Nothing can be more absurd and abhorrent than the clueless enemies of rights and freedom (translation: people who are unaware their basic premises run counter to their avowed social/political advocacy, e.g., economic progress, informed society, and healthy political culture, etc., which they help promote and propagate). But certainly due to ignorance and lack of critical thinking skills to understand politics and current social and economic trends, these well-intentioned, well-meaning people deeply believe that the only way to achieve their advocacy or social goals is to limit rights and freedom, which they deem to be inimical to social peace and progress.
I am saying this because some clueless blogger from the a blosite called Get Real Post wrote an intellectually bankrupt article that glorifies what she calls “iron-fisted leadership” and crudely implies that a clean and safe environment is more important than “individual rights and civil liberties”. The article is entitled “Do Filipinos Need Iron-Fisted Leadership”. Certainly it is this clueless blogger that needs to be fisted, not the Filipino people.
My commentary is as follows:
The author, er… scribbler, of that online crap is indeed intellectually corrupt/bankrupt. I thought real-world politics and current political trends today had made people better understand the fallacy of “iron-fisted” political leadership. I thought the demise of the worst collectivistic regimes in the past like Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, and socialist Romania taught our modern-day political pundits and aspiring political analysts some valuable lesson that such an “iron-fisted” politics is now a thing of the past. That it’s time to downsize the accumulated coercive powers of the state that allow potential tyrants to establish what most clueless people call ‘iron-fisted leadership.’
Since I have no time to read the entire crap, I directly looked for its ‘ratio decidendi’, which is as follows: “Just think about it. For almost three decades, Filipinos have enjoyed their so-called freedom to lay waste over the entire country. Isn’t it time that someone with an iron fist instill discipline on all of us? Or are individual rights and civil liberties more important than a clean and safe environment? You decide what you want.”
I say— What a clueless moron. What an intellectually bankrupt/corrupt mind! Freedom, the intellectually bankrupt blogger implies, is society’s enemy, so (I assume) it must be limited or curtailed by man-made laws and institutions. Yet anyone who regards freedom as society’s enemy is either clinically insane or dishonest (translation: someone who harbors evil, sinister political agenda).
First, the blogger’s outlandish, illogical opinion, which was apparently motivated by her utter ignorance of real-world politics, philosophy and economics, is actually what fooled millions of people in the past to support political tyranny. The Nazis preached that individualism or individual freedom was society’s enemy’s and that collectivism or collective good was the standard of social good, so they instituted laws and created political institutions that curtailed the German’s- and most especially the Jews’- remaining freedom and rights.
The Nazi leader Adolf Hitler declared: “The unity of a nation’s spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual; and that the higher interests involved in the life of the whole must here set the limits and lay down the duties of the interests of the individual.”
To Hitler and his fellow party-members, the individual was society’s main enemy who ought to be destroyed. He thus said: “…we understand only the individual’s capacity to make sacrifices for the community, for his fellow men.”
In fact the main slogan of the Nazi program was “Public interest before private interest.” And because the good of the German society was said to be greater than the good of the individual, the Nazi Party sought to implement the following demands:
- The abolition of all income obtained without labor or effort.
- In view of the tremendous sacrifices in property and blood demanded of the nation by every war, personal gain from the war must be termed a crime against the nation. We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
- We demand the nationalization of all enterprises (already) converted into corporations (trusts).
- We demand profit-sharing in large enterprises.
- We demand the large-scale development of old-age pension schemes.
- We demand the creation and maintenance of a sound middle class; the immediate communalization of the large department stores, which are to be leased at low rates to small tradesmen. We demand the most careful consideration for the owners of small businesses in orders placed by national, state, or community authorities.
- We demand land reform in accordance with our national needs and a law for expropriation without compensation of land for public purposes. Abolition of ground rent and prevention of all speculation in land.
- We demand ruthless battle against those who harm the common good by their activities. Persons committing base crimes against the People, usurers, profiteers, etc., are to be punished by death without regard to religion or race.
The same collectivistic political rhetoric was preached by Lenin, Stalin and Mao Tse Tung. Their respective political programs were always for the good of the collective and against the good of every individual. They regarded freedom as society’s enemy so they confiscated and outlawed guns that the people could have used to protect their freedom and rights against government abuse and intrusion.
Second, there is no such thing as “freedom to lay waste”. If this “freedom to lay waste” means committing crimes with impunity, then the clueless blogger must be talking of an unjust, lawless, immoral society. A society that disregards freedom and rights is an evil society— and history absolutely affirms or proves my claim.
There is no such thing as freedom to murder, freedom to steal, freedom to injure others, or freedom to enslave. What makes murder evil is not society or the government, but your inalienable right to your LIFE. What makes robbery or theft evil is not society or the government, but your inalienable right to your PROPERTY. What makes slavery evil and immoral is not society or laws, but your inalienable right to LIBERTY.
The laws that punish crimes (e.g., murder, theft, robbery, kidnapping, etc.) merely recognize the sanctity or sacredness of man’s rights (to life, liberty, property, and pursuit of happiness).
Like I said in a previous post:
“Freedom is a metaphysical and moral concept that recognizes- and is consistent with- man’s nature. Since man is a rational animal- and since rationality is a matter of choice- he must then act as a human being. Animals do not and cannot understand the concept of freedom and rights simply because they do not possess man’s conceptual faculty. Reason is only man’s tool of survival. Humans are not perceptual or non-sentient animals.
