- NOTE: This was posted on my old site on Dec. 23, 2009.
“One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can’t afford it.” — Ronald Reagan
A matter of philosophy
WHAT separates the rational from the irrational? What distinguishes the individualist and the collectivist, the man of self-esteem and the altruist, and the man of reason and the mystic? It is the choice of philosophy— which should be defined as the science that deals with the fundamental aspects of the nature of existence, of man, and of man’s relationship to existence— that separates man from men. We have seen a lot of evidence that most people in this country reject the idea that for man to live properly on earth, he needs a certain form of philosophy that would provide him with a comprehensive view of life.
Man cannot escape the fact that he needs a certain form of philosophy. Those who want to live as rational men must define their own philosophy by a disciplined, rational, and conscious process of thought, while those who reject or are not interested in it would simply absorb a junk heap of false premises, superfluous presumptions, false generalizations, vague contradictions, and undefined beliefs—but all these are integrated by their subconscious mind into a certain type of crossbreed philosophy.[i] Observe that the second type of men—those who discard philosophy and ideas— have self-doubts and contradictions which they could not properly define. Observe that these men are also detached from reality, as they simply allow themselves to think and live by the whim of the moment. This types of people proclaim that they are only interested in results, in the ends of their goal, and reject ideas, which they regard as impractical and senseless abstractions.
Religion versus secular mystics
Today the issue of population control in this country is widely seen as a battle between the anti-population mystics, who support an altruist legislative proposal, and the religionists, who attach their arguments to Biblical grounds. Unfortunately, none of the opponents of this legislative proposal—the Reproductive Health Bill authored by socialist representatives in Congress—offered any proper, rational argument to counter the assumptions of the anti-population cultists. This is the reason why the RH bill debate is gaining more supporters than opponents—and this is also the reason why this country is moving toward complete collectivism.
If the state is altruistically committed to a so-called equal distribution of wealth and welfare, it has to acquire them from those who are able to produce.
Consider this statement by a passionate anti-population advocate in a pro-RH bill Facebook group: “I’ve always wondered why is [it] that most families ‘na may kaya’ [who have in life] have a little number of children compared to poor families.”[ii] He explains this statement by saying: “I once had a maid who had many kids (she was only in her late 20s-early 30s and I asked her why she wanted kids. She replied that she wanted many kids because she believes that these kids will help her when she gets old. But, how can she fulfill her mission when she first has to take care of many kids?”
Another anti-population advocate from the same online group shares his own observation, to wit: “What happened to the Democracy our heroes fought for? What happened to the freedom of religion a Democracy has to have? Are we not going to listen to what poor Filipino couples really want?”[iii]
This was seconded by one of his peers who reduced his overwhelming agreement with a newspaper editorial to the following statement—“How untrammeled population growth undermined our urban planning, and helped exacerbate the destruction of Ondoy.”[iv]
Also, an RH-bill supporter, in reply to a member who proposed that the“Philippines can now follow China which has a one-child per family policy,” enthusiastically agreed, saying “desperate times call for desperate measures. Sometimes it has to be enforced with an iron fist.”[v]
You might think that the abovementioned statements were have been from a communist-propaganda fiction book, but I have to tell you that they are for real. They came from the very people who firmly believe that overpopulation is the main problem in this country that must be solved “with an iron fist.” It is clear that these people are calling for the government to solve what they call “population problem.” Logic tells us that their irrational, anti-logic collective argument demands more government control and power yet they refuse to believe that the expansion of government authority to serve the poor and the weak would eventually lead to dictatorship of the mediocre.
The evil of the morality of altruism:
Based on the aforementioned statements, the kind of mongrel philosophy that deeply polluted the minds of these people is tied to the morality of altruism. This type of man-sacrificing ethical system conceptualized by Auguste Compte states that it is the moral duty or obligation of individuals to serve the good and welfare of others and put other people’s interests above their own.”[vi] Perhaps some of these people reject philosophy, but they cannot evade the fact that their altruistic statements and behavior are tied to a certain form of process of thought.
What can be deduced from their statements and advocacies is that they are so loud in proclaiming that they care for the poor, the weak and the have-nots. They deeply believe that it is the duty of those who have in life to provide welfare and goods for the least advantaged. If Compte argued that man has the “moral obligation” to serve others, Immanuel Kant, another anti-reason philosopher, solidified this claim by declaring that man has a special sense of “duty” to serve others.[vii] It is Kant’s subjectivist philosophy– meaning a philosophy that is detached from reality and determined only by the perceiver’s consciousness– that claims that an action is moral only if the individual performs it out of a sense of duty and obtains no benefit from it of any sort.
