On Winnie Monsod’s Viral ‘Lecture’ Video
Instead of preaching UP supremacism and the undefined platitudes of honor and excellence, Professor Monsod should just help spread the virtue of Reason, Individualism and Capitalism.
Professor Winnie Monsod is undeniably one of the most widely known economists in the Philippines. This year, Monsod became more popular in the cyberspace after one of her students at the University of the Philippines-Diliman uploaded her ‘last lecture’ on YouTube, which has gone viral with over 360,000 views.
In her 10-minute lecture, she described UP students as the “intellectual elite”- “the creme de la creme”- simply because they were admitted into the top public university in the country.
Monsod urged her students to place honor before excellence. “Do you know what the University motto is? Honor and excellence. Honor first before excellence. It’s not excellence and honor, it’s honor and excellence. And what is the fruit of honor and excellence? Is it not competence and integrity? In other words, if you have lived up to your promise and your potential as a university student, you are in a position to be part of the solution to this country’s problems, not part of the problem,” she said.
She made an accurate observation that majority of the country’s top politicians graduated from UP, saying “if they were so good, why are we where we are now.” With this, she asked her students to assure her that they would act with honor and integrity.
“You do not have to cheat. And cheating in the small things is going to lead to cheating in the large things… Eh saan tayo ngayon? If they were so good, why are we where we are now? And so you have to ask yourselves that. And part of the reason is because we have always looked at excellence, and not looked at honor and integrity.”
She also advised her students to disabuse themselves of notions of going abroad.
“If you are going to help this country, you’ve got to be in the country. If any of you have little ambitions of going abroad so that you can earn more, please disabuse yourself, because by doing that you are essentially betraying the people in the Philippines who trusted you and who invested their money in you,” she said.
However, this is my personal view. Instead of preaching UP supremacism and the undefined platitudes of honor and excellence, Professor Monsod should just help spread the virtue of Reason, Individualism and Capitalism. Those who plan to work abroad are not “traitors.”
As a highly respected economics professor, Monsod should expose what’s wrong with the country’s public education system and attack the altruist-statist policies of our politicians, such the proposed RH bill, the antitrust law, etc. Although I agree with Monsod that the Filipino taxpayers have invested much in the education of public school students, I don’t believe that it s their duty to pay back by staying in the country. The only solution I can think of is for the government to guarantee economic freedom and protect individual rights by starting to decontrol and by gradually abolishing public schools and colleges and other welfare state programs.
Like I stated in a previous blog, “The failure to defend reason, individualism, and capitalism has a very high price: the destruction of individual freedom and rights. Graft and corruption is not the main ally of failed governance, but our failure to think— our refusal to embrace reason, individualism, and capitalism— our failure to defend the truth. The only logical result of this “failure of the mind” is a nation of freeloaders, of free-askers, and of ‘little dictators’ (those who tell us how to live our lives, to obey, to surrender our will to our society, and to make a sacrifice for the sake of the greater good).”
Also in another blog I stated the following:
Yes, I agree that the University of the Philippines houses many of our brightest young students in the country. This is why it is important to expose the kind of evil that is penetrating this top public institution of learning. If there’s one institution that must be the main target of leftist indoctrination, it should be the University of the Philippines due to the following reasons:
- The level of intelligence of its students
- The potentials of its graduates
- The size of government funding
- Position in the country’s intellectual hub
- Many possibilities for socialist/liberal strategies
This is why it is very important to audit UP, intellectually and ideologically. However, it should be the responsibility of those who believe in free-market capitalism to wrestle with the propagators of liberalism and socialism at UP and other state universities in the country. It should be their responsibility to give proper education to their students, meaning by teaching a student how to live his life—by developing his mind and equipping him to deal with reality. Indeed, the UP seems to be the main subject of this public education attack because of its importance and because of its ability to change the course of the country’s history in the future.
Now I’d like to share a very interesting article written by Dr. Joy Antonelle De Marcaida who reacted to Monsod’s lecture. Here’s what Dr. Marcaida wrote:
But in my country of origin, in my homeland, they apparently speak of me and think of me as a traitor. Professor Solita Monsod of the University of the Philippines, in a video of a lecture to her students currently being circulated by unquestionably well-meaning Filipinos to expatriates they know and love, expressed her anger towards those who have chosen to leave their home and their people to find work, sustenance and success in another land. How is this different from a Manileño who chooses to re-establish himself and his family in Cagayan de Oro because the business opportunities there turned out to be more conducive to his success? How is it a betrayal of the Filipino people for a Filipino in another country to be recognized and applauded for the good that he does on a global scale?
How am I a traitor when the dollars I earn here translate into businesses and consumer confidence and local spending by the family and people I still support back home? How is it that I am a fool when I have wrought only respect and admiration and love in this country for a Filipino? Professor Monsod suggested that Filipinos abroad “pay back” what is owed to the country. In my lifetime, I hope I have done a lot of good, and have paid forward.
Filipinos overseas are self-exiles. We chose to leave our homeland when this became intellectually, politically, financially, artistically or philosophically limiting or oppressive. We are drawn to another country because of the vitality of its intellectual, scientific or artistic scene, its support and tolerance for innovation, progress and intellectual energy, and by its high regard for the immigrant who brings in new talent and skill, allowing him or her the freedom to achieve success, find his or her identity and express his or her ideas. Self-actualization in another land is not a crime. And Filipinos back home, who seek their own success, would be well-served to rejoice in ours. We are no different. We are just far from home.