Types and Terror

an unseconded Filipino petit-bourgeois

tentative examination of virtue in light

of fragments of European literature

Mr. Ramuel Mendoza Raagas CAL 92-79204

in partial fulfillment of the requirements for

the Comparative Literature 30 TFY

2nd Semester SY 2000-2001 class

(Survey of European Literature)

of Professor Noel Canlas

written April 1-June 15, 2001

La Parole de Trompe-La-Mort (Faut-il tuer un homme?)

  1. History of European Literature
  2. Clarifying Virtue
I've got the brains. You've got the looks.
Let's make lots of money.
"Opportunities", Pet Shop Boys

In Pere Goriot, Vautrin had a speech. It was quite sweeping. How do we use it perspectivize a survey of European literature? To be sure, not even its formidable expanse can put a good grip on a representative range of the voluminous ideas, philosophies and sentiments cultivated all throughout European literature from the Eleatics to argot-exploring Quenneau and the present day. Thus, in going back and forth between Vautrin and the rest of European literature, the latter will accrue an ever burgeoining edge over the single character's speech. Vautrin's speech will be like the mere proverbial palm trying to cup up all the waters of the sea.

Vautrin's speech did not set an unbreakable record for profundity. Any idiot in an oyster bar or an inlet-side store can probe into the dirty dealings of urban society (which is le monde of the novel, as denoted by the second chapter's title). It was more of Balzac's genius in actually writing out the words and encapsulating it within a very well-architectonized literary novel that impresses me. I am not so much impressed in hearing Vautrin (Now and then, I come up with ideas more brilliant than those of Vautrin.) than in reading him actually spelled out by Balzac's crafty hand. In fact, in my definition of the intellectual (which is different from, although guided by, the definition's of Gramsci, Julien Benda and Edward W. Said.1) does not include Vautrin. Vautrin has brains, but my definition of an intellectual is decidedly not a dictionary definition. It is not at all one meant to comply with all the works literary, corporate or otherwise that have decided to use the word "intellectual." A Raagas intellectual is conducive to Raagas politics. Brainy bourgeois elements who spoil themselves with the bourgeois vice of silence and mere murmuring do not qualify to be designated as Raagas intellectuals, not that Raagas is a full-fledged intellectual, being himself a mere propagandist.

The survey in the paper is a very preliminary one. Often, a secondary source has been accessed, although the primary source for it has not been read definitively.

Where do we begin our Vautrin-anchored survey?

Classical Greeks

Greek civilization is quite baffling. The Greeks used to hold the cradle of Western Civilization. Today, the Greeks are definitely not a superpower, and of twenteith-century writing, only Zorba the Greek and the Last Temptation of Christ have become household terms across the globe. Anton Juan translated and produced The drunkenness of Noah. Greeks, today, however are only participants in world literature. They have long ceased to be dominating forces. Greek civilization has been stolen away. Their wealth of thought has drifted Westward, as Dante had noted of Asia-conceived Christianity even way back in his time, the medieval period.

Homeric virtue

It was Homerically virtuous for a Hero to kill lots of enemies. Killing as an unquestionable means of attaining virtue was soon enough veered away from by the time that the Eleatics came around. It is true, as Canlas points out, that "Plato was the weird guy," and Homer was still the standard even during Plato's time.

According to Martin Heidegger, the Eleatics started thinking of Western civilization (the only civilization Heidegger ever considered worthy of delibeeration).


Like Plato would later on, the Eleatics would privilege a world deliberated with ideas over and above the sensed world. Clearly, we can see that Vautrin, if compared with the Eleatics and Plato, stands at a quite opposite pole. Of course, the Greek idea-priviligers set up their pole much earlier. Vautrin's pole, however, is far more effectual in Philippine (mis)civilization than the idea-privileging pole. Machiavelli may have been a precursor of Vautrin, but Machiavelli is the intellectual that Vautrin is not. Vautrin can only figure into intellectual discourse not as a team player, but as a sick patient for doctors to look upon as a case study.

Vautrin was a mercenary, and Machiavelli was much against mercenaries. Mercenaries, or other paid tentative allies, are not at all reliable. One UP student, Benneth Mamon, discontinued serving senatoriable Wigberto Taada when the latter would not give him money. Benneth got into the campaign scene for all the wrong reasons. For one, he refused to recruit for the poster brigade Taada supporters who would gladly publicize the politician's senate bid without expecting as much as single sentimo as remuneration.

For convenience in this paper, I will designate Zeno, Parmenides, Melissus and Plato as the Ideal Four.

Their ideal nature certainly set them above Cro-Magnon man and Australopithecus specimens. Their ideal-ness would have to give way, however, to the superior idealness of Machiavelli. The idealness of the Ideal Four (and even Aristotle, with regards his non-avidness for vivisection in his study of animals) was often bent on idleness, which was epitomized by Socrates' idiotic suicide, which was perhaps as silly as that of the Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious.

In discussing, the ideal four it is philosophically obligate for me to permit Philippine conceptualization. The ideal four, unlike the Nazi-fascist Heidegger who purported to expound on them, did not set up a sensoricaly geographically divide between Europe (or Heidegger's ever-emphasized Abendland) and the East.

The Ideal Four would be taken aback by me if I were to discard ideas constructed geographically outside of Europe. For the Ideal Four, ideas are ideas. The Ideal Four were really occupied questions. The Eleatics may not have come up with too many questions themselves, but indeed homo interogans was indeed their nature, as was that of early Malay man, whose questions in life, however, were far more tied up with fruits and objects of Nature than were the Eleatics and even the voluminous Plato.

Zeno is best known for his paradox about the turtle and Achilles. The paradox already sets the camp in which Plato would later esconce himself. Plato would follow Zeno (although, definitely he would outencompass him) in privileging the physically meek by the support of reason. Zeno is pro-turtle. He is pro-meek. This Greek valourization of the weak will not just be affirmed by Plato but even by Aesop's "The Hare and the tortoise." Aesop's hare is actually Achilles. The hare is Achilles, or at least some other takus podaV hero. It is the tortoise however who is empowered, as are the meek of the Greek New Testament's beatitudes.

Pere Goriot is Balzac's tortoise, but this character does not win the race. Vautrin is the hare. Thus, Pere Goriot is not altogether the demythologized work we supposed it in class to be. Pere Goriot presents a demythologized environment in so far as events occur without attribution to Olympus or the Judaeo-Christian YHVH. The novel's juxtaposition of opposing forces, however, definitely has its precursors even in the myths of classical Greeks.

As with Zeno and Aesop, the race in Goriot is run according to reason. The race in Pere Goriot, however, is not at all won, not by anybody. Pere Goriot decidedly shuts out any victory of idealism.

Parmenides was a prominent Eleatic. Heidegger expounded on him in his latter-career work Was ist Das- das Denkens?. Heidegger contrivedly but undisclosingly chose an Ur-echo to the Descartian "cogito ergo sum" well known even to grade school students. The krh noein te logein te eon emmenai Heidegger had writ large in Was ist Das was conspicuously an Ur-echo of Descartes' globally promulgated "cogito ergo sum." Was ist Das- das Denkens? is markedly characterized by Gregory Bruce Smith as a "later" Heidegger work. Smith was quite conscious of his partitioning of Heidegger into "early" and "late"--- as he entertains the widespread supposition that Heidegger may have undergone a Kehrpunkte (or turning-point) in his thought. Early Heidegger (such as the unfinished but resounding Sein und Zeit) was quite combative against Cartesian onthology.

The Eleatics were quite intent on considering the Question of Being (on / ontos). Heidegger in his slim volume Was ist Das- das Philosophie? (State University of New York) besides dragging an inflated description of the filos and sofia of philosophy, noted how the Eleatics were quite occupied with the question ti to on (What is Being?). How did this Being relate to virtue? What sparse fragments of Parmenides had got to me leave me comfortably to assume that Parmenides was not beleageuered with heart-rending conflicts of morality and ethics.

Virtue for Parmenides was perhaps something to be pursued, even in a non-hostile not-too-politicized environment.

Regulation and Rectification

I agree with Plato in his belief in regulation. I do not, however, agree with his provisions of regulation. His 'god' of regulation is different from mine.

There must be a strict enforcement of regulation on political campaign materials. Subservise materials may be permitted, but content-devoid imagist political campaign materials should be banned. It's good that Jamby Madrigal was outvoted.

Should a tie-up between Vautrin's speech and Plato's Phaedo be attempted? Even an oppositional tie-up does not seem promising to me at all.

