Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Finally: Theft Is Theft

When I first started this blog three years ago, my very first post outlined my purposes, the first of which was to undermine the existing editorial bias in the Taipei Times - i.e. to try to challenge the collectivist premise underneath that bias. Today, almost three years to the day that I started and during a period in which they haven't published anything by me for months... today the Taipei Times published an editorial which referred to the land expropriation cases as "theft" and as "violence against the individual". Those are precisely the sort of terms I would have used had I been the one tasked with writing either editorials or reports that touched on the land expropriation cases. The article contained none of the usual whimpering bullshit over "procedural irregularities", "insufficient regulatory oversight" or "environmental concerns".

Of course, I have entirely predictable disagreements with certain arguments in this editorial piece (a "pitiful salary" for instance, does not qualify as "violence"). It is however, the first time I believe I've seen anybody else (other than myself) in the Taipei Times refer to the land expropriation cases as theft of private property:
"As for the Democratic Progressive Party, it will have to go beyond the usual vapid slogans and clearly articulate an alternative policy for national development that is just and avoids government-sanctioned theft of private property."
Finally. I've been arguing for the Taipei Times to start calling it what it is for over a year now, and it's about time somebody caught up.

As to that "alternative policy", I'll sum up what it ought to be in one word:


Such a program would focus on the decentralization and rational repudiation of government powers and responsibilities. That is the direction which genuinely Liberal, radical and responsible criticism of Taiwan's political system ought to take.

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