January 10, 2016
On January fifth, General Buo-Te Dai (戴伯特) who is the chairman of Huang-Fu-Xing Party Department (黃復興黨部) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT 國民黨) issued an open letter rallying their supporters. At glance, this may be a normal campaign behavior. However, digging into his letter, his words are way beyond appropriate political behavior in which he addresses those who disagree with him and his fellows as “the enemy.” If he were a civil official, then such addressing might be acceptable to the general public. Unfortunately, he is a military general. Such saying may cause a serious social matter. Even though this sounds ridiculous, at least he publicly expressed his true feelings which used to be hidden deep in his mind. Ironically, he pointed out that there are two nations on this Island called Taiwan.
According to political theory, the four characteristics of a nation are territory, sovereignty, some form of government, and a group of people who share a common identity. Sadly to say, people living in Taiwan seems to lack them all. There are a so-called “constitutional territory” and an “effective controlled territory.” Citizens have their rights to vote but that’s it. The current government started with a regime fled from China in 1949. Most serious of all, people living in Taiwan do not share a common identity. In one world, people have elders born as Japanese. In the other world, people have deep hatred against Japanese. I would like to examine and discuss this identity crisis going on among those who have connection with Taiwan only after 1949, so-called (named by the authority) outer province people (外省人). Both extremists like General Dai and free-riders with deceiving attitudes are out of my consideration. I would like to talk about the majority ordinaries, specifically their second generation, who are their first generation born in Taiwan. Although they were born in Taiwan, most of them could not identify themselves as Taiwanese like the way those who were born in the United States identify themselves as Americans.
Generally speaking, they are commoners just like the majority Taiwanese. Moreover, they are brainwashing victims of the autocratic Chiang regime as well. Besides the silly god-making of Chiang Kai-shek, the domination of Confucianism also prevents them from becoming a true “individual” and having their own “identity.” Seriously speaking, Confucianism is not a kind of philosophy. In fact, it is a pragmatism serving the authority. Of course there were few Confucians with integrity. Anyhow, they were the seldom exceptions and had difficult times. Under these circumstances, even though quite some of those outer province people have studied or once lived in Western nations, their deep rooted mind setting still could not be changed. From their real life experience, we can see the power and evilness of brainwashing. Actually, there’s more about this brainwashing. Although former President Lee Teng-hui did a lot for those outer province people, and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP 民進黨) politicians being very generous to those outer province people, most of them still cannot vote for the DPP or pan-green (泛綠) candidates when it comes to executive elections such as presidency and mayor.
Obviously, this kind of mental situation is beyond rationality. Unavoidably, we must analyze their psychological condition. They should be pardoned in some parts. For instances, we all know that rumors somewhat become facts after numerous spreading. What I am about to say are extremely ridiculous but those sayings are widespread among outer province people especially the ones living in military communities. There are sayings going on like “if Taiwanese have total control over the central government including the congress, they would do two things to the outer province people: first, Taiwanese would rape the women and girls of outer province people. Second, Taiwanese would drive out all outer province people into the Taiwan Strait and the Pacific Ocean.” Under the principle of rational inference, here I also mean excluding insanity, unless one has done inhumane things to the others, one should not have such belief. Even so, the mass majority of outer province people are innocent and should not bear such burden or sin of their few forefathers.
Nevertheless, everyone is responsible for her or his own life. Many of those outer province people are using collectivism as an escape and refuse to face the reality. The past has passed yet the future is coming. However, many of them refuse to let go of the past, which keeps them from moving forward. Emotionally speaking, they bind the past with their parents’ past along with their childhood memory. They consider eliminating the Republic of China (ROC) as elimination of their personality. But the funny thing is that they don’t really know what “personality” is. On the other hand, even though they are somewhat defending the ROC, they refuse to be responsible for the injustice behaviors of the Chiang regime and continue obstructing the process of transitional justice. This part they also seem like free-riders who only wish to enjoy benefits but deny responsibilities. Anyway, this is because they lack philosophical trainings. In fact, most people in Taiwan have the same problem. People more or less have learned some Western principles, but only segmental. They know the meanings of rights and duties but they don’t have the sense of timeframe.
Last but not least, sarcastically, those ordinary outer province people don’t want to be a part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) either. It seems like that they are stuck in a dead end. They don’t know how to get out but rationally speaking, they certainly wish to find a way out. Ironically, due to emotional influences, other people in Taiwan including Holos (福佬人) Hakkas (客家人), and aboriginals cannot provide sufficient support for those outer province people who wish to establish their identity. Under these circumstances, I suppose foreigners in Taiwan and abroad can kindly give us more support especially with philosophical training. Hopefully, we people in Taiwan can soon identify who we are and whom we wish to become.
(Another Chinese Nationalist Party hard-liners event)