“COUNTRY ABOVE SELF”: An Anti-Man Political Ideology
To YELLOW CAMP SUPPORTERS: I am still waiting for the best Liberal in this country who can refute my premise and whatever I stated in this blog. Please do not disappoint me!
I’VE finally heard and seen the worst political slogan ever invented in (and, God forbid, for) this country. This political slogan—which should be described as the stupidest, the dumbest, the scariest, and the most Nazistic slogan—ever conceived for the coming 2010 elections is not an appeal to reason, but a desperate attempt to tinker people’s gullibility and emotion.
“COUNTRY ABOVE SELF!” Of all baloney words in the dictionary and of all stupid, passé mottoes popular among teenagers, presidential aspirant Noynoy Aquino and his teammate Mar Roxas, both eager to replace a sitting despot in Malacañang palace, came up with this despondent, ludicrous political stunt to fool or soothe the people. This political mantra does not merely signify a political act of desperation; it also exposes these political duo as naïve apprentices of realpolitik, a system of politics or principles based on precarious pragmatism rather than moral or ideological considerations. It regards the Filipino people as a herd of stupid, mindless voters. It contains political platitudes of piety designed to attract more votes. In fact, this is worse and more preposterous than convicted plunderer and recycled presidentiable Joseph Estrada’s political motto that propelled him to power— “Erap Para Sa Mahirap” (Erap for the Poor).
One might think that this country-above-self plagiarized teen’s motto promotes nationalism or love of country, but there’s more to it, politically and ideologically. I don’t believe that nationalist political mantras like this one can inspire the people. People don’t need this kind of ‘nationalist’ inspiration. What they need are concrete, clear-cut political principles based on man’s rights and nature. The only significance of this creepy political mantra I can think of in the realm of politics is that it can effectively serve as a political bromide to lull and fool the people. In reality, this presidential aphorism has no value at all—it’s like a check long overdrawn. History tells us that many credulous people who sold their soul to empty nationalist mantras found themselves in great despair. It is about collectivism and more intrusive government powers.
History has it that this same political propaganda was perfectly employed by Hitler and his party-mates in deceiving the Germans. Hitler’s National Socialism Party glorified the alleged virtue of nationalism as the only way to achieve unity and economic prosperity. In just a short period, Hitler, who relied on the spirit of radical nationalism, established a strong military through the somnambulistic support of his heavily sedated, hypnotized people. It is the concept of radical nationalism that killed millions of people and destroyed reason and individualism. Like what Hitler said: “The State must act as the guardian of a millennial future in the face of which the wishes and the selfishness of the individual must appear as nothing and submit.”
“Our nation is in trouble. Leadership is bankrupt. Institutions are in disarray. People are hungry,” said Roxas. It is true that the Filipino nation is in big trouble, that our political leadership is bankrupt, and that most government institutions have already been mangled, but to say that the only way to fix these problems is to embrace their version of country-above-self of nationalism is highly preposterous.
The nation is in trouble because it lacks moral (not religious) leadership. The kind of morality that this country embraces is the morality of altruism, which is about unselfish concern for the welfare of others. Today we see the continued destruction of reason, individualism and capitalism, whose morality is self-interest that is opposed to altruism. We see the rejection of “self” and the glorification of the word “we”. This country-above-self nationalism, which is piteously based on the morality of altruism, promotes self-abnegation, self-immolation, self-sacrifice, and everything that is against the interest of man. It is, philosophically, anti-Man. If we seek to save our country from “trouble”, it is the morality of altruism that we have to reject. Altruism, derived from French word ‘alter’ or other, is not simply about kindness or goodness. This word has specific meaning, and most people mean it the way its proponent, Auguste Compte, had intended, and its moral code states that “man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and value.”[i]
Our government institutions are in disarray because our politicians lack moral (not religious, because religion seems to have hijacked morality) leadership to govern and because of our form of government, which is mixed economy. A form of government that allows politicians to expand government powers inevitably invites corruption and all kinds of political evil. The only solution to fix our institutions is to decontrol or deregulate by embracing capitalism. Capitalism, a political-economic system that is based on individual rights, is the only system that can save this country. In a capitalist society, the only function of the government is to protect individual rights, by assuming the following functions: 1) defense or military, to protect the country from invaders; 2) law courts, to protect people from injustice and breach of contracts and property; 3) police, to protect the people from criminals. A government with purely limited powers is the only solution to mangled, corrupted government institutions.
