The World without Discrimination: From Yu Ying-Shih’s “Introversive Culture” to Ip Iam Chong’s “Political Matter” (13)

Here, we have a significant conclusion for our research on the independent media movement in Hong Kong and Taiwan: the refusal of being labelled of “Coolloud.org” and the indiscriminative perspective on the media’s global development of “Inmediahk.net” are both the core characters of the Chinese social movement conforming to the spirit of Daoism elaborated by Laozi. This logical connection between Daoism and the characters of the independent media can be seen as an exemplification telling the important role of Daoist thinking in influencing the development of modern China nowadays. Through the above analysis, this is justified that the ancient thought does have its position in the age of globalization not only affecting the transformation of the “China” as a whole but also directing the thinking logic and reaction of Chinese people to the vicissitudinous world society and the future development of Chinese society. In fact, the two independent media do not apply Daoism as an instrument for their social movement practice. However, their activism naturally adapts to the characteristics of “Dao”. All in all, the practices of the independent media movement have helped us open up the opportunity to place the realization of direct dialogue between ancient intellectual civilization and modern Chinese society in the age of globalization, besides being parts of anti-globalization movement for people around the world.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

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The World without Discrimination: From Yu Ying-Shih’s “Introversive Culture” to Ip Iam Chong’s “Political Matter” (12)

Hence it is extremely important to abandon the problematic logic of anthropocentrism or human exceptionalism in order to rebuild our real understanding on the nature of the whole creation through assimilating the indiscriminative spirit of “Dao”, helping deconstruct the dilemma of human society nowadays. On the other side, from Ip’s opinion on the globalization of independent media movement we discover that Ip has an indiscriminative perspective of viewing the issue of “weak response” for social movement practice in Chinese society as a matter political, telling that the distinction between the East and the West cultures, such as Yu’s introversive-extroversive model of comparing social phenomena in different continents, in this context, is helpless for us to further understand the developing logic of the media activism because independent media, as a popular form of social movement practice, has been carried out in all corners of the globe: independent media is not the only approach used by social activists, campaigners and radicals in the West, so do the social movement practitioners in the Chinese. From this, we can say Ip’s thinking is concrete, parallel to our knowledge of seeing the anti-globalization movement as the “ecology” of the present development of human society, harmonized with the indiscriminative character of the influence of “Dao” argued by Laozi.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

The World without Discrimination: From Yu Ying-Shih’s “Introversive Culture” to Ip Iam Chong’s “Political Matter” (11)

Therefore, if we agree that all beings’ transforming is pushed by the indiscriminative influence of “Dao”, we should firstly reconstruct our understanding on the entire world by using the “indiscriminative eye”. For example, it is of no use to make a fixed definition of independent media movement as a social activism “against the economic globalization originated from the West” because this move itself represents a clear attempt of exclusion to categorize our thinking on the “others” for the human knowledge apparatus, ignoring the indiscriminative perspective hinted by “Dao”. For avoiding any ideological constraint contributed by existing knowledge, we have to assimilate the fundamental character of “Dao” for understanding the nature of the present development of human society. For instance, when researching on the practice of independent media movement in Chinese society, the key is to return to the basic questions related to the phenomenon: how the media carry out their works; what the nature of the “becoming” of the media movement is; how the future development of the practice can be, etc., not to focus on: what the definition of the media is; how strong the actual social influence of the media is (clarifying it with a lot of statistic figures); what the “advantages” and “disadvantages” of the activism for our society are, etc. The answers for the first three questions would be closely connected with the qualitative texture of the media movement practice. The necessity of using this thinking approach is: the global rise of independent media movement is directly made by the negative development of the politico-economic globalization with an indiscriminative characteristic – the globalization problems are affecting everyone’s life indiscriminately. On the contrary, the other three research focuses, obviously, aim to categorize and “flattenize” the research subject for human knowledge production. If we follow this approach, we are unable to understand the origin, the nature and the texture of the ongoing development of the whole creation. In Laozi’s words, we are departing from the place in which the understanding of “Dao” can be worked out.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

The World without Discrimination: From Yu Ying-Shih’s “Introversive Culture” to Ip Iam Chong’s “Political Matter” (10)

