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The Evil of Pres. Aquino’s Politics of Sacrifice

August 22, 2010

I wasn’t really surprised when I learned that the President called on the whole nation to learn the value of sacrifice and of

No, Kuya Noy, we don't need to make a sacrifice...

No, Kuya Noy, we don't need to make a sacrifice...

working together for meaningful change. But change for what? Does the President seek to transform this country into a society of lemmings?

In a message on the 27th death anniversary of his father, late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., the commander-in-chief stressed “The idea of setting aside one’s personal interest, comfort, convenience and even one’s freedom for the greater good was the lesson he (Ninoy) taught me and all of us who strive for a more just and caring society.”

However, the President didn’t really explain why is it evil or immoral to focus on “one’s personal interest, comfort, convenience and even one’s freedom for the greater good”? But what is the President’s definition of the “greater good” in his slogan? I believe there’s none, except whatever is good for the greatest number. However, the problem is who, in any particular issue or circumstance, has the right or authority to decide what is good for the greatest number? Is it the President and his advisers?

The problem with the President is that he doesn’t really understand the real concept of sacrifice. Sacrifice simply means the surrender of a greater value for the sake of a lesser one or of a nonvalue. It does not mean the rejection of the worthless, but of the precious.

The President’s politics of sacrifice simply reflects the country’s intellectual climate. Yes, our country is intellectually bankrupt because of our rejection of reason, individualism, and free-market capitalism. What do you think will happen to a country that embraces sacrifice as its form of politics and altruism as its code of ethics? Why do we need sacrifices in this country? Why do we have to sacrifice or surrender our individual freedom for the greater good.

Clearly the President does not merely ask us to make a compromise. He wants us to surrender our individuality, personal interests and comfort, and individual freedom for the sake of what he calls the “greater good”. What our highly educated President forgot is that there are certain things which we cannot compromise, such as our individual freedom, individual rights, and rational principles. What he’s trying to establish with his politics of sacrifice is a form of dictatorship wherein “the greater good”- not the individual- becomes the standard of value in our altruistic society.

In her book For the New Intellectual, philosopher Ayn Rand exposes of evil of sacrifice, to wit:

“Sacrifice” does not mean the rejection of the evil for the sake of the good, but of the good for the sake of the evil. “Sacrifice” is the surrender of that which you value in favor of that which you don’t.

If you exchange a penny for a dollar, it is not a sacrifice; if you exchange a dollar for a penny, it is. If you achieve the career you wanted, after years of struggle, it is not a sacrifice; if you then renounce it for the sake of a rival, it is. If you own a bottle of milk and give it to your starving child, it is not a sacrifice; if you give it to your neighbor’s child and let your own die, it is.

If you give money to help a friend, it is not a sacrifice; if you give it to a worthless stranger, it is. If you give your friend a sum you can afford, it is not a sacrifice; if you give him money at the cost of your own discomfort, it is only a partial virtue, according to this sort of moral standard; if you give him money at the cost of disaster to yourself—that is the virtue of sacrifice in full.

If you renounce all personal desires and dedicate your life to those you love, you do not achieve full virtue: you still retain a value of your own, which is your love. If you devote your life to random strangers, it is an act of greater virtue. If you devote your life to serving men you hate—that is the greatest of the virtues you can practice.

A sacrifice is the surrender of a value. Full sacrifice is full surrender of all values. If you wish to achieve full virtue, you must seek no gratitude in return for your sacrifice, no praise, no love, no admiration, no self-esteem, not even the pride of being virtuous; the faintest trace of any gain dilutes your virtue. If you pursue a course of action that does not taint your life by any joy, that brings you no value in matter, no value in spirit, no gain, no profit, no reward—if you achieve this state of total zero, you have achieved the ideal of moral perfection.

You are told that moral perfection is impossible to man—and, by this standard, it is. You cannot achieve it so long as you live, but the value of your life and of your person is gauged by how closely you succeed in approaching that ideal zero which is death.

The President’s statist politics of sacrifice is very much consistent with his “country above self” political mantra. In my blog article entitled “Country Above Self”: An Anti-Man Political Ideology, I stated the following:

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.

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.”

This is what President Noynoy wants for our semi-civilized society- SACRIFICE for the sake of the greater good… But we aren’t savages, Mr. President!

Here’s the President altruist/statist message to his constituents:

In commemoration of Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr.’s 27th Death Anniversary

[August 21, 2010 ]

I would like to thank everyone who came here to this solemn event to commemorate the death anniversary of my father.

It is very heartwarming to know that even after 27 years, my father’s memory is still alive in our hearts and minds. This is a clear indication that his sacrifice was not put to waste.

Being a leader of our nation is no walk in the park. I have braced my own shoulders for the same responsibility that both my parents bore with honor and fervor. I can only hope that, as it was with them, the people will remain my fountain of strength as I continue to lead our country along the straight and righteous path.

We all know that there are still so many challenges that we have to overcome and it helps to remember why the cause he defended was so important.

The idea of setting aside one’s personal interest, comfort, convenience and even one’s freedom for the greater good was the lesson he taught me and all of us who strive for a more just and caring society.

The memory of his sacrifice should push us to pursue real and lasting change in our country where complete, correct and timely justice is a reality for all.

I am truly grateful to the Filipino people for joining our family in remembering our parents this month of August and for joining my administration in this process of continuing my parents’ cause.

When my father was incarcerated, he sent me a letter. In his letter he said, “There is no greater nation on earth than our Motherland. No greater people than our own. Serve them with all your heart, with all your might and with all your strength.” These are the words that helped me as a public servant and these words will continue to guide me as I lead this country.

Perhaps working together for our country would be an ideal tribute to the man who loved his country until the end.

Maraming salamat po.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Seluj Albatini permalink
    August 24, 2010 3:38

    The free market of music is going to be sacrificed in the altar of “cultural preservation” and “eating our own dog food”. Can you write about the E.O. 255 that was made under then President Cory Aquino and is now being revived by P-Noy? He wants to compel ALL radio stations here in the Philippines to play four (4) OPM tracks per hour.

    • August 24, 2010 3:38

      All I can say about the E.O. 255 has all the trappings of dictatorship. No one- not even the highest elected official of the land- has the right to expropriate or use the private property of individuals and entities without just compensation and the owners’ consent. This is an example of unjust confiscation of private property. The government cannot sacrifice the private property of individuals and entities for what it calls the “greater good.” E.O. 255 is about violation of individual rights, particularly property rights. Air time in radio stations fall within the purview of private property. The government cannot use one-hour air time for its propaganda without the consent of radio owners and without paying them. Radio stations should protest this tyrannical executive order.


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