The IGNORANCE Factor of Bias – Part 3/5

Mr. Parfitt is either ignorant or playing on the IGNORANCE Factor to further his cultural and/or confirmation bias, which runs through his book, Why China Will Never Rule the World, as if it were a thick artery of coal in a coalmine.

From everything I have learned of Parfitt’s book from reading many of the reviews on it by people that have read it, I know this much—he’s a talented and powerful writer driven by either a cultural bias and/or possibly a personal vendetta against Chinese culture and China.

Did something personal happen to Parfitt while teaching ESL in Taiwan that caused him to declare war on Confucianism and the Chinese culture?

Troy Parfitt asked, “One of the tenets of Sun’s philosophy was democracy. Has China achieved democracy?”

The answer to Parfitt’s question has nothing to do with the democracy of the United States, as it exists today.

However, it does have everything to do with the politics of Hawaii when Sun Yat-sen lived there for four years of his young life, and of the United States at that time.


Sun Yat-sen attended a Christian British Bishop’s school in Hawaii for four years. His model on a Chinese republic may have been based on the beliefs of America’s Founding Fathers, who despised democracy as mob rule. Since Sun attended a British school, we may assume safely that he also learned about the British parliamentary system where the prime minister is not elected to office but is the leader of the majority party and there is no term limit. In fact, there was no term limit for the president of the U.S. until 1947, long after Sun’s death.

___________________

According to Sun Yat-Sen Hawaii Foundation, he arrived in Hawaii in 1879 at the age of thirteen. He then spent four of his teenage years being educated in Hawaii. China’s first revolutionary society, the Xing Zhong Hui (Revive China Society) was organized in Hawaii in 1894 more than a decade after Sun left.

Sun Yat-sen would later be involved in the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty in 1911 and a failed attempt to establish a republic in China. He never achieved his goals during his lifetime.

Whatever Sun Yat-sen’s vision of a republic might look like was formed during the four years he lived in Hawaii as a teen.  The Sun Yat-sen Timeline shows that he returned to China in 1883.

To discover what Sun Yat-sen may have believed means learning about the political structure of Hawaii and the United States between 1879 and 1883.

Continued on January 8, 2012 in The IGNORANCE Factor of Bias – Part 4 or return to Part 2

______________

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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11 Responses to The IGNORANCE Factor of Bias – Part 3/5

  1. Troy Parfitt says:

    You were doing well Lloyd. You even conceded you were wrong. That’s one of your better posts, until the last paragraph. There’s no logic there. Moreover, Sun didn’t really achieve his goals. He outlined them and the cause was taken up afterward. There wasn’t a Chinese democracy until the 1990s.

    Sun was all kinds of things. People always are. He was a fool, a dreamer, a womanizer. But that has nothing to do with the fact the cornerstone of his theory was democracy – based on the American model – and that has not been realized in China. And it’s because it has not been realized that China has an authoritarian government with black (illegal) prisons, firing squads, death vans (mobile units equipped to administer lethal injections), state news that is an endless parade of propaganda and nonsense, school books filled with rubbish and “patriotic education,” a justice system in the back seat of the Communist Party, a secretive ruling elite that functions like the Mafia, etc.

    That’s what’s at discussion here, not bloody Hawaii.

    • Mr. Parfitt,

      You say, “based on the American model”

      What are you talking about—a republic or a democracy? Since you often use the word democracy as if you really know what you are talking about, I assume you mean democracy.

      However the United States may incorrectly be called a democracy by many, but it is a republic—actually a Federal Constitutional Republic.

      Moreover, the American political system has changed several times between 1776 and today. Women and minorities gained the right to vote, the president now has term limits, and the Senate changed the way its members were selected and this happened after Sun Yat-sen’s years learning about the US republic while he lived in Hawaii.

      In fact, in Sterling Seagrave’s “Dragon Lady” — when writing about Sun Yat-sen, Sterling doesn’t use the word “democracy”, he uses the words “Chinese republican movement”.

      Even letters Sun Yat-sen wrote talk about having a republic in China—not a democracy and books about Sun Yat-sen use the word republic.

