[Marxism] Jim Craven on Taiwan

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Mar 9 14:00:25 MST 2005


(This is a response to a debate taking place on Marxmail about Taiwanese 
nationalism. Perry Anderson has a useful article on the question at: 
http://www.lrb.co.uk/v26/n11/ande01_.html)

When I was recently in northern B.C. in Canada on some Indigenous Reserves 
I was told by local activists that they had been approached by individuals 
from Taiwan to set up "sports exchanges" with Indigenous Nations in Canada. 
They asked for my take on what it was about and I said that it is my 
opinion that: a) This is part of an overall process of the Taiwan regime 
trying to look and act like a nation and to do what nations do (forming 
relations with other nations and/or individuals of other nations); b) they 
are trying to claim being "Indigenous Peoples" and an "oppressed Indigenous 
Nation" in order to piggyback the issue of--and summarily assert rights 
to--self-determination, independence, freedom and sovereignty of all 
nations. I advised them that they would be better off not having anything 
to do with the current Taiwan regime as this regime has more in common with 
the "Vichy Indians" of the "official" U.S.-Government-endorsed/utilized 
"Tribal Councils" operating under the BIA than any kind of sovereign 
government of any kind of truly sovereign nation.

Those who see Taiwan (the classical name for Taiwan is Liu Qiu) as a nation 
and/or who see any parallels between the situation of Taiwan and that of 
real Indigenous Nations existing geographically within the asserted land 
bases of larger capitalist nations, simply do not understand what 
makes--and legitimates--a given group of people as a nation and/or do not 
understand the realities of both Taiwan and the Indigenous Nations of the 
Americas and elsewhere. Further, they are slandering and setting back the 
just struggles of Indigenous Nations in the Americas and elsewhere that are 
victims of capitalist states and their genocidal policies with these bogus 
comparisons or analogies with the Taiwan regime and situation--e.g. those 
who ran (rather than were victims of) the same kinds of genocidal policies 
against the truly Indigenous Peoples of Taiwan (the "Gaoshan" ) or the 
Han/capitalist-based Kuomintang.

One of the reasons that Florida and eight other states have laws fobidding 
convicted felons from voting is that old die-hard Confederates after the 
civil war set up structures, laws and processes designed to make the 
continual and ongoing disenfranchisement of Blacks possible--controlling 
the courts it is possible to make anyone a "convicted felon" and thus 
unable to vote. What if those ex-Confederate scum, operating as stooges for 
foreign powers bent on destroying the system of the U.S., had managed to 
set up their own government in Florida, and claim, on the one hand, not to 
be a part of the U.S. and yet also make the contradictory claim to be the 
sole and "legitimate" representatives of all of the U.S.? What does anyone 
think the U.S. government would do about that situation? Would the U.S. 
government allow secession and the fiction that Florida was somehow a 
separate--and sui generis--nation with fundamental rights to independence 
and sovereignty?

My father flew on 94 missions on B-25s with the 490th Bomb Squadron of the 
14th Air Force (the successor to the "Flying Tigers") in China and Burma 
during World War II. He told me stories about how they would lay awake in 
their tents in the jungles with their weapons near them because Kuomintang 
troops would come in the night and attempt to bayonet U.S. forces 
(supposedly their "allies") in their tents and steal their money, watches 
and other valuables. My father had an abiding hatred for the Kuomintang and 
Chiang Kai Shek (whose hand he refused to shake once when Chiang Kai Shek 
was a passenger from Taiwan to Japan when my father was a co-pilot for 
Northwest Airlines--the captain on that flight told me the story). He told 
me the only principled Chinese, and the only real fighters against the 
Japanese imperialists, were the communists. Around the late 1960s, when the 
Taiwan was previously trying to act like a nation and had awarded a "China 
War Medal" to U.S. forces that had served in the China-Burma-India Theater 
during World War II, my father told me that he would only accept such a 
medal from "the only legitimate government of China--in Peking"; my father 
had it right all along and he knew the Kuomintang types and the Taiwan 
situation very well.

Jim Craven


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