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Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

A point by point rebuttal to the 2010 USCC Annual Report

November 23rd, 2010 3 comments

In my prior post, “The 2010 USCC Annual Report is ‘truthless, prejudicial’,” I ranted about the 2010 USCC Annual Report and reiterated Chinese Foreign Ministry call that the report was “truthless” and “prejudicial.” Some of you expressed privately that I should address the report seriously, especially, as this is an “official” position taken by a branch of the U.S. government.

Some of you also responded, since the U.S. is not interested in addressing the systemic problems locally and rather blame foreigners (China especially in this report), then let the U.S. march forward with her madness. In the long run, it will only result in America’s decline. Let it be, so the argument goes.

After giving it some thought, I think China and the rest of the world have a vested interest in America seeing our world for what it is, not to be cloaked in lies and prejudices. Read more…

A lesson from the history books – “Our Chinese Allies”

October 20th, 2010 9 comments

Our Chinese Ally” by Owen and Eleanor Lattimore

In response to Wukailong’s recent comment, I dug up an old post I had left undone from a few months ago.

In the run up to the World expo, I was surprised to see how the coverage of Shanghai in the West had been much less politicized than those on Beijing (and China in general) in the lead up to the 2008 Olympics.  Check out for example, these interesting articles on Shanghai from National Geographic and Time.

When later I ran across an old pamphlet on China (titled “Our Chinese Ally” by Owen and Eleanor Lattimore) produced in America in 1944 and compare that with the venom spewed about China in the lead up to the current U.S. election, I am again reminded how politicized our views of otherwise ordinary things in the world can be – how the the demonization of other peoples and nations can derive from political expediency.

The pamphlet is not short, but it is definitely worth a read.  While the pamphlet was written at a time when China was an ally to the U.S. and still a very poor (impotent) nation, it is nevertheless amazing to note how much of what was written is consistent with what many in the West today blindly refer to as communist or Chinese nationalist propaganda.

Sometimes, to see beyond the ripples and warts of the times, you have to turn to historical narratives from another era.

Categories: Analysis, history, Philosophy, politics Tags:

Top 5 things I thank, wish for in the U.S. of A.

October 14th, 2010 7 comments

America being the victor of the Cold War means she is the undisputed super power right now. The last two decades could have gone worse, but if we look back, there are a lot of positives. In the context of China, America finally accepted her into the WTO and abolished the discriminatory MFN exclusion. We saw inflow of capital into China which helped China’s continued growth lifting hundreds of millions of people out of abject poverty. We also saw the invasion of Iraq on false pretense of WMD. I am sure there are a lot on peoples mind when thinking about the USA. I wanted to make a list of top five things I think the world should thank this country. I also want to list the top 5 things I wish this country would aspire to. Below are mine. I am really curious what yours are.

Top 5 things the world should thank USA for:

5. Awesome Hollywood movies
4. Showing the world having a very open society is possible
3. A culture of extreme individualism that helps unlock the individual’s abilities (though with really bad side-effects too.)
2. A world-order that roughly works and generally most gets to develop.
1. Technological advances in so many areas (Microprocessor, space exploration, medicine, biotech, etc.)

Read more…

William Hooper: “The Scientific Development Concept”

September 29th, 2010 42 comments

According to William Hooper, Western lead Democracy has peaked. He believes the baton will be passed unto China, and a new Age of Enlightenment, one that is going to be improved upon with China’s concept of Scientific Development, will start. Those of you who observe China may know that this political philosophy was advanced and officially adopted into the CPC (Communist Party of China) constitution in 2007. Hooper has taken a lot in and articulated this idea for the Western audience.

This essay touches upon many topics we have pondered on this blog. In my discussion (see “Newsy.com, breaking the mold of Western media bias?“) with Rosa Sow, Kai Pan, Maitreya Bhakal, and our very own Allen, we asked ourselves how the mold on Western media bias can be broken. Our consensus seems to be, in MIT Professor Chomsky’s words, “the only way to break it is education and organization, and working hard to create alternatives.”
Read more…

Tsinghua University Professor, Yan Xuetong: “Xun Zi’s Thoughts on International Politics and Their Implications”

August 5th, 2010 3 comments

Recently, I asked Tsinghua University Professor, Yan Xuetong, “In your view, how could our world shift away from politics that’s dominated by power? Can China’s rise change that?” Previously, I wrote about Professor Yan’s paper, “Tsinghua University Professor, Yan Xuetong: “The Rise of China in Chinese Eyes”,” where he said that the current international relations culture established by the West is dominated by power – where might is right. So I was hoping he’s got an answer to that question.

In response, he said:

No one can gurantee China’s rise will lead the world toward a one based on morality. It only creates a opportunity for the world to change. Morality will become the base for world politics if China provides a leadership of humane authority and power will still be the base if China replace the US with the same hegemonic leadership.

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Convergence of Eastern and Western Collectivism

July 20th, 2010 8 comments

My high school political science teacher said once, that the political spectrum is not linear, but rather circular.  If one go far enough toward one extreme, one circle back from the other extreme.

So it is with the polarity of Western Individualism and Eastern Collectivism.  Where the West has often maintained a tradition of individualistic accomplishments and thoughts, the weight and size of Western society has forced the evolution of Western Individualism toward Western Collectivism, and the ultimate convergence of both the East and the West toward a singular form of collectivism.

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On “Civil Disobedience” and commonality between Mohatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

July 9th, 2010 8 comments

Henry David Thoreau's Cabin Site next to Walden Pond

What’s common between Mohatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr? Henry David Thoreau. That’s because Gandhi’s successful non-violent struggle for Indian independence from the British and King’s successful non-violent civil rights struggle to free African Americans were deeply influenced by Thoreau, especially his essay, “Civil Disobedience.”

(How does this relate to China? Don’t worry. I’ll get to it soon enough.)

“Civil Disobedience,” published in 1849, “argues that people should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that people have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican-American War.” (Wikipedia.org)
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If Confucius is alive today, he would advise the Western media: “中庸”

May 5th, 2010 5 comments

If 孔子 (Confucius) were alive today, he would advice the Western media to heed his thoughts on “中庸” (Zhong Yong), or “Doctrine of the Mean“. Below is one of his key passages:

喜怒哀樂之未發、謂之中;發而皆中節、謂之和;中也者、天下之大本也;和也者、天下之達道也。致中和、天地位焉、萬物育焉。

When joy, anger, sorrow and pleasure have not yet arisen, it is called the Mean (中 centrality, equilibrium). When they arise to their appropriate levels, it is called “harmony” 和. The Mean is the great root of all-under-heaven. “Harmony” is the penetration of the Way through all-under-heaven. When the Mean and Harmony are actualized, Heaven and Earth are in their proper positions, and the myriad things are nourished. (Translation by A. Charles Muller)

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