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Pres. Aquino and His Society of Lemmings

July 12, 2010

Can he make it?

Can he make it?

The country’s intellectual state is, in fact, the origin of all evils; it is an evil prime mover that continues to mold the minds of the youth, shape national consensus, set the direction of our society, and gradually rob us of our freedoms and rights. Our country is intellectually bankrupt due to the philosophies and ideologies that are being taught in schools, colleges, and universities today.

First, let me state here very clearly, that the Philippines is not a capitalist economy, but a mixed economy bordering on

dictatorship. Capitalism is properly defined as “an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.”

Ayn Rand defined capitalism as “a full, pure, uncontrolled, unregulated laissez-faire capitalism—with a separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church.”

I know that there are a lot of people—the stupid liberals and their equally stupid leftist cohorts, in particular—in this country who are not comfortable with my statement that the Philippines is not a capitalist country, but a mixed economy. I will only try to deal with them by simply quoting one of my favorite characters of Atlas Shrugged, Francisco D’Anconia: “James, you ought to discover some day that words have an exact meaning.”

Yes, words have an exact meaning, comrades. This reminds me of my debate with a fellow from the Ateneo De Manila University who argued that “words have no core meanings”— “that we mean what we want them to mean, albeit not as arbitrarily as this may sound.” Since I believe that that kind of post-modernist mentality truly reflects the country’s intellectual state, I made the following reply:

“What I can gather from this subjectivist approach to language is that since words have no core meaning, anybody can simply alter the concepts of a particular word. Language is a tool and domain of concepts. With the exception of proper names, every word we speak is a symbol that denotes a concept. We need to have an objective language because language and concepts are fundamentally a vital instrument of cognition, not of communication, the latter being merely the consequence. You must understand that cognition precedes communication. You can’t think properly without objective words or language. Thus the main objective of language and of concepts is to provide the speaker with a system of cognitive organization and classification, which enables him to gain knowledge on a broader or indefinite scale. In other words, the purpose of language and concepts is to keep or maintain order in man’s mind and to enable him to think properly.”

The problem with this country is that it was never founded on the right philosophy, although we are very lucky to have adopted a few essential parts of the American constitution to which we owe our concepts of individual rights, justice, and rule of law. The very reason why I admire the US Constitution is because it is grounded in reality, which means it is in accordance with the law of identity, which means A is A. Whether you believe it or not, the philosophical founding father of America was Aristotle whom I consider the first intellectual on earth. Aristotle, through John Locke and the founding fathers of America, provided the epistemological, ethical, and political foundation of the United States.

America is the very first nation on earth that recognized man’s rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness— the basis of its Constitution, legal system, political institutions, and capitalism. In the realm of politics, it is the freest nation on earth that achieved the most.

Unfortunately, we departed from the fundamental philosophical foundation of America when, in 1987, a post-dictatorship revolutionary regime adopted a semi-socialist, semi-Republican constitution that puts more emphasis on egalitarianism, social justice, collective rights, political correctness, and progressivism.

Article II, Section 1 of the 1987 Constitution sums it all: “The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.”

No, we don’t need a democratic system for the very reason that it’s a pretzel-like term that is very vulnerable to distortion, deconstruction, and misrepresentation. Democracy as a term is an invalid concept.

I stated very clearly my position on the matter here:

“We have been taught by our teachers and professors, as well us our absurd intellectuals, that the Philippines is a “democratic country.” We face constitutional perils and destructions of our rights because of the notion that democracy is a noble idea. Democracy is nothing but an EVIL idea! But it seems that nobody in this country recognizes the fact that democracy is a mythical idea that must be rejected. Yes, the Constitution states, under Section 1, Article II that “The Philippines is a democratic and republican State. Sovereignity resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them” (emphasis added). Democracy simply means “mob rule” or “rule of the majority.” This means that the majority can vote and abrogate our rights like what is happening today. Democracy is an evil idea conceived in ancient Greece. History tells us that the first victim of “democracy” was Socrates who was condemned by the people to death because of his influence on the youth. This country must be and ought to be a Republican state, period!”

Yes, Karl Marx is right, democracy is the road to socialism.

With this, I’d like to comment on President Aquino’s tax cut proposal. I believe that cutting taxes without hurting the government and without causing internal problems and instantaneous economic crisis is the biggest obstacle for the Aquino administration. I risk being accused of ‘pessimism’ or hypocrisy by saying that the Aquino administration’s tax cut proposal is a puerile fantasy that is not so much grounded in reality, particularly economic and political reality.

I also understand that President Aquino rationalized his proposal by declaring that his government would also cut government spending. This sounds good and logical. But again, the premise ignores the fact that there are political, constitutional, economic, and social issues that need to be addressed.