How was virtue regarded once the major classical Greek dramatists came along? Besides the triumvirate of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, there were other notable Greek dramatists such as Menander.

In Aeschylus, virtue seems imperilled because the power of treachery is noted, especially thot of Clytemnestra in Agamemnon. Aeschylus, like other Classical Greeks, deem virtuous the proper offering of sacrifices to the gods.

Antigone is by my assessment the most virtue-pertinent Greek drama ever written (at least as far as my mediocre common knowledge of Greek theater goes). The tone and moral being of Antigone is of the utmost resolutenes. The insights of Antigone are not flashy, whimsical and ephemeral. They are all grounded on thorough reason--- be it the readily admitted apprehension of the guard or Creon of the iron hand.

The play is solid, especially with its enforcement of austerity. Many Filipino plays and movies try to capture a solemn mood, but this does not assure them of Antigonic depth. The thought in Antigone is compatible with the Philippine mindset in their orientation of looking back. Antigone, herself, however carries a position of pushing on, despite her disposition to looking back.

The weight of fate is expressed by Sophocles' characters explicitly. Because of their serious fear of Fate (comparable to the Judaic fear of YHVH), the Greeks Sophocles presents are bound by reason. Reason must be, for these Greeks, because fate is so commanding. This commanding fate has been extinguished in Don Quijote the novel.

The present-day Philippine concept of fate, is not, however, bound at all by reason, or at least by reason at the advanced level. The present-day Philippine concept of fate, which is not at all a modern advancement, but rather a carry over at least from the Marcos regime, is largely comparable in ponderous backwardness to that of the tragedian classical Greeks. The Philippine concept of fate is inferior to that of classical Greek writers in that it is too materialistically bound, but both Philippine and classical Greeks see fate as something beyond the individual. All individuals are bound by fate. The encompassing nature of fate is not, however, conducive to solidarity. The backward present-day Philippine concept of fate is perpetrated by both ends of social class. The stupid landed Ilonggos cannot envision their slaves going to decent schools and developing careers. The crazy muchacha (or female slave) class is spellbound by evil locally-produced television series which valourize the haute bourgeois (i.e. Villa Zaragoza) for the express consumption of the lower, under-educated classes.

The present-day Philippine concept of fate, is not, however, bound at all by reason, or at least by reason at the advanced level. By saying "advanced", I do not mean stilted. Stilted intellect is what the Philippine petit bourgeois are now and then capable of. There was, for example, Caroline Hau's Tagalization of Jacques Derrida concepts, which Dr. Josefa Schriever found logically sound, although Hau's over-appraisal of the NPA novel Hulagpos (cf. Necessary Fictions, Ateneo) was already stilted enough, with its exaggeration of the availability and promulgation of the jointly authored leftist book.

Sometimes even when petit bourgeois intellect is not decidedly stilted, it is at least detached. A worse behaviour of the petit bourgeois, however, is to tolerate and doggedly understand the stupid mistakes of the stinking masses (such as EDSA III). Such scams as the EDSA III should not all be justified or accounted for, but merely crushed fascistically. It was too bad that Sanlakas' Mario de Vega was not shot dead by one of the bullets flying around while he was idiotically participating in it.

The genuine material elite, however, are too bound with a cultural of materialistic fate, that they do not pursue reason with much passion (as they idiotically giggle at whatever movie comes their way), not that the petit bourgeois of the Philippines are generally a passionate class. Antigone is the epitome of a thinking, acting status-laden citizen. I cannot call her a bourgeois, because such a social class was not yet created and termed. The terms petit bourgeois and bourgeois are very applicable to the Philippines (not that I have read conspicuously of Marx), but because all Philippine social classes carry notions on them. My problem, along with more than seventy million of us Filipinos is that I have no extensive grasp of the Marx-Engels discourse which sustained the indigenized terms burgis and petiburgis which we invoke left and right. Moreso, elements from all Philippine social class act in regards to such categories, although often not prudently.

Although I have a good a nation as to what my stance is, at least materially, I doubt if I can as yet lay-out a valourization of Industrial Fascism with the same intensity of coherence as can be found for Marx & Engels for their communism. Marx and Engels wrote the Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei in 1848. Of course, even the year before, The German Ideology was a big time Marx essay. Early on in the manifesto, Marx-Engels make it to point acknowledge certain virtues of the bourgeoisie, especially during their inception. The good things about the bourgeoisie, however, ossified into oppressiveness.

Even those who don't believe in the feasibility of Marx-Engels' charted destiny, agree much with the duo's insight into economic history.

Die Entdeckung Amerikas, die Umschiffung Afrikas schufen der aufkommenden Bourgeoisie ein neues Terrain. Der ostindische und chinesische Markt, die Kolonisierung von Amerika, der Austausch mit den Kolonien, die Vermehrung der Tauschmittel und der Waren berhaupt gaben dem Handel, der Schiffahrt, der Industrie einen nie gekannten Aufschwung und damit dem revolutionren Element in der zerfallenden feudalen Gesellschaft eine rasche Entwicklung.

The above is found manifest in Balzac's novel Eugenie Grandet. Fredric Jameson's The Political Unconscious (Cornell University Press: 1990) banks on the Marxist dialectic potential of Balzac's fiction (along with that of Flaubert and Dreiser). Balzac is a great fictionist for Marxist dialectical analysis, because Balzac had the world of the market in his head, although he did not how to master it, having been a failed businessman. Balzac also decidedly used the terms bourgoise and petit bourgise even in the titles of his fictional works, even before Marx-Engels wrote up their analyses of such categories. The first chapter title of Pere Goriot is Une pensione bourgeoise. Balzac also had an entire novel entitle Les petits bourgeoises.

A Philippine-French Interface

What are the similarities between the Frenchman and the Filipino? Much more than the initial "F". The French did not colonize us in the way that the Spaniards did. Their culture, however, does holds its charm for Filipinos of the middle and upper classes. French and Filipino attitudes and humour have so much in common. In terms of attitudes, unintended French and Filipino parallellisms may be traced even down to the lower classes. The French, however, have a very different blend from us Filipinos. French from the lower rungs of society are perhaps better at activism than modern day Filipino activists.

The opening classroom scene in Flaubert's Madame Bovary is so Filipino. The humour is based on ridicule. Indeed, a lower-learning classroom scene of ridicule is also found in the beginning of a Tagalog movie Ligaya ang itawag mo sa akin.

Trompe-La-Mort's speech in Pere Goriot is one of the greatest solos in world literature. It is not a soliloquy, but a one-way speech confided to a single present individual (albeit universally applicable to humanity), as is the Grand Inquisitor chapter of Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov. Like the Grand Inquisitor, Vautrin is an evil person who is able to lay-out a comprehensive and credible view of man's shallowness and gullibility. What do we learn from Vautrin and what may we contest in his assertions?

Vautrin's speech is so great, because it is so base. He does not chart out ideals for the betterment of mankind; rather, he has spelled out at last many of the machinations Parisians have been doing unrecorded. His analysis is not at all too parochial, although he did not stake a claim to universality (or at least explicit globalism).

Indeed, Balzac did not expect his novel to have a universal impact.

Sera-t-elle comprise au dela de Paris? le doute est permis.
(pp. 5-6, Goriot, Garnier)

High Society

It is an obvious and incontrovertible truth that life in high society commands compulsive spending. Vautrin pointed out the left-and-right expenses to Rastignac. A lot of what Vautrin enumerated applies also to the Philippines: luxury vehicles (albeit cars instead of carriages). Alta sociedad or haute bourgeois elements such as the deposed dictator erap do all sorts of inanities such as high-chip gambling at hundreds of thousands of pesos per bet. Godfathering haute bourgeois weddings (i.e. Lucero-Lhuillier) is another haute bourgeois vice. There is also the production of lousy bourgeois writing, such as Lara Q. Sagisag's infantile Newsbreak article whining about her evil dad being supposedly maligned by the Philippine Daily Inquirer's subdued stalwart, Conrado de Quiros1. Sagisag is a case embodiment of the lousiness Edel Garcellano proclaims of the CWC (which Garcellano used to be a part of). Her lousy article, published not through merit but by class faux culturati connections in the media, is devoid of academic argument.

Even in petit bourgeois life, spending comes left and right. Is life measurable by the amount of money we spend? Money, in the sense of cash at hand, does not translate per se to social status.

