Thursday, September 23, 1999

Taiwan's Little Emperors

Taiwan's Little Emperors
Bevin Chu
September 23, 1999

His Imperial Majesty Lee Teng-hui crowns Lien Chan Taiwan's next Emperor

Republic of China President Lee Teng-hui, whom Newsweek magazine anointed "Mr. Democracy" in a stupifying naive 1996 Asian Edition cover story, recently disabused voters of any illusions they entertained that they lived in a republic and not a monarchy.

The occasion was a ruling Kuomintang (KMT) photo op, broadcast all over Taiwan, during which President Lee Teng-hui made his heir apparent officially known. Lee and his hand-picked successor Vice-president Lien Chan stood at center stage, beaming and waving to a vast sea of cheering KMT party faithful, bussed in from all over the island at party expense to ensure an Standing Room Only crowd for the TV cameras.

Suddenly, KMT Yes Men swooped in from the wings of the podium and draped an Imperial Yellow Emperor's robe over Lien Chan's shoulders.

Only one problem. Somebody forgot to memo Lien Chan.

Lien was, to use a technical term from clinical psychology, discombobulated. On the one hand, he was high as a kite. What every fruit vendor on Taiwan knew for years was now official. Lien would be Taiwan's next Emperor. On the other hand, even the aloof and haughty Lien, unlike senile buffoon Lee, had sense enough to realize this little charade might rub voters the wrong way. The yellow robe clung to his shoulders for mere seconds before a nonplused Lien managed to shrug it off with embarassment.

Anyone who has ever been "arrested" and handcuffed at a surprise birthday party by a stripper masquerading as a uniformed cop knows exactly how Lien felt.

Lee's extravagantly funded but ultimately shabby little burlesque impressed the voting public, only not the way Mr. Democracy had in mind. Lee shot his Heir Apparent in the metaphorical foot. Like Marie Antoinette's ingenuous suggestion "Let them eat cake," Lee's amateurish high school skit betrayed just how clueless Mr. Democracy was about anything resembling genuine democracy.

KMT and DPP National Assemblymen crown themselves Little Emperors

Mr. Democracy Lee Teng-hui is a real piece of work. But Kuomintang (KMT) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members of the ROC National Assembly one-upped even him. Too impatient to wait around for someone else to crown them Little Emperors, these highly-motivated public servants donned Imperial Yellow Robes on their own. They "voted democratically" to increase their own elective four year terms of office by an additional two years.

Under what system of genuine representative government can elected officials, without consulting the voters, simply go ahead and lengthen their own terms? Not for future office-holders mind you, but their own, current terms?

How, but more importantly, why the KMT and DPP delivered this slap to the face of Government of the People, by the People, and for the People, is one for the books.

Make no mistake. KMT and DPP Assemblymen knew they were doing was unconstitutional. KMT and DPP Assemblymen knew what they were doing was undemocratic. KMT and DPP Assemblymen knew what they were doing would not go over well with the public.

That's why they hid their faces from reformist New Party (NP) protestors holding an all-night vigil outside the National Assembly main gate. That's why they tried to slink into the Assembly Hall unnoticed through the side entrance. That's why when caught in the act they covered their nametags with the palms of their hands and refused to identify themselves.

The New Party: The Loyal Opposition

Inside the National Assembly, New Party Assemblymen reminded their honorable KMT and DPP colleagues of something which apparently slipped their minds: National Assemblymen had no legal authority to vote on such a matter in the first place. Their authority was delegated, by the people. Their terms of office were defined, by the people. The people decide how long they serve. Assemblymen don't get to make that call. If the people authorized them to serve four years, then they serve four years. Not six years. Not four years and one day, but four years.

New Party Assemblymen, all 39 of them, unable to disabuse themselves of the notion that the Constitution of a constitutional republic is sacrosanct, resorted to various tactics to prevent the "term extension" from being brought to a vote. They repeatedly exited the proceedings en masse just prior to key votes in order to leave the Assembly without a quorum.

But National Assembly Speaker Su Nan-cheng (KMT) was under secret, "plausibly deniable" orders from KMT Party Chairman Lee Teng-hui to ram this unconstitutional measure through the National Assembly or else commit seppuku. DPP Assemblymen were under similar orders from DDP National Assemblyman and Party Whip Law I-tieg.

Not that most KMT and DPP Assemblymen needed much arm-twisting. Their greed, ambition and pragmatism meshed perfectly with the greed, ambition and separatist zealotry of Lee and Law, the string-pullers behind this anti-democratic puppet show.

Lee and Law: Basically Lawless

What was so important to Mr. Democracy that such heavy-handed authoritarian tactics had to be brought to bear on the National Assembly?

The real reason was not perks and pork for the Assemblymen. The real reason was to ensure that the composition of the National Assembly would not be reconfigured by anything so pesky as a regularly scheduled election during Lee's remaining eight months as president and remaining two years as KMT Party Chairman. Lee was desperate to ensure that the current KMT and DPP Assemblymen were not voted out of office before they voted "democratically" to enshrine Lee's "two states" theory into law.

Lee Teng-hui and Law I-tieg plan to declare Taiwan independence, by stealth. They would morph the Constitution of the Republic of China into a "Taiwan Basic Law." Neither loyal citizens of the Republic of China, nor clueless western China critics would realize what was happening right under their noses.

When mainland China figured out this legalistic sleight of hand amounted to defacto secession and moved to prevent it, Lee would paint the anti-secessionist mainland as an "anti-democratic bully intent on imposing a communist dictatorship on a democratic Taiwan," and smear anti-secessionists on Taiwan as "Tai-jian" ("traitors to Taiwan") or "Communist agents."

New Party Assemblymen were not fooled for one minute. They knew perfectly well what was going on. They pointed out if the KMT and DPP insisted on going through with this unconstitutional charade masquerading as parliamentary procedure, their "term extension" would have no legal validity. They would not be real National Assemblymen, but former National Assemblymen pretending to be National Assemblymen. Any "constitutional reforms" they subsequently went through the motions of passing would be legally null and void.

New Party Assemblymen also knew, unfortunately, they simply didn't have enough seats by themselves to stop this infernal machinery in its tracks. Confronted with the grim prospect KMT and DPP Assemblymen would get away with this pretense, the New Party Assemblymen decided they had no choice but to participate in the voting. All 39 voted no.

When the ballots were counted, the measure was defeated! By six votes. DPP Whip Law I-tieg mounted the podium and expressed regret that such a "worthy" measure had been defeated.

Two hundred New Party protestors monitoring the proceedings on television monitors in the Assembly antechamber roared in jubilation. Their sleepless two day vigil had paid off. They had shamed just enough non-New Party Assemblymen into honoring the Constitution they had sworn to uphold.

The measure had been defeated, fair and square. That, under any bona fide parliamentary democracy, should have been the end of it, right?

A Mad Tea Party

Wrong. Remember, this is not "Democracy." This is "Taiwan Democracy."

The first ballot had been open, forcing those who voted yes to identify themselves as answerable to the voters.

KMT and DPP Assemblymen demanded a second ballot. This time, in secret. The rationale offered was that with such a close vote, another ballot was "reasonable." Assembly Speaker Su, after a brief show of coy resistance, caved in and decreed that everyone had to vote again.

KMT and DPP party enforcers turned the screws on the handful of their own party members who had retained a shred of conscience. Meanwhile secret balloting would give anyone who voted no the first time around the option of changing their vote but lying with a straight face they were among the handful of non-New Party Assemblymen who stood firm and voted no.

When the second ballot was taken, the measure passed. By one vote. All 39 New Party Assemblymen had again voted no. To prove it, every one of them defiantly exposed their own "secret" ballots to public view, prompting KMT and DPP thugs to threaten them with bodily injury.

Did Assembly Speaker Su demand a third ballot, seeing how the vote was now even closer? Wouldn't yet another ballot be even more "reasonable?" Are you kidding? Now that Su had gotten Mr. Democracy Lee Teng-hui and DPP Party Whip Law I-tieg the result they ordered, end of story.

