Monday, October 11, 2010

Rizal: "Why liberty? Why independence?"

"Our ills we owe to ourselves alone, so let us blame no one. If Spain
should see that we were less complaisant with tyranny and more disposed
to struggle and suffer for our rights, Spain would be the first to
grant us liberty, because when the fruit of the womb reaches maturity
woe unto the mother who would stifle it! So, while the Filipino people
has not sufficient energy to proclaim, with head erect and bosom bared,
its rights to social life, and to guarantee it with its sacrifices,
with its own blood; while we see our countrymen in private life ashamed
within themselves, hear the voice of conscience roar in rebellion and
protest, yet in public life keep silence or even echo the words of
him who abuses them in order to mock the abused; while we see them
wrap themselves up in their egotism and with a forced smile praise
the most iniquitous actions, begging with their eyes a portion of
the booty--why grant them liberty? With Spain or without Spain they
would always be the same, and perhaps worse! Why independence, if the
slaves of today will be the tyrants of tomorrow? And that they will
be such is not to be doubted, for he who submits to tyranny loves it.
~Dr. José Rizal, (El Filibusterismo, 1891)

José Rizal
He was right all right.

More than a hundred years later, Filipinos became tyrants of themselves. Every elections, the ignorant and careless voters outnumbering the thinking voters, it was the dark side of democracy. The rich elites oppressing and manipulating the poor,  and a Constitution that seem to be a compromise between the oligarchs themselves, that political and economic power as well as justice and the right to use our natural resources are limited only to them, the rich elites.

It comes to no surprise that modern Filipinos felt that the heroes of our elitist democracy such as Ninoy and Cory Aquino are greater heroes than Dr. José Rizal were. Just like a friend of mine pointed out:

"Our revolutionary heroes sacrifice themselves in the past only to die in vain because modern-day Filipinos believed that fighting and dying for our elite-dominated democracy are more important than fighting and dying for our national independence."

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