Erle Frayne D. Argonza
[Writ 22 March 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]
In the same article on New Nationalism, I advanced the thesis for value-based integrated frameworks.
The classical frameworks of development were largely rationalistic models, or Western-oriented. I don’t have a problem with accepting Western development frameworks. However, I found out in my own long practice of social development that they don’t completely work in the field.
The ‘value-neutral’ premise of rationalism is particularly suspect and dangerous, in that it can lead to the treatment of clientele as hard objects. Those frameworks coming from the East that are strongly value-based rather than value-neutral do serve the greater purpose of recognizing the powers of people to transform their own lives.
Being a yogi and mystic, I am particularly cognizant of the teachings of spiritual masters from the East. Just a cursory review of the teachings of Gandhi, Sarkar (Ananda Marga founder), Buddha, and Jesus (gospel teachings) can already provide the development worker with the frames of reference for a value-based integrated framework.
That’s why I go strongly for this sublime integration rather than the old-fogey binary frame of pitting East versus West. It should be a both/and thinking that we better adopt here. In the Philippines, we are a people who are both East and West in our culture and psyche, so we have come to gradually synthesize the disparate models of development for both. It may take some more time though before we can perfect the synthesis and experience development and peace in the islands.
India and China are the exemplars of development paths that took into consideration the potency of both Eastern and Western frames of development. Look at where these two countries are today: at the threshold of world economic power status. Had their development planners, managers and implementers decided to junk the Eastern jewels in their paradigm frames, they couldn’t have reached their status today as global players.
The excerpts from the article are entirely quoted below.
Make room for value-based & integrated frameworks.
Not only should we look up to the West for paradigms with which to construct frameworks and models of growth & development. We should also welcome the initiatives of our emerging thinkers and practitioner-gurus to integrate the Eastern paradigms in their conceptualizations, system designs and related matters. These efforts will fortify our understanding of economics, Philippine-style, in as much as we are a people forged in the cultural smelters of both Eastern and Western civilizations.
Among civil society groups, the modeling of entrepreneurship and social enterprises based on integrated East-West paradigms have been demonstrated with success and clarity. We should welcome such perspectives, and do our share of the task to transport such frameworks from the margins to the mainstream of national consciousness. The resultant frameworks are often value-based in form, though they do not necessarily shun scientistic/empiricist treatment of economic problems. The common theme among such frameworks is synergy: an interconnection among various ‘social enterprises’ and NGOs reaching a far broader scale, resulting to a broad movement. This I am well aware of, having immersed myself in civil society for a long time in the past.