New Party Assemblymen, seeing their heroic efforts to expose this pseudo-democratic con job staged for the benefit of the politically unsophisticated "silent majority" come to naught, and confronted with ugly threats of physical assault, protested the only way they had left, by walking out and boycotting the remainder of the proceedings.

KMT and DPP party hacks are accustomed to getting away with murder. Occasionally some victimized constituency will raise a ruckus, but absent sufficient outrage in a critical mass of an ROC public too numb to believe their wishes make the slightest difference, KMT and DPP party hacks simply lay low until the storm blows over.

Who Ya Gonna Believe? Me, or Your Lying Eyes?

This time however things looked different. The KMT and DPP had correctly anticipated public indignation, but they underestimated the intensity. To their consternation what they forecast as a tropical storm shaped up as a full-fledged hurricane. Taiwan's electorate was "mad as hell and not going to take it any more."

Caught off balance, KMT Party Chairman Lee Teng-hui, KMT Party Secretary John Chang scuttled for cover, like cockroaches surprised when the kitchen light is turned on. Both flatly denied all responsibility for the measure's passage, turned on hapless KMT Assembly Speaker Su Nan-cheng, lambasting him for "defying the will of the Party for purely selfish motives." Poor Su. Yesterday the Good Soldier, today the Designated Fall Guy. In a show trial worthy of Joe Stalin or Chairman Mao, Su was stripped of his National Assembly Speakership, his National Assemblyman seat, even his KMT Party membership. All for carrying out Chairman Lee Teng-hui's orders to the letter. I almost felt sorry for him. Almost.

DPP Party Whip Law I-tieg scuttled too, only in the opposite direction. Rather than deny complicity, he admitted orchestrating the entire charade with Mr. Democracy from behind the scenes. Instead Law spun the DPP's power-grab as high-minded "reform." Taiwan was holding too many elections, he averred. The Election Commission was spending too much money holding elections. Candidates were spending too much money running for elective offices. Term extensions were passed "merely to synchronize Assembly elections with quadrennial Legislative Yuan elections." Lengthened terms were evidence of "DPP fiscal responsibility." As evidence of their "good faith," DPP Assemblymen hastily called press conferences in which they offered to "donate their salaries to charity."

An Idea whose Time has Come. And Gone

Now here's an idea whose time has come. Fewer elections to save taxpayers money! The separatist Democratic Progressive Party is certainly nothing if not "democratic" and "progressive." Now why didn't our own congressional budget-cutters think it? Forget about term limits. GOP congressmen who got all worked up about term limits while out of power certainly have, now that they control congress. Why not let House members save on biennial campaigns by voting themselves a "Taiwan term extension" and simply serve six years like our Senators?

Hell, why stop there? Why not let Bill Clinton extend his current four year term by two years while we're at it? In fact, why not institute a monarchy? Bill Clinton could emulate Mr. Democracy Lee Teng-hui by arranging to drape a yellow emperor's robe over Prince Albert at the Democratic convention. I see a budget surplus accumulating already.

Ministry of Truth, or "Minitrue"

How did newspapers and television stations owned and operated by the KMT and DPP party machines report this sordid affair? Realizing they couldn't get their own National Assemblymen off scot-free by whitewashing them, they ran headlines such as "Three Parties Share in the Spoils," smearing the idealistic, reformist New Party, which had done everything humanly possible to prevent this outrage from materializing, lumping them together with the actual culprits from their own parties.

War is Peace

Hapless citizens of the Republic of China, whom China Threat theorists helpfully inform us "live in a thriving democracy, unlike Chinese on the mainland," have watched in impotent rage as sleazy Taiwan separatist demagogues twice trampled over their rights by "donning the Yellow Robes" of emperors.

The cruel hoax they have perpetrated on the trusting citizens they were elected to serve mean nothing to Taiwan's separatist elite. The rule of law means nothing to Taiwan's separatist elite. The ROC Constitution they swore to uphold when they assumed the offices they currently occupy mean less than nothing to Taiwan's separatist elite. But above all, ordinary ROC citizens' humble aspirations for a life of peace and prosperity mean nothing to Taiwan's separatist elite.

The Taiwan separatist elite's American passports and green cards are all in order. They're not sweating it. They'll be lined up at TPE boarding gates bound for LA or Tokyo faster than you can say "Incoming!" If ordinary Chinese citizens stuck on Taiwan die, that's too bad. What are the lives of faceless proles and plebes compared to the Taiwan separatist elites' dream of a "Republic of Taiwan?" Or rather, if truth in labeling applied to politics, a "Kingdom of Taiwan?" An intolerant, petty, insular little kingdom, with Taiwan's Little Emperors installed on the throne?

Thursday, September 16, 1999

Globocops with Guillotines

Globocops with Guillotines
Bevin Chu
September 16, 1999

America's self-appointed global interventionists, henceforth referred to as "Globocops," hold our Founding Fathers' political philosophy in ill-concealed contempt. Globocops on the Left and Globocops on the Right may butt heads on other issues, but the one thing they agree on is that our Founding Fathers' uncompromising "Mind Our Own Business" foreign policy is a quaint relic of a bygone "horse and buggy" era, irrelevant to either the liberal New World Order or the neo-con Unipolar World.

The Founding Fathers' stature as American national heroes has afforded them some immunity from frontal assaults on their intellectual legacy. Instead, Globocops on the Left and Right have manifested their contempt through benign, or should I say, malign neglect.

Globocops on the Left are the ideological spawn of America's first homegrown socialist, Woodrow Wilson. Globocops on the Left see themselves as "We are the World, We are the Children," social workers of the New World Order.

Globocops on the Right are the ideological spawn of America's first homegrown fascist, Theodore Roosevelt. Globocops on the Right see themselves as "We run the World, We are the Bosses," capo di tutti capi of the Unipolar World.

The common denominator is Globocops on the Left and Right alike demand American military intervention in distant lands even when the morally just and proper defense of America's homeland is not at issue. Globocops claim their "Have Gunboat, Will Travel" foreign policy constitutes an appropriate and necessary response to the complex realities of a shrinking and interrelated world.

Some of them may even believe this sophistry.

Globocops on the Left demand American military intervention in the Balkan Peninsula. They want to defend Albanians against "Serbian ethnic cleansing," even though Albanian KLA terrorists are the ones ethnically cleansing the Serbians.

Globocops on the Right demand American military intervention in the Taiwan Straits. They want to defend Taiwan Chinese against "communism," even though mainland Chinese are "capitalist roaders" busy dismantling their money-losing SOEs as fast as humanly possible, and the Taiwan separatist demagogues are disciples of Japanese neofascism.

The Globocops can't even tell the good guys from the bad guys. But they know they have to "do something." They're itching to "do something." That "something" usually involves killing lots of "evildoers." Preferably from 15,000 feet. Who are the "evildoers?" The Globocops aren't sure. But why worry? Kill 'em all. Let God sort 'em out. Globocops on the Left are Tweedledum. Globocops on the Right are Tweedledumber. Or maybe vice versa.

Sir Isaac Newton once demurred he was able to see as far as he had only because he "stood on the shoulders of giants." The Globocops should try standing on the shoulders of foreign policy giants George Washington and John Quincy Adams. If they did, they might realize the folly of playing Globocops and robbers and desist from further undermining any remaining vestiges of international order in the world.

The Globocops have convinced themselves that their headlong undermining of long-established conventions of international law have assisted the birth of a New World Order of universal justice. The possibility they may have spilled open Pandora's Box, destroying what little hope the world had for a relatively harmonious and peaceful Twenty-first Century apparently never crossed their minds.

Globocops seldom spell out in so many words just what it is they think authorizes our federal Leviathan to initiate military aggression against foreign nations which have not attacked sovereign American territory. It sure as hell isn't our Constitution. Therefore it is necessary for classical liberal, Old Right and libertarian opponents of global intervention to spell out the Globocops' rationale in plain English.

In essence the Globocops' moral calculus goes something like this. Our nation is a "democracy." Being a "democracy" our government is "legitimate." Being "legitimate" our government is morally superior to "illegitimate" governments. Therefore our government is entitled to do "whatever is necessary" to put a stop to "unacceptable" behaviour by "illegitimate" governments.

