Saturday, 1 January 2011

Error Or Deceit?

It must have been very easy for Ben Goren and David Reid to video themselves saying that they "oppose all forms of coercion" when they actually don't. It sounds good right? It is nothing but a play for a moral high ground - yet a moral high ground to which they are not entitled, for the simple reason that they DO NOT oppose all forms of coercion. Rather, they oppose the particular use of military force against Taiwan by the government in Beijing. The broader context of their statement ("Taiwanese to solely determine their own future") presumably is intended to refer only to the question of nation-state territoriality. Their opposition is to any form of coercion applied to this issue. Yet on questions of whether any particular government in Taipei can legitimately coerce the population of Taiwan - as a matter of general principle - they are mute. So much for their being "opposed to all forms of coercion" and for Taiwanese (or anybody else) being able to "determine their own future".

David Reid: "I support any party that wishes Taiwanese to solely determine their own future free of any form of coercion."

My response: "Not true David; your subject contradicts your predicate. You are in favour of coercion - to support a political party presupposes support for a State, which in turn presupposes coercion.

That statement you have embraced is either the result of conceptual incompetence or outright deceitfulness. For the sake of your own intellectual integrity at least, you should redraft it so as to state what principle you use to decide which forms of coercion you are opposed to and which you accept and perhaps why that principle is justified."

Below is a part of my rejoinding comment to "Tim Mad Dog" on the thread pertaining to the Ben Goren video on Taiwan Matters - which has so far gone unpublished:

"Look me in the eye and explain how you deal with it. Let me reiterate: you social democracy types cannot ever truthfully say that you are in favour of eschewing all forms of coercion. Now don't go off like a bottle-rocket, but in that respect, the only difference between you and the fascists in China is one of degree. Now you can have some sort of story about why a smaller degree of coercion is justified if you like, but you're not getting away with a mere pretence to the moral high ground."

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