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Psychological projection and the western mind

There is an interesting phenomenon known to psychologists as projection. I quote at length from wiki’s entry on the topic.

Psychological projection was first conceptualized by Sigmund Freud as a defence mechanism in which a person unconsciously rejects his or her own unacceptable attributes by ascribing them to objects or persons in the outside world instead. Thus, projection involves projecting[clarification needed negative qualities onto others, and is a common psychological process.[1][2] Theoretically, projection and the related projective identification reduces anxiety by allowing the unconscious expression of the unwanted unconscious impulses or desires through displacement.[3]

According to Sigmund Freud, “projection” is a psychological defence mechanism whereby one “projects” undesirable or unacceptable thoughts, motivations, desires, and feelings onto someone else. “Emotions or excitations which the ego tries to ward off are ‘split out‘ and then felt as being outside the ego… perceived in another person”, wrote Otto Fenichel.[6] It is a common process, something normal people do.[1]

In one example of the process, a person might have thoughts of infidelity with respect to a spouse or other partner. Instead of dealing with these undesirable thoughts consciously, the subject unconsciously sees these feelings as belonging to the other person, and begins to think that “the other” has thoughts of infidelity and may be having an affair. In this way, the subject may obtain “acquittal by his conscience – if he projects his own impulses to faithlessness on to the partner to whom he owes faith”, wrote Freud.[8] In this sense, projection is related to denial, a more primitive defence mechanism than projection, allowing a person to protect the conscious mind from a feeling that is otherwise threatening.

Projection can also be established as an attempt to obtain or justifying certain actions that would normally be found unacceptable.[citation needed] This often means projecting false accusations, information, etc., onto an individual for the sole purpose of maintaining a self-created illusion.[citation needed One of the many problems with this process comes from the object relations theory which suggests that people relate to others and situations in their adult lives as shaped by family experiences during infancy. In this view, “something dangerous that is felt inside can be moved outside – a process of ‘projection’ ” – and the result is “the projector may become somewhat depleted and rendered limp in character, as he loses part of his personality”, according to Melanie Klein.[9]

Compartmentalizationsplitting, and projection are seen as ways that a fragile ego attempts to maintain the illusion that it is completely in control at all times, something normal people also do. While engaged in projection, individuals can be unable to access alternative memories, intentions, and experiences, even about their own nature in dissociation, as in Dissociative identity disorder.[10]

The historian and librarian Peter Gay describes projection as “the operation of expelling feelings or wishes the individual finds wholly unacceptable—too shameful, too obscene, too dangerous—by attributing them to another.”[11]

 

It’s a fairly common phenomenon. For example, male homophobes have a tendency to have homoerotic fantasies and the more homosexual their inner desires the more they are bigoted towards homosexuals. Many racists also like looking at interracial porn.

Now I will argue that this phenomenon underlies much of how the west views China and the Chinese people.  In my last article, I argued that the Chinese people and China as whole by implication has many foibles which it must correct to be truly civilized but in the most morally relevant aspects, the west is guilty of far worse. The west projects its own weaknesses, its own crimes and shame upon China. Shame and guilt, much like misery loves company and where company cannot be found, they must be invented.

Much of the discourse about China in the west is framed in terms of the conceptual framework the west knows, at some deep level, it is itself guilty. The narrative on Tibet, China’s past and present relationships with its neighbors, with the USA, and Africa, are framed in the discourse of genocide, invasion, occupation, aggression, greed, and overall oppression. There is a remarkable article on this published by Andre Vltchek called “The Racist Irrational Fear of China” which everyone should read. Vltchek goes further than I can about all the crimes of the west in recent memory and how the Chinese have not had any such history while the west continues to fan the scaremongering against the Middle Kingdom rightfully describing the motive as a continuation of the tradition of the Yellowperil. However, racist motives aside, I believe that projection is just as much a motive for all the west’s lies.

In past articles, we have spoken about all the effort, money and attention the west spends manufacturing and perpetuating self-indulgent hallucinations such as this Hollywood Holocaust. While such racist propagandists were defaming China and the Chinese people for the genocide of 1.2 million imaginary Tibetans, those same propagandists were also promoting wars around the globe, one of which ended with the deaths of nearly 1.5 million flesh and blood Iraqis.  Moreover, almost all of the genocides that have ever occurred (with rare exceptions such as thisthis and this), have occurred with a western aggressor (and often a nonwestern victim).

