Posted tagged ‘technocrats’


February 25, 2011

Erle Frayne D. Argonza


Magandang araw sa inyo! Good day to you all! To the Arab pro-democracy forces, kudos for your initial successes in Tunisia and Egypt!

The unfolding democratization of Arab republics via people power means has got many sympathetic eyes aglow outside the Arab world. That includes this analyst who was among the youthful professionals that militantly brought down the Marcos dictatorship in 1986.

The clash within the Arab republics should not be equated, however, to a simplistic ‘clash of ideologies’. Neither is the conflict some ‘clash of civilizations’ that is being propagated today by the global oligarchy through sub-altern extremist groups.

I would prefer to highlight the conflict as a ‘clash of generations’. Though no fan of the Japanese technocrat Kenichi Ohmae, I am in tune with his thesis that the conflicts of the future will be one of ‘clash of generations’.

Much earlier than Ohmae, the Frankfurt school thinkers Herbert Marcuse and Jurgen Habermas already articulated on the discourse of the youth taking the cudgels for world-changing endeavors. The social turmoils of the 1960s up through the early ‘70s were largely initiated by the Youth, in far contrast to previous ones that were led by the working class astride a socialist ideology.

Fact of the matter is, the working class (via socialist parties) has been tailing behind in those conflicts of the past. In the Arab turmoils of the day, the influential Islamic groups have been quite tailing behind in initiating the protests versus the Permanent President regimes. It were the young ones—youth and young middle aged citizens—who initiated and manned the protest actions, though they may have seen light in some token senior citizen figures.

One shouldn’t make the slap-stick comedy that the Arab revolutions—that toppled perpetual presidents in Tunisia and Egypt—were genuine successes of ‘anarchist’ movements. That goes back to old hat 19th century ideological discourse, and as I’ve stated earlier, the clash is not one of ideologies.

The Turmoil (with capital T to stress) in the Arab republics is one of ‘clash of generations’. It practically pitted the old versus the young. The older ones, who support the entrenched political elites, are those grounded in ideology cum clientelist politics. The younger ones, who are largely ‘netizens’, possess an outlook or perspective that is more global or trans-ideology, though their emerging discourses tend to appropriate from available ‘nation’ and ‘people’ discourse of old.

The Arab revolutions have some remarkable features that contrast with the people power revolutions that overthrew military dictatorships of the late 20th century. The earlier revolutions (such as my own country’s in 86) were largely led by the ‘middle class’ or ‘middle forces’, while the Arab revolutions were initiated by young ‘netizens’ with a rather de-centered social feature or one that can’t be reduced to the class question.

Some quarters may hazard some reflections, using Edward Said and Antonio Gramsci, that intellectuals were the core articulators of the social turbulence. That would be belaboring the obvious by highlighting the micro-facets of the change, or those structures and processes that even kindergarten minds can easily perceive.

There is an over-arching change going on in the psyche of the younger generation Arabs of the day, and it pays to observe and use the logic of induction to conclude about what that change is. Or better still, employ ‘logic of abduction’ as what Charles Sanders Peirce innovated on, by holding in abeyance any hypothesis about the phenomenon, and generate the hypothesis, discourse, and conclusions later.

For now, let us bring the message across to global Western oligarchy to desist from further manipulating the Arabs’ turmoil for their ulterior motives. Like the turbulence going on in the global economy that isn’t susceptible to oligarchic manipulation, the Arabs’ ‘clash of generations’ is no stuff for manipulation by the same evil oligarchs who comprise the secret government called ‘new world order’.

The oligarchic cabals should recognize by now that their strangulation of peoples’ psyche and souls for nigh eons is now coming to a close. It is now time to consider moving away from polarities towards cooperation, consensus, and Oneness that is, in fact, the compass of the future.

[Philippines, 21 February 2011]


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November 19, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

In a previous article, this writer articulated the success of the Japanese Zaibatsu offensive. As one ought to realize, the success of the Zaibatsu offensive came at the expense of other markets, notably the North’s. Intellectually bankrupt as they are, the policy makers and technocrats of the North never foresaw the catastrophic consequences of predatory policies more so those concerning finance that came from their Japanese partners.

Today, Zaibatsus are well prepositioned across the globe, and it doesn’t matter anymore whether their headquarters will still be based in Japan. They have already fanned out beyond their boundaries, thanks to gullible states and market players in host countries that aren’t equipped to read the psyche of their Japanese partners. Japanese market presenters carry the mien of humble partners who bow in deep respect before you during business meetings, so who could ever suspect the rather cold-blooded nature of such gestures.