This may represent the reasoning process of medieval Crusaders, Islamic Jihad and the Taliban. It was most certainly not the reasoning process of America's Founding Fathers.

George Washington in his Farewell Address of 1796 urged future generations of Americans to:

"Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all... It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and... great Nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a People always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that... such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a Nation with its virtue?"

Charley Reese of the Orlando Sentinel recently vented his disgust with the Globocops' betrayal of our Founders' strict non-interventionism in more contemporary vernacular:

"We ought to be the good guys, and we aren't. We are meddling in other people's countries, bullying them, killing them, breaking international laws right and left, acting the hypocrite and being an all-around jerk of a nation. The fault lies with the civilian leadership, not with the military, and ultimately with us because we elect the civilian leadership. For a self-governing people, we haven't done such a hot job in recent years."

An email which recently turned up in my mailbox, penned by a "reluctant" Globocop speaks volumes about how far the level of American political discourse has declined since Washington spoke of "the magnanimous and too novel example of a People always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence."

Here is the text of this Globocop's letter, verbatim. I have not altered his spelling, punctuation, grammar or syntax.

"American's hate dictators. Mainland China is still ruled by dictators that surpress political opposition. American's consider democracy sacred. Taiwan is a democracy. American's don't like big bullies, especially when they pick on little guys. Mainland. American's like little guys. Taiwan. If mainland China tries to use force against Taiwan, America's will see it as a big bully dictator attacking a sacred democracy little guy. They will go to Taiwan's aid, even if it means nuclear war with China. This is how the majority of American's think. I live here, it is a democracy, so all I can do is hope than the men in Beijing will realize how the American public thinks and not do something extremely foolish and attack Taiwan."

Never mind that the ROC under Lee Teng-hui is not an authentic democracy, but a Marcos-style dictatorship. Never mind that former Justice Minister Liao Cheng-hao, who resigned last year in disgust, just blew the whistle on Lee Teng-hui, confirming what every cab driver in Taipei already knew, that "Mr. Democracy" routinely resorts to police state tactics such as illegal wiretaps of opposition politicians. Never mind that "elective monarch" Lee Teng-hui is actually less answerable and less responsive to the ROC's Legislative Yuan and National Assembly than Jiang Zemin is to the PRC's National People's Congress. Our reluctant Globocop's mind was made up and he wasn't about to be confused by the facts.

Our "reluctant" Globocop went on to share in almost erotic detail the destruction the Pentagon's cutting edge military technology would inflict on an egregiously overmatched China, concluding with:

"[If] the Chinese leadership attacks Taiwan, then China likely winds up in chaos or as radioactive dust, depending on how things play out."

This "reluctant" Globocop's thinly-veiled, macho threat that the World's Only Remaining Superpower would launch a nuclear first strike against a post-communist China committed to radical reform, on the pretext of "promoting human rights" was accompanied by a disclaimer: his remarks were merely a warning from a friend of the Chinese people, that he himself naturally deplores such a prospect.

As much as I would like to claim these were the rantings of some rabid Taiwan separatist, they were not. They were written by a fellow American, "native" born. His identity does not matter. This is not about a specific individual, but how human beings in general can descend to such depths of depravity, even while stroking themselves for their moral virtue.

What matters is how this "reluctant" Globocop's alarmingly simplistic moral calculus, lending a veneer of legitimacy to his darker impulses, could express itself in an obscene eagerness to reduce unseen strangers to "radioactive dust." Did this "reluctant" Globocop not declare that tender concern for victims was his original motive for "humanitarian intervention?" Now suddenly he is only mildly perturbed by the prospect these same victims may wind up as radioactive dust alongside their victimizers? Is it unfair to suggest that the real reason he failed to notice this glaring contradiction in his moral posturing was he never really cared about the victims to begin with?

This is the mind-numbing "justice" the Globocops are prepared to administer to any "evildoer" who dares defy the Globocops' Benevolent Global Hegemony, and anyone else unfortunate enough to be caught at Ground Zero. I for one cannot believe the vast majority of my fellow Americans share this reluctant Globocop's transparent, cold-blooded hypocrisy.

The visionary American political philospher Isabel Paterson, in a timeless essay entitled "The Humanitarian with the Guillotine" recounted how "humanitarians" throughout history have monotonously reenacted an identical tragedy, over and over again. Every time humanitarians have marched confidently in lockstep down Roads Paved with Good Intentions. Every time the intended destination has been Utopia. Every time the actual destination has always been a town square featuring a blood-soaked guillotine, with the fingers of the humanitarian wrapped around the guillotine's operating lever.

The Humanitarian with the Guillotine

Wednesday, September 15, 1999

The Humanitarian With The Guillotine

The Humanitarian With The Guillotine
Isabel Paterson
September 1955

Reprinted from The God of the Machine, by Isabel Paterson, published in 1946, now out of print.

Most of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse, or omission. It is the result of their deliberate actions, long persevered in, which they hold to be motivated by high ideals toward virtuous ends. This is demonstrably true; nor could it occur otherwise. The percentage of positively malignant, vicious, or depraved persons is necessarily small, for no species could survive if its members were habitually and consciously bent upon injuring one another. Destruction is so easy that even a minority of persistently evil intent could shortly exterminate the unsuspecting majority of well-disposed persons. Murder, theft, rapine, and destruction are easily within the power of every individual at any time. If it is presumed that they are restrained only by fear or force, what is it they fear, or who would turn the force against them if all men were of like mind? Certainly if the harm done by willful criminals were to be computed, the number of murders, the extent of damage and loss, would be found negligible in the sum total of death and devastation wrought upon human beings by their kind. Therefore it is obvious that in periods when millions are slaughtered, when torture is practiced, starvation enforced, oppression made a policy, as at present over a large part of the world, and as it has often been in the past, it must be at the behest of very many good people, and even by their direct action, for what they consider a worthy object. When they are not the immediate executants, they are on record as giving approval, elaborating justifications, or else cloaking facts with silence, and discountenancing discussion.

Obviously this could not occur without cause or reason. And it must be understood, in the above passage, that by good people we mean good people, persons who would not of their own conscious intent act to hurt their fellow men, nor procure such acts, either wantonly or for a personal benefit to themselves. Good people wish well to their fellow men, and wish to guide their own actions accordingly. Further, we do not here imply any "transvaluation of values," confusing good and evil, or suggesting that good produces evil, or that there is no difference between good and evil, or between good and ill-disposed persons; nor is it suggested that the virtues of good people are not really virtues.

Then there must be a very grave error in the means by which they seek to attain their ends. There must even be an error in their primary axioms, to permit them to continue using such means. Something is terribly wrong in the procedure, somewhere. What is it?

Certainly the slaughter committed from time to time by barbarians invading settled regions, or the capricious cruelties of avowed tyrants, would not add up to one-tenth the horrors perpetrated by rulers with good intentions.

As the story has come down to us, the ancient Egyptians were enslaved by Pharaoh through a benevolent scheme of "ever normal granaries." Provision was made against famine; and then the people were forced to barter property and liberty for such reserves which had previously been taken from their own production. The inhuman hardness of the ancient Spar-tans was practiced for a civic ideal of virtue.

The early Christians were persecuted for reasons of state, the collective welfare; and they resisted for the right of personality, each because he had a soul of his own. Those killed by Nero for sport were few compared to those put to death by later emperors for strictly "moral" reasons. Gilles de Retz, who murdered children to gratify a beastly perversion, killed no more than fifty or sixty in all. Cromwell ordered the massacre of thirty thousand people at once, including infants in arms, in the name of righteousness. Even the brutalities of Peter the Great had the pretext of a design to benefit his subjects.

