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Dec 17

Wrong comparison

My column for today is, Points of unity. It refers to my column on Communal political vocabulary wanted.

In this, I think the masa has a more democratic outlook than the middle and upper classes. The masa votes for senators to be a thorn in the side of incumbent presidents. This is closer to the mark about the role the senate should play, in a presidential system, than the refusal of the supposedly more enlightened to see that the legislature has oversight and not merely legislative functions.

Anyway, my column points to views increasingly being propounded, of which Philippines Without Borders‘ entry is a good example:

I was surprised to see young boys and girls in 20s and 30s, many of them barely out of college. And my goodness, they were all talking about “doing business’ and making money! In my time, we were all about “social engineering,” “social change,” and revolutions as if we knew what we were talking about.

Is a new ethos taking over? I hope so. It’s about time. If we want the country to move faster into the lane of progress (whatever that means), we should have more entrepreneurs in our midst. And its not only because of its positive economic impact, its also because the growth of the middle class is the surest path to political stability. Fareed Zakaria in “The Future of Freedom” said so. Francis Fukuyama (in his “The End of History”) said so. And of course, they are not the original guys to have said so. It was Aristotle who theorized about this long time ago. And I guess, the reason is simple: the middle class, especially the entrepreneurs have a stake in stability and order.

I am not convinced, though, completely, that the attitude represents something fundamentally new, or even daring; or to be more precise, it seems far too susceptible, still, to confusing form with substance.

Yesterday’s Inquirer editorial argues that the administration proposal to revive the Anti-Subversion Act, is misguided, because it views the law as a tool in crushing Communism, instead of what it originally was -a tool for keeping Communist movements from rising up again, after having been defeated in the first place.

As it is, Arroyo backpedals on subversion law, and it’s about time. A reading of the law, after all, serves as a reminder that it wouldn’t achieve the aims desired by the armed forces, as Amando Doronila argues. A thoroughgoing look at the law, how it fared in the face of repeated challenges before the courts, is in Scriptorium, who then gives a razor-sharp list of reasons why the law shouldn’t be reenacted:

To begin with, the Anti-Subversion Law, if re-enacted as originally phrased in the earlier statutes, would be legally “overbroad”, meaning that its scope would go beyond what is reasonable under the circumstances. Note that it makes mere membership in an ideological organization an offense if its official ideology espouses violence; but the problem is that membership and ideology are not monolithic phenomena. Not all “Communists”, for example, actively espouse the armed-struggle component of Marxist ideology–Marx himself waffled between seeking violent revolution and conceding that, in electoral democracies, peaceful revolution might be possible (proven, ironically enough, in 20th century America)–, and even revolutionary Marxists have proven willing to put the armed struggle in the backburner for strategic reasons. Leaving aside the somewhat tortuous history of Italian Communism, the best proof is German Socialism (co-founded by Engels), which adopted parliamentarism long before it formally rejected armed revolution. The same observation holds of our party-list groups, whose parliamentarism would be rendered nugatory by the Law.

Second, and in connection with the preceding, the Anti-Subversion Law, if re-enacted as it was originally phrased, would violate the equal-protection clause (Article III, Section 1, last clause) of the Bill of Rights. Under the clause, a person or group of persons cannot be treated differently from others in similar circumstances; or, otherwise stated, different treatment can be allowed only if, it is in line with substantial distinctions and are relevant (“germane”) to public interest, among other conditions. In non-legal language, a person can’t be treated differently from others without reason. Considering that the Anti-Subversion Law made no distinctions among the various kinds of ideology and manners of adherence, its re-enactment would end up treating parliamentarian Leftists and Islamists, for example, as though they were all terrorists, and differently from other parliamentarians–and this would violate equal protection.

