However, if, for example, the import and sale of US beef containing traces of leanness-enhancing agents is treated as merely a consumer issue, it will allow the strongest global economic powers to grow stronger and more arrogant, while public health and the nation’s leverage in international negotiations are laid to waste.
If simultaneous gasoline and electricity price increases are just a question of bringing prices into line with supply and demand, what need is there to take into account unreasonably high electricity purchase prices and misguided investments?
If false advertising, malicious price increases, monopolies, trickery and concealment are allowed to become the norm in the markets, it would mean allowing public interests to be whittled away. We will be tolerating the denial of a role for citizens’ action and allowing the state to sit by as the market dominate people’s lives.
The path from citizenship to citizen’s consciousness and on toward a civil society is one that involves incessant conflicts. If people are not willing to stand up and fight even over “little issues” and “petty rights,” how can they hope to ever build a firm foundation for a civil society?
Hsu Chia-tien is a director of the National Alliance of Taiwan Women’s Associations.
Translated by Julian Clegg