Monday, April 28, 2008

Jonas Burgos and the 'Middle Class Way of Living'


It's been one year since Jonas Burgos was abducted from a Mall in broad daylight. I for one, don't believe that this despicable act can just be blamed on a few bad elements in the military (or even the government). It takes a certain kind of Society to make this possible, one that is populated with individuals who possess a mindset that is on full display in this fortright (but anonymous) comment over at Expectorants:
"It's a simple question of the lesser evil. Who are the aggressive power brokers/stakeholders in the Philippines ba? Military, CPP/NPA, oligarchs.

Pick one. How you might say? Well, let's stop picking on Arroyo for one and start supporting her. She's killing the commies and bribing the soldiers. So stop those middle-class rallies against GMA and support the parliamentary referendum to prolong her and her party's rule.

If the communists or military sweep to power tomorrow and be a little less corrupt than the oligarchs, I would have to agree that there would be an exponential improvement in the lives of the hungry and destitute.

But if helping a lot of poor means that the new military or communist overlords would take away the accumulated wealth of the present rich, then I'm afraid I would have to side with the evil oligarchs.

As much as I can sympathize with the predicament of the poor, I wouldn't allow a power shift that would uplift their standard of living while at the same time lower mine, that is, my middle class way of living.

It may sound selfish, but I've thought this through. I don't want to spend the rest of my life "starting over" to accumulate again the real estate, big savings account, stocks, and bonds from which my I derive my (rent, interest, dividends, coupons) income from. At the moment, I don't work, but I live like semi-royalty because of that accumulated wealth. I'm afraid if commies or military take over then they'll tax me to the hilt or be forced to go overseas where I'll become a common tao (my wealth would be worth less if liquidated, converted to foreign currency, and moved overseas).
"
The banality of evil, alive and well in 21st Century Philippines.

42 comments:

stuart-santiago said...

oh wow. bravo, cvj and resty, for taking on the anonymous one. i think s/he is over-paranoid. naniniwala kasi sa propaganda ng gobyerno at militar. it's not as if it's ever going to happen, that the commies will win in such an absolute manner that they will be able to "take away the accumulated wealth of the present rich". not in this god- and commie-fearing third world democracy kuno. but this is not to say that the Left's dreams for the masses are unrealistic and impossible. in fact, there would be no Left if government were in the service of these masses and not just of the elite.

Brian Brotarlo said...

My feelings CVJ, and I believe that among commenters in Manolo's blog, our mindset is the most similar, is that people have every right to choose not to support a revolution. My own understanding is that this commenter is off the mark in only this: it is not a question of choosing sides but a question of the promulgation of justice and a justice-based mindset.

It's not apathy but stupidity. And yes, as I've said many times, the communist have hijacked mass struggle in this country. It is their fault and the oligarchs as well that a simple search for justice becomes propaganda.

cvj said...

Hi Angela, one of the things i've been surprised with since i joined in these blog discussions a few years back is the effectiveness of Admin propaganda against Communists. It's like we've never left the 80's.

Hi Brian, yes i find myself in agreement with most of what you write on the elite. Correct me if i'm mistaken but i'm guessing that F. Sionil Jose is one of your major influences (ideologically i mean)?

I'm not sure if 'hijacked' is exactly the right description because it seems that the Middle forces have left the field so the Communists have picked up the fight for justice by default.

What i find puzzling with a lot of the analyses coming from the Middle (especially those over at Manolo's blog) is that they remain blind to the effects of Inequality and differences in power among the Economic Classes.

Brian Brotarlo said...

CVJ,

No Sionil Jose isn't an influence, 'm afraid. I believe many of what I've said is obvious and why if it's so obvious many people don't think like I do: The Emperors New Clothes.

The Elite has learned to manage their guilty conscience and they have somehow projected their state of mind down to the lower classes. We have been infected by their special kind hypocrisy. Why we let them? Because they are nicer to us now than in the old days.

