Just like the “EDSA Revolution”, the Velvet Revolution or Gentle Revolution was a non-violent revolution in Czechoslovakia that took place from November 17 to December 29, 1989. Dominated by student and other popular demonstrations against the one-party government of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, it saw the collapse of the party’s control of the country, and the subsequent conversion from Czech Stalinism to Capitalism.
We know how the Philippines of Cory Aquino turned out. But we certainly don’t know much about the Czech Republic of Vaclav Havel.
Impact of Freedom on the Territory of Artificial States
The Velvet Revolution led to the split of the artificial state of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.
The Czech Republic is a pluralist multi-party parliamentary representative democracy, a member of the European Union, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Visegrád Group.
The Czech state, formerly known as Bohemia, was formed in the late 9th century as a small duchy around Prague, at that time under dominance of the powerful Great Moravian Empire (which reached its greatest territorial extent during the reign of Svatopluk I from the House of Mojmír).
In the course of history, various parts of today’s Slovakia belonged to Samo’s Empire (the first known political unit of Slavs), Principality of Nitra (as independent polity, as part of Great Moravia and as part of Hungarian Kingdom), Great Moravia, Kingdom of Hungary, the Austro-Hungarian Empire or Habsburg Empire, and Czechoslovakia. A separate Slovak state briefly existed during World War II, during which Slovakia was a dependency of Nazi Germany between 1939 and 1944. From 1945 Slovakia once again became a part of Czechoslovakia. The present-day Slovakia became an independent state on 1 January 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia.
Slovakia is a high-income advanced economy with one of the fastest growth rates in the European Union and the OECD. The country joined the European Union in 2004 and the Eurozone on 1 January 2009. Slovakia together with Slovenia and Estonia are the only former Communist nations to be part of the European Union, Eurozone, Schengen Area and NATO simultaneously.
In contrast, the artificial Philippine state crafted through Spanish and subsequent American colonial occupation forces from diverse ethnologic groupings are still held together via neocolonial arrangements in the area of military and defense.
The existing security cooperation between the AFP and its former colonial overlords keep the Battles of Bud Bagsak and Bud Dajo fresh in the minds of the Bangsa Moro. It reminds us that the world has yet to learn from the lessons of foreign occupation and the blowback that comes with it. Indeed, the prospects of the battles of Bud Dajo and Bud Bagsak being repeated all over again, as well as in Israel are looming on the horizon. The Middle East and Bangsa Moro issues remain great cash cows for Keynesian warfare spending.
IMPACT ON CORRUPTION
In 1998 the Czech Republic had a CPI (Corruption Perception Index) of 37 while the Philippines was ranked 55.
By 2010, Vaclav’s Czech Republic ranked number 53 in the corruption index while Cory’s Philippines was ranked at 134.
The Czech Republic’s slid to 57 in 2011 while the Philippines moved up to 129.
Don’t let the upward movement fool you – it is now more corrupt than ever, considering that the Philippines was at 55 in 1998.
Impact of Freedom on the Economy
Cory Aquino’s Philippines was borne out of a Fascist Dictatorship.
Vaclav Havel’s Czechoslovakia was emerging from a Communist Dictatorship.
Open source references show that of the emerging Democracies in central and eastern Europe, the Czech Republic has one of the most developed industrialized economies. It is one of the most stable and prosperous of the post-Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe. GDP per capita at purchasing power parity was $26,100 in 2008, which is 82% of the EU average.
The “Velvet Revolution” in 1990, offered a chance for profound and sustained political and economic reforms. Signs of economic resurgence began to appear in the wake of the shock therapy that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) labeled the “big bang” of January 1991. Since then, consistent liberalization and astute economic management has led to the removal of 95% of all price controls, low unemployment, a positive balance of payments position, a stable exchange rate, a shift of exports from former Communist economic bloc markets to Western Europe, and relatively low foreign debt. Inflation has been higher than in some other countries – mostly in the 10% range – and the government has run consistent modest budget deficits.
Two government priorities have been strict fiscal policies and creating a good climate for incoming investment in the republic.
And this is stark contrast to Cory Aquino’s Philippines’ restricted incoming investments.
The Czech Republic’s economic transformation was far from complete. Political and financial crises in 1997 shattered the Czech Republic’s image as one of the most stable and prosperous of post-Communist states. Delays in enterprise restructuring and failure to develop a well-functioning capital market played major roles in Czech economic troubles, which culminated in a currency crisis in May.
In response to the crisis, two austerity packages were introduced later in the spring, which cut government spending by 2.5% of the GDP. Growth dropped to 0.3% in 1997, -2.3% in 1998, and -0.5% in 1999. The government established a restructuring agency in 1999 and launched a revitalization program – to spur the sale of firms to foreign companies.
Growth between 2000 and 2005 was supported by exports to the EU, primarily to Germany, and a strong recovery of foreign and domestic investment.
Growth continued in the first years of the EU membership. The credit portion of the financial crisis of 2007–2010 did not affect the Czech Republic much, mostly due to its stable banking sector which had learned its lessons during a smaller crisis in the late 1990s and became much more cautious. As a fraction of the GDP, the Czech public debt belongs among the smallest ones in Central and Eastern Europe.
