Monday, June 18, 2007

Survey Says: America Is In The Heart

The Big Picture with Ricky Carandang last Friday night on ABSCBN News ANC featured Dr. Mahar Mangahas of the Social Weather Stations (SWS); Prof. Clarita Carlos (University of the Philippines); and Manuel L. Quezon III. They were trying to make sense of a recent 18-nation survey in which SWS took part and in which Filipinos apparently rank near the top with Israel in their general support for the United States of America. A number of picquant comments have appeared in the original post so I thought some folks would benefit from having a record of their discussion. One is from Ricky Carandang himself, who says: "My takeaway from the survey is this: Filipinos' faith in America is like their faith in the Catholic Church. Unreasoning, uncritical, and unrequited."

Dave Llorito of Philippines Without Borders thinks this isn't really newsworthy, and offers that his newspaper did not cover it. I notice the Philippine Daily Inquirer has also ignored the survey. But I bet you if the survey results showed Filipinos more like some of the other countries in the survey (i.e., critical of America) that these newspapers would've HEADLINED the survey, as they often do when they AGREE with what a survey seems to indicate.

BeatrixPG is mad at me for calling Prof. Carlos a leftist ideologue and wants facts.

But everyone, please listen to the whole recording and feel free to make comments based on what was actually said. Much insight can be gained here about the Liberal Establishment and Media and the Philippine Left, and why perhaps they are so out of touch with the Filipino public and sentiment, as Manolo Quezon puzzles over. There is a truly surprising mystery here for many honest and earnest folks that deserves comprehension.


Dave Llorito said...

you got me wrong, dean. what i was saying is that we know all along we pinoys are pro-americans and i see nothing wrong with that, given our historical experiences and i see no reason why we are quibbling about it. its really no big deal. in fact, i was surprized that its such a big deal for the local "intellectual" class here.

anyway, let me post my earlier comment again here for clarification:

let's hear it from amartya sen in his latest book "Identity and violence: the illusion of destiny": "Western imperialism over the last few centuries not only subverted the political independence of the countries that were ruled or dominated by the colonial powers, it also created an attitudinal climate that is obsessed with the West [in our case the Americans], even though the form of that obsession may vary widely-- from slavish imitation, on one side, to resolute hostility on the other. The dialectics of the colonized mind includes both admiration and disaffection."

And many of us happen to be on the "admiration" side, maybe because despite George Bush and his vice named Dick, we do admire their democratic institutions, their universities (even the most leftists among us had post-grads there), and each one of us has a relative, a brother, a sister, an aunt, a grandma, whatever, who regularly send dollars on top of Doc Marten shoes that were made in China.

DJB Rizalist said...

Your comments are always welcome, Dave. Still, I've been looking at the survey and listening to the comments ... there really is some need to explain these results. I'm not so sure it was obvious to most that we would get this.

Even Mahar says the most valuable thing about it is for Filipinos to have the technology to know where we stand collectively, or I guess he means statistically.

BTW, it was MLQ3, RC and CC who were making a big deal about it as if it was so incredible a thing.

DJB Rizalist said...

Say, but what do you think of Ricky's "unrequited"?

beatrixpg said...

no, i'm not mad you, mr bocobo. it's another one of those non sequiturs of yours. personal feelings are out of the question (smile). cheers sir. i don't always require facts -- because i'm not positivist, i'm not strictly empiricist, you see? the basis of criticisms need not be strictly "factual" in the objective-empiricist sense of the word, for philosophers and critical theorists of my epistemological "stripe". and my comments on your views are above all an acknowledgment of their continuing relevance and their capacity to provoke contrary input. we speak here of contestable terrains; given a certain number of facts, how do you read them really? what are the valuations that ever so subtly impinge upon how we read those facts? "facts" or events are after all never transparent things in themselves. from whose valuational point-of-view do we read those facts as beneficial or otherwise for people concerned? the positivism of objective-empiricism has tended to overlook the undergirding valuations that make facts even comprehensible, evocative and provocative to people like you and me, you see? while factual research is indeed critical to our constant reevaluations of life in its changing colors and contours, it is never the be-all and end-all of any "meaningful" and "meaning-forming" engagement with it. so the filipinos are generally pro-american; what does that say about filipinos from what perspective really? and what sets those perspectives to work? what sets of values and priorities and perhaps prejudices undergird our judgments of raw, bare-naked "fact"? now that's a wholly new contestable terrain beyond the ambit of empirical rigidities and positivist reductions.

