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Fooling Pinoys With Conspiracy of Fools!

April 15, 2013

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A Facebooker named Bryan Gabriel, who described himself as an International Trade Law and Economics student at Busan National University in South Korea, posted a Facebook note titled “The Philippines a Fooled Nation”. Interestingly, Mr. Gabriel’s post was able to draw– or fool– thousands of Facebook ‘likers’ and supporters.

While I strongly agree with the mini-article’s title (that we are a fooled nation), I strongly disagree with its premise, unsupported assertions and content. Yes, we are a fooleld nation that’s why we allowed the passage of a protectionist, oligarchic, fascistic Charter in 1986, which I think is the biggest scam ever played on the Filipino people. This political document, described by its statist adherents as a historic social contract, is actually an insult to the intelligence of some Filipino citizens who understand and value reason and individualism.

We are a fooled nation, Gabriel claims. By whom? His article says: by the West and by the Wall Street people who feared our late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos. According to him, some unidentified people of the “West” had to “stop” Marcos because they were afraid our country “will take over Wall Street”. At the end of the day these unnamed people won, as the 21-year long Marcosian dictatorship was peacefully overthrown in 1986, and because of this we didn’t live happily ever after. I am not making this up. It’s here… read it.

Here let me tackle some of Mr. Gabriel’s fallacious, utterly erroneous assertions.

Gabriel: “Professor once said that one of the economic models of East Asia as well as the South during the post war era particularly in the 1960’s are based on Japan and the Philippines. He added that the Philippines is one of the richest nations next to Japan in that time and also once envied.”

Did his professor explain to him why the Philippines was somehow economically stable in the 1960s? Obviously no.

Gabriel: “What struck me the most is when my professor asked me, WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR COUNTRY?”

That’s a very good question. However Mr. Gabriel’s article shows his answer is full of conspiracy theories.

Gabriel: “I know Marcos cared for his country a lot that he wanted to put it on the map.”

Yes, every misguided nationalist in the past century “loved” his own country. Hitler, Emperor Hirohito of Japan, Mao Tse Tung, Benito Mussolini, Polpot, and many other uber-nationalist tyrants “loved” their nations that they did not only ‘put them on the map'; they either led their nation to war or to a state of self-inflicted poverty and famine.

“Love of country”… that 20th century tribal invention. Misguided nationalism should be considered immoral, evil and impractical if it is based on flawed ideologies or philosophies. Nationalism without individual rights is bogus! It is, by definition, dictatorship.

Inward, ethnocentric nationalism is a form of tribalism. In the not-so-distant past, tribes fought with each other to keep and preserve their primitive traditions, culture and tribal practices. Each tribe thought it was superior to others, so each preserved its own backward, irrational culture and traditions ruthlessly, violently. The tribal leaders rejected outsiders and considered their subjects as property of the whole tribe.

The uber-nationalists of the past century were all modern-day tribalists. But they introduced a more improved tribalist scheme, as they replaced the tribe or the tribal leadership with the State. Under the role of the 20th century tribalists the State became the all-powerful, omnipotent entity that owned the lives and property of all its subjects. This new revered god or deity– the State– became the voice of the people, and the most crooked, the most corrupt tribalist who managed to amass political power, either by vote or by force, became the State.

The will of the people? That’s a puerile fantasy. Under any form of dictatorship– whether it be socialism, fascism, or welfare statism– the will of the people is simply the will of the Dictator.

Gabriel: “He even bought properties at Wall Street at that time because he wanted the Philippines to be known and dominate the world market.”

But did Marcos use his own money? Seriously, does this guy really believe Marcos was the State? It’s like he’s saying the State had a shopping spree in New York and the purpose is to buy ‘global dominance’. Does this economics student really think it’s that easy to purchase market or economic dominance? By simply going to New York and buy things? Anyone who did that before 2008 would have seen his lifetime investment quickly devoured by the housing crisis!

In the real world, there’s this modern-day tribalist that actually did just that. This man, who has 18 doctorates, believed he could suspend the law of supply and demand and of economics. So, he printed tons and tons of paper money to ‘buy’ wealth. Instead of creating wealth out of nothing, the man’s voodoo tricks caused hyper-inflation that wiped out the savings of his subjects. This guy’s name is Robert Mugabe, the People’s Dictator of Zimbabwe.

Gabriel: “He also initiated a group of powerful south East Asian nations (SEATO) and is believed to have been headed by the Philippines and some countries to strengthen their economic relations further which is also one of the models of economic integrations (G2, G3,G7, ASEAN, and so on) these days.”

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Oh my! A lot of dictators do that. And he also gave “free” condoms and candies to the poor?

Gabriel: “Another international diplomatic accomplishment of Mr. Marcos was the joint effort of Japan and the Philippines to form the Asian Development Bank in 1966 with headquarter in Mandaluyong.”

So? What’s the point?

Gabriel: “Some say that it somewhat became just like the world bank of Asia and its sole purpose is to give foreign aid to poor countries at that time.”

Give foreign aid? At whose expense? Does he really think one can simply create money out of out thin air?

