Friday, May 2, 2014
Political Wisdom from Literature: The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien on China, the KMT and Taiwan
While one writer has compared the Ma regime to the galactic empire of Star Wars, I was thinking of another literary and film analogy: The Lord of the Rings.
The day the Su-Ma meeting was reported, I could just imagine the discussion between Saruman and Gandalf in Orthanc. Ma/Saruman talking with Su/Gandalf regarding Mordor/China.
Saruman/KMT/Ma: "A new Power is rising. Against it the old allies and policies will not avail us at all... We may join that Power. It would be wise... There is hope that way. Its victory is at hand; and there will be rich reward for those that aided it."
Su/Gandalf: "Ma, I have heard speeches of this kind before, but only out of the mouths of emissaries from China/Mordor to deceive the ignorant."
Ma/Saruman: "I did not expect you to show wisdom, even in your own behalf; but I gave you the chance of aiding me willing, and to save yourself much trouble and pain. The third choice is..." preemptive detention.
Su: "Tell me, "friend," when did Ma/Saruman exchange reason for madness. There is only one Lord of the Rings and he does not share power."
And after Theodon/Taiwanese people confronts Ma/Saruman in his ruin: ""Were you ten times as wise you would have no right to rule me and mine for your own profit as you desired."
I could hear Treebeard/Taiwanese people after the recent events of the Sunflower Movement and the fast of Lin I-hsiung speaking of Saruman/Ma: "I think that I now understand what he is up to. He is plotting to become a Power... and now it is clear that he is a black traitor... I have been idle. I have let things slip... I will stop it!"
I could hear the media, the KMT hangers-on, sycophants and wannabes (and perhaps the American State Department sinophiles getting a tingle up their legs) enamored with the voice of Saruman/Ma/China/Mordor: "It was a delight to hear the voice speaking, all that it said seemed wise and reasonable, and desire awoke in them by swift agreement to seem wise themselves. When others (Taiwanese students, etc.) spoke, they seemed harsh and uncouth by contrast; and if they gainsaid the voice, anger was kindled in the hearts of those under the spell. For some the spell lasted only while the voice spoke to them, and when it spoke to another they smiled, as men do who see through a juggler's trick while others gape at it. For many, the sound of the voice alone was enough to hold them enthralled..."
And finally I could hear Saruman/Ma/KMT when thwarted saying that if they cannot have Taiwan, they will ruin it so that the Taiwanese cannot enjoy it. I could hear the conversations when Saruman/Ma had taken over the Shire and implemented the ECFA and TiSA and the special "free" trade zone.
Taiwanese people: "We grow a lot of food, but we don't rightly know what becomes of it. It is all these "gatherers" and "sharers," I reckon, going round counting and measuring and taking off to storage. They do more gathering than sharing, and we never see most of the stuff again."
Taiwan under the KMT had become "a bare and ugly place, with a mean little grate that would not allow a good fire... on every wall was a notice and a list of Rules." "A lot of rules and orc-talk."
"And Ma doesn't hold with folk moving about protesting... there are hundreds of armored police and they want more, with all these new rules. Most of them are in it against their will, but not all of them. Even in Taiwan there are some as like minding other folk's business and talking big."
"There was a whole line of ugly new housing developments"...
"This country wants waking up and setting to rights," said the White Wolf Chang An-lo 張安樂 ("former" hahaha) ganster, "and Ma is going to do it; and make it hard, if you drive him to it. You need a bigger Boss (China). And you'll get one before the year is out, if there's anymore trouble. Then you'll learn a thing or two, you little country-bumpkin Taiwanese rat-folk..." who do not deserve to be called "Chinese."
"The KMT ruffians/mafia are on top, gathering, robbing and bullying, and running or ruining things as they like, in Ma's name. And not in Ma's name even for much longer. He'll be a prisoner pretty soon in Taipei" when China takes over.
The KMT was brought over in 1945 after the Japanese were kicked out, and "before we knew where we were they were planted here and there all over Taiwan/the Shire, and were felling trees and digging and building themselves sheds and houses just as they liked... soon they began lording it around and taking what they wanted."
"Everything except Rules got shorter and shorter, unless one could hide a bit of one's own when the ruffians went round gathering stuff up, 'for fair distribution': which meant they got it and we didn't, except for the leavings... if you could stomach them."