Elections are over, but the wider lessons learned from this recent electoral exercise are being processed. Newbies in this undertaking are advised to save their energy for tomorrow’s battles. The bigger loss actually belongs to the nation which passed up exceptional talent for mediocrity – and we just have to deal with it, period.
A More Peaceful More Credible Election Does Not Necessarily Translate to Progress
Sure people died – but definitely lesser than prior elections. Although, this was marred by the Ampatuan massacre, a sweeping observation gives the perception that it has been less violently and as less fraud-laden (counting-wise) as all prior elections. Civic groups were effective in campaigns against vote buying as more resources flowed into it. However, a new form of fraud has emerged – paying qualified voters not to vote.
On the upside, the automated polls were a vast improvement. The system wasn’t perfect but it was definitely a quantum improvement over all prior elections.
The chart below shows that alhough the voting process has improved as far as counting is concerned, but Pinoys still make choices using the same tired criteria which takes advantage of the ignorant, the undereducated, the miseducated, and the functional illiterates.
Now, that our polls are automated, we can now show the world in a faster manner, how moronic Filipinos are. 🙂
Philippine Mainstream Media’s Incompetence and Reinforcement of Stupidty is Validated
The stream of conspiracy theories (no-el, secret candidate, AFP coup, etc ) spewed by numerous blog sites was like walking into a chicken coop full of headless chicken running around. For the first time in my life, I paid full attention to the entire spectrum of Philippine media and came to the conclusion that except for a handful of people like Carmen Pedrosa, and Mike Tan all the rest are sycophants who lick the butts of the Next Big Oligarch. It doesn’t matter whethey they are in Malaya, Inquirer, GMA, or ABS-CBN – their attention to the facts and evidence are absolutely zilch.
Filipinos are not a bold people
The election results so far validate that Filipinos in general vote using traditional evaluation criteria. It was amusing that had Aquino lost, Estrada would have won – never mind that Gordon, Teodoro, and Perlas were clearly the more able and more honest ones. In choosing comfort over transformation, Filipinos scampered away from the challenge to be bold.
Filipinos are still a long way off from the type of politics that affects permanent good. The period from 2010 to 2016 provides a great opportunity to test new approaches in promoting a more active civic consciousness that can transform Filipino voters to become more well informed and more discriminating in their choices.
The good news is politicians along the mold of Gordon and Bayani are starting to gain adherents.
Whether this trend will continue remains to be seen.
Filipinos who supported the frontrunner’s still have no solid arguments to back up their choice.
Sen Aquino’s victory win now puts the onus on Noynoy’s supporters that their gut was right. Thus, tracking of KPI’s starts now – and Noynoy and his supporters will be made to account for the KPIs – GDP, Gini, Balance of Trade, Investments on the Ground, Unemployment, Underemployment – the whole nine yards. you wanted the job, you got it – now get to work mofos!
Aquino and his supporters have raised the level of expectations – and now they have to deliver. It is still a stretch of the imagination to see how a 3 bills per year senator can whip the Philippines into shape, much less confront the oligarchy to which he belongs within a period of six years.
Supposedly, one has to give Noynoy the benefit of the doubt. Actually, matagal na. Since he was Congressman, and Senator. What makes these people think Aquino’s performance will be any different? If any thing, sure, it will be different, it will be worse than Arroyo and FVR, slightly better than Estrada – and as stinkingly incompetent as the administration of his mama.
The Oligarchs are Still In Control of the Philippine Power Stucture
Understanding the Philppine Power structure becomes easier through the use of the IEMP model framework.
|THE FOUR NETWORKS THEORY OF POWER: NOTES
Organizations are the starting point for understanding power. It focuses on four main organizational networks — ideological, economic, military, and political — as the building blocks for power structures.
To provide a backdrop for understanding the Philippine power structure, showing how the economic and political networks gradually subordinated the ideological and military networks. Finally, it shows how the theory explains the class domination that characterizes the Philippine power structure.
The theoretical starting point for power structure research is a seemingly mundane one, but that’s what makes it very useful: power is rooted in organizations. From that humble beginning we can soon reach classes, states, the military and the ideological organizations that provide the basis for the collective search for meaning and forgiveness (organized religions).
Organizations at their most basic are simply sets of rules, roles, and routines developed to accomplish some particular purpose. They are ways of doing something together that people agree on, or at least accept for the time being. Religious rituals, for example, are routines that become the basis for the institutions called churches. The established routines for face-to-face economic exchanges become one basis for the more complex economic system of markets.
This too sounds very banal. But organizations can quickly become hierarchical and/or fierce when they begin to grow larger or face an outside threat. People will fight to hold on to their organizations. They like their roles and routines, which often become rituals.