“The so naive a claim that freedoms and rights are limited is a fallacy. Such a claim, in fact, is a negation of rights and freedom. There is no such thing as an inherently limited freedom or rights. There is no such thing as a “limited” freedom to think or to act. The process of thinking is an absolute. Once you translate your thoughts into action, that process – and its result- is an absolute. Once you sign a contractual agreement, that is an absolute; the signed contract is also an absolute. Every process of thought or action you make is an absolute. In reality, man cannot even consciously know how to “limit” his thought or action. What then is the point or argument of some people whenever they claim that freedoms or rights are limited? What they mean to say is that freedoms and rights ought to be limited by some external mechanism (e.g., laws, political edicts, or any government decree or legislation).
“Whenever some clueless ‘intellectuals’ argue that freedoms and rights are limited, they simply want to limit your freedom to think and to act through man-made laws or political edicts. They know, deep inside or subconsciously, that once you act, that is an absolute, yet they consciously want to limit your thought and actions.”
Third, anyone who views freedom as a social or man’s enemy must be thinking of an evil, immoral society that rejects objective law, rule of law, and justice. In the Philippines, there are certainly criminals who remain unpunished because of our weak criminal justice system. People in the government commit graft and corruption, not because of their “freedom to lay waste”, but because our system of government, which is a Welfare State, permits them to go beyond the sphere of their power. It is our Welfare State that encourages our crooked, corrupt politicians to steal from government coffers, to abuse their overly bloated political power, to commit injustice against ordinary citizens, to corrupt the entire system of politics, and to destroy the nation’s future.
Graft and corruption in the government sector is not caused or motivated by freedom; it’s caused by our statist, welfarist system of politics.
I argued in this previous post the following:
“A lot of Filipino intellectuals and academics also claimed that graft and corruption is one of the main sources of the country’s social and economic problems. To support their claim, they pointed out the many corrupt practices, cases of bribery, plunder, and malversation of public funds, and abuse of political powers that past and present politicians committed and perpetrated against the rule of law and the Filipino people. They indeed have a point except the fact that they don’t fully understand the main cause of these graft and corrupt practices in the government sector.
“What is the source of corruption and failure of governance? This is actually one of the most fundamental questions that our intellectuals, academics, scholars, and political pundits take for granted. They simply believe that corruption can be and should be solved by the government alone.
… “Big Government or more government powers is the root cause- that is, the cause of the cause– of these problems. For years we have been taught- by our teachers, professors, media pundits, church leaders, and political leaders- that the solution to our social problems or even personal predicaments is the government. In 1987, or a few years after Garcia launched his Filipino First Policy, we enacted the New Constitution, which had been our answer to foreign capitalist domination, poverty, and inequality. We’ve been gradually indoctrinated that the source of the country’s poverty, economic troubles, and political crisis was Western imperialism or foreign domination. We’re taught to blame others for our self-caused tragedy. We’re taught, by our leftist or statist professors, to blame imperialist America for our own economic troubles. We’re taught to hate multinational corporations for high unemployment and high prices of commodities. We’re taught to blame the Western media, which had long been dominated by liberal and statist media intellectuals, for our so-called ‘colonial mentality’. In the minds of these statist intellectuals, we did nothing wrong.”
Fourth, the clueless blogger’s absurd, crude, highly ignorant political rhetoric and conclusion is not supported by real-world politics and evidence. The blogger is trying to claim, albeit impliedly, that an “iron-fisted” political leadership is what this country needs. She then presented the case of Davao city ruled by a murderous political clan as her main argument. I say— such a conclusion is not even supported by the incorrect Movement’s (an absurd political movement that promotes parliamentarism in the country) “regression analysis”.
Is there any correlation between an “iron-fisted leadership” and a nation’s political and economic progress?
If an “iron-fisted leadership” is the quickest ticket to economic and political progress, then North Korea, Iran, and the dictatorships in Africa should have surpassed, by miles, the United States, Switzerland, and New Zealand.
The blogger, and anyone who supports her idiotic claims, should take a look at the top 10 countries of the 2012 Index of Economic Freedom. Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Chile, Mauritius, Ireland, and the United States are not being ruled by political leaders who share dictator Ferdinand Marcos’s and Davao’s Rudy Duterte’s ‘iron-fisted leadership’ style or strategy. Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew may be known for limiting his citizens’ free speech and political rights, but it’d be unfair to compare him with Marcos or Duterte. Lee Kuan Yew understood the role of economic freedom in politics; Marcos and Duterte didn’t. That’s the big difference.
The Swiss government, on the other hand, allows its citizens to own and carry guns. This makes Switzerland a nation with the highest militia gun ownership rates in the world. What does this gun politics imply? It implies that the Swiss government doesn’t fear its own people in that it grants them the right to gun ownership. It means that the Swiss government does not regard the individual as society’s enemy or potential evil. By contrast, all socialistic, statist slave pens that regarded the individual as a potential social menace banned and outlawed gun ownership. Do you now see the difference?
In regard to the supposed clash between individual rights and clean/safe environment, here’s my answer to this clueless blogger: Yes, individual rights and civil liberties are more important than a clean and safe environment. In fact, it’s a fallacy to pit rights against the environment, because the latter has no rights at all. Only individuals can have rights. If your neighbor dumped a load of garbage in front of your house, then under the law you acquire a right of action against your erring neighbor.
Also, if an industrial plant or a factory committed what the environmentalists call “industrial crimes” (e.g., dumping or harmful radioactive and polluting substances and materials) that affect the community people’s health and convenience, then under the law the victims have a right to run after that erring industrial plant or factory and ask for huge damages in the proper court of justice. (Click this link for a related article). In short, it is the people’s right to good health that makes improper dumping of industrial wastes and harmful substances illegal, evil, and immoral.