BTW, in the literary community, there seems to be a dichotomy that very few people there are willing to accept, namely the Joaquin/Jose dichotomy. A lot of the hoity-toity prose-stylist kuno social climbers side with Joaquin. Sionil Jose has a few fans but they are mostly silent. I'd have you know, I sent Jose an early draft of my first novel way back and he refused to read it. It's not like I really like the guy or his work but he is one of the few people who refused to conform his mind to the dominant mindset (shades of Gramsci here).

cvj said...

Brian, thanks for the explanation.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your comments.

Well we're surrounded by poor, hungry people with nothing to lose, over the walls of our subdivsions, beyond the borders of our cities, stupified by hunger in their shanties and bahay kubos.

May the opium of dancing girls in noontime shows and the occasional gin bulag keep them from being fed the wrong ideas by the commies and Erap: that their predicament is the fault of hard-working, smart-working, educated, motivated (and sometimes lucky) middle-class.

May they remain aspirational and tolerant of the excesses of the middle-class. The same excesses they will, no doubt, enjoy, flaunt, share, and rejoice in if only they had the means.

Brian Brotarlo said...

anonymous, there are so many logical fallacies in your statement. The point is not what they will do when they are in your position, but what will you do if you were in their position. You flatter yourself by thinking you deserve your place in the middle class. You take the stupidity and corruption around you as evidence that you deserve to be comfortable. Even if you were meritocratic, you should realize that there is a bare minimum level of human standard of living. If you do not believe in this minimum then we will never see eye to eye. You are what you are.

Preston D. said...

cvj, you''ve read Eichmann in Jerusalem? A Hannah Arendt must-read is reportedly The Origins of Totalitarianism. I hope to hunt it down.


meanwhile, go, brian!

Anonymous said...

"Even if you were meritocratic, you should realize that there is a bare minimum level of human standard of living. If you do not believe in this minimum then we will never see eye to eye. You are what you are."


I believe that the minimum standard of living is an obligation, not a priviledge. I also believe that the middle class can attain that minimum level because they're not having 4,5,6,7,8 children like the poor do.

There is a loss of common sense by the poor that cannot be blamed on the church, or oligarchs, or the capitalist system. They're poor because they breed like a bunch of stupid rabbits. I have to share the Philippines with them.

In a situation like this, one cannot rely on the free-wheeling capitalism and freedom ideology to uplift these poor masses. To bring them up to speed in the 21st century requires massive government intervention-meaning super taxing hard-working, middle-class families composed of your average mom and dad with the mortgage and decent 9 to 5 living and 2.8 kids in private elementary school.

I'm sorry but that is not fair.

Anonymous said...

So in closing...

I blame the poor for breeding our future little beggars and garbage scavengers.

I blame the communists for brainwashing the poor to blow up cell towers and burn down sugar cane fields.

I blame radical Muslims for brainwashing the poor of the Islamic persuasion to blow up ships and malls.

I blame the military for wasting their time on military misadventures (justified by their "defenders of the people" status in the constitution) when they should have been neutralizing the commies and terrorists.

I blame past and present presidents for not being able to keep a leash on the military.

I blame the Church for endorsing weak-ass presidents.

I blame the media oligarchs for giving bishops and cardinals TV airtime and newspaper colums to bash or build presidents of their
liking.

And I might as well blame the water industry, energy sector, and haciendero oligarchs for their inefficient water, energy, and food businesses.

While I work my ass off in my 9 to 5 earning a pittance in this inflationary economy brought about the people I blame.

Brian Brotarlo said...

"I believe that the minimum standard of living is an obligation, not a priviledge."

Nevermind the misspelling, this is appalling, even if you're a Christian right-wing republican conservative. I suppose the non-functional individuals, the stroke victims, the mentally challenged are JUST exceptions to this rule?

