Saturday, 22 March 2014

Regarding The Student Occupation Of The Legislative Yuan This Week

This week's events up in Taipei have occurred whilst I have been preoccupied with several problems of my own, including the fallout issues resulting from the recent murder of my dog Shao Bai by one particularly wicked old man. I haven't had much time to read. What spare time I've found I've spent either sleeping or cleaning up the poisoned area of the park (a time-consuming task which I've had to do alone).

Nevertheless I want to record two simple notes here for memory.

The first is a sentiment; the direct action of the students to impose limits on the government's exercise of political power deserves applause. Although I have seen it widely hailed as a defence of democratic governance, it is in fact a defence of constitutionally-limited governance; when a government defies stipulation to agreed-upon procedure, there must be a swift penalty and that can only be levied by civil society, as has been and is being done this week.

The second note is my distrust of at least some of the people involved in the protests (quite possibly a large number); whilst it is entirely right to be concerned about dealing with Chinese businesses supported by the murderous PRC government, the broader diatribes against trade per se that I have seen in recent months must simply be dismissed.

In supplementation to that last note, I should add that strategically, these latest student protests are still reactionary in character, and it is their opponents in government who are making all the forward moves. As I have often said previously, I believe the student opposition movement would be better served by a more aggressive strategy of depoliticization - of reducing and limiting the power of the government and returning as many of its functions as possible to civil society and the marketplace. The current insistence on ensuring the "safety" of Taiwan's democracy is misguided.

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