Monday, April 30, 2012

Pol. Ideology 28: Parliamentarism Hard Sell and Free Market Deception

In my political and economic discourses, I seldom mention personalities, only institutions and policies. Well for doing good work and advocacy of free market, individual freedom philosophy, I mention names as much as possible.

Below, I am posting a major thread in my facebook wall. Rather long but have fun...

Nonoy Oplas  January 26 at 8:58am ·
There's this guy who's starting a political movement, you can blog only if you say good or neutral things about him. If you write something negative about his attitude and he knows you, he will write to you to "take out any reference about me." If he doesn't know the writer or blogger, he will write to someone whom he thinks can influence that writer to "take out and remove any reference about me." How do you call that personality?

Right, this was three moths ago. The quick reply from some friends are: dictatorial, manipulative, fake free marketer, narcissistic, extreme fanaticism, pikon, etc.

A common friend of mine and that guy, Carlos Tapang ( commented and here are our exchanges from January 29-30. I'm sure Carlos won't mind that I post these things here, he's a blogger himself who publishes his personal ideas.

Carlos This is not good and I don't like at all. Reminds me of how Andres Bonifacio was murdered. Why do we have to go against people who share our objectives? We all have our weaknesses, and it is best to discuss those in private. Send me a note and I will call you. I know who this is about, and if your purpose is to improve that person and help his organization, this way of doing it will NOT work. I would rather that we discuss this privately, Nonoy.

Nonoy  Sorry to disappoint you Carlos. I've attacked or criticized Gloria Arroyo, Mar Roxas, Walden Bello, Paul Krugman, Al Gore, the WWF, Greenpeace, Oxfam, FDC, etc., but I never received a single email from them saying that I should take out any references about them. If you are trying to be a public figure, like starting a pol movement, you are exposing your ideas to the public. Independent writers and bloggers might comment about you and your ideas, positive or negatively, take it from there. Do NOT write to them to take out references about you, right?

Carlos  Yes, Nonoy. It was two years ago, sitting in a hotel room in Gensan, when I first read an article that highlighted your position against Mar Roxas' affordable medication bill, which was really a form of price control. I was so happy to know that there was, and continues to be, a free marketer in Pinas, that I immediately looked for you in the Internet. I found you and since then I have valued your friendship.

Here's how I look at this situation: Aguinaldo and Bonifacio could have resolved their differences and united strongly against a common enemy.

Here in the U.S., look at Ron Paul. He is a Libertarian, but he is (still) a viable Presidential candidate for the Republican ticket. His chances of winning the nomination is still small, but if he had instead put himself under the Libertarian ticket, his chances would have been zero, and he could not have participated in the national debates. He is a very practical person, and even if he does not win, he is clearly impacting the debate regarding economic freedom, which is really all he is after.

Nonoy Correct. I can count at least 7 different shades of free marketers in this country, about 3 are organized, the rest are still in formation stage or just informal group and fellowships. MG Thinkers is one of those 7 of course. I don't think I need to join all the other 6, it's enough that I consider them as free marketers and hence, allies to a certain extent, but recognize my difference with them on certain aspects. Free market is about diversity and spontaneity, never of uniformity and monotony. That is why I limit my criticism of fellow free marketers but when some of them will sing halleluiah to a BIG govt on certain functions, or for whatever form of govt, that's where I divide the line and say, "hoops, I cannot join you there."

Then in a recent posting by Carlos in his facebook wall about economic liberalization and restrictions to foreign investments. I commented there, mentioned the CORRECT Movement, and debeated with some supporters of that group. Then the leader of that group came in and we have several exchanges. So I went back to this thread and posted, and the exchanges that followed from Saturday (April 28) noon to midnight of Sunday (April 29)

Nonoy  HI guys, I'm referring to Orion Perez and his CORRECT movement. I am having a debate now with him at Carlos Tapang's wall. Follow my comments thread.
Saturday at 12:07pm

Peter Hahaha..what a bozo! Nonoy you should play both sides of whatever topic he posts to confuse the heck out of him! :))

Nonoy  Yeah, I told Orion that his CORRECT movement is a statist movement masquerading as a free market movement. Free marketers are no lovers of BIG govt, whether presidential or parliamentary, whether centralized or decentralized. Free marketers want voluntary exchange, voluntary charity, zero or minimum coercion and taxation by governments, local or national, presidential or parliamentary. Deception, like the man-warming scam, is used by some people to advance their political or even personal agenda.