Yes, I believe in high taxes and high taxes can be good for the middle class and other Filipinos who are more than capable of unseating corrupt politicians and preventing them from running again but are nevertheless not doing anything because they are too comfortable. The responsibility lies in the laws and ethical standard we abide by not in the mere fact that you are alive.

Jego said...

Anonymous, since you say such interesting things, I suggest you get a nickname for use when you comment on blogs. It's useful. Any name will do. And although I disagree with some of what you said, your honesty in coming out with your views is commendable.

This 'freedom' ideology applies only to people with actual choices. To have real choices, you need information and the ability to use that information. You need power, which in this country means purchasing power; the more power you have the more options you have. You need rights; rights to make those choices. I submit that the poor do not have all three. Sure they do have rights but they are not aware of them or are powerless to claim them, which means, for all intents and purposes, they dont have them.

To bring them up to speed in the 21st century requires massive government intervention-meaning super taxing hard-working, middle-class families composed of your average mom and dad with the mortgage and decent 9 to 5 living and 2.8 kids in private elementary school.

Not necessarily. (What's with this Pinoy Middle Class attitude of 'let the guvmint do it.'? Althou to be fair, that's the mindset of most Filipinos, not just the middle class.) What we need is a middle class who're willing, as befits their presumably Christian upbringing, to look at these people as their neighbors. What we dont need is your attitude towards them, anonymous. Theyre not pests; there people.

Unlike Brian, Im not in favor of giving the government even more money. We have empirical evidence of the government's wastefulness with our money and its massive corruption and still we insist on giving them more money to throw at problems. I say Enough. It's time to step up. If you can't step up and engage your neighbors, then you better ship out (to America, Australia, wherever) with all my best wishes.

Jego said...

BTW, just so we're clear, I believe there is a role for government in all this. And I believe we already are taxed enough for them to be able to do what they need to do. I just dont believe in giving them even more money than they already confiscate from us working stiffs because frankly I dont trust them with it.

cvj said...

Resty, thanks for the book recommendations. I'll look them up .

Anonymous, as expected, you did not include middle class apathy on your blame list.

Brianb, sad to say, many of the outwardly decent folks in the Middle Class are content just to reproduce the Hobbes' State of Nature within Society as long as they are among the beneficiaries.

Jeg, i agree Anonymous should put up a blog. At least his justification of middle class apathy is more staightforward and less convoluted than those i hear from other bloggers and commenters. It's about time someone holds up the Philippine Middle Class against a mirror and Anonymous might be in a good position to do it.

Anonymous said...

I disagree Jego. The poor still have rights, but they treat it like economic commodities (the right to vote sold during election time, the freedom of assembly to support rallies in exchange for merienda), so what good are they? Let's just take some rights away from them!

I completely disagree Jego that the poor have no political rights. If they get assaulted, raped, killed, or robbed or committed them, they still have redress through the police and government appointed lawyers, so they're not completely "rightless". However we should take away some of their right (to vote and assembly).

They can't vote because they are incapable of weighing political decisions because they're uneducated, so let's take that right away from them. They shouldn't be allowed to form unions too, and I'll tell you why.

The problem with our poor is that they want to have their cake and eat it too. Tell me what industrial country in the world got rich by subsidizing the poor?

England in the industrial age had 6 year olds working coal mines for 12 hours a day. China is getting rich because they treat human beings like cogs in the assembly line. America was built by industrious, poor immigrant Irish, Italians and Chinamen who built the railroads and the cities under the grip of the robber barons.

There's no country in the world that got rich by subsidizing the poor. In fact, countries get rich because they reduce the tax on the middle class. 19th century America didn't have income tax. Industrial Age England didn't have income tax. China and the East Asian miracle countries granted tax concessions to foreign investments and to its Chaebols and Keiretsus.

These countries also got rich because they dealt with an iron fist dissentful labor movements. Fact is, you can't entrust the national savings to the poor because they'll only consume it (marginal wage hikes being too low to invest on anything other than to buy consumables). You can't entrust it to the government because they'll only steal it (Marcos, Suharto, and all sorts of thieving despots).

