The #Philippines is guilty of the Mahatma Gandhi’s Seven Social Sins!


The Mahatma Gandhi’s Seven Social Sins, sometimes called the Seven Blunders of the World, is a list that he published in his weekly newspaper Young India on October 22, 1925. Later he gave this same list to his grandson, Arun Gandhi, written on a piece of paper on their final day together shortly before his assassination. The Seven Sins are:

(1) Wealth without work.
(2) Pleasure without conscience.
(3) Knowledge without character.
(4) Commerce without morality.
(5) Science without humanity.
(6) Worship without sacrifice.
(7) Politics without principle.

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They remain relevant in the Philippine setting and Filipinos are a brilliant testament to Gandhi’s enduring brilliance.

* * *

Wealth without work

Filipino politicians and some kids of the Philippines’ army of overseas foreign workers fit this category. Easy money presents an easy path to decadence, a loss of perspective and an overblown sense of entitlement. Some may argue that Filipinos work hard. But as the eminent Nick Joaquin observed, “We work more but make less. Why? Because we act on such a pygmy scale.” Rather than focus on robustly capitalising their economy, Filipinos have chosen to take the brain-dead path of propping it up with labour-added value and wanton consumption.

Indeed, a culture of consumption divorced from a culture of wealth creation has long prevailed in Philippine society. The Philippines, despite all the “economic indicators” trumpeted by its triumphalists, remains counted amongst the bottom feeders of the world economy — subsisting on breadcrumbs thrown at it by advanced societies in the form of trade concessions, foreign aid, and “foreign investment”. Beyond selling stuff dug up from the ground, very little economic activity in the Philippines is driven by indigenously-created capital.

Pleasure without conscience

The circus surrounding the multi-million-peso December, 2014 “royal” wedding of Filipino starlets Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera all but illustrated the core dysfunction in the way Filipinos regard entertainment.

The sheer extravagance put on display before an impoverished society by the celebrity couple was highlighted by the attendance of no less than the President of the Philippines himself, Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III. It brings to the fore the tragic irony of Philippine poverty, one where politics and entertainment are partners in maintaining a feudal status quo that keeps Philippine society mired in medieval wretchedness.

Science without humanity

Though bereft of any semblance of a tradition of excellence in the sciences and technology, the Philippines is a huge consumer of popular technology products. Filipinos boast one of the world’s biggest take-up in social media participation and has been crowned one of the world’s selfie capitals. Yet despite all this technology penetration, there is little evidence that Filipinos have collectively uplifted the humanity of their society.

One of the Philippine economy’s most cherished “assets” is its call centre and outsourcing industry where it deploys its highly-educated but vast surplus labour to the task of serving the labour-intensive needs of the rich world. Outsourced workers are essentially human robots — trained to speak, move, and transact in the highly-standardised design specified by their employers. The technology behind the outsourcing field, whether in the form of low-tech sweatshop factories churning out Nike shoes or trendy offices housing armies of Starbucks customers, by design, aims to shoehorn workers within machine frameworks — their humanity regarded as an overhead to be “managed”.

Knowledge without character

Nowhere is this affliction more evident than in the “peace process” the Philippine government had mounted in partnership with the terrorist Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The key architects of this foolish enterprise, Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Teresita Quintos Deles, and the man erstwhile known as “Mohagher Iqbal” boast impressive educational credentials. Yet their collective thinking has fatally failed the Filipino people.

Indeed, overall the Philippines has, until recently, traditionally led the region in literacy and education attainment. But that lead has progressively narrowed as countries like Singapore and South Korea, among others, that started out as far more impoverished and less promising than the Philippines caught up and, now, surpassed the Philippines.

Perhaps it is because Filipinos suffer from a cultural predisposition to regard credentials as mere social ornamentation rather than a means to a greater end. As such, societies that have proven better at applying rather than merely displaying academic achievement have long left the Philippines eating their dust.

Politics without principle

This is a no-brainer. Philippine politics is bankrupt of meaning. Filipino political parties are active in form but hollow in substance. They do not mean anything nor stand for anything of consequence. Political parties in the Philippines function primarily as election winning machines rather than bastions of ideas.

Political “debate” in the Philippines revolves around personalities and, as such, does not go beyond petty mudslinging and nitpicking. None of the candidates for the country’s executive and legislative offices are known for their ideas or political platforms. A small-minded people will never rise above the petty gossip that, essentially, forms the substance of Philippine political discourse.

Commerce without morality

“Morality” is a perverted concept in the Philippines. Catholics use it to justify multiplying like cockroaches and Muslims use it to demand “autonomy”. Politicians use it as election campaign fodder, and voters use it to guide the hollow-headed “analysis” of their options. The rich preach “morality” to keep wealth within their dynasties and the poor use it as the opium to alleviate their misery.

One can argue that the Philippine does not suffer from a lack of “morality”. Rather, the more interesting thing to note is that despite all the “morality” that underpins its culture, Philippine society consistently fails to temper the way rampant commercialism progressively erodes its ethical foundation and frays the fabric of its being.

There is a lot of commerce and morality in the Philippines. But to the question of whether both form the context for the building of a better society, one can only wonder for now.

Worship without sacrifice

In the Philippines, the rich “worship” while the poor “sacrifice”.

A concept to mull over.

* * *

The Mahatma Gandhi would be proud. His teachings remain relevant today in the Philippines. Unfortunately whilst one can easily lead a horse to water, it is another endeavour to make it drink. In the case of the Philippines, the solutions are obvious but, when regarded with a Filipino mind, are evidently too hard.

[NB: Parts of this article were lifted off and used in accordance with that site’s Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License consistent with the same license applied by Get Real Post to its content.]

8 Replies to “The #Philippines is guilty of the Mahatma Gandhi’s Seven Social Sins!”

  1. There is no “Saint” greater than India’s Mahatma Gandhi. His teachings are more relevant than any other “Prophets” in any religion.

    His concept of civil disobedience, brought down an empire. His country has no planes, vast fighting armies, wealth, etc…only Moral Principles. And, it worked…

    They apply in our times…

    1. Rubbish.

      Gandhi was just a racist child-molester who is seriously overrated and set India back several generations with his mindless socialism and premature independence.

      I like what Churchill said: “a half-naked fakir”.

  2. The Philippines is fast approaching Mexico’s status of being terrible. The key difference is that our version of cartels are the government itself.

    The only thing I can think of which may help is again, educating the young PROPERLY and encourage them to seek knowledge. Not just blindly follow the herd. Which again, is why the Nation is crumbling fast.

  3. Call centers are becoming increasingly robotic now that many have swapped their problematic not-quite-American-enough agents for soundboards of pre-recorded samples that these people just have to select. Must be great for morale.

  4. While I agree that the Philippines is indeed guilty of the other 6 social sins,

    I would have to disagree with the seventh.

    |”In the Philippines, the rich “worship” while the poor “sacrifice”.
    |A concept to mull over.”

    The poor’s so called sacrifices pale in comparison to how the middle class get assf*cked by the government.

    The “educated” working class gets taxed the highest, but get treated no better than the poor in terms of public service and enjoy equal voting rights to the unproductive tambay next door.

  5. In my judgment, such of us as have never fallen victims have been spared more by the absence of appetite, than from any mental or moral superiority over those who have.

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