討論逐字稿: The Management of Mistrust? Part 2

Transcript for the Politics: The Management of Mistrust? Part 2 discussion.
Please note that transcript has only been spell-checked, the grammar has not been edited. Also the transcript may only be for part of the discussion.




Do we need laws to protect military secrets, and also high technology, in the face of the threat from China?

Collective purpose
Nation family community
V. Personal beliefs

Market revolution
Increase in inequality

Mobility of elites, no taxation, no fear of voters

Internet: connection
Also, echo chambers
Abstract connection

Before: ideas to rally around
Now: emotions to manipulate

Transparency are politician’s management of mistrust?
Checks and balances is one way to ‘mistrust’ effectively
‘creative’ mistrust between reps and represented?

Are we really the Big Brother watching the political class?

Is consistency more important than common sense? Politically that is?

If transparency doesn’t keep people accountable, then what does?


I want to talk about the transparency of Taiwan’s government. Taiwan is no 1 of transparency in the world. Open data, data transparency. Just this part. They are one channel on our TV, it broadcasts the current situation in the legislature. Our governments have a lot of fb pages, and they put their policies or data on their fb and website.
—all the laws can be found in English too
—compared to Korea, it’s very transparent, however, in my own experience, even there’s a channel to the legislation branch. But I don’t actually watch it. I don’t want to waste my time watching people I don’t know what they're talking about. And when I go to gvt websites or fb pages, I still feel like I have no idea what they really want to do.
So, because of my job, I know they’re pushing a lot of policies, like “new southbound policy” “5+2 industrial policy” but people seldom know what the real contents of those policies
—or even what they mean
—so it’s not about transparency, but about how the info is delivered, and how people receive true and correct info. For instance my parents listen to radio, and they receive something wrong or not-so-correct info about int’l politics, it’s hard to correct their thinking, because they think wrong is right.
—I’m surprised there’s a disadvantage about transparency, I thought transparency was good for economic political things. But he suggested there are some disadvantages. So is transparency good?
—Yes, I am now thinking about what does it really mean, about transparency. And the management of mistrust.

