Sunday, November 06, 2005

Earth to China Post: Get a Life.

The China Post had an editorial yesterday highly critical of the DPP. It's a good example of the kind of horse manure that passes for analysis among the Blues, who seem incapable of rational thought, at least in their published documents. A sample:

Taiwan society used to work on a simple bargain with its rulers. The people would work hard and not ask much of the government, apart from maintaining law and order and defending the country. Unemployment was virtually unknown and as people were working, they would look after themselves and their families. The government was authoritarian, but not worse than the Democratic Progressive Party administration of President Chen Shui-bian. The Government Information Office can think of something to close down any media outlet which offends the government. Nor let us forget that it was President Chiang Ching-kuo who started the liberalization of Taiwan politics.

This paragraph is one of those crazed idealizations of the past so typical of right-ward thinking, but it is the sentence in the center that is really funny:

The government was authoritarian, but not worse than the Democratic Progressive Party administration of President Chen Shui-bian.

Let's see....how many people has Chen shot? Zero. How many media organs have been closed? Zero. Where is martial law? It should be obvious that the Blues live in a world of paranoid fantasies. The only serious criticism is here:

In a flat world, there is nowhere to hide. Under the DPP, Taiwan has missed many chances, from becoming a transshipment center for Asia and to becoming a financial center. Change involves tough choices and the DPP won't take them -- from facing down striking bank employees to opening the island to Chinese talent. The next three years of the Chen administration will be a long and miserable haul for the people of Taiwan, unless the government takes action to work for a better society for all the people of Taiwan.

There was never any chance of Taiwan becoming a transshipment center, or a financial center, both programs started under the KMT government, and both failures ( in point of fact the financial center program was not scheduled for completion under the Chen government). Taiwan's diplomatic position, a relic of KMT policy, and China's recent moves on visas, prevent Taiwan from ever becoming a regional center in many categories. Naturally the China Post does not want to mention inconvenient facts.

It's comical that the paper advocates "facing down" strikers -- one recalls that strikes were generally not permitted under the KMT, and labor leaders killed or imprisoned. But the DPP doesn't operate that way....

...in other words, the China Post opens by claiming that the DPP are authoritarians worse than the KMT, and then closes by criticizing the DPP for not being as authoritarian as the good old KMT! Just more of that powerful logical analysis from the Blue side....

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

thanks for your continued insightful analyses.

mark said...

Taiwan society used to work on a simple bargain with its rulers. The people would work hard and not ask much of the government, apart from maintaining law and order and defending the country.

This is a very specific view of Taiwanese recent history promoted by conservative (i.e. anti-communist and pro-Chiang by default) American political scientitists and development theorists in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Ezra Vogel and Samuel Huntington both spring to mind. But in Thomas Gold's State Society and the Taiwan Miracle in 1986, he convincingly argued that this understanding of Taiwan was always rubbish, and the "people" were constanstly testing and pushing the government (the KMT, and indeed, the Japanese colonial government) from day one.

Mutantfrog said...

I have to agree with you Michael. The DPP is far from perfect, and I've been disappointed in some of the things that they've done since gaining power that seem to defy their stated values, but they're still better in almost every way than the KMT administration was.

Michael Chang said...

It's ironic that KMT is venting hot air in the name of press freedom fought and won by DDP.