QUESTION: Sir John, what is your reaction on this statement: "Political settlement of the conflict should take precedence over any economic development. Putting the cart before the horse cannot and will never work in a sovereignty-based conflict such as the Moro Question". This is for my school paper.
ANSWER: The statement is probably made by someone who believes that politics dictate the economic development. Well, my reaction is, that statement is kinda old and clearly influenced by the school of thought of the warlords of the past.
We are already in the information age, wherein it is the market economy that controls the politics, not the other way around. The development success of a particular region can only be driven by the economic players, that is the business sector. The investors in the business sector are the ones who hold the purse and they will release resources only to those areas where they can control the politicians.
The horse is the politician, that is correct. The cart is the economy, that is correct. You put the horse first before the cart - that is correct. But that statement missed one element to move the horse-driven cart to the right direction. The element they missed is THE RIDER that drives the entire carriage. The rider is THE PEOPLE.
So now you think there are three elements, horse, cart, and people. Well, that's not it, yet. There is still one more element you need so the entire thing will start moving. The fourth thing is you have to fill-up the cart with products. There is no reason for the people to move the cart using the horse if the cart is empty.
The problem we are facing now is we have a very wild horse. We have a horse that kicks the people. We have a horse that does not want a cart to be attached to it and it kicks the cart away (read that statement above). The PEOPLE wants that wild horse out of the dynamics because the horse is untamable, it does not recognize the superiority of THE PEOPLE, it is an unconquerable horse.
If you are THE PEOPLE who need to get the cart full of products moving, what would you do to that kind of an untamable horse? Remember, there are many horses available to choose from.