The present war, begun with a perjured treaty made by two powerful nations (Russia and Germany), that they might crush their smaller neighbors with impunity, the treaty being broken by a surprise attack on the fellow conspirator, would have been impossible without the internal political power which in both cases was seized on the excuse of doing good to the nation. The lies, the violence, the wholesale killings, were practiced first on the people of both nations by their own respective governments. It may be said, and it may be true, that in both cases the wielders of power are vicious hypocrites; that their conscious objective was evil from the beginning; none the less, they could not have come by the power at all except with the consent and assistance of good people. The Communist regime in Russia gained control by promising the peasants land, in terms the promisers knew to be a lie as understood. Having gained power, the Communists took from the peasants the land they already owned; and exterminated those who resisted. This was done by plan and intention; and the lie was praised as "social engineering," by socialist admirers in America. If that is engineering, then the sale of fake mining stock is engineering. The whole population of Russia was put under duress and terror; thousands were murdered without trial; millions were worked to death and starved to death in captivity. Likewise the whole population of Germany was put under duress and terror, by the same means. With the war, Russians in German prison camps, Germans in Russian prison camps, are enduring no worse and no other fate than that their compatriots in as great numbers have endured and are enduring from their own governments in their own countries. If there is any slight difference, they suffer rather less from the vengeance of avowed enemies than from the proclaimed benevolence of their compatriots. The conquered nations of Europe, underthe Russian or German heel, are merely experiencing what Russians and Germans have been through for years, under their own national regimes.

Further, the principal political figures now wielding power in Europe, including those who have sold their countries to the invader, are socialists, ex-socialists, or communists; men whose creed was the collective good.

With all this demonstrated to the hilt, we have the peculiar spectacle of the man who condemned millions of his own people to starvation, admired by philanthropists whose declared aim is to see to it that everyone in the world has a quart of milk. A graduate professional charity worker has flown half around the world to seek an interview with this master of his trade, and to write rhapsodies on being granted such a privilege. To keep themselves in office, for the professed purpose of doing good, similar idealists welcome the political support of grafters, convicted pimps, and professional thugs. This affinity of these types invariably reveals itself, when the occasion arises. But what is the occasion?

Why did the humanitarian philosophy of eighteenth century Europe usher in the Reign of Terror? It did not happen by chance; it followed from the original premise, objective and means pro posed. The objective is to do good to others as a primary justification of existence; the means is the power of the collective; and the premise is that "good" is collective.

The root of the matter is ethical, philosophical, and religious, involving the relation of man to the universe, of man's creative faculty to his Creator. The fatal divergence occurs in failing to recognize the norm of human life. Obviously there is a great deal of pain and distress incidental to existence. Poverty, illness, and accident are possibilities which may be reduced to a minimum, but cannot be altogether eliminated from the hazards mankind must encounter. But these are not desirable conditions, to be brought about or perpetuated. Naturally children have parents, while most adults are in fair health most of their lives, and are engaged in useful activity which brings them a livelihood. That is the norm and the natural order. Ills are marginal. They can be alleviated from the marginal surplus of production; otherwise nothing at all could be done. Therefore it cannot be supposed that the producer exists only for the sake of the non-producer, the well for the sake of the ill, the competent for the sake of the incompetent; nor any person merely for the sake of another. (The logical procedure, if it is held that any person exists only for the sake of another, was carried out in semi-barbarous societies, when the widow or followers of a dead man were buried alive in his grave.)

The great religions, which are also great intellectual systems, have always recognized the conditions of the natural order. They enjoin charity, benevolence, as a moral obligation, to be met out of the producer's surplus. That is, they make it secondary to production, for the inescapable reason that without production there could be nothing to give. Consequently they prescribe the most severe rule, to be embraced only voluntarily, for those who wish to devote their lives wholly to works of charity, from contributions. Always this is regarded as a special vocation, because it could not be a general way of life. Since the almoner must obtain the funds or goods he distributes from the producers, he has no authority to command; he must ask. When he subtracts his own livelihood from such alms, he must take no more than bare subsistence. In proof of his vocation, he must even forego the happiness of family life, if he were to receive the formal religious sanction. Never was he to derive comfort for himself from the misery of others.

The religious orders maintained hospitals, reared orphans, distributed food. Part of such alms was given unconditionally, that there might be no compulsion under the cloak of charity. It is not decent to make a man strip his soul in return for bread. This is the real difference when charity is enjoined in the name of God, and not on humanitarian or philanthropic principles. If the sick were cured, the hungry fed, orphans cared for until they grew up, it was certainly good, and the good cannot be computed in merely physical terms; but such actions were intended to tide the beneficiaries over a period of distress and restore them to the norm if possible. If the distressed could partly help themselves, so much the better. If they could not, that fact was recognized. But most of the religious orders made a concurrent effort to be productive, that they might give of their own surplus, as well as distributing donations. When they performed productive work, such as building, teaching for a reasonable fee, farming, or incidental industries and arts, the results were lasting, not only in the particular products, but in enlargement of knowledge and advanced methods, so that in the long run they raised the norm of welfare. And it should be noted that these enduring results derived from self-improvement.

What can one human being actually do for another? He can give from his own funds and his own time whatever he can spare. But he cannot bestow faculties which nature has denied; nor give away his own subsistence without becoming dependent himself. If he earns what he gives away, he must earn it first. Surely he has a right to domestic life if he can support a wife and children. He must therefore reserve enough for himself and his family to continue production. No one person, though his income be ten million dollars a year, can take care of every case of need in the world. But supposing he has no means of his own, and still imagines that he can make "helping others" at once his primary purpose and the normal way of life, which is the central doctrine of the humanitarian creed, how is he to go about it? Lists have been published of the Neediest Cases, certified by secular charitable foundations which pay their own officers handsomely. The needy have been investigated, but not relieved. Out of donations received, the officials pay themselves first. This is embarrassing even to the rhinoceros hide of the professional philanthropist. But how is the confession to be evaded? If the philanthropist could command the means of the producer, instead of asking for a portion, he could claim credit for production, being in a position to give orders to the producer. Then he can blame the producer for not carrying out orders to produce more.

If the primary objective of the philanthropist, his justification for living, is to help others, his ultimate good requires that others shall be in want. His happiness is the obverse of their misery. If he wishes to help "humanity," the whole of humanity must be in need. The humanitarian wishes to be a prime mover in the lives of others. He cannot admit either the divine or the natural order, by which men have the power to help themselves. The humanitarian puts himself in the place of God.

But he is confronted by two awkward facts; first, that the competent do not need his assistance; and second, that the majority of people, if unperverted, positively do not want to be "done good" by the humanitarian. When it is said that everyone should live primarily for others, what is the specific course to be pursued? Is each person to do exactly what any other person wants him to do, without limits or reservations? and only what others want him to do? What if various persons make conflicting demands? The scheme is impracticable. Perhaps then he is to do only what is actually "good" for others. But will those others know what is good for them? No, that is ruled out by the same difficulty. Then shall A do what he thinks is good for B, and B do what he thinks is good for A? Or shall A accept only what he thinks is good for B, and vice versa? But that is absurd. Of course what the humanitarian actually proposes is that he shall do what he thinks is good for everybody. It is at this point that the humanitarian sets up the guillotine.

What kind of world does the humanitarian contemplate as affording him full scope? It could only be a world filled with bread-lines and hospitals, in which nobody retained the natural power of a human being to help himself or to resist having things done to him. And that is precisely the world that the humanitarian arranges when he gets his way. When a humanitarian wishes to see to it that everyone has a quart of milk, it is evident that he hasn't got the milk, and cannot produce it himself, or why should he be merely wishing? Further, if he did have a sufficient quantity of milk to bestow a quart on everyone, as long as his proposed beneficiaries can and do produce milk for themselves, they would say no, thank you. Then how is the humanitarian to contrive that he shall have all the milk to distribute, and that everyone else shall be in want of milk?

There is only one way, and that is by the use of the political power in its fullest extension. Hence the humanitarian feels the utmost gratification when he visits or hears of a country in which everyone is restricted to ration cards. Where subsistence is doled out, the desideratum has been achieved, of general want and a superior power to "relieve" it. The humanitarian in theory is the terrorist in action.

The good people give him the power he demands because they have accepted his false premise. The advance of science lent it a specious plausibility, with the increase in production. Since there is enough for everybody, why cannot the "needy" be provided for first, and the question thus disposed of permanently?

