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Jan 27, 2015
NEO-NATIONALISM’S PREMISES & CONTENTIONS / Shift intervention from the ‘provider state’ to the ‘enabler state’

 

NEO-NATIONALISM’S PREMISES & CONTENTIONS / Shift intervention from the ‘provider state’ to the ‘enabler state’

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

 

The failure of neo-liberal policy regimes does not mean that the state should go back to a full interventionist role, performing a guardian regulator and ‘provider’ for all sorts of services. The problem with the excessive ‘provider’ role is that it had (a) bred rent-seeking on a massive scale among market players, (b) reinforced dependence among grassroots folks who have since been always expecting for a ‘Santa Claus state’ to provide abundant candies, (c) produced new forms of rent-seeking, with civil society groups serving as the beneficiaries, and (d) further reinforced graft practices in both the public and private sectors. Thus, the ‘provider state’ further reinforced  the patron-client relations in the various spheres of life (‘feudalism’ is the term used by Maoists for clientelism), consequently dragging all of our development efforts into a turtle-paced sojourn.

 

In the new intervention mode, the state, armed with a leaner organization and trimmed down budgetary purse, performs a superb catalytic role. It engages various stakeholders in the growth & development efforts, challenges them to directly embark on development pursuits, and demonstrates unto them how welfare can be accessed to through alternative means other than through the state’s baskets. As the state continuously engages the stakeholders through dialogue and cooperation, institutions will also become strengthened along the way. The state will gain its esteem as an ‘activist state’, while at the same time receive acclaim as a truly ‘modernizing state’ as it propels society gradually away from clientelism towards a context marked by rule-based (modern) institutions, citizenry and dynamic/autonomous constituencies.

 

However, within a transition period from ‘maximum provider’ to ‘maximum enabler,’ the state should continue to perform a provider role in such areas as education, health and such other human development concerns that are, in the main, crucial to building national wealth. Combining state regulations and at the same time giving ‘fiscal autonomy’ in tertiary education and vocational-technical level would remain to be a fitful strategy of ‘minimal enabler’. A similar strategy will have to be applied to some other economic sectors to be able to advance gender equity, by recognizing rights of marginalized gender to education, employment, representation in managerial positions and other related concerns.

 

 

[From: Erle Frayne D. Argonza, “New Nationalism: Grandeur and Glory at Work!”. August 2004.  For the Office of External Affairs – Political Cabinet Cluster, Office of the President, Malacaňan Palace.]

 


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Jan 20, 2015
ON MUSIC

ON MUSIC

Erle Frayne Argonza / Ra

 

That I sing and make music

Brings joy and solitude to the psyche

Praise be to my wise grandfather

Of mathematical and musical genius made

From whom my bard’s mind was crafted.

 

Music is the holiest mover

It combines all powers of gods

From Olympus and all heavens

It shakes and rattles souls the most.

 

Music is certainly mathematics

Of metrics and calculus built

For which its maker anticipates

Astride rhythm and rhyme

The sonic bursts from orals and instruments.

 

Calculated is the world too

In music, a most moved audience

By booming sonics of its trade.

[Writ. 04 June 1991, Cubao, Quezon City, M.Manila]

 

REFLECTION

Music is indubitably an art form that impacts directly on the subtle bodies. That is why it pays to be choosy when it comes to musical pieces. I did write articles before about music for healing and enhancing divinity, and by that I mean fine music—world music, Celtic, classical, new age music. I highly recommended them to seekers I mentored.

What makes music as a very unique art is that one can listen to music even without light. Painting, sculpture and performing arts require light, literary pieces do require light to go through the lines, but music need not have illumination to appreciate it. In the 4th plane is situated what is mystically termed as the ‘music of the spheres’, and any musician who can align to it can make great music, such as Wagner who was SOB in daily life but made great music.

Music soothed the psyche of my fellow islanders who did slave labor for their Spanish colonizers (333 years of colonization). Likewise did it perform the same healing balm for Afro slaves in America. Knowledge of its properties and those of specific genre can enable a seeker or mystic to fast-track the stabilization of the subtle bodies and rise of awareness to higher dimension levels.