Third, the Law if re-enacted would violate freedom of religion and conscience. As pointed out by the US Supreme Court in the free-exercise case of U.S. v. Seeger (380 US 163, 174-175, 184-185 [1965]), freedom of religion protects not only Theist belief-systems like Christianity and Islam but also non-Theist systems like Buddhism, Marxism, and Secular Humanism, which–as argued by Paul Tillich in Dynamics of Faith–have the same “religious” function in human life. (On this point, see also P. Casarella’s brilliant article on Communio.) Mark you, I am not a Liberal, and I don’t believe that restrictions on belief, if there are sufficient reasons to impose them, are intrinsically wrong: Post-Hitler Germany, for instance, prohibits Nazi beliefs, and no one can blame them under the circumstances. However, under our Liberal system, freedom of belief cannot be restricted without “clear and present danger”, meaning that there must be a real danger to society that only restriction would answer; and considering the shift of the Left to parliamentarism, the impending accord with the Islamist MILF, and the weakness of the armed Right, no such danger seems to exist.

Of course Benito Mussolini wrote,

Was there ever a government in history that was based exclusively on the consent of the people and renounced any and every use of force? A government so constituted there never was and never will be. Consent is as changeable as the formation of the sands on the seashore. We cannot have it always. Nor can it ever be total. No government has ever existed which made all its subjects happy. Whatever solutions you happen to give to any problem whatsoever, even though you share the divine wisdom, you would inevitably create a class of malcontents…

How are you going to avoid that this discontent spread and constitute a danger for the solidarity of the state? You avoid it with force –by employing force inexorably where it is rendered necessary. Rob any government of force and leave it only with its immortal principles, and that government will be at the mercy of the first group that is organized and intent on overthrowing it.

But the problem is, a fascist dictator wrote the above. What sets apart a totalitarian from a democrat is the acknowledgment, on the democrat’s part, anyway, that there will always be a limit, however circumscribed in times of emergency, when a regime will have to dissolve itself, if demanded by the people. A basic attitude towards power, when held by the public and not despite public opinion, as totalitarians argue (for the good of the people, of course, they say).

As I mentioned in my column, Hearts and Minds (2005) and in my column Why Revolts Fail (2006), and Radical Yet Firmly Legal (2007), it is this constant need to revalidate the power given by the public to its leaders, that should be the primary concern and, indeed, obsession of governments that claim to be duly-constituted. As always, Mon Casiple zeroes in on what really deserves our attention:

The civilian leadership in Malacañang has painted itself into a corner. Its unprecedented unpopularity and the unremitting opposition to its questioned election has led it to depend more and more on an increasingly tenuous commander-in-chief powers over the military even as it made sure of its control over the civilian police forces. Money flows freely these days. In an irony of Philippine politics, the post-Marcos democracy is increasingly under siege by its own leaders through Marcosian tactics.

The current military pressure for a revival of the Anti-Subversion Law, the unrelenting phenomenon that is the military’s own Operation Phoenix, and even the military modernization scheme betray the military’s own agenda. This is quite apart and distinct from the over-all political framework of the peace process and the search for a lasting solution to the insurgency.

The post-Manila Pen situation indicates a new level of military politicization. Before this, it was the military intervening in politics or negotiating with civilian politicians for its own ends. It is now having illusions about its decisive role in regime change and becoming the nation’s leaders.

In his blog, Journal of the Jester-in-Exile is furious with the New People’s Army who recently claimed 3 casualties from the Philippine Marines in Palawan:

As the NPA terrorists have have refused to declare their own Christmas-season ceasefire for the past two years, the argument is that hostilities are still on (quite obviously, a ceasefire must be declared by both parties to be in effect), therefore soldiers remain to be legitimate targets for the NPA. I will concede that much to the idiot NPA sympathizers, that such a statement may be legitimate, but only as it is worded specifically (verba legis, for my fellow students of law).

However, it must be made clear that this attack was in contravention of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, of which the CPP-NPA-NDF is a signatory. Part IV, Articles 2 and 4 say that the CAHRIHL applies to, among others, “those taking no active part in the hostilities” (emphasis mine); Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), 8 June 1977, Part II, Article 1, paragraph 1, speaks of “All persons who do not take a direct part” in hostilities as well. With that, it is pretty clear that this NPA attack on UNARMED Marines, dressed in civvies and therefore were NOT ON NOR ON THEIR WAY TO a combat mission (they were on their way to church and the market), is nothing less than a dastardly and cowardly massacre.

