President-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III would’ve made any field commander serving on the ground in the latter part of of the Vietnam War proud. Just a week or so after he has been widely recognised as the next “President” of our excellent Republic, he has chalked up quite an impressive body count without actually gaining any significant tactical (much less strategic) ground as far as his prospects of effecting real leadership over the remainder of his term.
I defer to an excerpt from Amando Doronilla’s thoughts in his latest piece:
[Noynoy Aquino’s] victory was not a triumph of his party. Judging from the results, especially those in the vice presidential race, it appears that the political system is not after all turning its back on the multi-party framework of the post-Edsa 1986 Constitution and returning to the two-party system of the pre-dictatorial regime installed by Ferdinand Marcos in 1972.
The results also wreaked havoc on the credibility of the media’s prolific pundit industry, with many of its commentators eating crow and expressing profuse regrets for their “fearless forecasts.” This bacchanalia of feasting on humble pie usually happens when political commentators go beyond the facts and write passionate commentaries of what they “want to happen.” Hubris is not the monopoly of politicians in power; it also afflicts the commentating industry, and intoxicates journalists who appear to believe that they make the news and that the events are shaped by their accounts as eyewitnesses of unfolding events.
With a bit of glee I quote Doronilla again: “Only one man emerged from the upheaval as a clear winner — Aquino himself […]” — to highlight how all this validates my less politically-correct tagline and iconic mascot:
Look who’s laughing
all the way to the bank…
Indeed, Noynoy’s ascent to power is leaving a trail of destruction. He has all but decimated his own party and strung up his lackeys in the Philippine Media and the domains of the Establishment Bloggers who now hang stained with the irrevocable and mind-numbing adulations to the Vacuous One as well as the flawed arguments they issued to their audience over a period stretching back over the last six to eight months. And for lack of any other redeeming quality evident in Aquino’s fledgling rule over our sad island nation, it comes down to the “people’s will” — that favourite argument of Noynoy’s cult following. The continued latching on of Noynoy’s cult members to a virulent but utterly moronic notion of the “people’s will” is summed up in this excerpt from esteemed blogger Manuel Buencamino‘s latest ululation:
[…] legitimacy in a democracy comes from the ground up, not from the top down.
In its form above, even a lynch mob can be interpreted as a an effective force of legitimacy. And in the case of that recent article, Buencamino uses this quaint form of thinking to rationalise Noynoy’s aspirations for a barriotic ceremonial induction to mark his ascent to that lucrative throne in Malacanang. The dangerous thing about this sort of primitivist thinking is it underpins our addiction to those street “revolutions” that have made Filipinos the laughing stock of the free world.
What is that critical ingredient whose absence renders the pompous verbosity of the words unleashed by these traditional “pundits” poisonous to the Filipino Mind?
Here’s a clue: note the lack of any form of the concept of institution in the Aquino Fundamentalist’s bible. The gross thinking flaw that imprisons the minds of people like Buencamino and his pals lies in their lack of faculties to grasp the real deal around what it means to be a real democracy:
It is ONLY through robust institutions that the energy of the people’s will can be channeled into productive democratic outcomes.
The physics of Mother Nature know best. Raw solar energy (ultimately coming from thermonuclear reactions within the sun) scorched the earth for billions of years before complex structures now known as “life” evolved to channel solar energy upstream towards the building of the robust biosphere that beautifies our planet today. For life is essentially a complex mechanism for channeling solar energy. Plants capture this energy through their leaves, which gets passed on to herbivores (such as cows and deer) which, in turn, are passed on in the form of the meat eaten by carnivores.
If the people’s will were a form of energy that powers our democracy, you need a good rocket engine to turn that energy into forward thrust. The state’s institutional framework is that engine. It is the complexity evolved into institutions that tamed and harnessed the raw energy of mob rule that characterised primitive “democracies”. Without robust institutions, the people’s will simply explodes into a chaotic soup of useless noise that moves nothing forward.
To continue heeding the words of the traditionalists and triumphalists that form what Doronila calls the “prolific pundit industry” is to continue to patronise the useless noise they add to the rapidly cooling soup of uselessness that is Philippine society.