Gabriel: “Unfortunately, the Philippines is the ones receiving aid nowadays.”

Yes, unfortunately you don’t even know that aid came from America’s taxpayers, comrade!

Gabriel: “For me, I think Marcos is the best president the Philippines ever had.”

That’s what you think. I respect your opinion.

Gabriel: “During his time the economy was at its peak, unemployment was low, peso against the dollar was at its lowest, poverty rate is not that high (compared today), in short the Philippines was at its finest.”

Did our history start during Marcos’s time? Did he actually consider that would not have been possible without America’s help and trade partnership?

Gabriel: “But, not until the West came to realize that the Philippines will grow strong and powerful as time goes.”

Holy Gangnam Style!

Gabriel: “Some say they were afraid it will take over the Wall Street as it already started buying properties and putting up state owned investment firms on its soil. One, thing is for sure, that they should stop this.”

Wait! I don’t think the guy understood what he just typed.

The rest:

“For me, I think Marcos is the best president the Philippines ever had. During his time the economy was at its peak, unemployment was low, peso against the dollar was at its lowest, poverty rate is not that high (compared today), in short the Philippines was at its finest. But, not until the West came to realize that the Philippines will grow strong and powerful as time goes. Some say they were afraid it will take over the Wall Street as it already started buying properties and putting up state owned investment firms on its soil. One, thing is for sure, that they should stop this. Then it all began. They had their plan of destroying Marcos’ reputation and putting him down using the media and some manipulated social and political entities whose dark aim is to privatize Mr Marcos’ nationalistic legacies. The sad part is they succeeded.”

I think Mr. Gabriel is just another ‘fooled’ Marxist-sounding conspiracy theorist.

The guy clearly has an externalist view on what went wrong after Marcos. So, it’s the West or America’s fault again. What this schooled prospective academic doesn’t know is that the Failippines was slightly economically freer from 1950s to 1970s.

The main reason why we were somehow economically stable before and during Marcos time is two-fold:

1. USA was our main trading partner in Asia. But this trade partnership ended in 1974 when Marcos allowed the expiration of the Bell Trade Act that guaranteed the parity rights policy, which gave the Americans equal ‘economic rights’ in the country. We had Parity Rights because our protectionist 1935 and 1972 Charters protected our local cronies and oligarchs against foreign competition.

2. Due to the Parity Rights policy and America’s economic influence, the Failippines was, in effect, one of the freest economies in Asia before and during the Marcosian era. During those years (1960s), South Korea, with the help of America (both economic aid and political support), started reforms.

But what went wrong? We retained our protectionist policies. And this is why I’m no Marcos fan or loyalist… Despite having control of both the rubber stamp Congress and the military, he didn’t exert any political effort to embrace radical economic reforms. First, he allowed the Parity Rights to expire. Second, his 1972 Charter maintained our protectionism, 60-40 law, and oligarchic policies.

What went right in South Korea? The S. Koreans chose a different path… A radical path. Instead of limiting foreign investment and participation, SK opened its economy to American, Japanese and foreign investors. Although it maintains a Chaebol system, a form of protectionism, the SK government was forced to reform or restructure it. Kia Motor’s bankruptcy revealed the flaws of SK’s protectionist Chaebol system. The SK government allowed foreign auto giants to take part in the country’s auto industry.

As to the urban legend and conspiracy theory that Wall Street took down Marcos because he was leading RP toward absolute economic success. That’s plain BULLSHIT!!! He should stop reading too much Noam Chomsky. No nation has ever achieved economic success through protectionism. Even China had to open its economy to foreign investors. In fact China is economically FREER than RP. This country was like a ticking time bomb during and after Marcos’s time. It was destined to be TAKEN OVER by its economically FREER and MORE OPEN neighbors like Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, and China.

But let’s just assume that schooled future academic’s Wall Street-Marcos conspiracy theory is correct. The question is, why did the “West” or America allow South Korea to be an economic power in Asia? The truth is, had Marcos remained in power and had nature allowed him to live 20 more years, his protectionism and fascist policies would not have equaled South Korea’s economic achievement. Today Korea is the 34th freest economy on earth. We are 97th…

Furthermore, Mr. Gabriel’s anti-American rhetoric is ironically belied by the fact that South Korea is one of the biggest- if not the biggest- recipients of America’s foreign/economic aid in Asia. Is he trying to argue that the “West” got rid of Marcos because of RP’s inevitable economic rise that could have rivaled Wall Street (the world’s financial hub) only to replace him with a new economic tiger South Korea?