Winthrop  You know Noy, i was actually thinking of inviting 'Rayon' onto PF back in 01 or 02. :)

Jess  Hi Noy, I had some exchange of thoughts with them awhile back. I left shortly thereafter though as the exchanges degenerated into ad hominems with me at the receiving end. So they are still at it hah...

Winthrop  Jess' reaction highlights the simple fact that any movement isn't going to grow much or get much traction if it's not reasonably tolerant of diverging, even sometimes opposing opinions.

Take O+ for example -- he once invited me to a "cheaper medicine" forum where he was presenting. In the actual event, i got chummy with O+'s "opposition", those lobbying for the price controls. Some might be offended. But no problem for I+, he simply joined-in and the rollicking debate continued off as well as on stage. Pagkatapos ng forum we even went around the campus to pester a few more friends. :) That's the way to do it!

Nonoy Wyn, I thrive on spontaneity, total diversity, total inequality. When I criticize those who think of themselves as infallible like the man-made warming leaders, I later use harsh and really provocative terms like "cowards" and "racketeers and rent-seekers" and still they have one standard response: the sound of silence. In public forum where I don't like the argument of the speakers, normally I am the first person to raise my hand in the Q&A to question and present a really opposing view. People should be on their toes when they assert something.

Jess, you too were victimized by Orion Perez? He thrives on personal emails to influence or pressure someone. I criticize a lot of people like the racketeers, and in the process, I also get criticized, or get blocked -- Greenpeace for instance blocks me from following them on twitter, haha, they remain cowards. To be criticized back is 100% part of being involved in public debates. But when I criticized Orion once in my blog, he sent me a pm to say that I should "totally obliterate/delete your mention of me in your recent blog." Prior to that, he also wrote me several times pressuring me re Froi D. Vincenton "if you could tell Froilan to delete this defamatory lie of his which he published here on this link ASAP and tell him authoritatively that he needs to do this lest he destroy the Free Market Cause in the Philippines."

When you start or join a political movement, expect to be criticized publicly, the way that you can criticize publicly. Never ever pressure people to delete criticisms of you unless these are ad hominems or exhorting to violence.

Eugene I'm still a member of his CoRRECT movement and I have to say that there is some tension between classical libertarians like us and some guys there that has a tendency to be a statist. But I still agree with the agenda of the movement which is to liberalize the economy, decentralize the government and change the system of our government from presidential to parliamentary.

With regards to Orion, indeed he has that authoritative tendency. But not as bad as Ayn Rand's disciple. :)

Nonoy  That's fine Eugene. If you believe in the 3 advocacies of CORRECT -- econ lib, parliamentary, federalism -- then you can stay there. For me, I only believe in econ lib and don't believe in the other two, but neither do I believe in their opposite, the presidential form and centralization. As I repeatedly argue, I just believe in LESS GOVERNMENT. Whether parliamentary or presidential or monarchy form or what have you. Whether heavy intervention and coercion is done by the central govt or local govt.

Check this test: see how many times the term "individual liberty" is mentioned in supposedly free marketer groups like CORRECT. My bet is very seldom or even zero in some of their papers. At the end of the day, that's the real test of a free marketer: How one asserts and reasserts, individual freedom, more personal responsibility.

Eugene . I'm one of the few who is more of a libertarian. I also debated with Orion on some issues but it ended ok. I debated with him on issues like government funding on education and other agencies.

With regards to the parliamentary form of government, I can say that it can be set aside and whether its presidential or parliamentary, libertarianism can only work if the people are culturally geared towards liberty. If people want slavery, politicians would just follow.