At this point it is asked, how are you to define the "needy," and from what source and by what power is provision to be made for them, kind-hearted persons may exclaim indignantly: "This is quibbling; narrow the definition to the very limit, but at the irreducible minimum you cannot deny that a man who is hungry, ill-clad, and without shelter is needy. The source of relief can only be the means of those who are not in such need. The power already exists; if there can be a right to tax people for armies, navies, local police, road-making, or any other imaginable purpose, surely there must be a prior right to tax people for the preservation of life itself."

Very well; take a specific case. In the hard times of the Nineties, a young journalist in Chicago was troubled by the appalling hardships of the unemployed. He tried to believe that any man honestly willing to work could find employment; but to make sure, he investigated a few cases. Here was one, a youth from a farm, where the family maybe got enough to eat but was short of everything else; the farm boy had come to Chicago looking for a job, and would certainly have taken any kind of work, but there was none. Let it be supposed he might have begged his way home; there were others who were half a continent and an ocean from their homes. They couldn't get back, by any possible effort of their own; and there is no quibbling about that. They couldn't. They slept in alleyways, waited for meager rations at soup-kitchens; and suffered bitterly. There is another thing; among these unemployed were some persons, it is impossible to say how many, who were exceptionally enterprising, gifted, or competent; and that is what got them into their immediate plight. They had cut loose from dependence at a peculiarly hazardous time; they had taken a long chance. Extremes met among the unemployed; the extremes of courageous enterprise, of sheer ill-luck and of downright improvidence and incompetence. A blacksmith working near Brooklyn Bridge who gave a penniless wanderer ten cents to pay the bridge toll couldn't know he was making that advance to immortality in the person of a future Poet Laureate of England. But John Masefield was the wanderer. So it is not implied that the needy are necessarily "undeserving." There were also people in the country, in drought or insect-plagued areas, who were in dire want, and must have literally starved if relief had not been sent them. They didn't get much either, and that in haphazard, ragbag sort. But everyone struggled through to an amazing recovery of the whole country.

Incidentally, there would have been much more severe distress instead of simple poverty at the subsistence line, but for neighborly giving which was not called charity. People always give away a good deal, if they have it; it is a human impulse, which the humanitarian plays on for his own purpose. What is wrong with institutionalizing that natural impulse in a political agency?

Very well again; had the farm boy done anything wrong in leaving the farm, where he did have enough to eat, and going to Chicago on the chance of getting a job?

If the answer is yes, then there must be a rightful power which shall prevent him leaving the farm without permission. The feudal power did that. It couldn't prevent people from starving; it merely compelled them to starve right where they were born.

But if the answer is no, the farm boy didn't do wrong, he had a right to take that chance, then exactly what is to be done to make certain he will not be in hard luck when he gets to his chosen destination? Must a job be provided for any person at any place he chooses to go? That is absurd. It can't be done. Is he entitled to relief anyhow, when he gets there, as long as he chooses to stay; or at least to a return ticket home? That is equally absurd. The demand would be unlimited; no abundance of production could meet it.

Then what of the people who were impoverished by drought; could they not be given political relief? But there must be conditions. Are they to receive it just as long as they are in need, while they stay where they are? (They cannot be financed for indefinite travel.) That is just what has been done in recent years; and it kept relief recipients for seven years together in squalid surroundings, wasting time, work, and seed-grain in the desert.

The truth is that if any proposed method of caring for the marginal want and distress incident to human life by establishing a permanent fixed charge upon production would be adopted most gladly by those who now oppose it, if it were practicable. They oppose it because it is impracticable in the nature of things. They are the people who have already devised all the partial expedients possible, in the way of private insurance; and they know exactly what the catch is, because they come up against it when they try to make secure provision for their own dependents.

The insuperable obstacle is that it is absolutely impossible to get anything out of production ahead of maintenance.

If it were a fact that the producers generally, the industrial managers and others, had hearts of chilled steel, and cared nothing whatever about human suffering, still it would be most convenient for them if the question of relief for all kinds of distress, whether unemployment, illness or old age, could be settled once for all, so they need hear no more of it. They are always under attack on this point; and it doubles their trouble whenever industry hits a depression. The politicians can get votes out of distress; the humanitarians land lucrative white collar jobs for themselves distributing relief funds; only the producers, both capitalists and workingmen, have to take the abuse and pay the shot.

The difficulty is best shown in a concrete instance. Suppose a man owning a profitable business in sound condition with a long record of good management wishes to arrange that his family shall have their support from it indefinitely. He might as owner be in a position to give first lien bonds yielding a certain amount; say it was only $5,000 a year on a business which was paying $100,000 a year net profit. That is the very best he could do; and if ever the business failed to produce $5,000 net profit, his family wouldn't get the money, and that's all there is to it. They might put the concern through bankruptcy and take the assets, and the assets after bankruptcy might be worth nothing at all. You can't get anything out of production ahead of maintenance.

Aside from that, of course his family might hypothecate the bonds, hand them over to the "management" of some "benevolent" friend, a thing which has been known to happen, and then they wouldn't get the money anyhow. That is about what occurs with organized charities having endowments. They support a lot of kind friends in cushy jobs.

But what if the business man, through the warmth of his generous affection, fixed it irrevocably so that his wife and family had an open checking account on the company's funds, to draw just what they pleased. He might feel innocently sure they would not take more than a small percentage, for their reasonable needs. But the day might come when the cashier must tell the happy wife there was no money to honor her check; and with such an arrangement it is certain that the day would come rather soon. In either case, just when the family needed money most, the business would yield least.

But the procedure would be completely insane if the business man gave to a third party an irrevocable power to draw as much as he pleased from the company's funds, with only an unenforceable understanding that the third party would support the owner's family. And that is what the proposal to care for the needy by the political means comes to. It gives the power to the politicians to tax without limit; and there is absolutely no way to ensure that the money shall go where it was intended to go. In any case, the business will not stand any such unlimited drain.

Why do kind-hearted persons call in the political power? They cannot deny that the means for relief must come from production. But they say there is enough and to spare. Then they must assume that the producers are not willing to give what is "right." Further they assume that there is a collective right to impose taxes, for any purpose the collective shall determine. They localize that right in "the government," as if it were self-existent, forgetting the American axiom that government itself is not self-existent, but is instituted by men for limited purposes. The taxpayer himself hopes for protection from the army or navy or police; he uses the roads; hence his right to insist on limiting taxation is self-evident. The government has no "rights" in the matter, but only a delegated authority.

But if taxes are to be imposed for relief, who is the judge of what is possible or beneficial? It must be either the producers, the needy, or some third group. To say it shall be all three together is no answer; the verdict must swing upon majority or plurality drawn from one or other group. Are the needy to vote themselves whatever they want? Are the humanitarians, the third group, to vote themselves control of both the producers and the needy? (That is what they have done.) The government is thus supposed to be empowered to give "security" to the needy. It cannot. What it does is to seize the provision made by private persons for their own security, thus depriving everyone of every hope or chance of security. It can do nothing else, if it acts at all. Those who do not understand the nature of the action are like savages who might cut down a tree to get the fruit; they do not think over time and space, as civilized men must think.

We have seen the worst that can happen when there is only private relief and improvised municipal doles of a temporary character. Unorganized private giving is random and sporadic; it has never been able to prevent suffering completely. But neither does it perpetuate the dependence of its beneficiaries. It is the method of capitalism and liberty. It involves extraordinary downswings and upswings, but the upswings were always higher each time, and of longer duration than the downswings. And in the most distressful periods, there was no real famine, no black despair, but a queer kind of angry, active optimism and an unfaltering belief in better times ahead, which the outcome justified. Unofficial, sporadic private donations did actually serve the purpose. It worked, however imperfectly.

