Tuesday, August 30, 2005

New Blog on the Block

I'd like to welcome The Other Side, a new blog that, among other things, is pro-KMT, a rarity among the English-accessible blogs. The Other Side writes:

This blog has been formed to counter a perceived bias in the English-speaking media and nascent blogsphere of Taiwan. Newspapers and media outlets in Taiwan must pick a side in the polarized political environment of Taiwan, and at this time the majority of Western writers overwhelmingly support the ruling Democratic Progressive Party. Intelligent bloggers such as Jerome F. Keating, Michael Turton, and Wandering to Tamshui color otherwise excellent analysis with an unquestioning bias toward the DPP. The title of this blog comes from the perspective of the 'other' 50 percent of the country that is not represented in 'pro-green' English media, a generation whose ideals built this nation into what it is today. My personal political views are pro-KMT or 'blue'.

This blog seeks to go beyond simplistic analysis such as KMT (blue) is bad because it is old and corrupt; DPP (green) is good because it is new and pure. Such an analysis dismisses the fine contributions of both parties while overlooking their modern incarnations and challenges.

I hope that we won't see any further incarnations of strawmen like "unquestioning analysis" and "simplistic analysis such as (KMT) blue is bad because it is old and corrupt and DPP (green) is good because it is new and pure." Most of us who support the DPP do so because of its long, strong support for a democratic and independent Taiwan. We oppose the KMT because historically the KMT has opposed those ideals.

Heh. A discussion question already! TOS defines his quest as asking: "Is this good for the people of a Chinese society, the R.O.C. / Taiwan?" Is Taiwan a "Chinese" society?

9 comments:

Jonathan Benda said...

Although it doesn't usually cover political issues, Poagao's Journal has commented on his voting practices and political attitudes from time to time. I have a certain respect for T. C. Locke--even though I don't always agree with him, he has certainly put his money where his mouth is... (and I like the "attitude" in his writing...)

Jonathan Benda said...

Oh, and maybe now we'll get some "democratic deliberation" going...

Feiren said...

Michael asked 'Is Taiwan a Chinese society?'
I'd go a (fairly obvious) step further and ask what is a Chinese society. If we mean Chinese in the cultural sense (something like 'European'), then I think we can say in a fairly unproblematic way that yes Taiwan is by and large a Chinese society. But if we mean in political sense, then the answer has to be basically no.

It is good to see someone blogging the KMT. Ma's chairmanship is the beginning of era. I always have thought that the DPP's 'historical mission' has been to destroy the KMT so that normal political parties could emerge in Taiwan. I'm beginning to think that Ma may be the one who finally does the dirty deed.

Taiwan's Other Side said...

Most of us who support the DPP do so because of its long, strong support for a democratic and independent Taiwan. We oppose the KMT because historically the KMT has opposed those ideals

..and I love you guys/gals for it, I really do. Those are laudable goals, but I think they come from a Western perspective. Pragmatically speaking, young democracies with a colonial tradition say that they want democracy, but get things done under dictatorships and autocracy. There's a long line of South American, African and Southeast Asian countries that have had this unfortunate experience.

The KMT not only stood for independence, it fought for it when it kicked out the emperor and western 'concessions'. If it weren't for the KMT's stand for independence from the CCP, people in Twaian would not have the luxury of having this conversation.

The KMT does stand for democracy and independence, and it fought for it. We just don't agree on what path to take towards democracy, and who we need to be independent from. More to come on this topic on TOS, stay tuned!

Michael Turton said...

The KMT does stand for democracy and independence, and it fought for it.

Wow! I didn't realize it was possible to post to my blog from an alternate universe!

Michael

Taiwan's Other Side said...

Ummm....yo' mama?

Just consider it for a few minutes before you dismiss it. I just got here, and I'll be using the typhoon time to explain myself further. And I'm not going away :)

And by the way, that alternate universe lives next door to you, in the hearts of all those military vets walking around out there, and the 49.?? percent of the poeple who voted the other way last year. Except the vets are too old to blog (maybe).

Anonymous said...

standing for democracy is a western perspective? give me a break. i am taiwanese and for as long as i remember, my clan have always supported democracy. western perspective my foot. which planet do you live on? the best thing the kmt can do for taiwan is to leave it.

Michael Turton said...

And by the way, that alternate universe lives next door to you, in the hearts of all those military vets walking around out there, and the 49.?? percent of the poeple who voted the other way last year. Except the vets are too old to blog (maybe).

From:
Wilson, Richard W. 1970. Learning To Be Chinese:The Political Socialization of Children in Taiwan. Cambridge, MA: MIT

"In elementary school the flag is introduced into textbooks and is on the cover of the readers the children use from first through fourth grade, waving over a group of playing children. Such insertions of national symbols are by no means accidental or merely decorative; educational authorities told me that these insertions were made with definite intention of familiarizing children with an appropriate symbol for the country...In Kindergarten children begin to hear 'We are Chinese and we all love China. Our China's territory is the largest, the population the greatest, and our products the most abundant.'...A sign in the T'ao Yuan local government office, for instance, requests the local people to speak Mandarin, for, 'To speak Mandarin expresses love for the country'.
Interview:Q: Do you think the policeman is always right?
A: Yes
Q: Is there any time when he does something wrong?
A: No
Q: Is their any time when your Daddy, mommy or teacher make mistakes?
A: No
Q: What happens if a policman makes a mistake?
A: Someone higher up will arrest him and kill him
Q: Can we criticize a policeman?
A: No, we must say he is good. If we say he is bad, we'll be arrested.
(Shift to a meeting scene with authority figure at podium)
Q: Who is the person up there?
A: He is a great person
Q: Why can he be a great person?
A: He is a person who shoots a gun and fights with the Father of our Country (appears he means CKS)
Q: When he speaks will everyone down below obey him?
A: Yes, they will obey him. Not to obey wouldn't be right.
Q: What happens if they don't obey?
A: They will be arrested by the great man.

Anonymous said...

this new blog is a travesty. the nerve of the guy. the dpp is far from perfect but at least it doesn't revise history and at the very least it is taiwan-born/bred.

as for inferences about democratic deliberation - dream on!

arguing from the pan-blue side ain't conducive to democracy, no matter what spin you put on it.

just my two cents. am disgusted to say the least.