Why is Taiwan so desperate to get into the United Nations?


I met a couple of politically opinionated people tonight and had intense political discussions. During our conversation about how Taiwanese culture were susceptible to patriarchialism, i made an interesting pitch. I asked, is Taiwanese desire to be recognized by the United Nations a manifestation of Taiwan’s patriarchal trait?

In Taiwan, family with father at its center is perhaps the strongest social institution. parents invest heavily in their children in return for obedience. Political, people respect authority (police, teachers and government) and looks to the government to solve their problems. Is Taiwan’s desperate desire to be accepted as a member of the United Nations an extension of that culture trait? Are the Taiwanese trying to be an accepted child to the international father figure?

It is somehow reveling that the pursuit for UN recognition is an agenda that is at the heart of the Taiwanese independent movement, which by there nature is contradictory. Why is it the that the triumph of independence rely on others to consent? That just defeats the purpose. The only way to reconcile independence and peer recognition is to see it as an international legal issue, but thats just silly its like saying international law worth something.

International law really don’t mean much, an UN membership does not provide better trade condition, nor will membership prevent foreign aggression (just ask Iraq, Serbia, and any states that has been victim of illegal military interventions). Whats the big deal? Why is Taiwan spending millions of taxpayers money in its doomed pursue of an UN membership that really yield no real benefit at all. Is Taiwan’s patriarchialism really manifested diplomatically?

Furthermore, is the pro-China radicalist’s desire to reunify/realign Taiwan with mainland China and a small advocate group’s push for Taiwan to become America’s 51st state also base on patriarchy mentality?

Is this experience unique to Taiwan? To Confucius society like Japan and Korea?

Base on my limited knowledge of those two society, Both Japan and Korea had in significant part of their history been satellite states, subordinate them self to the most powerful state in their sphere. Before the arrival of the European powers in 19 century, Japan and Korea were tireless in their effort to learn the latest trends and fashions in art, clothes, literature, religion, politics and philosophy from their Chinese parent state. And after the Europeans defeated the Chinese, Japan quickly switch its target of imitation and import anything that is Western (including colonialism) and tried very hard to be recognized by the new powers. Ian Buruma one of my favorite writer of culture wrote a very insightful report on Japan’s satellite mentality.

So, does this mean, this phenomenon is unique to cultures that had been expose to Confucianism? Or is this just a universal weak state strategy/mentality. When the Australians were given a chance to sever its symbolic subordinative relationship with the British Crown, more than 55% voted “no”to the 1999 Australian republic referendum.

I am not a train sociologist, but a quick google using relevant key words turn up with this:

From Gordon J. Schochet “Patriarchalism, Politics and Mass Attitudes in Stuart EnglandThe Historical Journal

“It is increasingly becoming a commonplace to assert that non-political activities engaged in during childhood play determinative roles in shaping individuals’ attitudes toward and perceptions of the political order. A large part of the early “political socialization”, as it is now called, takes place within the family. which in the words of one commentator, “incubates the political man”, whether or not there is a conscious attempt to inculcate political beliefs. As T. D. Weldom remarked, “Basic political creeds may not be imbibed… with mother’s milk: but children are none the less indoctrinated in practically every other day.” This socialization plus later experiences (including reading, conversations, and direct encounters with government) will help to implant notions of political legitimacy; that is, the grounds on which a political authority is held to be entitled to rule.”

Does this mean, my hunch is good?

But, i also find a note of caution from Gary G. Hamilton “Patriarchalism in imperial China and Western EuropeTheory and Society

“…Weber’s typology of domination – the cluster of patriarchalism, charisma, and law – does not fit Chinese history as it does European history.”

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