The difference between the developed and underdeveloped nations is a matter of philosophy.
Whether they know it or not, the staunchest advocates of this anti-population bill are motivated by the morality of altruism that seeks to force the successful and the able to serve the poor and the weak. It should be understood that altruism does not simply mean kindness or generosity, because in reality this kind of morality makes it impossible for men to be kind and generous. Altruism demands that a man merely exists for others—that he is a sacrificial animal to be immolated for what they call the “common good.” Man cannot have sense of generosity, benevolence and kindness if he is condemned by society to serve the interests and welfare of his fellowmen. Generosity and kindness can only be performed voluntarily, and the one who performs it is fully aware of the nature of his action.
An altruistic system only thrives in an irrational society run by collectivist-mystics and altruists. It has no room in a free or even semi-free society where objective laws do not demand the people to do something but limit the power and authority of the government. Voluntariness is part of the code of ethics in a free society. Observe that most developed nations like the United States of America send financial support to poor nations in Asia and Africa even if that means taxing their own citizens. Observe that most successful men in the world today reach out to the poor through charitable institutions.
The menace of pragmatism
The pro-RH bill people proclaim they are for the poor, but they refused to think that other men—the men who are willing to work and improve their lives—need to produce wealth so that these anti-population advocates would have something to dole out to those in need. Yes, they are only after the results of their goal. Perhaps they unwittingly believe that they embrace that Machiavellian doctrine, which is also attributed to the Jesuits— “the end justifies the means”—that served as an ideological bromide to the collectivists who built the murderous regimes of Soviet Russia and Maoist China. This evil, pragmatic axiom rejects rational principles and ideas and enshrines the supremacy of a man’s or a collective’s whims, feelings and caprices over reality.
It’s no surprise that one of the staunchest anti-population advocates of a group called the Filipino Freethinkers rejects philosophy, but embraces a mongrel viewpoint consisting of pragmatism, altruism, Machiavellian-type ideology, among others. This anti-population supporter proudly states: “I am a pragmatist whose altruist beliefs are based science and math. I don’t like Philosophers or their “Play on words”, I only deal with results, evidence and action. I continuously work toward my Machiavellian-altruistic beliefs and I leave nothing to chance especially the supernatural, mystical or faith. I live in the real world and I am aware of real suffering, and how easy it is to hide behind the little lies I and others tell themselves. I’ve stopped dreaming.” Indeed, this statement sums up the belief system of most anti-population people who reject philosophy and ideas. It’s no surprise this guy “stopped dreaming.”
“I only deal with results,” they say, yet this is an implied admission that they are determined to achieve their altruistic goal through whatever means possible or practicable. Between a plain criminal and a staunch altruist, the latter is more dangerous. An altruist who is motivated by a sense of “duty” wouldn’t care if the means to achieve his altruistic ends consist of forcing or sacrificing other people or result in mountains of dead bodies. Mao Tse Tung, who firmly believed his Great Leap Forward experiment would propel China to progress that killed more than 30 million Chinese, was only concerned with “practical results.” A mystic is a potential dictator.
The collectivist-altruist-environmentalist evil alliance
Observe also that the overpopulation issue serves as the melting point of all the altruists, collectivists, and ecologists or environmentalists. The environmentalists claim that the enemy of nature is man, so there is a need to control population growth. The socialists proclaim that since earth’s resources are scarce, the government must do something to limit “population explosion.” Both these two groups of mystics are altruists. Their mongrel philosophy, which they consciously or unconsciously hold, upholds the virtue of self-sacrifice, self-abnegation, and self-immolation. They declare that they are for the welfare of the world and men, but they are unaware that the belief system, which they dogmatically embrace, is anti-Man.
“Overpopulation is the problem,” they say, but they reject the fact that population is a private matter only left to private individuals and families. “Overpopulation is linked to poverty,” they claim, but they refused to understand the very source of poverty. If these altruistic people were concerned with suffering and human poverty, they should have the patience to discover their cause. They should ask—Why some countries continue to progress, while others do not. Africa and certain nations in Asia are being used as the poster card of global poverty. But why most people in Kenya cannot even build a deep well to solve widespread thirst and hunger? Why most people in Africa cannot even develop a practical system of agriculture as a way of solving mass starvation? Why is that the Philippines still had to rely on foreign relief during the past natural calamities that devastated the nation. “Why is it that most Filipinos are poor in spite of the fact that we’re rich in natural resources?” most people in this country wonder. The difference between the developed and underdeveloped nations is a matter of philosophy.
What makes wealth possible?