But make no mistake, I support the idea that the current administration needs to cut both corporate and individual income taxes, as well as estate tax, capital gains tax, and other ‘voluntary’ obligations levied upon both corporate entities and individuals.

Let me back this position of mine by presenting the following arguments.

FIRST: Constitutional barriers. Let me tell you that I’m not a Constitutionalist, but this doesn’t mean that I don’t have the right or intellectual capability to tackle constitutional issues simply because I’m not a lawyer or a popular political commentator. I believe that everybody in this country must be very interested in politics and constitutional issues. It doesn’t take a lawyer to evaluate the nature and characteristics of the 1987 Constitution. Our charter establishes a democratic and republican state. I happened to read the Constitution in law school, although we didn’t really focus our studies on its political, economic, and social implications. My opinion is that the 1987 Constitution, being a semi-socialist, semi-Republican, is the very source—the steam engine—of excessive government spending. The Constitution is the very source of political, economic, and social problems in this country.

My rejection of the 1987 charter doesn’t mean that the 1972 Constitution it replaced must be restored. Both charters are dangerous to our lives and limbs, and to the future of this country. I believe that the 1935 Constitution is more credible, safer, and faithful to the nature of man in that it focuses the role of the government on the protection of individual rights. The only thing I dislike about the 1935 Constitution are the constitutional phrases and principles concerning social justice, state support to parents, eminent domain, etc.

Since this is a fairly limited article and not a dissertation, I will only enumerate some of the Constitutional concepts, provisions, and principles that support excessive government spending.

  • Some of the state policies under Article II are bordering on socialism or dictatorship, particularly those that make the State— the provider of people’s social services, employment, better standard of living, and an improve quality of life (Section 9); promoter of social justice (Section 10) and welfare of the nation (Section 23); protector of the rights of workers (Section 18), women (Section 14), indigenous cultural communities (Section 22), etc.; and the prohibitor of political dynasties (Section 26). I object to all these provisions for the very reason that these are not the fundamental function of the government, but the protection of individual rights. The state prohibition against political dynasties sounds good, but the only way to eliminate abusive political clans is to vote them out and through proper education.
  • Article XIII on social justice and human rights. Social justice, a liberal concoction, is an invalid concept. There is no such thing. There is only justice for every individual. This term has no specific meaning except the fact that its object is the ‘society’ as a whole. Even the term human rights was created and championed by the liberals. Rights must properly and only pertain to the individual. Under this Article, the state appears to be the source of property rights hence the source of man’s right to life, as it has the power to “regulate the acquisition, ownership, use, and disposition of property and its increments.”
  • Article XII on national economy and patrimony. This Article, in particular, establishes the economic-political personality of the Philippines: a mixed economy bordering on socialism. Under Section 1, it is stated the “goals of the national economy are a more equitable distribution of opportunities, income, and wealth.” In political terms, the provision calls for distribution of wealth, which is a usual practice in all communist/socialist slave pens. The state is also empowered to “promote industrialization and full employment based on sound agricultural development and agrarian reform, through industries that make full and efficient use of human and natural resources, and which are competitive in both domestic and foreign markets.” This provision clearly shows the socialist tendencies of our charter, as it is plagued with a lot of contradictions and mixed premises. In economic terms, the only proper role of the government is to allow individuals to practice their profession, to invest, and work for a living, and, most importantly, to protect individuals against violation of contracts, frauds, and crimes.
  • Article XII, Section 18 on national economy and patrimony: “The State may, in the interest of national welfare or defense, establish and operate vital industries and, upon payment of just compensation, transfer to public ownership utilities and other private enterprises to be operated by the Government.” No proper government is allowed or has the right, even in the interest of national welfare or defense, to take over any property belonging to any individual or corporate entity. The only instance wherein the government is justified to take over a property is when such is being used to weaken the defense of the state, to violate individual rights, or to overthrow the duly constituted government.
  • Article XII, Section 19 on national economy and patrimony: “The State shall regulate or prohibit monopolies when the public interest so requires. No combinations in restraint of trade or unfair competition shall be allowed.” I don’t believe in this constitutional hypocrisy. Monopolies or cartels only exist with the help of the government. Who defines “public interest?” Who is the public? This is the reason why any attempt under the current administration to introduce anti-trust bills should be opposed.
  • Protectionism and the prohibition of full ownership of property against foreign individuals. Under the constitution, foreigners are not allowed to own immovable property and are partially allowed (provided that Filipinos own 60 percent of the venture) to own businesses.
  • Most of the provisions in Article XIV on education, science and technology, arts, culture and sports. Under Section 1, it is stated that “The State shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels, and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all.” Section 2 of the same Article enumerates how the government shall achieve its “education for all” policy. This provision simply means redistribution of wealth and that it makes the state the sole provider of our educational needs. This is a breach of both metaphysical reality and economic reality in that it regards individuals as helpless human beings who must rely on the government for their basic needs. The solution to quality and better education is privatization of all educational centers and institutions. Privatization is the only key to better access to quality education. Under a free-market system, competition will force schools, colleges and universities to lower their tuition fees, hire competent teachers and professors, focus on research, improve their facilities, offer scholarship grants, etc.
  • Article IV on the family. Section 1 states that “The State recognizes the Filipino family as the foundation of the nation. Accordingly, it shall strengthen its solidarity and actively promote its total development.” This is merely a portentous display of constitutional verbosity. The recognition of the family as the foundation of the nation is implied in the government’s role as the protector of individuals. When a state focuses on protecting individual rights, it focuses on the protection of all, regardless of their sex, class, gender, age, status, ethnicity, family affiliation, etc. There is no such an entity as society.
  • Laws that grant lawmakers’ pork barrel or countrywide development fund.
  • Constitutional provision that created the multi-party system.
  • Constitutional provision that created the party-list system, which causes more government spending and that is bringing this country toward socialism and fascism.
  • State’s power of eminent domain that breaches the sanctity of man’s right to property and the fruits of his own labor.
  • State’s power of absolute taxation.