High vibes music can also help to protect yourself against psychic attack. Mozart music, when uploaded to an Ipod or cellphone and listened to while one is on the road or doing field work, can instantly elevate the frequency of the aura to a step higher, thus sealing it from psychic attacks. A consolidated aura will simply deflect sorcery or related attacks, while the music brings joy as well to the listener.

 

Ra

April 2011


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SOCIAL CAPITAL FOR MINING

SOCIAL CAPITAL FOR MINING

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

This paper advocates for an alternative framework regarding mineral resource extraction. It begins with the contention that mining must be considered as primarily a community undertaking, whether the community be national or local. As such, mining must necessarily depart from market-driven models of extraction, or from state-centered models of development, and proceed to a community-oriented or constituency-based engagement.

To be able to comprehend the theme of this paper, let me begin with a story. About four (4) years ago, a former university student of mine at the University of the Philippines Manila informed me that a mining engineer wished to establish a (mining) foothold in the Cordillera. Accordingly, the engineer heard about my mystical background, and was interested to know if there are indeed precious metals in the proposed project site. That is, the engineer expected me to communicate directly to the invisible elemental entities in the area and ask their permission to establish a mining project.

Not only that. Having heard about my background as a political economist, with diversified interest and studies in indigenous culture, the mining firm he represented wanted to know what acceptable methods to employ in flushing out the indigenous people residing in the area.

To cut the story short, I declined the offer, even as I registered my vehement opposition to the sordidly profit-oriented venture of this engineer. If mining has to prosper at all, it must begin with the reality that there are people who have been settled for many epochs in the area of extraction. A win-win solution to the mining problem must be executed, not by expelling the local residents but precisely by involving them in the venture.

Let me now share to you another story. In 1998, at the height of the Asian financial crisis, my consulting firm then, the Phoenixkonsult, contracted a project with a client. The project was about yellow clay extraction, with Bicol as the project site. In a small town in Bicol is found yellow clay, a rare material that has various industrial applications as well as aesthetic uses. Incidentally, the area also has some Aeta-related residents as well as marginal peasants.

Being then the board chair of the corporation, or being in a central position to direct the developmental strategies of the firm, I strongly proposed that the project involve the residents in a number of ways.

First of all, in the feasibility study preparation, the residents can be tapped as eco-scanners to identify possible sites where the material was highly concentrated. Also, the same residents will be constituted into a cooperative, properly trained in social entrepreneurship, and invited to be co-investors in the mining project through their cooperative. A third involvement would be to tap those residents who are physically capable enough as human resource for the extraction and production activities.

Such a scheme is what social scientists and development practitioners like myself refer to as tapping ‘social capital’. Mining should not just be regarded as investment capital, but should also consider the vast wealth of social networks—‘social capital’—that can wield tremendous powers of production. Studies in comparative political economy have shown that developmental pursuits that tapped ‘social capital’ ended up more appreciably better than those that failed to do so.

The development experiences of Brazil are particularly instructive. As documented by such social science luminaries as Peter Evans (see Evans’ works on ‘state-society synergy’), those projects in agriculture, irrigation and urban-based infrastructure and housing in Brazil where a state-civil society partnership was consistently used, turned out really good in results. On the other hand, those projects that were largely state-centered or market-driven and insulated from the community networks eventually faltered, as indicated by typical experiences in most Third World economies.

In today’s evolving global context, state-centered development has become ridiculously passé. In this old framework, the state performs the role of a ‘provider state’—giving out everything such as candies and shelter units to helpless people waiting for the ‘Santa Claus’ dole outs. Such a framework had proved to be disastrous in results. Not only did it reinforce a strong dependency syndrome among the people, it also led to vicious poverty instead of eradicating this malaise. It need not be stressed that much money went to the pocket of state officials and contracting firms’ managers through this old framework.

