Saturday, 31 March 2012

Government Theft Of Property In Taipei

For more general remarks on this subject, see my posts from two years ago on the land theft cases in Miaoli here, here and here and some more recent and broader remarks to J.M. Cole, here.

What is wrong with the following paragraph to this headline report?
"The Wang family resisted moving from the homes in which it had lived for six generations, but their forced eviction was allowed to proceed because more than 90 percent of households in the area had already agreed to the move."
What's wrong with it is that it doesn't matter whether the Wangs had lived there for six generations or six minutes. That information is an extraneous detail which distracts from the violation of principle which ought to be the most, if not the only, salient point here.
"Critics say the forcible eviction of the Wang family was a violation of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to property."
No. In the first place a mere constitution guarantees nothing by itself; even if that point were articulated better (i.e. in the imperative rather than the declarative mood), then it would still be no more vigilant an observation than a 6am yawn. A "guarantee" is something that can only be accomplished through human action upon principle. What is being done to the Wangs amounts to a dereliction of a constitutional imperative - and one which was necessarily of doubtful standing in any case. And here is why...
"Weighing in on the issue, former Democratic Progressive Party chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday the controversy could have been avoided if officials who handled the project communicated proactively with the parties concerned."
The only seriously organized political "opposition" is one which is not actually opposed to the essence of what is being done to the Wangs. Read it again: she is talking about how the government could have avoided the controversy, not the injustice of the theft itself. But this is not a criticism of Tsai Ing-wen in particular, since nothing else can really be expected of someone whose profession depends entirely upon the hallowing of the democratic principle by which the theft of the Wangs' home was sanctioned. This is why Taiwan's DPP is already finished; even though they don't know it yet and will no doubt wring-out illusions of importance for the next four years.

I am tempted to draw a similar point about the journos at the Taipei Times. Look at this (emphasis mine)...
"However, some advocates of land justice..."
That modifier simply has no business being there since this is not about "land", you epistemically clart-bound donkeys - it is about the violence done to the principle of private property on which human freedom is predicated.


Here is a conjecture: if democratically sanctioned theft is going to be stopped in any meaningful sense, then it will be through the application of organized pressure upon the State's will to enforce its' laws at emotionally salient moments such as this.

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