Mao Zedong, Adolf Hitler, and Josef Stalin: The Philippines’ political drama in retrospect

One of the worst and most annoying characteristics of the Filipino people is the melodramatic personality. Filipinos are so driven by drama, sometimes (if not many times) to a fault. It has hampered the rationality of Philippine society, which is evident in elections. BS Aquino III was catapulted to the presidency after the death of his mother, the late President Corazon Aquino. Coincidentally, Pres. Corazon Aquino was also sent to office in this manner, in her case being the death of her husband Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr.

Beside the sympathy vote, there is also the tendency to exaggerate things. Just look at how the media portrays the martial law era in the Philippines. While I acknowledge that there were abuses committed by the Philippine government in the martial law era, I also believe that the media has exaggerated its portrayal of those years. Of course, history happened. President Ferdinand E. Marcos was eventually ousted in a civilian-military coup in 1986. Since then, the media has dramatically portrayed things the way the Yellows wanted them to, that Marcos was Satan in human form and that Cory Aquino was the angel that was going to save us from the fires of hell.


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A previous article here explained why Filipinos are so afraid of a Rodrigo Duterte presidency. The article suggested how Filipinos are unaware of the “victims” of “human rights abuses.” People are afraid that Duterte will bring back the “dark ages” of Marcos’ “tyrannical” rule.

This is another reflection of how dramatic Filipinos tend to be. It’s as if Duterte is the reincarnation of Marcos and that a Duterte victory would bring us into the fires of hell. But, why is the Marcos era something to overly dramatize about, to the point that Filipinos have begun fearing a Rodrigo Duterte presidency?

I find it confusing myself. Many Filipinos need to know a little more about world history. It takes the cases of other countries to see how we tend to exaggerate our “dictatorship” experience and fill it with drama.

Let’s look at Adolf Hitler, the leader of Germany from the 1930s until 1945. Hitler ruled with an iron fist, and is recognized as the one responsible for the death of around 17 million people. This includes around 6 million Jews, many of which died in Hitler’s concentration camps and gas chambers.

How about Josef Stalin? The leader of the now-defunct Soviet Union was probably a bigger lunatic than Hitler. Stalin’s communist regime is said to be responsible for the deaths of millions of people. The kill count of the communist regime of Stalin ranges from 20 million to 60 million.

Okay, let’s not look too far out West. Let’s look at the recent history of our beloved Asian neighbor, China. Their dictatorship experience was probably a lot greater than Germany or the Soviet Union. Chairman Mao Zedong was the undisputed lord of China from 1949 up to his death in 1976. Under Mao Zedong, China suffered from a great famine, a product of Mao’s “Great Leap Forward.” The deaths under Mao Zedong are estimated to be around 70 million, but not lower than 40 million.

Now, these three dictators surely give something worth dramatizing. No era in Philippine history would be as compelling as the rule of these three foreign despots. The way Filipinos dramatically react to the Marcos regime or the prospect of a Rodrigo Duterte presidency is almost hilarious. Slogans of “Never Again” or “No to Martial Law” have come up to protest against Duterte’s possible presidency (even though he hasn’t even decided to run yet). Such reflects the overly-dramatized society that this country has.

The Philippines has never experienced a government as racist as Hitler’s, as murderous as Stalin’s, or as oppressive as Mao’s. Yet, the way Filipinos act, it’s as if our government is worse than Hitler’s, Stalin’s, and Mao’s combined. Even if our government is indeed worse than Nazi Germany, the Stalin USSR, and Mao’s China, the people themselves elected the corrupt and oppressive officials to office. Filipinos should learn that they only have themselves to blame for their wretched lives.

31 Replies to “Mao Zedong, Adolf Hitler, and Josef Stalin: The Philippines’ political drama in retrospect”

  1. Time and time again does the pride of man influence his very own fall. While denying it, one gradually starts to believe that he is the authority, or that he possesses great moral dominion over others, yet it is spiritually unwarranted.

    By that point he loses steam; in result, he falsely begins trying to prove that unwarranted dominion by seizing the role of a condemner.