An online petition in support of The Filipino Veterans Equity Act of 2007 (currently derailed in the US Senate). You may wish to consider signing, particularly if you have a veteran in your family.

Overseas, see More than a Chinese Fit of Pique:

A precedent has been established in which Chinese authorities have proven themselves willing to cancel longstanding commitments to harbor and support US military craft. Knowing this, American military planners will no longer design operations that require support from China. In certain scenarios, this may have the effect of limiting Washington’s freedom of action within multiple regions.

In the ongoing policy dialogue of Sino-American relations, a recurrent theme is the “responsible stakeholder” paradigm coined by Robert Zoellick. The paradigm asserts that China is benefiting tremendously from the global system, and as such has a responsibility to support that system. When China undertakes some action that is deleterious to the established order, critics charge that China is not behaving like a “responsible stakeholder.” When China undertakes some action that is supportive of the established order, proponents assert that China is making an effort and moving toward becoming a “responsible stakeholder” and, therefore, Western governments should exercise patience. The dialogue between the two camps is often colored by this language.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has stated that recent events were a natural reaction to US overtures, but this position is difficult to justify. One of the few respected rules of the sea is that when a vessel is in trouble (i.e. facing a storm or running low on fuel), assistance is provided first and details sorted out later. China violated this rule by denying assistance to the USS Patriot and USS Guardian. In future policy dialogues, references to this incident will certainly be manifest and may make the arguments of China’s critics more forceful than those of its advocates.

In Posthegemony, a reflection on what constitutions mean:

For constitutions are all about defining and upholding sovereignty. Any alteration to the constitution is also potentially a threat to constituted power: in the passage between constitutions, the state is temporarily ungrounded. Everything is up for grabs, however briefly. There’s no better example of that than the crisis currently affecting Bolivia, where even a hundred-year grievance over the site of the national capital has been thrown into the mix.

Meanwhile, the ongoing deadlock in Belgium, let alone the slow-motion catastrophe that is the process of European integration, both demonstrate that threats to constituted power abound as much in the North as in the South. We’re living in an era of global reconstitution.

And so the defeat of Venezuela’s proposed constitutional changes could be read as an affirmation of the country’s current (hardly any less chavista) constitution and current head of state. Indeed, that’s precisely how Châvez’s defenders have portrayed the situation: as an endorsement of the institutional mechanisms cemented in place by the 1999 constitution, from the National Electoral Council (Consejo Nacional Electoral or CNE) to the clauses that regulate constitutional amendment itself.

In other words, at least at first sight, the rejection of the referendum is a victory for constituted power, and a defeat for constituent power.

On a cultural note, The Spy in the Sandwich with extremely detailed notes on literary blogging in the Philippines. Elsewhere, Why we should teach philosophy to kids. And obtain 45 Free Cutting-Edge Books … Courtesy of Creative Commons!

And in the spirit of the Season:

And a holiday gift reminder:

While advanced greetings for this holiday:

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36 comments

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  1. anthony scalia

    “And its not only because of its positive economic impact, its also because the growth of the middle class is the surest path to political stability”

    thats the undeniable truth! democracy requires an expanded middle class! the direction of those who ‘care for the country’ should be ‘how to elevate the masa to be middle class’

    another people power/EDSA won’t do it.

    (i can already anticipate the ‘anti-elitists’ who believe the only way for the masa to be uplifted is for the ‘elite’ to ‘power down’ and ‘transfer’ some power to them)

  2. cvj

    Dave Llorito is being too sanguine if he believes that the rise of the young middle class entrepreneurs bodes well for liberal democracy. One can be a liberal without necessarily being a democrat. In fact, we are now witnessing the unraveling of the uneasy and unnatural merger between liberal and democratic thought. In a lot of societies, the conflict is now between liberals who are not democrats and democrats who are not liberals. Liberal democrats are increasingly being caught in the middle. That spells trouble for a Mar Roxas candidacy.

  3. cvj

    anthony scalia, apir!