The only reason why I agree with parliamentary form of government is because its more sensitive towards change, while the presidential system, especially with our brand of presidential system, libertarianism would never even go to first base because our politics is all about popularity and not about issues. At least in Europe, they openly debate on personal freedom and other issues like climate change, while in the US, all you can see is American Idol, and other liberal shit and nothing (NOTHING) about Ron Paul and liberty. You can never hear about climategate and other important issues in the states, considering that the mainstream media is owned by corporations that have deep connections to government contracts.

That also holds true to countries in Latin America that adopted the American style Presidential system and what you get is populist leaders with dictatorial tendencies. No different from Noynoy Aquino.

With regards to Federalism, I like federalism because it coincides with the libertarian principle of Subsidiary, wherein problems can or must be solved at the smallest political unit as possible. Any other form, like monarchy, dictatorship, communism, socialism, corporatism, fascism, crony capitalism, do not adhere to the principle of subsidiary because the solution is always from the top down, rather than the ground up.

Federalism fits well with libertarian principle because its not centralized. But of course there is a weakness, and the weakness is the people themselves. Just look at the US. They might be federal, but they are more and more centralized and socialized than ever before. From "no one left behind" and Obamacare, everything comes from the top and individual states are becomeing weaker and weaker and that also affects their personal freedom as well.

Nonoy Correction Eugene. The principle of subsidiarity refers to civil society as the smallest and ultimate form of government. Things that can be done by local govt, do not give to national govt -- that's decentralization, devolution, or federalism. Things that can be done by civil society, do not give even to local govt -- that's the principle of subsidiarity. Example: remind people that they should not over-smoke, over-drink, over-eat, over-sit because it's bad for their health. Do we need government for that, local, national or multilateral (WHO, WB, etc)? No. Civil society can perfectly do that -- parents, schools, community leaders, civic groups, church orgs, etc.

That is why the move towards decentralization and federalism can hoodwink and deceive liberty-minded people and free marketers, into supporting government when those things can be done 100% by civil society.
2 hours ago · Like

Eugene  Yes. That is correct. But eventually, people form groups and when groups decide on certain issues that cannot be resolves easily, that is where government comes in like death penalty or prostitution and other not so easy issues, because there are certain issues that cannot be solved by saying " its my business and none of yours"

Even Ron Paul is in favor of State Rights. State Rights is not about civic groups. Its a political group. He does not mind if a state will be ruled by a crazy governor as long as the people has the right to move from one place to the other.

But again, Federalism has its weakness. And the weakness is on the people as well. If people want slavery, that is what they get.

Which reminds me of Milton Friedman when he discussed about England being transformed from a nation of smugglers and law breakers into law abiding people in the 18th century and reverted back to the old ways in the 20th century. He was right that people tend to forget the principles and make them prosperous.

Nonoy  Yes, that's why I do not believe in anarchism, I believe in miniarchism or small/minimal government. And if you will also notice, NOT ONE of the big libertarian groups in the US -- Cato, Atlas, Mises, FEE, Mackinac, etc. -- advocate shift to parliamentary govt to shrink govt. And I also don't see any big European free marketer groups advocating shift from parliamentary to presidential. If I am wrong, correct me on this and point out any of their major publications saying so. These groups do not care about the form of govt. They care about how BIG government steals individual freedom, how big government corrupts personal and parental responsibility, and the erosion of the role of civil society and voluntary organizations.

Eugene  I always remember my dad when he talked about the wealth of a family. I remember when he said that the wealth of a family usually last for 4 generations max. The first generation worked hard and industrious. The second generation, having seen the hardship and struggles of his parents, maintain the wealth or even expands it. The third generation, having no recollection of the struggles of the first generation, wither squander his money or try to maintain its wealth by being a politician of some sort and comes the fourth generation with nothing buy debt and poverty.

Nations also go through that process. Libertarian principles will always find it hard to penetrate on a generation that knows nothing about individual responsibility and hard work. :D

Eugene Cato did some research on the ills of the presidential system and its effects on Latin America. But that paper did not bash the presidential system through and through.

South of the Border, the Cult of the Presidency
You could almost hear a collective groan go up when Barack Obama announced that he planned to deal with his recent setbacks by

The main problem I have with the presidential system is not the system itself, but the offshoots of presidential system the we adopted.

