The Evil of Today’s New World Order
Vincent’s Note: These are excerpts from some of my blogs published here on WordPress.
Of the Individual
An individual is borne with rights and civil liberties— and I call these human essentials as man’s basic means of existence. I define existence as man’s reason for being. To live, man must exist first. Existence, therefore, is the prerequisite for the aforementioned rights.
To simplify, man’s basic means of existence are equal to human rights— the right to live, to property, to liberty, to his pursuit of happiness. Without these man cannot exist well, because if a tyrant rooted out one of these rights, say— his right to liberty— then man would live like a prisoner, caged, followed, surveyed, and detected, and deprived of freedom to think and to socialize with other human beings- he is deprived of free will.
Without these essentials for existence, man will not grow academically, as he is only fed with state-controlled information— he will not improve economically since he is deprived of choice like what course to take or what career to pursue— also, he will live in a system where laissez faire is considered evil while planned economy is considered the best mode of production.
But existence is different from survival. The second depends upon the first. Man can no longer survive if he’s dead. Hence, man’s basic means of survival are what some theorists or bunch of knee-jerk “intellectuals” call as “basic needs” like shelter, clothing, food, security and so on.
I say these are the basic tools for survival because man needs them not just for comfort but also to survive in the jungle-like world. Did you know how man created all these tools for survival? All of these came into being— which we are the beneficiaries— because of man’s intellect; because man used his sound judgment, his ability to think and never his ability to feel.
To feel is the indication that man exists, while to think is the indicia that he is man. Take note that I use the word “man” here as the one with complete mental faculties, the thinking being, the creature who is above all living things, and the one who should and ought to live on Earth. This is so because in our world, there are half-humans or humanoids— those who surrendered reason to feeling, individualism to collectivism.
Poverty is not just about the absence of bread on the table, but also about the inability of parents to send their children to school. Lack of education is one of the reasons why out-of-school youth in the provinces join the Left. It’s the best recruiter of terrorism in the world. Instead of going to school and learn how to improve their lives, some young men in the provinces were recruited to either join the Left or the so-called terrorist groups and learn the ways of their comrades or commanders.
Poverty also makes the poor prone to social injustice and human rights violations, because their lowly economic condition bars them from hospital doors for having no money to pay for hospital bills and renders them vulnerable before the court of justice whose justice system usually moves in slow motion and whose rudders have to be greased with money.
The war on poverty must be based on principle and driven by political will. Mandelan concept suggests that poverty is the result of social injustice, failed governance and mangled rule of law. Under this theory, justice plays a very important rule in national development since poverty is the corollary of rotten economic polices, corruption, weak governance, failed decisions, lack of vision, and political wrangling. Relying on African experience, Nelson Mandela said that “overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.”
He introduced the concept of trade justice guaranteed and covered by the 1987 Constitution. Trade justice gives everybody the opportunity to grow without undue state intervention and without the state favoring preferred companies and social groups. This concept operates under the system of Laissez-faire or free-market society and it pertains to fair and mutual relations between and among states and to economic ties between developed nations and third world countries.
“Trade justice for the developing world and for this generation is a truly significant way for the developed countries to show commitment to bringing about an end to global poverty,” said Mandela. This kind of justice also demands that trade be done through man’s competence and ability to grow his business and not by means of favor; that it be performed in good faith and not under the grease of bribery, irregularities and under-the-table modes of transaction; and that it be guided by the principle of free and fair competition without the government acting as an arbitrary meddler or interested broker.
It is an irony that the US that preached and is preaching democracy has the worst human rights record in the world. The US used its veto power against the United Nation’s attempt to prosecute Israel for the war crimes it perpetrated on the Palestinians. It also supported and condoned war crimes and violations of its puppet leaders like Philippine’s Ferdinand Marcos and Panama’s dictator Manuel Noriega. It also supported apartheid in the US mainland and in Africa which resulted in the death and persecution of the black people.