From this chapter, we learn that the influence of “Dao”, according to Laozi, is indiscriminative that covers all kinds of human beings, whether they are good or bad as well as treasure “Dao” or not. In fact, the vicissitudinous essence of “Dao” has no predetermined stance on treating any existences with different characters differentially. From the point of view of “Dao”, the whole creation is just existed for its own teleological destiny. However, “Dao” plays a fundamental role as the core principle of the transformation of the whole creation, directing the establishment of the entire ecological structure of the Nature, on which the gradual positive-negative development of human society is based. Laozi argues “Dao” is the only origin of the whole world, having an indiscriminating perspective of viewing all existing beings as the “same”, as the essential parts of the entity, regardless of whether the actual character of them is. “Dao” affects all of us, telling the significant nature of the indiscriminating logic of the transformation of the human reality given by “Dao”.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

The World without Discrimination: From Yu Ying-Shih’s “Introversive Culture” to Ip Iam Chong’s “Political Matter” (9)

道者,萬物之注也。善人之寶也,不善人之所保也。美言可以市,尊行可以加人。人之不善也,何棄之有也。故立天子,置三卿,雖有共壁,以先四馬,不若坐而進此道。古之所以貴此道者,何也?不謂求而得,有罪以免歟,故為天下貴。 [1]

“Dao provides the profound maxim for myriad things and creatures; Goodness [decency] provides security for all the good people; Even people of no good [morality] must seek security through goodness [of other people’s decency]. Beautiful and appealing talks, [even if they are not substantiated, could still be marketable for people’s admiration], that is, could still earn appreciation; Actions of celebrities [popularly attractive people] could carry their weight around; If people are not good [i.e. they have been deceived in the manner described above for the lack of discernment], Would the be the reason [for Saints] to abandon them [simply because of their gullibility]? Accordingly [by reconciling the above two, I conclude as follows]: Neither the honor of becoming an emperor, or being appointed as one of the Three Grand Dukes, Nor [the prominence of] marching down the public street, surrounded by servants carrying jade cups and riding in carriages drawn by four horses, Could match the fulfillment of the pursuit and advancement of the [Dao]. Why has [Dao] had being been valued ever since very ancient times? Didn’t someone say that [the apprehension of Dao] had enabled us to achieve what we had prayed for? And [practicing Dao] would purge us of our sins? For all of the above reasons, [Dao] is extremely valuable to this world.” [2]

In Chapter Sixty-two of Daodejing, Laozi says: “Dao” is the key of the gathering of the whole creation[3]. No matter good or bad, all men rely on “Dao”. Good men treasure “Dao” as the most important thing. On the other side, the men without good character also need “Dao” for self-preservation. The praise with respectful words can benefit all people around us. They do not ignore the existence of “Dao”, even the ones without good character. Therefore, we would rather see “Dao” as a principle to guide the state’s operation than create various mechanisms to protect the absolute power by many abundant materials. The main reason of “Dao” being treasured by the past generations is: in the positive sense “Dao” can help the people reach their own destination; in the negative sense “Dao” can let them approach the good and prevent bad luck. So “Dao” is to be treasured by all people under the sky.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

[1] See: Huang, Zhao (1991). The Annotation and Interpretation of Silk Book Laozi. Taipei: Studentbook. p. 336.

[2] See: Chen, Lee Sun (2011). Laozi’s Daodejing — The English & Chinese Translation Based on Laozi’s Original Daoism. USA: iUniverse. p. 205.

[3] According to Huang Zhao: “In the present (Wang Bi王弼) version of Daodejing, the term ‘zhu (注)’ is written as ‘ao (奧)’. The meanings of ‘zhu’ and ‘ao’ are identical. He Shang Gong (河上公) says: ‘Ao implies “cang (藏)”.’ ‘Cang’ means ‘xu (蓄saving)’, which implies accumulating. ‘Zhu’ also means ‘ju (聚gathering)’. The Chapter ‘Shourei’ of Zhouli (周禮.獸人) says: ‘Let animals gather in the centre of the hunting field with the flag of Yu (令禽注於虞中).’ ‘Shu (疏)’ says: ‘“Zhu” means “ju”.’ Accordingly, ‘ao’ and ‘zhu’ both have the meaning of ‘ju’. Here, we use the term ‘zhu’, which is also used in the Silk Book. The meaning of the ‘“zhu” of the whole creation (萬物之注)’ is parallel to the gathering of all beings.” See: Huang, Zhao (1991). The Annotation and Interpretation of Silk Book Laozi. Taipei: Studentbook. p. 336.

