While I was hoping that the readers of my last article would be able to recognize what I was talking about and speculate on their own, it seems that I need to be more specific on its points. Well, it seems that I am at fault here after all as I can’t expect everyone to be familiar with 40k lore which is fairly obscure in the Philippines and that the Philippines itself seems quite obscure on the global stage.
So please allow me to clarify further:
The Emperor (Again)
The Emperor and his aspirations, from my observations at least, bears a striking resemblance to the late Ferdinand Marcos. Let’s get things clear okay, I’m not really a big fan of FM either but what I will point out is that he at least got things done. He was not perfect but neither was the Emperor. They were both, essentially, jerks in their own right but they were jerks for good reason.
The Emperor, as already stated in my previous article, was quite the tyrant of his time. He would unceremoniously have millions of people killed if they disobeyed him and he sometimes resorted to destroying entire planets when he deemed its population “beyond saving”. He was also a poor father as he was often negligent of his sons and was the reason that some of them eventually went on to betray him and put the galaxy in its miserable state. However, the Great Crusade of the Emperor was not without its merits. There were many things that the Emperor put forth to ensure that the Imperium would flourish in the times ahead: He put forth the Imperial Truth which was a philosophy of scientific secularism and logic which freed people from the trappings of superstition and encouraged people to be more intellectual rather than following their emotions blindly. He also did research on the Eldar Webway technology so that humanity could travel between the stars at a more stable, safer and faster rate. Lastly, he provided humanity with the Astartes, better known as the Space Marines, a vast army of powerful super-soldiers that could defend mankind against various threats as they expanded across the galaxy.
Marcos too was not perfect. Yes, he was also somewhat corrupt and his greed often led him to do things that were at best questionable and at worst reprehensible. His willingness to seize assets beyond his grasp eventually led to people turning against him in large numbers. And of course there was that issue with what happened to street children after they were found outdoors after curfew hours. But like the Emperor, Marcos too did some good for the country: He raised the literacy rate, he put forth laws to bring crime at an all-time low and he made sure that the Philippines would make slow but steady progress into becoming a developed country with efficient citizens. Indeed, there are many who say that the Philippines should have developed into something like Singapore by now were he still around.
But alas, both these men and their dreams would die with them. After the Emperor’s death, the Imperium was carved up between the Administratum (government), the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Ecclesiarchy and many others. The Emperor’s precious research which could have done so much good was scrapped and mankind became stagnant and miserable. After Marcos fell, all the projects that he had started were simply cancelled and the discipline he tried to instill in his people was immediately forgotten. While he was a bit of a jerk, people immediately labeled him and his works as “evil” and promptly ditched everything he was working on because they associated his willingness to discipline people a violation of human rights.
In the end, both the Imperium and the Philippines lament about their more glorious days, a time of great potential when they could have made a mark on the galaxy or world, respectively. Unfortunately, that’s all they ever really do these days. The fact that they can still change their current state to something better never occurs to them. As far as they’re concerned they’re all screwed and there’s nothing they can do about it. Never mind the values that their leaders tried to teach them or their projects that could have improved their lives, they all seem to think that those were the golden years and that they will never see anything like them again.
The Ecclesiarchy, the Imperium and the Philippines
The Emperor, during his reign was an adamant secularist. His creed of Imperial Truth was one of atheism and scientific progress. While certainly powerful, he went on to deny his godhood to the point that he even humiliated one of his sons who viewed him as such.
Marcos didn’t exactly have an easy relationship with the Catholic Church. They called him out on his various activities and they were among those who united against him during the EDSA Revolution. However, being a “democratic” country, there should be a clear line between the Church and the State. I think Marcos believed that most of all and was why he never thought that the Church should have any real say in any of his decisions. But alas, he underestimated them and I think we all have a good idea of what happened next.
With the Emperor in his current comatose state, the Ecclesiarchy now proclaims him as a god to his people. The Imperium worships him as their savior and protector despite the fact that the Emperor tried to convince them before that they should learn how to protect themselves. The Emperor tried to teach his people how to be smart and self-efficient but is now something the Ecclesiarchy openly discourages and reviles to no end. They keep the people of the Imperium dumb because dumb is good. They demonize progress and individual thought as they see these traits as possible rivals in their authority. In the end, thanks to the Ecclesiarchy, the people of the Imperium are nothing more than a flock of ignorant sheep in a forest filled with monstrous, soul-devouring wolves.
The Catholic Church in the Philippines keeps the people, especially the masses, in a state utter stupidity. They clamor on and on about morality and that contraceptives are evil even though overpopulation remains to be one of the country’s biggest problems. They leave people naive, refusing to approve anything that teaches anything about sex ed as they think it is immoral even though I think it’s high time we taught the younger generations that every action has a consequence. I have also noticed some local priests who like to bash foreigners the same way that the Ecclesiarchy tends to bash aliens of 40k and demonize them in front of their congregations, stating that Filipinos are better Christians than they are. The Catholic Church, or at least some of its constituents in the Philippines and quite a few other fundamentalists around here, openly revile secular intellectualism and foreign influences, often implying that they are deviant even though they might actually yield some benefits in the long run.
Religion is good, I think, as a guide for people in improving themselves. However, using religion as a weapon (against people you don’t agree with) and keeping people in the dark defeats its purpose entirely. Religion is supposed to enlighten people, not imprison them in the darkness of ignorance after all.
Nurgle and the Masses
As stated before, Nurgle is the god of disease, decay, despair and love and happiness. While he and his followers are often rotten and disgusting, they are noted for being happy people who “love” one another.
The worshipers of Nurgle are almost always happy despite being afflicted with various disfiguring and utterly horrifying sicknesses because they see their various ills as “gifts” from their god. They dance around and smile a lot despite the fact that their limbs are already decaying and worms have begun to infest their flesh. They see their pain as Nurgle testing and tempering their love. They all believe that everything is okay as long as they all love one another because Papa Nurgle is going to make it all better for everyone. They continue to sing, dance and laugh even as their noses fall off or a Nurgling (a demonic parasite) bursts out of their bloated bellies.
We cannot deny the fact that many poor people (and even a few rich and middle-class people) in the Philippines see poverty as a good thing. No joke. They seem to think that being at the lowest rung of the social ladder can get you brownie points from the big guy upstairs even though they’re just leaving their children to suffer. They grin like idiots when in front of a camera, insisting that they are happy even in their miserable and despicable state because they think that God loves them anyway because they are all poor. Like the followers of Nurgle who spread vile diseases wherever they go, the impoverished masses of the Philippines continue to invade and squat on private and public property, pollute and destroy their surroundings, breed like rabbits and call out authorities trying to bring them to heel. In the end, they like to expound on the fact that being poor makes them special in the eyes of God and therefore free from blame even though Manila became the preposterous dung heap it is today because of all the squatters that breed in it like worms inside a corpse.
It’s okay to be humble and I have nothing against finding happiness in one’s life but there’s definitely a big difference between being content with life and letting yourself go. Both the Nurglites and poor of the Philippines seem to think that accepting their squalid fates is a blessing in and of itself even though they are clearly just ruining things for the next generation. I have always believed in the idea that “good is not good enough when better is expected” and being poor, dumb and riddled with diseases can’t even be called “not bad” in my book.
I hope this article has somehow made sense of what I was trying to convey in my last one. And yes, you guys are right, the Philippines isn’t really as terrible as the Imperium, but are we really going to do nothing and wait until it really gets that bad? Better start thinking things through people because there might just be a grim and dark future waiting for us if we don’t start taking our situation seriously…
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