The US alone, in a busy afternoon, invades and occupies more countries than China has in its entire history. Over the last 50 years, the US has attacked several dozens of countries, some of them multiple times, bombing them into oblivion and moreover, undermining their political, social, economic development after invasion through covert (and less than covert) actions. One can only contrast this with China. After tracking modern military conflicts around the globe, the political scientist, Joshua Goldstein has pointed out that “China has been hands down the most peaceful great power of its time. For all the recent concern about a newly assertive Chinese navy in disputed international waters, China’s military hasn’t fired a single shot in battle in 25 years.” Yet, when you look at American and western media you’ll see fears of world conflicts directed at China’s rising power. China’s relations with its neighbors are almost wholly viewed through the prism of a militarily aggressive China against a weaker, bullied neighbor. The most brazen and outrageous lies are constantly told by the most trusted sources as if they were accepted facts, without so much as a liar’s blink. For one recent example, see this piece in The Atlantic about the possibility of conflict between China and India. The author says “In late October 1962, when the Western world was consumed with the Cuban Missile Crisis, China’s People’s Liberation Army assaulted an India military position in the disputed territory of Arunachal Pradesh, routing the poorly-trained Indian forces.” China is viewed as aggressor always even when it was actually the victim of aggression. This kind of turning history on its head is ubiquitous in the effort to demonize China. Despite having more land borders than any country in the world, China has successfully resolved almost all of them. Many territorial conflicts are resolved only after military conflict but China has been an exception in that most of its border conflicts have been peacefully resolved through negotiation and diplomacy. Where there has not been peaceful resolution, it is almost always because the other party refuse to negotiate (such as the case with the territorial conflict with Japan which until very recently they didn’t even acknowledge that there was a dispute despite the fact that the territory under question had been classified as disputed by the international community).

Whereas, the west’s history is replete with colonialism, religious, political oppression, fascism, genocide, apartheid, slavery, wars of aggression and just about every evil ever known to man, the Chinese empire has historically been relatively benign in comparison. But it is these very frameworks that are used to frame the discourse on China today. China, with its infinite inscrutability, is the perfect backdrop to project the west’s own crimes.

Take another example. Mao is not simply viewed as an incorrigibly incompetent and (maybe even willfully) ignorant leader but as a mass murderer the likes of Hitler and Stalin. He is accused of murdering 40-60 million [sic] Chinese by the west rather than the less than sensationalistic historical reality which is that his well-intentioned but ultimately bad decisions led to many deaths. Why choose the 40-60 million numbers so often bandied about? Maybe because they’re one-up from Hitler’s or Stalin’s numbers? While despicably and perhaps unforgivably ignorant and incompetent, Mao was no Hitler or Stalin in reality, but only in the projected fantasies of a collective psyche that displaces real crimes unto imaginary perpetrators as a “psychological defense mechanism” to protect a “fragile ego” in order to “maintain the illusion that it is completely in control at all times.”

Now the logical implication of conflating the kind of crimes Mao is guilty of with those of Hitler’s and Stalin’s is that we are all of us (at least for those of us who live in developed countries and perhaps even most people who live in developing countries) guilty of crimes equivalent to mass murder (see the philosophical problem of letting die to see what I mean). Thus one needs to take into account intentions to make moral sense of the world (which isn’t a surprise as the law and moral common sense would tell you).

China’s relationship with Africa is also framed in the language of colonialism, exploitation and resource extraction, crimes which the west has always and continues to perpetrate on that continent. While not always rosy, China’s relationship with Africa has been far more just than the west even when comparing in contemporary times. China’s foreign policy constantly sensationalized in the mainstream western media as supportive of dictatorships around the world and thus undermining human rights while the mainstream western press almost never criticizes the US’s history of overthrowing democratic regimes then installing dictatorships in their place and its relationship with an apartheid regime so vicious it uses the strategy of incinerating children with white phosphorous and forced starvation as a matter of foreign policy.