The World without Discrimination: From Yu Ying-Shih’s “Introversive Culture” to Ip Iam Chong’s “Political Matter” (8)

According to this theory, a new understanding on the significance of the independent media movement in global society can be established: as a part of anti-globalization activism, the media movement practice plays a crucial role in breaking down the ideological hedges and political borders between different cultures and civilizations for every citizen in the world. Wherever the humanist issues like political oppression and economic monopoly are extremely polarized, the free and open media for people’s voices, activistic information exchange as well as cultural dialogue would be built up, being the most significant form of globalized social movement nowadays.

In this context, the global development of this “indiscriminating” media social movement does give us an important basis to judge the distinctive anti-globalization movement is the “ecology” of the evolving human society because the phenomenon directly reveals the core principle of the metabolism of human politics – from the origin of state to the corruption of power and a new one being established, we can not only discover a clear and bold attempt of all humans to refine the quality of their political life, regardless of where they are, but also realize the essence of the “ecology” that explains the rise of globalization and other social phenomena inherited from the metabolism. That is to say, politics is politics, which is always monolithic and problematic that can never be “discriminated”. According to this thinking, the anti-globalization movement – independent media activism is the only civilized component of human society with an indiscriminating character embodying the core spirit of the “ecology” against the “politicalness”. As the matrix of human activities, the existentiality of the “ecology” can be used to further understand the tendency of the present globalized world. Moreover, we discover the “ecology” can also be interpreted by Daoist philosophy – the indiscriminative character can be found in the “ecology” of the humanity because it is the very origin of what men should follow.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

The World without Discrimination: From Yu Ying-Shih’s “Introversive Culture” to Ip Iam Chong’s “Political Matter” (7)

Interestingly, the Chinese people’s “no-sense” of concerning politics and social development, according to Ip, is a very political issue, having no relation with the so-called “cultural difference” between the East and the West. This political issue is made by the long-term development of the authoritarian ruling civilization on the Chinese land from the past to now. In fact, the form of the issue is artificial and “hard” that cannot be simply understood in a “soft” cultural context, connected with the factors like different ways of life, customs and religions of the people in different civilizing spheres. Therefore, the future development of the independent media movements in the Chinese societies is determined by: (1) how much energy of the Chinese for getting rid of the “political constraint” to be released in the public; (2) what the core strategy for the people’s awakening used by the independent media; (3) how much political pressure from the power to be put on the media movement practice. All in all, the development of the media activisms of “Inmediahk.net” and “Coolloud.org” shows that independent media movement is a feasible and practical approach to the strengthening of people’s dissenting spirit not only embraced by many radicals in the West but also welcomed by social activists and intellectuals in the Chinese societies.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

The World without Discrimination: From Yu Ying-Shih’s “Introversive Culture” to Ip Iam Chong’s “Political Matter” (6)

With the colonial histories, Hong Kong and Taiwan are the only two Chinese societies using capitalist economy as the core formula for social development earlier than the Mainland: Hong Kong had been an international city under British rule since the late twentieth century; Taiwan was “colonized” by the United States who had carried out many politico-economic interventions on the island since the second half of twentieth century. For example, for deterring the rise of the power of the Soviet Union in Asia, Taiwan, controlled by the KMT government at the time, became a close ally of the U.S. in the Far East, playing a crucial role as the “supply depot” for offering economic goods and essential materials for the superpower to continue the Vietnam War (1955-1975)[1]. After the lifting of the martial law, Taiwan entered the new era of democratization and was transformed into a free-trade economic body under the KMT governance[2]. Because of the complex histories of the Cross Strait regions, most Chinese people were forced to experience different social chaos in the recent decades. Some of them, including intellects and businessmen, chose to escape from the Mainland to Hong Kong and Taiwan, which had been seen as the near places with peace and opportunity to work. Against this background, it is clear that the two Chinese societies contain many people from the Mainland with a migrant character: living in a “stable” circumstance for life is the most important thing. In addition, a cold attitude of Chinese people toward politics and social reform is gradually strengthened in the development of modern China. This is related to the “deprivation” of the people’s right to participate in politics: since 1949, the Mainland has been controlled by the Communist party’s authoritarianism; no real democratic politics is practiced in Hong Kong before and after the handover; Taiwan had just become a democratic country until the DPP won the presidential election in 2000. These historical facts prove that Chinese people had less experience of practicing the basic political commitment to changing the social reality they were facing and to shaping their radical consciousness against any dominative powers not only on the Chinese lands but also from the outside continents.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

