Waiting for our Hugo Chavez

The heaviest penalty for declining to rule is to be ruled by someone inferior to yourself – Plato

You can hear it from the street political jingles coming out of vehicles converted into mobile bull horns. Traffic jams caused by motorcades and political rallies. Big and tasteless posters becoming part of the landscape. And even online, digital marketers ad pundits, commissioned or otherwise scream about this or that Politico. It is the time of courtship again when those seeking public ofice will say anything and do anything to get elected.

And the country like old Sysiphus, We push the boulder up the hill and once doing so find ourselves and the boulder at the foot of the hill again.

And this makess me wonder whether there is a need to have a Populist leader like Hugo Chavez. A leader who has politically marginalized the political families of his country and used his country’s petroleum riches to maintain political power and popularity. Becoming a champion of the people. Like Napoleon before him did he not find the crown in the gutter and picked it up with a sword?

The temptation of a strong man solution to the political oligarchy in the Philippines is tempting. The present political system is a alliance of political families rather than that of the party. And this is why one cannot differentiate one candidate from another , it is dictated by personal alliances and not by political belief. There are exceptions but only a few of these parties make it to the cut and if they do they often take on the habits and vices of those they replace.

Oh how tempting it is to think that a Sulla. Julius Caesar, Augustus, Napoleon, Attaturk, or a Chavez could be the solution or a catalyst to this stupor a comatose to the political system.

Then again the dangers of such a solution is also clear. Abuse may happen. Marcos has taught us this. Hitler came with the autobahn, the concentration camps and the destruction of his country.

What then?

To gamble whether someone can be a Benevolent Dictator or a First Citizen of the land seems too much of a risk.

Instead of waiting for Big Brother or our own Commandante to come along we have to push for political reforms – from leveling the playing field for all and defining. This can nly be achieved in degrees. In the mean time voting for someone not based on someone’s look, popularity, or his family name does not seem time wasted.

revolution is the enlightenment of the mind and the improvement of character, the only real emancipation is individual, and the only real revolutionaries are philosophers and saints – Ariel Durant

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