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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

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Iran and Taiwan

I don't want to compare too much here, as Iran and Taiwan are very different places, with distinct historical backgrounds, but what is happening there appears to confirm one of my worst fears.

We are now in an era where the concept of a "right to bear arm"s is effectively irrelevant; an uprising, even if it has the support of the majority of the people, is impossible to sustain without the assistance of the police and armed forces.

I am not arguing that the Iranian population is armed, because they are not; rather, I am reminding us all that if the government has tear gas and tanks, you're screwed, even when they don't have to use them. Iran's unarmed populations is already unable to affect change even with this strong popular uprising; a few AK-47s wouldn't make a difference versus the government's weaponry. Without the army, you're fucked. And with the army, you're probably also fucked, since they'll probably just take control instead of handing things over to a civilian government. [I haven't backed up this last statement with facts yet, but I suppose I should dig for the evidence that supports me.]

I am hopeful but pessimistic about the protesters' chance to affect change; I suspect any similar uprising in Taiwan would have the same moderate tendencies and the same useless result. And that reminds us that time is all the shorter. We must act while there is still a chance to affect change via the ballot box.

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5 Comments:

At 7:58 AM, Blogger Dixteel said...

I agree.

A lot of people think technologies help people to bring changes to the government and media etc (like the twitter things from Iran). But I think the opposite is actually true.

Before, if people are pushed to the limits, they can pick up spears, sticks, knives etc and start a revolution. But nowadays you have to face the firing squads, tanks, machine guns, even snipers etc. The dictators have less fear of the people, and people cannot do anything except endure more pain and humiliations. In another words, they have to live beyond their limits. Examples are plenty, both past and present, North Korea, 228 in Taiwan and countless others.

That is why good Democratic system is highly valued in today's society...because without it you are pretty much fucked. You cannot changes the government and the government does not care.

It is possible still though to have an uprising, but extremely difficult and usually with very bad result. Guerrilla wars, military coup, supports from foreign powers are all possibilities, depending on the situation. But most of these turn out pretty badly even if they succeed in toppling the government.

 
At 10:41 AM, Blogger STOP Ma said...

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We must act while there is still a chance to affect change via the ballot box.

Amen.

A frog in water that is warming to the point of fatality is an analogy I see for Taiwan at present.

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At 12:27 PM, Blogger Richard said...

This is exactly why I've been trying to tone up my blog in terms of being a straight shooter. I'm going to call it like I see it, and not try and make things out to be better than they are or may be. The people in Taiwan need to wake up, and wake up fast. The time frame that I've been saying for some sort of annexation or unification between the two of within 10 years, but could probably even be reduced to 8 years at this pace.

In some way, unofficially I think it has worked a little better. A lot more responses from my friends and strangers who come back to me saying, "you really think Taiwan is in that bad of a shape?" or, "you really think China can annex Taiwan in xx years?"

 
At 12:52 AM, Blogger Taiwanrox said...

So...stop gun control in Taiwan?

 
At 4:31 AM, Blogger Su Beng's biographer said...

Dear 阿牛,

Thanks for your comments on my blog and for expressing your interest in helping out with translating Su Beng's book, "The Ideology of Democracy." Please feel free to email me at: subeng.biographer@gmail.com so that we can discuss this further.

 

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