People are hungry (for both food and justice) because of the current pitiful and impractical socio-political order in this country. The 1987 Constitution is one of the root causes of social and economic crisis, apart from our colleges and universities. The New Constitution, which is pushing this country toward collectivism, establishes a mixed economy, permits political balkanization through the multiparty and party-list system and other provisions that promote autonomy of various ethnic provinces, supports the rise of oligarchy and robber barons by barring foreign capitalists to freely invest and do business in this country, and expands government controls and powers through populist-altruist provisions, among others. Economic crisis is unavoidable if the government assumed the role of people’s all-time provider of goods and services, a situation that would lead to progressive taxation and increased amount of foreign debt. People are hungry because of corruption, weak institutions, and frail legal system, which are all symptoms of big government.
Roxas further said:
Noynoy and I want to make a difference, but we also know that we need to unite to achieve what we want.
I am the President of the Liberal Party.
It is within my power to preside over a potentially divisive process or to make the party a bridge for the forces of change. I choose to lead unity, not division.
Bilang pinuno ng aking Partido, magdedesisyon ako (As leader of my party, I have to make a decision).”
Mahal ko ang Partido Liberal (I love the Liberal Party). My grandfather founded it. My father led it during the most difficult times of Martial Law. Sa harap ng peligro, sa kabila ng napakaraming tukso — hindi siya sumuko (In the face of peril, despite of many temptations- he did not give up).
He inspired me—to stay the course, to fight the good fight, to pass the test of true character. To believe.
Over the weekend, Noynoy and I had many long conversations … Masinsinang usapan. We agreed: Let us forget about ourselves for a moment. This is not about us, this is about our people and our country. This is about our common dream. The dream of our parents.
The only political goal of these aspirants is selfless public service and selfless people. “Country Above Self” means we must sacrifice our lives to the state and that we must have faith in our government regardless of its imperfections, crimes, and political and economic blunders. This altruist credo aims to establish nationalism as a contrived religion. Yes, Mar and Noynoy seek to elevate their political ideology of “Country Above Self” to the level of religion where everybody is enslaved to everybody, where people begin to regard the State as their ever benevolent, omnipotent deity, and where the word “I” is to be subjugated by that collectivist term “WE”. The only equivalent of their dystopian political mantra is that Orwellian credo— “WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.”
A politician or a party that promotes “Country Above Self” as a political battle cry regards the people as a collection of atoms that are simply part and parcel of a national domain. This terrifying political credo, which belongs to mankind’s dark past, glorifies the virtue of Self-sacrifice, Self-Abnegation, and Self-Immolation. It is, philosophically, metaphysically, and epistemologically, anti-Man.
No, Mar, Noynoy… We are not property of the State.
Nazi Quotations on Nationalism:
“The concept of personal liberties of the individual as opposed to the authority of the state had to disappear; it is not to be reconciled with the principle of the nationalistic Reich. There are no personal liberties of the individual which fall outside of the realm of the state and which must be respected by the state. The member of the people, organically connected with the whole community, has replaced the isolated individual; he is included in the totality of the political people and is drawn into the collective action. There can no longer be any question of a private sphere, free of state influence, which is sacred and untouchable before the political unity. The constitution of the nationalistic Reich is therefore not based upon a system of inborn and inalienable rights of the individual.”
—Ernst Rudolf Huber, official spokesman for the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, 1939
“[S]ocialism is sacrificing the individual to the whole.”
“THE COMMON INTEREST BEFORE SELF-INTEREST.”
—NDSAP Program, Point 24, 1920
“We must rouse in our people the unanimous wish for power in this sense, together with the determination to sacrifice on the altar of patriotism, not only life and property, but also private views and preferences in the interests of the common welfare.”
—Friedrich von Bernhardi, 1912
“We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions.”
—Adolf Hitler, 1927 speech
Click link for more Nazi Quotations on Nationalism.
[i] Rand, Ayn. Philosophy Who Needs It, p.61.