If the “West” really feared new competition, then why it didn’t get rid of London, Hong Kong and Shanghai? I mentioned these places because these are the world’s biggest FINANCIAL CENTERS. And since the term “Wall Street” popped out in his article I assumed the “West” was bent on getting rid of potential rivals in the global financial market. Plus, how can the Failippines become a financial center (I’m using its TECHNICAL meaning) with its protectionism? Some of the obvious characteristics of Financial Centers include openness to trade and investment, high degree of economic freedom, strong financial industry, minimal regulations… This is why Hong Kong is Asia’s biggest financial center…

Who’s the biggest fool? I think it’s the author himself.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2013 3:38

    I also wrote about something like this before in my blog. Regarding Filipinos’ views on history. They always think and speak as if the past was perfect and that it was the best times of our nation without putting things in proper perspective. Lots of kids nowadays say “marcos is the best president blah blah blah, he did this and that blah blah” as if they lived during that time. Yes, Marcos did a lot of good stuffs for the country and even more than compared to a lot of other presidents we had. But it was expected since he ruled the longest compared to them as well. He should really have done a lot within those 2 decades and more.

    Then some of these kids would continuously say “let’s support Bongbong for president”. It’s their right to support somebody on their candidacy. But if their only reason is that because they think this person has a “great parent”, then let us remind them about the current administration.

    • April 16, 2013 3:38

      Ah nostalgia… sentimentality for a so-called glorious past. The somewhat childlike sentimental, emotional yearning for return to or of some irrecoverable past or period. We can only yearn and hope…

      But yearn for what? With our stagnant politico-economic system, the Philippines in the 1960s and 1970s was DESTINED TO FAIL AND TO BE TAKEN OVER by more competitive, adaptive, innovative Asian countries. They didn’t progress by keeping their semi-closed, socialistic economic past! They achieved economic success by adapting to changes and by embracing free market reforms. This is what most pinoys don’t understand.

      I agree with what you said, Rogie. All those yearnings and wishes merely prove that the past generation has FAILED us. It’s all their fault. I think this is the final verdict. Responsible parents know they have the duty and responsibility to provide a brighter future to their children. Did the past generation provide us with a brighter, better future?

      Intense globalization and computerization (virtualization or call it what you will) changed the rules of the game.

      How did great empires fell in the past? They were unable to adapt to global changes and trends. The Ottoman empire fell and was unable to maintain its power when Europe, particularly Great Britain, embraced industrialization and developed advanced weapons. In the 20th century America emerged as the most powerful nation on earth due to intense industrialization, scientific discoveries, institution of property rights and free market principles, and open immigration that attracted the brightest minds from different parts of the planet. The scientists in Europe like Nikola Tesla and Einstein (a socialist) migrated to America.

      In Asia things radically changed from the 1960s to 1980s. Many formerly SOCIALISTS (and semi-closed) Asian coountries, such as Japan, South Korea, China, among others, realized they had to discard their closed, ethnocentric, misguided nationalism, and embraced free market reforms. China under Deng Xiaoping embraced reforms in 1979 that compromised or betrayed its Maoist principles. Japan opened its economy after World War II.

      The Philippines, under USA’s supervision, was the only SOMEWHAT free market economy in Asia due to the PARITY RIGHTS policy. But we allowed that policy to expire in 1974 during the time of Marcos.

      There are only two major reasons why we were somewhat economically stable during the early decades of the post-war period: 1) America’s support and influence, and 2) Parity Rights policy.

      After the expiration of Parity Rights in 1874, the Americans here were forced to sell their businesses and property. They had to abandon this country. Meanwhile, Filipino citizens were and are still allowed to buy properties, own 100% business and practice their professions in the USA.

      Look at the progessive Asian countries. They all have vibrant trade relations with America. Even the leftists agree that Japan was helped by America. South Korea was also helped by America’s foreign aid. SK was and is the biggest ally of USA in Asia (plus Japan, of course). Look at Singapore’s FDI record. Singapore, a very tiny city-state, gets the biggest American FDI in the region.
      http://www.asiaone.com/print/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Business/Story/A1Story20130301-405555.html

      We lost because of our inability to compete in this era of intense globalization, innovation and computerization.

      Trade is the only way. Trade means exchanging VALUE for VALUE. This is the only way nations should deal with each other. It’s a win-win solution.

  2. April 17, 2013 3:38

    According to this Bryan –

    “For me, I think Marcos is the best president the Philippines ever had. During his time the economy was at its peak, unemployment was low, peso against the dollar was at its lowest, poverty rate is not that high (compared today), in short the Philippines was at its finest.”

    Really?

    So what was the exchange rate of dollar to peso before Marcos time? The unemployment rate?

    This dude can only read Philippine’s history starting at Marco’s time.

    Pathetic…

    • April 17, 2013 3:38

      You’re right! And during that period Singapore, Japan, South Korea and the economic tigers of today were still about to take off. Our best advantage was USA’s and Western countries’ trade partnership. The Tiger economies have strong trade tie-up with the Western world. HK was under Britain. Despite being given back to China in the late 90s, Beijing didn’t turn that territory into a Maoist slave pen. They knew the British model was working.

  3. May 21, 2013 3:38

    I definitely agree that Marcos COULD have been the best president, but he wasn’t. He let himself get corrupted by power

  4. May 21, 2013 3:38

    Again, praise him all you want, I don’t mind. If you want to continue believing that he’s the best president ever, GO! If you want to ignore the corruptions, killings, human right violations, I can’t do anything about that.

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