Carvajal: Enlightenment

Orlando Carvajal

A REVOLUTIONARY government (RevGov), as earlier theorized, could be the only undemocratic tool for a peaceful yet total transformation of Philippine society. Some President, not necessarily this one, could use it to put us squarely on the road to genuine democracy.

Ideally, RevGov should come via people’s initiative. But sadly we cannot reasonably hope for it. It takes an enlightened and mature citizenry to do it. And that we certainly are not.

By Immanuel Kant’s definition, enlightened citizens use their reason to understand social reality and have the courage to exercise their right to transform it when necessary.

With enlightenment comes maturity or the ability to live life by reason and not by the imperatives of authority and tradition. Only mature citizens can move in concert to transform their social reality as needed. The immature take to the ease and comfort of tradition.

We are generally unenlightened because the education we get from home, church and school does not promote critique and understanding of current reality but merely its acceptance on the authority of home, church and school elders.

If we were enlightened we would know that when self-serving politicians and unenlightened supporters talk of neutralizing threats to democracy they really mean threats to their entrenched undemocratic rule.

If we were enlightened we would know that the biggest reason we are not a democracy is the farcical way we elect our government officials, like:

-Only the rich can run for high office. Comelec disqualifies those who cannot mount a nationwide campaign.

-We do not vote for a party’s philosophy and program of government but for an individual’s whims and caprices.

-The laws against vote buying, overspending, and the use of private armies are never implemented.

- Counting of ballots is not public and transparent and cheating is rampant.

-Cases filed against violators of election laws are usually decided towards the end of the accused cheater-winner’s term.

If we were enlightened we would know that the charter change our oligarch-infested Congress is set to pass will never include a revamp of this farcical election system that favors them.

With education not geared towards critical understanding of and ethical behavior towards our social reality, the Filipino’s enlightenment will take long in coming. Our hope, therefore, of liberation in the near future from our dire social reality is in the miracle of a RevGov by a charismatic leader.

Albert Einstein once said there are only two ways to live: As if nothing is a miracle or as if everything is a miracle. We are unenlightened and obviously live as if everything is a miracle. Thus, if nothing else we had better pray for one.