Anger / Broad Terms / Community / This Filipino Life

Filipinos Don’t Give a Shit About Each Other pt. 3

I.

“Trinity, are you a communist?” Fuck no. Communist countries perform like shit. Citizens who escape from countries like that think that capitalism is the best thing ever.

 The beliefs of communism center on the idea that inequality and suffering result from capitalism. Under capitalism, private business people and corporations own all the factories, equipment and other resources called “the means of production.” These owners can then exploit workers.
 

Communism differs from socialism, though the two have similarities. Both philosophies advocate economic equality and state ownership of various goods and services. However, socialism usually works through the existing democratic structures of capitalist countries. Almost all capitalist countries have some socialist characteristics, like the public schools and Social Security program in the United States.

In contrast, communists state that capitalist economic and political systems must be completely overthrown through revolution.

Historically, such communist revolutions have never yielded their intended utopias of equality.

Michael Dahr for LiveScience

The intention of communism was to eliminate human suffering through equal distribution of resources – whether or not somebody worked for those resources. The rich take care of the poor. Sounds great, right? Why doesn’t it ever really work? Because taking care of others requires creative solutions for their problems, and compassion for their plight. Creativity and compassion are things that are impossible to force out of people. You can force people to give up their money for others, but you can’t make them care about those others. Sooner or later they’ll revolt.

II.

This is why Scandinavian countries almost never experience dissent despite the enormous tax rates necessary to fuel social services: because the citizens actually want to take care of each other. Nearly half of their income is taken away from them – they don’t mind because they know it’s all used to take care of other people, who in turn will take care of them. It’s used for the medical services that will care for them when they’re sick; for the educational system that cares for their children; for the welfare programs that care for the people who are down on their luck; for the retirement programs that will care for them when they’re old.

In this environment, nobody needs to be selfish; nobody needs to commit crimes. To the point where their prisons are better than luxury condos in the Philippines.

Imagine yourself in a prison that commands a view from a tourist brochure. Your cell phone lies on a shelf, next to a TV and CD player, inside a prison that lets you go to paid work or study. There is no perimeter wall. Prison staff will help you with free-world social services to cover a missed month’s rent on your family’s apartment. Another will help you look for work, or for the next stage of education. Imagine yourself a prisoner who knows he is in prison for what he did, not because of his color or class, or because he lacked proper legal defense. 

Nothing here feels unfair or unreasonable. You have, after all, committed a crime serious enough to make a range of other remedies untenable. Nothing you can see or touch or smell or taste, and no interaction with staff gives you anything to blame or resent about the system that brought you here. Everything is being done to help and prepare you to clear this secret and live again like others.

Doran Larson for The Atlantic 

 

This is a cell in a maximum-security prison in Sweden. This is the conversation that I’m almost 100% sure took place before the creation of this prison:

Swedish official 1: Guys, apparently there are these things called “prisons,” and we should probably build some. All other governments have them. 

Swedish official 2: What are prisons?

Swedish official 3: I think they’re places where you put people who steal and kill and things like that. 

Swedish official 2: But nobody really does that here…? 

Swedish official 1: Nevertheless, we should probably have some. 

Swedish official 2: So, like, they’re buildings, and we keep people inside them? 

Swedish official 3: Yeah. 

Swedish official 2: Like apartments? 

Swedish official 1: Yeah, I guess. 

III.

All kidding aside: Why are they like this? What makes them so different from us? Why can’t we be like that?

“Because we don’t have enough money…”

The government bought a fleet of 200 BMW’s  used for A FEW FUCKING DAYS during the APEC summit. Those BMW’s cost an average of P6M each, and were sold to the public for around P1M each afterwards. That means they cost the government an average of P5M each. Here, I did the math for you: 200 x 5,000,000 is P1,000,000,000.

(How do I know how much they sold the BMW’s to the public for? Because I know one of the guys who bought one. And of course I’m not going to tell you who he is.)

In case those zeros are making you cross-eyed, that’s one billion pesos. One billion spent on fucking BMWs.

(Hmm, I wonder where that one billion slashed from the RH budget went? )

So no, it’s not that we don’t have enough money. Try again.

“Because our politicians suck?”

Our politicians are Filipinos. Filipinos lie, cheat and steal at every opportunity. It’s what we do. We were raised not to care for each other. What percentage of your income goes to charity? If you’re in school, do you ever intend to use your course to help take care of other people?”

“I have NSTP…” Where you walk around trying not to breathe and take selfies with the kids. You ever follow up the next year to see if those kids are getting good grades at school?

Don’t fool yourself. You don’t provide for others or defend others in any meaningful way. All you know is to say a lot of shit and to bring down people who are doing the hard, thankless work of taking care of other people. You do this because you were raised this way. You’re a Filipino.

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