Sunday, May 01, 2005

Taiwan's Next Move in the Game

The chairman of the capitalist authoritarian KMT in Taiwan yesterday shook hands with the chairman of capitalist authoritarian China. They formally ended the 60-year civil war between the KMT and the communists. China offered a seductive package of agreements, including favorable trade and military cooperation. As always and everywhere, the elites in control know that they must cooperate in order to maintain dominance.

The agreements would go into effect as soon as the KMT regains power over Taiwan. They are likely to do so in the 2008 election year.

This new move in the strategic game leaves Taiwan's democratic independence in a pickle. The KMT chair cannot be arrested as a traitor upon returning to Taiwan because his party is supported by 50% of the population, including the most powerful classes in the country. Also the KMT controls a majority in the legislature.

Boxed in with no other options, Taiwan's democratic Green Party must begin to think outside of the box. Viable alternatives still remain for a more promising and humane future. These alternatives do not involve the capitalist profit seekers nor the authoritarian elites. Power will depend upon cooperation. And a virus of participatory democracy must be injected on both sides, instead of simply exporting and importing hardware. As the governments have played themselves out into unpromising positions, it is up to such participatory democracy from below to connect across the Strait, to cooperate with each other. The alternative transnational movement involves:

  • NGO's to set up branches on both sides of the Strait.
  • Labor unions to embrace and push for the common interests of workers on both sides.
  • Dramatically increased exchanges among academics, journalists, and intellectuals.
  • Religious organizations to cooperate on both sides.
  • Human rights organizations to involve both sides
  • International NGO's, labor, human rights, academic organizations to foster such exchanges and cooperation.

These might be dismissed as an unlikely longshot in today's political climate, but that is to miss the level of such thinking. Here we are specifying the only path to a more humane and promising future, not toward so-called "realism".


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