[1] “The October 1949 proclamation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) had a direct impact on the Viet Minh’s struggle for Vietnam because China could now provide the Vietnamese nationalists with a secure base area and a steady stream of supplies. After the Korean War began in June 1950, the United States took measures to safeguard Jiang (Jieshi蔣介石)’s regime on Taiwan and thereafter sold it substantial quantities of military hardware. …Although Jiang did not play a direct political or military role in the Vietnam War, Taiwan became an important Pacific base for the United States, Taiwanese industry provided essential goods and services to the American military.” See: Tucker, Spencer C. (2011). The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social, and Military History. California: ABC-CLIO. pp. 547-548.

[2] “As Taiwan’s model for economic development moved away from state-led development and toward liberalism and competition in free markets and after martial law was repealed in 1987, ROC legal institutions came to play a greater role in the regulation of the economy. While Taiwan’s economic miracle in the 1960s and 1970s demonstrated that globally competitive light manufacturing industries can be organized on the basis of networks of personal relationships if legal alternatives are not available, the same cannot be said of globally competitive, large-scale, capital-intensive, high-technology industries. Capital markets in Taiwan Have expanded in size and sophistication, permitting modern market-based institutions to supplant more traditional forms of doing business and raising capital.” See: Chow, Peter C. Y. (2002). Taiwan‘s modernization in global perspective. USA: Greenwood. p. 119.

Abstract: Rethinking Globalisation: Globalism, Ideology and the Aftermath

The rise of globalisation around the millennium suggests all civilisations in the world are gradually being transformed and integrated as parts of the global market apparatus which is directing the developing tendency of human society.

Today, rethinking globalisation is necessary because globalisation has been contributing to the form of a complex living circumstance in which people’s hope for the well-being is neglected: financial crises and terrorism unstoppable; the power dissolving any attempt to reflect on the alienating quality of humanity nowadays. For this, certain scholars have indicated the so-called “positive” aspect of globalisation, such as breaking down the political borders, has been overwhelmed by the “negative” aspect because globalisation is working as an ideology, playing a role in justifying the global operation of superpowers for their vested interest.

By following the above context, this article, first, questions globalisation based on the perspective of anti-globalisation movement. With Ulrich Beck’s globalisation theory, how globalisation to be working as an ideology will be discussed further. A qualitative reflection on the future development of the globalised civilisation will also be presented in the conclusion.

Keywords: globalisation, economic globalisation, ideology, the post-globalisation era

The World without Discrimination: From Yu Ying-Shih’s “Introversive Culture” to Ip Iam Chong’s “Political Matter” (4)

Therefore, we could have heard some arguments about various social phenomena, including the globalization of independent media movement, based on the analytical logic for the two distinctive characters mentioned. Those are discussed around the subjects of: (1) the concept of “independent media” is originated from the West and the media social movement is propagated from the West to the rest of the world; (2) the West is more “prosperous” and “advanced”, so the development of the social movement should be led by the Western independent media; (3) because of the rise of the movement conforming to the Western cultural logic, the movement can only be “well developed” in the West, dissimilar to that in other countries or regions in the world, such as the Chinese, etc.

