Is the solution to a socio-cultural problem a political one?


The socio-cultural problem, Filipinos need to be reminded, is comprised of the dysfunctions in Filipino culture that have kept them chained to a perpetual state of impoverishment. The political solution, Filipinos would like to think, is to merely focus on changing our leaders into those “different” from the corrupt bunch that currently infest government.

Is there really a solid deterministic link between quality of leaders and prosperity?

Filipinos seem to think so. There is no shortage of Filipinos who seem to believe that running for government office is the best, or even single valid way to effect change in the country. They can range from those who spout the overly defensive statement “Ang galing niyo! Kayo na lang kaya maging presidente!” (Why don’t you guys run for president if you’re so smart?!), to those who are just plain curious: “Who are the candidates that GetRealPhilippines (GRP) thinks embodies its ideals?”lying-politician

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But is running for office really the best, or even single valid way, to effect change in society?

If that were true, then despite the few bouts of good leadership that the Philippines has had, how come the Philippines essentially remains the same wretched, impoverished, dysfunctional society that it has been since the 1900’s?

Filipinos removed a person they perceived as a dictator under the assumption that being free would lead to the improvement of their plight in life. If we look 27 years after, it doesn’t seem that anything much has changed.

Roughly, the trend of quality of leadership that the Philippines has had resembles a wave with its crests and troughs – Marcos, Aquino the Mother, Ramos, Erap, Gloria, and now Aquino the Son. And now Filipinos look towards the next one. That’s saying it nicely: simply put, the quality of leaders has been inconsistent, and yet the national plight has all but remained the same.

The assumption that one needs to run for office to effect change is a flawed one.

If one is under the impression that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become a government official in the Philippines, think again. One just needs a lot of money and connections, and one just needs to be popular among the easily starstruck Filipinos. The ultimate example that backs this claim up is the fact that Filipinos chose Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III, arguably the most inexperienced, most unqualified, and least deserving of the lot. As it turns out, many Filipinos didn’t choose according to a stringent list of requirements that they would like fulfilled; many of them instead voted on the bases of popularity (helped in no small measure by the ubiquitous media machinery that backed him up) and the lesser evil that BS Aquino projected himself to be. The least corrupt? Please.

As I’ve said in one of my earlier articles:

”When the President is selective of whom he considers corrupt, and when he either does nothing about corruption or is powerless to stop it, the significance of his own personal incorruptibility shrinks, if not goes out the window entirely”; and “Incompetence overshadows incorruptibility any day of the week.

But I digress…

Let’s go back to the unanswered question: “Who are the candidates that GRP thinks embodies its ideals?”

Well, we don’t endorse any candidates.

As disappointing an answer as it may seem to many of you, think about this: if we were to endorse names, what would make us different from any “pundit” who presumes to know what is best for the country?

GRP is not a political entity; this is a misconception of us that has cropped up more often than it needs to. What binds the members of this community – owners, contributors, readers, and commentators – is the shared approach to evaluating issues found in Philippine society. That approach is called critical thinking. Since GRP is not a political entity, there is no GetRealPhilippines platform, and there will never be. GRP does not attach itself to any dogmatic principles. Our work is not intended to be an instrument for policy, but it is an alternative – a counter-balance if one must say – to the heavily co-opted media that is the main information source in this country.

As such, it is this critical thinking approach that more Filipinos need to imbibed with.

Is it clearer now why GRP does not endorse candidates? Why it doesn’t name names?

Naming names is an example of a top-down process of reforms – spoonfeeding. It would simply continue the persisting process of feeding fish to the Filipino electorate.

Change must come from the bottom-up. Filipinos must take it upon themselves – not a bunch of heroes, not a bunch of messianic complexes, and definitely not a bunch of politicians in robes or barongs – to think about how to improve their lot.

That is ultimately what sites like GRP are for – to teach the Filipinos to fish so that they can feed themselves. We are here mainly to show the door; it is ultimately up to the Filipinos to walk in by themselves.

