Archive for June 2011

CENTRAL ASIA DEVELOPMENT UPDATES

June 30, 2011

CENTRAL ASIA DEVELOPMENT UPDATES
Erle Frayne D. Argonza
Good day from Manila!
Below are some updates on development efforts being done in Central Asia. A region most of whose states used to be part of the Soviet Union, Central Asia had lagged behind other regions of the continent after the collapse of the Union over twenty years ago.
Synergy among neighbors has been quite a tough thing going since then. The levels of distrust are pretty high within each state, distrusts that tend to downgrade the formation of civil societies that are largely found on trust.
This analyst welcomes efforts to improve on synergy, boost the physical economy, and strengthen governance institutions in the region.
[Philippines, 20 June 2011]

From: ADB – http://beta.adb.org/news
CAREC 2020: Boosting Trade, Transport and Energy in Central Asia
Date
8 Jun 2011

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN – Senior officials from the 10 member countries of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program, met today in Baku, Azerbaijan, and moved towards completing a strategic framework that over the next decade will help further develop regional transport networks, boost regional trade, and help secure reliable, efficient energy.
The Senior Officials’ Meeting took stock of the group’s achievements since its formal establishment in 2001, and put finishing touches to CAREC 2020, the strategy that will guide the partnership for the next 10 years. It will include a five-year plan of priority regional investments in transport, trade facilitation, and energy. CAREC 2020 will be formally adopted in November 2011 when CAREC countries gather again in Baku to mark the occasion of their 10th Ministerial Conference.
“This year is special as it marks the first decade of CAREC’s existence. It is a time to look back, celebrate, reflect, and—very importantly – to also look to the opportunities ahead,” said Juan Miranda, Director General of ADB’s Central and West Asia Department. “The CAREC countries are closer now than they have ever been, and CAREC 2020 will speed the process by which Central Asia reassumes its position as a pivotal crossroad for international trade and commerce.”
The CAREC partnership comprises 10 countries—Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the People’s Republic of China, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan—and six multilateral institutions: the Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Monetary Fund, Islamic Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme, and World Bank. ADB has served as the CAREC Secretariat since 2001.
CAREC promotes project-based cooperation in transport, energy, trade facilitation, and trade policy. To date, the regional group boasts more than $15 billion in CAREC-related investment in these sectors, including building and upgrading 3,600 km of roads and 2,000 km of railway; as well as ports and priority border crossings. CAREC has also improved energy security, efficiency and distribution throughout the region.

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ASEAN LANGUAGE: MALAY IS STRONGEST CANDIDATE

June 28, 2011

ASEAN LANGUAGE: MALAY IS STRONGEST CANDIDATE

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good day from Manila!

The matter of official language for the ASEAN is among the issues arising as the Southeast Asian confederation is tightening its reins towards a federation-type economic union by 2015.

The possibility of a political union will float to the surface once that economic union will be in place. Political integration will most likely see the constituencies galvanize across the region, people-to-people synergy will increase, and the need for a common language will be felt more strongly.

Among certain intellectual circles in the region, there are those who are now proposing that Malay be the language of ASEAN. Malay is spoken by the greatest number of ethnicities here, even as my country is marked by an overwhelming majority of people who speak Filipino, a Malayan language, more than English (common language during the American era).

Below is a summary report of the proposal.

[Philippines, 26 June 2011]

Source: http://www.brudirect.com

October 26th, 2010 10:40
Malay Can be “Language of Asean”

Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam – Malay language has the potential to become “language of Asean”, considering it is spoken in four-member countries.
The history of the language as one of the lingua francas and was once one of the predominant languages in the region, and is spoken by many minorities across the Southeast Asian region further strengthen its potential.
Dr Mataim Bakar, Director of Research, Development and International Affairs of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, stressed this at “Language Dialogue: Malay language as the language for Asean” at the Language and Literature Bureau yesterday.
Aside from Brunei, Malay is also spoken in other Asean member countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and certain parts of Thailand.
The director said these conditions create an opportunity to introduce the language in-depth to Malay speakers and non-speakers in the region.
The General Secretary for the Riau Jakarta Community Association Indonesia, Dr Abd Azis Tabligh, said there was flexibility in the usage of Malay language.
The Acting Director of Language and Literature Bureau, Hjh Aminah Hj Momin, said to realise the concept of making Malay language as the language for Asean, “there was a need to pool our resources and capabilities to achieve the objective.”
“This resource pool should comprise literature figures as well as people from strategic and critical areas: economy, engineering, science and technology,” she said.
“We want to empower our language. This empowerment can be realised by wise, brave and strategic political will by the relevant authorities.”
Hjh Aminah suggested the need for a systematic channel that could encourage growth and stimulation of mind, musyawarah (discussion) and sharing of discourse.
She did not deny the need to learn other languages in an effort to gain as much knowledge as possible.
However, she emphasised that the knowledge should be conveyed or translated to Malay language.
“Malay language can play a role as the language medium for knowledge. Malay can expand to be a modern language with the concept of progressive nation based on an independent mind and strong identity of its people,” she said.
The acting director added: “Development in economic, politics, education, culture and social does not merely depend on English language. Malay language can be the basis for nation’s development and civilisation.”
Hjh Aminah asked all to look at countries such as Japan, German, Korean and Taiwan that practice their national language and became rich, developed and ambitious nations.
Meanwhile, Dr Abd Azis said the Malay language was the root of Bahasa Indonesia.
“Bahasa Indonesia is Malay language that is added with foreign languages as well as respective dialects in the provinces,” he said.
The nation’s vast population is also united by its language. The language’s significance can be seen in many national events, said Dr Abd Azis.
Dr Abd Azis said like many Malay-speaking countries, the development of ICT had created a crisis for the preservation of the language, where many use English language as the medium.
“Our duty is to (evoke) the feeling of pride for the Malay language and its usage in our community,” he said. Courtesy of The Brunei Times

CLIMATE CHANGE: PLANETARY OR GALACTIC?…ROCKET SCIENTIST BACKTRACKS GLOBAL WARMING

June 25, 2011

CLIMATE CHANGE: PLANETARY OR GALACTIC?…ROCKET SCIENTIST BACKTRACKS GLOBAL WARMING
Erle Frayne D. Argonza
We cannot deny, as shown by evidences, that Earth changes are taking place today. There are no fixed interpretations of the changes though, and the scientific community is the least unified about such interpretations.
Whether the fixed idea of ‘global warming is carbon-based monstrosity’ is fully accepted across the sciences and civic groups remains as a hot issue. It is, for one thing, too contentious, and in my opinion as a social scientist, too reductionist with pugnacious eco-fascist underpinnings.
Astronomers have recently reported updates about all planets of the solar system undergoing changes in their polar areas. Even the sun does not escape its own equivalent changes that have repercussions on the electromagnetic belt of our very own planet.
Unfortunately, global Establishment media and information niches have released the news in separate, isolated packets so that they won’t be noticed by the public, thus sustaining the rather erroneous and suspicious fixed idea of a carbon-based or human intervention-induced Earth changes.
Below is a news item about an Australian rocket scientist who was previously among the most vocal interpellators of a carbon-based global warming problematic. The same scientist has now backtracked on his previous statement, indicating as such the disagreements within the scientific community about the subject.
[Philippines, 27 July 2008. Thanks to the Executive Intelligence Review database news.]
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Former Global Warming Rocket Scientist Cools to Reality
July 18, 2008 (EIRNS)—
An Australian Greenhouse Office consultant from 1999 to 2005, David Evans, now slams the global warming theory he once supported. In an opinion piece in Rupert Murdoch’s national newspaper, The Australian, Evans stated that: I am the rocket scientist who wrote the carbon accounting model (FullCAM) that measures Australia’s compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, in the land use change and forestry sector.”We scientists had political support, the ear of government, big budgets, and we felt fairly important and useful (well, I did anyway). It was great. We were working to save the planet.”
Evans said he initially thought the evidence seemed “pretty good,” but had admitted it was not conclusive. Now he says straight out: “There is no evidence to support the idea that carbon emissions cause significant global warming. None. The Labor Government is about to deliberately wreck the economy in order to reduce carbon emissions. [They are] going to be regarded as criminally negligent or ideologically stupid for not having seen through it. And if the Liberals support the general thrust of their actions, they will be seen likewise.”
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MULTIPOLAR POWER ARRANGEMENT MUST BE ADVANCED!

