The Philippines needs a revolution. Filipinos have to stop the insanity of resetting after every election the same socio-economic system that through the years has produced not much more than varying degrees of poverty for the majority of its people.
Yet, no revolution, peaceful or otherwise, is visible in our political horizon.
The upper class will not start it for the obvious reason that the system loads the dice in its favor. Except for one from Partido Lakas ng Masa, all other candidates promise to help the poor within the system. But how when election campaigns are bankrolled by big businesses that want the system that benefits them exclusively unchanged?
In modern times, revolutions have always started with the enlightened middle class. But the Filipino middle class is hardly an enlightened group, thanks to a colonial mass education system that puts a premium on near-blind conformity with the wishes of elders, thereby stifling creativity and initiative.
Our mass education system does not help students acquire ethico-philosophical moorings. They lack deep convictions for being schooled solely for success defined in the economic terms of moving up to the ranks of the upper class. Thus, high grades and PhD’s (dime a dozen these days) are sought after for purposes of promotion and higher pay, not for research and in-depth study.
A middle class schooled only in the knowledge and skills needed to join the ranks of the upper class cannot possibly start a revolution.
The lower classes, for their part, are not even educated or, if at all, are ill-educated. They have been so dominated by their business, political and religious bosses that they lose the confidence to be masters of their fate. They are so chained down to the business of day-to-day survival that they can’t think much less get the energy to work for social change.
The Philippines cannot have a revolution as it is in the vise-grip of a vicious cycle. To change our inequitable socio-economic system, we need to think for ourselves and critique the impositions of persons in authority. But how can we think for ourselves when from an early age we are trained to defer uncritically to parents, teachers, managers, government officials, priests, etc.?
Come to think of it, what better way to prevent a revolution than by keeping middle and lower classes ill-educated so they are content to simply aspire to cross over to the realm of the upper class or, in the case of the drowning lower class, to grab whatever lifeline (cash for their vote?) a day (like election?) throws at them.
The Philippines does not have a liberating mass education system that promotes creativity and innovation or, in an extreme case, revolution. Until this country has such a mass education system, it is doomed to languish in backwardness and mediocrity.
December 07, 2021
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