Long before capitalism evolved to become one of a ruthless economic monopoly, proponents of that system proclaimed to the whole world the substance behind their ideology is the propagation of freedom and liberty of the individual.
Filipinos’ love for America is purely equated with their love for freedom.
Seldom did they understand that their idea of freedom was conditional to that economic policy where that policy was equated with freedom, not knowing that once that system matures, it develops to one of monopoly-capitalism.
This is what this writer is trying to drive at, which today is giving contradiction and giving false hope of freedom of expression.
It is on our raw understanding of capitalism equated from free enterprise that we continue to love it, thinking of it as an ideology that gives us the concept of free enterprise as anchored on a system called freedom to do business.
Corollary to this economic policy is our misinterpretation of freedom viz. that socialism deprives us of the fundamental right to do business under a climate of free enterprise.
For the individual to engage in free enterprise, commonly misunderstood to do business, is a taken to mean one’s individual right to determine his life and existence.
From among traditionalist ideologue, that, for as long as it is not contrary to the basic norms of human conduct, it does not violate the rights of others, always acts in accordance to the fundamental law of the land, every individual is free to engage in business in pursuit of his freedom and such is the a concretization of his idealism.
As said as capitalism once evolved to become a mature economic system, its own policies end to become a system of economic monopoly with the people surrendering whatever freedom they enjoy.
The first and ugly casualty of free enterprise is the disregard for the freedom they thought they enjoy.
The ideologue never explained it that at a certain stage it is characterized by the operation of economic monopoly.
Thus, when the business of one is affected by the entry of another to affect the future status of their own private interest, which others call the “system of competition,” the advocates of free enterprise simply glorify this stage as fair and square.
After all, competition, they say, is legal although admittedly, there is a shade of immorality —so much that it results in the loss of business or income of the other.
Such is the consequence in free enterprise which is acceptable, that competition is moral and tolerated under the norms of freedom.
After all, what is important is that anyone who is engaged in business contributes to society through the amount of tax he pays.
What is rather prohibited and treated illegal is when the law prohibits this endeavor and that includes the non-payment of tax by the concerned individual.
Considering that competition ushers in a degree of illegality and shade of immorality especially in such areas that would affect the very core of the capitalist ideology, the promoters of free enterprise had to impose restrictions like imposing a citizenship to owners of newspapers and publications, imposition of tax privileges to operate such business like giving of discounts in the sale, reduced tax on the importation of publication of materials, and the distribution of newspaper for public dissemination. All these are undertaken to save the industry from collapse in the name of “freedom of the press”.
Despite everything, foreign publication, newspapers and publishing houses are not only given the utmost freedom but are accorded privileges only accorded to that industry.
Others exceed in the exercise of that privilege like their continued disregard of the citizenship requirement for ownership of the publishing company, the domiciliary requirement, registration of the publication and ownership of the paper with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
In fact, foreign owners continue to ignore and defy our own laws, wondering why these publications are openly supported and financed by foreign governments with their convicted editor/publisher continuing to parade and defy before our court as daring to continue to shout they are allegedly funded and supported by foreign international organizations.
In its simplest language, it would seem that many Filipinos are willing to act as fronts and stooges of foreign interest.
For that, many of them casually treat their betrayal as trivial.
Because free enterprise has little or knows no limitations except for the profit they earn, this now has badly affected the industry which they now see has nothing to do with freedom of the press.
The media moguls are eager to maintain their profit through the magic of propaganda and deception by resorting to currency manipulation.
One technique was to revalue the peso against the US dollar in the wake of the continuing depreciation of the US dollar against other currencies.
The despicably low wage most writers and editors receive are often tempted to receive bribes, sacrificing altogether the interest of the country.
Through this technique, one could deduce the interest of the country than in safeguarding the torch of keeping the freedom of the press.
Even if US publications naively thought they could still compete locally by adjusting the cost of paper and materials at par with the value of the peso, still there is no way US publication could compete with local publications.
American writers/reporters and editors feel discriminated against if they receive the same wage received by local reporters.
It is not only the cost of the US dollar to our local currency that is the source of corruption but also the income of the subscribers in the Philippines and in the US.
It is not really the cost per copy that burdens the subscribers but also the added expense that will cost them as wage earners to shell out extra expense just to buy respectable and carefully edited American papers.
Even if those foreign publications remain relatively cheap despite the continuing inflation, nonetheless American publication managed to maintain their prices at affordable level just to maintain their subscribers.
Nonetheless, many of them ceased publication and distribution even in the US which goes to show the US economy has equally been affected.
The debilitating inflation due to the devaluation of the peso has made the concept of freedom of the press its first casualty .
Of the numerous American magazines that once proliferated in the country before the advent of currency devaluation, it has, today, wiped out almost 80 percent of the American and Western publications.
Some Asian-based magazines, either from Japan, China and even from South Korea have emerged but not to supply the old market.
US magazines that presented American politics, American lifestyle and culture were almost all wiped out.
Most US magazines like the prestigious Newsweek, Vogue, US News and World Report and Reader’s Digest have ceased publication.
Time Magazine only comes out intermittently, while Reader’s Digest are distributed to former subscribers for free reading.
This explains why public opinion have their critical observation in the decline of US power and influence based on the number of publications in Asia.
In fact, it is only the US that suffered a decline in the number of newspaper publications indicating a declining power and influence of the US.
Invariably, the increase in the number of Chinese publications, be it in English or Mandarin is equally indicative of an increasing Chinese power and influence in the area.
Besides, the increase in the number of Chinese newspapers in the area is indicative there has been a change in the attitude of local community towards the Chinese.
Public sentiment against China has somewhat been tempered unlike in the 60s where anti-Chinese sentiments were at its peak.