Some people still say the solution to the Philippines’ problems is choosing the right leader. That’s the very mindset that led the country down to the dumps.
The problem is that leaders are treated as a “silver bullet” or quick do-it-all solution. Filipinos believe that the leader will do everything for them, including clearing the nation of corruption. This is their Juan Tamad nature at work.
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People who insist on choosing the right leader are often either the promoters of propaganda and long-time fallacies that have been used throughout history to dupe people, or are themselves duped.
The shills will often promote their own leader as the right leader for all. They will warn you against “bad leaders,” insisting that these are the cause of society’s downfall. They will also attack these supposed “bad leaders” (who are actually just their competition), even if these are actually more qualified or are doing something right. Some even name business leaders as proof that there is such a thing as a right leader, such as Jack Welch or Steve Jobs. I will however puncture that balloon later.
One source of the problem, as I attacked in an earlier article, is the idea that are “born” leaders. All they need is figure out who the born leader is, then support them and all will be well. If they found they got the wrong leader, just oust and oust until they get the “right” or “born” leader.
As reality has demonstrated, that’s not how it works. Leadership and character are not inborn traits; they are learned.
Let me recall another point in another earlier article: Leaders never do it alone. There are always the henchmen. That’s why I believe the idea of “one-man rule” is ridiculous and never was true. It is doubtful Ferdinand Marcos went out and killed people himself. He gave orders and the other people did it. It’s funny how many people keep on screaming against Marcos and say little to nothing against the people, who were formerly under Marcos’ command, who actually killed others (and who were also retained!).
In fact, it has been suggested that henchmen are the actual ones in control of the country. If corruption is to be eliminated from the country, there are a lot to take out, not just the Marcoses.
So successful leaders aren’t the only source of success in companies; “henchmen” are also a part of it. Jack Welch could not have made his plans for General Electric successful without willing “henchmen” in the company. Steve Jobs could not have made Apple successful without Steve Wozniak and other people, including investors. Saying leaders are single-handedly responsible for success is a huge exaggeration.
This talk about leaders is relevant for the recent martial law anniversary. The wokes (including the opposition) who scream “never forget martial law” and similar that were probably the types who’d thought, we got the wrong leader, so oust him and we’ll get a new one. The problem is, the new one did the same thing (Mendiola massacre). Regime change didn’t – and really doesn’t – bring any change to society at all.
That also should have broken the harebrained impression that Marcos is the source of all things evil and getting rid of it will make the country all good. Today, Marcos is long gone, but murders, disappearances and all manner of heinous crimes still happen. The Marcos family having some power right now doesn’t count. Other people do evil acts by themselves without their influence.
The wokes also scream Marcos this, Marcos that. In a way, it is an admission of defeat because they show by screaming at a dead body that they are unable to take down the corrupt who are still living. I also wonder if they’ve screamed at the commies who also murder a lot of people and take “revolutionary taxes” from people and businesses in the country.
If the behavior of even “little leaders” in barangays (like the enforcers who beat up a vendor in Manila), local governments and even private sector situations including hobby groups shows, the problem is not leaders, but culture. The corrupt behavior that Filipinos manifest whether as leaders or constituents is a product of culture.
Filipinos often like to suck up to “leaders” because they are expecting dole-outs. Filipinos in positions often like to steal from the resources entrusted to them. Filipinos want impunity from the consequences of their actions because they are “kawawa” or pitiful. Filipinos when presented with a chance to exploit someone helpless, like a little kid, a lonely lady or a frail old person, will go in for the kill. All of this is part of our country’s culture, as in the actual practice of people.
This is why, aside from my point that the country will not benefit from the “right” leaders, the country was not brought down by bad leaders. It was brought down by bad culture.
If we want to get rid of corruption – as well as choices of bad leaders – change in the culture, right down to the grassroots, needs to be done.
We don’t need the “right” leaders or any other such bozos. People just need to shape their own lives up. They should be responsible for themselves and not dump responsibility on their “leader.” Filipinos need to accept that “ayuda” or dole-outs is not an entitlement or right. These are important parts of culture change.
The goal is to make leaders irrelevant. If people are responsible for themselves, they don’t need leaders. In fact, one of the best things a true leader does is to show his people how to continue without him. In other words, a good leader knows how to make himself eventually irrelevant.
Leaders be damned. Some people have lived and some communities have thrived without them. Perhaps we need to reevaluate the value and impact of leaders throughout history, because it occurs to me that these have been grossly overstated.
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.