It is often said that the Filipino has been “naturally communal” and has lost this because of “Western individualism”. Allegedly in order to create a strong democratic foundation, we must go back to our indigenous culture. Also, the solution, may be not just going back to our indigenous culture, but likewise re- interpreting, transforming, broadening it in terms of concerns of a contemporary 20th century nation-state.
The major source of wealth in 16th century Luzon and the Visayas was indeed not land, for the population density was low. Rather it was manpower which could be bought and sold, in other words, slavery in the strict sense of the term.
Concerning land: in both ecological and Marxist approaches, there is appreciation for the fact that property relations are influenced by the nature of the of production. Three forms of technology thus emerged, each of which has implications for property relations.
Swidden Cultivation – Usufruct rather than ownership of land. Non-mechanized wet rice cultivation – Private ownership of riceland. Mechanized wet rice cultivation – Private ownership of riceland. May favor cooperative ventures leading to communal ownership.
Non-state – In simple form: headman chosen on the basis of skills. Little power. Scope of authority. - In complex form: leader may inherit position. Has power over both free followers and slaves. Pre-Democratic State – Generally hereditary ruler. Has power over all the subjects. Democratic State – Elected executive serving a fixed term. Legislative and judicial powers separate.
Political & Religious Factors1. Non-state with-aboriginal religion.2. Weak state with high religion, e.g. Christianity or Islam3. Strong/effective state with high religion
1. Tendency to regard Kin group as the moral universe.2. Moral linkages with wider society may be weak; tendency to seek refuge in kin group3. Moral linkages with wider society may be stronger