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What is the Sociology
For a long time people have
regulated, controlled, and
directed their lives only
informally. Since the 15th
century some societies have
spearheaded to move to
evolve formal political
systems. Others remain
uncommitted to such
political systems and adhere
to traditional patterns.
The State and Political Systems
The concept of the state as
distinct from society
developed gradually. The
need for the state arose
when groups within society
realized that it was for their
own welfare to centralize
authority, set up rules for
settling disputes, and apply
force to maintain obedience
and loyalty to the social
norms and values of society.
The underlying fabric of authority is ideology.
An ideology is a system of values, ideas, beliefs
and attitudes that a society or groups within it
share and accept as fact; it contains a set of
attitudes toward the various institutions and
processes of society. An ideology is a set of
interrelated beliefs that provide a picture of the
world as a whole, that furnish the believer with
an image of the world both as it is and as it
should it be.
Since Aristotle’s time, the forms of
government envisioned by different
political Ideologies are autocracy,
oligarchy, and democracy.
Autocracy is most directly
opposed to democracy. It upholds
that the government should be in
the hands of one individual who
has supreme power over the
people. Traditional autocracy has
been replaced by present day
autocracy of rightist and leftist
ideologies. Otherwise known as
totalitarian, which are based on
modern technology and mass
Oligarchy is a form of
government in which
the power of authority
resides in the few
persons who govern
for their own interests.
It is also referred to us
elitism. C. Wright Mills
was a prominent
exponent of this view.
He believed that the
war and peace, are
made by a handful
of men who
corporate rich, the
echelons, and the
Democracy is a form of government where there is rule by the people, either
directly or through representatives. This grew out of constitutional government.
The principles of equal rights and privileges, universal suffrage, and
participation in the political process which affect citizens’ lives are features of
democratic regimes (Braingart 1976:20). It is generally referred to as “a
government of the people, by the people, and for the people”.
Functions of the State
*From the family: the state has taken over the
provision of protection for home, the formal education
of the youth, and the maintenance of public welfare
programs for the sick, crippled, feebleminded and
insane, the unemployed and underemployed, the
widowed and orphaned, the aged, abused, and others.
*From the economy: the economy has taken over the
resolution of labor-capital disputes, the limitations or
regulation of production, distribution and
consumption of economic resources, goods, and
services, the control of wages prices, taxes, and
savings, the operation of research, the allowance for
fringe benefits, and others.
*From the church: the state has taken over the
regulation of the conditions for contracting and
dissolving marriages, family planning, the moral of
spiritual training of the youth, the provision of relief
for the poor, the disposal of the dead, and others.
The main functions
of the states are
of peace and order
and the regulation
and control of the
lives of the people.
The state is
answer the need
of the citizenry to
a certain degree of
society has caused
the transfer of
functions to the
The Social Structure of Politics
The state is the formal
structure of government. It is
the institutions whose
functions are carried out by the
government. Government is
the working active arm of the
state which provides social
control through its political
processes, the laws it
establishes and implements,
and the work of its agencies.
Although individuals and
groups that comprise the
government change, the state
continues to function.
The state represents a politically
organized society functioning
through a government: Whereas,
nation is a culture group of people
residing within the territory of the
political state. The spirit of the
nationhood makes a group of
people a nation. People unify into
a nation through factors such as
geographic boundaries (like
mountains or bodies of water),
commercial ties developed
throughout the geographical area,
the knowledge of a common
The Struggle for Power:
Legitimacy and Authority
When the power is held by an individual or group
not accepted to members of society, the power is
illegal and illegitimate.
When a government
has legitimacy, its laws
are followed and its
officials respected by a
majority of people in
the society, regardless
for their feelings
toward both the laws
and the enforcers.
Authority is the
possession of power.
when members of
society accept its use
as right and proper.
The struggle for power includes the acquisition, exercise, and maintenance of power.
The political elite are the persons or groups who supply the political leadership in
society at a certain time.
In a monarchy, power is inherent in the in the ruler by “divine right.” It
is transferred by hereditary succession and exercised for the benefit of
both the rulers and the ruled. A change of rulers is brought about by
purging members or houses of the royal families.
In an oligarchy, power is held by a small group belonging
to the elite class of society. Intrigues among cliques within
this class commonly bring about shifts in the power
In a democracy, power is vested in the masses who, in turn,
delegate this power to those whom they elect to represent
them in the government; such power is exercised primarily
for the peoples’ welfare. Those elected maybe removed or
retained on the basis of their performance through periodic
elections by the masses.
