My Unrelated Political Opinion —
Today I was at the British Museum and I saw this sign (see below) and trolley with someone handing out and explaining the free brochures regarding quitting the Chinese Communist Party. And I literally stood there, took my perfect, clear picture, sent my snap, and chuckled. (Actually I’m really interested in number 4, “On How the Chinese Communist Party Is an Anti- Universe Force” LOL)
My political opinion is almost non-existent. I’m never an eager enthusiast in political conversations. Democratic simply means rather fair voting, liberal ideals and the color blue to me. While the republicans remind me of Donald Trump, red and elephants. My distorted and probably misinformed political knowledge stops here. Not understanding American politics was a conscious decision — I’m not a U.S. citizen. I’m Canadian, so to run back to my residential country after Mr. Orange screws up is not that big of a deal.
However, having to live in Shanghai for twelve years made me obligated to understand some sort of Mainland China — Taiwan — Hong Kong relationship. Being uninterested in politics and extremely stubborn about not learning about it, I obviously did not make a conscious effort to understand the logistics of the matter. I grew up in an international school filled with Taiwanese and Cantonese expats’ children. The Taiwanese at our school were strangely passionate about the seperation of state between Taiwan and Mainland China, claiming that Taiwanese food is better, governmental system is better, service is better, people are nicer and cleaner back in their own “country,” while clarifying that they don’t want to and have nothing to do with Mainland China, ignoring the fact that they live in Shanghai. While I was traveling to Taiwan with all these expectations, they surprisingly matched up, and made me fell in love with the “country” during middle school. I was surrounded by Taiwanese patriarchs, and as any child who wants to fit in, I bandwagon-ed onto the defense against Mainland China and their “unethical political regimes” that are claiming Taiwan.
The point of this is not to discuss the relationship between Taiwan and China, as there are endless stories and anecdotes that could be found online that represents the awkward relationship between the two. Rather, I want to talk about a recent encounter/ observation that led my thoughts into a deeper realm regarding my analysis on politics:
I’m enrolled in a class with a ~60 year old lady who introduced herself along the lines of this: “I am Taiwanese-Chinese. I’m from Taiwan, not from Mainland China, and I’m democratic, not communist,” as if she didn’t clarify that she’s not communist everyone would be scared by her existence. I smiled during her introduction, just about the same reason I smiled when I saw the “propaganda” in front of the British Museum. People who dedicate their lives into promoting their political beliefs are admirable because those are the things that I would never, every do. Political stances to me are really just subjective. Although we get presented by countless political facts every single day, with the emergence of a giant liar leading the most prominent country(ah-hem), we never know what’s true or not. Just like in China, most of the Chinese citizens, even if curious about the politics between China and Taiwan, are unable to fully know the truth because of Chinese censorships. Governments are unimaginably complicated structures. They morph, they hide, they lie, they shape words into euphemisms so that no one gets the true message. We listen to news, and few even think about deciphering the messages that we receive.
Words have the power to shape thought. Language is the currency of politics, forming the basis of society to the common interaction to the highest ideals. Orwell urged us to protect our language because ultimately, our ability to think and communication clearly is what stands between us and a world where freedom is slavery and war is peace. Source.
Even taking a step back and looking at “Communism” itself, the word began to associate with negative connotations perhaps due to the massive amounts of people that Stalin and Mao, two famous communist leaders, killed. But Marxism, or Communism in its author’s mouth, is an utopian regime that could not be achieved the way Stalin and Mao approached it. All and all, Marx came up with a philosophical theory, some passionate state leaders misinterpreted it and gave it a bad reputation. It was just a conceptual construct, ruined by some dic(k)tators, thus creating an unnecessary fear towards it.
Taking these uncertainties into consideration, the absurdity emerges. If governments are so hard to figure out the truth about, why are so many people dedicating their daily lives in attempt to change others’ political parties, or writing subjective propaganda that distorts our lenses even more? What’s worse than being concerned about other’s judging you for being potentially communist, and having to clarify it when no one really cares like the old lady in my class? When is the time for us to realize that politics, mostly, is fiction rather than non-fiction?
Political views doesn’t represent personality, kindness and the fundamentals of being human of an individual. When zoomed out to the multiverse that we’re may or may not be in, political conflicts and social judgements based on political views seems not only minute, but silly. Governments are like kaleidoscopes, they let you see different versions of the same pattern to the point where you feel dizzy. While you see parts of the whole, it’s not within your ability to place the parts together and figure out what’s really going inside the world of politics. It’s also just another silly toy. My temporary support for the independence of Taiwan in middle school was trigged emotionally. It was my attempt to fit into my Taiwanese friend group while not being bothered to learn about the actual truth. I still haven’t found my niche in politics, but I’ve certainly found a happy place where I could philosophize our relationship with politics, how we are emotionally (or subjectively) manipulated by seemingly objective facts.
So here’s my conclusion: Maybe don’t take governments and politics too seriously. Yes, they do affect us, but at the end, love everyone as there’re no borders if states didn’t create them.