Needless to say, all of these arguments are stereotypical because they all contain the ideological premise of the hegemonic West over the others. From the case study of the independent media “Inmediahk.net”, we understand that “different cultural backgrounds of the people” is not a factor influencing the form of methodology and tendency of the independent media movement practice. Ip argues that even Hong Kong and Taiwan are both seen as “Chinese societies”, they have their own people with distinctive politico-social logic, thinking traditions and ways of life different from each other. The point is whether the so-called “cultural divergence” is the major factor impacting the ongoing development of the independent media movement. If it is not the case, the arguments like “Chinese people do not care about the development of society” and “the Westerners are more courageous to have their own voices compared with the Chinese” should all be seen as problematic because they do not consider (or purposely ignore) the very fact that the forming of different characters and thinking logics of people in different societies is moulded by the vicissitudinous political climate of the human world from the past to now. Based on this knowledge, Ip believes that the sustainability of the media movement practice in the Chinese societies is mostly affected by how much stronger the political pressure contributed by the Chinese authorities would be put on the movement. This observation is of significance for the further discussion of the characteristic historical development of Chinese traditional culture and its profound influence on modern China.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

The World without Discrimination: From Yu Ying-Shih’s “Introversive Culture” to Ip Iam Chong’s “Political Matter” (3)

In the above section, we have argued that the categorization of human knowledge contributed by Western scientism is the very complicated outcome of the power attempting to control the “others” in the modern civilization[1]. Here, we have to understand the distinction between the “introversive-extroversive” characters of the Western and Chinese cultures is discretionary, not the only approach to understanding the profound influence of the ancient Chinese teachings and cultural traditions on the developing tendency of contemporary Chinese society. The discretion contributed by Yu can help us realize the complex structure of the politico-economic power establishment in globalization based on the basic developing logics of the two main civilizations: the West plays the role in leading, controlling and dominating the modern development of human world with the “extroversive” character. On the other hand, the “China” grows to play another role in following the West’s, becoming the “dependent” caused by the “introversive” consciousness in the historical context of the Chinese traditional culture evolution.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

[1] To understand the influence of the Western scientism on facilitating the categorization of human knowledge, we have two observations: (1) in a “positive” sense, categorizing the “knowns” may help people master them and make use of them further; (2) in a negative sense, the categorizing practice would hinder the form of the real understanding on the nature of the “others”, avoiding the possible establishment of an alternative thinking approach to the existentiality of the vicissitudinous human society.

The World without Discrimination: From Yu Ying-Shih’s “Introversive Culture” to Ip Iam Chong’s “Political Matter” (2)

Therefore, it is undeniable that the form of the “introversive” character is closely related to the profound influence of the “Three Teachings” on Chinese thinking culture and the development of Eastern societies. In the “Three Teachings”, Confucianism, especially, plays a crucial role in the solidification of the “introversiveness” of the people. For this, Yu cites one section of the classics of the Confucianism: Daxue to evidence the tight relationship between the form of the character and the Confucian teaching. In Daxue, the so-called “rest”, “determined”, “calm” and “reposed” are all the moral standards set by the Confucian teachers for the “attainment (得)” in a real sense. Here, an “introversive” thinking logic can be found in the section of Daxue: if we want to achieve the goal of the “attainment”, we need to change, improve and refine the quality of our spirit by following the ought-to-be requirements as the necessary step. In fact, the “attainment” is a kind of behaviour practiced by someone “for getting something from somewhere” that has nothing to do with the spiritual world. However, the words in Daxue teach people how to approach the “attainment” by this logic: everyone should firstly improve the quality of their spirit, after which the “attainment” can be realized. People would become “introversive” if they just follow this approach to the goal by “doubting” themselves because the teaching does not guide them to think about the outside world, but directs them to completely focus on improving their own mind for the “attainment”. Here, the “introversiveness” of the people is understood and jusitified as one of the important characters of Chinese traditional culture argued by Yu.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

The Daoist Logic of “Coolloud.org”: The Abandonment of “Name (名)” (13)

