DPP must solve its problems first

By Paul Lin 林保華
Taiwan’s two-party politics can be seen in the interactions between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The two parties represent different interest groups and this is reflected in the nation’s political situation and has a bearing on its future prospects.
Last month, Steve Wang (王思為), an assistant professor in the Institute of European Studies at Nanhua University, published a thought-provoking article (“Public’s voice lost in China relations,” Jan. 17, page 8). He said that China’s “next step will definitely be to use compradors to directly influence the decisions made in politics in order to complete the last stage of their [unification] plan. This begs the question of whether the public should prepare to welcome in an era characterized by comprador politics?”
Although Wang does not mention names, it is mainly a group of compradors within the KMT who are using KMT-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) cooperation to monopolize Taiwan’s China policies to further their own economic and political interests. They have been diluting Taiwan’s political and economic sovereignty and continue to do so.
Just look at how Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) and former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) are falling over each other to visit China.
In the 1926 work Analysis of the Classes in Chinese Society, former Chinese leader Mao Zedong (毛澤東) said that the big comprador class “always side[s] with imperialism and constitute[s] an extreme counterrevolutionary group.”
The rising China is an imperialist power that wants to annex Taiwan. It is following Mao’s teachings by breeding a comprador class in Taiwan that seems to include economic and political compradors. The economy will of course benefit politics, just as politics will benefit the economy. What they have in common is that they bow their head and call Beijing “boss,” as they are integrating Taiwan within the Chinese autocratic framework.
It is time that the 70 percent of the population who support independence and identify as Taiwanese open their eyes and realize that they can under no circumstances vote for this group and their comrades.
Small-scale farmers are self-reliant workers who have made a huge contribution to society, but saying that someone has a “peasant mentality” is derogatory. Taiwan has not been an industrialized country for very long, so the “peasant mentality” remains as a hangover from Chinese traditions of the past.
The DPP is a local party that grew from the grassroots level. It mainly represents the interests of the working class, but if it is not careful to improve its own democratic culture, it will be dragged down by its “peasant mentality.” This mentality manifests itself mainly in a lack of the breadth of mind and outlook of an industrialized society, and the result is a myopic outlook that focuses first on the individual and the family, followed by the faction and the party, and only then the country — rather than the other way around.
The main difference between a peasant mentality and an anti-democratic and anti-revolutionary outlook is that a peasant mentality is selfish. If this selfishness is not changed, the DPP’s appetite will grow and they will sink lower, to the point where it starts competing with the compradors.
The seven-in-one local elections in November will be yet another test for pan-green unity, so the DPP must stop its infighting, which only helps the compradors.

Politicians should possess self-knowledge and understand how others perceive them. Regardless of how highly they rank in the opinion polls, politicians are not omniscient and must be humble. When faced with shortcomings in their colleagues, they should point them out in all sincerity and not just criticize others from their factional point of view. If the DPP is unable to solve its internal problems, how will voters be able to place their hope in the party’s ability to run the country?
Grassroots supporters are far less powerful than the compradors, so if they cannot unite, one cannot help but wonder if Taiwan has any future at all. Some say that the KMT is turning into a copy of the CCP and that the DPP is turning into a copy of the KMT. While this may be going a bit too far, the public must monitor the parties and launch new civic movements to restrict them from deviating from the correct political path.
Paul Lin is a political commentator.
Translated by Perry Svensson

Taipei Times 2014.2.28


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