1. Unitarianism vs. Federalism: There are only two forms of government structures in the world. Unitarian or Federal. Unitarianism (the structure of government that the Philippines presently has): All state powers and functions emanate from a center and can be rescinded unilaterally by the center. Ex: Educational curricula for the whole country is determined by one organization, the Department of Education, based in the center. Federalism (what we want): State powers and functions are divided into two levels, as mandated by the Constitution or basic law of the land. One level by Constitutional law cannot encroach on the powers of the other level. One: Local, state, republic level (these are synonymous terms in the context of Federalism). Two: Central, federal, or national level (these are synonymous terms in the context of Federalism). Ex: Education is a local state function, and its implementation, within the guidelines of the Federal Constitution, is the responsibility of the local state. There are usually 4 common functions in Federal countries that remain within the scope of the Federal or central government: Foreign Policy. National Defense Immigration Regulation of trade and commerce between local states 2. Disadvantages of a Unitarian government: One: The oppression and eventual extinction of the provincial peoples: In a Unitarian set-up, there will always be the so-called captive peoples, provincials, or 4th world. These are synonymous terms denoting those who live in the peripheral areas of a Unitarian country. In the Philippines, and also in the Roman Empire of old, they are called provincials or probincianos. Historically, when the Westerners left their former colonies (presently composing the so-called 3rd world, inevitably governed in a Unitarian set-up) in Africa and Asia, the colonial center from which the Westerners governed was usually taken over by an ethnolinguistic group, that usually simply continued the colonial rule, thus reducing the peripheral areas of these former colonies into a 4th world. The peoples living in these peripheral areas are captive peoples, who do not have the freedom to govern themselves, lead their residents into economic prosperity, nor protect their local ethnolinguistic identity from extinction, should the center decide on a policy of imposing a monocultural linguistic identity over them. Two: Decision overload. One central organization, no matter how good and efficient, cannot possibly decide for all localities in a big country, for each locality will inevitably have its peculiar conditions and culture. Thus, local problems are usually given over to blueprint solutions, which almost inevitably are not the best solutions because almost every new problem is unique. Three: Corruption due to a huge bureaucracy with little check and balance. If some of the bureaucrats and leaders of the controlling central governing body are bad eggs, and some inevitably will be, there is hardly anything that a locality can do about it. Peoples in the peripheries (the so-called captive peoples, provincials, and 4th world) are at the complete mercy of the viscitudes of the center. Four: Political instability. Inevitably, a person or a clique will always want to grab all that concentrated power in the center. Thus Unitarian countries are often fraught with coup de etats, revolutions, and so on. In the old Roman Empire, the new Emperor often arose to power through violent means; isnt this a familiar scene nowadays in Unitarian countries? Five: Dictatorships and authoritarian systems of government abound in Unitarian countries, because of the extreme concentration of political power in a center. Six: Economic poverty in the peripheral areas. Provinces in a Unitarian country often exist as milking cows for the center. Tribute (honey-coated as taxes) is levied unilaterally for the sake of the enrichment of those in the center. The center often exists as an area of riches amidst provinces wallowing in dire poverty. The whole economy is designed to siphon the natural resources and manpower of the provinces into maintaining the existence of a primate city from which the central government rules. In the Philippines today, the centers economic dominance is fueled by: A. The taxation system which every year instigates the capital flight of billions from the provinces into MetroManila (a phenomenon which is so debilitating to the provinces that it should be properly called institutionalized plunder); B. Manila-based Corporations which operate in the provinces but suck in their profits into the center; C. An upper class that owns much of the provinces lands and industries, but who make their residences in MetroManila; D. The tendency of the central government to encourage major industries in the MetroManila area while neglecting the provinces, and thus value added to raw materials taken from the provinces and processed into higher valued finished products in MetroManila is retained there. 