Thursday, June 14, 2007

SWS Survey Proves the Historic Failure of the Left

Professor Clarita Carlos, Manuel L. Quezon III and Ricky Carandang (ANC, The Big Picture) were having a hard time swallowing the results of recent Social Weather Stations poll FILIPINOS RANK HIGH IN SUPPORTING THE U.S. IN WORLD AFFAIRS, ACCORDING TO 18-NATION SURVEY which SWS's Dr. Mahar Mangahas presented.
Filipinos rank high in supporting the United States in world affairs, according to recent surveys done by Social Weather Stations in cooperation with an 18-nation study of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs (CCGA) and (WPO).

Filipinos rank first in trusting the US to act responsibly in the world, first in disagreeing that the US is playing the role of world policeman too much, first in supporting long-term US military bases overseas, and third in feeling that the US should continue to be the preeminent world leader in solving international problems.

The survey questions were designed by CCGA and WPO, but some countries did not implement all the questions. The national polling organizations agreed to wait for the full global results before announcing their individual findings. The Philippine report, done by SWS, was one of the first to be completed.
Among the eighteen nations surveyed, the degree of "affection" for the United States and George W. Bush among Filipinos was most comparable with that of Israel. I am not surprised. Israel is a Jewish state surrounded by Arab and Islamic states. The Philippines the only Christian nation in Asia, surrounded by Muslim and Buddhist countries. Cultural and historical ties with America, as well as personal and family ties go a long way to explaining the surveys.

Professor Carlos was gritting her teeth at the end after Mahar said the survey's significance was it shows where Filipinos and other nation's publics really stand on America. She vowed to assign the survey results to her students at the University of the Philippines for them to look into "all the dimensions of surveying". She was trying really hard to insinuate that if we could just poll the intelligent or "well-informed" people in the Philippines, the results wouldn't be so embarrassing to resentful and ideological anti-Americans.

MLQ3 was more perceptive with the view that most pundits and academics are way out of step with the thinking of the Filipino people. He, I think, accepts the validity of the surveys (after all they are the same SWS surveys that we know and love or hate.)

Mahar also points out that one of out two families in Metro Manila has a direct personal or family connection with the United States; nationwide the ratio he says is one in four to one in five. He says the bases for the observed data appear to be personal and economic. We are in a favored position as a source of labor, highly skilled labor like nurses and doctors and teachers.

But the significance of the survey is clear to me: the Left has failed to win the hearts and minds of Filipinos. SWS has the quantitative proof of it! For all their domination of schools, newspapers, radio and television, for all their noisome rallying and demonstrating against US Imperialism in a host of issues ranging from Iraq to Nicole, the Left seems to have little to show for it efforts but the cold shoulder of the Filipinos.


Nicholas Kister said...

I think the views of the Filipinos toward America is focused on what they can do for us... It may sound selfish, but it's the sentiment.

Filipino-Americans are viewed as a higher social class, and the picture of America's "goodness" increases with every check coming from our good FilAm OFWs.

Is this wrong, it doesn't matter, because it's the sentiment.

If everyone wants to migrate to the U.S for a better job, then America must be doing good for the rest of the world as well..

U.S as world policeman: in terms of this view, Filipinos aren't really exposed to the policies of the U.S, in our media, local issues and news dominate. I'm not surprised at all...

I don't agree that media is dominated with progressive views. While local radio in other countries will cover international policies, our local radio stations will cover very specific incidents of murder, corruption, etc.

I was listening to a local radio station, for the week of the G8, there was no mention of it anywhere..

It's not surprising though, and Manuel was right, there is a gulf between the classes in terms of perception..

The survey is definitely acceptable in terms of its results...

You're right about our connection to America, and our shared historical bond... With many Filipino Americans, similar Faiths, similar historical heroes and enemies, etc... it seems only logical..

DJB Rizalist said...

Then, there is CORRIGIBILITY, America's greatest virtue as she has demonstrated in history. This is the ability to change, to correct even the most grievous flaws in a society, like slavery, and discrimination against women.

We must not forget that the America apprehended by the Filipinos is far more than what in this day and age manifests itself as the availability of an alternative to the archipelago. For we are aware of the evils in the past of this America. We are also aware of the evolutionary capability of that enterprise, to move from one kind of country and people, towards what seems to be the kind of society all the world will want to have.

Filipinos in other words, think and believe that in the end America will "do the right thing".

Let's hope they are right, for all of our sakes!

Nicholas Kister said...

I see this too. The need for us to hope and believe, that America, even through its depressed days, always ends up doing the right thing..

I mean, we have to believe this, how can we not? Our whole system is based upon America's system. Legal, constitution, and even government...

If we can't believe in them, how can we believe in our own system...

You're definitely correct.. let's hope indeed..


America will "do the right thing".

For Pinas? When?

DJB Rizalist said...

What do you mean? I thought we were INDEPENDENT?

Independence means having no one left to blame!

What was meant here was that Filipinos believe America will javascript:void(0)
Publish Your Commentdo the right thing for America's sake and that is good enough for them.

There are no illusions as some would insist.

