Saturday, 16 January 2010

Of Kettles & Frying Pans


With respect to Michael J. Cole's editorial of Monday 11th January, I should like to point out to him that, although he is probably correct in his prediction that the militant nationalism of Chinese students arriving in Taiwan will come as a shock to many young Taiwanese students, he is nevertheless well out of order to castigate young Taiwanese people as "in denial of their own identity".
Allow me to quote:
Once these substantial differences are made concrete through contact and interaction, however, there is hope that Taiwanese youth will realize that the denial of their identity is actually something that matters, that there is more to existence than finding a good job and making money.

Contrary to Mr Cole, I would hope that Taiwanese students identify themselves foremost as individual human beings with unique names, personal histories, interests and friends formed through the freedom of choice. He has no right whatsoever to push his Taiwanese nationalism upon other people, especially as he complains of Chinese nationalism in the very same article.

Yes I realize that there is a significant difference in degree of intensity between Taiwanese and Chinese nationalism - but they are both false outlooks emerging from either moral nihilism or the epistemic failure to grasp the implications of self-ownership; the life of each person belongs to that person alone and nobody else.

Yours as ever,
Michael Fagan

(Sent Saturday 16th January 2010. Unpublished by the Taipei Times)

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