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Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler and Marcos all heroes!

A hero is always a genuine hero to his/her fans. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler and Marcos are heroes. It is a fact that the following people just named were dictators who dreamed that their countries will be the number one of them all. Unfortunately they all became redundant in one way another. Lenin's Soviet state is history and deserves to be in the dustbin. Stalin inspires no one save for the party in North Korea and the Filipino cabal in Utrecht. Mao's portrait still hangs in Tiananmen but presides over a hypercapitalist wonderland. Hitler is fodder for hundreds of best selling books still mostly printed in England, but only the insane would think the English are big fans of der Fuhrer! The English are fascinated by the Nazis because they want to know how their democracy was able to defeat totalitarianism.

With the sole of exception of China, all the countries of once led by these dictators are all democracies. Russia is a democracy but is on the way to becoming a functioning one even with lapses to Tsar-like rule. We just don't know how long it will take. Germany is a liberal democracy and the Philippines is a sputtering democracy!

It is a feature of a strong democracy that while these fans are guaranteed to acclaim their heroes ( through their right of free speech) they will always be confined to a  fringe. In Russia, there is a Soviet Stalinist "Disneyland" which at first attracted the nostalgic but as the fans began to die off, the Stalinist theme park had to shut down. Mao only survives as a Great Helmsman since the boat he helmed ended up on a capitalist shore thanks to Mr Deng who-loved-Parisian-croissants!  Mao should be eternally grateful in Red Heaven that the Chinese boat did not break into a zillion socialist pieces! In Germany, it is illegal to display the Swastika unless you have a permit to do so. Academics can screen movies dealing with swastikas at universities under academic freedom guarantees. But their students are not likely to goose step as Brownshirts. There are neo-Nazis in Germany still but they will always be on the fringe unless German democracy collapses like it did in 1933. But Germans have learned their painful lesson and this is unlikely to happen in an integrated European Union where Germany is a major player.

The worrisome aspect in the Philippines with support from many people in power is that the lunatic fringe appears to be in Congress! These Congressmen believe that Mr Marcos deserves to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB). This will involve redefining the idea of hero for the majority of Filipinos.

Of course Ferdinand Marcos is a hero to his fans but more than that this whole affair exposes the sputtering EDSA system democracy we have. Philippine EDSA system democracy is so weak that it wasn't strong enough to sideline the Marcoses into the fringe (and it prevents Mr Noynoy Aquino from paving his "daang matuwid"). In a real revolution, Imelda and her fans would have gotten the Marie Antoinette treatment and perhaps Ferdie would have gotten a Louis XVI cut. But that did not happen. While I do not wish they got the French treatment, the only thing we on EDSA would have wanted is to see them get their dues in court. But that too never happened! And so the Marcoses claim they have nothing to apologize for. At least the Seyss-Inquart and Eichmann descendants had the decency to apologize for the atrocities of their Nazi grandfathers . The descendants pledge they will prevent that from ever happening again.

Does anyone think that the Germans will bring home Hitler's teeth from the KGB museum in Moscow and give the dentures State honours by a democratic and prosperous Germany? The Germans will never allow that nor have they forgotten what the Fuhrer did.

Thus this whole idea of interring Mr Marcos at the LNMB is a sign of the possible collapse of Philippine democracy and should be viewed as such, nothing more. If the reader values democracy, he/she will have to oppose this lunacy and at the next election get rid of the lunatic fringe in Congress.

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