No one is more skeptical of America than Americans. And that is good.

john marzan said...

...pero talo pa rin tayo ng bansang Albania (a Muslim country) pagdating sa pagiging pro-US, dean.

he was treated like a rock star over there. security is so lax even albanians in the line were able to touch and embrace bush. and tussle his hair.

DJB Rizalist said...

haha! oh well. it must've really been bad under the old regime of... wasn't it a guy named ENVER HOXHA or something the great People's Republic of Albania?

Nicholas Kister said...

John, yeah, I saw that too.. Hahah..

It was in the news that Bush may have also been snatched of his watch.. When one camera, before he shook hands with the crowds, saw him with a watch... then after the shaking hands of crowds, the watch was nowhere to be seen..

White House Press Secretary said that Bush put the watch in his pocket...

DJB Rizalist said...

The episode is in rerun for the next few days on ANC. Makes for good review. I may post some more on Clarita Carlos and Mahar Mangahas...

Ricky said...

My takeaway from the surey is this: Filipinos' faith in America is like their faith in the Catholic Church. Unreasoning, uncritical, and unrequited.
I have no quarrel with American ideals and its aspirations. But lets face it....for most of the world, its fallen far short of that ideal.

DJB Rizalist said...


It is we who wanted Independence! William Howard Taft and Dean Conant Worcester would've gladly turned this into the biggest State of the Union.

Besides just because we love America, you expect America to do what for us?

As for ideals, when did America fall short of its ideals? When she abolished slavery? Gave suffrage to women?

When does her evolution stop do you think?

Dave Llorito said...

im not surprized at all by the results. why cant just we accept that fact? in fact, we didnt bother to run it in our newspaper. it wasnt news.

DJB Rizalist said...

Not news? I bet if the results had shown strong anti-American feeling your newspaper would've headlined it.

Dave Llorito said...

we would have ran it inside pages. its definitely not a banner material. haha!


Re: "What do you mean? I thought we were INDEPENDENT?"

Dean, I really thought so too but frankly not quite sure anymore.

You tell left-wing Tony Blair that Pinas is independent and see what his reaction is! Hahahah!

beatrixpg said...

if you only had a better sense of self-irony, mr bocobo, maybe you'd be less intellectually suicidal. i noticed that you have quite a penchant for diatribes against the philippine left, whose most outspoken members you so rashly and ever so dimly call "ideologues." you never bothered to scrutinize your own ideology. criticize somebody for her ideology if you must, but do it with the aid of structured reasoning and some measure of philosophical rigor (political philosophy and critical theory are evidently not your areas of interest, let alone fields of expertise, which happen to be mine, pardon my interjection). you come across as anti-left/anti-leftist by default, being no less the knee-jerk "ideologue" yourself that you so easily disdain, only of another make. and you read leftism into carlos's standoffish reception of mangahas's method? what fallacious conclusion! why not criticize ideas or implied ideas on the basis of their argumentative validity and basis premises (or lack thereof), instead of spewing out label-ridden tirades against your bete noire? carlos never said she was leftist to begin with, not that it ever mattered to the discussion; but so what if she were? your dismissiveness verging on propagandic subterfuge is empty casuistry at best and plain canard at worst. hate the left if you will; but always argue on sound basis and check for syllogistic validity. and by golly, "ideology" and "ideologue" are bigger concepts than you might think; if only you boned up on philosophical writings, you'd be astounded by your headlong presumptions about those concepts. what do we mean by "ideology"? what makes an "ideologue"? where does ideology come from? how does it come about? what do the inner-workings of "ideology" mean for (1) our daily practice, (2) our everyday life and our multifarious relationships as members of any social group, (3) our attitudes toward life itself and the people with whom we interact? all of which lend themselves to some degree of historical investigation and theoretical and philosophical analysis. at your favorite bookstores or any of our reputable college libraries (namely, the UP library and the ADMU library) you will come upon a welter of treatises that engage these questions ingenuously. it is best to limit our pretensions where pretensions may only lead to blind prejudice and haphazard aspersions on other people's character, competence or affiliation; never mind if they ever lead to absurdity and absurdity's selfexposure -- which is usually the case whenever ignorance carries itself through to its logical conclusion.

DJB Rizalist said...


A warm welcome to Philippine Commentary!

We aren't done with the survey or the reactions of various people to it. I'll be publishing an audio recording of the discussion portion of the show. In case you missed it or didn't catch the reruns, you can catch it here.

Tiki said...

DJB is misreading the survey because many countries in the same survey that have lower approval ratings of the U.S. are not leftist. Also, some countries that are leftist (like China, which routinely violates democratic principles) have mixed results: for some questions they have lower ratings than RP while in others the same.

DJB Rizalist said...

I'm open to hearing other explanations of the survey results. Why DO Filipinos seem to love America when others think so little of them?

Dave Llorito said...

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."

There you go! 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.

There must be a way of overcoming this obsession (and higher economic growth is one huge step) but while we are still in this stage, we might as well enjoy the dollars and the Doc Martens.

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

Tiki said...

To DJB, I posted one reason in your next commentary about the same subject.