  2. for me its not exactly that filipinos want Duterte because of the disipline he employs the same as Marcos did. I think Filipinos want Duterte to be president since this is the first time Filipinos encountered someone so straightforward and brave as him, no politician has ever claimed that they will kill criminals and use bad language in front of the media like he did, he diverts from the common Filipino politician that only aim to gain popularity using overly-sweetened and promising words to entice people to their favor, this man speaks what he wants to, even if it means that he will make a lot of enemies and be labelled as crazy or something, and since he is known to be a man of his words, this man’s presidency will be interesting because there is something bound to happen be it for better or for worse

    1. my 1st ever vote goes to him. why?
      f@cking abs-cbn only focuses on crimes and drugs.

      here are my points:

      1. Federalism – probably regulated one, not full blown. probably economically lang yan.

      2. semi-presidential (France System) Parliament
      probably he would make deputy prime ministers for luzon and visayas. duterte can manage mindanao. a president goes to travel for foreign affairs. so focus lahat sa governance. not 1 single person is on the Executive Branch. so walang hostage sa presidential system.
      “a president is a hostage of it’s own system” – mayor duterte

      3. socialism for poor constituents

      4. population control – 2 kids only (for those who can’t afford). he’s a pro RH Bill.

      5. legalization of same sex marriage for our gay/lesbian people. (though i don’t agree here)

      6. death-penalty for drug smugglers / users (warnings will be given first) by hanging

      7. law enforcement – good salary for policemen up to the generals + benefits (mga anak, no tuition fees from K to 12) probably cctvs from batanes to jolo. LOL! random urine test for policemen to catch drug users. this just happened a few months in davao city when some policemen were caught and were dismissed from service. i think they were given warnings already.
      alma moreno’s van was caught running at 40kph and her driver was fined. siya na ata nagbayad. lol.
      a supporter of mayor duterte was caught smoking and was fined 500php for 1st offense
      so, uphold the law. love it.
      even mayor duterte is being searched when entering a mall / any hall in the city. so, no one is above the law.

      8. removal of financial institutions from government (ex. SSS, GSIS, etc.) sa GSIS ung janitor may kotse? come on. it will be handled by bank consortium or probably BPI / BDO. basta privatized sila. so the government will focus on governance. hence the root word “govern”.
      “the government has no business in getting into business.” – mayor duterte, Esquire interview

      9. citizens with 25k below salary = no tax

      10. fixing public transport and public services – priorities like – proper garbage disposals, fixing floods, MRT / LRTs which affects citizens productive activities like work, going to schools, errands, etc.

      11. Meritocracy – only the best and brightest will get the position.
      “nowadays, the position is like a merchandise, you ask for it, and you get it. i’ll make sure that only the best and brightest will get the position.” – mayor duterte, Esquire interview

      1. you’d forgot to put death penalty to the corrupt officials as well, andrew. Just like what he’d said on an interview from GMA recently that if he’ll become our country’s next president he’ll gonna feed those politicians to the hungry fishes in Manila Bay.

        1. forgot that part. but really mayor duterte is not going to do that. it’s just his style of talking out of frustration with the current problems the country is facing. probably life imprisonment. graded depending sa amount ng pera.

          forgot the Reserved Officer Training Corps. ibabalik niya ito. if we want to become an independent country, civilians need to serve. pretty much like Singapore. once you reach the age of 18 years, you are required to serve for 2 years in the army both male and female. remember, enemies can attack from North, East, South, West dahil nasa gitna tayo ng southeast asia. hindi tayo USA. mandatory talaga ito.

  3. No to forget Pol Pot and his Year Zero.

    If Pol Pot would have been a Philippine leader and had the same fate, how would have the Philippine media portrayed him?

    How would have the ABS-CBN told the story of Aung San Su Kyi in Maalaala Mo Kaya? A movie was made about her already but I suddenly wondered how Star Cinema would have written the Aung San’s biopic? Would KathNiel be on it just to assure its being a box-office hit regardless if the movie’s message reaches its audience?

  4. \\The Philippines has never experienced a government as racist as Hitler’s, as murderous as Stalin’s, or as oppressive as Mao’s. Yet, the way Filipinos act, it’s as if our government is worse than Hitler’s, Stalin’s, and Mao’s combined.\\

    so you’re saying since the potential death toll is much smaller, we shouldnt worry?

