- 一般財団法人 アジア政経学会
- アジア研究 (ISSN:00449237)
- vol.66, no.2, pp.56-75, 2020-04-30 (Released:2020-06-09)
This paper explains why majority of Filipinos have come to tolerate President Duterte’s violence in the name of “discipline.” His “war on drugs” is estimated to kill almost 20,000 people but nearly 80 percent of Filipinos have supported him. To explain his popularity, previous studies have pointed out such factors as failure of the existing liberal democracy and Duterte’s penal populism. However, these studies do not explain why these issues have come to the forefront only in the mid-2010s although they are the long-standing problems. This paper argues that it is because the neoliberal governmentality has increasingly penetrated into societies and constructed new moral subjectivities among Filipinos as “virtuous citizens” who embrace discipline and diligence in the 21st century.Neoliberalism propagates the doctrine that people’s economic status and welfare are dependent on individual’s responsibility, shifting the blame for misfortunes of lives from the state to individuals. Thus, people are required to discipline themselves to become “virtuous citizens” independent from the state and skillful in the market for subsistence and opportunities. However, despite efforts of self-disciplining, they usually remain helpless to overcome socio-economic inequality and precariousness in the society where the state does not fully function. This shared frustration of disciplined “good citizens” has created a popular resentment against undisciplined “evil others” at the top and bottom: the elites who abuse the state power and resources, and drug users who put danger to their families and communities. It is their resentment that has justified Duterte’s violence.Lower middle class who have emerged in the global service industry in the 21st century mainly constitute the “virtuous citizens.” Based on annual research in Western Leyte, however, this paper argues that struggling poor in rural societies have also developed the moral subjectivities as “virtuous citizens” strengthening resentment against “evil others.” In the localities, the super typhoon Yolanda devastated the feudal coconut agriculture in November 2013. Those who lost the main livelihood have become dependent on resources provided by NGOs, the private sector and the state. Their programs have the neoliberal characteristics to require the beneficiaries to become independent, disciplined and diligent “virtuous citizens” in exchange for resources. While many struggle to live a disciplined life for subsistence, others found alternative source of income in the illegal drug trafficking. The former developed their frustration against the latter and became ardent supporters of the war on drugs in a situation where drugs and violence are perpetrated by a drug lord family.