In conclusion, the similarity between Sun and Laozi on their pure concerns suggests Daoism, as a significant intellectual heritage, should not be seen as “outmoded”. On the contrary, it is a kind of libertarian thought that is embodied by the Chinese people’s logic of thinking different from the “straight science of reasoning” given by the West. For this point, “Coolloud.org” is a good example showing a close connection between the ancient Chinese thought and modern Chinese society. Laozi on the vicissitudinous essence of the Nature has its critical connotative meaning beyond the horizon of contemporary scientific civilization. The logic of thinking contributed by Laozi not only affected the evolution of the Chinese world in the ancient, but also influences the socio-political development of the “China” in the age of globalization. The point here is not related to whether Sun has been carrying out the media movement based on Daoism, but connected with the fact of a Daoist thinking logic being reflected in the independent media activism in the Chinese society. Sun’s rejection on the use of “label” fully embodies the Daoist spirit of not being restricted by any fixed knowledge. From here, it is reasonable to say that Daoism is (still) influential not only affecting the lifestyle of the Chinese but also directing the form of the social consciousness and activism of the people on the great Eastern land.

According to the above discussion, Sun’s Daoist logic for “Coolloud.org” is understandable and justified. In the next section, we will discover another kind of Daoist character of the media movement practice of the independent media “Inmediahk.net”.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

The Daoist Logic of “Coolloud.org”: The Abandonment of “Name (名)” (12)

According to the above analysis, an ideological connection between Laozi’s thinking on “Dao” and Sun’s opinion on the core spirit of the independent media movement is unveiled. This kind of connection is based on the same logic of emphasizing the significance of the “becoming” condition: both Laozi and Sun do not use any fixed ideologies or doctrines to describe or conclude their concerns. This fundamental discovery not only hints us the distinctiveness of the social movement practice in the Chinese, but also encourages us to think more about the possibility of understanding the “others” with a non-anthropocentric perspective: we can and should understand the existentiality of the whole creation by examining the “continuously developing reality”, instead of sticking with the existing knowledge available only in a particular given condition. Needless to say, to realize the “others” by considering their “becoming” state is relatively difficult. On the contrary, to understand the “others” based on the fixed knowledge establishment endorsed by the power is easier, parallel with the thinking logic of the contemporary scientism. All in all, to follow the primary approach brought by Laozi and Sun to the “truth” is desirable because we can avoid sinking into the ossified system of knowledge with dead names, titles, “flags” and teleologies that cannot help recall the real existential character of the whole creation because our thinking would be firstly restricted in such fixed images, being far from touching the essential principle of change of the Nature.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

政府的本質就是統治

今日,我們似乎不易把「政府」的存有性放置在被反省或檢討的立場上思考。權力,相對於被管理和統治的民眾而言,其本身擁有不可質疑的「先天性」。政治作為權力機構的體現,並不需要為了自身的合理、合法性去證成或辯駁。無論其以何種形式─君主制、代議政制…─呈現其自身,理論家和學者都普遍承認並肯定政府的存有和權力是「不可懷疑」、「不可抗拒」的事實。可是,支撐這些見解的基礎是什麼?而這些見解是否足以說服所有人停止檢討政府及其存有性對人類社會的負面影響?

無政府主義的各項論點恰恰擊中一般人不願去質疑政府作為權力中樞的存有核心基礎。無政府理論家提出他們的觀點,而這些觀點使人們有論理依據去重新檢視「政府」作為統治強權的必然性及其說詞的真與偽。

政府的本質就是統治、管理和干涉。無政府主義者普遍贊同此一觀點[1]。人類在文明發展過程中以理性、合作和互助的精神自然組成了各式各樣的生活群體,甚至擴展成一個整體社會(作為有組織性的複合社群型態)。不過,它如何確保?我們如何保證這樣的生活運作系統不被外力侵犯和破壞?怎樣使人的「自由」和「權利」得以實現並永存?什麼樣的制度能夠促進、主導帶領人類文明發展?一般政治學的解答是:建立一種強權即能達成目標。這就是「政府」的起源。

無政府主義者指出,人類文明及其發展並不是任何政權能有效地推動和確保的。人以自身的良知良能去建立群體生活、建構屬於其認同的生活方式,這些具體作用完全與政府權力機構的存有性無關。在政治現實中,我們可切身地體認所謂政府,它為社會大眾做了什麼富建設性的事情。這種現實進一步說明了:政權賴以為治的工具─「法律」,其存有的本質實包含了諸多未被徹底反省的問題。

(摘自: 無政府與全球化. 台北: 國立政治大學. 2003)