Domestic policies in China are constantly viewed with scorn and contempt. It is a police state we are told by the mother of all police states. While the US now has more prisoners (both overall and per capita) than any country in the world and far more than China, you’ll rarely see criticisms of US domestic policies in mainstream media.  One can go to prison, be strip searched multiple times, for (alleged) “crimes” such as not paying parking tickets. People are often sentenced to long prison terms for speech and thought crimes (see Glenn Greenwald’s blog for a listing) and citizens can even be “extra legally” assassinated for nothing ostensibly more than internet postings. People are tortured such as government whistle-blower Bradley Manning for releasing information that is deemed embarrassing to the government.

While in my last post, I described many vices of the Chinese people, there are also some virtues among them too; this I do not deny. To wit, a willingness to accept and a general tolerance of self-criticism as demonstrated by many of the comments (there are other virtues such as Chinese people’s optimism and general cheeriness for life among other things). While I believe that Freud’s quote, “In the depths of my heart I can’t help being convinced that my dear fellow-men, with a few exceptions, are worthless.” has a lot of truth, it is not to say that all worthless men are equally worthless. Some are more so than others. Even misanthropes like me can see that not all humanity bare equal worthlessness. The west must face up to a devastating reality: that they have, continue to, and will in the foreseeable future perpetrate the greatest crimes in human history. But it is ironic that it will be my last post that has received all the attention for it calls upon self-reflection and criticism among Chinese while posts like this calling for the same but among westerners will go relatively unnoticed at best to being met with blind derision and hostility at worst. That surely says more about the lack of virtues of the west compared to the Chinese.

Many in the west like to think of their own societies as democracies. Yet in a democracy, as an a priori implication, it is the people who are ultimately responsible for the actions of their government, good or bad. Yet when their government does massive wrongs upon the world and even on their own populations, said populations usually deny any responsibility. Whence the conflict? Sure, many of the evil actions are the result of actions by evil men in high levels of government but who voted these evil men into office? Who initially almost always seem to support their wicked ways and whose tax dollars fuel them? Whose rampant consumerism fuels a corprorate-government machine? Who doesn’t criticize them but instead are self-satisfied with criticizing others even inventing slanderous accusations along the way? Fool you once, shame on them. Fool you twice, shame on you. Fool you a thousand times and you are hardly better than your government. I ended my last post with an appeal to look in the proverbial mirror for the Chinese people and correct certain vices. Will the west ever look into such a mirror and see that the monster in front is not another but their own reflection?

 

  1. pug_ster
    May 12th, 2013 at 12:10 | #1

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/12/nyregion/doubts-about-detective-haunt-50-murder-cases.html?hp&_r=0

    While America is always blasting China that they don’t have the ‘Rule of Law’ it seems that America doesn’t have Rule of Law either.

  2. colin
    May 12th, 2013 at 12:18 | #2

    Diagnosis fits perfectly!

  3. May 12th, 2013 at 18:09 | #3

    I imagine if we count Iraq war deaths the same way we count deaths caused by the great leap forward, the number would be far higher. We should consider the devastating setbacks to Iraqi economic & social development in this count as well. I wonder how many premature deaths resulted from things like malnutrition & disease which surely would’ve followed the destructive effects of war on Iraq’s already underdeveloped infrastructure.

  4. May 12th, 2013 at 22:53 | #4

    @Mister Unknown

    The highest number I read on all violent and non-violent abnormal Iraqi death count is at 2 million. That’s 8% of the pre-war Iraqi population. In the GLF case, 8% would be the equivalent of 51 million — nobody with a hint of seriousness has put the death toll that high, yet.

    So if Mao was worse than the Japanese in the WW2, so was Bush II. However, like the old say about statistics and lies, the Iraqi population between 2003 and 2011, and the Chinese population between 1957 and 1961 were both growing. There was a net population decrease in China during the Japanese occupation in the WW2.

  5. Zack
    May 13th, 2013 at 04:41 | #5

    But it is ironic that it will be my last post that has received all the attention for it calls upon self-reflection and criticism among Chinese while posts like this calling for the same but among westerners will go relatively unnoticed at best to being met with blind derision and hostility at worst. That surely says more about the lack of virtues of the west compared to the Chinese.

    this struck a very profound note; similarly i note with disgust how history is going to be corrupted by a cynical power hungry West eager to see the Indians go to war with the Chinese (a classic case of letting the white man’s colonial troops do the frontline dying), just as it’s even more disturbing to see some Indians (thankfully, not all) just as eager to be the loyal subservient.

