Thursday, 4 February 2010

Wang Dan (王丹) Interview

Comments on this item to follow when I get time...


To stand up to any government, but particularly the Chinese government, must surely take enormous courage - and for that alone Wang Dan can have applause from me all day long. I wonder about his prison time.

I have disagreements with him however. Although I am with him in the great NO to the Chinese government, I part from him in my view of what should constitute the great YES to replace it:
"The democratization of China absolutely benefits the future of Taiwan."
I believe that Wang is mistaken in his identification of democracy as an instrument for establishing freedom. And let's be clear - if freedom is not the aim of this man, then what the hell does he stand for? Democracy, at its' best, is nothing more than an uncertain means of inconveniencing the growth and maintenance of state power. I wish everyone would quit all of this "freedom & democracy" bullshit. The two have nothing in common.

Now is it true that there is a greater measure of freedom in Taiwan than there is China? No - there is certainly a large difference, but it is more accurately expressed as a greater latitude of privilege than of true freedom, for the simple reason that the poisonous effects of State coercion exist throughout Taiwanese society.
"The Taiwanese government just wants to deal with the Chinese government on economic issues, like Western countries in the past. But that’s impossible."
Agreed, which is why the future of this island may well be shaped by real political radicals - the philosophy that informs these people is where the real fight is now, whatever the means of communication and that is why this bullshit about "democracy" must be shown in sharp relief.

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