Let’s talk about:
Collective purpose
Nation family community
V. Personal beliefs

For instance people should get married and have babies, is a conflict between collective purpose and individual purpose for some people. Also, working overtime is a conflict collective purpose and individual purpose.
—that’s a really good point, but not collective in terms of the political collective, or maybe it is.
—from my husband's point of view, the government also wants companies to work overtime so that people won’t have time to protest the gvt or foment revolution.
—people said that in college about American and Canadians, that we’re encouraged to buy houses because people tied to mortgages won’t revolt.
Workplaces are the collective and the worker are the individual. Workplace is not a political collective.
But here’s the thing, the workers are the political collective and the bosses are the private individuals benefitting.
That’s the pre1968 point of view.
—that’s totally different from nowadays. We always think they bosses are connected to political issues
—they are , just not in the same way we are.
—so that’s why the speaker in the video said, when the cold war finished, those political people and bosses, they will not feel afraid, because the people cannot control them
—yeah I had a moment when he said that in the video, like, shit, that’s true. And that’s part of the problem of our current economic inequality.
—for me collective and individual are two different kind of values. For Japanese, they emphasize the collective, and north Europe, they emphasize the individual. And I’m just wondering, which do you prefer? Ill go first. I myself prefer the individual, you have the right to choose the life you want, and you persuade the benefit to yourself, and you don’t have to have close contact with to hers, and avoid conflict. But as I become old, I find that collective purpose is sometimes more important, like for connection with others, don’t want to live alone, and they also think for the whole society, we should pursue the benefit of the whole, and sometimes you have to sacrifice yourself for the wider benefit of society. And so there’s a kind of conflict between the two choices.
So which is more important?
—I think these two ideas are not entirely opposed. Because it comes to my mind that recently, because of the pressure, the workers in my office tend to be individualistic. Everybody is kind of care about themselves, for 3example, they just want to accomplish what they’ve been assigned, and for extra work, don’t bother me, because my own needs are more important, I have to protect myself. In the end the situation becomes worse, there is no collective to overcome the extra work, so no one does it, so there are some delays, so you have to work harder to overcome the delay, so no one really benefits by this situation. So if you are individualistic, those individuals must be very mature and helpful
—that’s such a good point
—and for a collectivity, sometimes it can work well, in some situations. For example in the countryside or our families, or extended communities, sometimes they help each other to overcome difficulties. But it has to be out of the situation that they respect each other’s individual needs, or otherwise it creates more trouble.
—so in the collectivity, the group should be mature and helpful to the individual
—it has to be an extension of the individualism, you have to respect others’ and your needs.
—I agree with her. When we were kids, we’re always educated in ‘nation first, then individual’ everybody has to sacrifice themselves to accomplish setting up the country. It was more like a collectivity. And for like recent decades, it’s kind of like a new trend that we all start thinking about individuality, especially for young people. They think about themselves all the time, and when people talk about the public good, they’re like “I don’t care, it’s not my business, I don’t want my benefits to be taken away, I want my rights first,’ so everyone is kind of selfish.
—I feel like in Taipei people are so careful to not get in other people’s way or in traffic.
—but I think when we’re talking about family values, we’re more selfish than before
—there is no conflict of interest
—wait, in what?
—people are friendly and won’t hurt each other when there is no conflict of interest, but when you know them…
—you always have the green lights
—maybe we need traffic lights in the home
—put it in the toilet first
[laughter]
—so you need to find a balance between collectivity and individual. We want collectivity, we want our country to prosper so it will take care of us.
—that’s wider self-interest
—the original idea is that we work together, so our country will prosper, and then we will be fine. But since we get a lot of information from like, we learn from western countries. You can see the difference in north Europe and japan, and people might think about why should I work so hard to sacrifice myself. Why should I sacrifice so much, and I don’t get more than I need, when some people don’t work as hard, but they get more than me.
—Nordic countries, actually have the best social support system on the planet 50% taxes, and japan takes individual inheritance and taxes the living daylights out of it, so generational wealth is hard to maintain. Really hard. So they both use individual taxation in different ways to support the collective, better than any other countries.
—I think why the Nordic countries, they take a lot from individuals to support the welfare system, and japan takes less, is because the family and social level is more collective than in the Nordic countries.
—I agree, there’s different strategies, they’re achieving something similar.
—i’d’ve used the US rather than the Nordic countries, in this comparison. The us has a shit welfare system, they’re reducing every day, they don’t tax their richest people, they don’t redistribute income.
Competition replaced collective action and atomised workers in the US.
—what’s wrong with this idea, that competition replaced collective action. Actually this relates to your point, about collective action. Is collective more important than individual
—there should be a balance
—me too, but if we think that collective is best, there will be a lot of problems. Like in 50 years ago, we emphasized the collective in Taiwan, which meant the junior sacrificed their choice and freedom, their education, maybe their marriage to achieve a family. So I’m just wondering why you think collective is better, than individual? Of course a balance.
—I think his point is, if everyone before they assumed their individual purpose, they thought about their collective purpose, and when the collective purpose achieve their goals, then the individuals can balance
—in some ways
—you need a good leaders
—but there are none
—there are some
—you need a good leader to have a collective society, and you also need good followers.
—i’ve never seen something ideally in my life
—so that’s why our leaders always tell us to obey their rules, and no speaking and close eyes and ears, so they have followers
—and tell us we’re a democracy.
—and you should sacrifice to achieve benefits of society, but just achieve benefits to leader. But I also agree that emphasising the individual too much, then there’s conflict among the people. But at least for me, it’s hard to live in an emphasize collective society
—I think it’s a two way, not a one way. It’s not just, we have a good country so people will be rich. I think the idea is we should think about two way. Have the collective society to benefit individuals, and a good individual to support collective society. It’s not just I do this and people benefit, what about my loss? If I set up this benefit for everybody but I don’t care about those who lose out, that’s wrong
—I think effective communications between leaders and followers is so important. In my office, young people want to choose their projects. I only want to do activities, I only want to do research. But we are a team we can’t only do what we want, we have to make sure every time every person can do both kinds. When people are like ‘I don’t wanna do that’, you as the leader, just can’t give in to individual positions, or the team will collapse. So if you just to talk about your goal and mission, just follow, and show you don’t care about their individual dreams, then they’ll want to quit, and don’t feel you listen do them, and only do the minimum level of work, and in this way the collective purpose is also not achieved. Bilateral interaction in the group.
—bilateral interaction in the group. Nice term.
—okay, what about people compete, and the losing person does
—it’s basically about whether the collective accepts the arbitration 仲裁method as fair.
—how about flip a coin.
—it costs too much to go to court though.
—sometimes it’s less cost

—you asked me why competition is bad, competition breaks relationships
—do you have to have relationships with everyone? Sometimes relationships increases incompetence.
—I agree, this happens a lot in Taiwan.
Corruption, incompetence, bad decision making
—competition pits everyone against each other.