[1] 政府的形態改變並不會促使其本質產生變化。現代世界大部份文明國家普遍以「代議民主」作為政府構成的制度模式。不過,這種政治架構仍具有其不可磨滅的負面特徵。如克魯泡特金所言:「它總時常設法擴展它的立法權,鞏固它的統治權,干涉社會的一切事務,撲滅個人與團體的創意力,使其處處受著法律的箝制。」參見:克魯泡特金(1984)。一個反抗者的話。台北:帕米爾書店。頁148。

The Daoist Logic of “Coolloud.org”: The Abandonment of “Name (名)” (11)

Contrary to the teleological horizon of the Western scientism, Daoism offers an open thinking approach to considering the existentiality of the Nature and its crucial role in the perpetual change of the whole creation. From the Daoist point of view, the existence of the Nature does not imply any teleological logic. In the natural circumstance, “Dao” guides the changing tendency of the whole creation that would be reflected by the existential reality of beings. Here, the reason of arguing Western scientism cannot help people understand “Dao” is that in the present civilization situation human intellect is restrictedly developing in a tiny space incompatible with the Nature’s. For example, language, as a very civilized instrument for communication, is still not a good “carrier” of “Dao”, according to Laozi. In Daodejing, Laozi therefore argues we cannot conclude “Dao” with any appropriate words, statement or argument. With its unfixed nature, “Dao” is autonomously operating that will not be influenced by any possible factor, especially the artificial one. If we intend to understand “Dao” further, we should firstly respect the original existentiality of “Dao” and its vicissitudinous essence: let “Dao” talk about itself under the condition of deterring any intervention from the power of man. On the road to “Dao”, we should give up the “desire” to place “Dao” in the human knowledge system. If successful, we can fully understand what the essence of “Dao” is.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

The Daoist Logic of “Coolloud.org”: The Abandonment of “Name (名)” (9)

From this paragraph, we realize that Laozi uses “Dao” as a discretionary term to discuss what the developing of all beings is based on. This shows “Dao” itself is not a substantial thing. For understanding “Dao”, we need to pay more attention to observing the transforming of the whole creation with the “big”, “pass (逝)”, “far (遠)” and “return (反;返)” features. The core character of “Dao” cannot be understood through “Dao”. However, it is reflected in the perpetual change of all beings. With an unfixed interpreting logic, this approach to understanding “Dao” based on the continuously developing state of beings is echoing the Sun’s opinion on the spirit of the independent media movement: the “core” can only be understood by sustaining the growth of the social movement practice based on the ongoing development of the given social reality. No one can dogmatically conclude the “principle” of the media activism of “Coolloud.org” with a single “flag”, doctrine or ideology. Hence Sun realizes the social movement practice is inspired by certain humanist thinking. However, it is untrue to say the practice is carried out which is conforming to the inspiring thinking. In fact, the spirit of the media social movement is also becoming in accordance with the actuality of the media movement development. When we acknowledge all conditions for the social movement practice are continuously changing, we have no power to use any existing abstract to judge the nature of the practice.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

The Daoist Logic of “Coolloud.org”: The Abandonment of “Name (名)” (7)

Parallel with the logic of Laozi for “Dao”, Sun maintains that the “becoming” reality of the media activism is the basis of the “Coolloud.org” running to be “no-principle”. In other words, no theory or ideology can be the only “principle” to exhaust and direct the ongoing development of the practice. His major reason is that independent media is a kind of people’s cooperative body for a new form of social movement practice with the distinctive characteristic of global-local interaction of communities and individuals that is never existed in the past civilizations. For embodying the humanist spirits of spontaneity and solidarity for people’s alternative voices, the independent media movement must abandon any ideological constraints from existing theories or knowledge that have been the ingredients of the “mainstream” perspective used by the vested interests for solidifying their dominative position in the public in order to effectively expand its social influence based on the current development of the world society as a whole. The “cannot-be-told” stance is not connected with Sun’s personal unwillingness to elaborate the details of the “principle”. In fact, it is about preserving a larger space for a liberal development of the independent media movement by denying all kinds of doctrines, principles and theories. This is an epistemological recognition embedded in the thinking logic of Sun: we must remain “no-desire” for the “outcome” of any social movement practice. From here, we realize that Sun’s libertarian thinking is parallel with Laozi’s thought for the interpretation of “Dao”.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