      For example:

      Sun Yat-Sen, Founder of the Chinese Republic by Cornelia, Spencer (Jun 1967)

      All Under Heaven: Sun Yat-Sen and His Revolutionary Thought (Studies in Economic, Social, and Political Change, the Republic of China) by Sidney H. Chang and Leonard H. D. Gordon (Jun 1991)

      Sun Yat Sen and the Chinese Republic by Paul M. Linebarger (Jun 1969)

      There is another similarity between the US and China, and that is the election of the president of the United States. The US president is not elected by the people but by the members of the Electoral College that are handpicked by each major political party due to an individual’s loyalty to the party and for the most part, these loyal party members must pledge their votes before the election and those pledges must be approved by the party.

      For example, when G. W. Bush ran against Gore, he lost the popular vote to Gore by about one million votes, but Bush was elected president due to The Electoral College.

      The process for selecting electors varies throughout the United States. Generally, the political parties nominate electors at their State party conventions or by a vote of the party’s central committee in each State [in China is is the CCP’s central committee that selects its president.]

      In the US, electors are often selected to recognize their service and dedication to their political party. They may be State-elected officials, party leaders, or persons who have a personal or political affiliation with the presidential candidate.

      When you actually think about it, the way the United States elects its president sounds much closer to the way the president of China is elected. After all, the most loyal party members are the ones that decide whom the next president of China will be.

      In addition, no matter what Sun Yat-sen believed, he had to compromise with the other players involved in the revolution. He wasn’t alone. Even America’s Founding Fathers had to compromise which is why the US continued to have slavery in the 13 southern states until after the US Civil War.

      For example, in 1913, K’ang Yu-wei [another major player in China’s republican movement] called for a constitutional monarch. His solution for China was to establish what he termed a titular monarchical republic as soon as possible to serve as an intermediate stage leading to a truly republican form of government, which was the result of K’ang’s bitter enmity toward Sun Yat-sen; K’ang stood in opposition to Sun’s revolutionary republic movement, which, K’ang insisted, would bring to China only prolonged chaos and possible extinction.

  2. Troy Parfitt says:

    Lloyd said,

    “I researched to follow Sun’s trail, he never set foot in the continental United States due to the Chinese Exclusion Act, and that he returned to Hawaii looking for funding support for his little revolution.”

    Wow, you’re a regular Sherlock Holmes.

    Sun certainly did spend time in the “lower 48” as we would say. He also spent time in Japan, Canada, the UK….

    Lloyd said,

    I wonder where Mr. Parfitt read that Sun Yat-sen went to Colorado… Is it possible that Parfitt’s memory is playing tricks on him or he is selectively changing what he read to fit his opinions of events in China——not only cherry picking put rewriting history to fit his beliefs (delusional maybe?)

    Not just Colorado, Lloyd. Denver, Colorado. Very specific.

    Lloyd also said,

    “Or another possible explanation may be that Mr. Parfitt reads books written by sloppy authors that did not do their homework–authors that favor their opinions of China over facts and reality. According to Sterling Seagrave, a lot of the lies written about China at the turn of the century [19th to 20th] are still considered bedrock history on China the the degree that this information that isn’t true about the time also appears in Chinese textbooks.”

    Sterling Seagrave writes:

    “In San Francisco, however, Sun made a dangerous blunder.”

    and then

    “Dr. Sun was in Denver, Colorado, when the revolution occured. He was not aware of the momentous event until he opened a newspaper over breakfast one morning before catching a train to Kansas City.”

    San Francicso, Denver, and Kansas City are all in the United States, aren’t they Lloyd? Or maybe there’s a Kansas City in Australia, and Seagrave means that one?

    • Mr. Parfitt,

      Explain how Sun Yat-sen avoided the Chinese exclusion act?

      Maybe Wiki provides an answer to that question, which reveals that Sun Yat-sen was a liar.

      Wiki says, “According to Lee Yun-ping, chairman of the Chinese historical society, Sun needed a certificate to enter the United States at a time when the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 would have otherwise blocked him.[38] But on Sun’s first attempt to enter the US, he was still arrested.[38] He was later bailed out after 17 days.[38] In March 1904, Sun Yat-sen obtained a Certificate of Hawaiian Birth,[39] issued by the Territory of Hawaii, stating he was born on November 24, 1870 in Kula, Maui.[40] Official files of the United States show that Sun had United States nationality, moved to China with his family at age 4, and returned to Hawaii 10 years later.”