The new framework delimits the state’s role to that of an ‘enabler state’. In this framework, development efforts are properly the tasks of market players, who possess the investment capital, and civil society players, who possess the vast social networks of ‘social capital’. The state then builds the policy environment and strong institutions that can support and sustain various developmental efforts.

I strongly contend for a ‘social capital’ approach to mining. In this approach, the first thing to do is to recognize the institutional capacity building efforts of people who live in the areas of resource extraction. Stewardship agreements must be concurred between market players and community or social enterprises of the folks, with the state serving as a mediator or facilitator. I am very optimistic about the positive results of this scheme, compared to market-driven and state-centered approaches.

You see, when people, through their social enterprise groups, are motivated to co-direct development projects, the people themselves will do so much to zealously guard and monitor the entire project or enterprise venture. The bonus for indigenous peoples is that they have easy access to the spirit world, to the nature beings in the area (called ‘elementals’ by mystics), beings that can also be tapped to guard the project.

Now, go back to the cranky old models (market-driven and state-centered), and remove the indigenous peoples from the scene of a gargantuan development effort. What will you have?

It would be instructive to recall the Celophil and Chico dam projects, both Cordillera-based, that proceeded from the old frameworks. The disastrous offshoots of the projects became the fuel for insurgent groups, largely peopled by the I.P.s, to wage zealously bloody campaigns against the colossal projects.

There is no further reason today for the likes of the Celophil and Chico projects to be repeated. We must have learned lessons from their failures at this juncture. But it seems that those who now wish to revive a mining sector that has been in the doldrums for two (2) decades to go the route of Celophil and Chico.

I wish not to further highlight the folly of any idea today that wishes to pursue development by expelling people like they were deadly toxins. Many advocates of win/lose pursuits are well placed in government even as they dominate the corporate sector. They simply couldn’t see the folly behind their antiquated approaches, blinded as they are by greed.

As a final statement, let me declare that the framework elaborated in this brief paper is not an official policy framework of state. Rather, it is a policy framework that should be discussed among various quarters and social sectors, the state included. The state after all comprises of a plurality of framework trends operating in a vast array of bureaucratic mechanisms. There is no such thing today as a monolithic state with a singular framework dominating the policy environment. Rather, the state is a fluid field for contestation by various interest groups that are all aiming to influence the shaping of the policy environment.

But this I am optimistic about: if given a chance to prosper, a ‘social capital’ framework for mining will sell like very hot cake. I am very sure about this forecast. And may the communications enclaves allow this idea of ‘social capital’ for mining to germinate and percolate, because whether we like it or not this will be the direction of resource extraction in the foreseeable future. Bar it from crystallizing, and the result will be more resentments leading to more vicious insurgencies. Permit it to galvanize, and the whole nation becomes heroic in the eyes of the international community for setting new precedents. So, which option is the better choice?

[Note: The author is a political economist and social development consultant. The paper was delivered in a panel lecture at the Kamayan Forum, Kamayan Restaurant, Manila, 12 noon-2 pm, 19 November, 2004.]



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Jan 13, 2015
OF ARTIST AND DUSK

OF ARTIST AND DUSK

Erle Frayne Argonza / Ra

 

O! Eager artist!

Benign sib of the dusk

Vessel of the spirit of imageries

 

The dusk—

Is this your fraternal twin

Who reminds you always

Of your noble mission?

 

You are a speaker

And audio system fused

As one

Before the world

 

Your absence to many means

A worldless world, lifeless life

 

The dusk always reminds you

That salads of ideas are

Concocting

In your mind

Waiting to be revealed

[Writ. 04 June 91, Cubao, Quezon City, M.Manila]

 

REFLECTION

The poem is another of the literary pieces I wrote to underscore the full import of the craftsman or artist in social life. Echoing the higher mysteries of Seven (7) Rays, I mentored to seekers to develop the artist within them, the goal being to build the ‘esthetic intelligence’ in them.

Being an artist myself, I naturally align to higher dimensions during dusk to intuit on truths apperceived as wholes. Dusk till night time is a moment of high productivity for artists and intellectuals/ contemplatives, so it is most fitting to maximize on such moments for creative outputs.

