Virtual Reality And Practical Reality

Our Tito-Vic-and-Joey Regard for “Politics”

By Benign0
Filipino Voices

In his latest brilliant article “The Elusive Mystery of Democracy“, Ben Kritz can’t make it any more simple:

Representative democracy cannot exist without strong and well-organized political parties that have clear ideologies and objectives.

The whole concept of our “right” to govern ourselves using a “democratic” form of government has been pitched to us in such romanticised gloss as to distract us from an obvious reality that Filipinos are still to earn the “freedom” that is a priviledge that comes with the toy for the big boys that is democracy. And, yes, we’ve been in the middle of a drawn-out reality check on this belief over the last decade or two — not that most Pinoys have noticed. Hello folks, it’s not about “freedom” (as our tubao-wearing makabayan bozos tell us with raised fists), it’s about responsibility! Quite simply, Pinoys are not cut-out to be a “democratic” people simply because we have time and again proven that we are utterly incapable of grasping the concepts personal responsibility and personal accountability much less applying these to our affairs and to the way we conduct ourselves.

Unfortunately for Pinoys, as Kritz further points out…

[…] One aspect of the present-day political culture of the Philippines that does not bode well for a successful democratic system is the glaring lack of relevant and effective political parties.

Representative democracy cannot exist without strong and well-organized political parties that have clear ideologies and objectives. Political parties not only draw together people who have similar political philosophies and ideas, they are the means by which political power is exercised in a representative democracy, whether it is in the Federal form of the U.S., or the Parliamentary form of Canada, Australia, the U.K., or any number of other countries. Representative democracy works because the political structure takes precedence over personalities, and the only reason that is possible is because of the existence of political parties.

So, not surprisingly, one of these responsibilities is to ensure that ideas (platforms, philosophies, and at the very least ideologies) soundly underpin our political parties (yes, that’s what we call them). But look up Philippine Political Parties, say on Wikipedia, and you’ll find the articles peppered with lots of names and events but hardly any information on the ideas, philosophies, or ideologies that they stand for that are of useful substance.

Kritz makes a relatively more thorough accounting than I do:

A casual Internet search for the party platforms of well-known political parties both here in the Philippines and abroad highlights the problem. The platform of the Democratic Party in the U.S. is available as a 59-page PDF download, along with several appendices. The Republicans’ platform is 67 pages. Similarly, the Canadian Conservatives have a 44-page policy document, and the Australian Labor Party outdoes them all with an incredibly-detailed, 319-page epic. Here in the Philippines, the Lakas-CMD coalition offers nothing at all (not even a website, actually), and the Nacionalistas offer a vapid reference to “achieving economic independence” on their FAQ’s page. The Liberal Party does little better, providing a policy statement as “an alternative to traditional politics and to misguided populism” that is long on sentiment but short on details.

I highlight in bold the last phrase because in seven words, it summarises in all — elegant simpicity — the national political “debate” of Pinoys over the last two decades. What indeed has changed? And what indeed do we aspire to if we lack the insight to even consider different approaches — like maybe grow a bit of collective substance for a change instead of continue with our Tito-Vic-and-Joey regard for politics?

Check out Ben Kritz’s full article here.

Click here to read readers' reactions.


It’s so tempting to partake of this yet another piece of fresh Shawarma being offered. Yet the present time also calls for real action that will go hand in hand with brilliant punditry.

Perhaps it would be so much better if “fil-alien” pundits could actually come home (if they still consider themselves Pinoys, or have they already learned to deny their root by referring to [their] Philippines as “your country”?) and help us with our nation’s situation by actually applying their concepts and ideas themselves in the real present setting and condition of our nation.

What MLQ3 and the rest of the home-based pundits have done is something real & courageous. They actually demonstrated some amount of realism that goes with their idealism.

It is time to flex some real muscles and put ideas into actual practice, otherwise our punditry is nothing but a futile display of intellectual prowess.

The important point that matters is “balance” between the two types of realms (realities) in the nature of man — the virtual (mental ideas) and the actual (practical actions). The ideas of the mind alone without the body carrying out that idea could accomplish no real tangible results.

After the body absorbs a Shawarma (or any “virtual food” for that matter), it is futile unless the body uses whatever “calories of energy” there is to it so that it could realize its envisioned outcome in actuality.

Impeachment is merely a tool, and it can never be a political ideological foundation. A tool when used at the right condition and circumstances has the highest chance of accomplishing a desired task. But it can also be easily abused and misused just like anything.

Like any other thing, impeachment as a political tool, can be good or bad depending on one’s (or collective group) own judgment. If MLQ3 and the rest of the pundits thought that it was the right thing for them to do and they carried it out in action according to what they believe (after thorough consideration, we hope), then can we question their stand or idea (which they carried out through the legality of their democratic freedom to do so) more than they may question the stands and ideas of others?

Personally, I’m in line with the practicality of the following idea:

“Consider also that we do not have the number to unseat GMA and no one in the present crop of opposition that is “holier-than-GMA”. Some of them are even more corrupt than GMA. We consider the political cost of the exercise and the cost of allowing GMA to step down comes 2010 and as a better option. If you argue that she will extend her term, then let us cross the bridge when there is a bridge to cross.”

But it does not mean that their circumstance (MLQ3’s and the other pundits) voids them of their birthright to act out their minds as Filipino citizens just as what the following statement point out: “Our circumstance here does not void us of our birthright to speak our mind as a Filipino.”

Yes, “freedom” is an inalienable right of any soul wherever he/she may be. But let us also be aware of the danger of being too much engrossed in the world of virtual reality to the point that we tend to forget the existence of a real physical world which has all of its limitations.