Charmaine Valenzuela: She has money.
Sally Jo Maria Bellosillo: Baka naman nagpapanggap lang siya.
Sally Jo Maria Bellosillo: It's not just about money; it's about culture.
"And what was this blunder you were speaking about?" said Madame de Beausant, turning Back to Eugne "This poor child has come out into society so very recently, dear Antoinette, that he doesn't understand a thing we're talking about.
(p. 77, Balzac, Goriot, Signet)

Madame de Beausant is actually not that bad a character. I actually admire her. She may have whimsical games of exercising her cosmic and cosmetic influence while use Rastignac as a willing gameboard piece (a pawn that advances into knight, who even is metaphorized as a queen).

Perhaps the most dazzling simile in Goriot is Rastignac's comparison to a girl so taken away by her first successes at a ball. This smooth, but well thought-over comparison demonstrates Rastignac's emasculation. Rastignac is a male, but Parisian society has channels really run by matriarchs, such as his cousin. Indeed, in the novel, women show their power over men. Delphine has power over her dad, although not over her husband.

F. Scott Fitzgerald: The rich are different from us.
Ernest Hemmingway: Yeah, they have more money than we do.
(Economics, Samuelson and Nordhaus)

Social status is hard put, however, without money. A book-thick pad of pocket cash cannot magically secure all bourgeois privileges. Money has its limits, but nonetheless, it is best not to have limits as to the supply of money.

Cash at hand, which the Philippine petit bourgeois may now and then wield by the few thousand, is not a full-fledged tool of power.

Cash at hand, although it does not make a bourgeois out of a peit bourgeois, empowers the wielder with the dynamism potential even Mao Zedong and Edel Garcellano4 appreciate. Cash at hand was what Vautrin coaxes Rastignac into getting hold of. The latter, as we may recall, most insistently squeezed this, albeit geographically removed, out of the female members of his nuclear family.

In the Philippines, however, a backwards country, social status may be asserted even in many moments without much money pushed forward (This is due to the traditonal Philippine valourization of idleness. Activism or enthusiasm is often dismissed as being walang modo--- without fashion or etiquette.). These moments, however, are sanctioned by a heritage of old (cobwebby) wealth. A conjunction of wealth and idleness has been noticed in Western civilization, thereby establishing the phrase dolce fa non. The Spanish establishment of ideology in the Philippines brought to our archipelago the European mindset of valourizing mere birth into wealth. Balzac's Rastignac is not born into a nuclear family of wealth and prominence, but capitalizes on a cousin's firm stature as a haute bourgeois proper.

If I talk to you about society in this way, it's because I have the right to, I know it.
Vautrin, p. 110, Signet

An Allegory of the Pocket

As I told Dr. Queao last year that a Filipino bourgeois with fifty pesos in his wallet is quite a different matter from a working class person with four thousand pesos in his pocket. A Filipino bourgeois with fifty pesos in his wallet will have a home to go subdivision-encased home anyway to eat in, and a car for that matter to drive there. In all probability, the bourgeois will buy a pack of cigarettes, not having too much money for food outside the house.

The Filipino bourgeois with fifty pesos in his wallet will not even necessarily be inclined to talk with the working class person with four thousand pesos in his pocket.

Both the bourgeois and the petit bourgeoise will have cellular phones. It is unlikely that the petit bourgeois will carry a better model, but it is very possible that they might have the same quality of Nokia. The difference will be in the quality of their contacts. In the Phone Book of the petit bourgeois may be fellow fastfood petty employees. In the Phone Book of the bourgeois brat are residents of established subdivisions, who are either bums or well-off in family businesses.

How do you measure- measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in cups of coffee?
Rent, Jonathan Larson
Everyday, every hour, I must spend.
Soren Kierkegaard

What is the type? The word in reference to a type of man is quite conspicuous in French. The word type in French is found early on in Sartre's Le chemin a la liberte. One type in French literature found in both Hugo and Balzac is the gamin (vide Les Miserables and Le colonel Chabert). A gamin is a boy who belongs to the lower strata of society. There is the gamin who is not worthy of much mention, such as the gamin who is designate to meet Doctor Charles Bovary early on in Madame Bovary. What will I delve in, however, is the special gamin. This gamin may be a rhymester. Indeed, Arthur Rimbaud himself use the term gamin to refer to himself in one of his poems. A gamin becomes notable when he corresponds with the Filipino batang makulit.

Cet enfant est presque toujours sans piti sans frein, indisciplinable, faiseur de couplets, goguenard, avide et paresseux.
Colonel Chabert, Balzac

The usage of type in reference to a kind of person finds its way in Filipino as tipo. Siya ang tipong babaeng... Ang tipo kong lalake...

Are types evolutionary products? What were the types apparent early on in Western literature? A quite noticeable Graeco-Roman type is that of the treacherous. There are treacherous gods and men. Treacherous gods and goddesses become acceptable, because they can hardly be stopped anyway by mortals. Treacherous men are loathed by the gods, as Canlas points, not because treachery is immoral, but because gods deem mortals unworthy of appropriating the divine aspect of treachery.

Treacherous mortals are writ large anyway. There was treacherous Clytemnestera. There was the witch Medea, a pre-Wiccan witch. Wiccan witches have been repopularized through USA cult culture. In the Philippines, they becomes manifest as cute, adorable upper-middle class young women who read up and surf on Wiccan facts.

There are unfaithful spouses. Rastignac is the social climber who wants to seduce the wife of other men. His drive is not as sexual as that of a real phallic man, such as Stevenson Ke, but merely to leech off society. Rastignac is an emasculated man. The women of the supreme social circle he tries to tap into wield the power that he has not. Rastignac is as emasculated as Goriot--- a man, albeit a much older one, who is servile to dainty luxuriously socializing women.

What are the classical types of beauty? White arms and flashing eyes indicate types of beauty in Greek literature, such as Homer's poems. Post-Spanish Ilocano poetry itself would exalt the napudaw and the naraniag. The Ilocano praising of the naraniag is really a Spaniard-induced thing. As Dr. Lucero stated in her Iloko Folk Literature dissertation, the name Laoag for the Ilocos Norte capital only came because Spaniard commanded the natives to clear (clear, bright=lawag) off trees.

The view of man as types is quite inherent in Philippine psychology. "Ah, `yung mataba!" is the favourite Pinoy way to describe a person. Indeed, derogatory adjectives are preferred over those which indicate industry or education. Philippine small talk often revolves around very few key elements such as payat, bakla, taray and pangit. The Philippine mindset is preoccupied with backwardness. A good solution is to kill backward Filipinos in the flesh by droves, thereby terrifying them into rigour of thought. Who must be killed? Tricycle drivers who proudly proclaim support for Gringo Honasan, the Prietos and their decidedly lousy headlines.

Someone with social status is bound to be typed as maganda. A daughter of a Senator is declared by petty-minded elements from the circle involved campus theater. Isabel Allende brilliantly pointed out such a similar phenomenon in Chile with her story "Una Venganza."

Some of them want to abuse you.

Les cheveux


Do we redraw Dante?

What are the types in Dante? Are his own categorizations and compartmentalization sufficient in themselves in discussing his writing? Mustn't we go further to find apposites and similarities--- comparing a type from a pocket of inferno to a personality from either purgatory or heaven? Such a meditation has not been undertaken in this paper.

Miguel Asin Palacios has thus far the best redrawing of Dante I've yet seen. Palacios makes Mohammed (the purported enemy of Christianity made to have his head twisted to have the face at the same side as the buttocks rather than the empowering phallus) duly recognizable as perhaps even a greater precursor to Dante than even Homer or Virgil.

Must we follow his lines of categorization by circles? Weren't Dante's geography and cosmology both flawed?

I envision myself as one of the ghosts from Marquis de Sade's "The Mystified Magistrate". Dante was indeed as harsh a judge as Fontanis. Dante--- as he had done to Mohammad--- may be re-drawn from superlative hero into villain.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (Emile, The Social Contract)

Rousseau's opening statement in the preface to Emile might give the illusion of his being conducive to pro-feminism, especially when he declares that his work was written pour complaire une bonne mre qui sait penser. As the reporters pointed out in class, Rousseau actually was far from being a feminist. Rousseau saw woman's role as merely that of the mother.