As has been said in this site before, people looking for more are free to organize something and to apply the ideas here in GRP and other sites to their actions.

So why don’t Filipinos change the process, and consequently, the requirements, by which they measure the potential leaders they will vote in? Why don’t they take that critical approach to evaluating what potential candidates have to offer?

Because it’s much, much easier to not think, and be spoonfed.

Given this, do we expect Filipino society to change any time soon?

Can problems be solved using the same thinking that created them?

Obviously, Filipinos think so. This is why it is no surprise that they are mistaken for an insane people. The results have been speaking for themselves ever since.

[Photo courtesy: bellscorners]

51 Replies to “Is the solution to a socio-cultural problem a political one?”

  1. Good answer to “why don’t you just run for office,” and “who is your candidate?” And who is the right person to vote for… eh di, mag-isip ka!

  2. You go to a Jollibee in Laguna, Dumaguete or Basilan and you can get a Champ Burger or Chicken Joy or Spaghetti or all three. GRP does not work like that. Like I say in my own posts, I may not give you absolute answers but if I can make you think of more questions then I am making you think. Thinking is something this government seems to abhor since they seem quite incapable themselves of it.

  3. When Australia and the United Kingdom granted independence to Melanesia (Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, etc.) in the 1970s, they established parliamentary style democracies there. According to our local “CORRECT” Movement, this should have set them on the path to socioeconomic development. It should have made Melanesia one of the most progressive regions in this part of the world.

    In fact, the exact opposite happened. When this political system was transplanted to Melanesia, their societies became more chaotic. The reason? Most Melanesian voters do not vote for political programs or ideologies. They vote for political PERSONALITIES. Usually this was the “Big Man” of the local “wantok” (tribe). If the Big Man (or occasionally “Big Woman”) is elected to parliament, it is the understanding that the new MP will use his or her influence to direct government resources back to the wantok, to help supporters with “projects” like constructing school buildings and educational programs, public works and utilities, and even funeral expenses. Sound familiar?

    From our point of view, this is political corruption pure and simple. But from the standpoint of the islands’ traditional culture, the Big Men are only doing what Big Men have always done. They assume responsibility for redistributing resources to their tribe/kinsmen — the main function of their traditional office and the foundation of the community’s trust in them. Only now, in the position as Member of Parliament, they have access to taxes collected from the citizenry and revenues from mineral rights and other income from economic activity the national government has a part in.

    In spite of the existence of all the institutions of a sovereign parliamentary democracy, neither Papua New Guinea nor the Solomon Islands have any coherent political parties. What they have are a multitude of individual “leaders,” each working to bring back as much pork as possible to their supporters.

    1. I’ve always thought tribal factionism is one thing that keeps a country from moving forward. But of course, it’s that basic; if they care for only their factions, they don’t care about country and the rest of the people, the greater good, to put it another way.

      1. Chino,

        That having factions will polarise society over certain issues is an experience we are already familiar with, both in the Philippines and even in more (supposedly) advanced nations. But the roots of this are deeper than tribal factions. More than a failure to consider “the greater good.”

        In an earlier exchange (with Chrissie) this was the conclusion that was drawn: Filipinos have not developed an identity or “sense” of nation beyond the borders of their immediate community of kinship relations and friends and supporters. Because of this, we cannot expect them to appreciate the idea of OTHER communities or ethnicities being part of a greater whole known collectively as “Filipino” much less express admiration for our way of life. There would be no sense of responsibility or loyalty. In the same way, Melanesians have no sense of belonging to a larger nation, or being part of a society beyond their wantok.

        We can legislate to adopt whatever political system we want. We can mobilise any number of protests we want; even hold another “fiesta” on EDSA. It won’t make a difference. As long as we fail to develop an identity and ideology that we all accept goes beyond our localised concerns, we will continue to fall back into the same patterns of behaviour that are destroying our society.

