Chinese Politics Influencing the Independent Media Movements

According to Ip’s opinion, the weak consciousness of Chinese people of concerning social, political and civil issues is of a “political problem” that is not related to the so-called “cultural difference”. The political problem is of an acquired factor brought by the history of the governance-centric will of political power in China. The forming logic of the artificial problem is opposed to the cultural difference’s connected with the one’s natural experience with lifestyle, custom, religion and so on. By following this thinking context, the future development of the Chinese independent media could be decided by these factors: (1) the degree of awakening of Chinese people (to getting rid of the ideological constraint of the autocratic image of the Chinese ruling); (2) what strategic action used by Chinese independent media for stimulating the awakening of the people is; (3) how much political pressure from the Chinese authorities to be put on the practice of the media movement. In any case, the development of “Inmediahk.net” and “Coolloud.org” shows that the practice of independent media is a kind of modern social movement for people’s voice not only embraced by the activists and intellectuals in the West but also needed by the people living 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)

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The Making of the Migrant Character of Chinese People

Hong Kong and Taiwan are the two Chinese societies embracing the capitalism of the West as the core ideology channeling the developing direction of the societies which have had the advanced economic developments earlier than the Mainland China: Hong Kong had been an international mercantilist city in East Asia under British rule since the late twentieth century; Taiwan (Republic of China), also, had been of a colonized character under the politico-economic influence of the United States since the half of twentieth century. For deterring the expansion of the political power of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (the Soviet Union) in Asia as part of the interest protective move of the U.S., Taiwan became one of main allied countries of the U.S. in Far East as “important supply depot”, offering essential goods and materials for U.S. army to carry on the Vietnam War (1955-1975) while Taiwan had received various economic and military supports from the Western since the Korean War (1950-1953)[1]. After the abolishment of the order of martial law in Taiwan, the Island got into the political process of democratization and started to establish a free-trade economy with certain political intervention under the governance of the “KMT”[2]. Besides the distinguished political, economic and social situations between the Cross Strait societies, there was a historical fact happening in China contributed to the form of the introversive character: most Chinese people had the experience of fleeing from social chaos caused by the disastrous wars in the recent century and many refugees in China (including intellects and businessmen) escaped from the Mainland to Hong Kong and Taiwan. Against this historical background, it is believable that the two Chinese societies contained many people from the Mainland who had the migrant character of “life-prior” for seeking stable social circumstance for well-being, similar to the common value of the people in the Mainland or inland region today. The history of the politico-social development of modern China, in fact, causes the gradual forming of the chill attitude of Chinese people to various politico-social issues made by the deprivation of political right of the people contributed by the Chinese governments: the Mainland China has run the one-party political system since 1949; there is no democratic political practice in Hong Kong whenever before or after the handover; Taiwan was under the long-term governance of the “KMT” after the end of the Chinese Civil War until the “DPP” won the presidential election of Taiwan in 2000 – these facts prove that most Chinese people never (or “less” at least) experienced a full political commitment to try to change the present situation of the societies (through democracy for example) in the modern period of Chinese history and shape a social collective consciousness against the extreme materialist value from the outer in Chinese people’s mind.

(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: Ideology, Beck’s Globalism, and the Aftermath

The rise of globalisation around the millennium suggests that all civilisations in the world are being transformed and integrated as parts of the global market, affecting the potential developing tendency of human society.

Today, rethinking globalisation is necessary because the fundamental effects of the phenomenon have been creating a contemporary complex living domain against people’s anticipation for well-being: financial crises and terrorism waving; the evolution of power dissolving any attempt to reflect the alienating quality of humanity. For such situation, some intellectuals indicate the so-called “positive” aspect of globalisation, such as breaking down political borders, has been overwhelmed by its negative counterpart: globalisation plays a role as ideology to justify the transnational operation of global powers for private interests.

By following the above thinking context, this article, first, questions globalisation based on anti-globalisation theory. Secondly, how the concept to become an ideology will be further discussed. A qualitative reflection on the upcoming development of the globalised civilisation will also be presented as conclusion.

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

The Molding of the Introversive is a Political Issue, Not the Cultural One

Therefore, we could have heard some typical discussions about various social phenomena of globalization, including the present development of independent media social movement based on the above logic of distinction for the characteristics of the Western and the Chinese. Those discussions relate to: (1) the concept of “independent media” is created by the Western culture and the form of the media social movement is propagated from Western society to the East (e.g. the Chinese societies); (2) the West is more “prosperous” and “progressive” than the East, so the global development of the media movement should be led by the independent media in the West; (3) the form of the media social movement is based on the logic of Western culture, therefore the movement can be continuously developing in the West, different from the cases in the Chinese.

