Saturday, 5 June 2010



The present government's desire to sign an ECFA with China on behalf of the people in Taiwan must be vigorously resisted by anyone who cares for their freedom. It is not simply that the Chinese government is run on a fraudulent and malicious modus operandi, but that where there ought to be a clear demarcation between the actions of the PRC government on the one hand, and the actions of so-called "private" Chinese companies on the other, there is instead, nothing but the quick blur of fascism. If a Chinese company defrauds you in your purchase of construction equipment for example, then you are no longer dealing with a company whom you may take to court for reparations, but the customs policy of the PRC government itself. In other words, you'll have been "shanghaied".

Yet is the identical accusation not increasingly true of Taiwan with its' blurry state-private empires in the healthcare and education markets? Is it not also increasingly true in the United States under the care of the present administration? Consider the extent of this fascist blur in U.S. commercial banking, energy, housing, insurance, automotive and healthcare industries.

Although the vigorousness of the TSU's stance against the ECFA is garnering applause on your pages, I yet cannot applaud their stance itself, and for all this fight they are showing, I am sure their private mood remains pessimistic. If they should fail in their attempts to force this government into offering a referendum on the ECFA, then where democracy fails, only the market will be left to stand against State predation. It will be up to the people of Taiwan to freely decide whether they will accept the costs of constraining their purchases of Chinese goods and services on the market wherever possible.

We must never surrender our freedom to the fascists in Beijing or those in Taipei. Each man and woman dies alone, and each always bears the responsibility for what he or she does between now and then. The issue, fundamentally, is very simple and it is always and will always be the same for all time: will you live by the power of the market, or will you try to live by the power of the government? Will you choose to live by freedom of association and freedom of exchange, or will you try to live by the threat of violence if you don't get what you want? Will you stand up in defiance to tyrants or will you grovel and whine on the floor, begging to be absolved of responsibility, like a fucking slave?

Yours in freedom as ever,
Michael Fagan

(Sent: Saturday 5th June 2010 - Published by the Taipei Times Tuesday 8th June 2010).

Note: The editorial changes made to my letter alter the meaning significantly and I'm not at all happy about it.

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