By: Raymund Fernandez November 01,2016 - 07:39 PM

We all know how intelligence is a predictive skill: And so too moral judgment. The two are not irrevocably married. Only for some are they faithful lovers.

But lovers or not, intelligence and moral judgment are both wedded to the concept of causality. Everything has a cause. There is an inevitable relationship between cause and effect. History does not travel entirely by random and by chance. What humans do and how they choose predict where they are going.

Violence begets violence. This is not some wimpish moralist slogan from soft-hearted liberal democrats. It is physics if it is not simple animal psychology. Fight or flight, when the organism is threatened. Wherever possible the organism seeks the safer place where there is the least threat. The organism seeks a place where the matrices of causes and effects favor predictability.

As it is with business. There is no place in the world where there is absolutely no risk. But even risk must be predictable: Otherwise, business becomes impossible. Business moves elsewhere seeking predictability the way water is drawn to gravity.

Business does not like volatile, impulsive, and unpredictable leadership especially when it is laced with a tendency for violence. This makes for a bad cocktail. It is never a good cocktail for those who do business, whether local or foreign. It gets worse when we add to this cocktail a garnish of xenophobia. And yet, for those who go by the current rightist ultra nationalist rhetoric, it doesn’t really matter if business goes bad on us. Let’s kick all the Westerners out so that we will finally be free. There are many arguments to back this ideological drive.

But imagine that they are right.

Imagine that they succeed. After scaring away all foreign businesses, they would have nothing else to do but to dismantle local businesses as well. There will, of course, be great suffering and conflict.

There would be shortages of everything such as you now see in war-torn countries and others, like Venezuela, where this particular historical path was taken. And yet, after all these; guess what the country will need to do.

It will strive to be more stable, more predictable. And then it will invite foreign investments to grow the economy. Such as we are seeing now in Cuba.

But why should any country ever have to take this path if it can help it? Why should we go down a path which eventually takes us back to where we are already? Especially, if the cost of this is great hardship, great suffering, and inevitable deaths. And all for what?

The great nationalist revolution was fought and won by Katipuneros and the guerrillas of World War II. No one can claim that victory from them without desecrating their memory and sacrifice. We were already as free and as
independent as we could hope to be in a globalized world.  We were all these before the current president took office. The real problem we had was mass poverty. Business and the economy was good and growing.

We would have been on the way to solving poverty by growing our economy still some more. To be sure, some structural reform would have been required. We should have been doing that by now. Instead, our current leadership threatens to tear all that down seemingly because of empty rhetoric and a misreading of hapless ideologies? Will the end result really equal the cost?

This is not an argument against ideologies. Indeed, it is an argument against no ideology at all. A clear ideology clearly announced would at least make logical and predictable the flailing diarrhea of confusing rhetoric such as we are seeing now. But what ideology could that be? Set against the continuing plague of extrajudicial killings, what could be the intended result?

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TAGS: clear, extrajudicial killings, flight, violence
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