Morning is also a nice time for productive pursuits, but I noticed that I often than not exhibit the ‘morning sickness’ at this time of the day. But not at past 4 pm till around 9 pm, and I can go on till midnight save that I must cease from work so as to pray and meditate for an hour.

Being so used to the importance of esthetics, any evolved soul would easily feel the dreariness of a surround in the absence of it. I do feel the unease when I am in a ghetto area or depressed urban community, where my nose could suddenly drip ceaselessly as my aura gets pulped by the dense environ and my sinus swollen inexplicably. All I need to do is withdraw from the community the quickest, and get back my balance couples of hours later.

Esthetics reinforces the harmonics in any community, so I recommend seekers to reside in an ecologically balanced and esthetically regenerative neighborhood.


Ra

 

April 2011


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NEO-NATIONALISM’S PREMISES & CONTENTIONS / Make room for value-based & integrated frameworks

 

NEO-NATIONALISM’S PREMISES & CONTENTIONS / Make room for value-based & integrated frameworks

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

 

Not only should we look up to the West for paradigms with which to construct frameworks and models of growth & development. We should also welcome the initiatives of our emerging thinkers and practitioner-gurus to integrate the Eastern paradigms in their conceptualizations, system designs and related matters. These efforts will fortify our understanding of economics, Philippine-style, in as much as we are a people forged in the cultural smelters of both Eastern and Western civilizations. 

 

Among civil society groups, the modeling of entrepreneurship and social enterprises based on integrated East-West paradigms have been demonstrated with success and clarity. We should welcome such perspectives, and do our share of the task to transport such frameworks from the margins to the mainstream of national consciousness. The resultant frameworks are often value-based in form, though they do not necessarily shun scientistic/empiricist treatment of economic problems. The common theme among such frameworks is synergy: an interconnection among various ‘social enterprises’ and NGOs reaching a far broader scale, resulting to a broad   movement. This I am well aware of, having immersed myself in civil society for a long time in the past.

 

 

[From: Erle Frayne D. Argonza, “New Nationalism: Grandeur and Glory at Work!”. August 2004.  For the Office of External Affairs – Political Cabinet Cluster, Office of the President, Malacaňan Palace.]

 


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Jan 3, 2015
WAR

WAR

Erle Frayne Argonza / Ra

 

War is the namesake of the islands

 

A Dantean discernment will not

Permit one to argue that

The archipelago

Is a paradise

Lost or regained

 

Of the islands’ fetid state

Excrement and humans sanctimoniously fuse

They cajole in ecstatic screams

Over killings and bombings

Gore is everyday’s luscious panorama

 

We’re brought back to Rome

Here

Where jubilant crowds satiate themselves

With sights of bloody gladiators

In combat

 

Brought back to Jesus’ Jerusalem still

Since everyone wants to play

Pilate

Guiltless of motives behind

Wars

In hinterlands

In cities

 

Is gore the imprimatur of honor indeed?

Just like blood is eaten as delicacy?

[Writ. 29 May 91, Cubao, Quezon City, M.Manila]

 

REFLECTION

I wish that everyone will agree with me that war is the natural condition of things in the planet. We’ve had insurgencies in my own beloved Philippines since the years before my birth yet, 2012 nears and the Left + Muslim separatist insurgencies are still around.

There are certain ecological conditions that sustain polarity games, and such conditions could be unique to any country or society. Any seeker must painstakingly know them, so as to facilitate the adjustment of the subtle bodies given the polarity-inducing conditions in the country of residence.

Take the case of the Philippines, where both water and fire elements are co-dominant. Located in the “ring of fire” and surrounded by bodies of water, the Philippines finds both water and fire permeating deep into the collective mind and individual psyche of the Filipinos. The perpetual clash of water and fire has been responsible for very long insurgencies and warring attitudes of the islanders.

Some mystics who embodied as Filipinos, eventually gave up their citizenships and relocated to other countries. They have grown tired of the ceaseless wars and civil disobedience, as well as the ceaseless warlordism and patronage politics of the stone age. I do not fault them one iota, for their subtle bodies may find it harmful to linger on given the elemental cum polarity conditions here.

