Monday, December 21, 2015

PRIORITY OF CIVIL SOCIETY



It is a given in a democratic form of government that the Political Community and the Civil Society are not only mutually interdependent – although they are not really the same in the hierarchy of their respective finalities.  In other words, the Political Community is at the service of the Civil Society – definitely not the other way around.  So it is that the Civil Society has  priority over the Political Community that precisely gives justification for it to exist and to serve, to promote and affirm Civil Society.  Otherwise, in the event that the Political Community claims and acts as if it had the Civil Society absolutely under its rule and command, then such a form of government could be anything but democratic.

The State through its Political Community should provide an adequate legal framework for its citizens composing  the Civil Society to engage freely in their legitimate different interests and consequent Human Rights.  State intervention through its Political Community is however necessary when the Civil Society becomes “uncivil”, viz., the citizens engage in action and reaction patterns contrary to the dictate of reason, the mandate of ethics – specially in terms of social disorder if not downright violence among themselves.  Such political intervention nevertheless must always uphold  basic human dignity and respect fundamental human rights.  Otherwise, the Political Community becomes a curse instead of being a blessing to the Civil Community.

All the above-mentioned doctrinal as well as practical principles however are not meant to deny that Civil Society is multifaceted such as in terms of convictions, priorities and value systems that can and do cause irritations, contradictions, disturbances and other anti-social acta and agenda.  However, this in no way gives the State – through its Political Community with its command of the Military Forces – the prerogative to subjugate but rather have the mandate to appease and harmonize the citizens through its intervention of reconciliation for their eventual social harmony – thus preventing that the stronger citizens’ group  to prevail over the weaker one at the expense of truth, justice and peace.

The well-known and often invoked “Principle of Subsidiarity” specifically applied to the governed Civil Society and the governing Political Community, in essence means that what the said civil entity can do by itself should not be taken over by the political body which in fact is instead required to attend to matters beyond the possibilities of the Civil Community by way of public service – considering the rather well-known truth and reality that the public office is for public service in order to bring about public welfare.

Given the forthcoming 2016 Elections and given the known candidates for public office – specially in the Executive Department – it is incumbent upon the responsible Civil Society to definitively discard political candidates who even this early already show personality traits that  once elected, would dominate not serve the Civil Community.  Tyranny, autocracy, fascism or dictatorship – anyone of these detestable forms of governance has no place in the civilized world, the Philippines well-included.