Tuesday, September 02, 2014

My Second Book: Liberalism, Rule of Law and Civil Society

My second book has been published, finally. It is an ebook freely available at http://fnf.org.ph/epub/

I copy-paste here these 3 short sections.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Friedrich Hayek, Liberty and Rule of Law
Chapter 2: Local Government and Civil Society
Chapter 3: Liberalism, Conservatism and Socialism
Chapter 4: Raison d' Etre of Government
Chapter 5: Anarchy vs. Minarchy
Chapter 6: Pork Barrel Sacndal and Liberalism
Chapter 7: Conclusion
Chapter 8: Afterthought: Nonoy Oplas and The Spirit of Aristotle


This book is special.

Firstly it is special, of course, because of its substance. This wasn’t written in a whim. Here culminate musings and ideas that were accumulated over many years of thinking, while the author was observing the goings-on in society with his usual sharp vision. And now, in one book, these thoughts erupt all at once, like a volcano.

Moreover, this book is special because of its author. Nonoy Oplas, one of the outstanding individuals who was awarded a Freedom Flame by FNF Philippines in 2013, is an original thinker if ever there was one, who gives his views no holds barred, and who is just as happy when he gets a standing ovation as when he gets booed off the stage – so long as he has made his audience consider, or preferably re-consider, any common theory and established practice. What Mr. Oplas enjoys most, is pointing out when the emperor wears no clothes. Such people are the lifeblood of democracy.

He is also one of the rare individuals who understands both the world pure, uncompromising radical thought, and the world of compromise that politicians inhabit. This makes him a fiendishly effective individual, for whom there is no higher value than the trust that he puts in the capacity of individuals to handle – and solve – the problems that they encounter on their journey through life. And these are values that we all need to be reminded of, from time to time.

Prepare to be challenged, in the pages that lie before you.

Jules Maaten,
Country Director
Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Philippines
January 2014


Power to the people.

Probably the most abused cliché on this side of the world, it had also proven to be a most dangerous idea for some. We have heard it preached to high heavens by those whose idea of “power” ultimately involves only their own, and had, for a time, succeeded in persuading people to abandon their own will to govern. Sadly, the temptation to believe that our only power and responsibility to ourselves and to society is that we are able to choose those who would govern us, then marvel at our ineptness to choose the right people.

The Filipino had seen it all, hoping at every painful turn, at every epic fail, that his conversation with history would not end. Because now he is learning to listen.

Liberalism, Rule of Law, and Civil Society more than aids in furthering this conversation, it intends to push the conversation up to a level of exchange that provokes everyone to ask the questions that really matter. What would it take for every Filipino to take responsibility for his country’s future? When will the talk about government and good governance ever come down from academic debate to the kitchen table?

Set in the backdrop of classic Liberalism as espoused by the works of Locke, Hayek, Von Mises, and Thatcher, Bienvenido “Nonoy” Oplas book shines the light of reason in the continuing debate on the very definition of modern civil society, in works that detail the enormous body of contemporary liberal thought that is global as it is uniquely Filipino.

A leading champion of minimal government, Nonoy rephrases and recasts the lingering question on the purpose of government and the duty of the governed, and traces the opulent roots of today’s problems with a probing eye for the unseen ties that bind, connect, and complicate the search for national redemption.

Liberalism, Rule of Law, and Civil Society is also more than a political treatise, as it documents the author’s personal journey from a cynic who had to “unlearn many things that polluted his understanding of civil society”, to being one of the leading scholars and advocates of liberal thought in the Philippines. It is indeed, an honour to have known the man as a friend, a classmate at the UP School of Economics, and a loyal alumni of the UP Economics Towards Consciousness. He is a gifted thinker, tireless in his search for solutions to his country’s woes.

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Philippines had another veritable gem in their treasury of publications.

With this book, Nonoy’s call for “small government, small taxes, free market, personal responsibility” gets even bigger.

Ma. Gladys Cruz-Sta. Rita
President/CEO of National Power Corporation,
Author, Running a Bureaucracy (2008)

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