The only group who you can trust to do something productive with national savings is the middle class. The Rockefellers, the Vanderbilts, Carnegies, the Mitsuis, Mitsubishis, the Hyundai groups of this world, people who build railroads, roads, bridges, industries. These groups didn't have strikes, industrial action, minimum wage issues, or communist vandalism to contend with unlike our Ayalas or Chinese Tycoons.

How can you expect our oligarchs to build our country if they don't have the support of an iron fisted government? History shows that this is the only way to surge ahead-the combination of greedy capitalism and iron fisted government trouncing on those pesky poor people. Just like what Arroyo is doing right now.

cvj said...

Anonymous, from your analysis, it seems to me that you're uneducated as well or, at least, whatever education you received did you no good. Does that mean your vote should be taken away as well?

Anino said...

to anonymous: You are not alone, at least in your desire for taxes not to be raised. GMA is on your side; she and many more Filipinos are quite happy that income earned overseas by Filipinos do not get taxed.
---------
You word things bad, but nonetheless even Sionil Jose echoes some of your thoughts. Sionil Jose, though, has a bit more to say as he -- Sionil Jose -- wrote:

Why then are we poor? More than ten years ago, James Fallows, editor of the Atlantic Monthly, came to the Philippines and wrote about our damaged culture which, he asserted, impeded our development. Many disagreed with him but I do find a great deal of truth in his analysis.This is not to say that I blame our social and moral malaise on colonialism alone. But we did inherit from Spain a social system and an elite that, on purpose, exploited the masses. Then, too, in the Iberian peninsula, to work with one’s hands is frowned upon and we inherited that vice as well. Colonialism by foreigners may no longer be what it was, but we are now a colony of our own elite.

We are poor because we are poor — this is not a tautology. The culture of poverty is self-perpetuating. We are poor because our people are lazy. I pass by a slum area every morning - dozens of adults do nothing but idle, gossip and drink. We do not save. Look at the Japanese and how they save in spite of the fact that the interest given them by their banks is so little. They work very hard too.

We are great show-offs. Look at our women, how overdressed, over-coiffed they are, and Imelda epitomizes that extravagance. Look at our men, their manicured nails, their personal jewelry, their diamond rings. Yabang - that is what we are, and all that money expended on status symbols, on yabang. How much better if it were channeled into production.

We are poor because our nationalism is inward looking. Under its guise we protect inefficient industries and monopolies. We did not pursue agrarian reform like Japan and Taiwan. It is not so much the development of the rural sector, making it productive and a good market as well. Agrarian reform releases the energies of the landlords who, before the reform, merely waited for the harvest. They become entrepreneurs, the harbingers of change.

Our nationalist icons like Claro M. Recto and Lorenzo Tanada opposed agrarian reform, the single most important factor that would have altered the rural areas and lifted the peasant from poverty. Both of them were merely anti-American.

And finally, we are poor because we have lost our ethical moorings. We condone cronyism and corruption and we don’t ostracize or punish the crooks in our midst. Both cronyism and corruption are wasteful but we allow their practice because our loyalty is to family or friend, not to the larger good.

Anino said...

In another speech (which you will find in sioniljose's own blogspot URL, he said the following. (In this speech, he also was alluding to a 30-minute conversation he had with a USA homeland-security official as SionilJose was entering California):
------
More than 10 years ago, the Atlantic magazine editor, James Fallow’s visited us. After seeing the deadening poverty and the callousness and perfidy of our leaders, he concluded that the obstacle to our progress is our "damaged culture."

Back to our Homeland Security officer in San Francisco to illustrate this damaged culture. He had interrogated Filipinos wanting entry. He said flatly: "They are liars."

I told him they had to lie, to do anything to escape my country’s poverty and injustice.

What had happened to us?