What the world must observe with greater focus these days, when global fascism is rising, is the resurgence of Japanese militarism. It may come in the form of ultra-nationalism, or ultra-conservatism, and may have nothing of the ‘Hail Emperor’ mantra of the previous Empire. But seeing the rise of predatory Zaibatsus, focused observers can never miss out on the possibility that the economic offensive may be accompanied, at some juncture of global economic crisis, by a very resurgent militarism.

Japan was very badly isolated during and after the 2nd World War, and till the early 1970s its moves at extending cooperation came with enormous suspicion, more so from the Asians whose countries were “burned down to the ground” by invading Japanese military forces. There surely was a colossal repackaging of Japan’s image, from wartime arrogance to new era peace-loving and humble advocate. To prove their sincerity, they even crafted their new constitution such that offensive forces were banned and only defensive military forces allowed.

No one ever heard of Japan getting involved in the arms race for many decades, and till these days the mindsets of somnambulistic folks tend to regard the Japan of the present as the peacenik country of post-war yesteryears. Even my old folks, who suffered miserably from the cruelties of Japanese forces during the war, have come to forgive Japan, though they still harbor the pains during moments of reminiscing.

The peacenik image is a product of its own context, this one must be reminded about. Japan was in high growth for many decades, than it matured onwards till it reached consumer society proportions around the 1980s. Then came the ‘globalization’ voodoo economics, and the rest was history.

That was then. The situation now is different. The global economy is crashing down, the plunge still hasn’t ceased, and the EU-USA experts just couldn’t learn from Japan’s ‘bailout’ mistakes. As the economy falters, anxieties arise within a country, and tensions across borders will increase. Superstition and groupthought (fascism) are rising, and before long we will see the fireworks of another world war ensued in the hottest spots of the globe.

EU-USA (West) and Japan (East), which comprise the pillars of the global economy, are now on the decline. If we study the behavior of their peoples well, whenever they experience severe crises, they undertake wars as  strategy to release or canalize collective anxieties. They identify a Bogey Man (e.g. Nazi’s identified the Jews, North Americans identified the Southern slave owners during the US civil war,…), and then transfer their internal anxieties and defects on the Bogey Man, and war ensues.

Such economic pillars just seem unable to manage their decline without taking down others. This is classic binary mindset, destructive and demonic. Such mindset is responsible for using nuclear arms, regarding the casualties  on their perceived enemies thereafter as mere statistics. And East Asia better prepare for the eventuality that this mindset will become dominant again in Japan in the short run.  

Demented minds in Japan have two (2) bogey men today: (a) North Koreans  and (b) Chinese. As this is happening, events have already shown the preparedness of Japan to mobilize its troops for missions outside the borders (e.g. Iraq war). Japan also possesses the technical capabilities to produce weapons of mass destruction such as nukes and probably the Tesla Earthquake Machine or TEM.  

Intelligence reports have it that Japan is capable of constructing WMDs and manufacturing new series military vehicles (e.g. aircraft carriers) in just less than a year upon call to action. We wouldn’t be surprised if we receive further intelligence information that such WMDs and vehicles are in fact already in place, needing supplementation in quantities and troop mobilizations.

It need not be overstressed that Zaibatsus are awash with money to fund militaristic or Banzai offensives for sustained periods. They already demonstrated this, during the Gulf War and Iraq War, when their coffers coughed up large sums by the tens of billions of dollars to pay the bills for the offensives while the USA provided the main attack hardware and human ‘warm bodies’ (like they were the Hessian Troops of the global oligarchs).

If ever that the USA-EU would fall into a state of totalitarian governance (police state, fascism), and Japan would follow along that direction, then chances are high that the North Atlantic Alliance (USA-EU) and Japan would form a new Axis Powers alliance. The North Atlantic powers would constitute the Western flank, while Japan would comprise the Eastern flank of the alliance.

It will be déjà vu for sure. If indeed such is the direction. Peace advocates still have time to scuttle new treaties up north that could redound to concentrating enormous powers in central governments that are undisguised fascist police states. There is still time, but time is now short.

Before long, Japanese slogans of Banzai! will be heard again across the Pacific. Just by hearing it, or reading it on the papers and TV, many middle class Asians will die of heart attacks. Let us just hope that it will only be a slogan of marginalized mad people in Japan and nothing more.

[Writ 15 November 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila.]


August 8, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Good afternoon from Manila!

A most gladdening news about my city of residence, the suburban Quezon City, is that it ended up as the best performing city in the latest urban study by the Asian Institute of Management or AIM.

