Don’t Just Blame Pols; Blame Yourself As Well!
“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.” — Cicero
I was asked to comment on an article titled “The Myth of the “Bobo” Voter” posted on Facebook by a group called CRUSADA-Christian Union for Socialist and Democratic Advancement.
A Facebooker sent a message to me that read:
Good day po. I just want to know what you think of this:
Reading the whole thing and the comments that followed left me feeling really disturbed and disappointed.
My commentary is as follows:
It’s not really clear to me what the author of that article tries to attack. The author opened his/her piece by stating that “the Internet was ablaze with comments that categorized the votes of the Filipinos as either being “smart” or “bobo”, suggesting that people who have such kind of mentality want a society of an “enlightened class”. The author then proceeds to inform his/her reader that their group (the Christian Union for Socialist and Democratic Advancement) rejects the “unenlightened / enlightened voter dichotomy”.
I don’t know how the author defines the term “enlightened” or “enlightened class”. I don’t believe in an enlightened class, and I reject Plato’s idea of philosopher-king and the communists’ idea of an elite few who must be empowered to centrally plan a society.
I believe in an informed society. To me an informed society is a people who understand the concept of rights and freedom and know how to protect them.
Then the author states: “Objective knowledge is impossible because how we think is conditioned by who we are.”
That statement is so absurd. Objective knowledge does not mean absolute truth. Objective knowledge means that you know– or ought to know– the facts or that you follow the trails of evidence that eventually lead you to the truth. But people are not infallible, as they may err in their evaluation of reality, verdict or value judgment.
To me, voting is an intellectual process. When you vote for your future leaders you cannot merely go by emotion. You cannot go by faith. You have to use your mind, and by all means you have to know the stand of the candidates. But that’s not enough. You have to understand the proper concept of rights and freedom and to know whether they are consistent with the political platforms and aspirations of the candidates.
What is freedom? What are rights?
There are two schools of thought of freedom.
The first is the objective-classical liberal school of thought that postulates that freedom is the absence of government intrusion. Politically, this view argues that the only proper role of government is to protect rights and freedom through proper institutions, e.g., police, courts, and military.
The second is the subjective-collectivist school of thought that posits that freedom requires positive government intervention. This view states that there can be no freedom without government imperative to activate its machineries to ensure that the people enjoy economic equality and equal conditions. The context of freedom here is as follows: freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom from poverty, freedom from economic inequality, etc. Under a collectivist system, the government assumes universal, absolute political power to control resources and even to direct people’s private affairs in order to guarantee “freedom”.
We have to understand that man is a rational, conscious being. But this does not mean that “rationality” is automatic; it merely means that man has the choice to be rational; he has free will.
Now there are certain types of voters, and I classify them into the following categories:
- Ideological voters who are passionate about ideas. They don’t vote for money; they vote for ideas. That is, they base their votes on their sincerely held beliefs. These voters know what they want, and they vote for politicians who embody or represent their beliefs or ideals. They possess an integrated or semi-integrated philosophy or ideology.
- Emotional voters who tend to go with the flow. These are the types of voters who are influenced by surveys, other people’s opinions, etc. They don’t exactly know what they want. Unlike the ideological voters, emotional voters do not hold an integrated philosophy or system of thought. To them voting is a visceral activity.
- Nuisance voters who base their votes on anything or any circumstances. These voters are vulnerable to vote-buying. To these voters, voting is an automatic, periodic activity that happens every three years.
Yet we cannot discount the fact that there are also mixed-voters.
But how do ideological voters vote? An ideological voter who belongs to the subjective-collectivist school of thought tends to vote for leftist or socialist politicians who believe in central planning, redistribution of wealth, more regulations, and Big Government.
On the other hand, an ideological voter who belongs to the objective-classical liberal school of thought elects politicians who believe in limited government, economic freedom, non-intrusive political system, capitalism, and individual rights.
This country was destroyed by left-leaning ideological voters, including emotional voters who don’t exactly know what they want and nuisance voters. Look at the result of their political choice. We now have more protectionism, regulations, more government restrictions, government spending on steroids, and intrusive economic policies that pushed our bankrupt country toward a higher level of unemployment, external debt, budget deficit, and economic bankruptcy.
Ironically, the author’s group advocates socialism, which is the antithesis of freedom. What they want is a higher level of government intervention and intrusion. They want more redistribution of wealth. In fact since they are socialists, they seek to abolish property rights and makes the State the owner of all property, domains and industries. You cannot defend freedom and guarantee economic prosperity with that kind of evil political and economic system. But since there are certain types of socialism, perhaps they want a social-democratic society with the State owning industries and carrying out central planning without total state ownership of lands and modes of production.
However, the problem with Philippine politics is that all political parties are indistinguishable, as they advocate the same political programs and policies. Apart from this, they all lack principles and clear political agenda. This problem was aggravated by our party-list system that supports or encourages our populist, collectivist culture. In other words, the people have not yet been offered the proper, right choice. But still, I believe that humans have conscience, free will and choice to be rational. I disagree with the concept of social determinism, which theorizes that our mentality or consciousness is determined by certain social factors. Man has free will.
In summary, I object to the idea of an enlightened class, which is actually the logical result of all types of socialist system. Under socialism a few group of elite individuals are empowered to centrally plan an economy, redistribute wealth, and expand the powers of government. Again, we cannot defend rights and freedom with this kind of collectivist system.
But I must hasten to correct the long-sustained lie that we are a capitalist, free market society. The truth is, we are a Fascist society. Fascism is next in degree to socialism. If socialism demands absolute state control and ownership of all modes of production, Fascism is about State control or semi-control of industries, lands and natural resources.
Meanwhile, Capitalism or free market system demands economic freedom and limited government system, as the only proper role of government is to defend and protect rights and freedom.
We shape our society in our own image. Why are the people so shocked to see and experience the logical, direct outcome of their political choice? Deal with it, brothers! You got what you asked for.