In Conrado De Quiros’ Inquirer column today (July 28, 2011), he says:
Maybe next Sona, or well before then, we can hear not just what government has done for the people but what the people have done for government. Maybe next Sona, or well before then, we can hear not just how well the employee has served the Boss but how well the Boss has inspired the employee. That Boss is not P-Noy, or Bruce Springsteen.He is the people.
It’s implied in such a JFK-esque statement that there are only two attitudes one can take in social affairs: either be a leech (“what government has done for the people”), or a martyr (“what people have done for government”).
It must suck to live to his age and to have such a miserable view of human interactions. De Quiros is pretty much saying that whenever you associate with another person, it’s going to be a zero-sum game: you win and they lose; or you lose and they win.
He doesn’t realize that his life, and everyone else’s life, is full of transactions with family members, with friends, with the grocer, with the newspaper vendor, etc. that uplift both parties’ conditions, whether it’s financially, emotionally, spiritually, etc. This is otherwise known as a ‘free market,’ whose definition, contrary to popular opinion, is not so much related to greed or even money, but to absence of coercive institutions (e.g. government). After all, even in unfree societies, greed manifests in government expropriation, regulation, monopolization, genocide, etc.
It’s also totally reprehensible that he speaks of “what people have done for government.” It’s not bad enough that I was taxed against my will, under pain of imprisonment and fines; I have to seek further ways to offer myself as a sacrifice to the state!
It is a sign of the times when writers as mind-warped as De Quiros are given prominent space in the country’s largest daily.