A dog eat dog future

By: Raymund Fernandez January 23,2018 - 10:26 PM


After you have lived long enough you begin to detect cycles in the years of history. Consider how the reign of Marcos and his Martial Law began in 1972. It took 14 years before this reign was overthrown in 1986.

Those years were followed by a period of relative peace, freedom and democracy.

Thirty years after that, we see once again a clear assault on this relative peace, this relative freedom, and this relative democracy.

Is it only coincidence that the period between the end of World War II and 1972 is also around 30 years?

The end of World War II marked a near euphoric feeling of collective relief for the end of a particularly dark age in our history.

This feeling would have been comparable to the collective sigh of relief people felt for the end of Marcos and his Martial Law in 1986.

There was the sense of looking forward to a better time. As indeed there was a period of development following 1986.

Things were not perfect but there was consistent progress all the way to the end of the presidency of Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

There was much headway made towards creating an atmosphere of liberal democracy which included a greater respect for the rule of law. This manifested itself in holding to account quite a large number of politicians for corruption and abuse.

And this might have been partly the trigger for why we are seeing now another period of backlash against freedom and democracy. This backlash is marked by a return to fascism, the rule by force.

This comes with an assault against the institutions of law and justice; especially, the institutions of accountability.

By now it has become obvious that the tactical goal of all these acts of the current government is to make politicians less accountable for their acts.

And it is worthy to note how these acts have been so blatantly done we should be surprised, even shocked, why other institutions of society have not voiced a clear concern.

Institutions like traditional media as well as big business have met all these with hardly a voice raised in protest, even after 3,000 persons killed, some of them clearly extrajudicially.

Threats of martial law, and now, an attempt for an unconstitutional Charter change. They have been met mostly with silence thus far.

It is easy to understand why big business will hardly complain. Big business was also mostly silent in the time of Martial Law. Much money, coming mostly from World Bank loans, funded the drive towards infrastructure development everywhere.

Certain business interests gained from all these. So why would they complain? Notwithstanding, there would clearly be a price to be paid in the long run. We are still paying for those loans.

Now with roughly P140 billion being eyed as loans from China, one does not expect big business to complain against political abuse.

In the same way that one ought not expect politicians to complain. That much money entering into the economy translates into a redistribution not only of cash but also of power.

Everybody already in power will want their share of the loot. Even if it means selling our collective futures for their immediate gain. That is how the game of politics is played, they will tell you.

And it will be awhile, perhaps 14 years, before the expected outcomes from such unbridled and unconscionable greed finally catches up with the country. By then, those responsible would either be dead, or would have covered their tracks.

And in any case, they do not expect to be held accountable.

Consider how those who made and increased their fortunes in the period of Martial Law are still there.

Despite the horrendous excesses of Martial Law, hardly anyone of them answered for their sins, the rape and looting of the country and its freedoms.

Thirty years after EDSA, these business and political interests are not making a comeback.

They have never left. We have only entered another cyclic period where they are less embarrassed for being there.

The competition between them for all that money coming in and all that power they represent does not allow for such embarrassment. It will be a dog eat dog future.

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