On Saturday’s protest
The civil groups’ grand parade on Saturday unabashedly revealed the banality of greediness in the name of being good public servants.
For one thing, appeals such as rejecting defilement and demanding respect are fairly vague and empty gestures; for another, it totally misses out on the value of intergenerational justice and the institutional problems of the current pension system.
Dignity played an insignificant role in the parade. During the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) early reign of Taiwan, public jobs were granted high rewards because they were unwanted. However, with the economic recession, being a public servant now means to remain protected and possibly lead a better life in retirement.
In this sense, public servants nowadays have a higher reputation than before, which is easy to see from the high enrollment rate for the national examinations.
The struggle among public employees and other jobs has long existed in Taiwan. Yet what keeps the civic groups silent is the government manages to maintain their huge benefits package. Not until recently have these groups been stung by the call for reform.
Dignity merely serves as an excuse to cover indignation about individual interests.
When the society arrives at the point where there is a huge deficit in the pension system, what we see from Saturday’s rally is that public employee groups refuse to admit that they have made themselves a target for revolution.
They pride themselves for being “public” servants, but they are not willing to undertake the responsibility of improving social justice. They do not even consider that maintaining their preferences would mean depriving the interests of the younger generation.
It is one thing to fight for one’s own rights, but it is another thing to claim one’s rights legitimately. If one’s rights are based on overriding others, the inequality and the divide will only continue to deepen.
As a young teacher, I strongly advocate for the reform of the pension system. How can we teach our next generation the virtue of integrity without setting ourselves as an example?
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