Shape-shifters are Star Trek aliens who possess the magnificent ability to change composition and morph into different shapes and looks and beings. A lizard-man one day, a human the next.
The borg is a big cubic alien world/structure that unites the brains of thousands of humanoids in one machine-like creature that is relentlessly rational and ruthless. From many, one.
I have no idea what the Philippines is, but it is not a shape shifter, and I don't think it is a borg. It may be an asteroid, a big chunk of rock that does not change, that goes 'round and 'round.
I'm always perplexed when intelligent people like Raissa Robles explain that they don't have much respect for the United Sates for what America did in the Philippines during the Philippine American War. It is such a rigid view, and says so much about the Philippines, locked in place.
This perspective lacks the recognition that America is a shape-shifter, marvelously adept at adapting. America was harshly racist in 1898, the period of which Raissa speaks, and the racism fueled cruel behaviors in the Philippines. But America is dynamic. A land of open voices and ears that listen. Americans have argued about freedoms from the nation's inception, giving women voting rights in 1920 when before they had none. And substantially eradicating racism from 1950 to 1990
Freedom to speak forms the conscience of a nation.
The most popular racist in America was perhaps Archie Bunker of the highly popular television show "All in the Family" which ran during the 1970's. His portrayal of a loud, stubborn bigot made bigotry look like it is. Ignorant. Archie was followed in the annals of TV history by the black and funny Bill Cosby in a show called "I Spy". Later he had his own show, the "Bill Cosby Show", a family with the wise but dense and totally hilarious Bill Cosby a little like Archie Bunker, but black.
America started liking her blacks. Black athletes. Black preachers like Martin Luther King, whose assassination was a martyr's moment, for sure. A wake-up call. And now a black President.
The historical pudding proved the point. Blacks are neither lazy nor sex addled (at least no more so than whites) nor stupid. Mexicans, too. And Asians.
So the American ethnic composition continues to morph, a little less white every year. And a lot less racially ignorant than 114 years ago.
The American borg, the block of relentless power, is evident in two ways: (1) in global self-interest and military might, and (2) in rabid belief that certain rights like speech, bearing arms, employment opportunity, fairness and safety are not to be curtailed by private or government authoritarianism. In shorter words, America is a relentless borg for:
- Global commercial enrichment.
- Freedom and fairness for its citizens.
What is the Philippines?
Germany and Japan are done with World War II but the Philippines is still fighting its revolutionary wars and its colonizers.
The Philippines retains the same basic social infrastructure as it had during the Spanish colonial period. Religious democracy. Corrupt. Regionalized into self-serving clans and warlords and feudal estates. The dynasties. Never quite a harmonious national entity.
Except those Sunday's twice a year when Pacquiao fights.
It is strange.
Lacking unity to any purpose other than Catholic conservatism, the Philippines cannot progress. It seemingly cannot forget the past and recognize it is over and done with, cannot look ahead and foresee disasters blown in on the winds, cannot comprehend what the relentless abuse of its marvelous natural resources means.
A chunk of rock, sealed in a vacuum of religious irrationality and self-serving authoritarian leadership. Sealed to the pains of history. Unable to apply science and common sense and vision to look ahead and solve problems.
'Round and 'round we go, ever sealed to the past. Unable to find a way to unleash the dynamics of community effort.
- Passing internet libel laws to squelch voices rather than raise them up, to solve problems. The FOI Bill, a tool for raising voices, is not a priority.
- Relying on personal favor and gain as the basis for employment and business deals, rather than the productive vigor and might of competition and competence and fair play.
'Round and 'round . . . tying things down . . . holding them back . . .
Stuck in self absorption. Afraid to let go . . .