    It’s times like these that i sometimes despair at ever finding the hidden harmonies between China and the West if the West is unwilling and unable to find humility in its arrogant belief that its place in the sun must be the constant the world over. The West has made no secret of its desire that the only acceptable China that rises is a China that is subservient to the West ie a castrated state like Japan, or a nation of prostitutes like the Philippines.

  6. Black Pheonix
    May 13th, 2013 at 06:28 | #6

    Most of the World’s problems can be simply traced down to modern day “mass overconsumption”, which waste resources for things we don’t need, generates over production, inflation, decline of quality of products and food, pollution, decline of morals due to materialism.

    Unfortunately, leading the propaganda for “mass overconsumption” is the West.

    The real solution to China is that China must move quickly past its industrialization, and then level off to a sustainable level of consumption and production (which would be more than sufficient for China to maintain its level economy).

    In short, China must buck the consumption habit promoted by the West.

  7. Zack
    May 13th, 2013 at 07:47 | #7

    also its pretty hard to argue with the reasoning put out by the machiavellian leaders of the West: China getting modern means less resources for us, if we kill China, then there’s going to be more resources and food for us, and then we can have THEIR stuff.

    Pretty hard to argue with that line of Hobbesian thinking, especially since your average american voter having been bombarded by the image of a dehumanised Chinese, is not going to think terribly hard about death and famine for China if it means America or the White man’s Empire can remain unchallenged for at least another generation.

  8. Black Pheonix
    May 13th, 2013 at 11:31 | #8

    Some folks (western or otherwise) are still insistent upon the absolute view that there should be “no excuses”.

    Although it should be interesting to note, that the “no excuses” line is applied rather selectively to ONLY SOME actions.

    I for one, do not claim the right to make “excuses”. Rather I claim that people have the same freedom and opportunity to take risks with their actions, even if such actions lead to mistakes.

    Yes, China is undoubtedly making quite a bit of mistakes along the way of its development, as it has the right to make such choices and mistakes for itself.

  9. Black Pheonix
    May 13th, 2013 at 12:13 | #9

    What would be worse than making “excuses”??

    Doing a lot of “blaming” with no one to take responsibilities. In other words, passing the buck (and jumping ship).

    One analogy is the US Bubble Economies history (and the European Bubble Economies).

    No one ever make “excuses”, because even if blames are being pointed, every one claim legitimacy, and YET, at the same time, people are dumping the economies, by taking profits out and jumping the economic ship.

    Why? Because people don’t believe that any one would take responsibility to fix things.

    *If there are actually people making “excuses”, you would at least know who is actually taking responsibility.

    and at least, they may actually say, “hey, we did the best we could.” (Instead of dead silence, or worse, “Give us some more money, and we will STIMULATE the problem away”).

  10. pug_ster
    May 13th, 2013 at 16:25 | #10

    poking thru Huffington Post today the US government has been intruding on people’s rights. IRS snooping on Conservatives to DOJ snooping on Associated Press. Is America a free country anymore?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/13/tom-brokaw-obama-irs_n_3266355.html

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/13/ap-phone-records-doj-leaks_n_3268932.html

  11. Black Pheonix
    May 14th, 2013 at 06:00 | #11

    @pug_ster

    They are only “tagging” group. The information was gathered legally already.

    In other words, the “People” in the West are already willingly submitting themselves to surveillance, but pretending that somehow the Governments are not actually looking at the information.

    Weird logic, and Weird outrage now.

  12. Brrrrr
    May 14th, 2013 at 06:23 | #12

    Dear Melaktaus,

    Could you kindly clarify on your use of the term “Western mind”?

    Would you describe this as being purely a cultural reference, and not a racial reference?

    Thanks

  13. May 14th, 2013 at 08:07 | #13

    @Brrrrr
    What do you think U.S. President Obama means by West or Western in every one of his speeches? Your don’t even need to try hard. Or simply look at how the Anglophone media uses that word. Tell us what you think they mean?

  14. Brrrrr
    May 14th, 2013 at 10:50 | #14

    @YinYang
    I’ll gladly give you a nickel for every Obama speech that contains the phrase “Western mind”.

  15. Black Pheonix
    May 14th, 2013 at 13:24 | #15

    http://profitwithsandraleeblog.wordpress.com/2009/01/23/obama-speech-it-is-in-our-mindset-attitude-and-actions-that-will-matter-most/

    Title: “It Is In Our Mindset, Attitude and Actions that Will Matter Most!”

