Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Against Hsu Shih-jung (徐世榮)

"First, forced land expropriation involves human rights and is not a simple matter of how much compensation is offered.
The land theft act is a violation of the ethical right to property.
"The 1793 Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen that emerged from the French Revolution specified that property “is an inviolable and sacred right.” This became one of the most important propositions of the time and was later adopted by constitutional democracies."
Not only was the ethical right to property recognized earlier in the American Revolution, but it was the crux of the philosophical basis of the American Revolution. The French Revolution was, until the Holocaust, perhaps the singular most barbaric and unambiguously evil episode in the history of Europe. How anyone can cite the French Revolution in connection with anything decent or noble without qualifying the citation with the appropriate blaze of contempt for Robespierre's Reign Of Terror is an interesting question. It should never be forgotten that the Left's perennial cause célèbre of "human rights" was born amid the smoke of burned and guillotined human rubble - with the public parading of heads and genitals on spikes following mock trials and other unspeakable horrors involving pregnant women and wine presses. That Hsu Shih-jung (徐世榮) cited the French Revolution over the American Revolution in defence of property rights may be some indication of just how far the philosophical rot has spread through the body of Taiwan's academic institutions.
"It follows, then, that in violating people’s property rights, those responsible for forcibly stripping them of their land are also denying them their rights to life and liberty."
This is actually correct, but watch his next move...
"...expropriation must meet very strict conditions — it must serve the community, be necessarily proportional, a last resort and fully compensated."
In short, an individual's right to life and liberty by means of their possessions is morally secondary to the imperative that the "community" be "served". Hsu Shih-jung's (徐世榮) "opposition" to the Land Theft Act therefore amounts to nothing. He does not oppose legalized theft per se, he merely opposes what he sees as an insufficiency of lubrication in how the violation is carried out. The imperative of the "community" and its needs is precisely the ethical heart of communism, however much it may be larded with conditional qualifiers in presentation.
"The latest draft amendment has a special clause which states that when someone applies to have land expropriated, the service to the community and the necessity of the purpose for their application must be evaluated based on social, economic, cultural, ecological, sustainability and other aspects specific to the expropriation plan. How are services to the community and necessity to be determined, and by whom?"
Naturally - because the individual's right to life and liberty is simply taken for granted as subservient to the collective. This is no better than arguing over the manners and food safety procedures of a fucking cannibal.
"James Scott, a sociologist whose research focuses on farmers’ movements, has formulated a concept he calls the “subsistence ethic.” He believes that in the capitalist era, the subsistence ethic of farmers is often ignored. This makes farmers incapable of providing for themselves and is the main reason why farmers rebel."
James Scott can go play pocket pinball - and so can you. This is an injustice perpetrated by the State at the behest of so-called "capitalists". To try to characterize this as an injustice attributable to the institutional nature of the market as opposed to that of the State is a tactic with a distinctly Orwellian whiff about it.
"Taiwanese farmers’ protests caused by excessive land expropriation can also be viewed in this light."
How many cases of land theft would not be "excessive", Hsu Shih-jung (徐世榮)? The land theft act must be opposed on principle. Complaining about how much theft goes on and the way in which it is done does not refute the point that no acts of legalized theft should take place at all. Ever.
"It is really a pity that the amendments proposed by the government have not been aimed at solving the real problem."
No. What is a pity is that a Jaffa orange like you gets to be "chairman of National Chengchi University’s Department of Land Economics."

Goddamn it already - State funding for the Universities must be abolished.

For shame.


  1. Actually, you would probably really like James C. Scott.



  2. OK Derek, cheers I'll have a look later...

    Meanwhile, here's a fantastic (in the original sense of that term) gaffe by Krugman:

    "Krugman Calls for Spending to Defend Against Space Aliens (For real)". Unbelievable.

  3. (for real). C'mon Michael, he was obviously using them as an example to illustrate his point about spending.

    Check out James C. Scott, "Seeing Like a State" or "The Art of Not Being Governed".


  4. I know, and the example was as fittingly ridiculous as the point he was making.

    I'll get around to Scott eventually (I'm still reading defence).


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