Discussion with Troy Parfitt, the author of “Why China Will Not Rule the World” – Part 7/12

Sixth Question [Parfitt]:

Governments and human-rights groups have heaped criticism on China about human-rights issues. Is such criticism justified?

Answer [Lofthouse]:


The evolution of human-rights is mostly a Western political phenomenon based on individualism dating back to the Greek City States hundreds of years before Christ and the Western Roman Empire (27 BC – 476 AD).

The timeline of the Ongoing Struggle for Human Rights in the West shows the first mention of an alleged human rights violation in China (according to Western values) was the 1989 (so-called) Tiananmen Square massacre.

However, you set the record straight on your Blog, June 4, 2011 in The Tiananmen Square Myth and I have written of this issue in  What is the Truth about Tiananmen Square? and The Tiananmen Square Hoax.

Examples of the slow progress of the evolution of human rights in the West may be seen in 1791 (fifteen years after the U.S. Declaration of Independence), when the U.S. Bill of Rights incorporated notions of freedom of speech, press, and fair trial into the new U.S. Constitution.

In fact, in 1920, the League of Nations Covenant required members to “endeavor to secure and maintain fair and humane conditions of labor for men, women and children,” but it took the US twenty-one more years before stricter laws banning the employment of underage children was declared constitutional in 1941 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Note, none of these early gains in the political arena of human rights took place in East Asia.

In addition, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) did not join the United Nations until 1971.

Since then, in human rights issues, the PRC has been increasingly successful at maintaining their positions. In 1995, they won 43 percent of the votes in the General Assembly; by 2006 they won 82 percent.

SFGate.com quoted Li Junru, deputy director of the China Society for Human Rights Studies,  who said, “Since China adopted [its] reform and opening-up policy in 1978, the country has witnessed the second great liberation of human rights, as…reform in [the] economy, technology, education, culture, (and) politics…”

Since all of East Asia including China are collective cultures, the face of human rights may not fit the West’s definition of it.

Response [Parfitt]:

China’s culture isn’t collective. China is fond of saying it’s collective, that’s its strength, and the West should take a lesson, but if there’s one overarching rule in the Chinese universe, it’s this: the more you hear something, the more you can be assume it to be untrue.

‘Collectivism’ is a euphemism for ‘subservience.’

The Foshan incident highlights China’s awful individualism; 20 people ignoring a small girl hit by a truck. Western individualism may be extreme, but Westerners can act collectively when it counts. They often assist people in crisis, for example.

Cultural moral relativism argues there is no absolute truth, and no matter how dreadful circumstances become, they are forever valid. Cultural moral relativism isn’t unlike Orwell’s doublethink: “to hold simultaneously two opinions that cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both; to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it.”

China’s human-rights: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China

Final Word [Lofthouse]:

Regarding collective cultures, ERIC.ed.gov, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U. S. Department of Education, offers a definitive definition.

ERIC says, “The remarkable differences between the East Asian cultures of China and Japan and the American culture make acculturation of East Asians into the mainstream of United States society extremely difficult.

“Characteristics of individualistic cultures include: the individual as an autonomous entity; egalitarianism; competitiveness; and self-reliance.

“Characteristics of collective cultures include: individuals as interdependent entities; hierarchism; cooperativeness; and self-denial (sacrificing one’s own desires or interests).”

In Litigation Nation, I explained why the behavior of a few individuals during the Foshan incident cannot be used to judge a nation.

A better example would be the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, which affected almost 46 million Chinese in 10 provinces.

In Recovering from a Beating by Mother Nature, I compared China’s recovery to how America dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Continued on December 4, 2011 in Discussion with Troy Parfitt, the author of “Why China Will Never Rule the World – Travels in the Two Chinas” – Part 8 or return to Part 6.

See Discovering Intellectual Dishonesty – Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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45 Responses to Discussion with Troy Parfitt, the author of “Why China Will Not Rule the World” – Part 7/12

  1. Ann says:

    I’ve read all the posts and comments to this point and it’s obvious that this Parfitt fellow has some serious mental problems and is clearly a racist who hates the Chinese and their culture. And I’ve read his badgering, insulting comments on that Troll page of yours where he insults you repeatedly proving that he is a bully. A sick person. If he ever marries anyone, I will feel sorry for her. We can only hope he never has any children. Imagine what he would do to them as their father. I think it best that he never has children.

  2. Terry K Chen says:

    Mr.Parfitt said,

    “People need to vote for their leaders, Terry. Suffrage is a fundamental human need, a human right.”

    Since when? For the past century or so? What if the Chinese people and its government think differently?

    I think the dominant attitude you’re hearing from the Chinese is basically, if it works for you, great… but we might prefer a different path.

  3. Troy Parfitt says:


    People need to vote for their leaders, Terry. Suffrage is a fundamental human need, a human right.

    And democracy can work for Chinese people. Look at Taiwan. Oh sure, democracy there is chaotic, corrupt, you name it. But it functions, and society hasn’t fallen to pieces because of it. Also, with a democratic system, you get fundamental freedoms, transparency, openness, a free press. These are good things. Taiwan’s gone from a repressive police state to a chaotic but liberalized one. As I said before, it represents a giant step foward for Chinese civilization.

    The CCP says, we’re not ready yet; there are too many poor people; voting doesn’t fit the Chinese way. Meanwhile, it’s 62 years after liberation, but there’s no liberation.

    But maybe you’re right. Maybe China should stay the way it is. Forever.

  4. Terry K Chen says:


    you like many other westerners seem to believe that democracy is the RIGHT system, even though it has only been used by the world in general for about a century.

  5. Terry K Chen says:


    My point doesn’t change much then. The response of the Chinese government to the disaster was in general a success story and they reacted to the disaster really well, but you choose to focus on the only dark side to the entire story, which could very well have been the misdoings of some of the local cadres. Face is very important to the CCP, and they would prefer that these misdoings don’t leak out.

    Besides whats your point? How does this prove that confucianism lacks morality?

  6. Troy Parfitt says:

    Terry said,

    “yet you choose to focus on a few thousand schools in a backward rural region.”

    No, I’m focusing on the parents of the dead who were threatened and harrassed by the state security aparatus. I’m focusing on human rights violations.

    • Mr. Parfitt,

      By “human rights violations” you are, by chance, referring to the Western definition of human rights and not humanism as defined by Confucius. These are two different values from two very difference cultures. Western human rights as defined in America and Europe are based on Jewish-Christian individualism while Confucian humanism is based on collectivism and China’s unique culture.

      There is a difference and China humanism has been upheld in the UN.

      Of course, your own opinion and judgment is more important and more valid [in your own mind] than the majority vote by over 80% of representatives from every nation on the earth at the UN.

      After all, you are the final judge of what is wrong about China because you read books and taught ESL in East Asia for more than a decade.

  7. Terry K Chen says:


    this discussion is about confucian values and beliefs which you have repeatedly said lacks morality. You talked about the collective side of western values no doubt to illustrate its superiority.

    At times you insist on comparing China to the ‘international community’, but when it fits your purposes you say that other countries are no more germane to this discussion than the mating of butterflies.

    I have no doubt that those schools were badly constructed, but as I already mentioned before they were in the rural areas and China is a developing nation where well over a hundred million people can barely eke out a living.

    I also know that some sichuan officials and local cadres were corrupt and took advantage of the sichuan disaster, but choosing to focus on these individual incidents is ridiculous. As aussie in China kindly told us, over 7 million homes were destroyed(pretty much all of them have been reconstructed by now), yet you choose to focus on a few thousand schools in a backward rural region.

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