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)

Advertisements

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)