Legitimacy: points out that the state in any country has legitimacy “if
and in so far as, its administrative staff successfully upholds a claim to
the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force in the enforcement
of its order” legitimacy provides the rationale for what the government
does. This may arise from the shared norms and values of the people.
Manifested as consensus, it refers to group decision representative of
every individual’s wish. Consensus maybe derived formally or
informally, unanimously or by majority, through voting, seeking
political counsel, patronage, propaganda or public opinion formation.
a. Voting. Consensus through voting is represented by a
majority of two-thirds or three-fourth of all votes. Voting
implies the stipulation on who are qualified to vote, how
potential voters are contacted and encouraged to exercise
their right of suffrage, what they are to vote on why and
how they are to vote.
b. Political counseling. When source of public
information are prejudiced and loaded with
emotional appeal, partial truths, and total lies, the
electorate tends to seek the opinion of
knowledgeable, trustworthy, respected persons or
c. Patronage. Consensus attained through patronage
involves networking ingratiating personal favor such as
referrals, recommendation, jobs, contracts, services, and so
forth in exchange for personalized gifts, entertainment,
vacations, reduced prices, “kickbacks” and other goods and
services. Consensus is imposed by the patrons.
d. Molding of public opinion. Public opinion maybe based on
gossip, rumor, folk knowledge, superstitions, or propaganda
through the mass media. Ghost writers, press relations
officers, propagandists, and “think tanks” can build or
destroy public images and mold public opinion. One
economical, instant, reliable technique developed for
predicting the trend of public opinion is the public opinion
Authority: Legitimized and institutionalized power in a
society is authority. It is related to a social status and is
accepted as proper and justified by all the members of the
a. Traditional Authority: This is legitimized power that is handed down from the past.
Authority assumes “sacredness.” It is accepted because of the force of tradition, the
way things have always been done.
b. Legal-rational authority: The bureaucracy is the end result of the legal-rational
systems of authority. Social roles in here in a status in the organization and the
accompanying power are also limited by the social organization. “The rule of law,”
not a sense of loyalty to an individual nor a sentimental attachment to a tradition, is
the basis for behavior. Power resides in a social position and role than in a specific
c. Charismatic: This type of authority rests solely on the “gift of grace”. It is based on
the leader’s possession of an ability to attract and win followers, his ability to
perceive and verify this for himself and for other. However, such authority has no
specific set of rules to direct behavior, provides no measure of competence, lacks a
stable social organization, and does not allow for the development of routine or
regimentation. It may not persist over a long period of time unless it develops into
either a traditional or legal-rational type of authority. It may provide good or bad
Influence: this element of powers refers to the total means
that a person has on hand to bring about the results he or she
desires in a decision-making situation. It inheres more on the
individual than a position. It may arise from one’s incumbency
in a formal office, expertise, wealth, prestige, personal
characteristics or traits and others.
The political elite may desire, acquire, exercise, and maintain power as
ends in themselves, and as a means for achieving the ends for which
they are intended. Being subject to abuse and misuse, power should
be limited through the following ways:
1. Theory of checks and balances – the establishment of political sub-
system which are on equal level;
2. Political pluralism – the maintenance of the two-party systems,
the use of the countervailing force of different power blocs, vested
interest and pressure groups;
3. Popular sovereignty – the exercise of voting, referenda, rights of
assembly, petitions, demonstration, and other civil rights;
Theories on a supreme law or the “martial law”; and
4. Human factors – psychological, social, and cultural patterns
prevalent in a society at a given time.
Philippine political institutions
have undergone experiences of
liberation, independence, and
nationalization. They have been
Americanized, and more
recently, Filipinized. Leadership
has at one time or another been
traditional, charismatic, and
Making, Interpreting , and Enforcing Laws
and extra legal forces
have competed and
conflicted in the
and enforcing of laws
in the Philippines
Al 1966; Alfred
1960; Olivar 1966).
Marcosand the Martial LawEra
Ferdinand Marcos, who governed the Philippines as President from
1965-1984 is deemed by some as the skillful politician this country has
ever produced. Some believed for sometimes that he was the only
other option to the communist. Marcos tried to win popular support by
initiating some healthy changes. In rice and corn region, reform was
pushed beyond mere land redistribution to helping small farmers to be
more productive. By 1972, the Philippines finally obtained self-
sufficiency in rice production and no longer had to import rice.