        1. Unfortunately, our sense of identity as a people doesn’t go deeper than believing that we’re a great people because we can win in international competitions (boxing matches, beauty contests, singing contests, etc.). That’s really a very complex problem –the need to define our identity as a people and to form an ideology that we can all embrace — because we’re a people who are not very fond of thinking deeply or reflecting.

  4. Filipinos are used to being deceived and deluded by political propagandas;PR lies of politicians, and False survey firms.
    Being President of this hopeless Republic, takes a lot of patience and brains. We have a Culture of Corruption. We have a Culture of Political Patronage. We have political Warlords in the Provinces. Our economy is a “Bubble Economy” , floated by OFW earnings. Then we elected actors, actresses, comedians, show biz personalities, etc…to be our leaders. Who are barely literate.
    Change comes from all of us. It is my duty to inform my countrymen, as a GRP Blogger. To tell the truth of their situations. From there, they can wake up, and take matters to better themselves, and the country , as a whole.
    However, first, we must elect good leaders, who can really lead. Many of them are there. They are overshadowed by members of the political family dynasties. It is like finding a needle in a haystack. It seems impossible, but , it can be done…

    1. I know this comment that I’m about to make will elicit violent reactions from many, but I must say that my previous prejudice against movie stars running for elective positions in the country was wiped out when I watched Batangas governor Vilma Santos-Recto being interviewed on TV. She’s about the only politician I’ve ever heard speaking who didn’t sound like a politician at all. She sounded very sincere and matter-of-fact, and certainly not politically correct, even saying that the people would have to do something about their attitudes, and even castigating a town mayor in Batangas for not considering the traffic situation in the area where a public market was to be erected before constructing it, saying that before constructing any building, a thorough study including even the traffic that will emanate from it has to be conducted. She even said that she thinks that the country’s political parties, including her own, should not be highly exclusive and should recruit and develop even new, unpopular personalities who have good leadership potential. When asked if she has plans of running for a national position as she’s already a third termer as Batangas governor and can no longer run for another term, she said that she really isn’t thinking about it yet because she wants to do even better service to the people of Batangas on this her last term, to “leave the post with honor.” I was thinking, maybe the leader we really need is someone like Gov. Vi who sincerely cares about the people and though isn’t as highly educated as other politicians shows signs of being very intelligent and takes her role seriously by studying it thoroughly before assuming the post (Gov. Vi took a crash course on local governance from UP that zeroed in on Batangas). It’s too early for me to make up my mind on whom to support for president in 2016 (I initially wanted Gibo, but I’m not even sure he’s running again or will win), but it just crossed my mind that maybe I can consider Gov. Vi. Comments are welcome so I can weigh the pros and cons of the matter, but please, let’s be civil about our comments. I’m sick and tired of offensive comments from people like Gerry.

      1. Chrissie,

        I think you’ve already put your finger on one of the bigger problems with candidates like Vilma Santos. Her preparation for the job consists of a crash course in public administration. Akin to Manny Pacquiao’s approach. We should be able to do better than “short cuts” and good intentions. Ultimately it is her popularity that allows her to assume public office. Not competence. You have to wonder: Are those her policies? Her ideas? Or the party’s? Or were they dreamed up by her handlers and consultants — people who are unelected and unaccountable to the electorate.

        1. Yes, I guess Vilma Santos’s bigger problem is her lack of adequate preparation for the job of president, which is a lot more complex than that of a provincial governor as it already involves national issues like national defense, foreign relations, etc. I was just thinking that many (if not most) of the past U.S. presidents were governors of states, which they say is a better preparation to be U.S. president than being a legislator as it’s also an executive position and entails much the same tasks, except that the tasks are magnified when you’re president. But I guess the difference is the U.S. has a federal system of government, with the states having greater autonomy than the provinces in our form of government, and therefore being governor of a state in the U.S. is a better preparation to be president than being the governor of a province in the Philippines. But I guess if Gov. Vi studies further and gains more experience in the field, she may make a good president one day, if she’s not yet too old by then. Who knows? Maybe the best president of this country will be the one who’s most unlikely to be so (after all, everyone else seems to have failed). Besides, I don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve heard much about how well she’s doing as Batangas governor.