After World War II, we were Southeast Asia’s most modern, most progressive. Students from the region came to our schools. When I traveled, the backwardness everywhere amazed me. Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur were villages. The tallest structure in Bangkok was the Wat Arun. Seoul and Taipei were quiet, with horse-drawn carts, bicycles and those low brick buildings left by the Japanese. These cities are no longer recognizable from what they were. Manila has skyscrapers now, but everywhere are the slums that show how we have decayed.

Thus, the massive hemorrhage of talent, the diaspora. There is no ocean-going vessel without a Filipino on board, from the captain down to the steward. An American diplomat had heart surgery in Washington performed by what he said is one of the top surgeons in America. He is Filipino. A Boeing executive told me Iran Air wouldn’t get off the ground were it not for the Filipino technicians there. An Indonesian businessman said most of the banks and corporate headquarters in Indonesia are managed by Filipinos. A Singaporean architect pointed to the city’s soaring skyline as the handiwork of Filipino architects and engineers.

Here, the United Nations headquarters in New York would stand still if all those Filipina secretaries were absent. And what would happen to your health service if all those Filipino doctors, nurses and technicians left?

Indeed, the Filipina is not just a maid in Hong Kong or a prostitute in Tokyo. We have become the proletariat of the world. This is our shame and our pride for as a European executive wryly commented: "You are such a wonderful people, why is your country such a mess?"

Is this mess for always?

Anonymous said...

Well Anino, I've read that Sionil piece a long time ago and I wasn't impressed by it. The reason being Sionil whines and whines and whines without giving a solution.

My solution is simple-crush the labor movement. Freeze wage hike, make unions illegal, give extra police powers to riot police in preventing and dispersing union rallies.

Hand in hand with the solution above is to cut taxes on the middle to upper class. To prevent a budget deficit from extra tax cuts, trim the government by halving the congressional representatives. Merge 2 or 3 districts by geography (and not population count).

Gloria is on her way to doing this by killing the heads of leftist labour movements and constitutional reform. So support the bitch.

Jego said...

I suppose you missed this bit, eh, anonymous?: Sure they do have rights but they are not aware of them or are powerless to claim them, which means, for all intents and purposes, they dont have them. Which was preceded by this: To have real choices, you need information and the ability to use that information. You need power... You need rights... So a lot of what you wrote is moot. Youre talking theory, Im talking practice.

However, you said: There's no country in the world that got rich by subsidizing the poor. In fact, countries get rich because they reduce the tax on the middle class.

And it may have some historical merit, I have to agree, China the only counterexample I can think of. They may not be rich yet but theyre on their way. Subsidizing the poor for the most part doesnt work. They need mobility which a vibrant economy provides. Exempting them from income tax is a step in the right direction. Exempting the rest of us from income tax would be even better. (Yeah, dream on. Right.) Btw, Gloria Arroyo is planning to give dole-outs for the poor.

The only group who you can trust to do something productive with national savings is the middle class.

And in the case of the Philippines, theyre disappearing. However, the middle class still clings to their glory days when they still could make a difference. They have been effectively castrated economically and are losing their power. You have your beloved Gloria Arroyo to thank for that.

How can you expect our oligarchs to build our country if they don't have the support of an iron fisted government? History shows that this is the only way to surge ahead-the combination of greedy capitalism and iron fisted government trouncing on those pesky poor people. Just like what Arroyo is doing right now.

The oligarchs did indeed partner with the government, otherwise they wouldnt be where they are. But surge ahead? Towards where? Wherever it is, I dont want to be there if it means sailing on the blood of human beings used to feed this machine. I can't wish you bon voyage on this one, anonymous. Wherever it is you and your ilk wish to take this country, it won't be pretty. I reiterate the suggestion for you to go elsewhere for your sake. And please, are you honestly using Gloria Arroyo as an example of the enlightened government partnership with the oligarchs that would allow us to 'surge ahead'? Arroyo's partnership with the oligarchs are what's causing the middle class to lose power. You could say her leadership isnt enlightened. CVJ pointed to a post by Abe Margallo regarding how a government could do this patterned after bayanihan. You could check it out in his archives.

