Talks about moral issues can be unsettling for many. Religion, politics, sexuality and gender bending are some of the topics that are best tackled with a ten-foot pole. They are also listed among the no-nos for social conversations. Try brushing them up and you’re damned for the rest of your waking hours. The said subjects are relatively touchy that by mere remark of any of them one gets both cheers and jeers, flak and encouragement, praise and censure with no one came out unscathed.
And veer from them, I shall. But not altogether and not so fast.
Allow me then to ‘temper’ one moral subject by dissecting nationalism with outmost objectivity (I can feel the rush of my neurons shooting out conflicting views each one wanting to be heard… talk about objectivity and chaotic views at once.)
We are again at the threshold of changing the course of our history. With the national elections at hand, it has never been timely to talk about nationalism than now. Not the stuff we have heard on political rallies, seen on talk shows, and read in the editorials. But the nationalism which translates into sense and cents, to bread and butter or simply lack of them.
Personally, I submit that the best barometer for the economy is the queue of calls at the US embassy, snaking warm bodies at the Foreign Affairs and folder-tucked hopefuls at the overseas placement agencies. The leftists, rightists and centrists have all the labels for those joining the exodus. Some label them as ‘cowards’ for turning their backs on armed struggle for change; ‘opportunists’ who know where to butter their bread and butter them good; ‘leeches’ who leave their prey dry or after they have their fill; ‘traitors’ for feeding whatever remains to the vultures in the political arena. But if there’s anything balmy and ironic at the same time about name calling, it’s how the government calling them the ‘present day heroes’ if only for sustaining economy yet subject them to indignities, if you know what I mean.
Nationalism today has indeed gone a long way — down the pits. Commercialism has invaded his sacred turf, dressed him up with Versace, sprayed with Chanel, shoed him with Valentino and put up for sale to the highest bidder. Nationalism has long been prostituted, mangled and disfigured right in our very homeland by our very own people long before Human Rights advocates put up their placards on the streets quetching for justice. Nationalism has become chic that even the authorities are having a hard time recognizing him.
In the face of clear and present danger when the boat is sinking and life is on the line, wouldn’t flight be more prudent than fight?
Bottom line: expediency. Expediency in the light of survival. In this regard, nationalism together with its moral ramification takes a back seat hoping it will not get lost in translation.