SECOND: The country’s state of economy. There is no need to prove that the country’s economy is utterly in bad shape. This is actually the result of the mistakes and mismanagement of past presidents, the country’s political climate, and the anti-market and socialist/populist provisions in the Constitution. The economic realities that we, as a nation, face today are as follows:

  • Huge budget deficit due to high government spending and corruption;
  • High amount of foreign debt (with high interest);
  • Graft and corrupt practices, red tape, bribery that repel both local and foreign investors;
  • Too much politics that hinders economic progress;
  • Too much government intervention into the economy, an act which is mandated and sanctioned by the Constitution;
  • The Constitution itself (please refer to the points made above);
  • Too much Keynesian and liberal intellectuals operating in both the government and private sectors (these are the scourge of economic ineptitude and poverty in this country);

THIRD: The country’s political climate. We all know that the Philippines is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. The country’s reputation as a kleptomaniac regime peaked during the reign of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a Keynesian economist and former economics professor at the Ateneo De Manila University. Under Arroyo’s rule, the size of the government was doubled, as she issued interventionist policies in line with the teachings of John Maynard Keynes, created a lot of executive and unnecessary offices that helped drained the government’s coffers, doubled the country’s debt, violated her constitutional mandate as CEO of the land by issuing executive orders that violated people’s individual rights, ignored the high crimes and corruption of her family members, close political allies, and friends, among many others. If former dictator Ferdinand Marcos accelerated the county’s leap toward fascism, his successor, revolutionary leader Corazon Aquino inadvertently built, with the helped of neo-liberals and statist intellectuals, the constitutional pathway of the nation toward socialism or dictatorship. Former President’s Ramos’ privatization was merely a lip service, as it was not completely put into action and that rampant corruption and economic ineptitude marred his administration. Former Joseph Estrada’s corrupt term was cut short owing to his inept governance, corruption scandals, and weak hold on his top executives.

The state of the country’s politics tells us that we are moving very quickly toward dictatorship, and the mangled semi-socialist system is simply waiting for its proper heir to turn this semi-free nation into socialist/fascist slave pen. What is more alarming is that the leftists are now at the doorstep of political power because the Constitution allows them to infiltrate our system of governance through the party-list system. The coming of the next dictator is simply a matter of time. The proper question is not if, but when.

FOURTH: The country’s intellectual state. The primary source of evil in this country is not really corruption or poverty, as most liberal intellectuals tend to highlight in their daily columns or speeches. The country’s intellectual state is, in fact, the origin of all evils; it is an evil prime mover that continues to mold the minds of the youth, shape national consensus, set the direction of our society, and gradually rob us of our freedoms and rights. Our country is intellectually bankrupt due to the philosophies and ideologies that are being taught in schools, colleges, and universities today.

