Tuesday, November 29, 2011

WHY DO WE RESORT TO VIOLENCE IN FACING SOCIAL PROBLEMS?


To be honest, my analysis is not going to penetrate too deep in answering the question raised in the title above. At most, I will have shown things for what they really are, and this might aid someone who is sincere in furthering their understanding of political systems.


THANKS, ‘STEF’ (feeling close a!)

It is Stefan Molyneux whom I would credit the most for raising awareness of the relevance of child rearing as a means of understanding why people look to the state as a remedy for social ills, even as it has been shown since the dawn of civilization that the government is the very manifestation of such a malady.

Basically, the careless attitude is: there’s a need for so-and-so, so the government should do this and that*.


Not a dramatization. Just a photo I saw on the net.
WHEN I WAS NINE YEARS OLD

In fourth grade, I had a teacher, Miss Messina. Mukhang mataray but she wasn’t totally horrible. Except for this one time, the humiliation of which has stayed with me for over two decades now.

At the end of our Christian Life Education class, she made me and my classmates stand up. And then she told us, “Now squat.”

Although known as a form of punishment, none of us had done anything to warrant her command. But we squatted anyway. Because she said so.

After telling us to stop squatting, she gave her explanation, which amounted to “I can make you do anything I want.” I’m paraphrasing, but not by much.


WHAT WAS HER POINT?

I doubt my other classmates remember this incident, but it’s a prime example of how outside authority has usurped free choice and use of reason. When Miss Messinas ‘prove’ to impressionable kids looking for guidance that might makes right, is it really a surprise that they grow up with an almost reverential attitude towards government ‘benevolence?’

Indeed, she may simply have been trying to show who’s the boss in class. Or she may have wanted us to place our trust in her, she who was only acting for our welfare. Or any number of reasons that sound, coincidentally, like campaign speeches (‘common good,’ ‘unity,’ ‘good governance,’ ‘strong leadership,’ etc.)!


SHED OFF THE STATE IN TIME, OR DIE IN THE PROCESS

Of course, I can’t blame a simple-minded teacher for all that is wrong with the world. But such acts, which are tantamount to abuse, are symptoms of a rotten and predominant mentality yet to be outgrown.

In fact, when or if the state is finally shed from society, this would only be part of an overall change in attitudes ― but not a change in human nature. The pursuit of self-interest and profit will remain, but directed towards longer- and longer-term endeavors. In fact, social evolution from the days of savage hunters to the present, has been about the pursuit of profit, only that over time, individuals’ timeframes expand, making for peaceful and mutually beneficial coexistence.


_____________

* And if you somehow get it through people’s heads that they are resorting to violence as a substitute for peaceful interactions, they might say that government is a necessary bad; people are either too stupid or hard-headed to do what’s good for them, unless by force.
But further quiz them on how they imagine this government to be appointed or held any more accountable than an ungoverned and supposed stupid constituency, and you’ll be given a half-hearted suggestion of ‘checks and balances’ (did the division between executive and judicial branches do anything to resolve the recent NAIA standoff? and hasn’t the legislature always been the pawn of the executive? etc.), or perhaps they would provide a deluded vision of an all-wise dictatorship that punishes ‘useless scum’ but otherwise doesn’t interfere in everyday affairs (Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot weren’t up to it but let’s give someone else a shot).

Sunday, November 20, 2011

DoJ’S LEILA DE LIMA: MAY ‘BALLS’ NGA BA?


My friends are divided with regards to the whole DoJ-Leila-de-Lima-stopping-GMA-and-Mike-Arroyo-at-NAIA thing. Some see it as courageous or ballsy (no relation to Noynoy!’s sister), while others (including myself) think the manner in which things were done will have its negative repercussions not just with the GMA case but with the executive’s intrusion into our lives in general.


“BALANCED NEWS, FEARLESS VIEWS”

And then here comes the comedy periodical Inquirer making a big deal about how De Lima stood up to GMA at the airport. In the first place, hindi naman siya e, it was her minions doing the confronting. In the second place, it’s De Lima, as part of the present administration, that has the coercive resources to bully.


No relation!
THE PARABLE OF THE BALLSY SCHOOLBOY

And consider the act itself. Imagine a student, given 15 months to study for his exam. And what does he do? He dawdles, maybe creates an “A+ Commission,” basically just wanking the time away until he realizes, Shiet, exam na tonight sa NAIA! And what can he do? He’s desperate. So ico-codigo na lang niya! ‘Balls’ indeed.

But he’s somewhat careful. He bullies his classmate from Pasay to help him cram, just so that in case he is unable to use his codigo, he has something to which he can resort. And he thus arrests his test!