  4. The Equalizer

    Liberal democrats are increasingly being caught in the middle. That spells trouble for a Mar Roxas candidacy.cvj

    In the Philippines,there are no real political parties,just the “INs versus OUTs”.They are neither liberals nor conservatives.Just opportunists.Don’t worry about the “liberal” party tag…they can easily change the name too.

  5. BrianB

    I was surprised to see young boys and girls in 20s and 30s, many of them barely out of college. And my goodness, they were all talking about “doing business’ and making money! In my time, we were all about “social engineering,” “social change,” and revolutions as if we knew what we were talking about.

    Why do Filipinos love social engineering. Do they even now what this means?

  6. BrianB

    scalia,

    Not power down, the elite are already powerless. They continue having power by force of habit. Most of their businesses are dependent on OFWs. They are few in numbers, and they are perpetually bombarded by wannabes from the entertainment industry and other sectors.

  7. BrianB

    @mlq

    “I am not convinced, though, completely, that the attitude represents something fundamentally new, or even daring; or to be more precise, it seems far too susceptible, still, to confusing form with substance.”

    Yes. Most of it is trickle down effect of the attitude of young people in the upper class 5 to 10 years ago.

  8. BrianB

    Literary blogging are for jerks.

  9. BrianB

    Thanks Manolo to the link to eatingthesun and sorry for cross-posting.
    My reply to this entry:
    http://zeppelinofburningdreams.blogspot.com/2007/12/insult-to-injury-death-of-pinoy-lit.html

    kaliwang,

    An important book doesn’t have to be entertaining to read. It’s even reasonable to say that the next great Filipino novel would be treated the way Noli was treated by the Spaniards, as a subversive text.

    My opinion is that Filipino writers, especially prominent ones like Dalisay and Yuson, want to prove they can write in English first, hence the emphasis in “language.” Language, in my opinion, is the appreciation of a writer’s style, in which case, the writer’s style is what critics mean when they write about “his language.” The way I understand Mr. Dalisay, “language” to him is something more than style. It has a mystery unto itself, much like a religious icon, and this is the pitfall of writers like him. There is nothing mysterious about English, unless you are new to the language. What is mysterious is the meaning that the English conveys, especially when the “language” is literary.

    The truth is, there is only one acceptable English in the Philippines, and that is the English as used by foreigners. Filipino English is not acceptable. We do not allow an idiomatic that is more natural to Filipinos to evolve. Filipino syntax when used for authenticity’s sake is often mistaken by editors as uneducated English.

    Which leads me to the conclusion, that in the same way Republicans try to social engineer Americans into behaving “more like Americans” (sorry, got your link through MLQ3’s blog), Philippine editors and Philippine literary institutions engineer writers into writing more like Americans and Europeans. It’s not that we are incapable of being original and relevant to our Filipino people, rather publishers are short-sighted. We can write original literature but who would publish it?

  10. Bencard

    mlq3, if the sole role of the senate (and its raison d’etre) was to make a president’s life miserable to a point that virtually paralyzes him/her from doing his/her job, then you may be right in opining the “wisdom” of electing the likes of trillianes and other ultra-adversarial nincompoopos. the thing is, the senate’s primordial function is legislation and it takes intelligence, insight, and persuasiveness to introduce laws that will benefit the nation, including the “masa”, or remove out-dated and counterproductive statutes from the books.

  11. DevilsAdvc8

    Literary blogging are for jerks.

    the one who says this is the jerk.

    Don’t be a jerk BrianB just because you’re bitter. You can deny it to death all you want, but it oozes from you. And cutting me down to size won’t work. I’ve held the Sword of Shannara. Try it some time, maybe then you’d be less bitter.

  12. DevilsAdvc8

    The power of hegemony, is that achieved by a benevolent group, humankind can actually achieve peace and end all hunger and death. The craziness of it is that though humans are more or less rational, we are also more or less ruled by our passions. In the right hands, it is deliverance, and in the wrong ones – well, I believe in hell, right?

    The paradox, and what really annoys, is that passion cannot be separated from the rational. And the greatest of men aiming to do good better be passionate at what they do, or we are more than lost to the megalomaniacs of this world.

