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    Wednesday, July 12, 2017

    Underprivileged No More: “Why can’t the masa just shut up?”

    “[Everything] was a simple issue of geography: the rich live in their gated communities, the poor everywhere else. And with this, the political elite, with help from traditional media, can manage to ignore the outcry of Juan and Maria” –Thinking Pinoy.

    In a Marxist point of view people at the lower part of the social structure are basically disadvantaged, underprivileged while those atop the pyramid, the elites, enjoy an advantageous life and are entitled with a lot of opportunities. One of which is the capacity to engage in political discourses.

    For so long, the underprivileged Filipino masses or referred to as the “Common Tacao” were deprived of the opportunity, by the mainstream media, to take part or participate in significant political discourses and comment on several societal issues in the Philippines. They are silenced. They are the muted group.

    Here comes social media and the tables turned upside down. Given its “inclusive” nature, the “Common Tao” was granted absolute and limitless chances to speak out their minds publicly. The elites had been ripped off their power to rule out discourses as the public voice became stronger and louder than theirs.

    Talking about “inclusivity”, the Thinking Pinoy published a Facebook post that discusses the inevitable premise as to why the elites have been continuously enraged by the outcry of the regular Filipino citizens in social media.

    “I find it ironic that the Establishment [referring to the powerful social structure] decries the crassness of political discourse in Social Media. What did they expect from the Common Tao, who has never been heard before?” wrote RJ Nieto, the man behind the Thinking Pinoy blog.
    Explaining that the “anger” from the masses is not actually triggered by President Rodrigo Duterte, RJ Nieto wrote that:

    “No, it wasn’t Duterte who sparked the anger and vitriol in online platforms. The anger and the vitriol from the masses have always been there: it’s just that now, the sheltered elites get to hear them, even if they don’t want to, because we now exist in a unified platform."

    Unveiling the “secret” of the social media domain, RJ Nieto provided a response to the unanswered question elites have always had in mind: “Why can’t the masa just shut up?”

    RJ Nieto answer was again, “INCLUSIVITY”. This characteristic, according to Thinking Pinoy, had long been applied as a political and electoral strategy and was utilized by several prominent Filipino leaders. The “inclusivity factor”, it says, was the “same secret” used as a political stronghold by Erap, FPJ, and President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

    “I think it started with Erap. Erap didn’y benefit from social media, but his campaign messaging centered on inclusivity, and that allowed him to snag the presidency,” RJ Nieto wrote.

    “Gloria, on the other hand, was a very unpopular president…She “won” by default in 2001 so we can’t do anything about that, but I feel that it was really FPJ who won in 2004,” Thinking Pinoy speculated.

    “Then Duterte came” added Nieto, “He has the sensibilities of an educated probinsyano, and what is much of the country but educated probinsyanos. Duterte…best represented the Common Tao. With Duterte, 16 million educated probinsyanos felt that they’re in again.”

    Delving deeper in to the aspect of “inclusivity”, Thinking Pinoy concluded that this particular characteristic of the social media (that was exercised by Duterte et. al. in their respective political campaigns), made an impactful effect to the public.

    “It made the Common tao feel their opinions matter. And unless we go back to the Stone Age, I believe that Social Media is here to dominate,” Nieto wrote.

    Sarcastically pointing the ineffectiveness of mainstream-produced political advertisements, Thinking Pinoy wrote:

    “So goodbye political ads. They didn’t work in 2016, so just imagine how much more ineffective they will be in 2019.”

    To end his post RJ Nieto of the Thinking Pinoy blog acknowledged social media as the impregnable platform for politics-related discourses. It relies upon people’s subjectivity whether or not to accept that imposition of a fact.

    “The battleground of politics is now social media, and the truthfulness of that statement is independent from your willingness to acknowledge it,” Thinking Pinoy ended.

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