        2. Chrissie,

          Serving as the chief executive of a local polity is usually the path to a national office. But, historically, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is always the best choice. John F. Kennedy served both in the US House of Representatives and the US Senate before being elected President. By all accounts, Americans agree he was a great leader. Jimmy Carter was governor of the US State of Georgia. History tells us he was a weak and indecisive president.

          Closer to home, Erap Estrada was Mayor of San Juan (City) for seventeen years (1969-1986). His administration was marked by unequaled accomplishments in infrastructure development. These included the establishment of the first Municipal High School, the Agora market complex, a modern slaughterhouse, a sprawling government center with a post office, a mini-park and the concreting of 98 percent of the town’s roads and alleys. he paid particular attention to the elementary education of children by improving and renovating school buildings and constructing additional school structures, health centers, barangay halls and playgrounds in all the barangays and providing artesian wells to areas with low water supply. He relocated some 1,800 squatter families out of San Juan to Taytay, Rizal, at no cost. He was also the first mayor to computerize assessment of the Real Estate Tax in the Municipal Assessor’s Office.

          As President of the Republic, Erap’s preoccupation was gambling, drinking and the collection of a major portion of the country’s illegal gambling revenues for his own personal enrichment. (Which, he self-righteously defends as being “okay” since the money came from crooks anyway.)

          Erap’s administration was severely criticized for cronyism, incompetence, and corruption, causing it to lose the confidence of foreign investors. Foreign investors’ confidence was further damaged when, in his second year, Estrada was accused of exerting influence in an investigation of a friend’s involvement in stock market manipulation. Instead of capitalising on the GDP growth of the Ramos years, his time in office reversed the trend.

        3. Johnny Saint: While I don’t reject any of the facts you stated here, I don’t suppose that they constitute a proof that there can be no provincial governor in the Philippines who could also become a good president in the future? Rest assured that I haven’t decided to endorse Gov. Vi for president in 2016, but the thought just crossed my mind. I’ll certainly weigh all the pros and cons before I make any decision. Thanks so much for your insights. They’re definitely very helpful.

  5. Just a friendly warning to the trolls/butthurt individuals who would use spiels like “Pa-Ingles pa kayo dyan e mga Pinoy kayo!/Sige, kayo na ang magaling, kayo na ang maging presidente!/Puro kayo salita wala naman kayong ginagawa!”…

    I think GRP has already provided with many articles to detail on what is wrong with this country. Understand the message then applying the knowledge remains on the individual itself.

    Problem is there are still people who are dreaming that everything’s better because all are provided by their benevolent ruler. Hey, if they enjoy getting butthurt here, it’s not my problem anymore.

    1. @Ian

      Your innuendo is not friendly, you idiot YellowTard. Why did your YellowTard President ran for office; if he cannot handle the job? I speak English; and there is nothing wrong with it. If my communication with my countrymen is effective in English. So be it. There are many more wrongs in our country. Your narrow and constricted YellowTard Vision is like that: because you refuse to see, other wrongs; even if you have eyes. It may be because of your political patronage to the Aquinos, and other politicians. Why do you try to prevent people from speaking up, in the first place?
      I want the best of leadership for my country; and the best for my countrymen…if this will work to wake them up…so be it!!!

      1. @Hyden Toro

        Uhm, I’m not a Yellowtard – have you read some of my posts? I’m also attacking those retards and people who are obviously being ignorant about the situation in this country.

