E pluribus unum

Published on TaipeiTimes
Taiwan Quick Take: Independence groups unite
Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Four pro-independence societies said over the weekend they would integrate with several like-minded groups to form a “Taiwan Society” to promote social and political reform. Officials from the Northern, Southern, Central and Eastern Taiwan Societies said they had decided to break down the geographical barriers, and the four societies would instead serve as a platform for efforts to link up with more groups at home and overseas to form the “Taiwan Society.” The society is scheduled to be formally launched in Taipei on June 18, with former president Lee Teng-hui to address the inaugural meeting.


Comment:
I can’t be the only one who has noticed the delicious irony.

Think about it. Four pro-separatist groups, the Northern, Southern, Central and Eastern Taiwan Societies decide to “break down geographical barriers,” after coming to the realization that only “in unity there is strength.”

Maybe they can adopt the motto “E pluribus unum?”


Great Seal of these United States of America

According to Wikipedia:

E pluribus unum was the first national motto of the United States of America. Translated from Latin, it means “From many, one” or “Out of many, one,” or in a direct translation, “One out of more.” It referred to the integration of the 13 independent colonies into one united country, and has taken on an additional meaning, given the pluralistic nature of American society from immigration. The motto was selected by the first Great Seal committee in 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution. Pierre Eugene DuSimitie’re originally suggested E pluribus unum as the motto.

Now all that remains is for them to break down one more geographical barrier, the Taiwan Strait.

Former president Lee Teng-hui is scheduled to deliver an inaugural address. I have a number of quotes he might want to use, and after using them, contemplate their deeper meaning.

Behold they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.
— Genesis 11:6

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity.
— Psalms 133:1

What ever disunites man from God, also disunites man from man.
— Edmund Burke

Men’s hearts ought not to be set against one another, but set with one another, and all against evil only.
— Thomas Carlyle

We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.
— Benjamin Franklin

One country, one constitution, one destiny.
— Daniel Webster

The deeper meaning of these quotes is that the real barrier is not geographical. The real barrier is psychological.

The real barrier is not the Taiwan Strait. The real barrier is the psychological barrier in the Taiwan independence nomenklatura’s hardened hearts, between those they insist on defining as “us” and those they insist on defining as “them,” between those they insist on defining as “Taiwanese, not Chinese” and those they insist on defining as “Chinese, not Taiwanese.”

We human beings face a common threat to our survival, the vagaries of nature. As I noted in my previous posting, A Real rather than Imaginary Threat,” the nations of the world ought to unite against this common threat, rather than perceiving each other as threats.

As Benjamin Franklin astutely observed, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

Franklin’s words were admittedly uttered in a different context. Nevertheless they remain remarkably apropos.

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