Filipino First -> Only

In honor of the recent People Power Revolution anniversary I thought it proper to do a piece on nationalism. By “nationalism” though I don’t mean celebrating how awesome it is to be Filipino (and it is) or how our heroes are great (and they are). Instead I will focus on how nationalism is actually hindering our growth and progress as a country. More specifically I want to show that it’s our misconception of the idea of nationalism that’s doing this.

Think about it. Really think about it. What ideas do our professors, commentators, and intellectuals espouse as nationalistic? One hundred percent ownership of Filipino’s for companies? Nationalistic. One hundred percent ownership for foreigners? Un-nationalistic. The Philippines claiming ownership of the Spratley Islands and risking a rising superpower’s ire? Patriotic! The Philippines giving up its claim in exchange for other concessions? That’s traitor talk! Americans out of the bases? Yes go Philippines! Americans staying in bases? Well anyone who suggests this is obviously bribed right? I’m not saying that our current crop of nationalistic ideas are unnationalistic but I do assert that it takes more than an underlying “screw you foreigner” motive for an idea to be nationalistic;that some ideas which don’t handicap expats may actually be more nationalistic than those that do. I’m convinced that throughout history our collective idea of what is nationalistic has become perverted into what is protectionist.

Nationalistic ideas at their very core are ideas that will benefit and promote the country. Ideas that no matter the ideological lean of their content will better us as a nation. Consider the original definition’s implications to those of this new one; no idea should be rejected at face value just because they happen to suggest helping foreigners in some shape, way, or form. Each idea should have their pro’s and con’s individually weighed critically. Those that pass; where pro’s outweigh the cons, should be considered nationalistic as they help our country. Those ideas that don’t, shouldn’t. If this means that such controversial ideas such as one hundred percent foreign ownership of corporations or ownership of lands is considered nationalistic, then so be it. I’m not saying it necessarily has to be, but if an impartial study dins it so…so be it.

Running a nation is a very complex endeavor. Each day our leaders are faced with thousands of decisions; each of them with a thousand possible courses of action. Locking out a certain subset of these choices, even if they are the most beneficial for our country, due to some misunderstood idea of nationalism hurts us as our leaders cannot pick the best and most efficient paths for fear of being called traitors. We already have enough disadvantages without further handicapping ourselves with a misguided mindset.

I hope this article reaches some people, it goes against plenty of what is taught in schools nowadays. The fact still remains that limiting our options due to artificial constraints inhibits our growth as a nation. I’ve already stated what my personal definition for a nationalistic idea is. I’d like to leave with my definition of what nationalism is. In my opinion it is “Doing whatever you have to do to make your nation great”


Leave a comment

Filed under Politics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s