To be fair to this sad group of volcanic islands collectively known as the “Philippines”, even the mightiest nations on the planet kiss Chinese arse. I’m, of course referring to this whole “debate” around whether or not we should be attending what’s-his-name’s Nobel “Peace” Prize awarding ceremony in Oslo, Norway. There’s talk about this decision being driven by the superficial nature of the “relationship” that Manila has “maintained” with Beijing over the last five or so months since President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III became, well, “President”. I qualify this aspect of the nature of said relationship around which these “debates” rage as “superficial” because it is one defined primarily around events — the tragic hostage drama of Augsust 23 that claimed the lives of eight Hong Kong tourists in Manila and the plight of five Filipinos accused of smuggling illegal drugs through a Chinese port of entry.
Small minds talk about people, mediocre minds talk about events, brilliant minds talk about ideas.
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The trouble with events as philosophical pillars of one’s actions is that it ranks the calibre of one’s thinking far below brilliant and just a notch above small. The reality of Noynoy’s entitlement to lead our sad lot rests upon a popularity built upon three events — (1) the martyrdom of his Daddy in 1983, (2) the “revolution” led by his Mommy in 1986, and (3) her ultimate death in the months leading to the campaign for the 2010 presidential election. Three events are the undisputed pillars of the Yellow Empire of 2010-2016. But ask what ideas prop up this “mandate” to rule and the popularity that defines it, and we get no more than a lot of head-scratching.
What ideas underpin the question of whether to go to Oslo or not?
Scratch scratch scratch…
It’s best I step in and add a bit of brilliance to this “debate” and point out how simple all this really is.
China derives its power over sad nations such as ours from three key capabilities:
(1) The capability to manufacture what we want on the cheap.
(2) The capability to kick our asses if we do not do what they want us to do.
(3) The capability to buy our exports.
We therefore need to regard capability in terms of the fundamental origins of its value.
Consider Justin Bieber. Justin Bieber holds the capability to make millions of teenage girls happily hand over their money to him. As such, Justin Bieber enjoys power over his fans’ wallets. Where does this power come from? Simple. It comes from teenage girls’ brains being hard-wired to induce powerful biological responses to Justin Bieber’s capabilities.
But guess what: most people who are not teenage girls fall outside the sphere of Justin Bieber’s power. Indeed, the average thirty-year-old adult will find the idea of of shelling out $29.99 to buy a Bieber CD as ridiculous as the idea of an Eskimo lady buying a bikini.
From the brilliant perspective provided by that quaint example, let us now ask ourselves:
Why does the Philippines kiss Chinese ass?
It is because (a) we are addicted to buying cheap Chinese products, (b) we put our asses within the trajectory of a swinging Chinese boot, and (c) we produce products that are a tough sell.
These are key afflictions of the Philippine economy that place us squarely within the sphere of Chinese military-industrial power.
The solution is therefore obvious. We need to step out of that sphere and render those three Chinese “capabilities” of little value to us.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.