In the US, even though they called themselves a presidential , is not strictly presidential. They have a touch of a parliament. They don't elect their president thought a popular vote. That is why they have these caucuses, primaries and other stuff that is practically alien to us here because ours is a system that elects leaders through a popular vote.

Nevertheless, Libertarianism is a cultural phenomenon, and not a political phenomenon. It could become a political force if the majority of the people would one day wake up and agree with the principles of liberty and personal freedom.

Nonoy  Re Cato document, see, they don't care much about the form of govt.
Re breeds or varieties of presidential form, some classical and modern thinkers emphasize more the rule of law rather the form of govt. Stealing is stealing, killing is killing. Prosecute the criminal, let people know that the law is above everyone, kings and slaves, governors and governed.

Re debt and poverty, libertarianism and related philosophies just point out a simple thing: live within your means, assumre more personal responsibility in running your own life. You don't over-drink and over-smoke or over-eat and when you get sick, the welfare state will take care of you. The on-going debt and fiscal crisis in many European economies, the US catching up quick, is testament to problem of welfarism and abandonment of personal responsibility in favor of more govt responsibility.

Eugene In the Cato document, they do make some remarks that is critical on the presidential system, but not entirely. What Cato failed to mentioned (or realized) is that all other nations that adopted the presidential form of government don't follow the US model, which elect their leaders not through a popular vote. Only the US adopted a system that elect their leaders differently. That is why only the US is the country that is presidential and still politically stable. The rest, just like ours, is always at the edge of a cliff.

Cato also see the defects of a parliamentary form of government. In the parliamentary form, policies are made quick, but if you make a bad know the price....

As the saying goes. "A blessing can also be your curse"

But for me, I can see the libertarianism can grow in Europe. In fact, you can see that there are more Europeans who know Ron Paul than Americans themselves. There are more Europeans and European politicians that agree with the policies of Ron Paul as against the Americans and their politicians.

Heck, I guess Ron Paul might have more fans in the UK and the rest of the globe than in the US.

Then from out of nowhere, Orion Perez Dumdum posted a long comment, probably 50 paragraphs, lots of sarcasm and ad hominem attack against me, like these:

Orion PĂ©rez D. Nonoy Oplas, what will actually work here is if you can refrain from being too MYOPIC in your scope of study and learn to be a bit more "multi-disciplinary" so that you take on a more BIG PICTURE view of how things work.

Firstly, you are totally focused only on the USA. You seem totally unaware of other Free Market Movements and their operations OUTSIDE. Am I right in also assuming that you have little knowledge of Spanish? Well, I do. I'm rather fluent...

The problem Nonoy is that you don't understand what a Parliamentary System is and how it works. All you care about is robotically looking for some "Free Market Guru" to explicitly tell you "Go with the Parliamentary System." You don't seem to have the ability to read between the lines or understand what Hayek is talking about in "A Model Constitution" and "Principles of a Liberal Social Order" as well as "The Constitution of Liberty" and "The Law, Legislation, and Liberty."...

I'm telling you, Sir, you really have to "up your game."

You're too dependent on what other people from the Free Market Movement say and it seems you are unable to think for yourself.

It's like you have very little confidence in your ability to think out of the box and find solutions for yourself....

Try not to be too myopic and please learn to be more MULTI-DISCIPLINARY....

Being too myopically focused on a very narrow topic is just not going to cut it...

Stop being a one trick pony, Sir...

Nonoy The usual ad hominems by Orion, "myopic on your scope", "All you care about is robotically looking for some "Free Market Guru", " trick pony". Well I say to you Orion, you reman an IDIOT who cannot understand my main argument: LESS GOVERNMENT, parliamentary or presidential or what have you. BIG parliamentary governments of Spain, UK, etc. are dragging their economies due to heavy fiscal irresponsibility and corruption of personal responsibility. How idiotic can you be to see my argument? I don't even defend the presidential system, I don't care about it either.

Nonoy Oplas Orion, this song is dedicated to you, hehe. Sige, tulog na muna ako, will wait for your rebuttal tomorrow ha? Galingan mo.

