Dreaming Taiwan

by on Friday, 20 March 2009 Comments

I cannot bear how unimaginative Taiwan has become since my stay abroad. All political discourses are repetitive, the media repeats a bunch of lies, nobody seems to be able to articulate a project that would give a sense of direction to this nation.

It is linked with our educational system, of course. When I was a child, everything was organized for making us think alike. Thinking outside the box was the supreme sin. There were stock sentences to be repeated. Lessons in literature and language were meant to make us speak and write in a certain way and in a certain style. Memorizing was the supreme virtue. Memorizing is good actually – as long as you are taught to build on it for inventing new things.

So, I dream of a Taiwan in which everyone would be encouraged to develop his or her own style, in dressing, writing, and speaking… I dream of a Taiwan in which you would not see the same model of buildings everywhere, in which no house would be like the one next door, a Taiwan where the roads would not go from North to South but from East to West, a Taiwan that would be like a big garden in which each plant is different and unique… I dream of a Taiwan ruled by imagination!


Taiwan, in fact, is imaginative in its own way. Look how we went from one economic model to another during the last fifty years. From bananas to flowers, from the toy industry to computer hardware, from computer hardware to software, from software to the most sophisticated electronic chips model… That was spirit of adaptation and survival, and these two nurture imagination. Our form of imagination is not the one that is good at long term planning, it is the imagination of the prisoner who looks for a way to escape his prison. We are good at responding imaginatively to crisis and challenges… Though, I wonder if we are now losing even this skill. Look how clumsy our answer is to the present economic crisis. It seems that we have much more difficulties in going from one economic paradigm to another than was the case ten years before. We are supposed to move from IT to biotechnology for instance, but I do not see it happening. Our faculty of adaptation might be drying under the sun.

The Taiwan I am dreaming of would be able to invent something together. It would decide that it is able to invent a polity, a form of living together that no nation has tried yet, and would thus make politics an art. Actually, shaping a social contract is like creating music. Politics is the art of inventing news ways of living together. I dream to see Taiwan become a world class symphonic orchestra, playing music never heard before…


Nakao Eki

Formosan Melon|Endemic to Tafalong


Website: blog.roodo.com/milifonoh

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