Landé, Carl H.
June 1981
Foreign Affairs;Summer81, Vol. 59 Issue 5, p1147
This article assesses the how eight years of martial law since it was implemented in the Philippines on September 21, 1972 have affected the course of Philippine economic and political development and how martial law and its termination have affected and should affect U.S. relations under the administration Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. A visitor to the Philippines from an advanced industrial society is likely to be struck by a sense of double vision. On the one hand he sees a rational modernizing government committed to economic growth, social justice and efficient administration, moving energetically forward with the help of a dedicated corps of Western-trained technocrats. On the other hand, the foreign visitor sees a thoroughly traditional regime which is arbitrary, wasteful, venal and preoccupied with the personal gratifications and familial interests of the ruler. Both images of the Marcos regime are accurate, reflecting what a Filipino psychologist has called a split-level system of values, one modern and Western, the other traditional and Southeast Asian. Western observers at first sight are most impressed by Marcos' modernizing efforts. A comparison of average annual growth rates for various economic indicators--for two time periods, one preceding martial law the other consisting mostly of martial law years, which shows some substantial improvements that can, in part, be credited to Marcos' martial law government.


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