    What does he refer to as “Our Mindset”?? (because it’s not mentioned elsewhere in the whole speech).

    “To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. ”

    “Western Mindset”/paranoia, Obama style.

    *And you can keep your money. A self-professed “Mindset” is worthless as the speech that describes it. Illustration of it is for free.

  16. May 14th, 2013 at 13:41 | #16

    Lol.

  17. May 14th, 2013 at 23:14 | #17

    @Brrrrr

    Can you first clarify what you mean by “cultural” and “racial” first?

    thanks

  18. Brrrrr
    May 15th, 2013 at 12:48 | #18

    @melektaus

    Dear Melektaus,

    I mean the dictionary definitions of these words, nothing else.

    Your recent post on China is obviously a commentary on the character of the Chinese people, and this post is further commentary on the character of the “Western mind”.

    Below find a passage from ” Ludwig Wittgenstein: A Memoir and a Biographical Sketch by G. H. Von Wright”, it sums up nicely the pitfalls one faces when trying to describe complicated circumstances.

    “In the autumn of 1939, Ludwig Wittgenstein and his young Cambridge student and friend Norman Malcolm were walking along the river when they saw a newspaper vendor’s sign announcing that the Germans had accused the British government of instigating a recent attempt to assassinate Hitler. When Wittgenstein remarked that it wouldn’t surprise him at all if it were true, Malcolm retorted that it was impossible because “the British were too civilized and decent to attempt anything so underhand, and . . . such an act was incompatible with the British ‘national character’.” Wittgenstein was furious. Some five years later, he wrote to Malcolm:

    Whenever I thought of you I couldn’t help thinking of a particular incident which seemed to me very important. . . . you made a remark about ‘national character’ that shocked me by its primitiveness. I then thought: what is the use of studying philosophy if all that it does for you is to enable you to talk with some plausibility about some abstruse questions of logic, etc., & if it does not improve your thinking about the important questions of everyday life, if it does not make you more conscientious than any . . . journalist in the use of the DANGEROUS phrases such people use for their own ends.”

  19. Black Pheonix
    May 15th, 2013 at 13:02 | #19

    @Brrrrr

    I think you are generalizing DANGEROUSLY about the characteristics of what Wittgenstein wrote.

    Wittgenstein was admonishing Malcolm for his GENERALIZATION of the “British national character”, which Malcolm did not provide any specifics.

    It’s far different to discuss “Western” mindset, which are engraved and often emblazoned in GREAT DETAILS by those who champion it, embrace it, and claim it as superior.

    There are BOOKS written about the “Western mind”:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=0n2C299jeOMC&lpg=PA25&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false

    “Passion of the Western Mind”.

    We didn’t generalize any thing. The “Mindset” is laid out in the open by those who claim it as their own.

    If you want to say, ALL those folks in academia (of the “West”) were just making DANGEROUS speech for their own ends, you might have a point.

    We are just trying to show case the down side of their claimed “MINDSET”.

    Unlike Wittgenstein, who ALSO generalized about British national character, by saying “it wouldn’t surprise him at all” if the plot was true. (I mean, talk about the Kettle calling the Pot black). We are discussing the “Western” mindset IN RESPONSE to those who glorify it.

    As I said before, WE didn’t invent such a notion of “Western” characteristics for discussion of generalization. We are RESPONDING to the discussion, by merely using the terminology from others.

  20. May 16th, 2013 at 01:58 | #20

    I meant “western” by the dictionary definition. Nothing more.

    Nothing I wrote was about “national character” whatever that is. On the other hand, only a moron would think there are no differences between the west and China. You are exhibit A.

  21. Brrrrr
    May 16th, 2013 at 12:39 | #21

    @Black Pheonix
    Are these words the same?

    chamber

    gas chamber

    There is only a difference of three letters.

    Can someone be born with a “Western mind”?
    Can someone change a “Western mindset”?

  22. May 17th, 2013 at 05:57 | #22

    @Black Pheonix

    True Wittgenstein made many references to the differences between British and German and Austrian mindsets. See Ray Monk’s bio.

  23. Black Pheonix
    May 17th, 2013 at 05:59 | #23

    @Brrrrr

    A “chamber” might be a “gas chamber” if the “gas chamber” is being referred to by many as The “chamber”.

