Monday, May 22, 2017

Duterte the Race Realist

In a recent speech Duterte inadvertently outlined the reasons the Philippines is a failed nation.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said the United States would collapse one day because of conflicting values and agenda resulting from its "multi-racial" character.  
In a speech in Davao City, Duterte again lambasted the US State Department for criticizing him and his controversial war on drugs. 
“Ang problema sa Amerika minsan hindi ang President, it’s the State Department, which is really multi-colored. Saksakan sila dyan. That’s why America will really collapse one of these days, maybe in 50 to 100 years, because of its multi-racial thing. Kanya-kanyang insert ng values eh,” Duterte said.
The Philippines is a nation of 7000 islands, 120 to 175 languages and dialects, 175 ethnic groups, and each one of those groups is concerned with it's own problems. How can the Philippines expect to be unified when everyone is speaking their own language?  

There are millions of people in the Philippines who trace their lineage to China, Malaysia, or are half-breeds of native Filipinos and Europeans or other ethnicities. The Chinese-Filipinos have their own distinct culture within the Philippines and have had a long history of interaction with the Philippines with full assimilation only happening in recent years.

Angeles city is populated with half-breed children which are a result of the sex tourism industry.
Who knows how many other cites are filled with half-breed children sex tourists leave behind? How can the Philippines hope to be united when it is so ethnically diverse and each ethnicity is concerned with it's own problems and fosters it's own culture?

The Philippines is also deeply divided in other ways. Politically with the Yellows vs the PDP-Laban, economically with the huge and ever-widening gap between rich and poor, and religiously with most Filipinos being at least nominal Roman Catholics but millions more being Protestants or involved in the Iglesia ni Cristo cult which seeks to impose it's political will on the nation through influencing elections by telling their members for whom to vote.

There is no unity within the Philippine society.  Everyone is looking out for themselves and/or their tribe.  That is why corruption is endemic at every level from the Barangay to Malacañang Palace. From the lowly official to the President himself.

Even though we hear much about Pinoy Pride and Philippines nationalism it is a failure of nationalism that has rent this country apart and kept it divided.
If the problem in the Philippines does not lie in the people themselves or, it would seem, in their choice between capitalism and socialism, what is the problem? I think it is cultural, and that it should be thought of as a failure of nationalism. 
It may seem perverse to wish for more nationalism in any part of the Third World. Americans have come to identify the term with the tiny-country excesses of the United Nations. Nationalism can of course be divisive, when it sets people of one country against another. But its absence can be even worse, if that leaves people in the grip of loyalties that are even narrower and more fragmented. When a country with extreme geographic, tribal, and social-class differences, like the Philippines, has only a weak offsetting sense of national unity, its public life does become the war of every man against every man.
There is no unified Filipino people or culture but rather a forced conglomeration of peoples and cultures into an artificial unity. This is the exact reason Duterte gave when he said the USA would collapse: multiracialism and multiculturalism. Why would the USA collapse but the Philippines be immune from collapse when they both have the same symptoms?

This multiracial make-up is one reason, I think, that there is a push for federalism.  This country is  politically unified into one but there are some who want to break it down into regions that reflect the reality of the diversity that is the Philippines. But this breaking down of the Philippines into smaller federal territories would be disastrous. Federalism would create a patchwork of ethnocentric districts seeking their own interests in even more forceful and insidious ways. Corruption would increase a hundredfold. You cannot strengthen a nation by ripping it apart.
Divided We Fall

Duterte and others may think his speech is shocking or racist or outlandish but it's not.  It is simply a statement of fact that modern society has forgot: unity is stronger then diversity. 

The founders of the USA recognised and praised the nation's homogeneity in both ethnic and territorial make-up as being the cause of its success and warned against diversity as being its downfall.
It has often given me pleasure to observe, that independent America was not composed of detached and distant territories, but that one connected, fertile, wide spreading country, was the portion of our western sons of liberty. Providence has in a particular manner blessed it with a variety of soils and productions, and watered it with innumerable streams, for the delight and accommodation of its inhabitants. A succession of navigable waters forms a kind of chain round its borders, as if to bind it together; while the most noble rivers in the world, running at convenient distances, present them with highways for the easy communication of friendly aids, and the mutual transportation and exchange of their various commodities. 
With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice, that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country, to one united people; a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established their general liberty and independence. 

This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence, that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest ties, should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous and alien sovereignties. 
Federalist Papers No.2 

Every nation would do good to take heed to those sound words of wisdom.

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