The anti-population advocates should ask not why America became a superpower nation, but how it reached it current status. The communists claim America became a global power because of imperialism, disregarding the fact that Soviet Russia had also conquered nations and killed millions of its own people. America is a product of philosophy, while the rest of the world is a product of history. America, the first free society on earth, was based on the philosophy of Aristotle—that man has inalienable rights to his life, property, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is the first nation on earth that recognized individual rights, and it is this concept that led to the development of rational ideas and principles that spread throughout the world. This is why our Constitution recognizes individual rights. But most of you would argue, “but America was built by immigrants!” Yes, but what kind of immigrants? The brilliant minds of the world, the creators, the scientists, the innovators, the thinkers, and all those who loved life and achievement, migrated to the United States over the past 200 years because it was the only nation that permitted them to practice their profession without the risk of being sacrificed to society or the “common good.” America was based on the premise that man is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others
If man wants to live on earth, he must regard reason as his absolute and believe that his mind is valid and that ideas matter.
Both the anti-population advocates and the environmentalists want more government powers. They believe that population growth would lead to what most of them fear—a so-called Malthusian catastrophe. This anti-population philosophy devised by Thomas Malthus in the early eighteenth century, which was imbibed by Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich and the rest of the modern-day environmentalists and the so-called population experts, postulates that “the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man.”[viii] Despite the fact that it was developed about two centuries ago, this Malthusian theory still poisons most modern-day population intellectuals. Malthus wrote his thesis for irrational men at the time when such things as genetic engineering, wireless technology, high-end machines and apparatuses, innovative architectural engineering, among many others were still beyond the imagination of man. Malthus, his followers, and fellow thinkers believed that man is a helpless being who cannot improve his status on earth.
The role of reason
Most environmentalists and anti-population advocates claim that the industrial revolution was the worst part of human history, but they refused to think that during that time man was still in the process of developing the tools he needed to improve his life. It is true that pollution and hazardous wastes were prevalent during the industrial revolution, but due to the desire of the creators and innovators to create wealth, we now have anti-pollutant devices and green technology. Life expectancy from the industrial revolution up to present time undeniably improved. [ix] The evidence is all around us. Man lives in a better and more comfortable world today than in any period in history.
Because of the continued development of science and technology, man is now able to command nature. If man wants to live on earth, he must regard reason as his absolute and believe that his mind is valid and that ideas matter. To counter scarcity of food, scientists discovered genetic engineering. In the Philippines, Filipino scientists developed a scientific formulation at the Philippine Rice Research Institute decades back to genetically manipulate rice production in the country. But since most politicians did not value rational philosophy and ideas, this innovative undertaking was slowly overshadowed by what they call “practical programs” and “pragmatic results.” Before, television sets and radio were only for the rich, but the ‘greedy’ capitalists who were only after money managed to offer these “luxuries” to average-earning people through mass production and competition. Before, computers were as large as a single-storey house, but because of continued innovation and discovery, innovators and capitalists now offer affordable computer units and laptops in almost all part of the globe.
The statists demand more government powers and intervention:
A society that believes that man is a tool for the needs and welfare of others regards population growth as evil that must be condemned.
While most anti-population advocates and environmentalists whine about overpopulation and demand more government powers, the creators, the innovators, and the capitalists continue to conquer nature. Before, most people believed that the source of energy was fossil fuel and that it is non-renewable, today scientists and creators discovered that planet earth is over-abundant in energy—and it is only a matter of time for man to develop a highly advanced technology to tap earth’s tangible and intangible sources of energy for mass production.
Population is not the enemy of global progress. Population can only waylay global development and prosperity if we let these anti-population advocates and environmentalists dictate a form of social system under which we would all live. If a social system were based on the morality of altruism, the successful and those who are willing to produce wealth would be reduced to mere slaves. The men who cherish individual rights and freedom will not exist in a society that enshrines sacrifice and altruism as a social system. The political slogan of these environmental- and population-altruists is that Marxist credo— “From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” A society that holds that man is a tool for the needs and welfare of others regards population growth as evil that must be condemned. If people begin to think that man is a helpless animal who has no capacity to improve his life on earth, they would not hesitate to resort to brute force to achieve their altruistic goal.
Politics in a free society
However, a free society does not regard population as a social problem. A society beleaguered by government controls and regulations cannot be considered a free society, so is a society that is based on the morality of altruism. Aristotle’s law of identity postulates that contradictions cannot exist. Thus, for a society to be free, it has to embrace a certain type of socio-economic system that is consistent with man’s nature and rights. Man’s nature suggests that he cannot exist in a society that regards him as a sacrificial animal. Man’s rights also suggest that man has to live in a society that embraces rational principles and objective moral ideals. This is how the United States of America developed and became the most prosperous nation in the world.