Through our analyses in the above chapters, it is arguable that these discussions are of bias because they contain a central ideology of regarding the hegemonic position of the West and its values. From going through the analysis of the stance of the independent media “Inmediahk.net” on the development of the media movement in Chapter Three, we understand that different cultural backgrounds of peoples in different societies or regions (e.g. the West and the Chinese) is not a factor in influencing the methodology and developing tendency of the practice of independent media movement. The founder of “Inmediahk.net” Ip Iam Chong argues that even Hong Kong and Taiwan are generally seen as parts of the whole Chinese society, the two also have their distinguished politico-social conditions, cultural elements and lifestyles of people different from each other. The main issue is: whether the so-called “cultural divergence” (or “nationality”) of different societies is the major factor impacting the nature of the works and the development of independent media social movement. If not, some implications hinted by the discussions, like “Chinese people do not care about the development of society” and “the Westerners, compared with Chinese people, are courageous to express their voices” that seem to tell the fact of cultural difference influencing the development of independent media movement, should be seen as problematic because they do not consider (or purposely ignore) that the changing and transitional progressing of the societies in different regions is based mostly on the historical structures of the development of power in the political world. Ip believes that the sustainability of the media movement in the Chinese societies is profoundly affected by how much degree of political pressure to be put on the movement by the Chinese government and the tendency of the future development of the “China” influenced by international community. This opinion is of significance for discussing the characteristic of the historical background of Chinese culture and its 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 Introversive-Extroversive Distinction is of a Discretion

In the latest section, we have mentioned that the practice of categorization of human knowledge contributed by Western scientism is of the outcome of attempting to control the “others” (e.g. the Nature) in the modern age of human civilization[1]. We need to note that the distinction between the introversive/extroversive characters of Western and Chinese cultures is a kind of “discretion” for understanding the actual influence of Chinese traditional thoughts and cultural elements on the developing tendency of the contemporary Chinese society. The discretion can help us realize the complex structure of global politico-economic powers on the scene of globalization based on the categorization logic containing the distinction between the two further: the Western world plays the main role in leading, controlling and dominating the development of human civilization with the “extroversive characteristic”. On the other hand, the rising “China” grows to play the other opposite role in being the “follower” or “dependency” of the West caused by the “introversive consciousness” within its historical developing context of the Eastern societal culture.

(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] We have two points of aspect to understand the significance of the Western scientism for the categorizationalness of human knowledge: (1) in positive aspect, categorizing the knowns may help people master the “knowledge” effectively and facilitate the development of “science” in a certain degree; (2) in negative aspect the practice of the categorization, however, would hinder the establishments of the real understanding of the existing nature of the “others” and of an alternative thinking approach for realizing the vicissitudinous of the modern human society.

Yu’s “Introversive Characteristic” of Chinese Culture (2)

Therefore, it is understandable that the form of the China’s (or the East’s) “introversive” characteristic is related to the profound influence of the ancient thoughts of the “Three Teachings” on Chinese culture and the Eastern societies. Among the ideological elements of the “Three Teachings”, Confucianism plays a main role in constructing the “introversive” characteristic of Chinese people, especially. Yu cites one of the classics of Confucianism – Daxue to evidence the relationship between the form of the significant characteristic and the Confucian teaching. The so-called “rest, determined, calm, and reposed” are all the moral standards of personality of a man for accessing the “attainment (得)”. The logic of the theoretical argument in Daxue reflects an “introversiveness” obviously: if we want to achieve the “attainment”, we need to change, improve and refine our own mind through conforming to the requirements or standards as the necessary step for the gaining purpose. The “attainment (of all things)”, in fact, is of a description for a behaviour that is practiced by someone “for getting something from somewhere”. However, the text in Daxue teaches us to approach the “attainment” by improving the quality of ourselves’ spirit that it is obviously a kind of reflection of the characteristic of “introversion” as the important point unveiling the character 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)

Taoist Thinking Logic in Modern China

The similarity between Sun’s attitude to describing the core spirit of the practice of “Coolloud.org” and the Daoist thinking logic of Laozi implies that Daoism, as a significant Chinese traditional thought and cultural heritage, is not outmoded, but a theoretical element beneficial to understanding the modern development of Chinese society, affecting the thinking logic and behaviour of Chinese people to carry out their way of life in practical field. For this, “Coolloud.org” is one of the good exemplifications of showing a fact of the ancient thought being embodied in the present modern society. The theory of Daoism on the vicissitudinous essence of the Nature has its progressive significant connotation beyond the boundary of the contemporary civilization of human society. The theoretical logic of the thinking not only affected the ancient Chinese society in the past, but is influencing the socio-political developing direction of the “China”. The humanistic influence is continuously extended that it has approached the modernity in the age of globalization. The notable point is not related to whether Sun has been practicing the media movement based on the philosophy of Daoism, but is connected with the fact that a Daoist thinking logic is apparently reflected in the independent media social movement practice in the Chinese society. The rejection of being “labeled” by a fixed doctrine, principle or theory which is a clear standpoint held by Sun as the core basis of the practice of the movement embodies a kind of Daoist spirit parallel with the untold character of the concept of “Dao”. By following this thinking approach, it is fair to say that the profound influence of the Chinese traditional thought on the Chinese societies is beyond any historical or space-time condition limitation, affecting the politico-economic opinion, lifestyle and behaviour of Chinese people in the modern age. Therefore, we have evidence to argue that Daoism has its significant role in impacting the development of modern China through breeding the form of the social reflective power contributed by the collectivity of common people in the East. Actually, the influential is not only floating on the surface of the societal domain, but fundamentally directing the acting consciousness of Chinese people.

(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)