FIGHT SC FIRE WITH DOJ FIRE ― TANGINANG MAGKAPIT-BAHAY LANG MGA ’TO A! WHY NOT JUST THROW ROCKS AT EACH OTHER AND SPARE THE COUNTRY?

Okay so the analogy is kind of mixed up but you get the point. The actions of the DoJ, and the administration in general, have been disgraceful. Two railroadings don’t make a right.

Friday, November 18, 2011

ARREST WARRANT ISSUED AGAINST ARROYO FOR ELECTORAL FRAUD; WHEELS OF JUSTICE INDEED!


What a joke. All of a sudden, the wheels of justice are moving again, at least in the electoral fraud case against Arroyo. 

If it only took a week lang pala, why could the warrants not have been issued back in August 2010 pa (rhetorical)? What a coincidence naman that the Pasay judge got off their ass on the same week Arroyo tried to flee (sarcastic)!


Pa-truth-commission-truth-commission-PR-stunt-eklat pa kasi noon e. 

The railroaded rulings and issuances on both sides go to show what a sham politics is. Truly, without property rights being paramount, anything goes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

DOJ STOPS ARROYOS FROM FLEEING; CHILLING EFFECT OF UNDUE PROCESS


In a desperate attempt to save face, the Noynoy! administration has barred Gloria Arroyo and former FG Mike Arroyo from leaving.

The basis for holding them is unclear, as the Supreme Court already cited ‘presumption of innocence’ in stopping the DoJ from keeping them in the Philippines.


INVOKING ‘SOMETHING’S FISHY’

Granted that the Arroyos really are a bunch of crooks, state prosecutors ought to have prepared a case earlier on.

The Aquino administration has been around for 15 months, but the best that DoJ Secretary Leila De Lima can come up with is muse about how something fishy must be going on:
There is an intention to leave the country immediately, and that is puzzling to us.


THANK GOD FOR BUREAUCRACY

Seeking to justify keeping Arroyo from boarding the plane, De Lima says her office has not received a copy of the Supreme Court’s temporary restraining order (TRO), which would at earliest be received this morning. Talk about taking advantage of snail-paced bureaucracy!


MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF A TRO

I’m not a legal expert but this is the first time I heard of a motion for reconsideration to quash a TRO. Kaya nga ‘temporary’ e! That’s like the DoJ issuing a TRO itself to override the government’s highest court.

Even Marcos took the time to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in declaring martial law. But De Lima is making shit up as she goes along!


THIS CAN AFFECT YOU TOO

Lumalabas ang pagka-militante ni De Lima. This legal bending is setting a new precedent, that regardless of what a court order says, the executive branch can violate anyone’s right to free movement (and other rights) on the flimsiest of premises.

Somehow, some way, all this is going to backfire on us Filipinos. 10 years from now, and with another corrupt government in power, the ‘De Lima case’ will be invoked so as to continue committing one atrocity or another.

Say, if the DoJ (not even this one headed by De Lima) resorts to torturing people, and the court issues a TRO, the DoJ can wave this away by simply saying “We’re filing an MR,” and go on torturing.


FINAL REMARK


We should all be wary of any government body resorting to undue process, just because its legal team is so incompetent. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

BYE-BYE GLORIA, BYE-BYE 'KUNG WALANG CORRUPT...'

It looks like the Gloria Arroyo-appointed Supreme Court is going to let Arroyo get away for a mere P2-million bond.

So much for the anti-corruption campaign of the Noynoy! Noynoy! Noynoy! administration. But really, the problem kasi with the whole ‘Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap’ gimmick is its misdiagnosis of the problem.


OVERCONCENTRATION OF POWER

The problem is not so much that such plunder happened, but that such a degree of power is foisted on ‘representatives’ of the people, who inevitably abuse such power in some way or another.

The ‘Jail Arroyo’ campaign was a hopeless thing from the beginning, in the same way that Erap managed to go scot-free shortly after his conviction in 2007.


ELIMINATE POLITICAL POWER, ELIMINATE CORRUPTION

A real anti-corruption campaign would focus less on punitive or reactive measures, and more on prevention. That is, it would curb the capacity of individuals to redistribute resources in ways that are not in accordance with the market.

Anti-corruption is about reducing, if not eliminating, political power. And one has to first see through the hollow promises of both sincere and insincere statesmen.


FINAL REMARKS


The state doesn’t work. At all. I am convinced that ― taking a non-chaos theory or non-amor fati view of events ― in all of history, there has been no net gain from the existence of the state or statist elements.

Just imagine. Try to conceive how much the government permeates into our existence. Every field, every sector, nakikialam ang gobyerno. And it turns out that it is not just for naught, but in fact counterproductive to social order. It kills, by the millions. Such a waste!