Post Marcos Politics
The government of Marcos was removed by extraordinary means in
February 1986 by “People Power”. A representative government was
reestablished in the 1987 congressional election and in the 1988
municipal elections. The framework of the “transition” politics fostered
the mood and vision of the emerging non-political groups and various
electoral parties. The new president’s (Corazon Aquino) enormous
popularity affected political outcomes significantly. While new
personalities with no former national background made
breakthroughs into the congress, the election for the house and local
government units enabled the return to power of individual from
traditional political families landed elites, many of whom were reject
of the “anti –oligarchy” period of the Marcos dictatorial regime (David
and Okamura 1992).
Coup d’etat, Philippines Experience
Many Filipinos had naively assumed that Marcos’ ouster would quickly solve
their problems. But the social-economic conditions of the people worsened
as the struggle for political power intensified in the period immediately after
the Marcos regime.
President Corazon Aquino faced seven coup attempts by rightist elements
during her term. The David Fact Finding Commission report (The Philippine
Star 1990) analysis the causes, the events that triggered, the participants, the
finding and recommendations avert the recurrence of the coup attempted.
Participants who openly admitted involvement volunteered the following reason:
1. Failure of the government to deliver basic services, particularly in the rural
2. Grafts and corruption
3. Grandstanding of politicians, unfair criticism and humiliation of people by
4. Bureaucratic inefficiency which exacerbates the alienation and poverty of the
5. Poor unsupportive military leadership manifested by functionalism tayo-tayo
system and inadequate financial logistic support for the soldier in the field.
6. Lack genuine reconciliation.
7. Unjust handling of human rights violation committed by the military and the
8. Absence of good government;
9. Weakness in dealing CPP/NPA and left-leaning elements; and
10. Failure of the civilian leadership to effectively address economic problems.
The above responses imply that the government t to be installed by the coup d’ tat
will minimize or resolve all the deficiencies of the current government.
Coup participants were compelled either by personal motives or institutional factors.
Several levels of motivation were identified as follows:
1. For the inner circle of RAM splinter group of the RAM/HF and its recruits – a
continuation of their original plan in 1986 to take power for themselves which
evolved from a desire to reform initially within the military (i.e. Honasan, Batac,
Kapunan, Turingan, Lucas, Legaspi, Malajacan, Purugganan)
2. For the Marcos – Ver loyalist forces (Loyalist) – to regain the power and
privileges enjoyed during the Marcos regime and to repay past favors - utang na
loob - by honoring a commitment” to help when called up (i.e. Zumel, Tecson,
Oliveros, Pizarro, Gojo);
3. For the high ranking military officials – ambitions which cannot be realized
within the existing chain of command (i.e. Comendador, Abenina, Calajate);
4. For some senior officers and many junior officers – deference to peers,
supervisors, or mustaka – pakikisama (de la Pena, Calimag, Panelo) the
attraction and excitement of a conspiracy that promises windfall gains in power
and career opportunities (Fusitero), career “insurance” of who wins, the military
establishment will continue as before with no apparent stake in the form of
structure of government. Thus, maintaining the network of camaraderie is more
important to a career than taking a definitive stand against the coup; and
5. Misguided idealism or an expression of sympathy for “valid cause ( i.e. Gregory
Ramos, Tomas, Ong)
Officers who fought for the government cited the following
causes of the coups.
1. Obsession with power which they thought they had was
but handed over to Corazon Aquino in February, 1986;
2. A desire by coup leaders to regain privileges enjoyed
during the Marcos administration and the prospect of
possible power of financial gain in the process;
3. Personal grievances and perceived “dead end” in career
4. Strong fraternal ties, with origins dating back to PMA days;
5. Naïve idealism, particularly in the part of younger officers;
6. A messianic complex.
To avert such crisis, the Commission recommends on a long term basis the following;
1. Love of country as the highest value: the system of the public and private
education is in need of legislative overhauling to assume the responsibility in
value formation and molding of personality attuned to the love of the country as
the highest value. This will necessitate the involvement of the family, the church,
and all the other institution and individuals who will impart and reinforce this
2. Social justice: the inequalities of wealth and power in the stratification system
also need to be addressed so that the society in general is not vulnerable to
3. Citizen army: complete implementation of the citizen army concept, the rise of a
small modernized, professional military in a democratic society delinked and
devoid of all colonial vestiges.
4. The constitution: to test the relevance of the constitution by implementing its
basic provisions, especially on the diffusion of wealth and political power and on
economic progress with equity.
5. Choosing democracy: if the people must choose democracy, peaceful and orderly
change, both societal and political, necessitates that all the contenders in the
political arena to agree to use the ballot and forego the bullet to pursue peace,
progress, social justice and nationhood.