    The final solution is for everyone to step into the shoes of those they hate most. For liberals to think like fascists, for secularists to entertain religion, for atheists to believe in a God, vice-versa.

    and then everyone would see that we’re not that much different from each other. that what makes us tick is also what makes our adversaries tick. and that in the end, they are not our adversaries at all.

  13. torn

    It seems to me that the militarization of Philippine political life, of which the proposal for an “overbroad” antisubversion law is the latest manifestation, is the most disturbing trend of the Arroyo administration. Even the main threats to the regime have come from military renegades. The sad thing is that it will not be Arroyo who reaps the whirlwind of her pusillanimous attitude to the generals, but her successor. As soon as a new president tries to restore an appropriate balance between civilian and military power that is when the mailed fist will strike.

  14. benign0

    “What sets apart a totalitarian from a democrat is the acknowledgment, on the democrat’s part, anyway, that there will always be a limit, however circumscribed in times of emergency, when a regime will have to dissolve itself, if demanded by the people. A basic attitude towards power, when held by the public and not despite public opinion, as totalitarians argue (for the good of the people, of course, they say).”

    I wrote way back in 2003:

    ———-
    The viability of a democractic system therefore is characterised by a balance between the Cost of Democracy and the Cost of Potential Corruption of a Governing Entity. This means that the more benevolent a leader, the less democracy we need and the less benevolent a leader, the more democracy we need. In effect, we can, on one end, be comfortable sacrificing individual liberties in exchange for expeditiousness and decisiveness in governance if and only if we can trust leaders to act purely in the interests of the greater community. At the other end of the continuum we can be willing to shoulder the relative costs and complex bureacracy of an ultra-representative “democracy” (such as the Philippines’) when we absolutely cannot expect our leaders to act beyond their selfish interests.
    ———-
    Full article:
    http://www.geocities.com/benign0/agr-disagr/12-6-dictator.html

    This goes back to two things that Pinoys need to be a bit more reflective about: (1) our regard for the process of selecting our leaders, and (2) how we conduct ourselves once those leaders are in office.

    We all know the degree of moronism with regard to the way Pinoys participate in elections. But as Ben Kritz wrote in his comparison between Chicago and the Philippines (both ruled by despotic leaders):

    ———-
    The difference is not necessarily in the politicians, it is in the people. People in Chicago have always been willing to sacrifice democratic idealism, so long as they felt the corrupt despot they were putting into office was one of their own. People in the Philippines, by contrast, never champion one of their own. They put one movie star into the highest office in the land already, and almost did it again in 2004. In fact, there is some evidence to suggest they actually succeeded even then, but were only thwarted by the machinations of Gloria Arroyo and her backers.
    ———-
    Full article:
    http://www.getrealphilippines.com/agr-disagr/delaney.html

  15. BrianB

    “Literary blogging are for jerks. the one who says this is the jerk.”

    Premature jerk offs, I mean.

  16. anthony scalia

    cvj,

    “…apir!”

    ****entrance music of the Undertaker plays****

    honestly, all i can say is an anticlimactic ‘noted’ because its the first time i encountered “liberals who are not democrats and democrats who are not liberals” and “liberal democracy.”

    is there such a thing as a “nonliberal democracy”?

  17. anthony scalia

    cvj,

    what sayest thou to BrianB’s comment:

    “Not power down, the elite are already powerless. They continue having power by force of habit. Most of their businesses are dependent on OFWs. They are few in numbers, and they are perpetually bombarded by wannabes from the entertainment industry and other sectors”

  18. cvj

    is there such a thing as a “nonliberal democracy”? – Anthony Scalia

    Yes.

    http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2007-09-18-eurozineeditorial-en.html

    http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2007-09-18-krastev-en.html

    and

    http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2006-02-23-zhurzhenko-en.html

    what sayest thou to BrianB’s comment… – Anthony Scalia

    The elite (and elitists) do feel besieged. That’s why they tolerate GMA’s cheating. (See Benign0’s comment above). My hunch is that Mar Roxas & Noynoy Aquino represent the last chance for the oligarchs to redeem themselves. If they can engineer a soft landing, then they will help avoid social conflict that may cause us a generation of grief. That being said, the elite has proven resilient. As i’ve pointed out in the previous thread, they have survived war, revolution, democracy and dictatorship.

