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)