Instead, the point is strictly sociological: these four networks happen to be the most useful organizational bases for generating power. In Mann’s (1986, p. 2) words, “Their primacy comes not from the strength of human desires for ideological, economic, military, or political satisfaction but from the particular organizational means each possesses to attain human goals, whatever they may be.”
The emphasis is on people acting through social networks, the distinction between “social action” and “social structure,” is cast aside. There no longer needs to be a periodic revival of the “agency vs. structure” debate. Because the four networks have different and constantly changing boundaries that vary with the invention of new technologies and the emergence of new organizational forms, the old division between “endogenous” and “exogenous” factors in the understanding of social conflict is discarded as “not helpful”
Mann defines the ideology network in terms of those organizations concerned with meaning, norms, and ritual practice (1986, p. 22). It generates “sacred” authority and intensifies social cohesion. Its usual manifestations are in organized religion, and its most prominent historical power actor was the Catholic Church. In all cases, it gains loyalty and financial support by providing answers to universal concerns about the origins of humanity, death, the purpose of life, the reasons for guilt feelings, and other existential questions.
The economic network is that set of institutions concerned with satisfying material needs through the “extraction, transformation, distribution and consumption of the objects of nature” (Mann, 1986, p. 24). The economic network gives rise to classes, which can be defined as positions in a social structure that are shaped by their power over the different parts of the economic process. The most powerful economic class is called a “ruling” or “dominant” class if it “has successfully monopolized other power sources to dominate a state-centered society at large” (Mann, 1986, p. 25)
The fourth and final network, “the state,” is defined as a political network whose primary function is territorial regulation (Mann, 1986, p. 26-27). Its usefulness in laying down rules and adjudicating disputes in specific territories is the source of its uniqueness (Mann, 1984; Mann, 1986). This unique function is the basis for its potential autonomy, but it gains further autonomy due to the fact that it interacts with other states, especially through warfare (Mann, 1986, p. 511). The state can take on other functions besides territorial regulation and has had varying degrees of influence at different phases of Western history ( (Mann, 1977; Mann, 1986, p. 514).
The military network is defined in terms of organized physical violence. It is the power of direct and immediate coercion. As already noted, military power had a greater range throughout most of history than either political or economic power. Even so, we often forget that until very recently an army could only carry enough food for a 50-60 mile march, which forced it to rely on the local countryside in extensive military campaigns.
Historically, many armies fought for the benefit of their own leaders, who created “empires of domination” by taking over newly arisen civilizations based on the economic, ideological, and political networks. In more recent centuries military networks usually are in the service of a political network, but they still can be separate from it, as seen with guerrilla armies based in subjugated ethnic groups and terrorist organizations based in ideological networks.
Although most theorists regard military power as one aspect of state power, there are four good historical reasons for distinguishing political and military power. First, the original states had little or no military capability. Second, most historical states have not controlled all the military forces within the territory they claim to regulate. Third, there are historical instances of conquest undertaken by armies that were not controlled by the states where they resided. Fourth, the military is usually separate from other state institutions even when it is officially controlled by the state, making possible the overthrow of the political elite by military leaders (Mann, 1986, p. 11).
FROM: http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/theory/four_networks.html, Accessed 05/11/2010
As a European colony, the Philppines was exposed to the feudal power structures that prevailed in Europe. At the onset, governance of the Philippines was between the Church and the colonial administration making the calls over the economic and military apparatus.
The power of the church (ideological network) was diminished as the Renaissance advanced. During the American occupation, the Philppine landlord/merchant class (economic network) became more entwined with the political administration (political network).
This was broken in the Philippines when Marcos declared martial – a period when the political network and the military netwok held the economic and ideological networks at bay. At the same time, the political elite in Marcos administration wasted no time in turning themselves into the economic elite (economic network) as well. Although it showing how the economic and political networks gradually subordinated the ideological and military networks. Finally, it shows how the theory explains the class domination that characterizes the Philippine power structure.
With the downfall of Marcos, the oligarchs (economic network) regained the ascendancy and once again control the political apparatus (political network).
Noynoy Aquino’s win solidifies oligarch control of the Philippine economy and the Philippine state.
Philippine Elections still boils down to who has more ignorant voters
As if it wasn’t disturbing enough that Aquino was going to win, the next person who was most like going to win it was Estrada.
It’s hard amusing to a foreigner, nah, a sane person, to understand why given three exceptional candidates in Gordon, Teodoro, and Perlas – people just had to choose from a trio of ethically-challenged (including possibly two mentally challenged) candidates in Aquino, Estrada, and Villar.
Clearly these election was not determined by who had a better track record and was most likely to deliver the bacon without sacrificing integrity.
No sir, this election was all about which voter candidate had the most number of ignorant voters – Aquino or Estrada.
In my book, the Philippine has just garnered the latest accolade of “a nation of idiots”.