    Thats like riding on a small boat and complaining to the boatman that the boat looks in poor condition and looks like it could sink and the boatman says you dont have the right to worry because in the worst case the death toll would be much less than the titanic or the Dona Paz?

    1. Yes! I agree. Its totally warped thinking.
      Filipinos have a lot of patience. Yet we rose up on the streets because we couldnt take it anymore.
      It is painful to see people who did not live the Marcos years telling everybody “Oh, its just overdramatized”.
      Thos ridiculous article makes the vase that “Oh it could have been worse.” What stupid athument is that?!

    2. No No No, the Filippine government (thinks) it is slick as shit ,smile in your face, stab you in the back , screw your wife, eat your children,all while picking your pocket and robbing the treasury of the people, all while smiling in your face.
      Which is worse? YOU TELL ME.

  5. The Aquinos have to Demonize Marcos; in order to portray themselves as Heroes and Saints. Just look at how the Aquinos collaborated with the Japanese Imperialist; the NPA; and now the MILF/ISIS/Al Queda terrorists. Now, they are financing these terrorists, with our taxmoney, thru the BBL Law…Look how they treat their tenants/serfs in their Hacienda Luisita.

    They put this country in perpetual Feudalism, just to hold on this piece of land called: Hacienda Luisita…it is plain Greed and Evil. They also murder people, just for this land.

    They are not Heroes and Saints. They are like the Feudal Lords in the Middle Ages. They are worse than Marcos, whom they demonize…

  6. What do we want? Outright strongman rule, or hidden decaying/rotting of our government, thru corruption. The inside of our political system is corrupted/rotting already, while the outside look somewhat working.
    Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung…they came in ;because the inside of the government of these countries , were slowly rotting/decaying, like a piece of timber.

    Their people did not noticed their grab of power, until it was too late…it can happen in the Philippines, if we are not vigilant enough…

    “Those who do not remember the past, are condemned to repeat it”, as per Santayana…

  7. This is a ridiculous article.
    “Marcos wasn’t that bad because there were leaders who were worse, so lets elect Marcos/ Duterte”.
    Obviously, the person who wrote this did not live through the Marcos era in their formative years.
    Sure, it was great in the beginning. But it didnt last.
    I want Aquino to go for so many reasons. He is a spineless worm. But to even onsinuate that the Marcos era was better is a blood
    curdling thought.
    I was there. You weren”t. Sute, maybe its exagerated, but thats not what I see. I see people of a newer generation coming dangerously close to repeating the mistakes of the past.

    1. i lived through the martial law years…i was there…leave out the thieving, corruption, extra-judicial killings, etc…it was a good era of peace, almost nil crime rate, economic growth, etc…yeah, compared to what the aquinos have done to this country, i would say the marcos years were better

      1. while marcos used martial law for discipline and to deal with rebellion, aquinos used freedom so they can take over the country.

        marcos at that time is misunderstood.

        give a poor/uneducated person freedom, so what’s next? O_O nganga

  8. My eldest brother, who is now a Cardiologist in the U.S. , lived thru the Martial Law era. He even , fought against Martial Law.

    His opinion is: Marcos era was not that bad, as portrayed by the Feudal Oligarchs’ propagandists… It is the Propaganda Machine of the Aquinos and his Feudal Oligarchs cahoots, who are featuring it as bad. It is some sort of a “SCARE TACTIC” for gullible Filipinos…

  9. The reason why these Feudal Oligarchs are Restless is because their “patron”: the Aquinos are now going out of power. So, they want to replace him with another Feudal Oligarch…they are afraid of the Land Reform Program, to be implemented. They will lose their: power, lands, political power/influence, sources of the political base and sources of their wealth…”SCARE TACTIC” of the return of the Marcos era, is their only last card…if the gullible Filipinos bite…it is their fault..

  10. My father and his family were anti-Marcos but he even thought martial law under Marcos was not that bad because it was relatively quiet, citizens were well behaved, and crime was low. Although you had to fall in line, follow the nightly curfew, and not be openly critical against the government, this would be the last time in Philippine history that the masses were a mostly disciplined population.

