The government’s scandalous closed-door service trade agreement is creating anger and confusion. What should we do about President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九)?
The opposition’s attempt to have him recalled is less than energetic, and seeing someone with a 13 percent approval rating selling out the nation to his heart’s content begs the question: Is this really what Taiwan has come to? It is incomprehensible, unacceptable and unbearable.
Ma’s crime is unforgivable because he disguises it as love for Taiwan, while he plants the seeds of defeatism and humiliation.
We must learn from the past. During World War II, Germany invaded France and French general Charles De Gaulle organized in London the French resistance organization “Free France.”
He relied on his intelligence and perseverance in an uncompromising fight to save France. When the war was over, he used a strong hand to rebuild prosperity.
When former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) handed over the reins to Ma, Taiwan’s resources must have outshone those of de Gaulle’s France a thousand times.
How could Ma bring the country to its knees? He has left the country with its psychological defenses down and the fear of national collapse increasing by the day, while national pride decreases just as rapidly.
If we look farther back in history to the 17th and 18th centuries, the Enlightenment, centered on Paris, determined what today’s world would look like, laying the foundation for our universal values that are set out in Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Social Contract: Without the consent of the governed and without guaranteeing the public’s natural rights to life, freedom and property, a ruler has no legitimacy and the people have a right to overturn the government.
The idea that the divine right to rule could be subverted helped initiate the American and the French revolutions and produced the American Declaration of Independence, the French Declaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen (“Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen”) and, two centuries later, the UN’s Charter of Human Rights and other international treaties for their implementation.
China officially holds to the absolute truth of communism and rejects universal values. This point may help explain why, after he started pursuing a place in history, Ma has been even more ruthless in his pro-China stance, and in his bloody mindedness has increased the volume of nuclear waste to the point that he is already burdening our grandchildren. He is so ruthless that he signed the service trade agreement behind closed doors and sold out the property rights of the Taiwanese.
These two actions alone are enough to strip Ma of all legitimacy.
As a result of Ma’s bullying behavior, the judiciary has been turned into an instrument that removes the people’s right to revolution and it is causing the system to collapse. We have been returned to a time when we still looked at voting as a system for legitimizing the government.
We must now revive the awareness that it is the public who decides who governs. We must use higher legal principles and natural law to judge Ma and to consolidate the collective will of the public, who are the ones giving the government the right to rule.
Christian Fan Jiang is deputy secretary-general of the Northern Taiwan Society.
Translated by Perry Svensson