By: Alex P. Vidal
“The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.” – Che Guevara
AYN Rand would have been amazed by the force and effectiveness of today’s netizens to influence and shape public opinion.
In this generation, they constitute the social media’s New Intellectuals, the most vigilant vanguards of the nation’s social, cultural, and political spectrum via the Internet.
No act of brutality, arrogance, malfeasance, and demagoguery in a civilized society can escape the radar of the amazing digital world.
A hailstorm of public censure and condemnation awaits those who possess the delusions of putting the law in their hands; those who think they are above the law and reason, owing to their power and influence, pelf and privileges for belonging in society’s higher social and political strata.
Gone are the days when publicly performed criminal acts and other forms of civil disobedience can be kept under wraps and the culprits getting away with impunity.
Today there’s always a big brother and sister watching: CCTVs and mobile phone cameras.
Meanwhile, objectivist Ayn Rand held that abstract ideas are man’s basic means of dealing with practical life.
She stressed that abstract ideas enable man to understand concrete issues, to evaluate them, and to act successfully to deal with them.
Rand further held that the problem with Western civilization was not that it was too intellectual, but that too many of its intellectuals accepted and propagated fundamentally wrong ideas.
Rand believed that what the world needs urgently are New Intellectuals.
As civilization marks this year the official end of the French Revolution on December 15, 1799, we begin the era of fighting graft and corruption, abuse of authority in military and government through a new wave: the social media.
We cannot afford today to give life to a modern Napoleon Bonaparte, the dictator who wanted to overrun Europe had it not been for his Waterloo defeat.
Politicians who want to overrun our treasury via pork barrel and other thinly-veiled acts of plunder and graft and corruption are the smaller versions of Napoleon.
The specter of graft and corruption in government today is the rallying point of public anger and disgust that transformed into a bloody revolt; the tipping point that brought down the monarchy and cut off King Louis XVI’s and Marie Antoinette’s heads in the revolutionary scaffolds.
Under the mantra of “Liberte, egalite, fraternity” (liberty, equality, fraternity), French society itself underwent a transformation as feudal, aristocratic, and religious privileges disappeared and old ideas about tradition and hierarchy were abruptly overthrown.
Under the mantra of “papatayin ko kayo” (I will really kill you), the President has failed to curb the age-old graft and corruption and illegal drugs.
The rich become richer; the poor become poorer.
Marie Antoinette wanted to give the French people with empty stomachs cake; our government has been giving us empty promises and an empty treasury.
The wealth of the nation has been wasted.
Our leaders have abandoned the spirit that ignited the “Cry of Balintawak” or “Pugad Lawin” of the katipuneros, and the “Cry of Sta. Barbara (Iloilo)”.
We give them our votes and confidence; they gave us shame and scandal via plunder and graft and corruption.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)