  19. Lawrence P. Villamar

    the freedom to dissent is probably one of the cornerstone of a democracy. In order for democracy to perpetuate itself, it must provide a niche for dissenters, because they are essential to the dynamic of opinions, and actions in a state. I guess, I agree with the editorial. That this administration has gone too far to maintain power. The anti-subversion law encroaches upon the individual’s right to express his dissatisfaction with the government, and with all considerations, that right must be respected and protected by the state from suppression by any entity even itself… I have mixed opinion on this law.While it’s purpose is noble, the price that the people has to pay as a whole is just too great, and quite impractical.

  20. The Equalizer

    “The sad thing is that it will not be Arroyo who reaps the whirlwind of her pusillanimous attitude to the generals, but her successor. As soon as a new president tries to restore an appropriate balance between civilian and military power that is when the mailed fist will strike.”

    TORN:It’s something is as hard as squeezing toothpaste back into the tube!

  21. ramrod

    A CHRISTMAS GIFT FROM GMA!

    PALACE : SUMILAO LAND TO BE UNDER CARP

    http://www.inquirer.net

    Thank you Gloria! Merry Christmas to you!

  22. Jon Mariano

    With the victory (yet unconfirmed) of the Sumilao farmers, a rush of “same” type of complaints will be coming.

  23. cvj

    Kudos to the Sumilao farmers, their perseverance seems to have paid off. Assuming things are as they appear to be (i.e. no tricks, no subsequent betrayals), kudos as well to GMA. If this becomes the norm, then the dismantling of the landed elite will be her lasting contribution to the nation.

  24. tonio

    cvj:

    isn’t it time for your “fall of the elite” dance or something? 😉

  25. cvj

    tonio, probably a little premature for that, but maybe it’s prudent to start limbering up.

  26. ramrod

    cvj,

    I just found out yesterday that my foster father (now a retired general) is a close friend of Mr. Pidal, its his birthday sometime next month, I’ll be there. Its going to be the first time I will have a chance to see the Pidals face to face, I hope I can squeeze in some questions. Come to think of it, how do we address the President? Mrs. President? Ms. President? Your Excellency? Your Highness? Hmmm, I’ve got to figure this one out or I’m liable to blurt out Madam Gloria.

  27. tonio

    cvj, you see, this all still sounds so… off. i mean, if people out there see that the only reward for striving hard in business is government coming in, taking all your hard work, and redistributing it to the poor, where’s the incentive to prosper?

    i’m talking in general terms, as every situation and country has its own idiosyncracies.

  28. cvj

    ramrod, i’m glad i’m not in your shoes since i don’t recognize her as ‘president’ and wouldn’t know how to address her without breaching protocol and embarrasing your foster father. good luck on your meeting.

    tonio, in general terms, just assume that the poor, the middle class and the rich all work equally hard. it’s just that the poor were not born as lucky and do not have the same opportunities. government is there to act as an ‘equalizer’. then there’s also the scientific angle. in terms of economic policy, what we are aiming for is an objective measure, i.e. reducing land inequality which is shown (by Rodrik et. al) to have an inverse relationship with per capita GDP.

    if you’re bothered by the seeming ‘unfairness’ of this arrangement, the proper time to put pressure on any deadbeats and freeloaders (whatever class they belong to) is after this land inequality has been eliminated because land inequality in itself has been shown to be detrimental to economic development. in going down this path, we are not reinventing the wheel. rather we are following the successful formula of our neighbors (both communist and non-communist).

  29. rego

    I am confused as to what you column today was all about.

    I was wondering whwt is really your objcetive on writing that piece?

    Gees my impression is that it all deals witha problem but no clear solutions at at all.

    i really had enugh of polical punditry. I i prefer so much see teh artfihe plan of actions and results.

