Demystifying the Mythical Ninoy

What are the similarities between United States President Barack Obama and Philippine President Noynoy Aquino? Well, obviously both of them are chiefs executive of their respective countries. Technically, both of them promised the politics of “change”. Both of them no longer have surviving parents– Barack’s father died in 1982 when he was 21 years old, while Noynoy’s father died in 1983 and he was 23 years old. Barack published his bestselling book titled Dreams of My Father; Noynoy considers his old man a hero. Barack’s father was an avowed socialist; Noynoy’s father was a self-confessed Christian socialist.

In 1965, Barack Obama Sr. published an article titled Problems Facing Our Socialism in the esoteric East Africa Journal. The Kenyan Intellectual advocated communal ownership of land, classless society, nationalization of private enterprise, confiscation of property owned by Kenyans of Asian and European descent, 100 percent taxation, and policy of “non-alignment”.

On communal ownership of property, Obama Sr. wrote:

It is surprising that one of the best African traditions [the communal ownership of land] is not only being put aside in this paper [in favor of private ownership] but even the principle is not being recognized and enhanced .. we can avoid economic power concentration and bring standardized use and control of resources through public ownership, let alone the equitable distribution of economic gains that follow ..

Will [land consolidation] be easily done through individual action, through co-operatives or through government ownership?  Realizing social stickiness and inflexibility and looking at the society’s distrust of change, one would see that, if left to the individual, consolidation will take a long time to come.  We have to look at priorities tin terms of what is good for society and on this basis we may find it necessary to force people to do things they would not do otherwise.

Would it not seem, then, the government could bring more rapid consolidation through clan co-operatives?  Individual initiative is not usually the best method of bringing land reform.  Since proper land use and control is very important if we are going to overcome the dual [rich Indian & European vs. poor black African class] character of our economy and thereby increase productivity, the government should take a positive stand and, if need be, force people to consolidate through the easiest way, which, I think, would be through clan co-operatives rather than through individual initiative.”

How about Ninoy Aquino Sr.’s Christian Socialism?

The former senator explained his concept of  democracy” and “Christian socialism” during an open forum following his speech at the Wilshire Ebvell theater in Los Angeles, California on February 15, 1981.

When asked to describe how  his Christian Socialism would help poor Filipinos, Ninoy said the following:

What do I mean by Christian Socialism? Very simply, Christian Socialism means to me, an equal opportunity for advancement and the full development of the human being.

This means that the poorest person in the land must be given the equal opportunity for education.

Not all men are created equal in their talents some are more brilliant than others. But we must give every citizen of the republic the equal right and equal opportunity to quality education, that’s number one.

Number two, the Christian socialist believes that the great legitimizer of government is the ballot not the bullet. And therefore because we believe in the ballot. We believe in a majority rule. So that if the majority should opt or should win in a contest then the minority should accept the majority mandate. But we put a colatilla – that the majority even if it wins must respect minority rights.

Number three, we do not believe in the exploitation of man by man. Meaning, we do not believe in unbridled capitalism where the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer. In a developed country like America you may have capitalism, but in a country like the Philippines with very meager resources and a developing economy, we must harness our meager economy and maximize their benefit. And therefore there should be centralized economic planning and the government must actually give us the direction so as to prevent any overlap.

Example, in the Philippines today because it is profitable to have condominiums, and profitable to have office buildings, all the millionaires in the Philippines are putting up all their money in office buildings and condominiums to the detriment of our industrial development. They go where the quick buck is.

I believe that we should go where the long range interest of the Filipino people is.

Finally I do not believe in the monopoly of basic industries. Why should one family monopolize one electric company in the Philippines? Or why should one family monopolize the ownership of one airline company in the Philippines? Or why should one company monopolize the telephone company in the Philippines? Since the government is funding all of these to begin with, these families are borrowing from government institutions and must depend on government guarantees, then I say let the government own them and let the people share in the profit.

Christian socialism therefore is nothing more than democracy.

Like Obama Sr.’s black socialism, Ninoy’s Christian socialism was all about the abolition of private property, establishment of a classless society, nationalization of private enterprise, central planning, and socialized or Marxist taxation. No, I don’t think the President’s old man is a real hero. Like Obama Sr., Ninoy was indeed an elite educated nincompoop.

Ninoy was indeed a product of the country’s elite education and collectivist culture and code of morality. He was, in fact, the best representative of that culture and code of ethics– altruism. His altruistic apothegm “Filipinos are worth dying for” truly reveals something about his politics, doctrine, ideology, and soul. Ninoy was not merely a socialist ideologue of his time; he was also a mystic. As a political mystic, Ninoy’s altruism is consistent with Comptean altruism (that code of ethics conceptualized by Auguste Compte) and Kantian altruism. He believed that man has a duty to sacrifice himself to others or to put the interests and welfare of others above his own. This is why he advocated central planning and the state legislation of “equal right and equal opportunity” to serve others, especially the poor. If he strongly believed in the sacrifice of oneself to others, his political arch-nemesis dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was also a political mystic, was motivated by a Nietzschean notion of sacrifice– the sacrifice of others to oneself.

The President’s father was a champion of altruism and self-sacrifice of his time. Perhaps this explains President Noynoy Aquino creeping politics of sacrifice. Ninoy’s socialistic drivel about “equal right and equal opportunity” reminds me of American philosopher’s repudiation of that type of egalitarian doctrine.

Ayn Rand destroyed the anti-concepts of egalitarianism and its derivative “equality of all men”, of altruism, and of self-sacrifice in the following manner:

Egalitarianism means the belief in the equality of all men. If the word “equality” is to be taken in any serious or rational sense, the crusade for this belief is dated by about a century or more: the United States of America has made it an anachronism—by establishing a system based on the principle of individual rights. “Equality,” in a human context, is a political term: it means equality before the law, the equality of fundamental, inalienable rights which every man possesses by virtue of his birth as a human being, and which may not be infringed or abrogated by man-made institutions, such as titles of nobility or the division of men into castes established by law, with special privileges granted to some and denied to others. The rise of capitalism swept away all castes, including the institutions of aristocracy and of slavery or serfdom.

But this is not the meaning that the altruists ascribe to the word “equality.”

They turn the word into an anti-concept: they use it to mean, not political, but metaphysical equality—the equality of personal attributes and virtues, regardless of natural endowment or individual choice, performance and character. It is not man-made institutions, but nature, i.e., reality, that they propose to fight—by means of man-made institutions.

Since nature does not endow all men with equal beauty or equal intelligence, and the faculty of volition leads men to make different choices, the egalitarians propose to abolish the “unfairness” of nature and of volition, and to establish universal equality in fact—in defiance of facts. Since the Law of Identity is impervious to human manipulation, it is the Law of Causality that they struggle to abrogate. Since personal attributes or virtues cannot be “redistributed,” they seek to deprive men of their consequences—of the rewards, the benefits, the achievements created by personal attributes and virtues. It is not equality before the law that they seek, but inequality: the establishment of an inverted social pyramid, with a new aristocracy on top—the aristocracy of non-value.


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