Following such a lamentation, it is of small matter that I couldn’t find an artful way to conclude this article. 

Mentalities have yet to evolve. And all we pioneers of liberty can do is try to enjoy the wait.

Monday, November 14, 2011

STICK TO POLITICS, MANNY PACQUIAO


Alas, the day has come, when people begin to doubt Manny Pacquiao’s supremacy in the boxing ring. And if the Mayweather thing doesn’t push through, Pacman can retire as early as now, after winning against arch-nemesis Marquez. The Sarangani congressman can finally devote himself to ‘public service.’ 


WE NEED MORE MANNY PACQUIAOS IN POLITICS

Contrary to what most people say, it would be a boon for the government to be filled with political buffoons such as Manny. What will his cluelessness in the political arena translate to? A less efficient government, which makes for less intrusion into our daily lives. In short, a freer people.


CASTRATED GOVERNMENT = PROGRESS

Of course anti-freedom laws, hell the anti-freedom Constitution itself, will still exist. But who will implement these assaults on property? Government could no longer make for a monopolistic moral hazard.

‘Profit,’ long derided for being against ‘public interest,’ will once more relate to meeting consumer wants, rather than political muscle.


LAST HIRIT

The entry of good-hearted ‘Mr. Smiths’ like Manny Pacquiao into politics should be welcomed. The best thing you can do for your country is to make its worst institution (government) benign.

Friday, November 11, 2011

COLORFUL RAG, WINNER OF FIVE INTERPLANETARY BLOG AWARDS ― THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN!



2011 MOST CREATIVE BLOG


2011 MOST BRILLIANT BLOG


2011 MOST PROMISING BLOG


2011 BLOG OF THE YEAR


BEST BLOG EVER

So I tabulated the results as I said, and the people (that is, I) have spoken. The winner for all categories is (drum roll): COLORFUL RAG!

Here is the writeup for the ‘Best Blog Ever’ category:
Colorful Rag has transcended boundaries as to what a blog should be. Not only is it practically the lone voice of reason in Philippine political discussions, but through its unorthodox format and literary offerings, we get a glimpse of what blogs will be like in a more enlightened future. Thank you, Colorful Rag, for existing!

I’m so thankful. Of course, there is my family, and my pals in the libertarian movement, to whom I can give mention, but honestly, they had nothing to do with my getting these awards. I deserve this!

The best thing about it is that I have a banner to put up on the right side of my blog! ===>


SPEECH! SPEECH! SAMPOL! SAMPOL!
Uh… I guess… that Arroyo huh? Looking all pitiful and all. But seriously, hold departure orders, even imprisonment, are as barbarous relics as the concept of ‘public property.’ 

In a purely private property system, transgressors can “get away” all they want, and be boycotted/ostracized/shot for trespassing as desired by other property owners. 

THE INTERPLANETARY BLOG AWARDS ― GIVING CREDIT WHERE IT IS DESIRED


I honestly think that this blog deserves more recognition.

Look at the opinion pages of the leading newspapers, and most of the columnists are either misinformed, or just plain stupid. In the blogosphere, people are just as moronic.

Why is my blog, which is “possibly the best blog on Philippine society and politics” (according to this blog’s subheading), not yet a household name, even within the Philippines? It’s absurd!

Of course, as any reader knows, the raising of people’s intellects and overall aesthetic awareness is not something the state can achieve. So I’m looking for a private solution ― the creation of an awards body!

I have thus created the Interplanetary Blog Awards. I will be tabulating the results for the following categories:

2011 MOST CREATIVE BLOG
2011 MOST BRILLIANT BLOG
2011 MOST PROMISING BLOG
2011 BLOG OF THE YEAR
BEST BLOG EVER

and will get back to you later as to the winner/s. Abangan!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

IS ECONOMIC DISPARITY INHERENT IN MUTUAL EXCHANGE? A critique of Cielito Habito’s ‘solidarity economy’ article


I normally don’t bother correcting or refuting Cielito Habito’s ideas in his Inquirer column, but in today’s ‘Propagating solidarity economy (November 8, 2011),’ he seems to be making a fundamental point, the error of which is the basis of his wrongness elsewhere.

Habito ponders
a new economic model built on the pursuit not only of profit, but of the welfare of people and the planet as well.

To him, profit does not go hand in hand with social well-being. Why so?
[C]onflict and tension are inherent in the prevailing market economyAdam Smith postulated that these tensions will comprise an “invisible hand” that automatically yields the right allocation of the economy’s resources and the goods and services they produce.
The problem is, “right” allocation here doesn’t necessarily imply that it’s fair or equitable… In everyday transactions within a competitive economy, there are bound to be winners and losers; win-win outcomes are not the rule, but the exception.


