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People don't War... But...

Digg!

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

What does this have to do with the present situation in the US and the Philippines? How about, "Just about everything"...

Another timely quote in the vein of the apocryphal Julius Caesar warning about political leaders who can all too easily send the citizenry marching eagerly off to war by manufacturing crises that purportedly threaten national security and making popular appeals to patriotism.

"All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

In this case the sentiment expressed is even more disturbing because it comes not from a venerated figure of antiquity, but supposedly from a reviled twentieth-century figure associated with the most chilling example of genocide in human history: Hermann Goering, Nazi Reichsmarshall and Luftwaffe-Chief. We may be made somewhat uneasy by the idea that the head of a classic civilization recognized 2,000 years ago that the populace could be manipulated into sacrificing themselves in wars at the whims of their leaders, but we're outraged (and maybe even scared) at the thought of a fat Nazi fascist flunky's recognizing and telling us the same thing.

The notable difference here is that although the Caesar quote is a latter-day fabrication, the words attributed to Hermann Goering are real. *

The word WAR in the quote is a hyperbole. Our leaders can choose from any given templates to make things work. The only question is will they? Simplistic but true. What's one's econopolitik? Will doing one thing benefit my constituents and my politics? Doing what is right is not a matter of values, and patrimony alone; doing what is right and popular is. Interestingly, doing what can be done is another. Though not necessarily popular, any political act can be risked to a certain calculated point of risk. It can be done because it can be done.

My point? All people are created equal, but some more equal than others. Values of politicians are not expendable per se; they are the heart of politics, but some values are more expendable than others. In other words, don't be surprised if the future is not really in the hands of the people. Only a limited part of it is: selection of leaders. Morality, character, popularity, merits even, are mere superficialities. Unless specific party programs bind politicians to a particular and specific cause, beyond that nothing else is certain.

"All people are created equal, but some more equal than others. Values of politicians are not expendable per se; they are the heart of politics, but some values are more expendable than others."

The US and the Philippine situation and just about any other state seem to have the same predicament. Rights belong to the people but some rights have been theoretically waved by the structure itself. Have modern humans developed a skill that makes them identify threats to their rights or current political systems? We seem to have an acute sense that warns us of ominous death and decay... but decay is such a subjective word, and progressive; we never detect it until it is there. Death however, is one we cannot take too late.

Who's manipulating who and how much can the people risk? This leaves the people one thing to left do: search for a charismatic leader or form of government promising the maximum gain with the minimum pain. How can we be sure of that? Now that's another question.

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posted by Jdavies @ 6/14/2005,

1 Comments:

At 6/15/2005 02:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make way for a surge of my idealism :D Hehehe!

". . . .don't be surprised if the future is not really in the hands of the people. Only a limited part of it is: selection of leaders. "

If you think about it, those in power have been slowly slipping this out of the people's hands, with them not even looking. My grandfather phrased it very well a week ago; he said "Nagba-bang tayo ng gavel pero kung saan-saan naman tayo nakatingin.

The people have proven themselves capable of launching revolutions that can throw off presidents; pride enforces them. I'm just wondering where this pride runs off to when it's time to pick our leaders. Votes are bought, or forced. And then results are rigged, or ballot boxes are stolen. What happens to our pride then? And we think we can just march off to the EDSA shrine and repeat the history we should've already learned from? I have much compassion for the Filipinos, but I'm starting to think that we're turning into a bunch of whiners.

A huge chunk of power is given to the politicians, yes. B I think we can move a lot more things around, and influence them by means other than rants and/or rallies.

This one guy on PUBLIC ACCESS tv said "Kung kailangang magka-EDSA 100 mage-EDSA 100 kami!"

Wow.  

Posted by Andrea

 

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The Author

J.Davies

Jdavies lives in Quezon City, Philippines and has been blogging since 2002. A brand manager in a leading technology company and a freelance new media/web strategy consultant, he has refocused his blogging from personal, political & sociological observations, to marketing-related efforts and Internet trends that are relevant to his career and branding advocacies.


About This Blog

This blog is a depot of thoughts and observations on marketing trends which remain personally relevant to the Author as far as his marketing career is concerned. Having evolved from the personal blog of Jdavies, much of the earlier work contained herein are laced with personal speculation, political views, and similar advocacies. These posts are being kept for posterity's sake and for no other reason. No effort is being made to claim that the author will not contradict himself from his previous positions or that such advocacies are absolute.

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