Professor Canlas pointed out in class the statement:

Tout est bien sortant des mains de l'Auteur des choses, tout d駩n貥 entre les mains de l'homme.
On fa篮ne les plantes par la culture, et les hommes par l'ducation.
Il s'agit moins de l'emp꣨er de mourir que de le faire vivre. Vivre, ce n'est pas respirer, c'est agir; c'est faire usage de nos organes, de nos sens, de nos facult鳬 de toutes les parties de nous-mꭥs, qui nous donnent le sentiment de notre existence. L'homme qui a le plus v飵 n ' est pas celui qui a compt e plus d'ann饳, mais celui qui a le plus senti la vie. Tel s'est fait enterrer ent ans, qui mourut d sa naissance. Il eৡgn 'aller au tombeau dans sa jeunesse, s'il eඩcu du moins jusqu' e temps-l

Rousseau, as I read him in Emile, is not at all Vautrinian. Nurture is more important than nature for Rousseau in raising a child, although Rousseau had been more satisfied with how nature had been going on then than how nurture had.

Rousseau follows Plato in stressing the value of education as well as in privileging the world of ideas to the world of empirical presence.

Le monde r饬 a ses bornes, le monde imaginaire est infini;

Although I agree with Rousseau's statement of a problem noted by Favorin, I do not agree with their solution.

Les grands besoins, disait Favorin, naissent des grands biens; et souvent le meilleur moyen de se donner les choses dont on manque est de s 䥲 celles qu on a.

I rather agree with Michael Douglas, when he said (not too originally) in Wall Street, "Greed is good."

Rousseau was quite cognizant of man's propensity to being feeble (faible).

sans doute, il faudra le guider un peu; mais tr peu, sans qu il y paraisse. S il se trompe, laissez-le faire, ne corrigez point ses erreurs, attendez en silence qu'il soit en 鴡t de les voir et de les corriger lui-mꭥ; ou tout au plus, dans une occasion favorable, amenez quelque op鲡tion qui les lui fasse sentir. S il ne se trompait jamais, il n apprendrait pas si bien.

Not all learning, or even utilitous learning for that matter depends on a staircase of mistakes.

Balzac's Le Pere Goriot shows us a Paris as materialistic as Metro Manila. Manila is so materialistic that its fifteen peso newspapers read like menus for the fifteen-million peso budget.

Vautrin catalogued for Rastignac the sundry material needs fundamental to haute bourgeois life. Vautrin says, "Linen is the first thing that people notice." Although Filipinos are more into cotton clothes, Filipinos can get quite finnicky (or pintasero, to put a tagalog verb root with a Spanish occupational suffix) with clothes.

Philippine politics is not dialectological by habit. At key fault for this are the pseudo-intellectual middle and upper-middle classes.

We can try to understand
the New York Times' effect on man
"Staying Alive", The Beegees

The effective value of Philippine education is not in the inculcation of values of concern. Although Onofre Pagsanjan may be remembered by his students for his cura personalis principle, the effect of Philippine education, as pointed out by Edelberto Garcellano, is not so much intellectualization as preparation for subservience to the status quo. Attendance over and above insight is the default tendency of certain subjects.

The Establishment of the Type

How is a type established? By nature? By education? By genealogy? Both myth and small talk put a premium on genealogical descent. In Philippine society, praise of brains is often mis-attributed. Heidegger's warning of logistics' success over logic is firmly entrenched in modern-day Philippines.

Where does Philippine education lead? The locally reknown schools are adequate springboards for studying abroad. There is no notable school abroad in which no Filipino has been qualified, thus disproving the Spanish colonizers' distrust in the Filipino potential for learning.

The evil propagated by the Philippine Daily Inquirer these recent years would have been no shock to Balzac, nor to Vautrin. The Prietos are evil and stupid. They deliberately make lousy headlines. They unethically violated the media blackout prescribed for the drive against the Abu Sayyaf. The Prietos don't care at all about the safety of Abu Sayyaf hostages at all.

Education should be anti-ABS-CBN. ABS-CBN should be destroyed, with violence even. At least a few of its anchor people should be killed, even Noli de Castro. The progress of the Philippines must be bought by blood. It's too bad that Corinna Sanchez did not die during her first vehicular accident.

Violence, however, can get expensive. Cost-free or minimal cost acts of violence include vandalism. Vandalism is now and then effectual. Vandalism may go hand in hand with lampoonism. Lampoonism was such a successful element of EDSA Dos. Even in Latin America, Gabriel Garcia Marquez noted the provocativeness of lampoons (pasquinades) in his novel La mala hora.

A person however today in the Philippines has many an existential reason to not take to the hard swings of violence. Filipino college boys are already to take to the violence of fraternities, considering that fatalities are only occassional anyway.

To know suffering is not enough. To know mostly pleasure might be quite enough, for the self. To know mostly pleasure for the pleasure, however, drives the well-off to often try to lay suffering upon the less privileged.


The greatest three words from Sionil are "the Changless Land." The Philippines is substantially such a changeless land. Changelessness is not absolute, but it is so stubborn. Haute Bourgeois villains such as Jamby Madrigal love to exploit Philippine changelessness.

Philippine manifestations of Adorno-Horkheimer

The Philippines has not the iron system which Adorno and Horkheimer had noticed in Western civilization towards the mid-twentieth century.

Films, radio and magazines make up a system which is uniform as a whole and in every part. Even the aesthetic activities of political opposites are one in their enthusiastic obedience to the rhythm of the iron system.

Although Adorno-Horkheimer have very correctly foreseen such evil fiends as Teddy Boy Locsin, they have no foresight of the Ramos-perpetrated version of pleasant capitalism. Teddy Boy Locsin must be killed, and also Butz Aquino, if economic progress is to take place. They may be killed fascistically. Such a bright prospect does not exist in the pacificist pro-intellectual Arroyo administration.

Teddy Boy Locsin must be killed, because he is an enemy to progress. He cannot be incapacitated by legal means (being pretty much very law-abiding). He must be killed by means of extra-legal initiatives.

The Philippine however is indeed much symptomatic of bombardment of the same. Political propaganda is anchored on multiple bombardment of the same. This does not always work, however, because the Philippines is not authoritarian enough to impose an iron system. Marcos and Erap tried to be authoritarian, but they got thwarted by the fragrant and good-looking middle and upper class elements. Cory, Ramos and Arroyo are all too happy to put to rest the iron hand whenever possible. Film, radio and magazines are not as uniform in Philippine society as they are in the Western societies that Adorno and Horkheimer observed.

The striking unity of microcosm and macrocosm presents men with a model of their culture: the false identity of the general and the particular. Under monopoly all mass culture is identical, and the lines of its artificial framework begin to show through. The people at the top are no longer so interested in concealing monopoly: as its violence becomes more open, so its power grows. Movies and radio need no longer pretend to be art. The truth that they are just business is made into an ideology in order to justify the rubbish they deliberately produce. They call themselves industries; and when their directors' incomes are published, any doubt about the social utility of the finished products is removed.
(Adorno and Horkheimer: 1944)

Adorno-Horkheimer have often been cited for their negative dialectic. Virtue is thus not qute expounded by them. To deduce what might be virtuous for Adorno and Horkheimer, we may lay down some guidelines and check if some of these may survive their bombardment of anti-capitalist tirade.

Can the Adorno-Horkheimer denunciation of cinema's faux real be tied up as a contrast to the Balzacian formulation "All is real"?

Real life is becoming indistinguishable from the movies. The sound film, far surpassing the theatre of illusion, leaves no room for imagination or reflection on the part of the audience, who is unable to respond within the structure of the film, yet deviate from its precise detail without losing the thread of the story; hence the film forces its victims to equate it directly with reality. The stunting of the mass-media consumer's powers of imagination and spontaneity does not have to be traced back to any psychological mechanisms; he must ascribe the loss of those attributes to the objective nature of the products themselves, especially to the most characteristic of them, the sound film. They are so designed that quickness, powers of observation, and experience are undeniably needed to apprehend them at all; yet sustained thought is out of the question if the spectator is not to miss the relentless rush of facts.

May we say that cinema verite does away with the problemmatics pointed out by Adorno-Horkheimer?


Vandalism is a necessary component of petit bourgeois political struggle. Vandalism as propagated by Philippine Communists is rendered primitive by sticking to the waxy type of red colour merely scrawled by hand.

Twentieth Century European literary thought

European literary thought, going into the twentieth-century, decidedly pursued a scientific orientation. Of course, the Greeks already had their scientific orientations. The scientific orientation of twentieth-century European literary thought, however, unlike that of their Greek ancestors, was quite conscious of the gap between liberal arts thought and hard science thought. German hermeneuticians noted the distinction between Naturwissenschaft and Gesellissenschaft.

So many monuments of European literature (especially in the twentieth century) were designated as the end of this and that. James Joyce's Ulysses, for Edelberto Espiritu Garcellano, stands as an undauntable end for the European bourgeois proper novel.

