They've been keepin' it in the family for as long as we can remember.
A political dynasty is defined by "a family in which several members are involved in politics, particularly electoral politics. Members may be related by blood or marriage; often several generations or multiple siblings may be involved." These folks have been placed in positions of power and influence to make important decisions for the progress and improvement of our country and its people, not because they're selfless or compassionate leaders who happen to be from the same family tree, but because corruption in the Philippines actually makes for a very profitable (and sustainable) business.
The cycle continues even when it states in the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines, Article II Section 26, "The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law."
If you flip through the news, TV shows or your social media feeds, there's been a lot of talk about politicians--especially with elections just around the corner. It'll soon be peak season for bribery, horrible jingles, tacky promos, posters, and a shit ton of awkward interviews where you think to yourself: "how the fuck did they get this job in the first place?".
Good news is, the internet has been a great tool in providing us with the space and freedom to share our thoughts and opinions regarding countless subjects, including that of the seemingly overplayed game of politics. It's fun and insightful to play the role of commentator and observer. It allows us to step back from all the bullshit and see the bigger picture. We're no longer afraid to use our voice to complete the narrative. We're so bored with our predictable politicians that we make political memes just for comfort.
Although the term 'political dynasty' is more commonly used here in the Philippines, similar types of corruption exist and endure in many places the world over. You can call it whatever you like depending on the situation, but the set-up remains the same: a select few have more access to 'power', 'wealth' and opportunity--while the rest are turned into spectators and participants, whose worth counts only in the form of a 'yes' or 'no' vote. Others are so disillusioned by the system of politics and government that they choose not to participate at all.
The government and its officials maintain a power structure that relies on public obedience and oppression to exist--and it will continue this way only if we keep allowing it to happen. Corruption begins from within and spreads outwards to manifest in your actions. Corruption is not based on your profession, your class or your business; it is a question of character and morals. What you do is a reflection of who you are. Greed is a selfish, defensive response to the fear of losing something or everything; it is used to overcompensate for the insecurity of never having enough--which is a hard reality many people deal with bravely on a daily basis.
Political dynasties seem to encourage self-benefiting motives for politicians, whose minds are distracted and heavily fogged by their desire for money, thirst for power and attachment to tradition, in denial of the possibility that other people outside of their large network of overlapping political circles could probably do a better job at genuinely serving the public. Even if some families claim to have made improvements, most remain questionable. Political families keep each other around because they need each other. Together, they seem legitimate and accepted. Competition between political parties is an illusion, taking attention away from the fact that it's always about them and rarely about us.
On the other side, we're yearning for new paths and improved ways, yet we still have a long way to go. Instead of impatiently waiting for those blinded by power to open their eyes, we need to realize within us what it means to be a servant and representative of the people. We don't have to settle for corrupt choices. Together, our voices are more powerful than any funded campaign out there. The truth is more prominent in movements like reggae, hip hop and political art, but mostly within ourselves. You won't find it where they keep telling you to look. Power to the people. Power to equal opportunity.
We're more conscious now, shedding light where it's needed most. It's time for everyone to wake up from routine, passivity and the 'business-as-usual' attitude to life. Let's not perpetuate the same pattern of corruption and empty promises that we observe all around us. We're hungry and ready for change. How about you, Mr. Politician?
The 'Dynasty' is the fourth off the Corruption series, following the O.G., the Paisley, and last year's Bambu collab. This 2015 edition speaks volumes and will be available for PHP 1548 tomorrow, July 3 at our webstore and partner stores. We dropped this early for the true heads at the WIPheads: Since Day One party, and now it's ready to be shipped to you both locally and internationally. It'll also be available at zalora marketplace on July 12.
Take us with you to a protest, a rally or on your commute to and from work. WIP is right behind you in the struggle to balance the scale of justice one honest step at a time.