The Fundamental Reason
Why We Fail






We seem to all agree by and large that America's migrant culture made it a runaway success. This leads one to conclude that Filipinos, being a people indigenous to the islands (and therefore non-migrant) does not possess the migrants' work ethic of innovation and capacity to develop and maintain complex organisations.

On that note, let me propose the following precepts:

(1) Cultures from northern temperate climates utterly dominate the planet politically, economically, and technologically. They are most likely descendants of an ancient breed of homo sapiens that braved uncertainty and harsh climates to venture out of Africa (or, in general, the tropics) where man (and most of the planet's other life forms), supposedly, first evolved (which I tend to agree with because our bodies were apparently designed to survive naked in tropical climates). They went to lands where, for the most part, laziness, complacency, and lack of foresight almost always led to death.

(2) The degree of harshness of the environment in terms of climatic seasonality, the uncertainty of food availabity is directly proportionate to the complexity of the societies and cultures that develop, their innovativeness, and determination to control the environment. In other words, cultures that developed in harsh weather conditions (as opposed to the tropics where one can just shake a tree and wait for his food to drop on his lap), became more "street smart" on a planetary scale.

(3) They soon developed a greater propensity to control and conquer both themselves (including their own insecurities) and other, more benign, cultures once they had established their kingdoms and developed food surpluses (the ultimate origin of capital and wealth) which was a direct result of greater organisational complexity (i.e. highly structured division of labour).

And the rest is history.

The survival of cultures like ours did not depend critically on structure, foresight, and wealth creation. Our ancestors developed their culture in an environment of relative certainty and abundant resources. The relatively advanced civilisations that emerged in the tropics were characterised primarily by despotism and lack of respect for individuality. The pyramids, the Great Wall of China, Angkor Wat, etc. were all built by slave labour and governed by god-kings.

Today that culture of despotism still holds. We take to labour solutions to solve our problems and development challenges rather than build efficient systems and develop technologies to make work easier. We squander our resources like there was no tomorrow.

Most importantly, like our ancestors, we worship and serve our leaders like wet nurses rather than expect them to serve us. That worked fine in a tribal scale organisation designed to serve a community of less than a hundred but is hopeless in a nation of 80 million.

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