The Flaws of Democracy and Humanitarianism – Part 5/7

December 15, 2010

Left Coast Voices posted a piece about Liu Xiabo, a leader of the Chinese democracy movement, who won the latest Nobel Peace Prize. My response turned into a seven part series.

In this segment, I will write about the self-esteem movement in America and make the connection that Western style democracy and Humanitarianism are not right for cultures such as China.

The self-esteem movement in the US had its start in the 18th century and as a cancer grew from there to the epidemic that now threatens the foundations of the United States.

The self-esteem movement makes sure that children hear only positive praise and that before turning 18, that the facade of success and getting good grades (not necessarily earning those grades) in school are guaranteed.

In the last few decades, this leg of Western style democratic humanitarianism has put much pressure on teachers to deliver the impossible.

However, in China, students must earn school grades through hard work (there are no gifts to help one feel good) and the competition is fierce while failure is crushing, which explains the high suicide rate in “all” of Asia (where the self-esteem movement in the US did not take root) and not just China.

Most US children have been told that if he or she can dream it, he or she will achieve that dream as if every child can become the next Tiger Woods, Bill Gates, a super star of some kind, or a future president of the US.

Then those American children with high false self-esteem turn 18 and reality bites, which may explain the high incidence of drug and alcohol use in the US.

Then there is Frankenstein of Humanitarianism — armed nation building where Western democracies are willing to start wars to create nations that will support the West’s concept of Humanitarianism. This mutated arm of Humanitarianism led to the Iraq and Afghan wars.

Return to The Flaws of Democracy and Humanitarianism – Part 4

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


Bullying China over North Korea is a Mistake

December 5, 2010

I keep reading in the Western media and on the Internet that China is the bad boy for not taming North Korea even as WikiLeaks shows that China doesn’t have that much influence over the Hermit Kingdom.

One example comes from Jack Kim, a reporter in Seoul working for Reuters, who writes, “China, pushed again by Washington to bring North Korea to heel after last week’s artillery attack on the South, told Pyongyang their relationship had withstood international ‘tempests’.”

If everything we hear about the Hermit Kingdom is true, I must admit this is one country I wouldn’t want to visit.

However, why is China being bullied by the West to tame a beast it cannot control?

The answer is “Humanitarianism”, a concept born among the West’s democracies.

Remaking the World by Michael Barnett says, “Religious beliefs and organizations, most notably those influenced by Christian theology and ethics, helped to create modern humanitarianism in the early nineteenth century and have shaped its expanding scale, scope, and significance ever since.”

At Helium.com, I learned that “Humanitarianism” is the belief that the person was the most important aspect of society, and that it was important to value the individual over the group.

However, in Asia, especially China and North Korea, the group is valued above the individual. After all, China and North Korea along with other Asian nations are collective cultures.

This means that the West’s concept of “Humanitarianism” may not work in most of Asia.

Here’s what a definition for “Humanitarianism” in Asia might say—The belief that the group is the most important aspect of society and that it is important to value the group over the individual.

It this definition is correct, it would explain the death sentence rate in China and harsh punishments for individuals that threaten “Collective Humanitarianism”.

In fact, the real risk to the survival of humanity may be when Westerners take their beliefs to the extreme resulting in “Armed Humanitarianism”.

Top Feed News says, “Armed Humanitarians (by Nathan Hodge) traces how the concepts of nation-building came into vogue, and how, evangelized through think tanks, government seminars, and the press, this new doctrine took root inside the Pentagon and the State Department. Following this extraordinary experiment in armed social work as it plays out from Afghanistan and Iraq to Africa and Haiti…”

The Huffington Post says, “Nathan Hodge is no neophyte on security issues. He has reported from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, and a number of other countries in the Middle East and former Soviet Union. For years he blogged on Wired magazine’s well known Danger Room blog and now reports on the defense industry for the Wall Street Journal.”

What happens if the West influences China to leave Confucian collectivism behind and to embrace the West’s humanitarian beliefs as flawed as they may have become?

Maybe an individualist, humanitarian China would become America’s partner in “Armed Humanitarianism” and divide the globe into a pie chart eventually leading to a third world war between China and the US to see who eats the whole pie.

Then hundreds of millions will die and the earth’s environment would be devastated to protect the rights of the individual.

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


China’s Long History with Burma/Myanmar – Part 2/4

September 25, 2010

Until this piece, most of what I read about China in The Economist has been educational but this one was stilted and biased – another example of China bashing.

What does the Beijing based unnamed critic writing in The Economist expect – that China will adopt America’s evangelical, neo-conservative role to spread “democracy” and “Christianity” to the world through nation building?

Wait, stop the presses!

Did I hear that right? Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the critic from The Economist suggest that he or she expects China to spread “democracy” to countries like Burma and North Korea, which are by definition dictatorships, which the U.S. has a long history of supporting. See Cold War Origins of the CIA Holocaust to learn more.

Why do critics in America want dictatorships like Burma and North Korea to be democracies when America is a Republic, according to the Founding Fathers and the Constitution of the United States?

See Two Republics to learn more or return to China’s Long History with Burma/Myanmar – Part 1

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


Power Corrupts

February 9, 2010

The sun never set on the British Empire until endless wars brought that empire to its knees. I’m sure that at one time, a British citizen could easily say with arrogance, “If Russia (or China, or Germany, or Italy, or France or Spain) doesn’t behave, we will spank them.” And Britain did spank these countries and others for centuries until the empire was bankrupt and burdened with debt—sound familiar?  

I read a piece in The Huffington Post recently and was reminded how power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Then I remembered what an “old” friend said in an e-mail.  This friend is a conservative, born-again Christian. He claims to be guided by scripture. He believes that George W. Bush was the greatest if not one of the greatest American presidents. He also believes in nation building as GWB attempted in Iraq.

He makes part of his living as a handyman. He lives alone in a one-bedroom apartment and drives a very-used car that he keeps running by visiting junk yards for parts and doing the work himself. He also votes Republican and bashes evil liberals at every chance while listening to radio-talk shows like Dennis Prager and reading authors like Ann Coulter.

This friend wrote, “If China doesn’t behave, we will spank them.” He also wrote once that Communism was evil. My reply was that individuals like Mao or Stalin were corrupted by their power and did evil things, but not all communists were evil.

I always thought that ‘power corrupts’ only applied to people in powerful positions like corporate CEOs or elected officials.  I was wrong.

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.