      Sun was not born in Hawaii. He was born on November 12, 1866 into a peasant household in Choyhung in Kwangtung near the Portuguese colony of Macao.

      In addition, according to Notable Biographies, Sun, because he lied about his place of birth, did visit the United States.

      “Sun visited the United States and was on a successful fundraising tour when he read in a newspaper that a successful revolt had occurred in the central Yangtze Valley city of Wuchang, China.”

      Source: http://www.notablebiographies.com/St-Tr/Sun-Yat-Sen.html

      I stand corrected. However, if he had not lied about his place of birth, he would have never been allowed to enter the United States. which begs another question – If Sun Yat-sen lied about his place of birth to get into the US, what other lies did he tell to achieve his goals?

    • Murray says:

      Bias breeds ignorance and politics caters to bias. No wonder we ended up with G. W. Bush and Obama for presidents.

  3. Alessandro says:

    Troy, 我坚决地建议你回去上学,重新开始研究一下儿中国历史,特别是现代历史。同样地,我还盼望早晚你也会学会什么叫体面和品行。

    Maybe better to learn some history Troy…would u? 🙂 That the Wuchang uprising started “by accident” is true…..that doesn’t mean anything else than that, that it didn’t actually go according to plan. FULL STOP.

    The rest is history (the real one, not ur fantasyland). What brought to that was the making of Sun, the Tongmenghui and many other men. After and before the “uprising” there were many other events, in which Sun, Song Jiaoren, Huang Xing, the Tongmenghui etc. had a central role. After the “uprising” itself, it was the leadership of Huang XIng (TONGMENGHUI), close friend and collaborator od Sun (given the fact that who phisically started the uprising was collaborating with Sun’s Tongmenghui, and that the New Army was infiltrated by Sun’s men) that the revolution could stand Yuan Shikai ‘s Beiyang army long enough for other provinces to follow and lead finally to the abdication of the Qing. I can understand it is not functional to ur “plan”, but try not to make up history as u like (it’s not the first time, and I suspect it won’t be the last).
    Do u really think that lies and deception are acceptable rhetoric techniques?

  4. Troy Parfitt says:

    The Wuhan uprising had nothing to do with Sun. Sun was the rallying figure for the overthrow of the Qing, but when that happened, it had nothing to do with him. He learned about the event from reading the newspaper in Denver. Efforts to get rid of the Qing had been in effect for years, but when that occured it was a little more than a freak accident – an botched mutiny that turned into a success by chance. But that doesn’t make for good history, so the Nationalists blurred things a bit to make sure Sun was linked to the coup. He may have inpired the rebels, but they were not affiliated with him.

  5. Alessandro says:

    Ignorance, exactly, gross historical ignorance..Troy’s trademark (along with bias and distortion).

    Sun was the leader of the 同盟会 Tongmenghui (also known as Chinese United League etc.), that united his own previous 兴中会 Xingzhonghui (Revive China Society) founded in 1894 to raise funds for the anti-Qing revolution, with other similar societies like 华兴会 Huaxinghui (China Revival Society) and 光复会 Guangfuhui (Restoration Society). The Tongmenghui was estabilished in Tokyo in 1905 by Sun Zhongshan and Song Jiaoren, and played a pivotal role in the uprisings, politics and events that led to the overthrowing of the Qing dynasty and the birth of the Republic (the 国民党 Guomindang, the Nationalist Party the governed more or less China till the end of the civil war in 1949, directly descends from the Tongmenghui).

    The groups involved in the Wuchang uprising were collaborating with Sun’s Tongmenghui, and the 新军 Xinjun (New Army) that constituted the bulk of the uprising forces had long been infiltrated by Tongmenghui and Sun’s men and affiliates.

    (btw, given the fact that without military support and leadership, the Wuchang uprising would have been crushed by the superior and loyalist Beiyang Army led by Yuan Shikai..the real revolution needed some other months of fierce fight to prevail, and it was general Huang Xing, Sun’s closest friend and collaborator, to lead the revolutionary forces).

