Births and Deaths – Part 1/2

August 12, 2011

If we study history, it does not take long to discover that all empires have births and deaths.

To name a few, the Persian Empire survived from 550 – 330 BC then fell to Alexander the Great as he built his vast but brief empire that survived from 346 to 323 BC.

After Alexander, there was the Roman Empire (27 BC – 476 AD in the West and 1453 AD in the East) and China’s Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) followed by other great dynasties such as the Tang, Sung, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasty until it collapsed in 1911.

There was also the Mongol Empire (1206 – 1368 AD) followed by the British (1583 – 1997, when the British returned Hong Kong to China).

The concept of an American Empire was born in 1898, after the Spanish-American War and the annexation of the Philippines to the US.


You cannot run an empire without money.

However, some historians claim the process of expansion and empire for America dates to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, which doubled the size of the US.

Bill Bonner writes of America’s Imperial Suicide and offers compelling evidence that the sunset of another empire has arrived.

Bonner mentions that the end started under President Richard Nixon in 1971 when the US stopped backing the dollar with gold and replaced it with paper and the good intentions of a government that is now burdened by a National Debt well beyond $14 trillion.

Since the Chinese appear poised to become the next world empire, will they accept the crown or follow in the footsteps of Han Dynasty, which transformed itself into the Tang, Sung, Yuan, Ming then Qing Dynasties by not attempting to swallow or control a vast global empire with constant expansion and intimidation of others on a scale equal to the Romans, the British Empire and the United States.

Are the Chinese wise enough to avoid the mistakes made by the others that have blazed this trail of empire before them?

Continued on July 13, 2011 in Births and Deaths – Part 2

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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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Closed Minds and Culturally Blind Missionary Zeal

June 21, 2011

Recently, my wife bought me a copy of Henry Kissinger On China. She said if you read anyone that is not Chinese writing about China, Henry Kissinger is the only Westerner to trust.  The reason, she explained, was that the leaders of China trust and respect few in the West.

However, Kissinger is the exception, and from what I’ve discovered since 1999, I don’t blame most Chinese or China’s leaders.

I haven’t read that far into the book but Kissinger’s Preface has a revealing quote in it.

Kissinger said, “American exceptionalism is missionary. It holds that the United States has an obligation to spread its values to every part of the world. China’s exceptionalism is cultural. China does not proselytize; it does not claim that its contemporary institutions are relevant outside China.”

What Kissinger didn’t say, which I may discover later as I read further into the book, is that America is spreading more than its spiritual, ethical, and moral values but is also importing its middle class unsustainable, consumer, debt-ridden, fast food, disease ridden lifestyle, which is more popular outside America than US cultural values.

The Economist for May 21, 2011 reviewed Kissinger’s book and said, “The Western politician who understands China best tries to explain it–but doesn’t quite succeed.”

In fact, it isn’t easy to overcome the Western prejudices that refuse to accept that people from other cultures are different from America and the West, which may be one reason why The Economist is so cynical and critical of almost everything they write about that does not fit their British cultural bias.

Another example is when a friend and expatriate living in China sent me a link to a Site called The Middle Kingdom Life written by a person that lived and taught at universities in China for seven years then left feeling bitter and disappointed, because China didn’t measure up to what he felt it should be, which is a reaction that has a lot to do with that American obligation to spread its values to every part of the world (even when other countries and cultures are not interested in those American and/or Western values).

Then another Blog I follow (but hold little respect for) sent me a notice that someone had left a similar comment.

That other Blog is called Understanding China, One Blog at a Time (should be “One Post” at a Time).

One Blog at a Time doesn’t understand China or the Chinese and is another emotional, biased rant criticizing China for not being a mirror image of American culture and does not take into account that China is a different culture with a different history and is still a developing third-world country with a large segment of its population that, until a few years ago (as early at the 1980s), lived as people had for centuries with a medieval lifestyle—meaning no electricity, no running water, no schools, no toilets, no sewers, or paved roads, etc.

It seems that little has changed from the 19th century when Robert Hart was the same as Kissinger is today to the Chinese except that today China stands on its own feet and is powerful enough militarily not to be bullied to cave in to Western demands to change the Chinese culture due to that American (and Western) obligation to spread its values to every part of the world, which may explain why we are fighting Islamic fundamentalists that wants to destroy Western Civilization.

That same Western missionary zeal (from Europe) that drives America today destroyed the Aztecs and Incas, enslaved tens of millions of Africans, colonized North America leading to the American Indian Wars of the 19th century, started two Opium Wars in China, killed a quarter of a million in the Philippines, meddled with Japan’s culture leading to World War II in the Pacific and China where The Rape of Nanking  took place, invaded Vietnam where millions died, fought the Korean Conflict, and imported American values with nation building by invading Iraq and Afghanistan.

What’s next?

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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.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


An Attitude Shift in China

June 7, 2010

During Mao’s Cultural Revolution, Pearl S. Buck, who wrote The Good Earth and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, the first American woman to win it, and the Pulitzer Prize, was denounced in 1972 as an “American cultural imperialist” by the Communists in China and was not allowed to visit China with Richard Nixon.

Pearl S. Buck

I recently read in Xinhua, the official voice of China’s government, that “A few months ago, the American novelist who spent most of the first 42 years of her life in China, from 1892 to 1934, putting her heartfelt and acute understanding of Chinese grassroots people in her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Good Earth (1931), was voted one of the top “friends of China” in an international event hosted by the Chinese government.”

In February 2009, city officials in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province in China opened the Pearl S. Buck Museum and Philanthropy Pavilion adjacent to her historic home. The museum and pavilion were divided into three sections: one devoted to her humanitarian works, another to her life and achievements, and the last, to her writings.

See International Women’s Day

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning novels My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart. He also Blogs at The Soulful Veteran and Crazy Normal.

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