The ongoing pork barrel circus is not merely a testament to the oversight of Janet Napoles and her conspirators; it is also an issue that calls us to rethink the limitations of this “iron cage of rationality,” as Max Weber puts it (image from The Manila Times).
The pork barrel is, above all, a disciplinary tool, a carrot for donkeys. It also functions to keep those in power in power and to redistribute a trickle of the nation’s wealth to the lower levels (image from Interaksyon).
It is so easy to think normatively and say that what Jeane did was wrong because her parents have illegally acquired large sums of money from tax payers. But many politicians are engaged in worse atrocities. In fact, Janet Napoles would not have gotten away with her actions had the congressmen not agreed to the scam. Many of our government folk also boast lavish lifestyles supported by tax-payer money. What makes us focus on Jeane?