OPINION: Chimpanzees

Teddy Locsin, Jr.

Posted at Jul 14 2016 12:08 AM | Updated as of Jul 14 2016 09:56 PM

FROM Lincoln, Duterte drew this inspiring expression: “You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong; you cannot help the poor by discouraging the rich; you cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer; you cannot further brotherhood by inciting class hatred among men.”

When he said that one imagined TELCO executives and reckless mining magnates, to borrow the words of Joker Arroyo, “jumping like chimpanzees.”

But did Lincoln really say that you can not strengthen the weak by weakening the strong, when the weak are weakened by the strong? If so, why did he wage a civil war to help the blacks against their white masters?

Did Lincoln really say that you cannot help the poor by discouraging the rich who got rich by making people poor; and keeping them that way by over-charging for dropped calls and turtle slow internet which people have no choice but to pay or be cut off from human intercourse. The operative word here is “intercourse.”

Read Yanis Varoufakis latest book, "And the Weak Suffer What They Must?" where he demonstrates that the strength of the strong is drawn from their oppression of the weak, and the wealth of the rich comes from their exploitation of the poor. There is no other way for the strong to become and stay strong, and the rich to get rich and richer—which is why it is in the interest of both to screw the weak and poor only up to that point beyond which they cease to contribute strength and wealth to the strong and rich. You should not kill the emaciated if golden goose.

And yet Duterte says that in this and in another quotation are contained all his economic, financial and political policies.

The solution to the riddle, the reconciliation of the seeming contradiction is the first and preeminent quotation. This one from Franklin Delano Roosevelt—or was it Teddy Roosevelt his cousin the Trust Buster: “The test of government is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide for those who have little.” Especially when those who have much, got it from those who have little; so that, in order to provide, for those who have little you must take a little back from those who have taken too much from those who have too little.

It is worse when we are talking about mining, where those who have much take it from our patrimony—to wit, what will not grow back and cannot be replaced: non-renewable natural resources.

So stop jumping like chimpanzees over Duterte’s words. Instead hold still, you are about to get a haircut all over, starting with your armpits.

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