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Destroying History via Imperialistic Propaganda of the West

In recent days, I had some (too many) debates on line with people who challenged Chinese history in various different ways.  From the claim of 5000 years of history, to Chinese historical claims on territories.

I thought to ask myself, why such hostility toward Chinese history?  Was I that wrong about Chinese history?

As it turns out, I wasn’t.  I knew more about Chinese history than most non-Chinese.  That’s my identity and my culture.  I’m proud of that.

Then, it hit me.  My “Chinese-ness” is in my sense of my history as a Chinese person.  Without my history, I would not be much of a Chinese.  Without Chinese history, China wouldn’t be much of China.  It would just be another region with forgotten traditions.

And that would expose China (the region) to take over and foreign influence.

And that’s the REAL reason behind the dispute over history.  History is often written by victors.  To destroy another, Empires have to resort to destroy their history (sack their temples, burn their records, etc.).  Enslaved and Oppressed are often robbed of their history, which robs them of their identity.

“Assimilation” of the Conquered, begins with destruction of identity and history.  African Americans and the Native Americans are oppressed minorities, unable to stand up for themselves, because precisely they were robbed of their history and their identity.

So it is, we Chinese and China are under the assault on our history, by the West, to rob us of our history and our identity.

(1) Our “5000 years of history” is mocked as mere “myth”.

I do not deny that there are myths and legends in our history.  Does that make it less of a history?  Then what of Jewish History?  Or Christian Biblical history?

Would the Westerners dare to mock Jewish History or Christian Biblical history as mere “myth”??

See, that’s the other thing:  China’s stories fill our memories.  Thus, China is less dominated by Religions.  Whereas Europeans lost much of their attachments to their “stories”, and Religions’ stories came to fill their void.

(2) Chinese historical claims to territories are mocked as “ridiculous”.

Then whose historical claims are valid?  All territorial claims are based upon some history.

Again, what makes my history ridiculous, while others’s history “valid”?

Chinese have maps dating back further than others with names and locations of islands and marking oceans where Chinese fished and sought shelter.  Why should such things be discounted and mocked, while treaties of illegal annexations and underhanded deals are accepted?

***

The thing is, Chinese historians have debated about Chinese history for centuries.  There are many different interpretations of events.  It’s not monolithic interpretation of history.  But for Westerners, they never see that, and they still believe that somehow the West faces up to its past atrocities better.

Well, I’m still waiting for an official apology on the Chinese Exclusion Act (and the British brutal crackdowns in HK of the past).  So, no, the West does not own up to history that well.

So why the mockery of Chinese history?

Because it is but a step to destroy the Chinese identity, just as the West has done before to others with their history.

Consider this:  the Western tradition of “assimilation” was often religious conversion and “westernization” of many non-Western people, from the Native American tribes to African slaves.

Yet, when the African Americans have lost their native history, and then sought to build their own.  Their “urban cultural” identity is now mocked and villainized as “Gangster culture”, tied to stereotypical propensity for violence and crime.  1 US politician even go so far as to accuse the Urban American Black culture as “unwilling to work”.

Likewise, we see other cultures and other histories under assault in Europe.  Muslims, Africans, Immigrants, Gypsies, etc., all get portrayed and mocked for similar things, high crime, laziness, etc.

This is how the West has historically tried to destroy non-Western cultures and history, and it still goes on.  It is in essence, the continuation of Imperialism into mainstream Western society.  They don’t consider it “racism”, but in effect, it is so obviously racism.

Thus, for Chinese people, we must realize that the West harbors anything but contempt for Chinese culture and history, and realize that only Chinese people can uphold the survival of our Chinese culture and history.  This is our identity.

Learn this from the Jewish people.  Through all those years of persecution without a homeland, they survived as a people because they held onto their culture and history.  That too is a reminder for us that we must do no less.

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  1. aquadraht
    March 26th, 2014 at 17:34 | #1

    I agree to you. Much more, I think that it is important that the world learns more about chinese history, chinese culture, and Chinese traditions.

    Not only that China has been the leading country in technology and standard of living for millennia, despite all contradictions and drawbacks, I think that the world may learn a lot from. Right now, I am reading to my grandchildren classic chinese novels like 西游记 and 三国演义, why? First, because every child in East Asia knows Sun Wukong and admires or fears the heroes from Sanguo Yan Yi, and I think that the kids should take part in that part of world culture.

    But further on because these tales tell a different worldview, ways distant from western and christian dichotomies of good and evil, god and devil and all that. Sun Wukong is an abandoned child in the beginning, a rebel, a villain, going a long way to perfection. Even the devils and demons in that story are not all bad, rather imperfect. Btw., children love Sun Wukong.