    So, it depends on the context of specific use for those phrases.

    Now, I’m pretty sure that “Passion of the Western Mind” is referring to the same “Western Mindset”. If you believe there is a difference, I’m all ears.

    (But I think for you to highlight the differences of those terms, both invented by people in the West, you have to kinda admit to the EXISTENCE of those terms. AND given how generalized those 2 terms are to start with, “Western Mind” vs. “Western Mindset”, I don’t know how you are going to show that they are referring to different things. Which one is born with? which one can be changed? You might want to take it up with those in the West who invented both these terms.)

  24. Black Pheonix
    May 17th, 2013 at 08:06 | #24

    @Brrrrr

    In sum, I think you are using a bad analogy to argue semantics of generalized concepts.

    (Again, we didn’t invent those generalized concepts.)

    If you want to argue semantics, what’s the difference between a “wardrobe” and a “wardrobeset”?

  25. Black Pheonix
    May 17th, 2013 at 08:14 | #25

    For reference:

    In decision theory and general systems theory, a mindset is a set of assumptions, methods, or notations held by one or more people or groups of people that is so established that it creates a powerful incentive within these people or groups to continue to adopt or accept prior behaviors, choices, or tools. This phenomenon is also sometimes described as mental inertia, “groupthink”, or a “paradigm”, and it is often difficult to counteract its effects upon analysis and decision making processes.

    In The Passion of the Western Mind, Tarnas argues that the movement from the Greek and Christian world views, through the modernity and to postmodernism can be seen as a natural and dialectical unfolding of a collective mind or psyche. Tarnas outlines the intellectual-cultural development of the modern world view from its origins in Greek and Judaeo-Christian mythologies. He then argues that with the advent of postmodernism, the modern world is in a serious spiritual crisis, which manifests as the global ecological crisis. He proposes that a potential resolution, which he calls the participatory framework, has also been in development in the West for centuries.

    Seems like Tarnas was talking about a “Western Mindset”, formed within a group from history of the “West”.

  26. Brrrrr
    May 17th, 2013 at 14:24 | #26

    @Black Pheonix

    Was Wittgenstein not saying the problem is phrases like “national character”. Words that have no corresponding reality? He described it as being bewitched by language.

    Where does one order up a pound of British”national character”? Can one take “the Western mind” to lunch?

    A mirror for the Chinese people? Why waste our time with this when you could be investigating the recycled vegetable oil that makes everyone want to spit in the first place?

    Wittgenstein described himself as having a Jewish mind, but was careful to explain that was not based on race, but on a talmudic cultural heritage.

  27. May 18th, 2013 at 02:22 | #27

    @Brrrrr

    Jesus christ this twit is braindead. Wittgenstein, talmudic cultural heritage? Are you fuckin dense? His mother’s family was Catholic and his father was of protestant background and his family had not been practicing Jews for many generations removed. I probably know more about talmudic traditions than Wittgenstein did. Wittgenstein was a Christian mystic then a religious skeptic in his later life, never a practicing jew. He said he had a “Jewish mind” as a self-deprecating dig at himself (much as Otto Weininger, also a Christian mystic of Jewish ancestry).

  28. Black Pheonix
    May 18th, 2013 at 14:03 | #28

    @Brrrrr

    “Was Wittgenstein not saying the problem is phrases like “national character”. Words that have no corresponding reality? He described it as being bewitched by language.”

    Sure, the “West” has no corresponding reality. Like I said, we are merely responding to a terminology invented by others.

    “Where does one order up a pound of British”national character”? Can one take “the Western mind” to lunch?”

    ANSWER: Some idiot in the “West” can make it up for you. You can take the “Western mind” to lunch. It’s probably in paperback form. 🙂

    “A mirror for the Chinese people? Why waste our time with this when you could be investigating the recycled vegetable oil that makes everyone want to spit in the first place?
    Wittgenstein described himself as having a Jewish mind, but was careful to explain that was not based on race, but on a talmudic cultural heritage.”

    Hey, it’s better than wasting time arguing what I should or should not do with your semantics.

    “Recycled vegetable oil that makes everyone want to spit”? Sounds like you already know the cause, why does anyone need to “investigate”? Don’t you already have the facts to back up your assertion?

    OK, I don’t think you are here to talk about “CORRESPONDING reality”. You are done.