Yes, the men who reject philosophy need it most urgently, since they are most helplessly in its power.[x] Ideas are more powerful than a cabal of fully armed men. Most of the murderous nations on earth—Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Imperial Japan, Soviet Russia, and Maoist China— were all based on collectivist ideologies that enshrined state’s authority and regarded men as a collection of atoms. A collectivist/socialist state does not recognize individual rights, but only the state’s supremacy to govern and rule its subjects. Observe that those who reject philosophy and ideas do not believe in absolutes—they do not believe in objective reality. Reality for them is subjective to be determined by their consciousness. Everything that is not consistent with man’s nature and rights is a breach of reality. This is the reason why I believe that this anti-population RH bill is detached from reality, for it purports to demand the already “given” yet it hints the “impossible”.
If they want information dissemination, they should know that this is already given under the present setup. But others exclaim, “but it’s not enough!” Information dissemination, at present, perhaps is “not enough”, but the bill itself is vague and non-objective as to how it would control population through a so-called “information dissemination.” Now if they were really altruistically concerned with the plight of poor women and families, then they should band together to provide the goods to the poor and not coerce others through progressive taxation. More government welfare means more taxes to be collected and more government powers. If a government provides almost everything for its people under the concept of equality and common good, it also has the power to force other people to contribute almost everything they value in life.
This socialist bill is simply the effectof the cause. It is the very symptom of the dominant philosophical trend that is delivering this poor nation to complete collectivism. Observe that most anti-population advocates also hate capitalism, reject philosophy and reason, and are ignorant of the true concept of individualism. This bill is the promise of the party-list system enshrined by the 1987 Constitution, which allows absurd social groups to push for their ideologies and social causes in Congress. Do not be blinded by that collectivist canard that this RH bill is about overpopulation—it is about statism and more government controls and powers. The very purpose of this bill is to impose socialism or statism on this country. It’s objective is to make the government the dictator of every family in this already bankrupt nation. Like what former US President Ronald Reagan said: “One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can’t afford it.”
The solution is freedom and laissez faire capitalism
It is ironic that those who reject philosophy or ideology are now currently engaged in a battle of ideas. The bill’s proponents and supporters are pushing for an idea that would coerce employers to provide reproductive health services for their employees against their will, and inflate government power. This idea is based on the morality of altruism, as its proponents and supporters believe it is our duty to serve the poor and the weak.
My rejection of this altruist/socialist bill is grounded in the concept of individual rights—that the government is not—and should not be—in the business of providing welfare to the people, but of protecting their rights. If the state were altruistically committed to a so-called equal distribution of wealth and welfare, it had to acquire them from those who are able to produce. The fundamental premise of my argument is based on individualism and the economic principle of which is capitalism. The only social system that can save this country from worsening poverty iscapitalism—and the only solution to overpopulation, which is not even a problem, is to reject the morality of altruism, the concept of statism, and embrace reason, individualism, and a philosophy for living on earth. This way, the Filipino can achieve a new renaissance for this country.
[i] Ayn Rand, Philosophy Who Needs It. Random House, p.5
[ii] A pro-population control advocate named Alfonso Roces states the following statement—“I’ve always wondered why is [it] that most families ‘na may kaya’ [who have in life] have a little number of children compared to poor families”— in this Facebook grouphttp://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&ref=search&gid=27617482169 .
[iii] Another guy named Victorio Lonzo Rodriguez wonders about the state of democracy in this country. Source: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&ref=search&gid=27617482169 .
[iv] A pro-RH bill guy named Kevin Punzalan posted an Inquirer editorial entitled “Make no Little Plans.”
[v] Carl Tomacruz agreed to Alex Sotto’s statement that “Maybe the Philippines can now follow China which has a one-child per family policy.” http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&ref=search&gid=27617482169 .
[vi] John Stuart Mill in his book ‘Auguste Compte and Positivism’ published in 1986 discusses Compte’s concept of Altruism. John Stuart Mill, Auguste Compte and Positivism, Abebooks, 1866, p. 10.
[vii] Immanuel Kant and Mary Gregor, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. Cambridge University Press, p. 15.
[viii] Thomas Robert Malthus, Population: The First Essay. University of Michigan Press, 1959, p. 5.
[ix] John S. Millar and Richard M. Zammuto (1983). “Life Histories of Mammals: An Analysis of Life Tables”. Ecology 64 (4): 631–635.
[x] Ayn Rand, Philosophy Who Needs It. Random House, p.6