        Maybe you accused me of being retard is this: “Problem is there are still people who are dreaming that everything’s better because all are provided by their benevolent ruler. Hey, if they enjoy getting butthurt here, it’s not my problem anymore.” – The “they” I’ve mentioned are the Yellowtards and Filipinos turning a blind eye on the current situation of this country.

        I’m puzzled as to why you accuse me of being a Yellowtard when I’ve promoted GRP as a site where one can understand our country’s problems.

        1. @Ian I remember going to the Philippines one time. I was on board Philippine Airlines. This one guy a carrying her baby next to the restroom even though the airplane was going through turbulent air and the captain had the keep seats fastened. This pretty is an example of the article. He’ll probably blame the airlines if anything happened to him or his baby. I don’t know if people will read this site. You can lead the horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink.

        2. @Critical Thinker, I get your point especially your last sentence. We can’t force feed individuals if they are not willing to understand the true message of articles such as these.

          To paraphrase my previous statement: GRP has written many articles that it is up to the INDIVIDUAL to understand its meaning and to implement on what he/she has learned in the process.

          I’m hoping that the messages here would make the average Filipino snap out of his/her delusions and face the reality that our country is slowly dying.

          Maybe it would be better if we had a local version of GRP – the Tagalog versions of these articles. It’s a shame only the well-educated can understand these.

        3. I beg to disagree. I don’t think it’s a matter of education; it’s more of a character trait. Education is merely a sign of that trait, which is the willingness to listen and to improve. Tagalog or English, if the person is not willing to improve, they won’t learn. As this site said, it’s the culture; for the individual, it’s about character.

        4. Critical Thinker: While I agree that it’s a matter of character, I don’t agree that it’s not a matter of education. I could be wrong, but I’ve always thought that one big problem of the Filipinos is that so many of us are uneducated, undereducated, or miseducated. Pardon me for saying this as I myself am an educator, but I think the best minds in the Philippines can’t be found in the field of education as it doesn’t pay well (the only intelligent people it attracts, therefore, are those who really want to help better their country through education or who love to teach, never mind the low salary). An intelligent and enlightened teacher can open the eyes of his/her students to so many important truths, and can help them develop a critical mind that will enable them to realize what they need to change in themselves and what changes the country needs. Unfortunately, in Philippine education, generally (with exceptions, of course, so if you think you’re one of the exceptions, please don’t get mad at me), the blind are leading the blind.

        5. The reason I said that, Critical Thinker, is that everywhere I go in the country, I do people-watching, and it seems to me that many Filipinos really mean well but are just not enlightened and act without reflection. For instance, they throw their trash just anywhere not because they’re bad people but because they don’t think about the consequences of their acts. If you even just hint to them about throwing their trash in a trash bin, they’ll think you’re weird.

      2. Hyden Toro: Ian’s right. You’re mistaken. He’s certainly not a Yellowtard, and he’s one of the GRP readers who’ve given very sound and civil comments here. I’ve had exchanges with him here, and I particularly like his ideas.

  6. it makes me sad and at times frustrated that many of us like to be screwed by a lot of our politicians as evidenced by the kind of people we choose as our leaders. this article exactly echoes my own sentiments, thank you very much. keep on punching……

  7. TL:DR GRP ranting about how even though they are all talk no action they are still noble and relevant. The same dozen posters commenting on their own articles to pad the otherwise empty comment section.

    Another day, another sweet peso laughing at you wannabe-but-toogutless2b traitors, muahaha

    1. Of course you won’t read the article, it doesn’t matter if its too long. You wouldn’t get it anyway. You are either too dumb for it or just too busy sucking Noy’s small cock.

    2. Yes, and being non-traitors means worshiping the Aquino family like demi-gods like you do and the rest of their cronies too. We’ve put out more facts in our arguments against yours which are ridden with nothing more than Yellow Propaganda. Honestly, come at us with facts that actually support your argument for once, instead of derailing or mouthing off about conspiracy theories and crap.

      My advice, hypocrite: Just don’t bite your tongue when you try to laugh and choke back those tears.