  29. May 20th, 2013 at 03:46 | #29

    Wittgenstein on the Jewish mind:

    “In his own writings[52] Wittgenstein frequently referred to himself as Jewish, at times as part of an apparent self-flagellation. For example, while berating himself for being a “reproductive” as opposed to “productive” thinker, he attributed this to his own Jewish sense of identity, writing: “The saint is the only Jewish genius. Even the greatest Jewish thinker is no more than talented. (Myself for instance).”

    Source: wiki

  30. May 20th, 2013 at 15:38 | #30

    Still waiting for James Fallows to link to this article. Alas, to quote melektaus from his OP:

    The US alone, in a busy afternoon, invades and occupies more countries than China has in its entire history. Over the last 50 years, the US has attacked several dozens of countries, some of them multiple times, bombing them into oblivion and moreover, undermining their political, social, economic development after invasion through covert (and less than covert) actions. One can only contrast this with China. After tracking modern military conflicts around the globe, the political scientist, Joshua Goldstein has pointed out that “China has been hands down the most peaceful great power of its time. . . . . But it is ironic that it will be my last post that has received all the attention for it calls upon self-reflection and criticism among Chinese while posts like this calling for the same but among westerners will go relatively unnoticed at best to being met with blind derision and hostility at worst. That surely says more about the lack of virtues of the west compared to the Chinese.

  31. Zack
    May 20th, 2013 at 17:16 | #31

    hear that? That’s the silence coming from Westerners like Fallows when called upon to reflect upon their own failings and questionable moral actions. This is the sort of attitude the Western media displayed when they acted as cheerleaders for the iraq invasion and the murder of US citizens or innocents via drones, and more disturbingly, this is the sort of absolution too many people living in liberal democracies often display. Liberal democracies with all its talk on ‘Freedom’ is basically an excuse to allow indiviudals to escape accountability. Look at Libya now with its 24/7 anarchy and rape; where are the democracy cheerleaders now? where are the idiots who brayed for war and who now sit silent, absolving themselves of any sort of responsibility? Meanwhile these fuckers had the gall to demonise China and Russia for standing up for global principles and human rights.

  32. May 21st, 2013 at 04:10 | #32

    We get more truly free discussion and plural points of views here at a supposedly pro China blog than in the free press. If fallows had somehow miraculously attained some integrity and grew a brain and decided to link to this article, he’d likely be fired by the fascists scum editors at the atlantic. How can anyone say with a straight face that the western media is free?

  33. Zack
    May 21st, 2013 at 06:16 | #33

    @melektaus
    perhaps these people subscribe to the notion that freedom and moral superiority can be judged by lighter shades of skin and eyes and some sort of subservience to judeo-christian tradition.

  34. May 22nd, 2013 at 22:10 | #34

    @Zack

    hear that?

    That is the sound of one China hand not clapping.

  35. Zack
    May 23rd, 2013 at 06:47 | #35

    @melektaus
    oh noes, melektaus, not the puns, you’ll get poor Fallows all whiny and bitchy (more than usual) and he’ll write about how China made him a bad person by not idolizing him and making his day all nice and peachy with a cherry on top!

  36. OneHuman
    November 27th, 2013 at 10:56 | #36

    To the argument about “Western” or “Western Mindset”

    Yes we hear those terms all the times. I am also not very clear about its definition. My view is that western society actually is not ONE country or society in the long history, very much unlike Chinese society which truly has a relatively long one china in its history. So “Western Mindset” would be very difficult to define, considering the many countries, races, peoples, and languages.

    About linking this “Western Mindset” to some physical object, this is totally unnecessary. In social science and humanity, we have been studying, debating many similar terms such as human nature, mind, feeling, emotion, consciousness, self, etc. Although it is hard to correlated those terms to a physical object that we can sense, we discuss them all the time.

  37. Black Pheonix
    November 27th, 2013 at 13:21 | #37

    “difficult to define”, sure.

    Which is why we are carefully defining it by observing and noting common behavior trends among Western nation over time.

    Perhaps you missed the earlier discussions on this topic, (and you are late to it), but “Western” identity was formulated by people who call themselves the “West”. If they see themselves as having some common identity, then we should analyze it.

    Certainly the “Western media” continually use that term to illustrate their distinction from the “non-Western” nations. So let’s just see if they are full of themselves, via some objective analysis over time.

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