On the other hand, what can the political power do? One of the alleged "abuses" of capitalism was the sweatshop. Immigrants came to America, penniless and ignorant of the language and with no skilled trade; they were hired for very low wages, worked long hours in slum surroundings, and were said to be exploited. Yet mysteriously in time they improved their condition; the great majority attained comfort, and some gained wealth. Could the political power have provided lucrative jobs for everyone who wished to come? Of course it could not and cannot. Nevertheless, the good people called in the political power to alleviate the hard lot of these newcomers. What did it do? Its first requirement was that each immigrant should bring with him a certain sum of money. That is to say, it cut off the most needy abroad from their sole hope. Later, when the political power in Europe had reduced life to a gloomy hell, but a large number of persons might still have scraped together the requisite sum for admittance to America, the political power here simply cut down admission to a quota. The more desperate the need, the less chance could the political power allow them. Would not many millions in Europe be glad and grateful if they could have even the poorest chance the old system afforded, instead of convict camps, torture cellars, vile humiliations, and violent death?

The sweatshop employer hadn't much capital. He risked the little he had in hiring people. He was accused of doing them a horrible wrong, and his business cited as revealing the intrinsic brutality of capitalism.

The political official is tolerably well-paid, in a permanent job. Risking nothing himself, he gets his pay for thrusting desperate people back from the borders, as drowning men might be beaten back from the sides of a well-provisioned ship. What else can he do? Nothing. Capitalism did what it could; the political power does what it can. Incidentally, the ship was built and stored by capitalism.

As between the private philanthropist and the private capitalist acting as such, take the case of the truly needy man, who is not incapacitated, and suppose that the philanthropist gives him food and clothes and shelter? When he has used them up, he is just where he was before, except that he may have acquired the habit of dependence. But suppose someone with no benevolent motive whatever, simply wanting work done for his own reasons, should hire the needy man for a wage. The employer has not done a good deed. Yet the condition of the employed man has actually been changed. What is the vital difference between the two actions?

It is that the unphilanthropic employer has brought the man he employed back, into the production line, on the great circuit of energy; whereas the philanthropist can only divert energy in such manner that there can be no return into production, and therefore less likelihood of the object of his benefaction finding employment.

This is the profound, rational reason why human beings shrink from relief, and hate the very word. It is also the reason why those who perform works of charity under a true vocation do their best to keep it marginal, and gladly yield the opportunity to "do good" in favor of any chance for the beneficiary to work on any half-tolerable terms. Those who cannot avoid going on relief feel and exhibit the results in their physical being; they are cut off from the living springs of self-renewing energy, and their vitality sinks.

The result, if they are kept on relief long enough by the determined philanthropists and politicians in concert, has been described by a relief agent. At first, the "clients" applied reluctantly. "In a few months all that changes. We find that the fellow who wanted just enough to tide him over has settled back to living on relief as a matter of course." The relief agent who said that was himself "living on relief as a matter of course"; but he was a long step lower than his client, in that he did not even recognize his own condition. Why was he able to evade the truth? Because he could hide himself behind the philanthropic motive. "We help to prevent starvation, and we see to it that these people have some sort of shelter and bedding." If the agent were asked, do you grow the food, do you build the shelter, or do you give the money out of your own earnings to pay for them, he would not see that that made any difference. He has been taught that it is right to "live for others," for "social aims" and "social gains." As long as he can believe he is doing that, he will not ask himself what he is necessarily doing to those others, nor where the means must come from to support him.

If the full roll of sincere philanthropists were called, from the beginning of time, it would be found that all of them together by their strictly philanthropic activities have never conferred upon humanity one-tenth of the benefit derived from the normally self-interested efforts of Thomas Alva Edison, to say nothing of the greater minds who worked out the scientific principles which Edison applied. Innumerable speculative thinkers, inventors, and organizers, have contributed to the comfort, health, and happiness of their fellow men-because that was not their objective. When Robert Owen tried to run a factory for efficient production, the process incidentally improved some very unpromising characters among his employees, who had been on relief, and were therefore sadly degraded; Owen made money for himself; and while so engaged, it occurred to him that if better wages were paid, production could be increased, having made its own market. That was sensible and true. But then Owen became inspired with a humanitarian ambition, to do good to everybody. He collected a lot of humanitarians, in an experimental colony; they were all so intent upon doing good to others that nobody did a lick of work; the colony dissolved acrimoniously; Owen went broke and died mildly crazy. So the important principle he had glimpsed had to wait a century to be rediscovered.

The philanthropist, the politician, and the pimp are inevitably found in alliance because they have the same motives, they seek the same ends, to exist for, through, and by others. And the good people cannot be exonerated for supporting them. Neither can it be believed that the good people are wholly unaware of what actually happens. But when the good people do know, as they certainly do, that three million persons (at the least estimate) were starved to death in one year by the methods they ap-prove, why do they still fraternize with the murderers and support the measures? Because they have been told that the lingering death of the three millions might ultimately benefit a greater number. The argument applies equally well to cannibalism.

Monday, September 06, 1999

Taiwan Independence and the Stockholm Syndrome

Taiwan Independence and the Stockholm Syndrome
The Real Reason the Taiwan Independence Elite refuses to be reunited with China.
Bevin Chu
September 06, 1999

Question: What is the real reason the Taiwan independence elite refuses to be reunited with China?

A. Because the Taiwan independence elite are "Native Taiwanese" who were colonized in 1949 by "Han Chinese" the way Australia and New Zealand were colonized by the British.

B. Because although the Taiwan independence elite are themselves Chinese, they are like America's Founding Fathers, and prefer death to colonial oppression.

C. Because the Taiwan independence elite are principled champions of free market capitalism, and reunification would mean they would have to live under socialism.

D. Because the Taiwan independence elite are victim/victimizers in a still unresolved "Stockholm Syndrome" identity crisis with its roots in a half century of humiliating Japanese colonialism.

If you answered A, B, or C, go to the back of the class.

If you answered D, should be writing this article, not me, for you already understand the underlying social psychology of Taiwanese separatism, better even than the Taiwan "independence" leaders themselves.

Let's look at the answers.

A. Because the Taiwan independence elite are "Native Taiwanese" who were colonized in 1949 by "Han Chinese" the way Australia and New Zealand were colonized by the British.

Wrong. Taiwan separatist leaders fraudulently label themselves as "Native Taiwanese." They are not. They are Chinese. Most are from Fujian province a mere 90 miles to the west. A minority are from Guangdong province slightly further south. Taiwanese is not a language, merely a regional dialect of Chinese. It is not even native to Taiwan, but originates in the Minnan ("South of the Min River") region of Fujian. The real "Native Taiwanese" are Aborigines related to New Zealand's Maori, who migrated to Taiwan in prehistoric times, and whom early Chinese settlers drove into the mountains. Taiwan independence is not an aboriginal rights movement and should not be confused with the Hawaiian independence or American Indian movements.

B. Because although the Taiwan independence elite are themselves Chinese, they are like America's Founding Fathers, and prefer death to colonial oppression.

Wrong. The American Revolution was motivated by political idealism. It was a radical republican rejection of a monarch's economic exploitation of a colonial population. ("No taxation without representation.") Americans of British descent who no longer considered themselves British were not ashamed of or rejecting their ethnic and cultural roots, they were inventing a revolutionary new political and economic paradigm which necessitated the severing of political ties with an obsolete form of governance.

Taiwan "independence" on the other hand is not about anything remotely so elevated. Quite the opposite. Far from rejecting colonialism, Taiwan "independence" is about nostalgia for Japanese colonial rule by Chinese collaborators with inferiority complexes who prefer to be something they are not, Japanese, rather than what they are, Chinese. It is about the neurotic need of an "elite" ruling class of Chinese Quislings to deny their ethnic and cultural identity ("We don't want to be Chinese").

To understand the mindset of the Taiwan independence elite, try to imagine Jewish victims of the Shoah as militant Holocaust denyers. Mind-boggling, I know, but truth is often stranger than fiction. Merely one example: on orders from Lee Teng-hui, the ROC Ministry of Education is busily engaged in Orwellian historical revisionism, rewriting K-12 textbooks to echo textbooks in Japan, which whitewash WWII Japanese war crimes while blaming China and other victims of Japanese militarism.

C. Because the Taiwan independence elite are principled champions of free market capitalism, and reunification would mean they would have to live under socialism.

