THE year 2008 is in a hurry. Or so it seems. The US economic meltdown which has now become global is a revolution of the moneyed that has left the rest of us with nothing to lose in the banks and investment houses merely gazing at the sky and see, albeit unexcitedly, what the zodiacs have in store for us next year.
Political leaders, nursing with jitters and eye bags, should be relieved to close the books and jump on a new year just to lessen, perhaps, another bout of lingering paranoia. But, again, not the rest of us who habitually lag like driftwoods and feel neither sense nor consequence to whatever happen to financial wizards and political dumbledores who, anyway, are both driven by greed and tyranny.
But forecasts are prophets of doom and that’s what makes the trade of forecasting professional and occupied. According to predictions, or better, conjectures, 2009 will see more people in this archipelago relishing deeper their ingrained poverty. Well, it has been so since Magellan set foot on Homonhon island. The only difference was there were then no liars and politicians unlike the proud vermins of today.
Call it a dog barking on a wrong tree or a demigod—who, unlike the likes of Zeus who did mostly heroics, thinks nothing but selfish survival and perpetuity in power—but the solution to the global economic downturn forwarded by the present dispensation is changing the Law of the land. It may be too much for the imagination of technocrats or shameless for the simple, but Cha-Cha (Charter Change that is presently pursued through a Constituent Assembly of self-interested legislators) is the opted panacea against economic regression by the Arroyo’s and their lackeys in Congress. This is one of the modern behaviors that escape both philosophy and decency.
Another creepy contraption is solving an age-old poverty problem through a reproductive health bill that capitalizes on maternal and child health care without directly addressing the fundamental demands of a plummeting economy. Though obliquely, this logic is premised on a theory that the swelling of demography is the prime suspect to have caused the massification of poverty. This, of course, is a myth. But myth is the stuff that storytellers and government spinners are made of.
At the end of the day, all that seem to matter is politics or, better, the economy of politics where dominance and the struggle for power defines the passage of time—and not the common good that, ideally, should have been the raison d’être of the art of good governance.