The left-leaning groups and the misty-eyed dreamers of the country continue to spew rhetoric over the desire of the Americans to enslave the Philippines by renegotiating a possible US troops and armaments buildup in the country as a counterweight to China’s threat in the region.
These “misguided” were rehashing the narrative of Renato Constantino and Claro M. Recto in the 1950s that the archipelago was the crown jewel of Asia which America had coveted and is now presently coveting.
Our “intellectuals” and their surrogates on the streets have only to read Nick Joaquin’s “Culture as History” to find that RP was not admitted to the great USA as a state because its policy makers did not consider the islands of 1700 with different culture in each group of island “ideally” governable. U.S. policy makers had looked at the Filipino people like their native Indians and the Black Americans as social pests unworthy of civil acculturation. They have no problems conferring statehood for Hawaii because it is composed chiefly of 8 islands, much richer in terms of resources and occupied only by one homogenous group of people, the Polynesians. The Philippines have varied ethnicities: Aeta, Negritos, Malays, Chinese, Tausogs, etc. RP borders are porous and to secure the island was a challenge.
American policy makers must have read Jean-Jacques Rosseau’s “The Social Contract” which says:
“In every body politic there is a maximum strength which it cannot exceed and which it only loses by increasing in size. Every extension of the social tie means its relaxation; and generally speaking, a small state is stronger in proportion than a great one.
A thousand arguments could be advanced in favor of this principle. First long distances make administration difficult, just as a weight becomes heavier at the end of a longer lever. Administration therefore becomes more and more burdensome as the distance grows greater; for, in the first place, each city has its own, which is paid for by the people: each district its own, still paid for by the people: then comes each province, and then the great governments satrapies, and vice royalties, always costing more the higher you go, and always at the expense of the people. Last of all comes the supreme administration, which eclipses all the rest. All these over charges are a continual drain upon the subjects; so far from being better governed by all these different orders, they are worse governed than if there were only a single authority over them.
Not only has government less vigor and promptitude for securing the observance of the laws, preventing nuisances, correcting abuses, an guarding against seditious undertakings begun in distant places; the people has less affection for its rulers, whom it never sees, for its country, which to its eyes, seems like the world, and for its fellow-citizens, most of whom are unknown to it. The same laws cannot suit so many divergent provinces with different customs, situated in the most various climates, and incapable of enduring a uniform government.”
Americans had been guided by foresight in rejecting RP as its 51st State.
Rosseau’s observation finds meaning in what is happening in the country right now. The 1700 islands were simply ungovernable from a central government. The people were not prepared for that kind of a unified government. The muslims want their own government; the Cordillerans their own autonomous cordillera region; Mayor Duterte wants an autonomous Davao with a vigilante justice system; maybe the the Bicolanos should start their own separate claim as an autonomous region; the warlords have their own caliphate to rule; the bandits and the military scalawags their own turf and the trapos their own enclave to operate outside the central government but using the resources of the government. Oh, boy, we are screwed! 🙂