    3. Oh look, the troll thinks he’s winning again but in reality, he’s getting his ass handed to him.
      Don’t even think about making another account to agree with your post since you have already been outed as a bonafide fraud.
      You think supporting this regime is patriotic? You really have no clue of the true nature of aquino clan.

      Don’t show your face here unless you can disprove our points.

    4. @ jhay lapinid

      Get a real job, like everybody else, and do not waste our tax money. Pati ba naman sabado OT ka pa, maka troll ka lang dito.

      You are worse than the lowest scums of society, trying to earn a living by destroying what is left of this country. You are worthless!

      1. 16 comments so far… And apart from me no normal commenters, just the posters. No wonder you guys are lining up to attack!

        Doesn’t look like I’m on the losing side, no matter what happens the legacy has already been set for the true and faithful.

        Deep down inside your bitter hollow souls you know the authority has won every cycle, because they are chosen by your kababayans.

        There are always people that want to swim against the tide in every country, enjoy another decade in your fruitless rants conyos!

        I have to thank you also, please carry on frothing at the mouth attacking and ranting 😀

        1. “Doesn’t look like I’m on the losing side, no matter what happens the legacy has already been set for the true and faithful.” – What legacy are you talking about?

          “Deep down inside your bitter hollow souls you know the authority has won every cycle, because they are chosen by your kababayans.” – My guess is that you would rather be contented with what is going on in this country? I thought you love the Philippines? Guess not.

        2. You’re not making sense either. And stop lying, you’re not a ‘normal commenter’. In fact, you’re just like any ignorant Pinoy pleb who loves to comment nonsense.

          I have to thank you, please carry on TROLLING since you just want to have fun instead. Am I right, real-life fraud?

        3. Poor delusional idiot, still thinking that his retard of a president is still enjoying the majority of the country’s approval.

          Lucky for you you don’t need sex anymore, because you get effed from behind every minute of the day by the BS, haha!

        4. Fruitless rants?
          Your attacks are the one that’s fruitless.
          You already claimed that this site wasn’t a threat yet here you are, what does that make you then?
          If this site wasn’t a problem for your president, he wouldn’t need you gullible fools to spread his flawed propaganda.

          Enjoy your blunder, Mr. Multiple account idiot.

        5. I thought a normal commenter is one with no monetary bias or monetary agenda. Just a curiosity with the issue. But you parrot Lacierda type dogma. Well since you are on the payroll to Noynioy for that and other services rendered we can’t mention on a family site.

        6. Your point is a Red Herring. It will not fool us because we have education.

          Troll harder.

    5. You’re looking for a ‘normal commenter’ — I wonder if you were looking for me?

      I mean, it isn’t as if you don’t have a point, even as you put it so jerkily — we can’t just sit on our asses yapping — but then, this is the prescription of the founders of this site. ‘The masses are idiots! Talk over them and to the elites! See if they move!’

  8. After living with the dysfunctional behavior of politicians for so many years, people regrettably can become invested in defending their dysfunctions rather than actually changing them.

    this applies particularly in societies where levels of education are low, and cult followings are high.

  9. Jhay Lapinid wrote:

    “TL:DR GRP ranting about how even though they are all talk no action they are still noble and relevant. The same dozen posters commenting on their own articles to pad the otherwise empty comment section.

    Another day, another sweet peso laughing at you wannabe-but-toogutless2b traitors, muahaha”

    It’s really kind of pathetic to see trolls derive satisfaction from being a troll and beat the bushes just out of spite every now and then.

    And they always exhibit passive-aggressiveness in the form of fake laughter (ie., “muahaha” or “lol”) in a poor attempt to deflect criticisms and avoid having to think critically about the actual issues being discussed in this site. Yeah, they always do show the same pattern of ending their comments with fake laughter.