June 24, 2011

MULTIPOLAR POWER ARRANGEMENT MUST BE ADVANCED!

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

The rugs under our feet are changing fast. Even before the changes, brought forth by globalization and rising new economic powers, took place in the early 1990s, this analyst was already of the mindset towards building a (a) strong ASEAN and (b) re-engineer the global context towards multipolarity.

At that time, the Soviet Union just collapsed, with Stalinist regimes crashing down infamy and erasure as once thriving states. ‘Tiger’ and ‘dragon’ economies of Asia were roaring sonorous waves that shuddered the enclaves of fascistic world powers. Open societies, multi-culturality, and new economic players were making waves world-wide.

By the late 1990s, the clamor for a multi-polar arrangement became stronger. That is where the world is heading to anyway, so the world powers may as well register in their elites’ mental banks the need to reconfigure the way they relate to developing countries.

Having witnessed how great powers—acting on the behest of their dominant elites (oligarchs, politicians, technocrats, military elites)—crash developing countries down to more appalling living conditions via public policy dictates, I could only but bite the bullet and feel ambivalent towards the North in particular. The northern elites have already ensured, using zero-sum game rules, that the south will never ever rise to economic prominence, much more to political prominence.

Philippines was made into a favorite guinea pig for IMF-sanctioned policies on currency decontrol, devaluation, and liberalization reforms. World Bank pressures ensured that PH can never install its heavy industries, notably steel, by shackling financing efforts from overseas to bankroll major industrial projects.

IMF austerity reforms lashed out with the fury of super-typhoons, tsunamis, and mega-quakes combined, assuring the rise of poverty to 60% when strongman Marcos was booted out in 1986. Virata & technocrats, all pro-World Bank-IMF, were the true power wielders in the country and made sure that the North gets its impositions going.

There is no better option than for the developing countries to do its best in surging ahead economically via sustained growth, equitable wealth distribution, and poverty reduction. Hence creating a large middle class, the DCs (developing countries) can then get together in global coalitions to promote mutual cooperation and protection against the predatory powers of the North.

Such are the reasons for my pro-ASEAN advocacy. Relatively sovereign as a confederation, the ASEAN can become a global power in the short run provided that the union and its policies develop a strong constituency where there is none today. The true constituents are the citizens of member states, they should develop the regional consciousness and the sense of responsibility for advancing and defending the nascent union.

The ancient days of world power hooliganism, which accompanied power relations with wars of destruction and sustained global chaos, should be put to rest. The North should quickly learn the emerging ways of the globalized community, and cease from treating the South as populated by sub-humanoids or ‘colored monkeys with no tails’.

China, India, Brazil, ASEAN are rising to global economic and political prominence. Old powers Britain, America, France, should better pay attention well to the emerging reality, while Russia can swing its allegiance towards the emerging powers (Russia is itself ancient).

Multipolarity will enable the further growth of cooperation, multi-national exchanges, trust and mutual respect. It should. The South is now showing the way for such ideal states to happen.

[Philippines, 03 June 2011]

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PH AN EMERGING POWER PER UK PRONOUNCEMENT

June 22, 2011

PH AN EMERGING POWER PER UK PRONOUNCEMENT

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good day to you fellow global citizens!

Just recently, a team from the British diplomatic corps made an unusual pronouncement in Manila: that Philippines is an emerging power. For a world power that once conquered Manila during the world war between the empires of Spain and Britain, the UK remark is truly unusual.

Cordially and tactfully delivered, the remark hopefully could open up more floodgates for greater investments between the UK and PH. UK better bring in more investors—bringing in more FDIs (direct foreign investments) than hot money capital—and show sincerity in relating to its partner in the ASEAN.

