Kim’s Dream Orlan Ravanera
Enough is Enough of Oligarchical Control
His Holiness Pope Francis has mentioned in His Encyclical Laudatu Si that in a world with so much food, why are there many people who are hungry. Such truism is backed-up by data that some 821 million people in the world, mostly in Asia, are living in extreme poverty whose children are all malnourished. In a world of abundance, who controls? who profits? Who decides? Only one percent of the world’s population as their total wealth combined is far greater compared to the total assets of the ninety-nine percent or of the 7 billion people. In fact, the eight richest families in the United States have a total wealth that is equal to the consolidated assets of 3.6 billion people, based on the Oxfam Study. Such gross inequity is the offshoot of the contemporaneous economic paradigm called Neo-Liberal Capitalism being advanced through corporate globalization.
The reign of one percent which is giving so much veneration to the profit motive that has already captured the mindset of all governments, all institutions, all universities and even of religious groups has buried humanity to unbridled materialism and consumerism. Such mindset has become a monstrous parasite that if remained unchecked, may well end up killing all life in the planet as such paradigm is sacrificing Mother Earth and the people to the altar of greed and profit.
Don’t you know that every day, one thousand hectares of the 386-meter high iceberg in the Arctic and the Antarctic are melting that is giving rise to the world’s sea level. In fact, based on Studies, in 20 years, the sea level in the Philippine Archipelago will rise by 16 meters and by that time, only 3,000 islands will remain rendering some 41 million Filipinos homeless. Even the Third Pole (the Mekong Delta) will vanished that is the one providing irrigation to millions of hectares of Riceland in Asia where our country is getting its 2.5 million metric tons rice importation annually.
Indeed, Mother Earth (GAIA) is dying which is now in the verge of its 6 th extinction after its 5 th extinction which happened some 65 million years ago when asteroids hit the earth that vanished into extinction the dinosaurs. No asteroid will hit the earth this time as the cause of the earth’s demise is heterogenic (man-made). It has been said that _ the homo sapiens is the most flawed species of all of God’s creation, having killed some 150 million fellow human beings in 20 th century alone out of two world wars. The thousands of concerned scientists in the world have given a clear warning, stating that the earth is already in the edge of the precipice, just “one minute before midnight.”
Before that happens, it behooves upon all of us to examine the present development paradigm which is based on the growth-at-all-cost development strategy aptly called Neo-Liberal Capitalism. That kind of global economic system that is only successful in sacrificing humanity and Mother Earth to the altar of greed and profit is like a giant off-balance. So as not to fall, it has to run and in running, it steps on communities, forests, rivers, seas, agricultural lands, the ozone layer, the iceberg and even on people themselves, leaving havoc on its path.
That AIDS-like development strategy that kills the Earth’s vital organs, advances unbridled materialism and consumerism based on an individual pursuit of self- aggrandizement and wealth where money is used not to enhance the quality of life but to make more money. It this country, you call that block capitalism where cartels and the oligarchs run the economy, owned by only 400 families. In the world, only 8 billionaires are in control, whose total wealth equal the combined wealth of some 3.6 billion people or half of the world’s population. This is based on the Study of Oxfam.
Our country has become a dumping ground of finished products and source of cheap raw materials following extractive economy. Indeed, where have all our forests and minerals gone? Gone to highly industrialized countries as the country still maintains an exclusive and a neo-colonial status, having been a colony of imperial powers for hundreds of years.
Based on these realities, there must be a change, An increasing number of people want change but how? This time economic change is in the offing but one that must debunk the present development paradigm. Yes, the only countervailing force is one that harnesses the collective power of the people called cooperatvism. But why cooperativism?
Well, by nature, nurture and by law, cooperatives are the ones to advance prosperity for all, their very essence is that of being members-owned, value-based and sustainable. It is so amazing that in this age where development is equated to economic growth, cooperatives are giving high adherence to human development, where developing human potentials is the priority. In fact, out of the cooperatives’ surplus, about 10% is allocated for CETF (Cooperative Education and Training Fund), about 3% is allocated for CDF (Community Development Fund) and another 3% Concerns for the Community. These funds are used to feed malnourished children, rehabilitate the impaired eco-systems and in providing medical services to the Indigenous People, to the poor and the vulnerable.
This is so because cooperatives’ mindset is one that focuses on a person as an embodied spirit, more spirit than body. Spiritual qualities of service, of democracy, of love, of intellectual prowess and spiritual values are the ones to be developed collectively and not for individual aggrandizement.
By being sustainable, cooperatives are providing a major change in a world that is beset with so much unsustainability, be in ecology or in economy. It has been said that in the absence of a major change the global system will collapse in less than one hundred years as the earth warms, the iceberg melts, the oceans rise and the endemic species are becoming extinct in a world where the economy is controlled by a few. No less than the United Nations in issuing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (Stop Hunger, Stop Poverty, Advance Social Justice and Equity, Protect the Environment, Promote Peace, Etc.) has zeroed-in on Cooperatives as transformative for people, planet, prosperity and peace.
No less than the 1987 Constitution declared that “the State shall promote social justice in all phases of national development.” Such declaration has just remained rhetorical all these years in a highly skewed societal order where the oligarchs, cartels and conglomerates are in control economically and even politically as economic power begets political power. Indeed, enough is enough of gross inequity and social injustices. The poor and the oppressed must now harness their collective power to draw those in the margins into the mainstream of development. It is only through people empowerment can the rule of the oligarchs be stopped to give credence to the Constitutional declaration that “in a Democratic and Republican State, sovereignty lies with the people and all governmental powers emanate from them.”
Oligarchs, please stop masquerading as ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES as electricity is a means to life and must be within the control of the people themselves, the MCOs (member-consumer-owners) and not for massive profiting by you Oligarchs.