    Come to think of it, these trolls always exhibit passive-aggressive tendencies and cognitive dissonance in their comments. By trolling, they know they’re going to get unpleasant reactions yet they’re still trolling simply because they’re deriving satisfaction from spiting others for whom they have contempt.

    To put it in simple and ever so obvious terms, all the negative attention sustains them.

  10. @ FallenAngel

    Political decisions and solutions have dominated and changed human history from the ancient Sumerian civilization, to the Roman Empire, to Hitler’s Germany to the present time. All the wars in recorded history were political. Space exploration was political. Assassinations are political. The recent events that shook the financial houses and nations economies was political.

    Although poverty, overpopulation, lack of education, unemployment, inequality, corruption, low salary and high prices remains to be the core issues the country faces today, other challenges like religious issues, drugs, health care, abortion and same sex relationships and marriage have further complicated the country’s sociocultural problems.

    Are the answers to these problem’s a political one? No doubt. But does your boy in Malacanang have the answer?

  11. A good point, BUT since the gov’t. is the only entrepreneur allowed to profit, due to the never ending red tape and regulations governing business’s, it really is the only way to get ahead in the country.

    IF you are an employee, the wages paid are PATHETIC. If you are a retailer you have to deal with the end of the line proposition that the tariffs already imposed on the products being sold have been passed all the way along to the retailer so that any and all profits have already been taken out of the product for sale. IF you are a manufacturer you have to deal with the worlds highest electricity rates and so have such a high operating expense that a profit is out of the question.

    AND SO, it is a fact that operating any business in the country is a losing proposition no matter how good an idea it is. To add to the above problems take into account how the lack of zoning laws enforcement produce a business across the street from any business that MIGHT be making a profit due to the ‘copy-cat’ culture that is soooo prevalent in the country.

    A loser country, a failed state in fact, in which the people are trapped inside a never ending, mind numbing and in-escapable poverty stricken life that there is only one way to deal with it: LEAVE THE COUNTRY!

  12. If it’s one thing I hate about Filipino culture, it’s the over-emphasis on collectivism where individual critical thinking and individual freedom is considered a social taboo. There is limited individual thinking and limited freedom here. Not “freedom” in the legal sense, but in the social sense. People here are so afraid to express themselves. They’re so afraid to be individuals. They’re afraid because the collectivism and mob mentality is so strong. Nobody wants to go their individual way and shine as an individual.(Gays are an exception. Kudos to Gays) Anyone who attempts to do so is subtly hissed, jeered, sneered at.

    Kids are forced find other forms of outlets. Nobody wants to enter the battlefield of political participation as an individual. It’s always with the support of someone else or a group.

    1. collectivism? where did I hear that? oh! former communist bloc countries plus North Korea.. At least North Koreans has that Juche principle, I don’t know about us..

  13. This forum is an excellent medium of communication for the intelligent. What about the below-average IQ citizens who comprise the majority population? Even if they were computer literate (enough to post on Facebook or register on dating sites) I don’t think they’d be able to grasp the concepts discussed here, i.e. to think critically. It’s as if the burden of educating the population (of dulled minds) falls on those who are privileged and blessed with intelligence, which would require a grass roots effort — a monumental task, but not impossible.

    1. It’s exactly how you said it above.

      The power to shape the minds of the masses is in the power of so few, particularly in the hands of those who own mass media. But combine a profit-seeking but unethical mass media – who is not a watchdog of government but a lapdog of it – and a masa whose minds are submissive, malleable, and gullible, and you have a recipe for a self-perpetuating “ignorance is bliss” function.

      That is why the struggle for influence with mass media is an uphill one. But it is one that needs to carry on because obviously they are not contributing to the betterment of society by dumbing down the populace.

  14. The problem is those of you who realised the problems with the country are a the minority, whilemany of the people are ignorant or choose to be ignorant.
    The education and message need to reach the common people.
    Only the people can change the country.
    But the underlying deeper issue is the culture, the nonchalant attitude towards what is happening over and over again.

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