Known for profligate engagements in derivatives operations and related speculations, UK has been the center of operations of known predatory financiers led by the Rothschilds and fronted by George Soros, a fact that has been causing chagrin on and ambivalence towards the British by developing countries. UK diplomacy better change that image and change it fast.

On the other hand, it is time for Filipino investors to move into London and Northern Ireland with greater capital intensity. Sure, there are a lot of Filipinos in the UK, with circa 200,000 located there, albeit largely for domestic work. It is time that the population composition of Pinoys in UK better change, with greater numbers of professionals, investors, and aid volunteers (to developing countries) deciding to seek domicile there.

As to the numbers of British citizens located in PH, the number is 10,000. Composed largely of retired seniors, the number is also reinforced by diplomatic professionals, business executives, philanthropic aid workers, artists and students. The composition may need to change soon, as PH is an open society and its multi-cultural environ is a plus factor for British and other Europeans to seek domicile here.

Let’s go back to the contention of emerging power. This contention was culled from the observation of PH as an emerging market, which together with other emerging markets will equalize the OECD powers by 2025 as per World Bank forecast. Emerging markets have large populations and significant middle income consumers (earning $6,000-$30,000 per annum).

PH has around 19 Millions out of its 94 Millions of warm bodies as comprising that global middle class. Small for now and seemingly stagnant, the 19 Millions can be made to grow, and the number is significant vis a vis the total population. All over the ASEAN, a total of past 100 Millions of people are in that category today.

The USA has 160 Millions in the global middle income category. It is no wonder that the World Bank made the forecast, knowing the sustained growth that the emerging markets have been showing. As the USA stagnates along the way, ASEAN will surpass it in terms of doubling its middle income to past the 200 Millions warm bodies before 2025 yet.

With Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam showing the way to what emerging markets are in the ASEAN, it is no wonder that traditional world powers are in a hurry to re-chart the directions of their foreign policies, aimed at creating long-term modus vivendi with the emerging markets.

PH political clout will most likely increase along the way as its economic clout also strengthens. The domestic stakeholders better take note of the new perceptions of OECD powers such as UK on PH, and widen that latitudes for rapid growth and wealth redistribution to accelerate the creation of a middle class past the 50 Million mark soon.

This time around, PH shouldn’t miss out on the emerging global opportunities and perceptions of multi-polarity. Stakeholders should put up or shut up in meeting the gargantuan challenges at hand.

[Philippines, 02 June 2011]
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Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs & website anytime!
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LOIN EMPOWERMENT: CHURCH CRANKY POLITICAL DISCOURSE

