CAPITALISM, DEMOCRACY, AND THE RISE OF TRUMP


Because neo-liberalism failed the people, because the promises of capitalism benefited only the likes of Donald Trump and made the poor even poorer...
The US presidential election was decided less by specific gender, ethnicity, race, and migration issues (or identity politics) than issues that matter to class. The rejection of Hillary Clinton (but not necessarily the victory of Trump) is a strong indictment of corporate capitalism personified by Wall Street. Wall Street is seen to be the Democrats' principal veering away from its historical role as the defender of the oppressed.
Similarly, in the Philippines...
We should be looking at the trigger of mass anger and address it instead of self-righteously shouting from lofty bourgeois windows about how we are now held hostage by the choices the idiots and uneducated made that now affect us. Education may come from books and universities but theirs came from experience. Electoral choices may be dictated by desire for comforts and privileges derived from a system that deprives the masses of the ability to survive decently. Theirs are dictated by the deprivation they suffer from a system that showers comfort on the few while sweeping them aside like dead leaves to the periphery.
(Un)fortunately, "We are the many; (you )are the few," goes a song inspired by the Occupy Movement.
If democracy is the rule of the majority, then we have to respect their choices. We keep saying that democracy is the best form of government. Well, in the US, democracy decided that Trump should be President. Those who insist that democracy is the only form of government acceptable in a civilized world must honor the choice of the majority.
But maybe, we need to give democracy a second look.
It seems when capitalism logically advances to its worst anti-poor shape, it negates democracy. Government ceases to be for the people, of the people, by the people. It is for the few, of the few, by the few. The masses can no longer exercise freedom of choice and do not enjoy freedom from want.
So, auspiciously, a dictator must rise to undo the imbalance but not in the fashion of Marcos who became a tyrant to enrich himself and his cronies. This dictator will reverse the wheel to the end that government must make the greater good for the greater number its goal.
Our own Jose Laurel said that the best form of government is an authoritarian regime with an angel on the throne. That angel is biased for the poor and the weak.
Now I am looking for that angel. S/he might be able to show to us that a dictatorship for the poor and marginalized is the true democracy. Why? Access to goods and services gets opened and sustained for the majority who make up the traditionally ignored or forgotten poor.

WHO MADE MARCOS A HERO?

Now, they blame the 16M who voted for Duterte. They say to us: Putang ina ninyo!
Who made Marcos a hero?
You did, by worshipping at the altar of his anti-poor, pro-oligarch economic policies perpetuated by Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Arroyo, and Noynoy Aquino. You did not protest when Ramos was privatizing public utilities even if you knew this would make life harsher for the poor. You did not protest when Congress authorized foreign plunder of our natural resources. You did not protest when Ramos allowed the oil industry to operate without a leash around its neck controlled by the State.

You did, by keeping quiet when the winter of human rights during Martial Law returned during Arroyo's Reign of Terror. You were apathetic to the thud of falling bodies of more than a thousand activists. You did not even say a word when lawyers and judges were getting killed. You did not say a whimper of protest when people were disappearing just for telling the truth.
You did, by keeping quiet about EJKs during Aquino's time. Indigenous leaders were being killed, disappeared, or tortured for defending their ancestral lands. Environmental defenders were suffering the same fate. Their domains were being militarized and they were being brutalized. You did not mind it when Arroyo and Aquino allowed mining corporations to use the government-paid military to become mining corporations' private security forces to harass indigenous communities. You would not even post a status on Facebook to express solidarity. You posted pictures of your food and travels. You could afford those. Some of you made money to help the corporations abuse indigenous communities and the environment some more. You made money to help companies abuse the rights of workers.
You did, by not speaking out against cronyism after Martial Law. You did not question Kamag-anak, Incorporated, and Kabaralin, Kaklase, at Kaibigan.
You did, by not speaking out against Palparan and his ilk. You did not speak out against the very conditions which made Martial Law a dark period when they resurfaced after the Marcos tyranny.
You did, by condemning the national democratic activists who would take to the streets on a regular basis to expose and reject what is Marcosian in society. You called them public nuisance. You called Renato Jr. Reyes a pest more than once.
You helped make Marcos a hero. Shame on you for doing a Pontius Pilate.
And yes, you made Duterte President. Your endorsement of Marcosian practices made Duterte stand out as the only hope for the poor.
Remove that mote in your eye before you remove the mote in other people's eyes.
This is the time to examine national conscience, not to wash the guilt off your hands.

QUIZ ON THE U.S. ELECTIONS

Image result for CLINTON AND TRUMP CARTOONS

This is a 'multiple choice' quiz.

1. In the near future, what brand of drones or bombs will be dropped by the US on some Third World Country? 

2. What brand of rubber-stamps will the military industrial complex be using in the White House to destroy world peace?

3. What breed of attack dogs will the US government unleash to try to silence the indigenous Americans from opposing corporate expansion on their sacred grounds?
For each question, there are only two very possible answers to choose from: a) Republican; and b) Democrat.