  30. hvrds

    “Third, the Law if re-enacted would violate freedom of religion and conscience. As pointed out by the US Supreme Court in the free-exercise case of U.S. v. Seeger (380 US 163, 174-175, 184-185 [1965]), freedom of religion protects not only Theist belief-systems like Christianity and Islam but also non-Theist systems like Buddhism, Marxism, and Secular Humanism, which–as argued by Paul Tillich in Dynamics of Faith–have the same “religious” function in human life.”

    I wonder why the ideology of economic liberalism which for some have become the counterpoint of Marxism is not included in the discussions of non-Theists systems as correctly stated above which functions as a “religion”

    Hence challenges to this “religion” become a primordial challenge to the state.

    The ongoing challenges to all countries now is that the religion of liberalism is breaking down all the other rationales about the philosophies behind economic systems and structures brought on by rapid changes once again.

    While that goes on in the more mature economies the religion of liberalism is breaking down.

    “People who voluntarily run a risk, betting that they will escape unscathed, are entitled to government-organized amelioration when they lose their bets. Brilliant.” George Will, The Washington Post on The New Entitlement

  31. vic

    The last time the Government of Canada invoked the War Measure Act was during the 1970 October Crisis in Quebec when the FLQ, the violent faction of the Separitist, Marxist movement, kidnaped a British diplomat and murdered a Quebec Cabinet Minister and although the measure was very effective in eliminating the FLQ and arresting and eventually punished all that were involved, the War Measure Act was subsequently repealed and replaced with an Emergency Act, which will only authorized the Governmnet to pass An Emergency Law in Serious Emergency subject to the Provision of the Charter and that is including the declaration of War with the confidence that in a Crisis the Nation will be ONE instead of Bickering at one another…so why this talk of reviving the Anti-Suversion Law..pass any law when it is necessary and for the sake of passing it, enforce it with full force…or take it off the book..

  32. DevilsAdvc8

    Premature jerk offs, I mean.

    aww. coming from you, that’s sweet.

  33. inodoro ni emilie

    I am confused as to what you column today was all about.

    I was wondering whwt is really your objcetive on writing that piece?

    Gees my impression is that it all deals witha problem but no clear solutions at at all.

    i really had enugh of polical punditry. I i prefer so much see teh artfihe plan of actions and results.

    huh?

    patay kang manolo ka! your writing composition critic wants you to write pala an action plan not an opinion column.

  34. BrianB

    on-liberal democracy?

    Come on guys. Athens wasn’t exactly liberal, was it? My impression of Athens is that it was an oligarchy, as well as a very elitist society. Rule of the people doesn’t mean the people have to be liberal as rulers.

  35. tonio

    brian:

    Sure, Athenian democracy was a democracy! To Athenians of course. The only sticking point was in their society, they allow for the concept of other fellow human beings not being people.

  36. cvj

    Tonio, i wasn’t wearing my glasses when i first read your comment so i thought for a while you were explaining Atenean democracy.

    Anyway, just a background on the idea of liberalism (from Dryzek) for purposes of discussion:

    As befits the most pervasive political force of the modern era, liberalism comes in many varieties. But at its core is a common doctrine based on the assumption that individuals are mostly motivated by self-interest rather than any conception of the common good, and that they themselves are the best judges of what this self-interest entails. When the interests of different individuals cannot be reconciled to their mutual benefit through operation of the market economy, politics comes into play. Liberal politics is therefore mostly and properly about the reconciliation and aggregation of predetermined interests under the auspices of a neutral set of rules: that is, a constitution. A fear that self-interested individuals, even if they are in the majority, may turn public power to private advantage then necessitates a set of constitutional rights to protect individuals against government, and against each other. – John Dryzek, Deliberative Democracy and Beyond

    Dryzek goes on to say that liberalism “is actually silent on the issue of democracy“. As long as the objective of protecting individual rights is achieved, for example, via the prevalence of market mechanisms or rule of law provided by a ‘benevolent’ dictator, then that would suit a lot of liberals just fine.

    Liberalism and democracy have separate roots but overlapping objectives. In the 20th century, these overlapping objectives led to the merger of both leading to the acceptance of ‘liberal democracy’. In the 21st century, the contradictions between the two is once more leading to the separation of these two ideas.

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