Wrong. When it looked as if communism was gaining the upper hand, Lee joined the Taiwan Communist Party. Lee's Communist Party membership papers have been made public on TV talk shows both here in Taipei and in Beijing. The irony is that if Lee had not been the craven opportunist he is, he would not even be alive today to occupy the office of ROC President. When the political winds abruptly shifted, Lee saved his own miserable hide by ratting out the poor saps he himself recruited, who were executed by firing squad.

The shrilly pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) meanwhile, is exactly what it sounds like, a left wing, populist, democratic socialist party. Its rabid anti-business animus recently forced Germany's Bayer corporation to pull out of Taiwan in disgust after years of fruitless negotiations and millions in squandered preliminary groundwork for a proposed pharmaceutical plant in DPP contolled Taichung. [Update 2005: Over the years since this article was first penned, the liberal and progressive elements in the DPP have either left in disgust or been excommunicated, and the DPP has degenerated into a right-wing fascist party.]

Staunch anti-communist Chiang Kai-shek was responsible for Taiwan's universally acknowledged and justly praised "economic miracle." His economic advisors, implementing the same kind of economic strategies Ludwig Erhard used to breath life back into a West Germany leveled by Allied bombing, transformed an impoverished, exploited Japanese colony into one of the four "Asian Tigers." His son and successor Chiang Ching-kuo was responsible for Taiwan's democratization. The younger Chiang rescinded martial law, legalized opposition political parties, and aggressively promoted Min Nan, Hakka and Aboriginal Taiwanese into positions of authority.

Lee Teng-hui, on the other hand, contrary to what his high-priced Madison Avenue image consultants have bamboozled the western media into believing, contributed nothing to Taiwan's economic and political evolution. Soon after mentor Chiang Ching-kuo's death, Lee betrayed Chiang's tragically misplaced trust by turning Taiwan into a nightmare version of "Asian crony capitalism." Lee Teng-hui is nothing less than Taiwan's answer to Ferdinand Marcos. His wife Tseng Wen-hui's shopping expeditions to Japan are legendary, and put Imelda to shame.

Lee's sole "democratic reform" was to change presidential elections from indirect election by an American style Electoral College to direct election by the general public. Whatever benefits may have accrued from this procedural change have been offset negatively many times over by Lee's shredding of the ROC Constitution, Lee's undermining of Taiwan's still shakey commitment to the Rule of Law, and Lee's flinging the doors of government offices wide open to organized crime. According to Liao Cheng-hao, former Minister of Justice who resigned last year in disgust, thirty percent of Lee Teng-hui's KMT leglislators have triad (mob) connections.

Is Beijing dying to impose communism on either Hongkong, Macao, or Taiwan? Are you kidding? Just ask any diehard Marxists in the west what they think of the current regime in Beijing. They'll sputter with apoplexy that contemptible "Capitalist Roaders" like radical reformer Zhu Rongi have sold socialism down the river. Beijing today doesn't even want socialism for the mainland, let alone for Hongkong, Macao, or Taiwan.

It should be abundantly clear by now that answers A through C are not the real reason the Taiwan independence elite refuse to be reunited with China.

This leaves,

D. Because the Taiwan independence elite are victim/victimizers in a still unresolved "Stockholm Syndrome" identity crisis with its roots in a half century of humiliating Japanese colonialism.

Correct. Go to the head of the class! The Taiwan "independence" movement's real reason for not wanting to be reunited with China has nothing to do with ritual lip service the Taiwan independence elite mechanically pay to freedom, democracy, or capitalism, but rather with something about which they are in massive denial. It is seldom dealt with honestly even here in Taiwan, and never abroad. Taiwan independence is the Taiwan separatist elites' collective struggle with a variant of the Stockholm Syndrome -- a fawning, masochistic Japanophilia. Taiwan independence is the lingering aftereffect of Japan's soul-degrading 50 year colonial occupation.

In 1895 a newly invigorated, militarized Japan attacked a decadent, defenseless Manchu China and extorted from China her offshore province of Taiwan. In a heart-rending scenario straight out of "Sophie's Choice," Taiwan Chinese learned their own government had sacrificed them, albeit at gunpoint. Their feeling of bewilderment and disorientation can only be imagined.

This experience prompted an "elite" clique of Quislings on Taiwan to totally identify with their colonial overlords and to deny their Chinese-ness. Better an ersatz Japanese, they reasoned, than a bona fide Chinese. After all, wasn't it more dignified to be a second class citizen of the invincible Japanese juggernaut, than to be a full-fledged citizen of an enervated China too impotent even to prevent her people from being kidnapped and her territory from being annexed? Everybody loves a champ, nobody loves a chump.

Lee Teng-hui was born into a family permeated with this Quisling mindset, what the Japanese colonial government called a "Guoyu Jiating" or "National Language Family," meaning the family worked for Japan, spoke Japanese, adopted Japanese names, swore allegiance to the Japanese Emperor, and were "politically reliable." Lee himself has publicly repeated numerous times that before age twenty-two he considered himself Japanese.

In a news article entitled "Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui's Tears," a Member of Japan's Parliament after interviewing Lee told the Japan Daily Post, "Lee Teng-hui received a Japanese education during Japanese occupation. His older brother was a soldier in the Japanese Imperial Army and died in action. The result is Lee Teng-hui is in his own heart and in his own eyes even more Japanese than the Japanese. His yearning and homesickness for Japan is intense."

During WWII, each time news reached Taiwan that the Japanese Imperial Army had scored another victory against American and Chinese troops in the Pacific Theater, Lee Teng-hui would on his own initiative, without any external coercion, rally classmates at Tamkiang High School to hold pro-Japan victory marches, with himself leading the procession, jubilantly waving a Japanese flag and shouting "Banzai."

While Taiwan independence Quislings like Lee Teng-hui, Peng Ming-min and others lived lives of luxury and privilege in Kyoto and Tokyo by selling out their fellow Chinese on Taiwan, Taiwanese men who refused to actively collaborate were shipped off to the South Pacific as slave labor constructing military bases or as cannon fodder on the front lines. Taiwanese women were abducted and installed in brothels to serve Japanese soldiers as sex slaves, subjected to year after year of gang rape.

In 1987, when Chiang Ching-kuo died, ethnic harmony prevailed on Taiwan. Millions of ordinary citizens, young and old, rich and poor, Minnan, Hakka, Aborigine, and post-1949 arrivals from other provinces all turned out for his funeral procession. People wept openly. The depth of their gratitude was profound. The two Chiangs, authoritarian warts and all, had spared the ROC from Mao's madness and lifted Taiwan's people out of poverty. Taiwanese peasants formerly ground under the heel of Japanese colonial overlords now drove Mercs and Bimmers. Even animosity dating from the bloody 2-28 Incident of 1947, deliberately incited by diehard Japanese right-wingers who remained behind as Fifth Columnists to sabotage Taiwan's retrocession, was a thing of the past. Gradual but eventual German style reunification with a post-Maoist, rapidly liberalizing mainland was only a matter of time.

Alas, it did not take long for Lee Teng-hui, whom Chiang Ching-kuo made the monumental error of entrusting to carry on his reformist legacy, to betray his mentor, not to mention his Constitutional Oath of Office. Unbeknownst to Chiang, reunification was the last thing on Lee's mind. (Actually reunification was on Lee's mind, only with Japan, not with China.) Now that Lee was president, he would see that reunification with China never happened.

By the 1996 presidential election, Newsweek's "Mr. Democracy" was openly inciting Minnan Chinese to hate post-1949 arrivals from other provinces, referred to misleadingly as "mainlanders."

In fact all ethnic Chinese on Taiwan are "mainlanders." Some arrived earlier, some arrived later. Only the Aborigines, which constitute less than 2% of the population can claim to be "Native Taiwanese." Their status is akin to that of Polynesians in Hawaii, now America's 50th state.

With Lee's encouragement, thuggish Taiwan independence cabbies assaulted bewildered "mainlander" mothers with children in tow, screaming "Chinese pigs, get the hell back to the mainland!" Lee's coded campaign slogan "Taiwanese vote Taiwanese, mainlanders vote mainlander," was merely the local component of his larger anti-reunification strategy, which called for provoking enough hatred against "mainlanders" and mainland China that eventual reconciliation would be a political impossibility.