So let it be that you as seeker or mystic would stumble upon the peculiar polarity condition in your place. Go ahead and decide to move elsewhere in a place suited for you, for as long as you continue to grow and share the Light of Almighty Providence to those who are in need.

Ra

April 2011


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NEO-NATIONALISM’S PREMISES & CONTENTIONS/ Strong nation can thrive & grow amid globalization

NEO-NATIONALISM’S PREMISES & CONTENTIONS/ Strong nation can thrive & grow amid globalization

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

 

The nation can continue to exist, even become strengthened, while it sails deep into the middle of the ocean of globalization. The two are not necessarily contradictory. Nationhood can continuously be pursued, patriotism can move ahead while paddling astride the powerful waves of globalization. For as earlier stated, globalization holds the promise of growth through the vast opportunities it has opened. Nations must strive to concur cooperation with other nations to extend the scope and limits of the opportunities, while at the same time build internal opportunities to further optimize inducements for investments.

 

Just recently, our entrepreneurs and professionals made waves through the international awards they respectively received, such as Tan Caktiong (top entrepreneur) and F. Palafox (the only ASEAN architect to make it to the world’s Top 200 architects), signifying the high level of competitiveness our compatriots are capable of achieving. Such sterling achievements surely inspire us to continue to strengthen nationhood and to forge new areas of cooperation and growth-inducing endeavors. While forces exist that work to tear the nation asunder, forces are likewise growing that lead to the nation’s strengthening. We should all work hard to make sure that the latter forces prevail, while neutralizing and diminishing the potencies of those forces that destroy nationhood.

 

 

[From: Erle Frayne D. Argonza, “New Nationalism: Grandeur and Glory at Work!”. August 2004.  For the Office of External Affairs – Political Cabinet Cluster, Office of the President, Malacaňan Palace.]

 


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Dec 20, 2014
CRIMES

CRIMES

Erle Frayne Argonza / Ra

 

The still calm of the morning

Is as deafening as stories

About crimes

Printed in the dailies

Broadcast on radio

 

Crime has become the cheapest

Merchandise

Flaunted by its own law

Of supply and demand

Its price roughshodly lowered

By abundance

More abundant

Than mangoes and guavas

 

They need not be bought at all

So much that even the harmless streets

Of recluse villages

Become zoos

Littered with

Salvaged

Bodies

[Writ. 29 May 1991, Cubao, Quezon City, M.Manila]

 

REFLECTION

The causality of crimes is a tough science, and I do recall during my collegiate years as a sociology student the exciting yet tough readings on criminality and deviance. What I learned from modern sociology is the law that social context determines consciouness (ideas, thought, values, philosophy). Thoughts about crimes, and the actual occurrences of crimes, are therefore products of the context of a 3rd dimensional reality, fusing sociology and the Teaching.  

As I already peregrinated previously, cold-blooded killings are the results of predominance of Saurian (reptilian, dynoid, lizardian) genetics and culture on our psyche for so many eons past. We are still in a 3-D context, polarity games are the games of the present, and so the criminal instincts that are embedded in our genes and psyche will galvanize in daily commissions of crimes. Even if crimes are occurring at a decreasing rate in large cities today, they still occur and haven’t been eliminated.

Criminality has attained a life of itself, or become ‘autonomous’ in sociological terminology. Being so, if follows its own rules, and it is difficult to understand unless one subsumes the psyche under such rules. The risk being, of course, that one could become fragmented and commit criminal killings left and right, as one is attuned to the Primal/Demonic. Breaking off that autonomy is next to impossible in the 3-D context.

The better track to take is to change the context altogether. Which is what will happen once Terra will move up to 5th dimension, passing only briefly in the 4th density state. Those who resonate with 3D awareness, who are prone to committing crimes, will be transferred to their own 3D world. We therefore anticipate the disappearance of criminality at a very radical pace in the New Earth.

