Friday, 16 September 2011

Switching To A Winning Strategy


At the risk of continuing my over-exposure with unpublished letter after unpublished letter, I thought it nevertheless worth a few moments of my time to dare to challenge the point of view expressed in Friday's editorial ("Sticking with a winning strategy").

The author belabours his rather simple point that China exercises influence due to its purchase of U.S. debt, with some rather myopic remarks concerning currency. Yet whilst it is true that the Central Bank of China is, in the words of Mitt Romney, a "currency manipulator" the same charge is as equally true (if not more so) of both the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank.

Furthermore, to blame China's currency rules for Chinese influence over Western foreign policy is myopic at best. That influence exists for one reason and one reason only - enormous debt. The real casus belli here are the policies that produced that debt, and whilst it is true that indulgent military spending is partially to blame (at least in the case of the U.S.), it would be entirely disingenous, and cowardly, and thoroughly reprehensible, to try to hide from the fact that most of it was due to the runaway social spending policies championed by the Left. These are social spending policies which the current U.S. President is still committed to over the long-term, even though they are entirely unfunded - even after taking account of Chinese credit! This runaway spending was made possible by the final transition of the U.S. dollar to a completely elastic fiat currency in 1971 under Nixon.

A second remark with which I take issue was the dismissal of Chinese goods purchases in the West as "junk".

What a fatuous remark!

The fact is, people in the West bought Chinese goods because those goods offered the best value for money. Are cheap T-shirts for the kids of low, fixed-income families "junk"? Is the computer on which that remark was written "junk"? Imagination renders that remark as perhaps being uttered by some cravat-wearing well-to-do sneering contemptuously at the "masses" and their "materialistic" cares.

I conclude abruptly, but with an offer: allow me to write at least one editorial per week for the Taipei Times. It would confer balance, help to establish some editorial discipline through competition, and best of all, I would perform this service for free, entirely out of my desire to see the people of Taiwan remain free and independent by finding the best course of action.

Yours freely,
Michael Fagan.

(Sent: Friday 16th September 2011).

NB: Yes I know, I have a nerve - somebody's got to have one.

In a similar vein (although he is a Marxist) here is Brendan O'Neil explaining why a certain type of fear and loathing of China reflects the sense of Western weakness propagated largely by the mainstream Left.

I quite like O'Neil - he's one of the very few decent people on the Left - and although he is right about Western decay, it must still be said that there is much to worry about in respect of China, particularly the rampant nationalism, demographic problems, and the enormous State apparatus of coercion and repression. These things cannot simply be dismissed as the Freudian figments of a collective Western subconscious.


  1. You're probably better off sending your letters elsewhere.

  2. I've been thinking to just concentrate on long essays (e.g. defense) which can then be reduced to summary articles and sent to whomever wants to publish them. Or alternatively, find someone willing and able to translate and then have them sent to the Chinese-language papers anonymously or pseudonymously.

    On the other hand, a list of unpublished letters on subjects of real importance (e.g. monetary and fiscal reform, land theft etc), which can then be compared with the cul-de-sac stuff (the various names used to refer to Taiwan) they generally publish instead, can be used to discredit them.
    These people at the Taipei Times are effectively part of the government (or at least the pan-green wing) in as much as they serve as its ideological bodyguards.


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