2If the nationalist ilustrados of the late19th century basked in the
Age of Enlightenment
, wenow wallow in the
Age of Stupid
.In the recent film entitled
The Age of Stupid
, an old man (played by Postlethewaite) living inthe devastated world of 2055 and
watching „archival‟ footage from 2008 wonders
didn‟t we stop climate change whilst we still had the chance?”
Recent studies indicate thatthis is no longer fiction. The convergent global crises of global warming, peak oil and theeconomic crunch, combined with exponential population growth will be acutely felt by 2015,as the world moves inexorably to ecological and economic collapse by 2050. If, by then,there is a lone survivor with access to undamaged computer and electric generator, he willmost likely be watching digital footages of 2011, and crying out loud, How could we havebeen so stupid?Would Rizal, the reputed Child of the Enlightenment, have anything relevant to say regardingour Age of Stupid? T
hat‟s the question I‟d like to
explore in this paper. pose today.
FILIPINAS DE CIEN AÑOS
We begin with a review of a familiar essay
Filipinas dentro de cien años
the firstmodern futuristic essay ever written by a Filipino, if not by a Southeast Asian. Havingdeconstructed the colonial history of Las Filipinas, Rizal weighs the coun
given the prevailing geopolitics of his time
and then comes out with hisscenari
o for the Philippines‟ future:
The Filipinos will rise up against Spain.2.
The Filipinos will win the Revolution against Spain.3.
The rising imperial power, the USA, will invade the country4.
The Filipinos will resist American imperialism.As Rizal puts it,
Muy probablemente las Filipinas defenderán con un ardor indecible la libertad comprada a costa de tanta sangre y sacrificios.
(Veryprobably the Philippines will defend with indescribable ardor the liberty she hasbought at the cost of so much blood and sacrifice).5.
Filipinos will succeed in repelling the American invaders6.
Filipinos will constitute themselves into an independent Federal Republic7.
The Filipino nation will become prosperous and progressive.Envisioning the future, Rizal waxes poetic:
With the new men [
] that will spring from her bosom and the remembrance of the past, shewill perhaps enter openly the wide road of progress and all will work jointly tostrengthen the mother country at home as well as abroad with the sameenthusiasm with which a young man returns to cultivate his father's farmland so
My good friend George Aseniero has recently written a brilliant essay, “Rizal on USImperialism,” on how Rizal analysed turn
-of-the-century geopolitics and became convincedthat the US will invade
. His paper, to be presented at the Rizal@150 conference
at the Ateneo this July, is based on Rizal‟s heretofore undiscussed and seemingly forgotten
(draft/note) probably written, notes Aseniero, after the publication of his
Filipinasdentro de cien años.