[Newspoint] The ominous knock on the door

And that’s how it actually happens. But if it brings any sense of consolation, it would seem misplaced, indeed perverse, in the larger context and reality of this one-sided war. It serves only to exemplify class culture and class justice.

For one thing, most of the dead have been victimized 3 times – first by poverty, then by drugs, finally by summary execution. In fact, for many of them, no knock on the door came at all that may have given them time to say a quick prayer or to bolt, however illusory its chance at success.

But if we think the war on drugs is a set war, with set rules and set targets, such that anyone with nothing to do with drugs is safe (which does not justify it even so), we have not been listening and watching sensibly; we have allowed ourselves, possibly by some sense of denial and wishful self-preservation, to be hoodwinked and taken for a ride toward our own inclusive ruin. 

If fascism begins with a knock on the door, we have been taken well past that. We have ignored the signs and continue to ignore them. When Duterte professed idolatry for the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, called for a hero’s burial for him, and raised the possibility, a mere month into his presidency, of imposing martial law, as Marcos had done, we largely dismissed it as mere words – froth – as in Marcos’ case.

When he proclaimed himself socialist, then godless communist, we thought he couldn’t have known what he was saying, noting the swing too extreme from being rightist and Catholic. Not even as he savages the Americans and their Western allies continuously with profanities, and cozies up to their ideological opposites, the Russians and the Chinese and their Filipino surrogates, we just watch; some of us even cheer.

Apparently challenged, or probably inspired, by such incredible denseness around him, he has decided to invoke Hitler’s name in relation to his own anti-drug pogrom. He even cuts by half the number of Jews Hitler exterminated, from 6 million, to match his own target number: “There are three million drug addicts [in the Philippines]; I’d be happy to slaughter them.”

But trust ourselves to find a way out for Duterte, whom we are simply unable to conceive as Hitler’s twin pea in a pod. Hitler himself would not have been pleased with the comparison; he had a gift of demagoguery; he in fact managed to rally a whole nation around him. He also plotted and ran a world war so well he scared his enemy.

“Hell,” he might have remarked in his comparatively civil German, “I almost won it.”

With apologies to Hitler, he and Duterte are both fascists. The rest are details. – Rappler.com