In class, Canlas points out Samuel Beckett as embodying the end of many things, such as the idea of plot. Beckett staged a play where the rest of the human body (except the head) was absent. Waiting for Godot quite apparently embodies Beckett's morbid fondness for absence. Waiting for Godot sure enough has had its impact upon Filipinos of the educated sort. There are even a few Filipino children named Vladimir after the play character. Even in discussing Chinese literature, Dr. Lily Rose Tope must bring up Waiting for Godot as a relevant matter for insight.

Beckett has been pointed out by Martin Esslin as a markedly petit bourgeois author.

At the heart of this paper

All in all, European literature is highlighted by beginnings and apparent terminal points.

The novel had an upsurge with the rise of the burgher class, which would eventually become the bourgeoisie. Eventually, however, a wizard would come to challenge the morality and uptightness of the bourgeois class. One of the first warlocks to wreak havoc upon bourgeois and intellectual aesthetics was Gustave Flaubert. Emile Zola noted Flaubert's extensive quirkiness. Flabuert was, like Rousseau, a Frenchman whose personal greatness was not at all undermined by his personal, auto-textual and intertextual contradictions.

The Oxford editors of Sentimental Education noted how Flaubert mistook our own Philippine kris to be a Japanese sword. Later on, Flaubert admirers and epigones, such as Edelberto Espiritu Garcellano would commit similar slip-ups in their novels. Garcellano outlandishly but inadvertnetly attributed the allegory of the cave to Aristotle rather than Plato.

Machiavelli was quite witty. His modern-mindedness already shows through in his deep consciousness of the word "nuovo" (new).

Ma nel principato nuovo consistono le difficult. E prima, se non tutto nuovo...
(Il Principe, Capitule III)

Certain beginnings may mark the loss of virtue (as in perhaps the "Merdre!" opening of Alfred Jarry's Ubu Roi). Ubu Roi may have threatened certain bourgeois ethics of theater, but it at least allowed for the virtue of anti-hypocrisy. Loss of virtue may seem to loom with the loss of God. The loss of virtue from the loss of God is not absolute, however.

Virtue in European literature is something we must read with what will come down to us eventually as early twenty-first century European literature. Such a literature can be sampled by a certain segment of literati Filipinos. There are Francophones such as Dr. Schriever. There are the people at Instituto Cervantes who have translated a contemporary Nobel prizing winning Spaniard into Tagalog.

According to Harold Bloom, reading (even if Western Canon monuments are the material) will not make a better person. Bloom is an idiot, anyway. A genuine reader is the likes of Andres Bonifacio. Although Bonifacio read a few books, he sure put them into use. If a man can stand by one book or text, then that may suffice better than some other lousy bourgeois book worm. The bourgeois reader may preserve virtue in terms of personal hygiene and pleasingness of livery, but will not help breed more specimens of Dantes or Rousseaus.

We must strike out the ambiguity in Plato's wavering stance of the teachability of virtue in the Meno dialogue. This "wavering" stance is not so much a symptom of weakness, but a legitimate recognition of pros and cons. Doubting (or at least questioning) the teachability of virtue--- a realistic reaction--- will delay the headlong pursuit of educating virtue. Teaching virtue (or at least trying hard to) straightway cannot secure an exceptional firing rate. Yet so, such a drive is the necessary thrust against default Philippine vices such as excessive card game-playing and spectatorism. Virtue need not be absolute, but it needs to function, especially at the national level.


The task of UP Diliman CAL literati and other similar Metropolitan Filipino academics is to at least get a preliminary idea of where twentieth and early twenty-first-century European literature is going.

One triumph in welcoming the future and buddings of European literature is Beyond Paris (a thin compilation of contemporary French stories translated by Filipinos into English). Beyond Paris is a thin collection of un-extreme stories. They show the placidity of modern life. There may be tension purported, but we can only view this pejoratively as stress. Condroyer's "The Child Hostage" is a light reading story about the typical neuroses of an office personnel. The mixture of tenderness is not distinctively French, being much akin to sentimental states known in urban USA life.

In terms of looking at past literary monuments, establishment of dedicated courses may be a good idea. It will be expensive, however, and tuition must be increased. Perhaps, De La Salle University could be used as a pilot school for the learning of single-author dedicated courses on European literatures. The tuition there must be increased, however, so that the department heads don't end up driving cars fifteen years older than their students.

Il y a de bidon aussi.

Of course, European literature (such as that of the French) does have its pulp and trash, which may be found on the top floor of NBS Main Cubao. There are crappy novels such as Marijo: femme ou putaine?.

Terrorism (even of the abortive sort)

Virtue may be provoked (but not sustained per se) by hooligans and terrorists. The job of terrorists is to kill idiots such as Teddy Boy Locsin and Erao Manalo. By killing Teddy Boy Locsin and Erao Manalo, the followers of such backward elements will be provoked into thinking. Terrorists need not do too much thinking themselves.

Is killing necessary? Couldn't political harassment suffice? The Ramos administration had prudent moves of political pressure, such as jailing Jejomar Binay (vide back issues of The Philippine Graphic) and noting Bongbong Marcos' non-payment of taxes.

Don Quijote is a voluminous argument for the non-necessity of killing. Even without killing, however, death comes by, and the only death noticeable in the huge two-part novel is Quijote's own. Quijote's death is quite necessary, however, for the novel. Is not one's own death the proper concern of one's being? Such an attitude jives with the texts of Martin Heidegger. Of course, Heidegger was into killing Jews, but Heidegger never bothered to philosophize about his killing of Jews.

To justify killing does not seem to me to constitute philosophy. Even Dostoevsky's Raskolnikov did not gloatingly rationalize his killing of his landlady cum in absentia mother-in-law (Crime and Punishment, Bantam Classics). When I calculate the economic benefits of killing Teddy Boy Locsin and Erao Manalo, I do not consider such musings as philosophy, or even thinking per se. Such thoughts can only constitute serious thinking if the means of accomplishment are already at hand.

To kill or not to kill. To kill Teddy Boy Locsin and/or Erao Manalo...

Killing Teddy Boy Locsin and Erao Manalo might not be altogether feasible for someone with a strong drive of eroV. The accomplishment of such a far-fetched act is far more appropriate, however, than the Socrates submission to sentenced hemlock suicide.

It is so much better to "live and let live" than to kill, but killing a villain is better than committing suicide. If suicide is so distant, however, are not as well the thought of homicide or murder? Most likely. (What a phraseologically Platonic way of acknowledging a suggestion!)

Thoughts of killing are Vautrinian, but to kill Teddy Boy Locsin will not lead to any Vautrinian end. Vautrin wants to kill for the sake of money. The benefits of killing Teddy Boy Locsin are not so much for personal financial gain. The direction of the twenty-first century is not to kill, but to defer plans per se of killing with an infitude of erotic tasks. Erotic, the way I use it her, goes beyond the sexual. Erotic constitutes in my language game here even not too sexual acts, such as the hugging of two petty artists who will probably never even end up in bed together. Community service, however, is not erotic. It is tokenist and ineffectual. I agree with Neferti Xena M. Tadiar-Beller's attack on the tokenism of matriarchal recreational charity.

Erotic is not enough, however. Erotic must come in conjunction with progressive to constitute an adequate degree of virtue. Teddy Locsin is erotic (according to a good deal of middle-class Filipinos), but not progressive (becauser Narcissistic), and hence does not suffice in virtue. The erotic nature of Teddy Boy Locsin is grounded upon traditional haute bourgeois Filipinism.

Thanatic activities such as vandalism do not come full-circle especially when presented to the uneducated masses. Vandalism does not readily constitute literature, although it does now and then constitute substantial functional texts (such as those of anti-Oreta and anti-Erap orders used during the magnificent Edsa Dos).

In Dionysius we may find so much reality not outright utilitous. The utility of Bachannalic activities as release does not assure of solid achievements in subsequent (or post-factum) stretches of sobriety.

The task of the Filipino petit bourgeois reader of European literature is to denounce at the outset definite elements of backwardness (such as Teddy Boy Locsin, his slave Jessica Zafra and Erao Manalo). European literature and the Judaeo-Christian Bible shouold be decreed by the Pope in Rome as texts forbidden to Iglesia ni Manalo members. If banned books used to be the order of the day, banned readers should be a trend for the third millenium.

The thematics of European aesthetics may continue to be virtuously transmitted to grassroots Filipinos by means of popular music. Cheesy European and Spanish lyrics in pop songs such as "Je mis les doigts devant" and PSY's "Angelina... Il faut tourner la page/ Il faut change / N'oubliez pas" are a tolerable but non-ultimate stage of aesthetic entertainment.

Genuine victory is more often better perhaps protracted and accumulative, rather than defined by a single terminal winning point. To kill is a terminal act, and could be a bee-sting act for a a budding killer from the petit bourgeois order.

Renaissance Men

Victory, in the Machiavellian sense, is a continuous process of maintenance. Such a process' governing principles, however, did not take Machiavelli forever (or so much as a hundred pages) to write. Of course, to begin with, there must be acquisition. Machiavelli was compelled to write out his thoughts in order to secure for himself a certain stature of acquisition--- if not of a principality itself, then at least of some administrative post.

Machiavelli and Dante are both key Florentine pillars of the Renaissance. Their lasting value is not as parochial as the city-state patriotism they had to adhere to during their own lifetimes. We should take our cue from Machiavelli and Dante Alighieri in insisting on local action (and vernacular language medium) with a universal outlook. We've had our proud Manileo, Nick Joaquin. His writings have not been as globally disseminated, however, as those of the drabber National Artist F. Sionil Jose.

Canlas is wrong in claiming that "The language does not matter" when a writer heads for greatness. A great writer need not write some of his great writing in his native tongue, but native language writing calls for its own aesthetics and dialectics. Dante's preference of Italian above Latin for his Commedia is not a mere point of philological trivia, but a decision commanding a new logic. A similar situation may be noted in Machiavelli. A language's distinctive qualities are quite commanding. Cognates or even borrowed words cannot eliminate a language's strong points for being used, or even privileged. The gap between Latin and Italian is something far greater than an extra "a" and "i" in the name of the latter. The logic of Latin empowers the writer with so many alternative choices for emphasis. No other language ever gave a writer so much chance to execute permutations of word order so variable. Italian, especially Machiavelli's, is quite linear. Of course, Machiavelli's Italian is much more uniliniear than Dante's. Although Dante in Italian could not have the word-order swappings that Vergil enjoyed, the density of Dante's content per se liberated the inter-associability of the Commedia's myriad elements.

Machiavelli, much more than Dante, as a matter of conviction, grounded himself upon the unjumbled simple sentence-structuring of Italian as a means of effectuating the apparent irreversibility of his strategic logical argumentation.

The logic of Dante, especially in the Paradiso, where he as author speaks on behalf of the Latin writer Thomas of Aquinas, is fortified by the evocativeness of the concepts he brings up. The Dante-rendered Thomas of Aquinas is a nimble play of meter and rhyme on the straightforward Latin of Aquinas.

Aquinas' Latin, phrase for phrase, is as straightforward as Machiavelli's Italian. Aquinas, being very decidedly prosaic, did not at all re-explore Latin's jumble-ability which Vergil, Ovid and others had already pushed to great heights.

Dante did so much which the poets before him did not do. Dante often had a very emphatic use of logic per stanza such as:

Poca favilla gran fiamma seconda:
forse di retro a me con miglior voci
si pregher perch Cirra risponda.

Other poets, such as Vergil, were much more into enjambment of logical argument.

Machiavelli had a notion that he could have writen Il Principe in Latin, as evidenced by the alternative Latin sub-titles of his work's sub-sections.

Even at a glance of Dante's text, we see very conspicuous aspects of his Italian's textuality. Even the letters (not even the words) of the Dante's Italian are quite different from Vergil's Latin. The very great majority of Italian words end with vowels. A few words end with consonants, such as infinitive verb forms (i.e., riguardar and tornar) and prepositions (i.e. "nel"). Whereas Filipino poets are all too ready to end a verse line with an infinitive for a verb. Dante, like Filipino poets, find it unthinkable to end a verse-line with a preposition. A preposition is not a content word, and hence would be such a detriment to Dante's sustained pursuit of significativeness.

A, E, I, O, [U?]

All of Dante's verses end with vowels. Although there are a few Italian words which end with u, such as virt (virtue), that vowel has not the privilege of the other four, which get to take turns in ending Dante's verses.

There have been impressive sustained-rhyme translations of Dante, but not even these or anything in the future could ever dare to make a verse English (or even Latin, Ilocano or English) translation ending all the lines with only the vowels "a", "e", "i" or "o."

Machiavelli and Dante did not have at all the servile drifter-mentality of overseas contract workers. Dante and Machiavelli stood by their native soil, as did Rousseau. Native-ness for Machiavelli, Dante and Rousseau was a great means by which they secured their universality, which came readily enough. Machiavelli and Dante were both virtuous Florentine Renaissance men, who unlike the idiot Harold Bloom, insisted on political action. Dante, Machiavelli and Rousseau were all greater men than Plato--- even taken individually (after all their thought does not form any school of thought together).

Centuries after Machiavelli, there has yet to come a political scientist from the Philippines who would be greater than had been one of the world's first political scientists, Machiavelli. The problem with the Alex Magno is that his money-thirst obscures any candour upon his tolerable political positions (his being pro-Ramos and anti-Abu Sayyaf). Perhaps it were better if Alex Magno were enlisted in the AFP (same goes for myself), so that he does not end up like myself, another cheerleader writer.

There, of course, have been respectable, utilitous writings by latter twentieth-century Filipino political scientists, such as the anti-US bases writings of Roland Simbulan and Dr. Estrella Solidum.

More Filipinos and Filipinas should enlist in the AFP, not the NPA (which has the stupidity and the gall to kill off PPC candidates but not worse Puwersa ng Pera candidates). An influx of Filipino and Filipina youths in the AFP will eventually effectively snuff out the torture-chamber incandescent bulbs of pro-Gringo and Pro-Ping Lason elements.

Virtue must perhaps be won in an accumulative manner. The victory of Plato's Meno is not a definitive Boolean stance on whether virtue may be taught or not. The triumph of the said short dialogue is its accumulation of profound insights.

Must be the life of an intellectual be like that of a snorkeller in a marine sanctuary? Must the intellectual "kill nothing but time"?

Vautrin does not fit my definition of an intellectual. He may think he is thinking. I am certain that the Heidegger of Was Heisst Denkens? would doubt that he is thinking. Vautrin may think he is brilliant, but there is nothing too brilliant about figuring out the all too obvious code of materialistic society.

Vautrin is a homosexual (jibed at early on with the "pour les deux sexes, at autres" notice posted on the Maison Vauquer), and Balzac contrives his homosexuality (not as an erotic drive element) but as guaranteeing factor to his subservience to the code of matriarch-driven haute bougeois society. Male homosexuals readily fortify matriarch-driven haute bougeois society even in recent years in Manila. Male homosexuals become society columnists very acceptable to the establishment. Thus, the perennial reliability of Maurice Arcache.

On Intellectuals

Adorno is an intellectual. The ethnically Palestinian U.S. resident Edward W. Said may have over-appraised the quantity of intellectuals. Media personalities do not qualify as intellectuals, contrary to Said's lenient requisites. Noli de Castro la voix d'etat, c'est moi. Noli is just a puppet and puppy of the Lopez elements in ABS-CBN. Noli is one of all too many a Filipino example of logistics put above logic. Monsod is a logician, but she is better appointed as a senator rather than an elected one.

Max Horkheimer afferma che Machiavelli sarebbe stato non solo il fondatore della scienza politica, ma anche il primo teorico dello Stato borghese.
(Max Horkheimer afferma che Machiavelli sarebbe stato non solo il fondatore della scienza politica, ma anche il primo teorico of the bourgois state.)

Heidegger's recognition of logistics' triumph over logic

Satur Ocampo is not an intellectual. I will not even quote his ridiculous comment in the front page of the Philippine Star. His impressive win in the elections is--- although he be of peasant rather than bourgeois origins--- a logistically-executed one. The conceptualization of Bayan Muna was logical, but its campaign was merely logistical, and it did not even take logistics full swing. Satur Ocampo and Sonny Belmonte, however, don't need to be intellectuals all the time in order to be public servants. Satur Ocampo, Joker Arroyo and Belmonte represent triumphs of logicians turned logisticians.

This paper is not an intellectual paper; however, it is definitely a position paper. It takes a decided Philippine petit bourgeois stance.

This paper's author has had some exertions to be the "political animal" Aristotle had characterized of man. This paper is indeed more animal than intellectual at its frame of reference is very much grounded upon the biological condition of niche.

The Republic of the Philippines is far greater a republic than the Republic that Plato had conceptualized. It is a republic, however, not cultivated at all by book-bound philosophies. It is one grounded upon so many compromises.

Below in a micro-Aquinasistic manner I will pose a series of quaestio on the matter of virtue.

