Adam Piggott points out that President Duterte of the Philippines may be a disaster from a modern, liberal, human-rights perspective, but he’s very popular among his people for precisely the same reason.
Duterte has been in office for roughly the same time as Trump has been president, but we can call Duterte the forgotten man. When he first gained power the western press was all over him, how he was a horrible individual who was guilty of “human rights” abuses, blah blah blah, you know the drill. This went on for some time until suddenly it didn’t. From rather a lot of coverage the news went deathly quiet on the subject of the Philippine’s far-right leader.
The reason for the absence of news is down to how effective his policies have been, particularly as regards law and order. Duterte has a zero tolerance policy for drug dealers, drug users, and drugs in general. Which means that the police simply gun them down in the street. No long trials, no messy incarceration periods where the criminals can form their own powerful gangs while behind bars and then cause havoc in the country, (hello Mexico!)
. . .
I was speaking to one of the Filipinos in a private conversation when he brought up the subject of his president. He was most fulsome in his praise. Under Duterte the streets are now safe. His kids can happily play on the streets. Business is going well, and particularly without the criminal element extorting money from small family concerns. The man was so enthusiastic that I decided to ask a few other of the Filipino crew what they thought. I made sure to do it in private conversations so they wouldn’t feel pressured by those around them; I wanted to really know what their thoughts were on this guy.
To a man they love Duterte. One guy said that in the beginning he didn’t like the president; he had not voted for him and he considered him to be a bad guy. But now he was most enthusiastic in his support. Their quality of life has improved immeasurably under their leader’s policies. The conversations really left an impression on me.
There’s more at the link.
I’ve seen the same thing in Africa, more times than I can count. A national government may be more or less corrupt, or inept, or ineffectual: but the right man, in the right place, can do a great deal to protect his people and impose peace upon his region. He probably can’t do so through so-called “civilized” means – after all, when the usual method of resolving interpersonal conflict is to reach for a machete or an AK-47, there’s not much civilization involved! Nevertheless, if the local criminals can be kept in check by solid citizens, who only need some basic equipment and training to do so, then everybody benefits. Sure, the criminals get short shrift, which seldom involves a court of law; but the law of the jungle has never been applied in court, anyway.
When one’s life is stripped of so-called “civilized” niceties, things take on a very different perspective to what we take for granted. Here, we accept that an intruder on our property has rights in law, and we can’t violate them without being called to account for it. There, an intruder knows the risks he takes by intruding onto someone else’s property, even if intruding is all he does; and when those risks bite him, nobody gives a damn (except, perhaps, his surviving family, who must now find a way to make a living without his assistance). It’s a hard way of life, but it’s also a necessary way of life when there are no safety nets available. Look after yourself and your own, or lose everything. That’s the law of the jungle. Duterte is simply applying it on a national scale in the Philippines – and it’s working, to the great satisfaction of its people.
Western liberals simply can’t understand that, and never will, because they’ve never had to live from hand to mouth, aware that they can lose it all at the whim of any predator out there – two-legged or four-legged. Living under such conditions changes one’s perspective. I know that from personal experience. It changed mine, pretty much permanently. That’s why I laugh when I read about “preppers” and their multi-year stockpiles and stashes of survival goods. If we ever reach a dysfunctional dystopia in our society, those stockpiles will attract every “have-not” in the vicinity; and they won’t be particular how they take them. Even the authorities will do the same. A local strong-man, perhaps armed with a law enforcement badge of some kind, or some other shred of “officialdom”, will send his people around to “confiscate hoarded supplies for the good of the community”. They’ll insist on searching your premises for them, and they won’t take no for an answer. If you resist, you’ll regret it – briefly. Your stash will then go into the strong-man’s own hoard, to be dispensed to those whose support he needs. You and your family (if any of you survive) will be S.O.L.
Think I’m exaggerating? I’m not. I’ve seen it before. The only exceptions to that rule will be those who are strong enough to keep what they have, the hard way. The Biblical motto still applies: “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace.” If he doesn’t, they aren’t, and the society in which he lives collapses. (For proof, look at the inner-city ghettoes in any major US urban area. That’s exactly what you see there.)
President Duterte clearly understands that. So do his people. Together, they’re doing something about it. Yes, “human rights” are suffering as a result – but they don’t give a damn. It’s hard to blame them for that.