Public Debt as % of GDP
As of 2010 public spending in Cory Aquino’s Philippines was 55.4% of the GDP.
Vaclav Havel’s Czech Republic had public debt at 31.90% of the GDP in 2009.
Cory’s Philippines is continually and seriously deep in debt – even worse than a former Communist nation.
Foreign Direct Investment as % of the GDP
If we are to look at FDI as % of GDP and compare Cory’s Philippines and Havel’s Czech Republic – the difference is night and day.
Foreign direct investment, net inflows (% of GDP) into the Philippines was 0.86 as of 2010. Its highest value over the past 40 years had been 3.17 in 1998, while its lowest value was -0.33 in 1980.
Foreign direct investment, net inflows (% of GDP) into the Czech Republic was 3.50 as of 2010. Its highest value over the past 17 years was 11.29 in 2002, while its lowest value was 1.51 in 2009.
The FDI trend for the Czech Republic continues upward, while that of Cory’s Philippines remains stagnant.
But what about Gloria? For all her hype, Arroyo could not get past the structural limitations imposed by Cory’s protectionist Constitution. The only reason that Arroyo was able to show “growth” was because the Philippines had hit near-rock-bottom by the 2nd year of Estrada’s term.
Moving from near-rock-bottom to barely surviving and finally surviving may appear like a great feat. However when the rest of the world is thriving and prosperous – and you are just surviving – who are you kidding? You can fool the clueless, moronic Filipino many times over – that’s for sure. Cory says… Gloria says… Noynoy says… What a load of shit!
The fact of the matter is average FDI as % of GDP in Arroyo’s time was only 1.26% – which is equal to Cory Aquino’s 1.26%. That makes the current economy identical to 1986? And no thanks to the Cory Constitution which, to this day, continues to restrict FDI to only 40% equity or less.
Economic Freedom Index
In 2011, The Czech Republic ranked 28 in the Economic Freedom Index. Meanwhile, Cory’s Philippines ranks 115. That’s a chasm apart in economic freedom.
Global Competitiveness Index
The 2013-2014 Global Competitiveness Analyzer also highlights more differences.
Out of 142 countries whose competitiveness was ranked in 2011, Cory’s Philippines was ranked 59 while Vaclav’s Czech Republic was ranked 46.
GDP per Capita – 2013
The Philippines GDP – per capita (PPP) for the same year 2013 is $6,533 .
The Czech Republic’s GDP – per capita (PPP) was $27,344 in 2013. That’s nearly FIVE TIMES greater than the Philippines.
Also note that the Czech Republic’s GDP Per Capita grew from $11,700 in 1999 to $25,600 by 2010 – that’s 218% GROWTH!!!
Cory”s Philippines??? Oh well – from $3,800 in 1999 to $3,500 in 2010. And with GDP growth at 3.2% to 3.5% this year – the GDP per Capita is not about to do a Velvet revolution.
Impact On The Human Development Index
The UNDP’s 2013 Human Development Index ranked the Czech Republic at 28.
The Philippines ranks at 117.
Again, Cory’s Philippines and Havel’s Republic are chasms apart.
So what’s the sum of all these fears?
While Great Leader Cory Aquino’s son – the Great “self-claimed” Successor, Noynoy Aquino wreaks havoc on the Philippine economy – Filipinos add to the program by demanding more public spending, more anti-corruption probes that don’t do jack shit, and an impeachment that could take the Philippines towards the path of a Constitutional crisis.
Vaclav Havel and Cory Aquino have since passed away – And may I remind you that Cory’s “EDSA Revolution” has not managed to raise the GDP per capita significantly, if at all. It has kept FDI as % of GDP on a flat line. The economy is very uncompetitive. There is minimal economic freedom. Public debt as % of GDP is VERY HIGH.
Cory Aquino, like the rest of the Filipinos, could only dream of a GDP per capita of $27,344, or increase it by 218% instead of a flat-line. Her “Great Successor” is still hoping for more foreign investments and dreaming of become more competitive. Economic freedom remains an illusion while Cory’s Philippines remains a Gulag of the Ayala, Aboitiz, Cojuangco, Lopez, and Pangilinan empires.
But it doesn’t matter – SWS says a majority of Filipinos are still hopeful in 2014. Pinoys are a hopeful crew. You can hope and pray until the end of time folks. Good luck with that shit. Lining up overseas in order to be hung as a drug mule or become Libyan collateral damage isn’t revolution – it’s slavery.
“Great Successor” Aquino’s anti-corruption can take a hike – It’s the ECONOMY ‘ stupid. Get the government out of the market. Remove the protectionist provisions. The Philippines needs less government regulation and restrictions, and more liberties.
Cory Aquino should have hooked up with Vaclav Havel – and learn a thing or two about true revolution – one that empowers individual prosperity and restores human dignity. It’s pathetically ironic that “Asia’s icon of democracy” hadn’t learned shit from a former Communist country.
Thanks go out to AP for giving me something to work with.