Carvajal: Haven for opportunists

Orlando P. Carvajal
·2 min read

FROM the start of my social activism, I have always taken the position that only structural change (not change of social agents) can bring this country to a democratic political, and inclusive economic, place.

We are constructs, products of our historical (colonial?) social structures. If a society’s culture or set of values is to change, the social structures that have so far produced corrupt authoritarian leaders and

submissive dependent followers must change first.

From that standpoint, I now make the bold prediction that 1Sambayan might succeed only in uniting the opposition towards winning against Duterte-backed candidates. Which, I suspect, is all they want, anyway, get back to power.

It will fail to improve the socio-economic conditions of the country because its strategy for change is replace what they allege to be corrupt and authoritarian incumbents with, as vetted by them, patriotic, democratic and honest ones.

Since when have we had honest and democratic governance from our traditional politicians? How then can 1Sambayan attain good governance when the people they are vetting are the same traditional politicians of the oligarchy the incumbents also belong to?

Philippine society is a democracy only in its outer skin. Its innards are essentially elitist and authoritarian principally because of at least three key sub-structures that have been fatal to representative democracy and inclusive economy.

First, we need a law to implement the constitutional ban on political dynasties. Without this law, political dynasties will continue to take turns running this country for their exclusive benefit.

Second, we need a constitutionally guaranteed proportionate representation in government of all sectors. Until farmers, fishermen and ordinary workers are enabled to form their own party to represent them in government, political dynasties will continue to maintain the status quo of corrupt and authoritarian rule.

Finally, we must have fair and free elections. Our elections have always been won on the money, guns and goons of rich politicians. Unless thoroughly overhauled, factions of the oligarchy will continue to take turns plundering the country.

Second floor occupants of our long house are mainly causing the poverty of millions. 1Sambayan proposes changing second-floor occupants. Uniting the opposition could accomplish this, but I doubt if it will help the poor millions when weak social structures continue to tempt a traditional opportunist elite to benefit exclusively from the economy.

More than just change second-floor occupants, we, the woke among us anyway, must unite to reinforce creaky critical parts of our long-house or it will remain a haven for opportunists.