Primarily suburban, residential-government center-education in land use, this city had since grown to integrate mixed land use concepts in its renewal and development efforts. With a technocratic mayor at the helm, Sonny Belmonte, who was former president of the national champion Philippine Airlines, vowed to expand commercial engagements all the more and build more ambitious projects.

Witnessing the bankability of this city, the World Bank didn’t have 2nd thoughts in extending a financing package worth P3 Billion for developing the North Triangle area. The new mixed land use area is now rapidly rising, even as the ‘Sillicon Valley’ techno-park in neighboring University of the Philippines is shaping up and will be launched soon.

The news item about the bright situation of the city is summed up below.

[06 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to database news.]


MANILA, Philippines – A week after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), the local executive of Quezon City on Monday delivered his own version of the annual report to his constituents.


Mayor Feliciano Belmonte Jr reported before local city officials that the Quezon City government has aced two important factors needed to become a “well-run city” – these are: good governance and a growing economy.

“I am happy to note that we are getting good grades in both,” Belmonte said in his seventh State of the City Address (SOCA), held at the Quezon City Hall.

Belmonte, who boasted having spoken before German and Singaporean audiences abroad to talk about the city’s urban management strategy, said his government is determined to maintain the distinction of being the most competitive city in Metro Manila, as named by the Asian Institute of Management.

After recording its sixth consecutive annual budget surplus totaling to P283 million last year, Belmonte said their government has the right amount of tools to fuel their development programs for the years to come.

He said that the local government would be spending the next two years in alleviating poverty and unemployment in the city, by focusing on key sectors such as education, business and public works.

Belmonte delivered his almost hour-long “QC-style SONA” during an event that saw the coming together of local city government officials from regular councilors and village captains to well-known local leaders like QC vice mayor Herbert Bautista and celebrity couple Harlene Bautista and Romnick Sarmenta.

‘Ten-fold’ education

Belmonte, in his speech, emphasized the local government’s commitment to strengthen further the education system, especially after the city’s schools division ranked number one in Metro Manila in the National Achievement Tests for Elementary.

In the last six years since 2001, the Quezon City mayor said 87 more public elementary and high school buildings have been erected, providing almost 1,500 new classrooms. Currently, nearly 500,000 children are enrolled in the city public schools in the primary and secondary levels.

“Education is our biggest human resource investment channel. This is where we can maximize the use of our resources and spread the gains,” Belmonte said.

Part of encouraging the city’s young students to brush up on their studies is the “ten-fold” upgrade of the financial assistance awarded to class valedictorians and salutatorians – the previous P24,000 in stipend and tuition coverage every school year has shot up to P100,000.

The city’s focus on education had even gone on to extend to the disabled youth, with more than 200 of them getting allowances and supplies.

As part of the school program, some 9,000 public teachers would undergo a comprehensive training under the “Training for Outstanding Performance in Education.”

Belmonte added that around 13,000 Grade 1 pupils would also benefit from the city’s feeding program while thousands of job hunters would get training in call center operations, as well as computer and cell phone repair.

The health sector has also benefited in the government’s intensified efforts toward development, according to Belmonte, wherein the PhilHealth coverage has extended to more than 47,000 beneficiaries already.

As well, an ordinance is being eyed to develop a comprehensive and sustainable sanitation and septage management program to address the waste problem in the city. Belmonte also mused the government’s saving of around P7 million by reducing biogas emission.

Public works

Meanwhile, leading the local government’s infrastructure projects is the linking of major thoroughfare sprawled all over the city, including the connection of the Commonwealth Avenue and Quirino Highway; the Katipunan Ave and Commonwealth Ave; and Mindanao and Visayas avenues.

But the public works effort of the government does not only center in the widening and connecting of roads and highways, but also trickles down to the very walkways that people trek.

Belmonte encouraged peoples to walk more for them to cope with the soaring prices of oil.

“At this period of escalating gasoline prices, encouraging more people to walk is also good for our health and our pocket,” Belmonte said.

Business beyond this term

He said that the business sector in the city has grown in the last six years, with number of registered businesses jumping from 30,000 last 2001 to over 53,000 last year.

He added he expected the numbers to grow further especially since the securing of business permits has been made faster and easier.

He cited as an example the government’s practice – to drive in entrepreneurs – of allowing aspiring businessmen to begin the construction of their establishments while their papers are still being processed.

Although triggering uproar from affected residents, the local government, through a P3-billion project with the World Bank, is currently in the early stages of transforming a major area in the city – the North and East Triangles – into a leading business district that would rival that of Makati’s.

“We have set the pace for transformation in Quezon City, and are laying the foundations to help make sure that these gains will last beyond this term,” Belmonte said. – Mark Merueñas, GMANews.TV