    San Guo Yan Yi is more for the bit older ones. Again, there is no black and white, and there is no happy end. Cao Cao is not all sympathetic, sure, but also not totally a villain, and the “good ones” are not perfect, either, and do not prevail in the end. What remains, is change. So this is a lecture on history.

    I think the west has still to understand that different mindset, and to accept that there is something to learn about. Will be a long way to go.

  2. Wahaha
    March 26th, 2014 at 20:05 | #2

    http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_03_25/In-Crimeas-footsteps-Alaska-wants-to-unite-with-Russa-puts-petition-forward-3906/

    In Crimea’s footsteps: Alaska wants to unite with Russia, puts petition forward

    A petition entitled “Alaska Back to Russia” has been placed on the US administration’s website and has gathered over 14 thousand signatures in three days. All that despite the fact that that document vanished from the open list of appeals – although the first 150 signatures made it available for voting.

    Some experts point out that one should not talk about any tendency for separatism in the US, but one should not take such petitions as a joke either. The authors of the petition – similar to other petitions for the secession of some other US states – are trying to remind the White House about the basis of the state, and specifically about the Declaration of Independence.

    A resident of Anchorage, the largest city in the state of Alaska, published his petition a couple of days after Crimea seceded from Ukraine and rejoined Russia. To support his petition he cites the following historic facts: the first Europeans that put their foot on the land of Alaska in 1732 were the crew of the Saint Gabriel vessel, captained by Makhail Gvozdev and Ivan Fedorov. In conclusion the author calls for “seceding Alaska from the US to rejoin Russia”.

    …………

  3. March 26th, 2014 at 20:08 | #3

    I feel a bit amazed that there’s no the slightest mentioning about the disappearances of the MH370 flight and its precious “cargo” at Hidden Harmonies…

    Hopefully readers here won’t just take the official announcement by MAS or the mainstream media ‘baked’ information as the truth!

    How could a Boeing 777 just disappear from the highly tracked sea lines such as the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean? How could the US military’s intense tracking facilities along the strategic routes reveal no info about an object as big as Boeing 777?

    Spratly islands lost all cell coverage at the exact time of the incident, as well as Diego Garcia closing down it’s runways during and after the event. No disclosure of a full cargo manifest at all. Suspect 20 passengers from Freescale, a known DOD contractor for military grade electronics.

    At least i find this 3/27 Op Ed at Globaltimes is still something to read on for putting many things under double quotes “” meaning the author is still questioning…instead of just swallowing all “truths” vomited by the MSM or the official narratives.

    “Don’t let extreme feelings preempt MH370 findings” – ’851015.shtml’

    I will suggest all readers here to look out on Jim Stone’s analyses on this disappearance, search for “jimstonefreelance longsoonhijack” as a kick-off query.

    Thanks for posting this comment.

  4. March 26th, 2014 at 23:10 | #4

    Why was the Malaysian MH370 Flight Not Detected by the Diego Garcia US Naval and Intelligence Base in the Indian Ocean?

    Diego Garcia is a tropical, footprint-shaped coral atoll located south of the equator in the central Indian Ocean.

    It is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, but now under US Control under lease from UK.

    The American military base on the island of Diego Garcia is one of the most strategically important and secretive U.S. military installations outside the United States.

    Located near the remote center of the Indian Ocean and accessible only by military transport, the base was a little-known launch pad for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and may house a top-secret CIA prison where terror suspects are interrogated and tortured..

    Is it possible for MH 370 not tracked by USA’s most sophisticated technologies on earth in Diego Garcia if in fact MH 370 was flying to the Indian ocean?

    Source: Global Research, March 26, 2014

    Look for more related info, search for “MH370 Diego Garcia”

  5. ersim
    March 27th, 2014 at 01:58 | #5

    I think the reason of the “enlightened barbarians” of the West hostility against everything Chinese is that China can never fit their warped and distorted Judeo-Christian view of tbe world. The fact that China was able to prevail after over a century of Western imperial arrogance and terrorism enfuriates them. The worst that these vicious thugs can do is to ridicule and mock anything Chinese while they wallow and sink in their cesspool of decay and corruption called “democracy”.

  6. ersim
    March 27th, 2014 at 02:27 | #6

    @Qomo
    My “two cents” about this flight that “vanished”. To take this long to “find it” makes me highly suspicious about the whole thing. Of course, nobody wants to be accused of being a “conspiracy theorist” with all this “mystery” going on about the “flight”.