RED-TAGGING IS HATE SPEECH

The red-tagging of indigenous Lumad schools by the military has been going on for a time. The military has always alleged that these schools were established by the Communist Party of the Philippines. Teachers have been branded as members of the New People's Army (NPA). Families who send their children there have likewise been tagged as communists. As a result of the communist-baiting, these people have been harassed by the military and its paramilitary sidekicks. Under former Pres. Aquino's Oplan Bayanihan, some schools were shut down by the Department of Education upon inducement by the military. In other cases, soldiers took over the schools and assumed teaching. One school was burned. Another was fired at by the military. Some became military camps. Some Lumad became victims of extrajudicial killings (EJKs). 
The harassment as a consequence of the tagging was one of the reasons why Lumad evacuated to Davao City and other areas in previous years. This was truly sad because the Lumad are so attached to their ancestral domains. They returned home to rebuild their lives when Pres. Duterte assumed office. But the military seems to have a life of its own and regards the Lumad with eyes different from Duterte's. And this is happening in the midst of peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front. It appears that certain elements are sabotaging the peace talks.
One, the schools were established not by the CPP but by the communities with the assistance of NGOs. Two, the establishment of the schools was a response to the failure of government to make education accessible to the indigenous Lumad. Three, the schools were given permits by Department of Education. In short, the government must encourage and even support the schools.
While tagging remains unpunished, it will continue. If it continues, certain people's lives and liberties will remain at risk. Prof. Philip Alston, in his 2007-2008 report to the UN as special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, and arbitrary killings, stated that EJKs perpetrated against activists in the Philippines were preceded by red tagging. In one forum I attended in 2011, participants claimed that they were denied social services by the Department of Social Welfare and Development due to suspicions they were NPA members or sympathizers.
It has always been my view that red-tagging is not protected by freedom of expression. It is more than libel which destroys reputation. It is a form of hate speech. It subjects the target's life, security, and liberty to serious peril.
More than condemning it, Congress should pass a law criminalizing red-tagging.

IF THERE'S A WILL, THERE'S A WAY: DID PNOY AQUINO PLAN THE 10,000 BED CAPACITY DRUG REHAB CENTER IN NUEVA ECIJA?

In November 2016, which is less than a month away, the government's drug rehab center in Nueva Ecija which can accommodate 10,000 patients will be operational.
The Duterte administration is less than four (4) months old. So, some find it incredible that this project is its brainchild alone. Its paternity or maternity must be shared with another administration because the project--from planning to construction - could not be completed in less than four months. The obvious picture they want painted is that the project was planned by the previous administration and implemented by the fledgling Duterte dispensation. This was pointed out by one netizen who said he is very familiar with construction and who currently audits much bigger construction projects in another country.
If it is important to attribute credit, then we give it where it is due. And it belongs to the Duterte government. All along, while we were getting a regular dose of the President's verbal diarrhea against drugs, his government was quietly constructing the facility.
How did it happen in less than four months, the incredulous ask? It cannot be. The project must have been planned by the previous administration, they say.
I watched Duterte's interview with Al Jazeera where he said some things that made me squirm regarding the drug issue but also revealed how determined he is to create a generation of Filipinos unafflicted by drug addiction. In the same interview, he stressed that the 2016 budget prepared by the Aquino dispensation does not include funds for a drug rehabilitation facility. This is easy to explain. The Aquino government did not see a drug menace lurking in Philippine society. It knew that the country had, as of 2014, some 3M drug addicts as reported to it by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. But it did not consider the problem serious, otherwise why the apathy? In fact, more than apathy to the evils from the menace, it even created a favorable political climate to make the National Penitentiary the principal office of the drug trade in the country. This was through Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Aquino's alter ego, who gave hardened criminals privileges just so they could become big-time drug lords to raise money for her.
Without government money for a drug rehabilitation center, Pres. Duterte harnessed the generosity of one Chinese philanthropist who was very willing to provide the much-needed money: Huang Rulun. Mr Huang, before he made it big, did business in the Philippines and made some fortune here. He was just so happy for the opportunity to pay back. (And this got me thinking: Why can't the likes of Henry Sy do something as altruistic as this? Or are they more interested in putting mom-and-pop entrepreneurs out of business?)
So things are clear: The Duterte government made that facility happen.
How? I do not know. I only realize now more than ever that political will is the mother of inguenity. Things can happen and happen fast, if the will is there. It is a cause for celebration, not questions. Addicts should be rehabilitated, not killed for no reason other than they are addicts. Now, we know the government has a solution to the drug menace other than the crackdown on pushers claiming innocent lives as vigilantes take advantage of it. Although not often reported, Duterte called on his Cabinet to come up with a plan to help "drug users and pushers who have surrendered to rehabilitate themselves and return to the fold of society as productive members.” As announced by Sec. Judy Taguiwalo, head of DSWD which is one of the lead agencies in the rehabilitation, transformation, and reintegration into society of drug addicts, such plan was already crafted in the form of the National Drug Rehabilitation Program (NDRP).
But maybe, indeed, the completion of the drug rehab center should invite question: How was it done that quickly? I want to know because it can give us lessons on responsive government. We have been so used to a slow or apathetic bureaucracy that a speedy action from it renders us skeptical.