and mr bocobo, in all honesty, even if this is beside the point, i have to say that i do like hearing about your take on things, though that may not necessarily mean i always love your take on things.

Dave Llorito said...

that's the classic example of obsession (per amartya sen). we should really not feel that way. in the real world nations and countries always base their actions on "national interest" and not on some emotional attachement borne of some unfortunate relationships in the past. we should move on and not be shocked that our "admiration" is unrequited. we should pursue our own national interest based on objective considerations. of course, i also do believe our national interest lies in closer frienships with the US, Europe, and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region.

beatrixpg said...

"America is in the Heart" by the way is by the well-loved Carlos Bulosan. Bulosan is in my heart. Hihi.

beatrixpg said...

"... mad at me for calling Prof. Carlos a leftist ideologue and wants facts."

do you think i need facts about carlos's persuasions? i'm telling you now, i don't. you don't need to prove to me that she's an ideologue precisely because it's beside the point. why resort to name-calling? why not tear apart persuasions on the level of ideas, instead resorting to ad hominem arguments? no factual evidence will substantiate calling carlos a leftist ideologue. what does that got to to do with the issue at hand? does her ideology have significant bearing on her reading of the survey? does she falsify anything? does she leave out certain details? if so, prove it; but ideological differences are not reducible to tests of empirical certainty, you see? after all theories about life and what life should be like according to certain quarters are not questions of fact. pls use structured reasoning and not empty ad hominems. does carlos's "ideology" skew her own reading of the survey? does it mar her competence as a scholar? if so, prove it on the level of ideas and arguments. no raw fact can substantiate a value-judgment, because value-judgments are a function of belief, cherished priorities and interests, affects, sense of utility, and habit of mind. we can excoriate each other's ideology as garbage any time, but if intelligent discourse is still a cherished value here, then we must learn to argue on basis, tear apart assertions on the level of structured reasoning and ideas. that way we are able to shed light on why we even bother scuffling over how best to appreciate and judge things. if you say that leftist language, leftist ideology --whatever that is-- is all over the place, then it would be best to try to explain intelligently and not emotionally what got such discourse, such values, such ideas, such sense of priorities to where it is now.

Punzi said...

Happy Birthday, Jose Rizal!

john marzan said...

pinoys love america and americans. at malaki ang impluensiya ng amerika sa pinas.

Kaya tama ang ginawa ni djb nung unang lumabas ang gloriagate scandal noong 2005. deej focused many of his earlier blogpost (w/ open letter to bush) on eroding US support for the Arroyo admin.

it was a good try. but it didn't work because maam arroyo was also quick to ditch the china card she was playing after the iraq troop pullout, and move to fix the damaged ties between her admin in the US, vitually giving them a carte blanche to protect their interests in the country under arroyo's watch. kaya satisfied ulit ang US sa kanya, at yung plano ng arroyo admin na i-pullout rin ang mga OFWS na nagtra-trabaho sa Green Zone noong 2005 ay hindi na natuloy.

Tiki said...

The Philippines is ranked so because like Israel it needs support from the U.S. The other countries do not need as much. It is probably less of America being in the heart than being in the stomach.

john said...

Two points of interest. The survey numbers and the answers show very little statistical difference between different educational groups.
Second, the results by nation have very little to do with political ideology. The differences arise primarily from differences in economic philosophy, ie. free market versus socialist