    Sun in that moment was in USA, looking for financial support for the revolution from overseas chinese.

    So..no, he was not on the battlefield, gun in hand to lead the battle (and, anyway, he was a doctor, not a soldier, and least of all a general)….but to say that,

    “Sun Yat-sen would later be involved in the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty in 1911….That’s not true. It can’t really even be said he was the inspiration for the demise of the Qing.”

    as Troy does, is plain and simple historical BULLSHIT (in full Troy style), “sci-fi history” and a complete distortion of the reality…

    But again, decency and intellectual honesty (along with knowledge and understanding of China’s history, culture and language) are not something that Troy possesses.

    • Alessandro,

      According to the sources and sites [dedicated to Sun Yat-sen and I provided the links to those sites–what reason do they have to lie?] I researched to follow Sun’s trail, he never set foot in the continental United States due to the Chinese Exclusion Act, and that he returned to Hawaii looking for funding support for his little revolution. When he left Hawaii, it was a free republic. When he returned, it was a territory of the US and the Chinese Exclusion Act did not ban him from entering Hawaii.

      I wonder where Mr. Parfitt read that Sun Yat-sen went to Colorado… Is it possible that Parfitt’s memory is playing tricks on him or he is selectively changing what he read to fit his opinions of events in China——not only cherry picking put rewriting history to fit his beliefs (delusional maybe?)

      Or another possible explanation may be that Mr. Parfitt reads books written by sloppy authors that did not do their homework–authors that favor their opinions of China over facts and reality. According to Sterling Seagrave, a lot of the lies written about China at the turn of the century [19th to 20th] are still considered bedrock history on China the the degree that this information that isn’t true about the time also appears in Chinese textbooks.

      In fact, when Anchee Min’s The Last Empress came out, another publisher released a book on the same topic with the same name yet that book was based on all the lies that many still consider to be bedrock information on China even though Seagrave already proved that much of it was based on lies that were fabricated by Western journalists working in China during this time period.

      There is enough information out there about China that anyone can choose whatever facts they want from any source [wrong or right] to support his or her own beliefs/opinions and that applies to everyone including Parfitt, you and me.

      For example – The Great Leap Forward Famine. There are many research papers and books on this topic and they are all based on the same data, yet the cause of these deaths range from a mix of floods, drought and bad agricultural policies to accusations of Mao and/or the CCP planning to kill their own people [in a few select provinces while ignoring the rest of China] to achieve some nefarious goal [which is seldom spelled out by the harshest critics] and the claims of the numbers that died range from 3.8 million to as high as 70 million with no solid evidence to support any of the claims. However, there is adequate evidence that there was no plot or plan to kill of tens of millions of Chinese for any reason.

      However, individuals, such as Parfitt, side with the worst accusations and death projections while many scholars writing papers on the subject tend to shy away from that belief because there are not enough or any facts to subtantiate such claims.

  6. Troy Parfitt says:

    Lloyd said,

    Sun Yat-sen would later be involved in the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty in 1911….

    That’s not true. It can’t really even be said he was the inspiration for the demise of the Qing. He was in Colorado when he read of the Qing’s collapse and he didn’t return to China immediately. The mutineers who caused the fall were unafilliated with Sun and their “revolution” was an accident.

    Lloyd also said,

    Did something personal happen to Parfitt while teaching ESL in Taiwan that caused him to declare war on Confucianism and the Chinese culture?

    Yes, I had some bad chou dou fu. (That and I’m being paid by government agents to write this stuff.)

    If Sun’s vision for democracy was shaped more by the politics of Hawaii and “nothing to do with the democracy of the United States” (I’ve cut off your ‘as it is today’ because you can’t crusade for a system that exists in the future.) as you claim, let’s see some proof. A source. No videos. No dijointed diatribes, just the source.

    I’ll start you off.

    “In fact, ladies and gentlemen, Sun Yat-sen, often referred to as the Father of Chinese Democracy, the man whose political philosphy, the Three Priniciples of the People
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Principles_of_the_People
    are attributed to the politics of the United States, have nothing to do with the United States. As evidence, see _________________”

    We’ll wait for that evidence, Lloyd.

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