Can virtue be attained? It has been attained within (but not quite all throughout) the lifetimes often enough in a conspicuous enough quantity of Filipinos.

Does virtue come naturally by default, and if so is it merely corrupted or deteriorated by either wanton abandon or misdirection? Being thinking beings, it is not enough for man to simply be after so much thinking. Man must do. Man should not take the errors of nature by default. Man must now and then break away from nature which has nourished him, in the way that Minoans evacuated their isle of Crete when the volcano Thera acted in quite an astounding way. Man must put himself above nature, although we all say that we are nature's worst enemy--- as when Edward O. Wilson declared announced that man was far more conducive to the extinction of flaura and fauna than meteorites or asteroids which crash into our planet.

The default is something good for Aquinas. The default is something bad for Adorno. Said tells us that Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno fought off the trash of the mainstream culture industry by subscribing to the difficult listening2 music of Schoenberg. Adorno thus pursued a somewhat exclusive taste in music--- "discriminating", so to say, with only the positive connotations of the word.

Non-mainstream creative music has been called "developmental music" by opthalmologist and erstwhile band manager Nelia Sarabia.

Can virtue be taught? Can European virtue be implemented in the Philippines? Such was the ideal of Crisostomo Ybarra coming afresh from his ilustrado trip to Europe. Ybarra only brought up for the moment table manners, but even more than a hundred years ago, European virtues and virtue ingredients were proven viable in the Philippines. Andres Bonifacio drew upon the European virtues of the French revolution. Bonifacio had some of the gamin in him, having had been an orphan and a poet, but he was definitely greater than Hugo's Gavroche. Although Gavroche's verses shows more quirky sophistications than those of Bonifacio (having, of course, not been so much authored by an actual youngster from the streets but the old man and intellectual who was Victor Hugo), Bonifacio had a bigger view of the nation. Bonficaio's indeed was a revolution, and not an emeute.

Is virtue universal? Can virtue be codified? Saint Thomas of Aquinas was one of the greatest codifiers of philosophical logic. This codifying magnanimity of Aquinas is not at all transcribed into a single clan member of the etymological echo Aquino. The Aquinos, are not merely, The Aquinos of Tarlac, as Nick Joaquin had given them the title. The divided Aquino (the polycontradictory Aquino-Cojuangco-Jaworksi-Revilla-Oreta discontinuum) clan perhaps gives the suffix "-ino" to Filipino.

This paper has got to have an end, and indeed it has its tentative end. The default disposition of the lower Philippine classes are the Bacchic. The lowest Philippine classes have here and there a specimen of the thanatic. The poorest Filipinos (i.e., myself alongside junk-cart pushers) are bombarded with bourgeois-propagated half-baked goodies and noise.

U.P. continues to succeed in purporting placid manifestations of virtue: i.e., humble and genuine intellectuals (although these do not write enough). If European virtue cannot be propagated through and through, at least a new fascism can be devised to wipe off the Iglesia ni Cristo from the face of our idled archipelago. A return to Plato is not too necessary, nor is a digging up more fragments of the Eleatics' writings. What has been already institutionalized of the European canon in NBS should be an adequate starting point for the propagation of virtue, or at least an industrialist fascism.

An industrialist fascism is needed right now in the Philippines to annihilate the stranglehold of PDP-Laban trapos (such as Binay the dwarf, Teddy Boy, and Butz the stupid brother of whorish Tessie) in the Central Business District of Makati. An industrialist fascism can be propagated by means of a new flux of Lakas-leaning fascist-youth into the AFP, not the NPA. The NPA is a lost cause. After many landmarks of achievements, the NPA has just ended up killing PPC public servant-hopefuls, and has not all helped the Filipino people against the Erap-fattened Abu Sayyaf.

An industrialist fascism will prioritize information technology over agriculture. This stance will rectify the idiotic position conveyed by a front-page declaration stated in the haute bourgeois Philippine Star newspaper.

This non-intellectual polemic paper cannot really be complete unless a crack is made at the launching of industrialist fascism. Writing is not really a genuine starting point in this case, unlike the fortunate kase of the KKK's extinct Kalayaan publication.

Can there be a starting point for social and economic progress besides killing--- the not too brilliant idea of the non-intellectual Vautrin many years ago? The scientific geogological principle of uniformitarianism might bring some hope. If a dialectical uniformitarianism is effectuated, although the progress be slow, it will definitely come about as mountains and seas have--- not through catastrophes, but rather through patient continental drift.

Is the status quo worth anything in terms of virtue? I can only assess the Philippine status quo, although I can apply (as I already have commenced in this paper) some European ingredients of virtue. Plato is far too inadequate an agent of virtue. His virtue is lacking in praxis. What is refined in Plato is the dialogical stepping-through arguments. With less textual voluminosity, Machiavelli posted a quite formidable standard of both conceptualized and practcied virtue. Dante's virtue is textually embodied in an unparallelled aerchitectonic manner. Dante may not have written as much as Aristotle, but even La Divina Commedia shows dense intratextuality and intertextuality compounded with sharp numerology as agents of voluminosity. There are many cultures which have narratives as lengthy as Dante's Commedia, but none (not even the English) match his density in content of rhymed-and-metered writing. Textual rigour is a virtue of Dante, but Dante, throughout his Commedia, has such an extensive assessment of vices, shortcomings, and virtues. Dante may have quite a number of flawed designationsm, but his flaws were not usually slip-ups, but rather assertions of propagandic political inclination. The biased-ness of Dante was precedented by the bias of Vergil, Dante's declared mentor. Vergil showed how the bulk of a text's content may be reversed to serve an opposite political camp--- a feat which has been done so many times, not so much with the Homeric epics that Vergil conquered, but the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic Big Book discontinuum.

Thomas Stearns Eliot continued to carry the generation-changing flag of dogmatic bias.

Prayer seems to be an effective form of action, although only when it is not performed with the Iglesia of Eraño Manalo (within which all pseudo-religious activity is rendered null and void).

Virtue is hindered in the Philippines, because of the country's timocratic nature. Here and there, progress through intelligence has been attained even in our recent history. Can virtue be propagated in a way which homogenizes a nation?

Mediocrity and over-repetitiveness have been detrimental factors to the virtue of aesthetics especially since the previous century. Mediocrity and over-repetitiveness are characteristic of Philippine businesses. There are too many karaokes. There are too many wok-ball pushcarts. There are too many soft-porn films. Banal repetitiveness is not at all the virtuous "variations of the same" characteristic of aesthetic genius, the notion you had brought up in class.

You noted how Cervantes' masterpiece embodied such a principle effectively.

Virtue can be taught

A U.P. Education up to the Ph.D. level is usually a safe process to the attainment of virtue. A mere B.A. degree has been attained by many a flake, but at the Ph.D. level, UP has a better quality control on virtue. UP Ph.D.'s (whether they finish their doctorate in UP, or else do it abroad and come home to roost) have the mark of excellence, even in the DECL. Younger folks may find UP DECL Ph.D.'s not as adamant about higher theory as are stalwarts of other universities in the same field.

UP Ph.D.'s (even from the DECL) may even know less passages and names of Continental philosophers and thinkers (even own less of their books) than a certain few exceptionally pushy younger learners also in UP, but the UP Ph.D. is 99.9% bound for excellence in virtue. UP undergraduate students usually have a low statistic of virtue. Those who have the prowess to pass papers on time with decent marks (such as Ceferino Villarin and Mario de Vega of the Department of Philosophy) are actually just lackeys who make term papers for lazy, upper-middle brats. Term-paper forgers should not be entitled to Ph.D.'s. Of courtse, UP knows how to detect them eventually, as was done so with the Conde case in the Political Science field.

The Public and The Apology

The problem with U.P. Ph.D.'s is that they are mostly unable to convey their virtue outside the academe. Now and then, top caliber U.P. academics take a crack at public appearance. They get some results, but they sometimes don't win enough of the mob. Thus, Solita Monsod, well qualified to serve as senator, or even a higher post, did not get enough votes to secure the position.

Plato/Socrates now and then markedly underassessed the impact of learning and teaching. In the Apology, Socrates declared that his avid talking with other citizens was not at all directed at intent teaching. In the Apology, Socrates professed himself as being a very informal guy. Not only was his conversing left and right with citizens not acknowledged by himself as formal teaching, but he even declared his natural was of speaking as being not of the formality expected inside a court-room.

