TAIWAN: A new political party to promote basic income is under preparation
(Photo credit to: Lonely planet – Taroko Gorge, Taiwan)
A new political party, called the Taiwan Republican Party (TRP), has recently begun preparations to promote basic income in Taiwan. The TRP was initiated by members of Taiwan Global Basic Income Social Welfare Promotion Association and Yu Hua Zhai charity vegetarian restaurants in Taiwan. The party’s goal is to promote constitutional, legislative and judicial reform. With these goals, the TRP hopes to contribute to the realization of a country that acknowledges the importance of social welfare and the law, ensuring the right to a minimum livelihood through the establishment of an unconditional basic income for all people.
One important figure in Taiwan’s basic income movement is Dr. Tien-Sheng Hsu, Taiwan’s Family Medicine and Psychiatrist medical doctor as well as the Seth mental and physical clinic president. On June 5, Dr. Hsu spoke about Switzerland’s movement for the referendum on a basic income in a public speech. When discussing the basic income policy, Hsu said that the Communist system is a very good one at the spiritual level and that if he were the president of the Republic of China and the premier of the People’s Republic of China, he would give every citizen 30,000 New Taiwan Dollars (NTD) per month. In the same speech, he claimed that independence and reliance must forever be actively interwoven. In some ways, reliance allows our creativity to flourish. Because of this, he wished that everyone could both rely on others and be independent at the same time.
On June 8, Dr. Hsu and a doctor of international relations, Dr. Xinyi Ma, hosted the talk show “Voice of A-Sheng” which discussed international and domestic Taiwanese news from the perspective of mental and physical health. This program also brought up the Switzerland referendum on basic income. Dr. Hsu and Dr. Ma expressed the view that we, the people of Taiwan, can launch our own basic income referendum. We will see if it will actually pass.
But it seems that Dr. Hsu may have an aspiration to run in the next Taiwanese presidential election. His comments saying “choosing me (for president of the Republic of China) is the right decision,” and discussing what he would do if he was president illustrates his potential interest.
During the program, Dr. Hsu and Dr. Ma also analyzed the topic of unconditional basic income from a psychological perspective. They maintain that “You create your own reality.” They defend that, when people go back to their inner state of grace, with their basic survival guaranteed, they feel protected by love, wisdom, mercy, creativity and the magical power of the universe. Dr. Hsu and Dr. Ma begin with the premise that every person’s existence is loved, every person in the universe is cherished. From here the whole society is then built, letting our humanity gain greater degree of freedom within. They say that if most people move in this direction, perhaps the social system we desire could really be built. Take the people from Switzerland, Finland and Holland: these . are regions from which the Taiwanese people can learn from.. According to Dr. Hsu and Dr. Ma, if the idea of the basic income does not bring in our inner-selves, but rather employs the violent power of government, then it has again been distorted. Thus we must create the basic income from within, rather than from extrinsic pressure that makes everyone adhere to a certain system. So, Dr. Hsu and Dr. Ma urge, let’s use our intrinsic nature to embark on this endeavor. We can then achieve the feeling of inner richness and, in a state of grace, the proper external reforms will follow.
Taiwan Global Basic Income Social Welfare Promotion Association’s Secretary and Chairman once sought advice from Dr. Hsu in order to push the basic income movement forward. Later, they both learned that Dr. Hsu continued to discuss basic income in his political program, for instance in his public speech. Both the Secretary and Chairman plan to visit Dr. Hsu again, to determine if he is truly interested in running for Taiwan’s presidency. They also plan to invite Dr. Hsu to be a member of TRP.
Written by Juku Shenguang: Founder, Vice-president and Secretary-General of Taiwan Global Basic Income Social Welfare Promotion Association
Translated by Tyler Prochazka
Reviewed by André Coelho and Kate McFarland