  7. N.M.Cheung
    March 28th, 2014 at 05:43 | #7

    I assume debating history means remove about 1/2 of the U.S. population who believe earth is 5,000 years old and evolution and climate change is a hoax, as no debate is possible for true believers. Essentially we are talking about the intelligentsia and opinion makers. As a Chinese who attended middle school in Shanghai everyone knew about Chinese history then, especially the century of humiliation since the Opium Wars. It can’t be underestimated this history has on the psychics of modern Chinese intellectuals. Yet I find that most western intellectuals dismiss it as propaganda and brain washing. One can’t understand China without understanding Chinese history, and trying to critique Chinese viewpoints one must also know his/her own history. I find amusing most Americans knew little of their Civil War beyond “Gone with the Winds”, in this case the “18 Years of Slavery” is an eye opener for them. As for those Taiwanese students protesting against trade relation with China I wish they study their own history more, their 50 years of colonial rule under Japan, and watch what Ukrainian protesters wrought. Democracy is not just a slogan, it has consequences, as those Syrian Facebook enthusiasts now watch their nation disintegrates.
    Japan has never faced her own history squarely. At present they are rewriting history in their textbooks, portraying themselves as victims, rather than as aggressors. Without facing their own historical mistakes I don’t think true friendship can ever develop between China and Japan.

  8. Black Pheonix
    March 28th, 2014 at 08:12 | #8

    @N.M.Cheung

    Exactly, and as I said, Westerners are so hung up on their religions, because they have little sense of their own history. Without history, they simply have almost no self-identity. Thus, they seek their identity from religions.

    This is perhaps a fundamental distinction and disconnect between Chinese and Westerners.

    Chinese have a deep rooted sense of history, and thus a strong self-identity from its history, without the necessity of strong religious attachments. (There are religions in China, but most do not consider them to be any more than superficial disconnected collections).

    Westerners simply cannot understand how China could survive as an ancient nation without a STRONG centralized state religion.

  9. March 28th, 2014 at 09:49 | #9

    Indeed, Chinese history has been severely distorted in the west especially when European embarked on world colonization around 500 years ago. It is not just Chinese history that was portrayed negatively but pretty much rest of non western European history. In order to justify invading and exploiting “the others” it is necessary to occupy moral high ground. For almost 500 years the European colonization was cloaked under the notion of “civilizing mission”.

    Even today, all military action by the west are for “spreading democracy” and not for expanding sphere of influence. Old habit die hard. We should be forever vigilant.

  10. greystone
    March 28th, 2014 at 20:07 | #10

    @Ray
    No matter what, I think the West has been quite successful in imposing and brainwashing others to their way of thinking through christianity and popular culture.

  11. March 29th, 2014 at 08:45 | #11

    @Ray

    As individuals, we are all but little ants, each without much that much power or influence in this world. To have any relevance of any significance, one must be attached to a culture, tradition … a civilization. The West has been pillaging the world for centuries. Mocking others history (together with it tradition, culture, and identity) is an all-out effort. This has made the West – and Westerners – rich. The next stage is about defining the future. The West wants not just material riches, but the soul of the rest of the world.

    In the realm of politics, of defining worldviews, the articulations of “freedom” and “democracy” are all defined from the Western tradition, referencing Western history, people, experiences, symbols. This to me is more dangerous. Sure Chinese can play the game at defining “freedom” (saying when something is about freedom, when something is not, but really about security, being civilized (e.g. rule of law, human rights, liberty, etc.), etc.) and “democracy” (elevating a population segment voice’s as particularly important/relevant, another as just fringe even if loud). But they lose their soul in a sense. They look to Western experience as references and pillars for their experiences forward.

    I know I may be getting out of topic, but attack on history is but one facet of this firebombing on world traditions. The elevation of a particular history, experience, model, theories as “UNIVERSAL” – and the subscription to that model by a whole lot of people around the world to me is but another sign how much the world needs to be liberated from the stifling hegemony of one history.

    UNIVERSALISM as currently preached is the ultimate intellectual annihilator. If there are things that are truly universal, let it come from a thousand blooms, not from the muzzle of a gun, or jeers at the oppressed/dispossessed.

    My personal fight against universalism is my personal contribution against colonialism. Of course I do so fully aware that I may be wrong. Colonialism may not be so bad after all. The weeding out of tradition may not be bad.

    I remember reading a book some time ago that described how human genetic pool was a lot more varied some 200,000 years ago. Then some 80-90,000 years ago, humans almost disappeared from the earth, with only some 10,000 breeding pairs. Today’s humans beings thus are – by historic standards – basically genetically monolithic – a lot more so than than human beings historically are.

    Perhaps in the realm of culture and traditions, we just need a set that best survives. Perhaps we do just need one “best” civilization to propel human beings forward – and if traditions must duke it out – given recent history – perhaps the “Western model” is the best model for us to cling to.

    Perhaps.

    Or Perhaps not.

