Could it be stopped?

Why America should not have colonized the Philippines Icon

July 10, 2020

The Atlantic wrote an article about General Pershing in the Philippines as part of the American pacification campaign.

The American system works for civilized humans that have transplanted themselves into uninhabited, uncivilized land, such as North America. It would be the best system for Australia, Alaska, Antarctica, Greenland, and Mars (being done by the American named Elon Musk).

The problem is that the Philippines already had a civilization prior to the Spanish and American period. The Americans would have probably made the Philippines into a territory if there were no Moro rebellion or if the local Filipinos were easy to defeat like the Native Americans.

The best scenario in 1900 would’ve been for America to support Aguinaldo’s First Republic (which developed its own Constitution) to supply arms, establish an American military outpost in Subic Bay, and help Luna create a professional army to unify the islands, including the Muslim areas. The Americans would then have a monopoly of Philippine crops and manufactures and possibly demand a tax to recoup their investment of paying $20m to Spain, imitating what Great Britain did to the American colonies to help them grow.

Instead, the Americans destroyed the First Republic and its centralized European-style constitution and unicameral legislature, to establish a liberty-leaning American-style constitution (which is unstable, needing many amendments) and a bicameral legislature that adds inefficiency while empowering the politicians who know how to play such a system.

This led to uneven development and a culture of corruption, similar to what happened to Latin American countries, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran after their systems got messed up by virtue-deficient American democracy which really uses money as the measure of virtue.

It’s alright for the Americans to implant a democratic system, as long as they also implant the virtuous founding fathers needed to maintain such a system, instead of blindly hoping for morals and virtue to magically enter into the heart of the elected leaders.

In contrast, China didn’t implant any system on Southeast Asia (other than in Vietnam), and were happy to receive tribute in exchange for securing trade against pirates. I think Arabia was similar to the United States in the sense that they also implanted a foreign system (called Islam) which measures virtue in terms of knowledge of the Quran, instead of money.

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