    The Marcos era (in general) was also the last time Filipinos had some respect on the world stage and were taken seriously by the international community. Am I saying we should return to Marcos style rule? Of course not. But it shows how a strongman can influence an entire country’s outlook, if only today’s generation would stop demonizing that whole time period and learn to adopt what was gained from those years on top of acknowledging what was bad. Instead the country continues to act like the Marcos era never existed in order to repeat the same tired trends that began with Cory and have gone uninterrupted ever since.

  11. Remember,even the Philippine Roman Catholic Church owns huge farmlands called: Friar Lands.

    These lands were donated by their constituents, who believed they would go to “Heaven” by giving their farmlands to the Church.

    The Roman Catholic Church is on the forefront to defend Feudalism. This may be the reason, they were eager to oust Marcos in the “EDSA coup d’ etat”, sponsored by the U.S./C.I.A.; to protect these farmlands.

    Marcos implemented a workable Land Reform Program…

    Charity and love to your fellowmen? Anyone?

    1. Bomb the entire Failippines back to the Pre-Stone Age ala-Operation Linebacker and Linebacker II, then nuke it completely and make uninhabitable for the next 1,000 years.

      As soon as the radiation is cleared, we can finally make everything new and start fresh.

  12. One reason Marcos why was so corrupt–and he was very corrupt–is that it took that much more funds to make his influence felt in the entire country. Most of the time, Manila is a weak and distant capital with very little influence in the provinces, where the datus are courted from afar for votes before election, and who’s wills generally prevail.

    1. true and not only he’s very corrupt but also he’s a heartless person unlike on Lee Kuan Yew from Singapore or Uruguayan president Jose Mujica who considered to him as the world’s poorest president. If you want to know more about that guy, then google or wikipedia it.

  13. “The Philippines has never experienced a government as racist as Hitler’s, as murderous as Stalin’s, or as oppressive as Mao’s.”

    really? anybody want to invest in Imelda’s Deuterium Project? or in a car engine that runs on water? guaranteed to make the first 100 investors instant millionaires.

    and who’s afraid of Duterte? not Jaypee Larosa. he’s not afraid. that’s because he’s dead at age 20. shot in the head by the DDS. why? oh… let’s just say he wasn’t whom they thought he was. in fact, he was innocent. so sorry. no apologies from Duterte, though. BUT STOP DRAMATIZING THIS! it’s your own fault if you found this disturbing. you’re just being melodramatic.

    get real? no. just get smug. the rest are just the lowly natives. right, getreal?

    1. @Jr:

      There is a car engine that runs on Hydrogen Fuel. Water is made up of Hydrogen and Oxygen atoms…so, the car literally runs on water fuel…

    2. if Filipino’s elect this guy with his Death Squads, HA……they deserve what they get. That guy is a thug, he keeps people in line like the Jack-boots did in 1936.He is just using a ‘hands-off’ approach as he is not given a mandate by the people, so he cant really say he is behind the DDS, but he has admiited it, but after how long?


      elect Rodrigo Duterte President.

  14. Do you think most Filipinos even know who those historical figures are? I’ve see so many morons walking around in Nazi logos and ‘White Power’ shirts, I find it funny when I’m in the mood, depressing at other times.

    1. They probably don’t know who they are. I’ve also seen bozo walking around in shirts with the hammer and sickle and a stencil of Mao, or Stalin, or Lenin, or even Marx.

  15. So, I guess my point is that Duterte would have an enormous problem of exerting his vision of law and order without severely comprising that vision. It’s both economically unfeasible AND politically unfeasible as party loyalty and platforms–what do you stand for, other than helping those who helped you?–in short, principles. are extremely weak. I think that, as much as Aquino is disliked here, he understands that it’s to big degree getting tax reform and enforcement in order.

  16. So my point too is that so many of the problems in the Philippines are STRUCTURAL. But so much of what I read here is basically self-flagellation. Filipinos need to get real about the problems and stop blaming their character!

  17. The last paragraph is erroneous for a few reason’s. Given the time frame vs. the population in China, Mao was not as despicable as the numbers dictate, far from a Saint, true…..

    BUT the regime of Marcos was a more rapacious type of regime where he stole every single thing in the country, including the crumbs that fell off the dinner-table……..
    and killed a few of his enemies while he was at it.

    Marcos, listen to McCartney tell you all about it:

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