I’ve observed that nearly every country in the world has people who hate their government. Whether US, China, Japan, Russia, or even Israel, there sure are critics. Of course, hating on governments has been around since government has been around. But anti-governmentism has become bloated into one of today’s pretentious fads.
Right now we have many people hating on the Duterte administration. Some who claim to “criticize” him likely support removing him and replacing him with their own chicken. If you don’t agree with removing him, they’ll call you evil, “anti-human rights,” fake newsers, trolls, supporters of a dictator or what have you. It’s nothing but partisanship. Of course, they’re only doing it for the show, and likely don’t really have a desire to end up with concrete results.
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Perhaps one lesson people haven’t learned is that overthrowing administrations and regimes have not led to improved lives. Many have repeatedly highlighted that even after Edsa 1986, the Philippines remains in the dumps. Let’s look at one example: Tunisia. Then-president Ben Ali of Tunisia had fled after that supposed “people power” event. A few years later, one of the men who had self-immolated (and the self-immolation of these men had led to Tunisian people protesting in the streets) says that he regretted doing so. Whatever “revolution” happened in Tunisia did not improve their quality of life.
Even if the government officials are changed, it would still be the same old crap. Because, even if Ali Baba is put away, there are still forty thieves.
Oh, yes, that word, revolution. The communists really love it because it for them means using violent means to overthrow a government and take the high seats themselves. Yes, that’s surely the real reason for all this supposed outcry against Duterte; they’re frustrated that they’re not in the high seats and are unable to impose their will on others. Anti-governmentism is simply a cover for that wish to be the lord. A wish that deserves complete to be denied to the end.
On to the ideological side, it is stupid to believe that government is essentially evil and should be abolished. Well, I’m for reducing states and governments to smaller sizes. Perhaps that is already happening naturally, through internal collapses (such as Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union) or similar. One doesn’t need to do “revolutions,” such as violent uprisings to make this happen. However, government in some form serves a role to make sure people behave decently.
The rule of law is not supposed to be an oppressive tool for making people subject to power. It is rather something to help people be safe and secure in their lives. For me, ultimately, the purpose of law is to protect people from each other. For example, if someone on their whim wants to dictate you on how to live your life, and when you refuse, they want to give you a violent “punishment” in return, the law protects you from that. There are those kinds of people, after all. If you’re someone like that, and the law really displeases that you can’t reach out and hurt someone, you deserve that displeasure. Basically, the real threat is not government, but other people (This I emphasize in my first contribution to the GRP group, that the people and not just the government also practice corruption). That’s also the basis of human rights. Sure, laws may sometimes be crummy, but they’re still in place and must be observed. We GRP core bloggers continue to emphasize rule of law as something to uphold, whoever is in the hot seat. While working, of course, to return the original purpose of government I stated above.
Anti-governmentism these days has devolved into just another Freudian expression of an ego-driven search for validation, as something supposed to be “cool,” even if it is anything but. It could also be the expression of their desire for lawlessness, to just do what anyone wants with no responsibility. But for others, it’s because they want to be the ones up there, which the late Conrado Balweg said of the communist insurgent leaders he met. And if they do succeed, it would be a real mess, knowing the purges that they do among themselves, as “poor” as they are right now.
If you want to criticize government, by all means, do so. But do it right. My advice is, just as the saying goes, love the sinner but hate the sin, love the good done but not the do-gooder. Even if a politicians does so many “good things,” the moment they do something wrong, go ahead and bash that. There should be no more nitpicking on the person’s character, whether angel or devil; the important thing is, when someone does wrong, call for the sanction according to rule of law (and that requires participation in the political processes called for).
My take, as is GRP’s take all the time, is that culture is always to blame. Governments in countries are only products of the dominant culture. Take Islamic countries, for instance. The Islamic government instrument called sharia is a source of alarm for many western-based believers of human rights. But it is a result of culture; without that culture, such a form of law would not exist. It is a culture people don’t want imposed on them. Before laws, cultures are the first to seek impositions on others. Cultures deserve to be criticized and attacked for being the real systems that make people do bad things (headhunting, honor killings, footbinding, etc.). Instead of abolishing government, perhaps culture is the thing to first abolish and change.
I believe, as my cohorts here do, that what Filipinos embrace as their culture is what actually pulls the country down. And those who seem to be anti-dictators, who may also believe themselves to be “heroes,” are the real dictators.