Government and Taxes: Pol. Ideology 28: Parliamentarism Hard Sell and Free Market Deception

Winthrop  Re: Parliamentary, it may be good to take a close look at the Bersih movement in Malaysia. In the end, it's neither presidential nor parliamentary, but rather the politicians and the actual political climate/practice.

Nonoy  Right Wyn. That is why I remain agnostic, or a critic, of both or other form of government when they result in BIG government. But this idiot Orion keep hitting me with ad hominems simply because I do not and cannot support parliamentarism and even if I do not and cannot support the Presidential form. So what if Hayek supported parliamentarism, should I blindly support it too? My admiration of Hayek is his writing about the rule of law and the defense of individual liberty, not of his writings on forms of government.

That is why I said earlier that the CORRECT movement as headed by Orion is a trap, a deception. Some free market-oriented people are lured into joining that group thinking that it is a real one, but once you do not support parliamentarism and federalism, you will get a tongue lashing. That's how intolerant the aspiring Dear Leader is.

Carlos, Eugene Dy, James Aron Mangun, try posting my blog post in the CORRECT fb group. My bet is that you will get a warning if not tongue lashing from him. No major criticism of the leader allowed, right? If he will allow such, then I will admit exagerrating his dictatorial tendency.

Eugene  Agree to disagree, isn't it?

Anyway, I'm still for Federal and Parliamentary not because of Orion because even before I know Orion and CoRRECT, I've been observing the system of government we have and my conclusion is that there is a greater chance for libertarianism to flourish on societies with a parliament rather than in societies like ours.

But the Parliamentary form is not the silver bullet. As long as people view the government as a provider of last resort or a nanny, things would never change. But to say that either system of government is irrelevant to personal liberty is an error.

Nonoy Hi Eugene, who wrote "either system of government is irrelevant to personal liberty"? If you refer to me, that's not what I said, Have to say this, again and again and again:
Regardless of the form of government, presidential or parliamentary, monarchy or what have you, if it results in BIG, intrusive, highly coercive, over-regulatory, over-taxing government, then it erodes individual liberty.

Repeat, just for emphasis:

Regardless of the form of government, presidential or parliamentary, monarchy or what have you, if it results in BIG, intrusive, highly coercive, over-regulatory, over-taxing government, then it erodes individual liberty.

Then another loooonng post from Orion, probably 100 paragraphs or more. One good thing about this guy is he can write really kilometric. But it seems he cannot be so transparent about his writings, he should have blogged all those things.

Briefly, my non-admiration of the parliamentary form of government is that majority of the economies that have severe fiscal irresponsibility problem, heavy public debt, heavy welfarism and corrupted concept of personal responsibiity, are parliamentary -- UK, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Canada, etc. But neither do I admire the presidential form of government.

My non-admiration of decentralization and federalism, I wrote in several blog posts, the latest is But neither do I admire centralization of power.

So when Orion keep pushing hard about parliamentarism and federalism, when I hardly hear or read him talking about the primacy of individual liberty over collective/national liberty, that is one cute indicator of statism masquerading as free marketer.

See also:
Pol. Ideology 16: Liberalism and Social Opportunity, July 29, 2010 
Pol. Ideology 17: The LP and the Philippine President, November 03, 2010

Pol. Ideology 18: John Lennon and Liberty, Purpose of the Law, December 15, 2010
Pol. Ideology 19: What is the Role of Government?, March 08, 2011
Pol. Ideology 20: Liberalism and the Squatters, May 17, 2011
Pol. Ideology 21: The Nature of Government, November 14, 2011
Pol. Ideology 22: Diskurso sa Kapitalismo, Sosyalismo at Gobyerno, November 15, 2011
Pol. Ideology 23: 25 Years of Liberalism in the Philippines, December 07, 2011
Pol, Ideology 24: Democratism and Coercion, December 16, 2011
Pol. Ideology 25: On Governance and Rule of Law, February 20, 2012
Pol. Ideology 26: Socialists in a Liberal Government, February 21, 2012
Pol. Ideology 27: Why do Many Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?, March 01, 2012

No comments: