SPECKS OF LIFE: Is capitalism working for us?

The kind of democracy that we live in and at work came from western minds.

As you can see, we traditionally look towards the US for anything that affects our government and governance. In fact, millions of Filipinos have migrated there and became American citizens.

I recall there was a “crazy” time in the past when unofficial surveys showed more Filipinos are inclined to vote for the Philippines to become the 51st state of the USA.

The US is the progenitor of capitalism. We inherited its’ capitalist system, copied the same economic principles but went too far short in their application.

The Americans grew strong as a nation and as a people united.

They police the world, don’t they?

While capitalism worked extremely well for them, it did not for the Filipinos. In America, their forefathers trail-blazed the building of a strong middle class while its succeeding generation of leaders sustained their inheritance by allowing the citizens more than adequate leeway to own properties, homes, real estate lots and establishing entrepreneurial businesses of their own.

Conversely, we were the exact opposite.

Few citizens own the lots where their houses stand. Few still have established businesses of their own. Majority are peddlers; they are ambulant vendors who earn a meager profit daily to survive. They are even chased by the police authorities for their so-called illegal style of earning a decent living.

Since communism is generally dead, we can only compare capitalism to socialism, the kind of government that is based on shared ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.

Because only less than one percent of the Philippine population owns and runs the country’s economy, I spitefully snicker at this stark circumstance as do the rest of the Filipino people.

Greed, avarice and selfish preservation are the terms I can ascribe to my view of capitalism, Philippine-style.

Not more than fifty filthy-rich families belong to the elite one percent described above, out of the more than one hundred million population. This is the ugly discrepancy that capitalism brings and breeds.

This is the capitalism that prevails in our society which our present-day “democratic” set-up cannot justly rectify.

I would like to assume that this is also the same view of the current tenant in Malacanang, given his pro-poor stance in his public pronouncements.

This is the primary reason why thousands of poor, homeless, KADAMAY members commandeered a housing project built by the National Housing Authority in Pandi, Bulacan.

The inequality and social injustice that capitalism bred in our system is just too much to bear, don’t you think so?

I am not exposing the evils of capitalism in our country to lay the blame on the Americans.

I am finding fault with our national leaders – past and present – who turned and veered away from the ideals of the true democratic system that was designed for the people, by the people and of the people.

Capitalism per se is not bad. The element of free enterprise (laissez faire) in capitalism motivates people to use their initiative and God-given talents to soar and succeed.

Look around us. Compare the economic lifestyles in the West and those in Asia, Africa and South America. The disparity in wealth cannot be explained by the cultural differences alone.

It appears, from our historical past, that we could not shake off the constricting influence of America and capitalism even when decades of experience will tell us to look outside of the West for the answers.

The poor and the proletariat have nobody to turn to. They can either choose to go to the mountains and launch a “revolution of the masses” or give peace a chance by using the power of the ballot.

I would urge them to pick the latter. They can then throw the bad eggs out of the government, re-create the production and distribution of wealth via the cooperative system and install the deserving, honest and qualified candidates to lead us “out of Egypt” into the promised land. (Email your feedback to fredlumba@yahoo.com.) John 3:16 GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES!