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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 07/17/2010 :  04:47:29  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A few months ago while reading a series of detective stories based in ancient Rome (the well-researched SPQR series by the estimable John Maddox Roberts), I began to see some parallels between modern Filipino society and that of ancient Rome. Living in the Philippines now has only strengthened my notion of the parallels.

The parallels I've noticed so far are two: 1) The primary importance of family in Filipino society, and 2) The importance of the patron-client relationship beyond the family.

In Roman society, family was the cornerstone of politics and society. Thus Republican Rome was ruled by an oligarchy made up of dynasties. Rome also had the "clientela," a system in which elite families and commoners allied in mutual support.

In Rome, the clientela system was backed by law. For instance, a client could not be forced to testify in court against a patron, and a patron could not be forced to testify against a client. Freed slaves became clients of their former masters, supporting their dynastic ambitions, both with votes and sometimes through mob political action in the streets of Rome. In return, it was the patron's duty to defend and protect his clients.

Since independence, the Philippines has generally been an oligarchy made up of sometimes competing and sometimes cooperating dynasties, somewhat like Republican Rome. Likewise, though not as a matter of law, a deep-rooted Filipino patron-client relationship both extends the power of these dynasties and provides some shelter for their clients.

(The politics of both the Roman Republic and the modern Philippines are both massively corrupt. I suspect, but don't know, that the above parallels may be the reason for this common corruption.)

I have no idea whether the Filipino system of dynasties and patron-client relations is directly descended from its Roman predecessor (via Spain), or is mainly home-grown. But understanding how it works seems important in trying to comprehend how the society works here.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.

Edited by - HalfMooner on 08/01/2010 01:01:03

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 07/20/2010 :  04:07:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I mentioned my hypothesis about Filipino society to my lawyer neighbor, John, just the other evening. After outlining my perception of parallels between ancient Roman and contemporary Filipino societies regarding the role of dynasties and patron-client relationships, I asked him if I were at all correct. John's answer was a simple, "Yes."

John also thinks that these elements were not of local invention, but were probably handed down from Rome during Spain's nearly four century rule.

John then went on with some thoughts of his own. The Philippines, having no practical foreign enemies, needs its internal rebels as an outlet for bloodshed. The US, he continued, having practically no internal enemies, needs foreign wars for the same reason.

The French have a word for that: Touché.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Ebone4rock
SFN Regular

USA
894 Posts

Posted - 07/20/2010 :  04:15:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Ebone4rock a Private Message  Reply with Quote
John then went on with some thoughts of his own. The Philippines, having no practical foreign enemies, needs its internal rebels as an outlet for bloodshed. The US, he continued, having practically no internal enemies, needs foreign wars for the same reason.


This is an idea I have had for a long time. Violence is human nature and most people need an outlet for it whether it be movies, video games, music..........or WAR!

Haole with heart, thats all I'll ever be. I'm not a part of the North Shore society. Stuck on the shoulder, that's where you'll find me. Digging for scraps with the kooks in line. -Offspring
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 07/20/2010 :  04:25:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Ebone4rock

John then went on with some thoughts of his own. The Philippines, having no practical foreign enemies, needs its internal rebels as an outlet for bloodshed. The US, he continued, having practically no internal enemies, needs foreign wars for the same reason.


This is an idea I have had for a long time. Violence is human nature and most people need an outlet for it whether it be movies, video games, music..........or WAR!
That's a pretty good theory, IMO.

Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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