Monday, March 05, 2007

PolSci

Write a 1,500 word essay about Political Science. This is the final requirement for our Political Science subject. Writing a 1,500 essay about PolSci is difficult since PolSci is a broad subject to tackle. I mean, the political philosophy of Eddie Gil alone requires a serious PhD study on abnormal psychology add to that the phenomenon of actor-comedian-sportsman turned politician and what you have is a very broad subject that will exhaust my limited vocabulary. So, I will try to limit my exploration of Political Science to the Philippine setting with in the scope of these three guide questions: 1.What do I know about PolSci in the Philippines? 2. What do I care about PolSci in the Philippines? 3. What is the future of Pol Sci in the Philippines?
To make this essay more impressive, I will use “Husserl’s Transcendental-Phenomenological Reduction Method”; simply put, I will suspend thinking (As if…).

1. What do I know about political Science?

According to Microsoft Encarta 2006 edition, PolSci is the systematic study and reflection on politics. Politics is described as the process by which people and institution exercise and resist power blah, blah, blah. One of the subjects of studies of PolSci is people, for me this is its most important aspect.

Government and institutions are nothing more than a collection of people set on a conspiracy. In fact government is a conspiracy. The citizens elect people that they think could provide them with what they need and want. If the citizenry wants a lower tax, they will vote for a politician that espouses lower tax. If the citizenry wants national security, they will vote for a politician that can meet the challenge of national security. If the citizenry wants to have waiting sheds, they will vote for a politician that can provide them waiting sheds. If the citizenry wants to be entertained, they will vote for a comedian cum actor cum dancer cum politician. This is conspiracy: people grouping themselves together, choosing people who belong to their group, then placing them in the government, then cooperating with them; then when the people are not satisfied because the people they voted for went beyond their expectations, they will proceed to EDSA and call on the people to come together and form a big conspiracy and then calls it “People Power”. After people power, then the people who conducted “People’s Power” will then form a new coalition government with a new vision for the country—this is just another cycle of conspiracy, really.

What do I know about Pol Sci? Nothing! It’s a study of vacuum. Look at our political system and tell me if I am wrong. Conspiracy here, conspiracy there, I mean, our political system is good study of the principle of mathematical negation. (1+1=1-1=0+1-1=0x0=0+1-1=0/0=0+1-1= ad infinitum, ad nauseam.)

2. What do I care about Pol Sci?

As a school subject, yes I care for to fail it will mean to repeat it. But as a discipline, a science, a body of knowledge in the Philippine setting, WHO CARES? It does not mean I don’t read about it. It does not mean that I don’t think about it; simply put, Pol Sci is interesting but useless. It’s a subject one talks about when one is drunk or under the influence of too much inhalation of stale mosquito coil smoke. It is a subject discussed in barbershops, in funeral wakes, in the comfort of the comfort room. It’s just like show-business: it’s all about dirt, the dirtier the better.

It is election season. I was watching a TV documentary on the scientific method being used by politicians today like psychology, media exposure, eye contact, make up, perfume, dresses, give aways, etc. The slogans alone are very well thought and a good study on suggestion and mnemonics. For example, Prospero Pichay itanim sa Senado. Who’ll forget that line? Pichay is a play on Pechay (a leafy vegetable) so, translated it means: plant a (leafy) vegetable in the senate. Believe me, that’s what the people will get if this guy wins a seat in the senate—a leafy vegetable senator. Here’s another: Ralph Recto “KoRecto” sa senado; translated, Recto: Correct for the senate. Just keep playing the slogan in your head: Recto KoRecto, Recto KorRcto, Rectum Kolektor, Rectum Kolector…Rectum collector for the senate.

Of course compared to the science of changing sides or turn coatism (an inappropriate term if you ask me because our politicians does not change coat, they change the colors of their chitinous hides), these slogan are chicken feeds. I will not elaborate an example will suffice: Tito Sotto. A die hard Erap supporter but now a part of the Gloria camp. I’ve seen and heard the guy bashed Gloria like he is tanning leather, and now, wonder of all wonders, he’s in her camp. I wonder what he sold this time.

I forgot to mention the suspensions of mayors and governors critical to the present administration. Some of the cases filed against these local executives go as far back as the Japanese liberation era yet the suspension orders were just recently promulgated—coincidence?
This is the kind of Pol Sci we have here: A study on social, moral and spiritual entropy and atrophy. We’re going down south (sinking) and we love it.

3. What is the future of Pol Sci in the Philippines?

I don’t know. To tell the truth this is a stupid question. Our country once boasted of People Power without giving credit to Mahatma Gandhi and where has that brought us? I remember Cory Aquino giving a speech at the US congress about “People Power” and how our political scientist and analysts saw this as the acquiescence of the United States to Cory and her revolutionary government and the Reagan administration’s abandonment of Marcos blah, blah, blah. After a few days and months, the same people ousted from the government is back and the state of the country is not better if not worse than pre EDSA.

People power is the Filipinos contribution to the world. It is the political E=MC2 that we Filipinos bragged as our revolutionary contribution to the world of politics. There were even talks of the Nobel Peace Prize for one of some of the prominent participants in EDSA. In the euphoria of the event, the revolutionary government immediately changed the constitution and divided the state and the people (Art. 2 Sect. 3 states: The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the protector of the people and of the state) thus the armed forces duty bound is to defend the state and the people and this proved to be a disastrous mistake. This ambiguity was put there not because of lack of erudition, it is put there specifically as a device to make the armed forces indecisive in case of a revolt by the people. This is what happened during EDSA 2 when the armed forces withdrew support from the duly elected and legitimate government and instead chose to protect the “people”. The AFP became instrumental in the ouster of Erap. EDSA 3 came and the same thing almost happened except this time the military chose to side with state and protect the usurper government. The AFP became instrumental in affirming the legitimacy of the usurper government and the AFP is safe both ways. These events showed the genius of the provision in protecting the rights of the people and of the “state” of the elite. The people are those who have money and influence and the state are composed of the same people. The conflict is not between the state and the people, the conflict is the conflict of the classes and experiences have shown where the AFP takes sides. This is political science in the Philippines and its future goes along this line.

PolSci in the Philippines is a good study on the amalgamation of showbusiness, cultism and pseudo religion, family planning, EDSA People Power cycle and vote manipulation. As a source of erudition and exploration in the true study of politics, I’m afraid our political system is best suited for the trivia collector; with the advent of these religious leader anointments, it is more appropriate for theology; with its showbiz connection, it is more appropriate for the Oscars.
What did we the Filipinos contributed to political science? The stupidity of the EDSAs and the always violated inviolable separation of church and state.

Of course if Mr. Iligan, my Pol Sci instructor, expects a formal essay on the definition of Political Science I will gladly give him a print out of what Encarta 2006 says about it, but then again I knew him and what he expects is our take on Political Science.

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