Friday, February 15, 2008

Filipinos are Sith

How does one wrap their mind around the insanity that is the Philippines? On one hand you have a society demanding the right to simply just get it on. Make money, send kids to school--- be better. On the other hand, even for those who are unsurprised at multimillion dollar deals and how they work, are quietly disgusted at those in power, with their sheer arrogance and hubris.

I find Ricky Carandang's Bizarro World analogy to be apt, just as I find Lozada's analogy of light and dark sides likewise is. In the same way one can liken the Philippines with Apokolips. In the Bizarro World analogy, Ricky Carandang asked a very good question, "why is it so hard to do the right thing in this country?"

The long answer I think is because Filipinos are Sith. "WTF, read in your mind, I see."

When people talk Sith, they remember Palaptine and Vader. In Star Wars canon long before The Order of the Sith Lords and the Rule of Two, there was a Sith Empire.

The Sith had a culture of their own. They had a language and a civilization. Filipinos have a rich culture. The Sith were always in a constant state of war, but considered it an aspect of their lives. Filipinos are in a constant state of war with themselves. In every aspect of the Filipino is always conflict, always bickering always going. Heck, gossip and intrigue always brings in attention, just ask those in show business or government for that matter.

The Sith had a strong caste system: religious, engineering/intellectual class and a military class. Filipinos have somewhat of an analogous caste system with intellectuals, business people, OFWs, Religious caste and not to mention our Military is somewhat of a class of its own.

Exiled Dark Jedi mated with the Sith and their offspring gave rise to the Dark Lords of the Sith. We can draw parallels to it for the Filipino Political class.

A lot of people describe Sith Lords as treacherous, greedy and filled with lust for power. For the Dark Lords, for the Sith Order, Treachery is their way. If you are not with them, then you are against them. If you do not bow to their will, say good bye to any chance of doing anything.

That's not the sad part. What is even more troubling is that, this is mirrored in our society, across different strata, across different class. How can it not be when it is such an effective tool?

In every corner of this Archipelago, our people are asking and justly so, "what to do?"

What can be done?

Have you ever wondered why Yoda didn't finish Palpatine during their Duel, why at that crucial moment, the Grand Master of the Jedi Order simply called it a stalemate when he could have fought on?

In Those who sit on the Throne, I wrote that this is all game over before any "rebellion" could form. The Dark Lords of Sith command the allegiance of the Stormtroopers and Congress is lame duck enough not to oppose the Palace. And there is no charismatic leadership like Obama who can say, "Yes, we can" or even a Clinton to say, "I have the experience to get us to where we need to be" to rally the Sith out of their apathy. Outflanked and outmaneuvered and outclassed in a political game of chess, there is no Rebel Alliance to Restore the Republic.

The Arroyos have their people in play to avert any danger to their rule. Of course they would and in their position, why wouldn't you? They're no idiots to roll over and play dead simply because people would rally in the streets. There is nothing those in opposition to them can offer that's better than having power.

"What greater weapon is there than to turn an enemy to your cause? To use their own knowledge against them."
The Dark Lords of Sith have inadvertently learned how to counter any "People Power." By corrupting it, by turning it, bending it to their will as their own instrument for rising to power, good people will abandon it. It is why people everywhere are apathetic. Just as Yoda and hence the Jedi had to abandon war as their instrument to peace: good Filipinos everywhere must innovate.

What was Yoda to do if he won his contest against Palpatine? Palpatine and his Sith Order had adapted. Yoda knew at that moment that Palpatine's Sith Order had turned war into a weapon and that the Jedi still fought the Sith Order as if they were an army to be destroyed. It was why the Jedi failed. People didn't want the Jedi. They wanted the Sith Order to rule. They wanted "peace, order, security."

Yoda could have "won" that contest against Palpatine and in the processes would have become the very thing he fought against. He would have had to become Emperor himself and the turn the Republic into a Jedi Empire. How would that theocracy be better than a Sith one? Theocracy, Yoda knew was not the way.

People who wanted change had to fight for what they believed in and the Jedi should not be above them--- but along side of them. In many ways those who want change and I count myself amongst that rank, we need to reinvent the way we strive for change. Reinvent how to fight war, just as the Jedi did. The romantic notion of street protests alone as a path to change is no longer enough. What must accompany it is a groundswell of effort.

A lot of people are asking why Congressmen who side with Arroyo still hold their jobs. The short answer is because good men and women don't rise up to challenge them.

In Star Wars lore, the Sith people went extinct. not just because of constant war, but because the Dark Lords had interbred with the Sith. As our country is constantly led by people who value treachery, greed and lust for power, so too will most people adapt to those concepts as being the norm. The values of civility will fade into obscurity as our nation becomes a Bizarro World where the upright are the outcasts. It becomes a nation where people cower in fear, a land like Apokolips, where if it would adapt liberty, its people would find freedom as crippling as fascism.

In every district, in every town, in every city of this country, people who want change should run. Not everyone is gifted to talk, to inspire and for those of us who are not so inclined--- we need to help those who they believe can do a better job to run for public office or to establish better businesses. we too can simply be upright citizens who refuse to bribe for instance.

Just as War can be won not just by Lightsaber alone, so too is liberating our Society.

The battle for our Nation is not just in clamoring for change in the streets. It is not simply a matter of a Theocracy (of simply morality over legality) ruling over our Republic. Our Republic can be won, when everyone challenges not personality like the Arroyos--- but the Way our Politicians represent--- treachery, greed, lust for power.

The Battle for our Society begins in our heart, in our soul, in that simple powerful determination that we must change and we do something about it. We must transform our country to a meritocracy! The good must "run", not away, but towards the future. It's the only way to stop being Sith.