Poll numbers routinely cited by separatists to "prove" popular opposition to reunification are Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian's payoffs for "1984" style "Two Minutes Hate" campaigns. These orchestrated efforts have yielded blips in populist mob sentiment dutifully archived for future use as separatist propaganda. Respectable scholars and academics repeatedly decry this transparent incitement of irrational hatred on TV talk shows, but the Taiwan independence agitators simply ignore them and redouble their efforts.

To the separatists' chagrin however, and the Taiwan public's immense credit, more sophisticated voters have more often than not ignored their demagoguery and voted for the best man for the job regardless of provincial origin. Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou's resounding victory in 1998 over petty tribalist Chen Shui-bian, who played the "ethnicity card" to the hilt, amounted to a defacto rejection of petty ethnic prejudice among Taipei's more cosmopolitan voters.

Taiwan "independence" truly is an oxymoron. The Taiwan independence leaders' lips flap and ringing affirmations of "independence" issue forth, but the Taiwan independence leaders' insides are incarcerated in a psychic prison of complete and utter dependency. Dependent materially on the US Navy's Seventh Fleet for their "independent" political status, and dependent psychologically on Japan for their sense of pseudo self-esteem as ersatz Japanese.

The Taiwan independence leadership has made zero effort to come to terms with their unresolved issues through self-introspection. Instead, they have taken their personal/collective psychological conflict and externalized it as an international political conflict. Their very real emotional pain, which deserves to be dealt with, but on a therapist's couch or in an encounter group, is instead on the verge of being played out as deadly psychodrama on the battlefield.

Famed author, historian and ex-political prisoner Li Ao, the pro-reunification New Party's long shot presidential candidate, yesterday publicly exposed KMT presidential candidate Lien Chan's two sons and son-in-law as draft evaders, granted special exemptions by the Ministry of Defense. Apparently Vice President Lien's "princelings" lives are too precious to risk on the front lines fighting for the "independence" Lee Teng-hui and his handpicked successor Lien so self-righteously demand for Taiwan. [Update 2005: Over the years since Lee Teng-hui's ignominious departure from the KMT, former Vice President Lien Chan has emerged from under Lee Teng-hui's shadow. He has demonstrated by his deeds that he did not share Lee Teng-hui's treasonous political values and has become a surprisingly capable and responsible political leader.]

Li Ao also exposed DPP presidential challenger Chen Shui-bian as a draft evader. Chen, a loudmouth Taiwan independence grandstander whose attitude is "Declare independence now! To hell with the consequences!" promptly went on TV, all weepy and teary-eyed, pleading physical disability, which he helpfully demonstrated for the television cameras by bending one elbow outward slightly farther than normal.

Whether the Taiwan "independence" leaders ever come to terms with their collective identity crisis is no one's affair but their own. If the Taiwan independence elite decide they really prefer to be Japanese rather than Chinese, they are free to emigrate to Japan. Their indisputable right to make that choice will be honored. But if they imagine patriotic Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Straits are going to stand idly by while they take a chunk of sovereign Chinese real estate along with them, they have another think coming. And if the Taiwan separatist elite expect a free lunch paid for with American tax dollars and American blood, then it is time for every sovereign American who values his own life and his own plans for his future, to co-opt a slogan from the Sixties and shout "Hell no! We won't go!"

Appendix: Two Articles on the Stockholm Syndrome

Psychological Responses to Terrorism
by Rev. Fr. Charles T. Brusca

At 10:15 A.M. on Thursday, August 23rd, 1973 the Sveriges Kreditbank of Stockholm, Sweden was rocked by sub-machine gun fire. "The party has just begun," announced a 32 year old prison escapee named Jan-Erik Olsson. The party, indeed, continued for some 131 hours, or five and a half days, as Olsson held four of the bank's employees hostage in an 11 by 47 foot vault until late in the evening of August 28th.

While the Sveriges Kreditbank robbery itself may not have been of world shattering importance, later interviews with the four hostages yielded surprising results -- results that have been confirmed in numerous other hostage situations in the years that followed. Even though the captives themselves were not able to explain it, they displayed a strange association with their captors, identifying with them while fearing those who sought to end their captivity. In some cases they later testified on behalf of or raised money for the legal defense of their captors. The Swedish location of the Sveriges Kreditbank gave its name to this mental aberration as "The Stockholm Syndrome".

Long-term psychological study of this and similar hostage situations has defined a fairly clear and characteristic set of symptoms for the Stockholm Syndrome:

The captives begin to identify with their captors. At least at first this is a defensive mechanism, based on the (often unconscious) idea that the captor will not hurt the captive if he is cooperative and even positively supportive. The captive seeks to win the favor of the captor in an almost childlike way.

The captive often realizes that action taken by his would-be rescuers is very likely to hurt him instead of obtaining his release. Attempts at rescue may turn a presently tolerable situation into a lethal one. If the bullets of the authorities don't get him, quite possibly those of the provoked captor will.

Long term captivity builds even stronger attachment to the captor as he becomes known as a human being with his own problems and aspirations. Particularly in political or ideological situations, longer captivity also allows the captive to become familiar with the captor's point of view and the history of his grievances against authority. He may come to believe that the captor's position is just.

The captive seeks to distance himself emotionally from the situation by denial that it is actually taking place. He fancies that "it is all a dream," or loses himself in excessive periods of sleep, or in delusions of being magically rescued. He may try to forget the situation by engaging in useless but time consuming "busy work". Depending on his degree of identification with the captor he may deny that the captor is at fault, holding that the would-be rescuers and their insistence on punishing the captor are really to blame for his situation.

The Stockholm Syndrome: Not Just For Hostages
by Dee L.R. Graham, Edna Rawlings, Nelly Rimini

"The Stockholm Syndrome is an emotional attachment, a bond of interdependence between captive and captor that develops 'when someone threatens your life, deliberates, and doesn't kill you." (Symonds, 1980) The relief resulting from the removal of the threat of death generates intense feelings of gratitude and fear which combine to make the captive reluctant to display negative feelings toward the captor or terrorist. In fact, former hostages have visited their captors in jail, recommended defense counsel, and even started a defense fund. It is this dynamic which causes former hostages and abuse survivors to minimize the damage done to them and refuse to cooperate in prosecuting their tormentors.

"The victims' need to survive is stronger than his impulse to hate the person who has created his dilemma." (Strentz, 1980) The victim comes to see the captor as a 'good guy', even a savior. This condition...occurs in response to the four specific conditions listed below:

One -- A person threatens to kill another and is perceived as having the capability to do so.
Two -- The other cannot escape, so her or his life depends on the threatening person.
Three -- The threatened person is isolated from outsiders so that the only other perspective available to her or him is that of the threatening person.
Four -- The threatening person is perceived as showing some degree of kindness to the one being threatened.

Victims' Observed Strategies for Survival

Victims have to concentrate on survival, requiring avoidance of direct, honest reaction to destructive treatment. Become highly attuned to pleasure and displeasure reactions of victimizers. As a result, victims know much about captors, less about themselves. Victims are encouraged to develop psychological characteristics pleasing to captors: dependency, lack of initiative, inability to act, decide, think, etc. Both actively develop strategies for staying alive, including denial, attentiveness to victimizer's wants, fondness for victimizer accompanied by fear, fear of interference by authorities, and adoption of victimizer's perspective. Hostages are overwhelmingly grateful to terrorists for giving them life. They focus on captor's kindnesses, not his acts of brutality. Battered women assume that the abuser is a good man whose actions stem from problems that she can help him solve. Both feel fear, as well as love, compassion and empathy toward a captor who has shown them any kindness. Any acts of kindness by the captors will help ease the emotional distress they have created and will set the stage for emotional dependency of Counterproductive Victim Responses.

Denial of terror and anger, and the perception of their victimizers as omnipotent people help to keep victims psychologically attached to victimizers. High anxiety functions to keep victims from seeing available options. Psychophysical stress responses develop.