June 21, 2011

LOIN EMPOWERMENT: CHURCH CRANKY POLITICAL DISCOURSE

Erle Frayne D. Argonza
Religious fundamentalism is among the mega-waves of the moment. Secularism, which was a 19th century wave yet, had reached its full circle around the 3rd quarter of the 20th century.
From 1980 onwards, with the advent of Islam Fundamentalism and Religious Right (Christian Right, Hindu Right), secularism has been taking the backseat as fundamentalism’s seductive new dogma delivered their devastating blows on erstwhile ‘enemies of God’. Catholic fundamentalism has been riding along this mighty wave since then, and had already dealt its own devastating blows on perceived God’s enemies:
(a) Irish Republic Army partisans killing thousands of children-women-aged ‘collateral damage’ folks;
(b) Croatian Army, armed by the Opus Dei, storming the Serbian bastion, killing thousands of ‘collateral damage’ folks, and declaring a separate republic, along a largely contorted notion of ‘nation’ (ethno-nation); and,
(c) Christian militias armed to the teeth in many parts of the globe, causing enormous damages and misery on the affected folks. More such violent genocidal campaigns will be fomented by Catholic crypto-fascists in the months and years to come yet.
This is not to count those hundreds of millions of deaths caused by the Crusades, Inquisition, imperial conquests of Catholic powers (Spain, Portugal, Bavaria, Hapsburg, etc). During the Philippine Revolutionary War against Catholic Imperial Spain, no less than half a million Filipinos died, while millions died more due to the forced labor, population resettlements, and abominable cruelties by the Catholic Spaniards.
If we reflect on all of those past genocidal campaigns done by the Catholics, and add the death tolls inflicted by contemporary terroristic adventurisms of Church partisans, we may wonder what ‘pre-emptive right’ do Catholic cryto-fascists possess that render them as indubitably clean, spotless, pure souls who cry wolf whenever issues concerning population control and/or reproductive health are raised, in the name of a new distorted moron one-liner ‘pro-life’.
The same puritanical quacks, none of whom lives a life that is unblemished and sagely worth our emulation, are again in the heat of raising the same fear-based ‘pro-life’ in the electoral campaign in America.
Here in Manila, the same puritanical quacks have been on the rampage over the legislative victory of the long-awaited Reproductive Health Bill, using the same pathetically bankrupt one-liner ‘pro-life’ spiced with highly nauseating lies about “the destruction of Philippine way of life” by the noblesse legislators. Nay, the same quackery has been raised by the fear-mongers to convince Filipino-Americans not to vote for Obama next week, for Christ’s sake!
Come to think of it, if we examine the underlying logic of the puritanical quackery, we can see the fear of Church Hierarchs & lay leaders in a rapid diminution of church devotees across the coming decades.
The political economy of church operations clearly reveals thus: the more people participating in church life, the greater the power of the purse of the Bishops, priests, religious orders, and lay organizations. This reality of political economy explains why the Church today remains very powerful, because it is the world’s wealthiest corporate entity taken in the aggregates, whose wealth no nation or corporate group can ever surpass.
To restate the thesis in another manner: loin power means purse power. Following from that logic, purse power means greater prestige and political power by the Church. A diminished loin power, due to the meteoric ascent of ‘reproductive health’ and/or ‘pro-choice’ discourse in the realms of legislation and administration also means the consequent decline of the purses of the Church operators.
As the issues and defenses are raised across partisan lines, Islamic partisans are mobilizing their forces of engagement, ready to start a World War III in their region, a war that could embroil the entire planet in another 30 Years War and see the eventual erasure of nations in a Post-Westphalia regime. Catholic militias and terrorists are increasing by the numbers across the globe, evidenced in my own country by the return of the infamous Tadtad and Ilaga groups that have regrouped and mobilized to engaged marauding Jihadist terrorists in their Mindanao backyards.
Since the Church is awash with cash, gold bullions, estates, and hedge funds anyway, every Catholic diocese may as well begin arming militias and related partisans who would be tasked to run after Catholic infidels or those who do not follow the faith in the manner so dictated by Paleolithic fogey dogma. In order to defend the ‘pro-life’ line, kill more, bomb more, cause miseries on more people, in the name of God! Praise be to God!
Urbanization is another mega-wave in our planet today, a wave that brings with it the ever-widening individuation of the human psyche. Herd discourse such as those peddled by the Pied Piper puritanical quacks, which induces a retreat to the folk spirit or folkgeist and is tantamount to retrogression of the species, has no place in an increasingly individuating psyche.
Spirituality may also increase with time, but this spirituality will be of the ‘seeker’ or ‘freethinker’ type, a spirituality that is not susceptible to mind-bending manipulation by the folk spirit Pied Pipers. This could be the reason why, in the Philippines, amid the much ballyhooed 86% membership of Filipinos in the Vatican church or corporation, the devotees have voiced a predominantly pro-reproductive health inclination according to official nationwide surveys.
Obama has got nothing to do with this inclination, the legislators’ pro-active measure on population & development has been in Congress for nigh two (2) decades now, but we do see the increasing individuation among an increasingly sophisticated urban habitué led by the urban boheme & intelligentsia.The same Catholic puritanical quacks are joined by Christian Right groups in the USA in waging a last-ditch attempt to derail the popular gains of Obama versus his contender McCain as per latest survey.
The same sickening discourse, characteristic of mental bankruptcy and mediocre “understanding” (sic!) of the human condition, is being mass-disseminated by a loose alliance of cryto-fascists, all working to subtly use loin power to keep their groups in hegemonic positions in the private sphere. What nauseating, pathetic buffoons these folkgeist progenitors are! If they have nothing worth talking about, nothing worth their ilk, they better wrap up and mobilize for armed partisans and face their infidels in the Middle East.
While the same puritanical quacks, both Islam and Christian, would be busy slaughtering each other, as they did hundreds of years back, the true peace-loving, life-loving, dialogue-wielding, universal love-driven citizens of Earth would be collaborating in their efforts for lasting peace and development worldwide.
[Philippines, 27 October 2008]
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Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs & website anytime!
Social Blogs:
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SEXUAL PROMISCUITY: PROF. ARGONZA ON LOTHARIO @TAYUAN AT PANINDIGAN

