Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bagong Tao (The New Man) in Philippine Politics

" The birth of the Bagong Tao has yet to happen in the Philippines"
Francis Fukuyama in his 1989 seminal work predicted the death of man in history. He says, and I quote,

Both Hegel and Marx believed that the evolution of human societies was not open-ended, but would end when mankind had achieved a form of society that satisfied its deepest and most fundamental longings. Both thinkers thus posited an “end of history”: for Hegel this was the liberal state, while for Marx it was a communist society. This did not mean that the natural cycle of birth, life, and death would end, that important events would no longer happen, or that newspapers reporting them would cease to be published. It meant, rather, that there would be no further progress in the development of underlying principles and institutions, because all of the really big questions had been settled.

When societies have achieved a state where "all the big questions" have been answered by every inconceivable theory, History ends. Creation ends as far as human intellect is concerned. There is also an end to theory making since every single inconceivable thing has been conceived and answers found that satisfies man. 

Does this applies to the Philippines? That since the rest of humankind have found their solutions to their most basic and fundamental questions, the Philippines will also stop evolving its institutions and will end theory-making.


For as long as imbalances remain, the centuries-old problems exists and the oppression of man by man still is being seen in the backwaters of this society, theory-making and institutional re-engineering will remain.

The pursuit of Meaning will remain as an intellectual preoccupation by many and the profession of theory-making will remain for as long as there is no dominant theory, the proverbial "theory of everything" in building political institutions, its pursuit, will remain our predilection for the coming years.

In other societies, theory-making ends when they agree and implement provisions of the Constitution. The Constitution is supposed to be the blue-print that the State uses to achieve a definitive order of things. That's why it is often referred to as an organic code. The code dictates every single legal or allowable action in a state.

Problems arise when actions, though moral and allowable in other states, occur in contrast with actions as stated in the Constitution. Likewise, when Socialist ideologies merged with what seemed to be liberal democratic ones, there is a convolution, leading to a crisis in perception.

It is therefore, necessary for us to develop a new thinking based on current observations of Philippine reality and from there, create a paradigm that will dictate what direction this country will take in the next few years.

That lack of paradigm, often always, put us in an embarrassing situation, because our leaders content themselves on making things work in a system which runs in contrast with that of political reality.

When a system fails to work, it just shows that the underlying principles behind its creation is simply discordant with existing conditions. And where discordance exists, there is a necessity of correcting it to prevent the fall of society.

Let me therefore say, that this new thinking should gravitate from the seminal reading of the Times--that the anchor of every successful and prosperous society lies in the emergence of the New Man or Bagong Tao.

What is the New Man, but a completely satisfied individual of the State, who acts completely with a new set of values. These values are actually interpreted as sociological needs, such as the willingness to prioritize God, over Self, and Country over the Individual is the primordial practice rather than an aberration.

The Philippines suffers from a syndrome where it is being hostaged by the past. The past is simply unresolved. Therefore, it drags modernity and progress along and leads to a statis.

Lastly, problems which occur here are resolved by application of someone else experiences such that, solutions lead to new problems, solvable by another or someone else experiences.