We have heard a great deal about the platitudinal pronouncements of some government officials who tried to urge the President not to cut taxes but to raise them instead. These geniuses in the public sector were anxious that tax cut would only hurt the economy considering the current shape of the economy and the budget deficit. They somehow have some logical points, but they clearly ignore reality-based economic principles. Most of our economic intellectuals also believe that government spending is the key to economic progress. They are all Keynesians! We have professors who reject or hate free-market capitalism. Most consider capitalism a necessary evil, while a few honest ones believe that it is necessary for what they call ‘public good.’ We have do-gooder intellectuals who firmly believe in the morality of altruism- that we must sacrifice our lives to others. We have media people who tell us that it is the proper role of the government to provide everything we need, from food to medicine to shelter to clothing to education to health care, etc. We have dishonest liberals who preach that the only way to salvation is to collectively drink poison, that is, by embracing an evil system they call socialism. A proper understanding of our philosophical and intellectual state explains why the country’s political foundation is the country’s downfall— why our economy fails— why our society is morally corrupt— why we are moving toward the wrong path.

Let me address these variables (politics, economy, society, and future) by simply describing how they relate to our national experience:

  • Philippine Politics: We are a semi-socialist/democratic, semi-republican state bordering on dictatorship. The country’s political philosophy can be described as follows: “The greatest happiness of the greatest number.”
  • Philippine economy: We are a mixed economy with more socialist characteristics. Its implements are government spending, state regulation and controls, redistribution of wealth, and more taxation. The dominant economic ideology can be described as follows: “We are our brothers’ keepers” or “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”.
  • Philippine society: We are a society or lemmings, or an object of social sacrifices. Our society rejects self-interest as it is considered evil. We must sacrifice our lives to others and live for others, the politicians, intellectuals and religionists say. The country’s social philosophy can be properly described as follows: “Men and women for others”.
  • Our future: dictatorship. The motto is: “The country is worth dying for.”

Can President Aquino make it? You be the judge.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. July 17, 2010 3:38

    Wow now thats perspective! I think we often react in agreement or disagreement because of our emotions, but hearing another side, passionately presented, really makes us think!

    • Kevin Mayuga permalink
      July 19, 2010 3:38

      Do you have any plans of promoting Objectivism beyond the internet? Like posters, starting meet-ups and stuff?

      If there is a book that can change Filipino intellectual culture for the better, it is Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, and one of my personal favorites, The Virtue of Selfishness.

      • July 21, 2010 3:38

        Hi, Kevin. Sorry for the late reply. No, I don’t intend to promote Objectivism by distributing leaflets, organizing meet-ups and other other stuff. I usually meet with an O’friend. This blogsite simply serves as my outlet- to keep me moving, thinking, and sane.

  2. July 21, 2010 3:38

    Very nice article, thanks! I’ve subscribed to your RSS feed. Please keep up posting.

  3. napadaan din lang permalink
    July 27, 2010 3:38

    @the author: sane ka pa sa lagay na yan? TANGA! SIRA ULO KA NA NGA EH. NAGPAPANGGAP NA matino. BOBO!

  4. July 28, 2010 3:38

    “Reklamo ng reklamo, gustong maging Amerkano.” ~ The Jerks

    yes, indeed. some words have exact meaning.

  5. Nick Carraway permalink
    July 28, 2010 3:38

    In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

    “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

  6. July 28, 2010 3:38

    Hi!….I was searching on internet and I found your web design blog…..it is really interesting…keep it up….look forward toread more from you

  7. Marco permalink
    July 28, 2010 3:38

    Not trying to bash (although it may sound like I am later), but I’m curious about this “objectivity of language” that’s been discussed ’round these parts.

    “An A is an A” has been quoted, as has “James, you ought to discover some day that words have an exact meaning.” While there is some credence to these ideas, I am of the opinion that language isn’t as objective as these statements imply.

    It’s true that words are symbolic representations of reality (the object we perceive as a table, we classify under the sound and visual representation of the word “table”), but these symbols are, in themselves, quite flexible in their use. Although an A is indeed an A, a “table” may not necessarily pertain to a flat, elevated surface that stands on legs. There may be the graphical “table”, which is a visual organizer of several other concepts. The symbol, though exactly the same in both examples, registers a wildly different reality altogether.

    Now, I am aware that both meanings of the word “table” can perceivably come the same root (I’m no linguist, mind you), and that one form can simply be a bastardization of the other, but it does not diminish the fact that the flexible nature of language itself has allowed these two meanings of the word to co-exist within our thoughts as separate realities possessing the exact same symbolic representation.

    It can be argued that we simply use the word “table” as a means to communicate the realities we perceive, that the language we use in our cognition remains as objective as ever. For instance, we can objective hold in our minds the image of the tables right in front of us. In my case, I see an elevated, tan-colored wooden surface sitting atop 4 legs that bear the same characteristics as the surface, used primarily for setting food on. My mind takes these objective realities and classifies the gestalt as a “table”, both for my ease of cognition and for fluid communication with other sentient beings, if the need arises. After all, describing items by their observable qualities without resorting to the convenience of words would make for inefficient communication.

