Wednesday, July 13, 2005

What to read during interesting times: Animal Farm

The Chinese have a curse that goes,"May you live in interesting times". I first heard the phrase a few years before EDSA I and now I think the quotation is also apt. Whether you are pro, anti or non of the above Philippine politics is in a chrysalis. My assessment of the situation is that despite the stormy nature of the body politics is that it is in a process of consolidation.

Below the office I work in I could hear the drums of the rallyists. The political opposition has made a promise to muster around a million people. In today's world and in particular in the Philippine setting political foes use people rather than armies to fight their wars. Its the number of people one can muster for a rally or an election that counts and like before it is the alliances and loyalties between political leaders that count. And like any society the Army and organised religion have their role to play.

The more one studies history the more one understands that the story of man follows a basic outline. One can see history repeat itself from age to age.

The Roman Republic suffered several civil wars between warring Tribunes and Pro-Consuls before stability was restored. And our country although we have not suffered nationwide civil war, the problem Muslim Separatists is more area oriented while the Communists have became a quasi-bandit force, have undergone the pain of civil disobedience mixed military intervention. The psychological strain on both the Republican Romans and Filipinos are nearly the same. Well, it could be the psychological strain we feel right now seems to be akin also to the strain carried by the English from the time of Charles I, Cromwell and Charles II. England underwent the eradication of the monarchy, then the rule of a Lord Protector and eventually settled in restoring the monarchy. Cromwell's , the Lord Protector, body was dug up and quartered immediately after Charles II was restored. In the end whether in Stuart England or the Roman Republic after the stormy struggle came a consolidation. Again I think we are at this point.

With that aside one book that I really liked reading in terms of politics is a book written by George Orwell.

The story is about a group of animals who liberated themselves from an oppresive farmer. And it also tells the tale of what happened afterward.

A fairy tale written by George Orwell as a criticism of the romantic view of Communist revolution but I think more important for us it is a reminder to us not to be carried away by the romantic notions of revolutions or change.

How does this tie in with our present situation and my notion of consolidation? Well its quite obvious given the present circumstances that we are in that we should not be taken by the romantic aspects of revolution and change. As far as consolidation goes its the same as revolutions although stabilizing one should look at carefully...very carefully.

The name of the book is Animal Farm: A Fairy Story by George Orwell, first published in 1946.


Blogger blackshama said...

I am very concerned that the constitutional foundations of the nation may collapse. There is no time in our history as a nation-state that we had no constitution. Even as a Spanish colony, the constitution in force was the Spanish Monarch's "Laws for the Indies". In the First Republic, there was a Malolos Constitution and during the American sovereignty period, the Jones Act of 1916 and the 1935 Commonwealth Constitution. Even Laurel's Japanese sponsored republic had its own constitution.

The various pressure and interest groups have their own agendas. What is being sacrificed by insisting Gloria's resignation are constitutional processes. The academics at UP are not averse to junking constitutional processes of indictment via an impeachment trial in the Senate. There is no respect for the constitutional institutions at all. The constitution is all but dead.

In this situation we are faced with the real threat of a military takeover. There are still rightists at the UP and they have warned the communists that the military will definitely make the grab. Without a constitution, we have no orderly nation, no nation. What are we to do?

6:19 PM  
Blogger juned said...

Live life.

9:55 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home