Anino: I find anonymous's language and honesty refreshing. I think he's wrong but like our host said, his opinions less convoluted than the others. Others tend to sugar-coat what they really believe in; anonymous doesnt. And his views I think are a more accurate account.

Anonymous said...

And Sionil is wrong-land reform, Philippine style, didn't work.

What Filipinos don't realize is that land reform in Taiwan, South Korea, U.S., England, etc. meant making communal lands private. What we did was dividing private land into small plots and giving them to the poor.

This didn't work because a poor farmer with 2 hectares of land cannot double the agricultural output of his lot because he's still relying on manual labor. While vast swathes of land under the private ownership of corporations can afford to buy machineries, the marginal investment being recouped by bigger marginal output in production.

So instead of poor moving into the cities to get jobs, they stayed in the provinces with their piece of CARP land and made more babies. What we have right now is a situation where grandmother and grandfather has their own piece of unproductive 2 hectare courtesy of CARP and the 7 children and 30 grandchildren living in Manila as slum dwellers or Japayukis or seamen.

cvj said...

Hi Anino, welcome to my blog! Thanks for pointing to the relevant quotes from F. Sionil Jose. I remember our previous discussions on Geniocracy and precisely one of my fears with this arrangement is that smart people who lack a sense of humanity, like Anonymous in this thread, would use the system against what he calls "those pesky poor people". Rather than defining the problem as poverty, they define the poor as the problem. Unfortunately, as i previously blogged, this mindset is one that is encouraged by Globalization.

cvj said...

Jego (at May 04, 2008 10:41:00 AM), China is quite a major counterexample. Don't you think that Vietnam with its communist system serving as base for economic growth qualifies as a counterexample as well? And what about Socialist India, especially Kerala? It's not about subsidizing the poor but giving them the means to both (1) develop their capabilities and (2) augment their purchasing power to support a manufacturing base by addressing the problem of inequality. By this criteria, even Taiwan, South Korea as commented by Sparks) and Japan's Land Reform programs can qualify as counterexamples.

cvj said...

Anonymous, in the case of Taiwan, it is not true that Land Reform was implemented by making communal lands private. As described in my blog entry, the Nationalist government redristributed lands previously owned by local landlords. One noticeable difference between Taiwan's land reform program and ours is that they completed the whole process in 5 years while ours is still ongoing in one form or another for the past few decades. A study cited by Solita Monsod in her column reveals that:

"10 years (1998) after the CARP law was passed, less than two-thirds of the program scope had been accomplished; and in the succeeding eight years (as of end December, 2006), the pace of distribution had clearly slowed down because only another 24 percent of the target had been achieved."

The failure of Land Reform to lift incomes could be blamed more on its slow implementation as compared to the quick and decisive execution by other countries.

Nevertheless, defective as our CARP Law (because of a landlord dominated congress) and implementation may be, the same study cited above has shown that the program does have a positive effect on the agrarian reform beneficiaries in terms of higher incomes and poverty reduction.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your postings CVJ. They help me in changing my opinion on some of the topic points at hand, especially all the land reform stuff.

However, it's hard for me to be convinced that the poor cannot be blamed for some of the irrational stuff that their doing.

I haven't always been "middle class". Four generations ago, my grandparents were tenant farmers, so it's not like I cannot completely relate to the plight of the rural poor. My parents regale us with stories about how poor their parents were.

