Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Mindsets of Inaction

I have yet to see the Korina Sanchez interview with Jun Lozada in its entirety, but one thing that struck me during that dialogue were his thoughts on the mindset of the Filipino people with regard to corruption and politics. In particular, his exposition of the the three different mindsets of apathy struck a chord within me.

I did a search, and it seems that someone transcribed the interview and sent it out in the form of a letter. I finally found it on a forum (warning: several trolls on that board.)

Anyway, here is the transcript, which is as faithful to the interview as I remember it:
“Once you achieved your aim of destroying the system you fought against, do not leave a single trace or else the bad habits that were formed during the period of the dysfunctional system and which still remains in the hearts and minds of the people, shall nurture this remnant and allow it to come back in a more vicious form.”

This is one of the three conditions set forth by our beloved hero, Jose Rizal, this condition captures the framework of action and shall act as the guiding principle in any post-game scenario that must be formulated as part of the preparation to undo this brazenly corrupt regime.

But before we consider any action to take, it is a must to first address the concerns and arguments of other individuals and sectors that I believe are critical in creating a broad base support for such an action.

The Arrogant Mindset – first of which are purveyors of the Perversity issue whose main contention is that taking action may simply result to a more seriously worsened scenario than the present one we are against. This is typified by remarks such as “any action against the administration will only result to anger and chaos in the street, a situation that can be taken advantage of by ideologically and militarily cohesive groups as the CPP/NPA or the Right Wing military groups. This will be bad for the economy and will only worsen the already bad situation.” Let me warn you to look out for this arrogant mindset. It is arrogant because it is their view that the universe is totally predictable, and that they are capable of knowing ahead all the unforeseen, both the intended purpose and the unintended consequences of such purposive social action. It is a fact that no person has been endowed with such a gift that borders on the Divine.

The Insulting Mindset - Second are the believers of the Futility issue, whose main contention is that any action taken will simply result in the same thing we are fighting against. This is typifies by remarks such as “Kahit ano pang gawin natin, kahit sino pang ilagay mo dyan, pare-pareho lang ang mga yan! Ganun pa rin ang kalalagyan natin, mangnanakaw din lang ang papalit dyan!” Filipinos who say these words are insulting our entire race. They are condemning all of us as incapable of patriotism and love for one another. It seems that they are the majority now. They may have the numbers, but they are wrong. I’ve always believed that real strength does not come with numbers but comes with commitment.

The Untrustworthy Mindset – Third are the proponents of the jeopardy issue, whose main contention is that any action taken will be too costly for the intended purpose of removing a morally corrupt administration. This is typified by remarks such as “Hintayin nalang natin hanggang 2010, anyway, mahigit 2 taon na lang yan. Baka pag ginalaw yan, mas lalo pang masaktan ang ekonomiya at maghirap pa tayo lalo.” These type of statements are usually observed from people who are not willing to do the right action now for fear that they may not have the courage to do what is right in the future. Watch out for people who think like this, for they will be the practitioners of the same corrupt practices that you are now fighting against once they are the ones in power.

What alternative action can we suggest?

Take action together. There seems to be a common agenda among all sectors to eradicate state-sponsored corruption in the country, as practiced by the current leader and her immediate predecessors. This shared goal will be enough to put together a sober and well thought out post scenario plan that will address the concerns of the first group in a synergy that has certainly more chances of success compared to a number of separately conceptualized plans by different independent groups.

Inaction is going to be more expensive both in short term cost and long term goals. The short term cost of this state-sponsored corruption is going to be enormous if measured in total peso cost. Our quick estimate just for the current Chinese projects will run into tens of billions of pesos. But the more costly and hidden cost from the public is the long-term damage to the government institutions, which will now have a new standard for public service that says “ Corruption pays as long as you steal big. Only the small goes to jail.” This argument will blow the second and third groups’ arguments for not taking action, because it is more costly and will not be ‘business as usual’ even if a new group takes over government.

History will vindicate us. The history of our nation has repeatedly shown that Filipinos do not punish a sitting administration for political and authoritarian misdeeds but rather only upon gross moral transgressions such as exemplified by Rizal’s death by the Spaniards, Moises Padilla’s death from the hands of a Quirino henchman in Negros, Ninoy’s murder from Marcos’ thugs and the Tessie Aquino’s jig from the unsealed envelope in the Erap Senate. The Filipino people are now being subjected to such gross moral abuse in the ZTE-NBN deal, the bribery scandal, the Garci affair and other outright and blatant lies to the people.

“Why be a single stone alone out there in the field, if you can be part of a great monument of the Filipino people?”


  1. Am also handling the forum section at my work and its interesting to note that the pro-GMA camp are the ones who are the most strident. I wonder why: they think they can change people's mind by shouting loud enough?

  2. Hi, Joey: good to hear from you. I think they're following Lenin who said: "If you repeat a lie often enough (and loud enough), it becomes the truth."

    Evil, evil people.

  3. Also an alternative quote from Goebbels: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”