Final statements:
Just put my final statement that: when we’re talking about how to get balance between collective purpose and individual. We’ve been talking a lot of cases, and the importance of communication. And that’s also what I mentioned in the beginning, that how transparency is not the main issue. How our gvt delivers the info is the key point, how gvt communicates with people and how bosses communicate with employees, and how parents communicate with children, that’s the key to our ideal society and the world the end thank you
—I feel like what you said relates to what she said, that individuals have to be mature for things to work. I feel like in general, everyone just has to grow the fuck up.
—sure! When I was a child, I thought I’m wrong my parents are right, and when I grow up I feel
—your parents are wrong and you are right
—my parents need to be educated a little, and our bosses and gvt need to too, like our parents
—right everyone has to grow the fuck up.

If transparency doesn’t keep people accountable, then what does? Maybe it’s not ‘not the tool’, it just needs to be ‘one of the tools’. It can used also as a weapon.
Other mechanisms of accountability are training people to have a sense of responsibility to the collective (internal) I feel like Taiwan trains people like that, the US less so. Balance of power (if I do this, sb can do that) this is how the people framing democracy 200 years ago conceived of it: if I can screw you over equally to how you can screw me over, then people won’t screw each other over, maybe. Equal access to resources, info, money, mortgages, Policing of force levels? Like makes sure people have the same amount of weapons, but that’s probably just checks and balances.

I think I learned a lot today, and made me think deeply about the balance between the collective and individual, like he said. I think balance is important, and there’s no absolute right and wrong for both. But how to find this balance is the tricky thing. I will also think about her suggestion that cooperation is important. It’s easy to say, but hard to achieve, especially when competing with colleagues in a company. I think we need to understand how to collaborate with each other. And you pointed out something I never thought about before. That the Nordic countries, use the collective economic system to support their individuals.
—that[s actually a step further than what I said
—so maybe individualism and collectivity are not in conflict, they affect each other.
—the support each other
—holy cow, what a great thought, now you’ve given me something to think about! I feel like what you just said is possibly a way forward in our great project to grow the fuck up.

Well I think about today’s topic, it just lets me think about reasons our country’s been through the cutting down the militaries or public servants’ pensions. I came from a military family, both my parents, so we’re affected a lot. We’ve heard a lot of things. I’m not going to go in to detail how this should work. But military, or being a teacher or civil servant, what they’re doing is to support the country. So it’s more like support the collective society. And it affects a lot, like for my parents, they’re already 60 or 70 years old, back to that time when they decided to sign up, the society back at that time is more collectively oriented, not like right now. The military is very different now. The reason people sign up for military back at that time, is because the country will protect us. I sacrifice my family my time, even my life, and the country gives me a guarantee that my family will be safe. So that’s a collective vs. Individual. But now the country decided to cut the pension, and people are pissed, and I’m always thinking about for me, from my point of view. The country decided to cut the pension because of the financial problem. We have to fix it. We all feel the problem needs to be fixed, but how? Changing the policy is one thing, but how not to affect those who’ve already served our country. If you’ve served in the military for 20 years, you have your whole life pension. Maybe if we change this law, we say, from which years they started in the military to change the country, instead of flipping everybody off the boat. I think of what the gvt is doing right now, a lot of retired military, they already said that if something happens between china and Taiwan, they will use all kinds of force to help china…
—because they’re mad at Taiwan
—because in their view, there’s nothing different of our gvt and communism. It’s the same betrayal. It becomes like, even if the country decides to sacrifice sb’s benefit, they need to think of a way to make it up. That’s how the collective and individual have to work together.
—that’s a really good illustration
—that’s a really different point of view. The politically correct view is to cut pension as much as possible. That really makes us think about it as a different angle. Your parents sacrificed, and hoped for a stable life after they retire, but in fact they still have to sacrifice

I just have a little point. In the beginning of the discussion. I was confused about the statement, that transparency is the management of mistrust. I think now I have some points from our discussion. I think this statement is based on the assumption that mistrust is resulted from hidden asymmetric information between different parties. But when you try to release more information to make it become transparent. However it may create another kind of mistrust. Because who and how this information is delivered, becomes another issue
—so your point is in line with the first one, actually.
—so it occurs to me, in a previous experience, in our company we have an exchange activity, which is that every person at that level can just speak out to your high-level management what you want to change. Even if you are unhappy with your direct supervisor, you can just say it.
—do people do this?
—so the first time people raised some suggestions, that the direct supervisor also has to do some jobs, they cannot just supervise. But the next time we did it, I noticed people didn’t play this job anymore?
—why why?
—first, nothing changed, but it became a game where high levels got some information from you. So like now he knows A doesn’t like B, so it becomes another source of
—like 百花運動?
—oh, so it’s been done before! We’re too innocent!
—so to solve this mistrust problem, there has to be a balance of power, a care for the collective benefit.
—did the first one, those people speaking, did they disappear? That’s kind of happening in my company!

Subsidiary