The reason I hate some of the poor is that their an actual threat to me, in reality. I've been held-up at knife and gun point twice. One of my apartments was destroyed by the nephew of a tenant who couldn't pay her rent because she was being fleeced by her shabu-addicted, unemployed nephew. His justification for destroying my apartment was "I was stealing money that should've gone to him" instead of being used by his autie to pay the rent. My mom, who is a business woman, was shaken-down a few times by commies asking for revolutionary money. They set fire to our warehouse once because we refused to pay. The military was nosing about on our other businesses, asking who the owner was (my dad), his name, location, whereabouts. Their intention, I can only surmise, is to kidnap him. My sister was kidnapped when she was 13 years old and yeah, we had to pay ranson money.

My grandparents were poor, but the poor people of old were moral. Now, I really try hard not to be a middle-class "out in the open" just because you never know with the poor nowadays. There's too much anecdotal cases of the above amongst my friends as well to dismiss these irrational things as isolated incidents.

So yeah, sorry CVJ. I work hard, I play hard, I pay my taxes, I follow the law. My life would be perfect if it not for the poor and the way they fuck up my way of living and for being such eyesores in what otherwise would have be a pretty decent looking Manila. How can you sympathize with such animals when they always pick on us like an ATM machine ripe for the taking? If anything, were the archetype for what Sionil has describe---people who are moral who save their money and put it in business. Problem is, society, the poor society, see us as something else.

Anino said...

anonymous: It looks like your most important issue is with law and order (and not "that the poor vote" or "there are labor unions" or "that taxes are high").

Karl M. Garcia said...

CVJ,

Hi!
I hope I am still welcome here,even if I openly question your views on elitism,maybe I am one of those overlooking the obvious as BrianB said. I just hope I would not be one of those mentioned by Jeg who sugarcoats what he believes in.

cvj said...

Anonymous, thanks for sharing an insight on what shaped your thinking.

Hi Karl, you're always welcome here whatever our differences of opinion. Perhaps some of our disagreements have to do with definitions of terms as well as when that term applies and when it does not. Not to preempt Jeg, but i don't consider you one of those he is referring to.

Karl M. Garcia said...

Hi CVJ,

That's quite a relief,thanks and best regards!

The Anonymous guy certainly inspired you for this particular post.

HILLBLOGGER said...

Hi Chuck!

Re what's happening in Pinas, Jonas Burgos, etc and your "It takes a certain kind of Society to make this possible," -- agree!

It takes moral backbone to not let that happen!

cvj said...

Hi Anna, i agree. I also think it takes a bit of foresight to see what comes next. On this count, the Philippine Middle Class has been largely shortsighted.

Tongue's Wrath said...

A very late comment, but I can't help it.

Anonymous has a good grasp of the symptoms and effects. But terribly wrong on the solution prescriptions. Further suppression of the impoverished will only promote more crimes, at worst accelerate a peasant revolution - the very reasons why he hates the poor.

Anino hit the bullseye when he sensed all that hatred and anger were nothing but law and order issues on a myopic personal level. That did anonymous in.

Typical middle class coño mindset.

cvj said...

Hi Tongue, i agree and it's sad that such mindset can be accurately described as typical.

Anonymous said...

Sympathy with the poor ends when it sticks a knife up your jugular and demands your lacoste wallet.

cvj said...

Hi Anonymous (at 1:28pm), your use of the word 'it' when referring to 'the poor' is consistent with your mindset. I doubt if the 'sympathy' was there in the first place.

Anonymous said...

So what? Actions trumps intent. I made around 4.5 million pesos last year, a huge chunk of which was taxed by the government. Taxes (the part that didn't go to corruption) which subsidized the NFA rice that fed the poor among others. So yeah I did more than you middle and lower middle income earners for the poor. Big deal if you "sympathize" whole-heartedly---in the end it's all just hot air and keyboard strokes. This rightist capitalist is the real angel.

cvj said...

A larger part of your taxes go to the kidnappers and killers in the government with your willing endorsement, and you still consider yourself an 'angel'.

Anonymous said...

