"Michael Fagan’s response (Letters, Sept. 11, page 8) to my article (“Who won China’s war on fascism?” Sept. 8, page 8) allows me a further opportunity to explain the article’s content...First, the article was not an exercise in political theory. Its dual purpose was to bring back into question the actual role the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) played in China’s war of resistance against Japan and to compare certain characteristics of fascism to aspects of China’s contemporary socioeconomic and sociopolitical environment."I was not especially interested in Nathan Novak's article itself other than as a convenient point of departure for my own, written with an end quite perpendicular to his. Today's letter appears to be sort of a response to my most recent letter in as much as I am named and amusingly corrected as to his purposes at the beginning. It was not his purposes I had had in mind but my own. Just what he thinks of himself is no direct concern of mine, though the rest of his letter does give me the creeps...
"Another feature of fascism not mentioned in my article also applies to China’s contemporary socioeconomic and sociopolitical situation: social Darwinism.... Fascism makes use of social Darwinism in a cruder way: Typically fascism substitutes racial superiority for class struggle as the key driving force behind social change."... and here's why: I will not trust anyone who throws around phrases like "social Darwinism" in the absence of any clearly specified conceptual boundaries. Now I may be right in supposing that what he means is something like an amoral tribal contest, but my objection would be that Novak may not use "social" as a synonym for "tribal" since the former integrates a much broader range of referents than the latter; trade among members of different tribes, for example, may be "social". I could pedanticate further, but the point is that this apparently illegitimate expropriation of terms may serve to promote the collectivist premise in which all social relations among individuals are forcibly sublimated beneath collective boundaries. Now that may indeed be the way in which the CCP, or indeed the KMT thinks but why is it that Novak seems so intent on highlighting this premise?
"Anyone who believes feelings of cultural superiority are much different from feelings of racial superiority should go to a Chinese newspaper’s Web site and check out readers’ comments."Cultural superiority is a very real category of judgement relative to human survival and flourishing as a standard. "Racial superiority" on the other hand, is a nonsense. The two are very, very different and to conflate them is to do a disservice to the future pursuit of all that is admirable in Western, and indeed, Chinese culture. And I, for one, have not the slightest interest in the comments sewers of some rag in China.
"It appears that the CCP would argue that Uighur, Mongolian, Tibetan and Taiwanese are all subsets of the Han Chinese population. Although this umbrella definition does allow a little wiggle room for ethnic minorities, it ensures these groups cannot establish any form of identity outside of the Chinese umbrella. The dominant group defines the identities of other groups. Is this not a form of racial supremacy?"Whether that question is addressed to me or not, I reject the premise itself; "racial supremacy" is an absurd nonsense - all Novak has shown is that some arbitrarily tagged groups of people are having their way with other arbitrarily tagged groups of people; yet that is a consequence of the abuse of State power - whether fascist, communist, or indeed, democratic. The "racial supremacy" nonsense may be being promoted by the CCP, but that's no reason for Novak, or indeed, the Taipei Times to give it the oxygen of publicity without a thorough denunciation.
And one last thing: I detest seeing my name in print anywhere near the phrase "racial superiority".