This was a year of upsets. The EU crackdown on refugrees, Brexit, the the rise of Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, then the ascent of Donald Trump to Leader of the Free World confronts the thinking classes and “shocks” the chattering classes. We now hear how Filipinos, in this latest instance, are “shocked” by their Supreme Court’s decision allowing the remains of former President Ferdinand Marcos to be laid to rest in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).
The writing’s been on the wall for years, not just in the Philippines but all over the world. The pendulum has swung back with a vengeance after it’s been kept too long on one side of its arc by the sheer force of emo shout outs, the righteous pumping fists, and the fluttering rainbow flags of the world’s hipsters. These US elections may have left coastal Americans just as “shocked” but, really, the whole notion of such “universal” shock is but another product of the very same echo chamber that fatally cocooned America’s liberals and starved Hillary Clinton’s campaign of much-needed intel to beat Trump at his own game.
Indeed, it was Clinton’s seminal tweet “Delete your account” directed at Trump that launched a million-strong effort to ignore the opposition. It was, crowed Clinton’s social media director Alex Wall, “the most retweeted tweet of the campaign!” Indeed, this tweet was, itself, taken up by the Philippines’ “decent” crowd of Liberal Party supporters and also used to shout down those who politely offered views that challenged the righteous way these hipsters had so presumptuously charted for their countrymen.
Hindsight has a funny way of making things a lot clearer. “Delete your account” has come to epitomise the arrogant demeanour of an entire clique of “progressive” people who believed that history was on their side. Unfortunately, they forgot an inconvenient truth about history’s real trajectory. History’s guidance system does not distinguish between human notions of what is good or bad. It just goes where it goes. The rightness of one empire does not guarantee its endurance any more than the “evil” of another guarantees its downfall.
And this is why the most recognised war winning strategy, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer,” is attributed to one or the other of history’s finest realist minds; either that of Sun “The Art of War” Tzu or Niccolò “The ends justify the means” Machiavelli — men who scraped the emo off the plan and made the path to victory plain and simple. Unfortunately for the world’s hipsters, this is the winning strategy that they failed to uphold. Instead of keeping their enemies close, they drove them underground and out of their sight. For this, they have payed dearly.
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