    With this in mind, there appears to be an issue with this statement:

    “With the exception of proper names, every word we speak is a symbol that denotes a concept. We need to have an objective language because language and concepts are fundamentally a vital instrument of cognition, not of communication, the latter being merely the consequence. You must understand that cognition precedes communication. You can’t think properly without objective words or language. Thus the main objective of language and of concepts is to provide the speaker with a system of cognitive organization and classification, which enables him to gain knowledge on a broader or indefinite scale. In other words, the purpose of language and concepts is to keep or maintain order in man’s mind and to enable him to think properly.””

    As argued, the purpose of language is to organize thoughts and allow for smooth cognition; communication is a “consequence” of language. Given the mechanism for the organization of thought (i.e. taking in all the observable characteristics of a table and classifying the combination as a “table”), are we not already communicating with ourselves? If we eliminate “used primarily for setting food on” from my definition of a table, my own mind could just as easily mistake this thing I see, this “elevated, tan-colored wooden surface sitting atop 4 legs that bear the same characteristics as the surface” as a chair. The description matches, after all. And yet my own cognition adds that qualifier, that the thing I see before is used for setting food on, and so I know that what I see is not a chair, but a table.

    In fact, every stimulus our senses receive must be lumped together for us to make sense of it. Depth, height, width, luminosity, hue, saturation, and distance are all different observations that must congeal into one single idea of a reality. We don’t merely see something based on what our senses tell us – “thick”, “tall”, “long”, “bright”, “blue”, and “far” – but our brains bring all these stimuli together, telling us that what we perceive are actually parts of a whole.

    This interplay between observations is the communication taking place within the brain’s organizing mechanism. Without the communication between the countless impulses in my brain, proper cognition – even the identification of the object as a table – is impossible. Communication, therefore, is not merely a consequence of language and cognition, but a mechanism that allows for both. Otherwise, we would be thoughtless buffoons unable to make any sense of the barrage of information our senses perceive.

    Now, this internal communication that takes place in our minds and allows us to make sense of reality is, in fact, subjective, albeit not always to the degree you seem to be fervently against. Again, let us take the word “table” for example. I have stated that the “elevated, tan-colored wooden surface sitting atop 4 legs that bear the same characteristics as the surface, used primarily for setting food on” is a table, because I have learned within my experience that a real object that matches that description should have the cognitive label of a “table”. True, other tables may exist, and they may be made of other materials and possess three legs, and I will most certainly recognize them as “tables” as well. However, this will only be because I have learned to extend my original experience of a table to objects that more or less serve the same function. Your original experience of a “table”, however, may have consisted of a metal frame with a glass top, and it is from there that you extend your own definition of a table. We begin to see now that language is, in fact, subjective.

    You may argue that the use – “tables” are what you set food on – is universal between our definitions, and so pure objectivity in language is possible. We can both agree, however, that “table” isn’t the only word we use. What about “stool”, “hole”, or “fan”? Our original experiences of their uses – the characteristics upon which we base our cognitive processes – can differ immensely. A “stool” can be for standing or sitting, in the same way that a “hole” can be for putting things either in or out of something. Utility, therefore, is also subjective, and with it, language.

    On these points, I believe that language is indeed subjective. Not only that, communication is not a mere result of language, but actually fuels it. Without the internal communication within our brains, language would be impossible, and without it, cognition suffers.

    Now, all of this can be pushed away by saying “The words still have an exact meaning within your own mind”. That may be true, but what sort of person exists only within his own mind? My “sitting” stool will still be your “standing” stool, and we will both be right in using the word “stool” to identify the reality we perceive. Will I disturb your notion of a stool by sitting on it? Most certainly, but you would likely adapt that utilization of the stool into your own definition. Are you thinking only within your own mind? Most certainly not. A “stool” to you was for standing; it was my personal definition of a stool that brought about the possibility that a stool may also be for sitting. Your language, your internal dialogue, and your cognition were affected by something I, as another person, communicated to you through my sitting on the stool. You weren’t purely objective – your definition was altered by my experience of the stool. As it stands, then, “stool” is subjective, no matter how you look at it, as long as your perception of a stool can be disturbed by my personal experience. Modeling, after all, is another important function of cognition and learning, and so long as people can find ways to disturb your notion of the word “stool” (by using one as a weapon or making one out of gelatin, for example), it will remain subjective.

    If you can somehow escape the existence of other cognitive beings, then maybe – just maybe – you’ll find your objective language. That’s what I think, at least.

    Thoughts?

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