There have been more than several near “simul-blog” criticisms of Mr. Shaun Rein’s recent articles circulating over China blogs.
Critics of Mr. Rein came to applaud, Defenders of Mr. Rein returned some criticisms.
I sat on the sideline and read some of the back and forth. My thoughts below concisely as possible. Some of which agreed by others on both side of the discussion:
(1) Mr. Rein is overly positive about China. (I would agree with that. Optimism and hope are nice, but not in objective analysis. Too many Western businesses went into China and failed because of too much optimism and not enough realism.)
(2) Too many, not all, critics of pro-China analysts like to use personal attack labels such as “apologist” or “sucking up to CCP”, or “Propagandist for the CCP”, or even “I don’t know why you pretend to be ignorant”.
When such labels are injected into discussion, they cease to be reasonable discussions. And by self-evidence, such labels are thoughtless and end the discussion with an ad hominem.
(3) Too many Western internet commenters use such labels habitually as if a valid argument. That frankly only build the perception, rightfully or wrongfully, that the general Western public is ignorant and irrational.
(4) Pro-China analysts, are rightful in being dismissive of such individuals, who are incapable of civilized debate of a serious topic without reaching for an ad hominem.
(5) But some Western analysts are fair in their own opinions, and do not wish to be lumped in the general category along with the others.
So my advice and policy forward, I say here and in the future: I want to discuss issues with facts. If you don’t like my facts, bring your facts. But if you reach for an ad hominem label to dismiss my facts, you are deserving of being called an idiot. (Am I using a label? Yes, Only when forced to respond in the language best understood in the art of idiots).
AND when I use the term “Idiots,” I refer to those who cannot discuss facts rationally, not those who can.
I hope HH here will NOT tolerate ad hominem comments as normal discussion. (But apparently, China Law Blog and PekingDuck.org do).
China Law blog criticized Mr. Rein as shutting down the discussion by being dismissive of his critics wholesale.
I think tolerating ad hominem comments as normal discussions is in fact shutting down and degenerating discussion. That was 1 problem with FoolsMountain.
Why do I think so?
Because you can’t trace back to who started all the insults. History of insults will go a long way back, and it’s unproductive and irrelevant.
Want to get along? Just shut down the insults.
And all you idiots out there with the twitching ad hominem trigger finger, you are not going your “democracy” arguments any good.