The Daoist Logic of “Coolloud.org”: The Abandonment of “Name (名)” (5)

Obviously, Sun’s rational thinking on the dialectic relationship between the “theory” and the “practice” of social movement is parallel with the Chinese traditional thought – Daoism on the connection between “Dao (the Way道)” and “Name (名)” argued by Laozi, the representative Daoist philosopher in ancient China. Whether “Dao” can be told by words is a core theoretical issue of the Chinese thought:

道,可道也,非恒道也;名,可名也,非恒名也。無名,萬物之始也;有名,萬物之母也。故恒無欲也,以觀其妙;恒有欲也,以觀其所徼。 [1]

“Dao [Truth] can be talked about [described or theorized] in any manner each person considers feasible, though hardly any of these descriptions will be perpetually valid; Names [Descriptions] can be ascribed to Dao in any manner each person deems workable, yet hardly of these will last forever. In the beginning it is beyond us that the world and the universe [Heaven and Earth] were nameless [both inexplicable and indescribable]; [Nevertheless,] whatever happened to be possibly named [described] by us are the mother [origin of the descriptions of] myriad [all and every] things and creatures. Accordingly, I constantly refrain from my selfish [subjective] desires; In order to explore [objectively] the manifested wonder of it [Nature]; I also constantly maintain my volition [to seek objective knowledge], in order to pursue its [Nature’s] deep seeded enigma….” [2]

Besides the above translation of the First Chapter of Daodejing (道德經), we can have Laozi’s philosophical theory on “Dao” with our own interpretation: if “Dao” can be told by the words we use, the words are not representing the exact of “Dao”. Also, the “Name” which can be represented by the words we use is not the exact of “Name”. The “Namelessness (無名)” and the “Name (有名)” are both the only origins of all beings in the universe. If we move towards “Dao” without desire (無欲), we have an opportunity to completely understand what “Dao” is. On the contrary, if we move towards “Dao” with desire (有欲), we can only touch the surface of “Dao” embodied by the vicissitudinous changing of beings.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)

[1] See: Huang, Zhao (黃釗) (1991). The Annotation and Interpretation of Silk Book Laozi (帛書老子校注析). Taipei: Studentbook. p. 3.

[2] See: Chen, Lee Sun (陳麗生) (2011). Laozi’s Daodejing — The English & Chinese Translation Based on Laozi’s Original Daoism (老子的道德經 中英白話句解與老學研究). USA: iUniverse. p. 133.

The Daoist Logic of “Coolloud.org”: The Abandonment of “Name (名)” (4)

If Sun indicated there was a “principle” or a theory called “X” on which the running of “Coolloud.org” was based, our understanding on the quality of the media movement practice would be automatically structured like this: “Coolloud.org” was an independent media for “X”. This implies that there is a fixed ideology directing the ongoing development of the practice. The main point is: the “declaration” does not help clarify the nature of the independent media activism. The “declaration” produces a “principle” for the media movement development on the one hand; on the other hand, the “declaration” gives out a law of exclusion: the Taiwanese independent media only conforms to the “X’s principle” to carry out its social actions. That is to say, other possibilities of practicing the media social movement would be excluded. Here, we discover the act of declaring “there is a ‘principle’ for social movement practice” is effective only in discriminating dissenting voices and social powers. However, the act directly causes a serious dilemma of social movement development. For example, it is clear that workmen and labourers should claim their rights from their bosses. In globalization, they are encountering not only the bosses’ exploitation but also various challenges from the complex political climate in the local and from foreign workers migration around the world. The declaring act is destructive for the sustainability of world social movement development (e.g. the anti-globalization) because social activists and campaigners are unable to absorb the diversified thinking, ideas and opinions from the fresh people and native cultures for their ongoing activisms, having less ability to structure an open-minded attitude toward emerging social phenomena and to analyze and explain the complicated power relationships between different parties when just sticking with one single exclusive principle, theory or value. For social movement practitioners, “practice is always alive, and theory defunct”.

(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)