FREE MARKETS AS OPPOSED TO WHAT?

Even granting that win-win outcomes are the exception (which they aren’t), the real question is, what is the alternative to free markets? How would further constriction of choices (via regulation, taxes, congressional franchising of ‘essential’ services, etc.) make for an improvement of the situation? How would those in charge of ‘redistribution’ know the desired ‘right’ allocation?


WHY NOT AVOID EXCHANGES ALTOGETHER?

Habito doesn’t even explain how individual entities manifesting their subjective preferences could, as a rule, be at the “shorter end of the stick.” Really? So if you tabulate your purchases for the day, you would find, according to Habito, that they weren’t mutually beneficial; either you, or the other party, got screwed. Why then did you buy those groceries? Or get a cab? Or go to the office? If you were losing in these transactions, wouldn’t you have done something else, or gone elsewhere, long ago?


GOVERNMENT PROMOTES ECONOMIC DISPARITY

The mistake is in assuming that the disparities as exist today are a result of free trade, when in fact there is nothing free about the international central banking system ― government is the problem of the world’s financial woes, as it has been for millennia.

I bet that if you were to look for purchases in which you felt ripped off, it would be with regards to your Meralco or water bill, or how your cash keeps getting less valuable year on year: all government’s doing!

Habito himself may not realize it, but this ‘solidarity economy’ fluff he envisions, were it to be implemented on an anti-market framework, would just be more state interference in our daily lives (plus the ensuing anti-market rhetoric).


FINAL REMARKS

If you’re skeptical that free trade isn’t to blame for economic problems, I challenge you to give me an example where government isn’t the real perpetrator. You’ll find either that government somehow intervenes in that sector, or that government intervention would exacerbate the matter of scarcity and conflict anyway.

Being ‘socially responsible’ need not be done in so obvious a way as talking about being socially responsible, as Habito seems to think. If the rich-poor disparity is to be addressed, it is the government-franchised monopolies, the cronies, and all sorts of anti-competitive bureaucracy, not to mention central banking itself, that should be targeted. 

More accurately, it is the mentality of people ― who think that they have to be protected from ‘free trade’ by a coercive institution ― that would have to change. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

REVILLA SON RAMGEN'S MURDER: THIS IS WHY WE NEED THE ESTATE-INHERITANCE TAX!


It might not seem like it, since I haven’t been writing often, but it’s a joy to write in this blog once more. I’m caught up in things outside of my element, that when I come back here, it’s like an old glove that fits snugly.

Man, the news today, huh? The big ones which have had disastrous effects on the economy have been the drunken killing of Charice Pempengco’s dad, Ricky, and the apparently premeditated killing of Ramgen Bautista, who is Bong Revilla’s half-brother and 1/80th of Ramon Revilla’s progenistic legacy.

The latter story gets one thinking. Tanginang P1,000,000 allowance ng mga anak ni Ramon Revilla Sr.! So much money! The greed of these kids of Revilla is what caused such evil! There should be a way to stop such evil, and one way is to increase, or improve enforcement of, the estate tax.


IS THE ESTATE TAX GOOD?

Here I go again, creating statist arguments just for the sake of countering them with my arguments. Truly, if God did not exist, it would have been necessary to invent him. I haven’t read any opinion article or quote from some official espousing a higher estate tax on account of the Revilla son’s killing, but I want to refute it anyway. Who knows, some stupid party-list retard might file a bill about it.


COERCION IS PARTLY A MATTER OF SCARCITY

The estate tax actually increases the proclivity to murder. If the kids have little spoils to divide, wouldn’t they contest their claims with much greater vehemence? 

Are people more likely to resort to coercive means of acquisition when there is greater abundance, or greater scarcity?


TAXES PROMOTE CONSUMERISM

The estate tax promotes wasteful consumption, in that there is less incentive to save, knowing that the government will take everything or a lot of it anyway. People always lament consumerism, supposing this is a result of free trade. But the choices of people tend to be corrupted as a result of coercive elements, such as the taxation system.


FINAL REMARK

If anything, the estate tax should be lowered. Granted that Revilla’s sons are spoiled idiots who don’t know shit about prudent spending, who don’t ‘deserve’ their wealth, it would be careless to automatically seek government to solve things. Their inheritance is on account of their father’s wishes, who we assume ― only for the sake of simplicity ― derived his wealth legitimately.

Without the government intervening, wealth tends towards productive elements in society. It is far more helpful to the needy to leave charitable decisions to these people, than to a political class that requires violence to function at all.