Socrates' projection of himself as a mere conversationalist (in the Apology at the least) purports a function that has been better exploited by recent-day mere conversationalists, such as TV hosts, who may be mis-assigned as "intellectuals" in Said's liberal designative principles. TV hosts seems to be less prone to murder than radio hosts. TV hosts enjoy greater logistics above radio hosts to securing popularity. Thus, senatorial hopefuls such as Rod Navarro and Rey Langit get far less votes than TV personalities such as Monsod, Puno or de Castro, although not all of the latter can win at the same time.

Marquis de Sade: conviction above virtue

The Marquis de Sade is not an appropriate standard of virtue. He sensationalized criminals such as the Duke of Blangis (Vide One Hundred and Twenty Days of Sodomy).

N faux, dur, imprieux, barbare, goste, galement prodigue pour ses plaisirs et avare quand il s'agissait d'tre utile, menteur, gourmand, ivrogne, poltron, sodomite, incestueux, meurtrier, incendiaire, voleur, pas une seule vertu ne compensait autant de vices. Que dis-je? non seulement il n'en rvrait aucune, mais elles lui taient toutes en horreur, et l'on lui entendait dire souvent qu'un homme, pour tre vritablement heureux dans ce monde, devait non seulement se livrer tous les vices, mais ne se permettre jamais une vertu, et qu'il n'tait pas non seulement question de toujours mal faire, mais qu'il s'agissait mme de ne jamais faire le bien.

I admit, however, that the Marquis was more of a sensation than a sensationalist. He was not a man of virtue, but of conviction. Can conviction itself qualify as a virtue? The Marquis was definitely a superior man than many a hundred thousand of mere Philippine bourgeoisie. The Marquis was a millionaire of exploits. Does his accumulation of experience qualify as the accumulative triumph of knowledge that I have mentioned elsewhere in this paper? I am definitely not pro-Sade. I am definitely closer to being asexual or at least sexually neutral than being a Sade. Sade is not along in being the French type of an incarcerated rebel who had been engrossed in sex-for-the-act. There was also Jean Genet. Genet, however, as Neil Garcia describes him orally, was more of an anti-bourgeois element- comparable to the fictitious Paul Michel character of Patricia Duncker's best-seller novel Hallucinating Foucault. Genet and the Marquis were both fascinated with concept of the thief (voleur). Marquis' type of the thief, however, is the big type of businessman thief, rather than the pedestrian thief type known to Genet.

Worse than his indulging in debauchery and blasphemy is his absurd haute bourgoise-ness. I discourage core curriculum extensive assignment of de Sade as reading in UP Diliman, not so much because of the sex, which I doubt will offend the UP students' idiotic over-eagerness for mere spectatorialism and side-commentarianism, but because de Sade was a haute bourgeois who can never satisfy my petit-bourgeois political drives of commitment, as well as aversion to fickleness. De Sade really belonged in jail. He was a spoiled brat to begin with.

Donatien was sent to live with his paternal grandmother in Avignon. It was here that the Marquis would spend his early, formative years, surrounded by a gaggle of female relatives who indulged his every whim and smothered him with sensual affection...

The Mystified Magistrate, however, is a tolerable reading for classroom use. It may be useful to formalists who will focus on its embodying the genre of the novella. It throws insights on hypocrisy and duplicity which may be discussed in relation to Machiavelli and other European thinkers. The Mystified Magistrate starts off with a lucid depiction of the social preoccupation with status. Fontanis is deemed the fittest husband for Mademoiselle de Teroze, because of his profession.

Rilke: Solitude as virtue

A painful practictioner of virtue was Rainer Maria Rilke.

Even at the outset, Rilke's Duineser Elegien already show a correlatability to Platonic discourse, especially on the issue of perception. Duineser Elegien is a set of poems decidedly written on the issue of perception. Besides Rilke's unstandard (although precedented) perception of angels as terrifying, Rilke puts a premium on the perception of the world by animals. Rilke claims that animals (der Tiere) are more perceptive of the world's (das Offene).

Rilke was such a serious poet. He wrote notable poetry in German, French and Russian.

Duineser Elegien may be viewed antonymically to Sonnets to Orpheus. The Duino Elegies are quite chilling. The Sonnets to Orpheus have more nectar. The Elegies are not at all floral, they are tower poetry. Rilke is a prime example of the poet-in-a-tower. Certain women of the nobility secured his residences in castle towers.

Rilke and Heidegger pretty much use the same words, although one was more poet and the other more a philosopher. Of course, Rilke's poetry was quite laden with an instrinsic philosophy. Heidegger also wrote a few verses (cf. Poetry, Language, Thought).

Rilke and Heidegger both put a premium to Dasein and Sorge. Rilke said, "Gesang ist Dasein" (translated by Robert Bly with much deliberation as "Writing poetry is to be alive").

Rilke, Nietzsche and Heidegger were men unafraid of the the wrath of the Judaeo-Christian God. People who don't read Nietzsche books at least remember his "Gott todt ist" pronouncement.

Antoine Saint-Exupery: invisible virtue

L'essentiale, c'est invisible aux yeux.

Exupery died a lamentable artist's death.

The Virtues of French Feminism

Pere Goriot is a novel filled with powerful women. Are there virtuous women there? The daughters are not quite virtuous, being spoiled brats. Come to think of it, the novel has no virtuous characters at all.

Have the feminists done anything for the advancement of virtue? No doubt they have worked so hard for the preservation of woman's virtue, except for Nelia Sancho and her idiotic acquiescence to prostitution. The virtue which feminists have generally worked to preserve is grounded considerably on the patriarchally-initiated concept of virginity as woman's virtue.

The feminists advanced, however, by allowing women sexual liberty without traditional patriarchal constraints. For one, Simone de Beauvoir did not live a virgin's life, neither did she, however, have to put up with that of a mother.

Tel Quel

Then there came Jacques Derrida and this woman, Julia Kristeva.

Helene Cixous

Cixous is a landmark feminist is that she is considered a great read.

  1. Edward Said, Representations of the Intellectual
  2. De Quiros is deliberately layed-out to have his column quotidianly and perenially below Adrian Cristobal's "The Breakfast table." Cristobal, since the Marcos dictatorship, has been a sweet-Englished spokesperson of unblatant haute bourgeois fascism. Cristobal is an idiot, however. "The revolution from the center", which he conceptualized for Marcos, is actually a great way of articulating what undid Marcos and Erap (both of whom Cristobal decidedly defended writing within his Ayala-Alabang palace). De Quiros is the Prieto's puppet to purport a pseudo-activist angle for the Inquirer.
  3. This is my neologism which is contrary to the conventional music category 'easy listening'.
  4. Garcellano is a practicioner of Barthes-advocated non meta-linguality. cf. Barthes, Mythologies, Vintage

The word list below is based on the Perseus project interface.

The First Greek-to-Tagalog Dictionary
ἄειδεI sing
ἅμαat once
at the same time
ἀμφί on both sides
cf. III. 146
ἀτάρbut, yetnguni't
αὐτάρbut, yetnguni't
αὐ̂τε again(m)uli
βαίνωto walk
γέρωνold (man)matanda
ἐπείafter thatpagkatapos nu'n
of ἕκαστος
ἐντέμνωto cut in
Iliad's Book Seven
κοσμέωto order
of κοσμέω
μάχεσθαιto battle/
φυλάσσωto guardmagbantay
στένωto moan,
or sigh
τίνω"to pay a price"
cf. Perseus
τῳ̂ masculine
or neutral
ΝότοςSouth windhabagat
οἰωνόςlarge bird of preyibong mandaragit
civitatescitiesmga lungsadciudades
esseis (indeed): declarative form
of the verb to be
sitis: third person
conditional form
of the verb to be
(ito) ay
velor; used after the language entity right after utrum; in doing so it introduces another language entity, which forms a disjunction together with the prior language entityo

Dante, Machiavelli, Boccacioitalianni
without Mondadori's missing stretch of pages
altroveelsewheresa ibang dako
anchealsopati na rin
cavallihorsesmga kabayocaballos
grazia(good) grace
mais (francaise)
ridireretellmuling isalaysay
sopraovernangingibabaw sa
spalleshouldersbalikat(les) epaules

dead (man)
frrebrotherkapatid na lalaki
jeuneyoungbata pajoven
malheureusementsa kasawiang palad
maquerelles procuress
veuve biyuda
vieilleold (woman)manang
>yeuxeyesmga mata

Deutch Wortverzeichnis
Augeneyesmga mata
gehento go
jungeyoungbata (pa)jeune
mitwithna merong
Links to other sites on the Web

Emile e-texts

2001 ramuel@hotmail.com