foreign venture capital in a 20/80 equity arrangement with provision for gradual shifts to 80/20 as certain trigger points occur. But that’s not gonna happen – you know why? You guessed it – the Philippine constitutions 60/40 stipulation.
Let’s look at another scenario – telecom. You are a communications engineer with much experience in Dubai and Jeddah. You know the ins and outs of a telecom network and a Saudi investor has taken a confidence in your ability. The Arab is willing to invest in you. You return to your hometown planning to open a telco BUT the Arab is not willing to invest unless he has majority shares, you don’t have a problem with that – THE constitution, does not allow the Arab to have more than 40% – there goes YOUR plan – and the jobs of your kabayans who could have benefited from such a venture. By nipping you in the bud (preventing cooperation with foreign investors in innovative eqity arrangements), the oligarch companies ensure domination of the market – no one grows except PLDT, MAYNILAD, MERALCO, GLOBE, BPI, etc).
Here’s another one – retail. You worked as a nanny overseas – London, New York, Jeddah, Hong Kong. You got married to a foreign national. You both decide to be semi-retired in the Philippines. He’d like to make some business on the side, so that when you and him travel, you both don’t have to draw from your savings but you can draw from the business. He is willing to invest in a retail store – and put your brothers and relatives to work. He also plans to introduce some green innovations in your town. He is also an exceptional civil engineer in Europe – he can do wonders for urban planning but he can’t get a license to practice his profession in the Philippines because Philippine Constitution does not allow non-citizens to practice the license professional occupations such as nursing, engineers, architects. Can you imagine what would happen if the US and the middle east disallowed Filipinos from working in their host countries because they are not citizens – how would you feel – who’s your daddy now? One day, he goes to the DTI and find out he cannot operate a retail store because the Philippine Constitution said so – 60/40 – also refer to FINL – retail is off-limits to foreign investors. Hindi lang naman siya ang kikita – kikita ka rin, ang kamaganak mo pa, ang katulong pa nila, ang gastos sa bahay – it all trickles down. We are missing a lot because of the stupid protectionist clauses which favor only those who have the money – the only way you can level the field is to get foreign funds to your side given the oligarchs monopolies already have the capital – but the constitution protects this lopsided arrangement… wakanga.. masyalo na lugi akyen negosyo.. bayad na lang ako dummy...
As you can see, the “progressive left” is barking at the wrong tree.
Ganito pala sa Olongapo, parang war zone,”. This was the surprised remark from one of the media personnel from GMA-7 who witnessed what happened that fateful day in November 1996.
My rights end where the rights of others begin
Pa surprised surprised – ano ka? gunggong? Dude, you have the heads of state of the APEC states – what do you want to do, put security guards and CHDF? Napakatanga talaga ng reporter na yun ng GMA-7 kung sino man yun.
Not by any known rule, not by any written law, but by physical intimidation from so-called people monitors and physical harm from alleged spontaneous mobs.
The blood that was shed was proof enough of how they try to suppress civil rights in Olongapo. The huge crack on my head is a living proof that a community ruled by an iron hand who organizes people’s mob fuels fanatics willing to kill their own.
Now the world knows, even for a just a glimpse.
There are two sides to these – I mean if I lived in ‘Gapo and then these rascals from outside of ‘Gapo came and disturbed the peace – I, too will be so pissed. How would you like it if I did the same thing – trashed your hood?
Ang hirap kasi nito – the “progressive leftists” only see their right to express, they think that with such right comes the license to paint graffiti on private property, throw trash in the streets, and harass people who don’t agree with their views – threaten them with bodily harm even. Kung ganun lang rin naman, what’s the point in talking, let’s just set a date and time and have a gun duel, para tabla ang laban, matira ang magaling – tapos.
If you paint graffiti on my fence, you are lucky to get a crack in the head, at least I didn’t shoot you. – your right to expression ends when you violate my private property and vice-versa. Leftists are not the only people with rights. Learn to respect other people’s rights if you want to be respected, respect other people, too. If you violate the laws and you become unruly, go riot and cause harm to property, definitely you’ll get a crack in the head, dumbass. If you are expressing the “wrong stuff” – I have the obligation to respond. Let my light shine brighter – ika nga.
Davao’s citizens had enough of these “progressive” leftists after they saw the greater anarchy, disorder, and disrespect for property that these “leftists” would cause. It got worse with the kangaroo courts. I was very disturbed when I saw people being shot in broad daylight without due process of law, all you received was an envelope with a bullet in it – that the People’s court had found you guilty of blood crimes to the people. The left was rallying about the fascism of the right – and yet, it was behaving no differently. A tooth for a tooth and no sooner will the world go toothless.
The “progressive left” can point to LIC (Low Intensity Conflict) doctrine as the culprit behind Davao’s Alsa Masa. I say the left is in denial – it went overboard with its methods so much so it turned people off. I mean, how can you be shouting against the AFP as fascists and thugs when you have your own thugs taking out people who happened to disagree with the party line? The left lost the moral ascendancy – and the LIC strategy eagerly jumped on the opportunity provided by the dogmatic intolerance of “progressive” left which was actually….retrogressive.
Don’t get me wrong – am all for human rights, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and all that – I was tibak once upon a time, too. But, when one senses that one rally after another, one dead body after another, does not really cause that much change – one has to rethink the value proposition about these rallies.
How can we get more done if we are in the streets nearly every week?
We have jobs, too you know. We have bills to pay. Children to send to school. We have to plan for retirement, too. If we were under a dictatorship, I’ll throw my lot with the “progressive” left. But we have already kicked the dictator. And now the left raises the imperialist bogeyman. I used to buy that before – but am not buying anymore. Imperialism is a convenient excuse for people who don’t want to rise to the challenge of competition and innovation. Grow up people, the only way you can beat imperialism is to become a better capitalist – and a better “imperialist”. LOL. Don’t compete by the use of guns, compete based on ideas and innovation – start upgrading those jeeps for gadzooks.
When we are able to elect candidates who truly represent the social consensus, if we are able to elect people who pass the laws and policies that we want – we wouldn’t be rallying against the laws that we don’t want in the first place. And if we do rally against the law that we wanted – we need to get our senses smacked for plain lack of utility – inutile.
There’s a smarter way to change the system – spread prosperity to people outside the oligarch circles. Once the lower rungs of Maslow’s heirarchy are satisfied, then people can focus on the higher heirarchies.
Emo? Rally? Been there done that.
Go with the emo, bleeding heart, scatter brained rallyista or the calm, collected, deliberate, analytical, methodical, and highly efficient realist?
There’s a better way – a peaceful way, a smarter way. But you gotta drop the emo crap – you have to… THINK!!!!