Friday, February 24, 2006

Mirror, Mirror

It has been 20 years since the "People Power" movement in the Philippines ousted their corrupt President Ferdinand Marcos and things don't seem to have gotten any better for the people of that country. Indeed, the case could be made that things have become much worse since "government reforms" have been implemented. The "People Power" movement made a serious mistake when they ousted Marcos all those years ago. They allowed the government to remain in place as it had been since the US imposed it on them way back in 1898, after we "liberated" the Philippines from Spain. Now we can see the results of that mistake.

Their current great leader, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is on the brink of declaring martial law in the country because she thinks someone is plotting against her. She's probably correct given that the "representative" form of government in the Philippines is nothing less than a "representative plutocracy" run by hereditary rulers from a handful of families, (Arroyo being a member of one of them). Her cousins are likely planning on retiring her and giving someone else a turn at running things on the playground. And things will become worse for the people on the street.

The Philippines is a picture perfect example of why the US should not become involved in Empire Building or spreading "democracy", (hint to the president: we've never spread "liberty". That would be a novel concept). No matter what you do you all too often have to deal with the law of unintended consequences, as in the Philippines. Since the ouster of Marcos, a world class plutocrat and political pilferer, the people of the Philipines have been saddled with incompetent rulers who have been nothing more than cultish figureheads for their political families. Imagine a country where all the major politicians were John Edwards, yeah, they look nice, but that's all they have going for them. That's the Philippines body politick and it is too similar to what we currently have in our country.

While the Philippines have a handful of ruling familes we have two. Ours are named Republicans and Democrats and they are, like their Philippines counterparts, plutocrats. They were elected by advertising and spending obscene amounts of money so they could gain a powerful office and make even more money while grasping power from "the people" for themselves and their "family". All the while making it virtually impossible for people outside the family to join in the game and try to straighten out the mess.

The people of the Philippines are taking a decision that must truly be hard for them. They, like Americans are unable to effect any substantive change in the way their government functions and so they are choosing to vote with their feet. They are abandoning their country in droves to go abroad to work and live. This isn't new, either. It's been going on for over 20 years and has accelerated as things deteriorate in their country. The government in the Philippines estimates that 2500 Filipinos
leave their homeland every day to go abroad and escape things in their country.

Will we be seeing the same thing happening in Iraq in 20 years? Afghanistan? Are we setting the stage for a Middle Eastern diaspora as we have in the Philippines? Instead of the US spreading "democracy" it is painfully obvious from past failures that we should be spreading the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, individual sovereignty and natural rights. Almost anything but "democracy" is what we should be spreading. History is a good teacher for those who bother to pay attention in class.


Anonymous said...

Give me a break about John Edwards. Yes, the guy's good looking... but he's sharper than most politicians times 10.

It is sad that despite having informed opinions, you have to resort to such stereotypical definitions of people. Edwards has more talent than most politicians in Washington. Not everyone needs two decades in Washington, to be "qualified" to be a capable leader.

Michael said...

Wow...out of the entire piece you get John Edwards. Amazing. You need to face it, the man has nothing going for him other than his Breck Girl looks. Prior to his "service" in DC he was little more than an ambulance chaser who managed to do nothing else but raise the cost of medical treatment and malpractice insurance in his home state, by using junk science and emotion. If that's "sharp", then the Democrats are indeed doomed.

GadFlier said...

You are spot-on-the-money in your analysis of Filipino politics. The same families who ran things under Marcos still run things.

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