3. Advantages of a Federal Government One: Allows unity in diversity: The captive peoples in a Unitarian country can easily be given freedom so as to protect their ethnolinguistic identity. Specifically, the function of Education is taken over by the local state, within the guidelines of the Federal Constitution. Thus, the study of the regional languages as an academic subject can easily be introduced into the educational curricula, without interference by the center, thus ensuring that these languages survive. Each local state can easily enact laws that recognize its languages as official. Two: The local governments are able to take care of most of the local decision-making. Inevitably, such direct participation of the local government results in flexibility, rapid decision-making and action, innovativeness, and efficiency in solving societal problems. Three: Corruption can be more easily checked by the local populace themselves, because their government leaders are next-door-neighbors so to speak. The huge inefficient bureaucracy of Unitarian systems is also trimmed down as functions devolve to the local governments. Four: Political stability: In any given geopolitical area, Federal countries are always more stable politically than adjacent Unitarian countries. No coup de etat or revolution has ever succeeded in a modern Federal country; indeed there are hardly any attempts at all. Ex 1. Archipelagic Asia: No coup de etats in the Federal countries of Australia and Malaysia. On the other hand, coup de etat attempts abound and sometimes succeed in Indonesia and the Philippines. Ex 2. Indian subcontinent: No coup de etats in the Federal country of India. On the other hand, coup de etat attempts abound and sometimes succeed in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Ex 3. Latin America: No coup de etats in the Federal countries of Brazil and Mexico. On the other hand, coup de etat attempts abound and sometimes succeed in the other Latin American countries. Five: Democracies are the rule in Federal countries. Indeed, the very set-up of a non-centralized Federal country is the closest widespread political system that tries to approximate participative democracy, by allowing local peoples to participate in governing their societies. Six: In any given geopolitical area, Federal countries are always more economically prosperous than adjacent Unitarian countries. Going back to the examples above, Australia and Malaysia are more economically prosperous than Indonesia and the Philippines, India is more economically prosperous than Pakistan and Bangladesh, and Brazil and Mexico are more economically prosperous than most of the rest of Latin America. The flexible, participative, balanced, and innovative political structure of Federal countries translate to economic efficiency. Local states also retain most of the taxes coming from economic activity in their territories, and have enough political autonomy to encourage and maintain their economic progress without the centers interference; thus spreading out development all over the country. In the end the individual strengths of the local states makes for a much stronger Federation. 3. Unitarian banalities and bogeys: A. Giving peripheral areas political freedom results in armed conflicts among their peoples. Empirical facts show that this is simply not true. More than half of the world is federal, and in all cases, there are more armed conflicts in their Unitarian neighbors, because: One, all the concentrated political power in the center leads to persistent attempts by all kinds of persons and cliques to seize it by violent means; and two, the dire poverty experienced by the provinces often results in armed rebellion. Let us put it in another way: Why fight each other when we respect each other? Conflicts are usually the result of oppression and discrimination, inherent in a Unitarian system. Take away the reason for conflict, and there will be no conflict. (Unless the root cause of a conflict is a thought-system, for conflict is inherent in the contents of some, and their followers tend to promote conflict even amidst economic prosperity, but this is not our topic.) B. If given freedom, a province cannot stand by its own economically. This is a hypothesis that is disproved by empirical facts. Empirically, while almost any change is accompanied by economic difficulties, the experience of other Federal countries show that this is only temporary. (For example, the transition of Unitarian Germany into Federalism after WW II, or the transition of India, which Britain ruled in a Unitarian set-up, into Federalism after independence.) Here are two statements that demonstrate the absurdity of the above hypothesis: One, cut off Metro Manila totally from its provinces, all trade, communication, and transportation; and Metro Manila will rapidly collapse, while the provinces, while experiencing some initial difficulties, will survive. Two, history is replete with provinces desiring to secede from their centers, but there has never been any center that had wanted to secede from its provinces. C. The problem lies in the people in the government, not the system; reform or kick out all the corrupt individuals in the government and it will change for the better, and there is thus no need to change the structure of the government. This is a simplistic hypothesis that simply is not true. Concentrated power has been shown to corrupt even previously upright individuals, or as an old adage says, absolute power corrupts absolutely. In addition, decision overload and bureaucratic inefficiency will occur in an overly centralized system even if the individuals in the system are of angelic disposition. Going to a concrete example, Australia, a Federal country, was founded as a penal colony for assorted exiled criminals and scum of Britain, yet it is now a politically stable and economically prosperous country. Next-door Indonesia, an epitome of Unitarianism, was no penal colony, but is now the most corrupt country in Archipelagic Asia. The next most corrupt country is Unitarian Philippines. Even if you place the best racer in the world in a busted car, there is no way the car can win a race and it will remain a bust.