Southeast Asia is one of the four main regions Chua (2002) examines in her book, "World on Fire". In Philippines, Chua explains how ethnic minority gained economic and political dominance taking the example of ethnic-Chinese minority. The ethnic-Chinese minority gathered a lot of wealth more than the aboriginal majority which resulted in ethnic conflict. The ethnic minority group of the Chinese attained economic power owing to the political instability in Philippines. The ethnic-Chinese minority thus enjoyed a monopoly in the market destroying the free market kin South East Asia. Filipinos worked in Chinese firms and companies while no Chinese worked for the Filipino.
As a result, the Chinese had a large market share and there was no influence through good policies which could allow the Filipinos have a share of the market. Therefore, the rich who were the minority Chinese became richer while the Filipinos continued with their lifestyle. The disparity as realized between the small ethnic minority economic power and the majority group disadvantaged state is founded on instability in politics as described by Chua (2002). Ethnicity is an issue that is highly combustible; it can be in one way an artifact of the imagination of people and deeply rooted in the shady history recesses. Such events in a society amounts to a lot of ethnic conflict as happened to the rich Manila family.
Chua (2002) believes that democratization could further advance ethnic conflicts in an instance where an ethnic minority is excessively wealthy. When democracy of free market is pursued while there is a market-dominant minority, the almost result which is unwavering is backlash. Such a backlash normally takes at least one form. For instance, there could be a backlash against markets, which normally targets wealth of the market-dominant minority. Another backlash could be against democracy through the forces which are favorable to the minority dominant in the market.
Additionally, there could be a violence backlash which at times could be genocidal aimed at the minority dominating the market. Again, overnight democracy can empower the indigenous majority who are mainly the poor. What takes place in such situations is that democracy does not do as per our expectations. Democracy is expected to reinforce and stabilize markets. However, democracy amounts to the emergence of demagogues and manipulative politicians who search for the best method to gather votes through scapegoats in the minorities. Chua (2002) asserts that some groups attain dominance in the market due to apartheid and colonial oppression. In some cases, it could be as a result of family networks and culture in the groups. Well, there could also be no explanation for many other groups having dominance in the market.
Chua believes highlights a big need of making efforts in enhancing markets and democracy universally. Such efforts must be accompanied by efforts to redistribute the material wealth whether it is title of property and making provision of property together with land reform for the poor individuals. It has also been found that mechanisms of redistribution can be very difficult in societies where a lot of corruption exists. A number of studies support a modification of the democratic theory of peace which asserts that a lot of democracy leads to an absolute decrease in planned violence and more especially the nations which are very democratic. All the same, intermediary democratic countries have a greater affinity for conflicts like civil war than for autocratic governments.
One of the major hardships encountered by such countries like in the South East Asia is the ethnic group diversity. The lack of homogenous group society which is speaking in one ethnic language poses a greater to economic success. The ethnic-Chinese minority in Philippines was powered by some of these factors which saw them rise above the majority aboriginals. There is a kind of imbalance that is realized in the market. This kind of imbalance is realized when a particular group apparently enjoys a bigger share of the market with no competition. Such a group is bound to excel exceedingly above everyone else in the larger community or society in which they live. Globalization as described by Chua (2002) has exacerbated disparities in ethnic groups in the wealth of many nations with the ethnic minorities dominating markets for a number of different reasons; one being the advantage of disproportionate rewards which fosters an increasing instability.
Avoiding Ethnic Conflagration
Much has been said about ethnic-group minority dominating markets and endangering the law of free markets. Such trend are not healthy as production and business operations like competition which is meant to keep the quality of goods and services as high as possible and thus meeting the needs in the market. Ethnic Conflagration is thus a major disease of this nature and needs to be avoided at all costs. Therefore, since politics seem to play a significant role in this the central government in each society needs to address this matter through good policy. Good policies need to be established which govern people's ways of life and ways of doing things.
Such policies must include laws that prevent a monopolistic nature in the market. It is only good policy and the appreciation of others in the society that can be a practical instruction in dealing with this issue. Whilst Chua states that free markets intensify ethnic division, such problems could be addressed if there are good written laws governing the same. It is true that democracy can mount up ethnic backlash through the majority. Well, democratic issues follow some kind of order. It is this order that is expected to include controls and regulations guiding the freedoms and limits of all ethnic groups in the society. With such policies in place, a balance should be reached in Philippines of the number of Filipinos working for the ethnic-Chinese minority and the Filipinos' share in the market.