Now under its war on terror, the United States already took down two states— Iraq and Afghanistan— yet it set its eyes on rogue countries like Iran, Cuba, North Korea, among others.
Apart from the use of military force, the US under Bush Jr. enacted vague and sweeping laws that would serve as grease to its ongoing war on terror. This resulted in more human rights violations, the disregard of the privacy of its citizens, and the arrogation of too much power to the Chief Executive.
The evil in democracy lies in the distortion of its meaning and the ongoing confusion of the people.
Ideology can be very dangerous, although this fact may be unknown to many, if it’s designed to control the mind of a multitude with the intention to transform the latter into an unwitting and stupid collective block, either to gain power or to maintain the status quo with the intention to build up political, economic and military dominance. It can be considered a fatal virus, more toxic than the smoke Russia’s Chernobyl spewed decades ago, if it is based on political adventurism or political delusion with the purpose of misleading the public.
A rogue ideology is not unlike (or comparable to) a false prophet who is out to deceive people. It is akin to a brittle golden alloy made of inferior steel and gold.
What is more dangerous is when an ideology is poised or decreed by the superstructure (e.g., the government, educational institution or the media) to be genuine, legal and necessary so that it may be easily accepted by the people as part of the existing political norm and social structure for the shrewd purpose of perpetuating the prevailing status quo and the tight hold of those in power.
It has been a well-observed phenomenon that the best way to maintain the status quo is to fuel more political and military clout. This so-called repressive state apparatus works to crush both political and intellectual dissent which could ignite a possible shift of system. This institutionalized deception could breed a series of, or even wholesale, constitutional breaches and violations of the inalienable rights of the people.
Of the True Wealth of Nations
But what is the real wealth of nations? This query literally moved the motor of the world when answered by a group of World Bank environmental economists. In their extraordinary but widely underappreciated report, Where Is The Wealth Of Nations: Measuring Capital for the 21st Century, Kirk Hamilton and his team found that “human capital and the value of institutions (as measured by rule of law) constitute the largest share of wealth in virtually all countries.” Their study concludes that there are three kinds of capital: (1) the natural capital (e.g. cropland, pastureland, etc.); (2) the produced capital (e.g. capital, machinery, etc.); and (3) the intangible capital, which “encompasses raw labor; human capital, which includes the sum of a population’s knowledge and skills; and the level of trust in a society and the quality of its formal and informal institutions.”
Hamilton said that the shares of intangible capital across income classes go about 60 percent in low-income countries to 80 percent in high-income countries. “That accords very much with that notion that what really makes countries wealthy is not the bits and pieces, it’s the brainpower and the institutions that harness that brainpower.” The study also found that “an economy with a very efficient judicial system, clear and enforceable property rights, and an effective and uncorrupt government will produce higher total wealth.” He opined that the rule of law is “partly a question” of efficient legal system, lack of corruption and a degree of transparency.
It is therefore safe to conclude that the economic barometers being used by the Arroyo economic planners are already obsolete and out-of-date. What the government needs is a keen eye to know the real demand of the country and the true will of the people. The system of education must be anchored on what this country really needs and focused on what the Filipino does best. A sincere moral revolution is what is needed more than charter change masquerading as political reforms. But the most important of all is the protection of the rule of law which is the fountainhead of all national wealth. As what Hayek pointed out, “a law should not grant a privilege to a group or person nor should a law discriminate against a group or person.”
National development is only possible if the rule of law is observed, that is, when legislation is passed using the rule of law test; when trades, transactions and contracts are done in good faith and obtained only by consent and not by favors and bribery; when justice and education system pertain to the interest of both the nation and the people; when the government sustains free-trade and fair competition without favoring any business entity over another.
Respect for the rule of law, a philosophical foundation on which a free society is based, is the only key to national development. Poverty—the product of this disrespect— is not to be pointed only to our “heartless” politicians, but to the heartless aim of this nation as well.