Economic System of the Philippines

After browsing the third chapter of Ludwig von Mises’ Bureaucracy, I could not avoid thinking about the kind of economic system that we have in the Philippines. Capitalism is the popular perception. Others would consider our system as oligarchy, that is, not much different from feudalism. However, after reading the third chapter and checking some news and files, I am now more inclined to think that our economic system is still under experiment between socialism and capitalism. In fact, in the past, we were more inclined to socialism due to big number of GOCCs (Government Owned and Controlled Corporations)/SOEs (State Owned Enterprises). Nonoy Oplas, the owner of this blog shared that as of 1984, we had “303 GOCCs including subsidiaries.” However, as I browsed the web, I stumbled with two lists. One list gave a total of 67 GOCCs, and another list gave 133 as of 2004. So if the data is correct, it means that there is a reduction in number of GOCCs, which I personally consider as good sign. In fact, one news said that our President  is aiming to reduce its number to less than 100.

You can read the third chapter of Bureaucracy here.

By the way, these are the previous articles:

Preface

Introduction First Draft

Revised Introduction 1

Revised Introduction 2

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

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Looking Beyond the Bureaucratic System

And so for Ludwig von Mises, simply focusing on the evils of bureaucratism is misleading. One must see beyond the symptoms and penetrate into the source, a new political system that advocates government ominipotence, and socialism is the only ideology that provides justification for totalitarianism. See how Ludwig von Mises defines this conflict:
bureaucrat_2
“The main issue in present-day political struggles is whether society should be organized on the basis of private ownership of the means of production (capitalism, the market system) or on the basis of public control of the means of production (socialism, communism, planned economy). Capitalism means free enterprise, sovereignty of the consumers in economic matters, and sovereignty of the voters in political matters. Socialism means full government control of every sphere of the individual’s life and the unrestricted supremacy of the government in its capacity as central board of production management. There is no compromise possible between these two systems. Contrary to a popular fallacy there is no middle way, no third system possible as a pattern of a permanent social order. The citizens must choose between capitalism and socialism . . . .” (Bureaucracy, 1944, p. 10).

Roots and Fruits of Anti-Capitalistic Mentality: A Book Review

After digesting the book, you can assess whether Mises really achieved his objective, whether he is really successful in exposing the roots and the destructive results of anti-capitalistic mentality. Personally, though the book is dated, still it helps me understand the basic operation of the free market and the reasons for hostility against it, and it also helps me analyze the erroneous foundation of mainstream ideas.
roots and fruits
Concerning intellectual contribution, Mises described things, which I think are true to biblical presuppositions as far as natural revelation and common grace are concerned. I just don’t have time now to give concrete examples for that would require a separate time for study. However, his concepts of justice, liberty, denial of stability and future utopia, and reason are contrary to biblical revelation. He thinks that “divine justice” does not exist. He also did not go beyond the Greeks and the Romans in his concept of liberty. For Mises, liberty is primarily based on the free market, which of course rooted in the individual. Moreover, Mises also did not accept any idea of permanence or concept of future utopia. As far as the content of the book is concerned, his understanding of human history is a continuous process. I think, his idea of reason as autonomous played a big role for this contradiction.
I am not sure whether Mises is a deist or an atheist. If he is an atheist, his denial of a “divine” idea of justice is beyond his basic presupposition. It is not within his jurisdiction to say anything about it. The same thing is true with his concept of liberty. Furthermore, both Jewish tradition and Christianity have much to say about liberty, and Mises failed to mention about them except of course the section on “three old powers” where he mentioned that churches joined forces with the forerunners of socialism (pp. 43-45). However, Christianity is far broader than the official churches. Moreover, during the time of Reformation, Christianity played a significant role in recovering the right of private judgment, which is the essence of personal liberty. I suspect that the silence in this matter is either due to Mises’ atheistic assumptions or perhaps he subsumed both Jewish and Christian concept of liberty under his consideration of Greeks and Romans along with the Renaissance and Enlightenment.
Focusing on liberty, a Dutch theologian, Herman Bavinck in his book “Philosophy of Revelation,” distinguished between two kinds of liberty, Christian and revolutionary; they are not one and the same. These two kinds of liberty have separate roots. Christian liberty was recovered by new Protestantism led by Luther, whereas revolutionary liberty can be traced back to old Protestantism inspired by Erasmus, which was part of the 16th century Renaissance, and had finally come into maturity in the 18th century during the so-called Age of Reason or the Enlightenment. And then Deism, which originated from England finally declared the complete emancipation of “the world from God, reason from revelation, and will from grace” (p. 7). I think Mises’ concept of liberty though not revolutionary in the sense that he advocates violence, has its root in this movement for his idea of liberty exists apart from the existence of God and the reality of revelation.

Anti-Capitalistic Mentality Part 6

It is alleged that under capitalism, the self-realization and freedom of an individual is a privilege accessible only to those who have the economic resources. Unlike under socialism, everyone will have equal resources, and therefore everyone will enjoy equal liberty. Let us see how Ludwig von Mises answered this objection in chapter 4 sections 4 and 5 of his book, “The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality.”