Sunday, May 04, 2008

Feedback on Philippine politics

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It was to be expected that my comments on Philippine politics would draw some heated replies. I even got a subtle threat, but its part of 'life in the Philippines'. So what do we draw from this feedback. Well I am accused of generalising. Yeh. I did and will continue to do so as a matter of logic. I have made the point on others blogs that argument is about breaking ideas apart - generalising is about defining principles or the essence of ideas, differentiation is about identifying and explaining the things which account for differences. Most people of course have not studied logic so they are disparaging on all generalisation. Of course one should not make sweeping generalisations, as they are over-simplifications. Many people however are disparaging of all generalisation. They don't differentiate between sweeping generalisations and the process of generalisation. Why? Well usually its because:
1. They are anti-conceptual, or ineffective thinkers
2. They have a collectivist or social identity.
3. They lack self esteem, so they are threatened by others critical remarks.

These issues are actually related. I have made some disparaging remarks about Philippine culture or values. So these offended people can't formulate an argument to counter mine, can't formulate an argument in defence of Philippine values, so instead they resort to threats and smear. Really they just reveal themselves as part of the problem.
The next issue is the social identity. Most countries have a social identity; certain characteristics that define the nation's pride. For the Japanese its Mitsubishi, for the French its wine, for Australians its the beach and lifestyle, for the USA its cheap petrol and the right to pay $6/hour. But where is the tangible value in such 'pride'. Really its quite false. Firstly I reject that idea that pride has anything to do with collectives. Pride is an attribute of the individual. Even in the context of a team, what is pertinent is how much you contribute to the team, not that the team one. Same goes for cheer leaders. The Japanese citizen who takes pride in their national icons is a fake. I might add that Japanese companies are amongst the least efficient companies in the world. Why? Because their profitability is based on the extent to which workers sacrifice their own happiness for the sake of the corporate bottom line. Because they have a tragic sense of life, they accept that plight.
Lastly a person with self esteem is not threatened by other people's feedback. They instead accept that others have differing views, whether they have less respect for them, or choose not to read their material. Certainly they dont where the burden of collective tags.

Anyway to all the critics.... keep it coming. I love it. And to the few supporters. Thank you for proving there is hope for the Philippines. Even if its the hope of being on the next flight to LA :) Well you can't lose your sense of humour. Not unless you can't get a visa.

Some critics cited by poor English and grammar as the basis for their criticism. Isn't it interesting what people choose to focus on. Firstly I dont feel compelled to follow the rules of English. Why because they are illogical. In defence of Filipinos. Why should they have to learn such an illogical language. I have no knowledge on Tagalog, so no comment. Also I dont edit my posts often because I dont have the time. The disparaging remarks do prove that at least that the most anti-conceptual among you do understand the words, even if you dont make the connections, and I dare say thats because these ideas raise conflicting premises in people's minds. Some people are scared by contradictions. We are greatly challenged in the modern society to know more. People are intimidated by the burden. Some people dont know how to cope. Repression is ever present. People refuse to acknowledge what is. Other people enable them. Its not just the Philippines. I dont know any country which is free of this. Its a very human CHOICE.
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Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com
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