June 19, 2011

SEXUAL PROMISCUITY: PROF. ARGONZA ON LOTHARIO @TAYUAN AT PANINDIGAN

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good evening from the Pearl of the Orient!

I was just recently invited to guest at the news & info show Tayuan at Panindigan of TV5 (Ph) on the subject of Playboy. Hosted by Aida Uy, Lourd De Veyra, and Giselle Sanchez, the show is among the fast rising talk shows in PH today, and there’s a good reason for this: the platform is indeed informative, with a segment on analysis/reflection, and ethical standpoint declared by the hosts on the last segment.

The analysis/reflection is the segment that needs an expert. Being a sociologist with additional background on anthropology and social psychology, I was keen on discussing the topic of lothario phenomenon, and so I decided to say my nod to the invitation. I did decline previous invitations for one reason or another, so I better appear in this latest invite so as not to appear as a smug personality with ‘prima donna complex’.

The core questions asked of me involved the typical factors accounting for playboy behavior: cultural, genetic, psychological. These were often the standard variables popularly known as accountable for lothario behavior, so I delimited my discussions based on them. My expected task was to affirm whether such factors were indeed valid, deepening the articulation when warranted.

There was a sexist slant to the topic of course, as playboy behavior is just one side of the reality. There also are sexually promiscuous women, likewise are lesbians and gays affected by the phenomenon. Sexual promiscuity is the more generic phenomenon, and it is rising in fact in the context of postmodernity.

In the emerging context, there are two (2) other factors that account for sexual promiscuity: (a) drug subculture, and (b) predominance of the Primal.

Friends of mine who immersed in the drug subculture during their young adulthood, revealed to me how dope—with stimulant effect—can create a sex maniac out of someone who may not have manic behavior in the first place. I know of a former female staff of mine who got hooked into the sex & drugs circles, was impregnated and borne two (2) babies out of mere casual sex with men, and was treated psychiatrically for bipolar disorder. Welcome to the Primal era!

The 20th century saw the beginning of the rise of the Primal that tore down the last vestiges of Enlightenment’s reason-dominated discourse. The sexual revolution came and reached full circle during the last half of the past century. Postmodernity has a dark side to it, as it celebrates ‘drug is cool’ and ‘sex is cool’ clichés.

Not only that, even ‘evil is cool’ has become an in-thing in postmodernity. Notice many video games today, and kids killing other kids with bladed objects, even with mere ballspens (e.g. Vietnamese-American high schooler was stabbed to death inside an internet café in California). To rape and then kill the victim in such bizarre fashion is common everywhere in the urban planet.

Postmodernity is the culture of the emerging Post-Industrial economy, and so it dovetails into the cultural factor behind sexual promiscuousness. I prefer to discuss this factor in any forum about sexuality in fact, rather than go back to ancient cultures or socio-biological case factoring (e.g. male gorilla sexes 5X a day with different female gorillas to sustain homeostasis).

I am more of a present-to-future looking analyst and prognosticator, and this is what I can share as prognostication: sexual promiscuity will rise even sharply in the decades ahead. Unless that there is a reversal of sorts, as a new over-arching ethical regime will re-shape sexual conduct altogether. For now, that ethical regime is remote.

[Philippines, 19 June 2011]

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Come Visit E. Argonza’s blogs & website anytime!
Social Blogs:
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PROF. ERLE FRAYNE ARGONZA: http://erleargonza.com