It seems that we are now finding ourselves in the same predicament as the thinkers, writers, academics, and dreamers who saw themselves stuck, without issue, between the two world wars
When people of this age (see above) have to travel repeatedly to Taipei to protest against the Executive, it tells you there’s something very wrong with the system, and with how the government treats vulnerable citizens.
When the Commercial Times writes, “In 2012, the starting monthly salaries [in Taiwan] for bachelor’s degree holders averaged NT$26,000, down from NT$28,000 in 1999 [and that] the average starting salary of master’s degree holders was NT$31,000, up only slightly from 13 years ago, when the average salary was NT$30,000 [and concludes that] there is an obvious trend in which wealth is concentrated in the hands of the older generations,” we have reason to worry about the future. Eight years of Democratic Progressive Party administration, and five years of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) rule, plus the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (EFCA) and ever-closer interactions with China the Great Savior, and this is where we are.
When a young, idealistic, educated, politically savvy Taiwanese sees his political ambitions destroyed upon learning that one needs at least NT$15 million to enter a race for city councilor in Greater Kaohsiung, we know there is something wrong with democracy, that candidates must either be filthy rich or willing to prostitute themselves with corporate interests, and thus sacrifice their freedom of action.
When a top think tank in the U.S. (hint: they have a brand new headquarters building in Washington) says, “We would love to have you, but sadly we now only consider candidates who come with lots of [institutional] money,” we know there is something dangerously wrong with academia, that public intellectuals are now little more than spokespersons for governments, corporations, and the super-wealthy.
History is cyclical, and it seems that we are now finding ourselves in the same predicament as the thinkers, writers, academics, and dreamers who saw themselves stuck, without issue, between the two world wars. People who want to make a difference confront a world in which the cards are already stacked against them, where tremendous pressure is applied on the individual to conform, to join a system that favors those who have lots against those who forever will have little. (Photo by the author)