 

Ra

April 2011


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Dec 9, 2014
KEY OPENS DOOR BY ITSELF?

KEY OPENS DOOR BY ITSELF?

Erle Frayne Argonza / Ra

 

A key

Inserted on a doorknob

Cannot turn itself

Someone has to be

It’s turning’s progenitor

 

What

If indeed a key

Turns a doorknob

By itself?

 

‘Tis like asking

If a cockroach can

Push an elephant

Or if a gentle breeze can

Knockout a sturdy house

 

It coheres with the circumstance

When a ball rests and bounces

At the same time

 

When the slightly probable

Fills the observer’s eyes

As an inescapable vista of verdant forests

Green and lucidly green

[Writ. 29 May 91, Cubao, Quezon City, M.Manila]

 

REFLECTION

A poetic piece meant to disturb readers a bit, to make them reflect, and enable them to examine the presuppositions behind their thoughts. If one is able to do so all the time, then one is just a step away from the meditative state whence presuppositions fly away like dusts in the wind. In a presuppositionless state, visual apperception of higher levels of reality is possible.

At any rate, people live the lifeworld taking reality for granted, unmindful of what goes around, mindful only of the next activity or work they need to do. Someone has to consciously stop and conduct reflective work in order to break the monotony of the lifeworld. It is during a reflective moment that one can think about puzzles in the lifeworld and the universe, take stock of paradoxes, and challenge the psyche to solve lingering puzzles in the mind.  

Let’s take the interesting case of the electron and ask: is the electron a body that can rest a bit? Or is it moving all the time? Can it be modeled like a ball that bounces on the ground? Schroedinger and Heisenberg reflected seriously on the matter, and to their own amazement they found at that the electron actually rests and yet is in motion at the same time. That modeling of electron led to the ‘duality theory’ in quantum mechanics.


Ra

April 2011


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Dec 4, 2014
TO DO OR NOT TO DO SELF-ANNIHILATION

TO DO OR NOT TO DO SELF-ANNIHILATION

Erle Frayne Argonza y Delago

 

Fate could be embezzler and crook

If bribed it could be

‘Tis when one cuts his/her throat and snuffs

Out life as one cold stone.

Yet fate and life are holy lovers

Self, the blinding love

Inane would be the earth’s own twirling be

If this code wasn’t found.

 

This itch to knife the body, like

Fly that scans excrement

Will flee when reason for it shies away

When swatters swarm the heaps

That is when one has bridged the self

To the crafting of the world anew

Behold! The diadems in people’s hearts!

Await everyone’s countenance

Like cornfields that a day shan’t miss

Without showers gently sent

By pious clouds from heaven’s floors

Undone is the sizzling heat

And then no more will knifing the body

Ever cross the willful mind.

[Writ. 27 May 91, Cubao, Quezon City, M.Manila]

 

REFLECTION

Why do people commit suicide or self-annihilation? What happens to those who commit suicide for chains of embodiments?

There are two ways of looking at suicide. First, the psychological way, which regards suicide as an innate tendency—suicidal ideation—in any person who suffers from personality disorder. Second, the sociological, which considers social forces and rapid changes as cause for suicide (Emile Durkheim classified altruistic, egoistic, anomic suicides).

Anybody who commits suicides for chains of embodiments will someday reincarnate as a hunchback. HP Blavatsky, who was allowed by the Brotherhood to release higher truths in large quanta over a century ago, explicated the matter in some of her truly recondite writings. No wonder that we have too many hunchbacks today, they suffer from the malady of perpetual self-annihilation, and the universal laws have already affixed what conditions they will live through in exchange for the new opportunity to incarnate, heal, and re-grow the soul.

Nothing can work better for a personality disordered entity than to undergo healing. Recognize the ailment first, tap thy will to decisively undergo therapy with aid from a specialist, and deign to detoxify the psyche through the tools made available to thee. Heal thy social & emotional bodies, learn to meditate to continuously aid you in healing, and engage in highly meaningful activities to regain self-esteem, construct healing social relationships, and the rest will follow.

 

Ra

 

April 2011


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