Idealisms Amidst Realities

There is a young intelligent idealist who blogs at Filipino Voices that caught my interest lately. One particular entry of his at Filipino Voices drew my attention.

The Ultimate Poverty Framework
By Benign0

Recall back in mid-October where I describe an elegantly simple take on Pinoy poverty:

Poverty in the Philippines is a simple issue to me as it comes down to this simple textual equation:

We locked ourselves into commitments beyond any inherent ability in us to honour them.

I go further and enumerate four key parameters around which we can describe and measure the overcommitments that contribute to our poverty.

;) Population
;) Consumption
;) Production
;) Capital

And now the great news folks!

I’ve since developed the above into a full-blown framework that is, of course, utterly elegant in its simplicity!

It’s so great, in fact, that I think I’ll call it:

The Ultimate Poverty Framework™.

Fear not, as I will later on describe it in all its groundbreaking detail in a proper GRP-grade article in my excellent website (watch that space!).

But for now I provide a sneak preview of its diagrammatical form:

Using the above visual tool, we can now easily see why a chronic inability to get ALL FOUR parameters right results in the basket-case rash-from-hell-like quality of poverty that afflicts Third World countries like Ours Truly. Erase one of the four pillars and you end up with an unstable structure and an unavoidable erasure of the single line that leads to that golden spot at the top where winners take ALL.

A society whose “strengths” lie primarily in population and consumption (bato-bato sa langit…) is DOOMED. When we lack scalability (i.e. disengagement of the volume of productive output from the volume of labour input), we doom ourselves to a no-results economy pathetically dependent on labour-added-value.

It’s that simple. Really™.

When we highlight the really really simple reality that the road to sustainable wealth is uncompromising, one would hope that we waste less time on irrelevant jibber jabber about our mediocre politics and the posturings of the even more mediocre actors in that theatre.

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There is nothing new under the sun. There are only rediscoveries and innovations.

Like energy that possesses the property of being transformable from one form to another, ideas also are changeable or modifiable from one concept to another. (Many of Albert Einstein’s ideas were “rediscoveries” and improvements of some old works of “unknown” scientists that lived much earlier than him.)

The conceptual presentation of the author of his “trademarked” treatise, and the way he attempts to frame his ideas, and the aggressiveness of his terminology, are all typical of an idealistic mind.

Idealists, in their hope of finding alternative ideas, generally frame existing complex ideas within simplistic contexts, and existing simple ideas they restructured into complex concepts.

It is very much inherent in young minds (than in the older ones) to aggressively seek for “alternative” modes of understanding the world around them, and to enthusiastically look for “new” ways of doing things.

Many of our leaders nowadays seem to have lost their gift of idealism. Perhaps this is one reason why many of them succumbed to different kinds of failures and mistakes in leadership — such as: corruption, incompetence, injustice, etc.

When the people no longer adhere to the idealism of morality, their nation falls into immorality. When leaders fail to adhere to the idealism of professionalism, their leadership degenerates into incompetent governance. When the idealism of justice is neglected, injustice rules the land. When we lose our idealism of hope, we can easily be driven to resort to desperate means.

The gift of idealism, when properly channeled, can be a very significant force for change. But when abused or channeled improperly, it can be a negative force and can even be a counter-productive agent of change.

To effect change to a sustainable desired situation, idealism alone is not sufficient. Idealism alone could lead to perfectionism. If the only approach to change or reform is idealism, that method will fail because idealism tends to rigorously reject the reality of the limitations of human beings.

Idealism needs realism to be balanced — in some way similar to the harmony of faith and reason within the inner being of a believing soul.

Nations are not born just yesterday and so are the world’s experts and professionals. There is no need to discover “alternative ideas”. The treatise presented above is not new, it is basically just a model of a portion of the complex economic structure but framed in a simplistic context (some basic elements are even left out).

If it helps one to view things in his/her own “new” way of understanding, then so much better. Yet it doesn’t mean that just because one has "found" an alternative idea that things will simply work fine by following such an idea. Really, things are not that simple. In fact, they are more complex than we think.

When it comes to reforming a nation, the treatise presented above represents only a portion of an aspect of a nation. It does not even lie near the very foundations of a nation's basic structure. Our nation’s problems do not only lie in that framework presented above. Most of the nation's problems lie in the very foundations that supports that “Ultimate Poverty Framework” treatise.

What do we do then? Many things need to be done. One is: Let us practice the ideals of our true heroes and adhere to the right idealisms while maintaining balance with the right realisms. (That solution of course is also framed within a simplistic context — because I’m an idealist too in my own vague way.)

To reform a nation, it is more logical to start working it from the weakened foundations, lest the whole structure could collapse if started somewhere else. But do we know what are the very foundations of our nation? Do we still adhere to the right idealisms amidst the complexities of hard realities? Now this is something basic — and perhaps simple.