Manolo, for his part, is troubled:
"THE Cult of the Market is something that’s been bothering me for some time. To me, this is the idea that politics has become less relevant to people’s lives, because it can’t deliver change or an improvement in lives better than attending to business -and letting the “free market” sort the things that politics used to consider its mission to sort out....But it seems to me that the most troubling thing remains: the growing belief that the market is the solution, not politics (whatever kind it is that floats your boat)."
On the other side, it is clear that John Nery laments that the process has not gone far enough:
"I happen to believe, not only in a smaller government, but in a smaller role for government. The Ramosian techno-speak of level playing fields, to give just one example, appealed to me — as long as the idea was sustained; that is, the government saw its role as allowing other players onto the level field too."
What Manolo worries about and what John looks forward to can be understood as a consequence of society's acceptance of the narrative of globalization, which has redefined the nature and role of the State as explained by Cameron and Palan in The Imagined Economies of Globalization. Within the globalization story "the 'idea of state' itself has moved from a 'public' principle of universal inclusion (implying an identification of and engagement with a single population of citizens) to a 'private' principle of competitiveness".
Cognitively speaking, the state (and society) has been reimagined and split into three economies, two of which share in the benefits of the system while the third remaining excluded. The table below (as presented by Cameron and Palan in their book) maps these three spaces*, i.e. the offshore, private and anti-economies in terms of its representative institutions, processes and normative characteristics.
|Private Sector||Third Sector / Social Economy |
|Offshore Economy||Private Economy||Anti-Economy|
Global marketsGlobal firms Merchant banking
Global citiesMedia corporations
Global governance (WTO, UN, OECD, World Bank, etc.) TNCs
National state bodiesFormal labour market
Local state bodiesDomestic firms Borders Domestic market Retail banking
|Local/peripheral economy, Community|
FamilyNeighbourhood Welfare state
Informal labour market
|Normative Characteristics:||Normative Characteristics:||Normative Characteristics:|
DynamicSite of Competition
Dependent (aid or welfare)Un- or de-skilled
|'WELFARE' and/or 'INFORMAL ECONOMY'|
While John Nery celebrates the benefits and hopes for the expansion of the first and second columns above (via expansion of the 'market'), he laments the continued reliance of many on government. Once we are able to see the three economies above, we begin to see why those who have been excluded, i.e. consigned to the anti-economy, continue to be dependent on government. The exclusionary mindset of those who belong to the offshore and private economy has also tranformed Civil Society's values:
"Civil society, therefore, is no longer identified by a set of core values, rights and responsibilities but by levels of access to, and participation in, 'opportunities' in the mainstream economy...the key distinction made in the mainstream debate over social exclusion is not between exlusion and inclusion, but between exclusion and 'competitiveness'."
Finally, the above map also helps in explaining the typical Filipino middle class mindset that is the source of Iniibig ko Ang Pilipinas' critique. Ultimately, Gawad Kalinga and other community based efforts are limited at the local and community level (i.e. the third column above) which as Cameron and Palan explain, is typical of the scope of anti-exclusion projects:
"Despite the enormous range of different places, peoples and problems included in these databases," [of anti-exclusion projects as compiled by the UNESCO] "their one constant feature is that social exclusion is assumed to ber manifest at the local level. Furthermore, by suggesting that the local scale is most salient and, in practice, the only scale at which social exclusion ought to be tackled, the possibilities for intervention in poverty are similarly restricted."
The Cult of the Market and the Myth of the State is the direct offshoot of the prevailing Globalization narrative that has literally captured our imagination.
*These three economies are explained in this post.