The bias of Filipino academics

Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

Why do Filipino professors and academics tend to be liberal? I can think of three reasons, among many.

Because, first, there is an intricate and cyclical reward system in the academia that incentivizes academics to become liberals. Many “prestigious” international and national recognitions and award-giving bodies lean towards liberalism and, therefore, reward those who subscribe to the same.

This is not only true in the academia but many sectors of society, including the entertainment industry.

Second, we human beings are hardwired for identity-seeking. And we, the petite bourgeoisie, have the tendency to seek identities that reflect the identities of the elites, the haute bourgeoisie.

In short, we all want to be part of and identify with the elites. Academics are no different.

Presently, bourgeoisie values are liberal values. There is a comprehensive historical and psychosocial narrative that led to this. Hence, many academics, who want to identify with the elites, fetishize liberalism.

Finally, the utopian nature of liberal values — particularly individual freedom — makes them attractive to Filipinos who, as children, were reared in a rigidly structured Catholic society where there is little room for individual expression.

In other words, we were suppressed as children and so we grow up rebelling against authoritarian structures. And liberal values and doctrines serve as a perfect justification for this rebellion.

These factors are mutually constitutive and do not exist in a vacuum. They may overlap.

Also, the reasons are not limited to this. I am aware that the social world is too complex to be explained by a single Facebook post. As Albert Einstein once quipped, “Politics is more difficult than physics.”



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