There are only 200 or so of these alleged government-sponsored assasinations funded by my tax money. Still the big bulk of the estimated 2 million peoss taxes I paid last year went into helping the poor. And c'mon, how much does a bullet cost plus the logistics of stalking a leftist? A few thousand pesos probably, so looking at the big picture, I still helped a lot of poor people compared to all of you in this post.

cvj said...

"Only 200"? So you measure the value of a human life by the amount it takes to kill that person? If there are many more like you, it's no wonder we have the kind of government we have. And what makes you think the government spends more on NFA rice than on their hired killers?

theotherwoman said...

in pearl buck's the good earth, there was a part where the poor that lived around the rich man's house eventually stormed the house and looted it. and there was this line about the rich becoming too rich.
i get angry with those who have more children than they can feed, and i curse the taxi drivers who refuse to take me where i want to go, even when i'm going to pay them. still, i live in the same society with them. they are my neighbors and my countrymen, whether i like them or not, regardless of how much i despise them. in this situation, isn't it better to help them reform? after all, what one filipino does eventually reflects on the rest of us.
what i don't see in these discussions is the moral aspect: granting that they're stupid and really nothing than a pest and a burden to society, should we just let them stay that way? don't those who are better off - regardless of how they became that way - have an obligation to somehow help those who are not?
but then of course, if you believe that you have what you have because of either your or your parents' or grandparents' labor - if you take out god or even luck in the equation - then you will insist on enjoying what you have instead of sharing it with others.

cvj said...

Hi theotherwoman, thanks for dropping by! Here in Singapore, i also encountner taxi drivers who are selective. I think the behavior you experience is more because they are taxi drivers rather than because they are poor. As for having many children, not to excuse the poor, but i'd like to point out that the Opus Dei are similarly guilty. In fact, their guilt is greater because being richer, they have a larger Carbon Footprint per person which puts more strain on the earth's Carrying Capacity.

I believe that the individual who happens to be poor is no different from one who is in the middle class. Those who think that the poor are, as a group, inferior are afflicted with an elitist mindset which i previously blogged about.

And, I think those who, as you say, "take out god or even luck in the equation" are committing a fundamental attribution error i.e.

"the tendency to ascribe success or failure to innate characteristics, even when context is overwhelmingly important. … Because we underestimate how much variation can be caused simply by luck, we see patterns where none exist."

...which is explained here.

Anonymous said...

How's this for attribution? Central Luzon and NCR have the highest capita for any region in the Philippines. Coincidentally, they are the two peoples (to generalize), the Kapampangans and Tagalogs, whom the Spaniards sought the the most cooperation. The Tagalogs and Kapampangans have also colonized the areas in the Philippines with the best farming area and port (Pampanga flat lands and Manila Bay), suitable for farming and trade with China, then the world's superpower. To colonize such areas, the early clans and barangays had to have the best warriors to get rid of aboriginal Filipinos and other tribes in Central and Southern Luzon. There were other language groups in this area who have been eradicated (read Blair and Robertson) because the Tagalogs and Kapampangans took over.

When Spain decided to move the seat of government out of Manila, the Tagalogs and Kapampangas revolted, ushering the independence of the Philippines. Just look at the flag, aren't those eight rays representing the provinces of Katagalugan and Pampanga?

You think the prosperity of region 3 and 4 is a randon accident? No sir! This is by design. We Tagalogs and Kapampangans are the inheritors of the earth in this slice of the world (the Philippines that is).

And now our middle class way of life is being threatened by those pesky, uncultured bisayas outbreeding people in Luzon. Which is the fastest growing language group in the Philippines? Bisayan languages. Which has the fastest growing population in the Philippines? Bisayan region. And which is the poorest region in the Philippines? Visayas.

So yeah it's wrong to blame "the poor" for the predicament of the Philippines. We better start blaming some ethnic groups for our problems. Incidentally, the ethnic groups to blame are also poor and making too many babies. They work for us as maids and boys. The name of their ethnic group is synonymous with house helps and boorish culture. Its their culture that's the problem.