  12. ersim
    March 31st, 2014 at 13:02 | #12

    @Allen
    “Universalism” is not as “peaceful” as you might think. Throughout human history there have been different levels and different types of what I would call, “cyclical violence”. The West is, in my opinion, the most recent and the worst, when it comes to “cyclical violence” because they made it more “universal” through their Judeo-Christian “world view” in the sense of global colonization for past 500 plus years. To say “colonialism may not be so bad after all” after the countless genocidal campaigns in the so called New World plus 3 centuries of global slave trade in Africa, as starters, is either being an apologist of Euro-centric white supremacy or want to whitewash everything Euro-centric supremacy has done “to propel human beings forward”.

  13. April 1st, 2014 at 02:20 | #13

    @ersim

    To say “colonialism may not be so bad after all” after the countless genocidal campaigns in the so called New World plus 3 centuries of global slave trade in Africa, as starters, is either being an apologist of Euro-centric white supremacy or want to whitewash everything Euro-centric supremacy has done “to propel human beings forward”.

    I might sound like an apologist because I understand that history is written by the victors – and history as we know it today has already been whitewashed. I am fighting an uphill battle here. I am only looking to reveal the cracks. I cannot fathom the whole thing crashing … although I do hope…

  14. ersim
    April 2nd, 2014 at 05:53 | #14

    < I understand that history is written by the victors. I never did bought into such Western concept. History is an ongoing process. It's alive because we still exist and it is part of who we are. History didn't end in a textbook.

  15. ersim
    April 2nd, 2014 at 06:02 | #15

    @Allen
    I personally never bought into the Western concept of ” history is written by the victors”, because history is an neverending and ongoing process. History is “alive” because we still exist as a people and it is integral part of who we are. History is constant change. “History”, as you see it, didn’t end in a textbook. History is not “linear”, a very Western concept about time.

  16. Black Pheonix
    April 4th, 2014 at 10:23 | #16

    @ersim

    @Allen

    I agree with ersim, and I would add that Chinese history is different in sense that Chinese history as we know it is actually a “history of the victims/survivors”, as much as it is like Jewish History, written by the persecuted to remember their history of being persecuted and how they survived.

    Consider that Chinese history is filled with condemnations of evil emperors. Chinese history is not as 1-sided or monolithic as Western history.

    Thus, it is even more important for Chinese to understand and uphold the Chinese tradition of history keeping, because our history is among the few that is not written (solely) by the victors.

  17. April 5th, 2014 at 08:46 | #17

    @ersim and @Black Pheonix ,

    I am not sure the notion that “history is written by the victors” is a “Western” concept – or a concept that is necessarily in conflict with Chinese sense of history.

    Sure – the idea that history marches forward, toward a triumphant end or a Armageddon may be inconsistent with a more Eastern notion of constant cycles of change and eternity … but the idea that history is written by the victors need not mean one or the other. In the Western context, the victory could bring finality. In the Asian context, not necessarily. As the everyday Chinese proverb 塞翁失马 焉知非福 Sai Weng Shi Ma Yan Zhi Fei reminds, your victory (or failure) today may not be a victory (or failure) when viewed in the long run.

    Still the idea that victory does mean something. It does mean that the victors get to define how things are viewed – for a few years (a decade to a few centuries?). Think of the aztecs, or the mayans, or the N. american native american indian tribes. Even their descendents view history through the European perspective -or at least give great weight to it. They speak mostly European languages … think in Western terms today.

    Victors do get to write history. That doesn’t mean history is final. History is never final. But by the time people get to judge WEstern colonialism objectively (not through whitewashing of history) – it may be as we study the pharohs of Egypt. It is in the distant future studying back to a then mostly irrelevant era…

  18. ersim
    April 5th, 2014 at 11:10 | #18

    @Allen
    I personally do not give too much focus on what the Western “victors” wrote in a textbook. It has a very distorted and warped view of how the world “should function”. It’s either their way or the “highway”. Just because it was written doesn’t mean it will be “eternal their victory”. Unlike you, I don’t treat Western history as THE STANDARD of how things should “function” in the world. I don’t treat their “history” as if it’s a “bible”, of sorts. Their “history” fits perfectly with their Judeo-Christian view of the world. Their “history” is just an extention of their Judeo-Christian “value system”.

  19. choic
    April 22nd, 2014 at 04:33 | #19

    > My “Chinese-ness” is in my sense of my history as a Chinese person. Without my history, I would not be much of a Chinese. Without Chinese history, China wouldn’t be much of China. It would just be another region with forgotten traditions.

    It is so true. “Chinese-ness” is a cultural concept, whose extension is larger than political Chinese, national Chinese, geographical Chinese etc.

    I think this discussion could lead to interesting new areas. While we are thinking what is “Chinese-ness”, we could reflect what is “Western-ness”. A guy pops up in my mind: Gregory VII.

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