Communism and Socialism are NOT the SAME

October 26, 2012

There would not be many choices for someone that wanted to move to a socialist country. There are only four in the world: PRC (mainland China), Republic of Cuba, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. These countries once had Communist governments but that isn’t entirely true anymore.

However, there are 189 countries (of the 193 that are members of the United Nations) that are not socialist but do have socialist programs/policies.

Socialism and communism are ideological doctrines that have many similarities as well as many differences. One point that is frequently raised to distinguish socialism from communism is that socialism generally refers to an economic system, and communism generally refers to both an economic system and a political system.

The fall of communism in the Soviet Union does not mean socialism failed. It means that the autocratic one-party system that defines communism failed.

Russia, for example, still has Social Security policies that fund health and pension programs.  With at last five years of coverage, men age 60 and women age 55 are covered for old-age pensions. Russia also offers a disability pension and a survivor pension.

To discover the details of Russia’s socialist policies, I suggest you visit this site at the U.S. Social Security Administration. In fact, the SSA has information on its site for Social Security programs/policies around the world


The GOP and Mitt Romney may want to return to industrial capitalism. Pay attention to the video to discover what that means. You may be shocked and decide that some socialist policies are necessary to protect the quality of life for most people that do not have the benefit of achieving great wealth.

As an economic system, socialism seeks to manage the economy through deliberate and collective social control. Communism, however, seeks to manage both the economy and the society by ensuring that property is owned collectively and that control over the distribution of resources is centralized to achieve both classlessness and statelessness. Under communism, all people are considered equal and are provided for equally, regardless of their contributions to the economy or to society.

Having Socialist policies does not mean a country is socialist or communist. For example, the United States is not a socialist country just because it has socialist policies such as Medicare, Obamacare or Social Security–the United States still has private ownership of property and businesses and has a multi-party political system.

In addition. although China’s Communist government adopted capitalist policies in the early 1980s and joined the World Trade Organization, a substantial part of the economy is still state-run, although there are not as many social programs as there once were and universal healthcare has been eliminated but China still has a Socialist-type foreign policy, for the most part, due to decisions made within the CCP based on consensus (majority opinion). There are eighty million members in China’s Communist Party and they vote.

To learn about China’s Socialist Policies, here’s the link at US SSA Office of Retirement and Disability Policy

In addition, in China no one in the private sector may own land (yet).  Instead, private citizens may lease land in urban areas while land in most rural areas is still owned by village collectives in conjunction with the central government and cannot be bought or sold because no one holds the title to most rural land.

Discover Dictatorship or One Party Republic

NOTE: The reason for this post is a conservative site at Right Punditry.wordpress.com where I left a comment. The response to my comment was an ignorant unreasoned emotional rant, and then I had trouble leaving reasoned comments with cited evidence and sources in response to that trollish rant. In reality, my voice was censored—a common practice among American far-right neoconservatives and fundamentalist evangelical Christians (FECs) that attempt to control the conversation with bully insults and logical fallacies. This is the second time I’ve run into this sort of conservative, political site. The first time was a Tea Party loyalist site that censored (removed) a comment I wrote that did not meet the American Tea Party’s rigid beliefs. You may not know this but 40% of the Tea Party membership are FECs. Both American neoconservatives and FECs practice the use of the noble lie to achieve political and/or religious goals as evidenced by Mitt Romney and his VP running mate during the Presidential and VP debates of the 2012 election in the US. I’ve written a number of posts focused on the debates at Lloyd Lofthouse.org and the last post in this series will appear Saturday, October 27, 2012.

______________

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.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China


No Link for Misguided Misinformation – Part 2/5

September 23, 2011

Kier’s rant continues with, My wife’s Chinese but there’s no way I’d consider my son applying for anything other than Western citizenship—as a Chinese he’d simply be a subject of the Party to read what is allowed, express ideas which are permissible and conduct himself in a manner that has been cleared.”

My wife is Chinese too, and she has a better understanding of what happened and why most Chinese older than 30 (born well before 1980) see Mao in a different light.

Most Chinese that lived through the Cultural Revolution era understand this better than most and once all the facts were weighed, many in China felt that Mao was not the great monster the West makes him out to be.

In another post, I explained why Mao may have made some of his disastrous decisions in Mao and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Did Mao and the Party he led make mistakes during The Great Leap Forward?


Stalin deliberately caused the deaths of millions of peasants and  then confiscated their land. In 1950, Mao allowed the peasants to judge the wealthy landowners, convict and then execute them for crimes against the peasants. Then China divided the land among the peasants after the wealthy landowners were gone. In 1958, Mao collectivized rural China into large communal farms but never rounded up the peasants and starved them deliberately as Stalin did.

Yes, but those mistakes did not have goals to execute and exterminate millions of people by starving them as Stalin did in the USSR or what Hitler’s Nazi Party did in Germany.

In fact, the five-year plan that mapped out The Great Leap Forward was cancelled in 1960s after knowledge of the starvation reached the leadership of China’s Communist Party.

The Party leadership then stepped forward and managed to find countries willing to defy American’s complete embargo of China, such as Canada and Australia, which provided enough imported wheat and other food to feed China’s rural population, and most Chinese living in major cities had no idea what was going on in rural China.

China has a long history of droughts and famines and loss of life due to events caused by nature. Plans for the Great Leap Forward did not take into account the possibility of a drought and famine.

Continued on September 24, 2011 in No Link for Misguided Misinformation – Part 3 or return to 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.

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.


The Politics of Fear – Part 1/5

September 14, 2011

The modern politics of fear has a history and in the U.S. that history may be traced to President Harry Truman in the 1940s.

In fact, there are many elements to the politics of fear that involve the CIA, Operation Mockingbird (and its clones, which continue today—see first embedded video), Nazis/neoconservatives, the Fairness Doctrine (1949 – 1987), U.S. President Ronald Reagan and conservative talk radio, etc.

For example, ABC World News started their recent piece about China’s first aircraft carrier with, “the U.S. government directed a pointed question at the Chinese military: Why would you need a warship like that?” It’s not what they say but what they “don’t say” that reveals an element of the politics of fear, which means leaving out important facts.


“The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.” — William Colby, former CIA Director (Sept. 1973 to Jan. 1976), quoted by Dave Mcgowan, Derailing Democracy.

Another subtle element of the politics of fear came from the U.S. State Department when a spokesperson said, “The State Department is concerned that the Chinese military is not ‘transparent’ enough about its build-up, which, in addition to the aircraft carrier, also includes the development of a fifth-generation stealth jet fighter believed to be capable of rivaling America’s best (however, there is no mention that it will be years of development before combat ready aircraft are deployed on Chinese airfields).

Again, what isn’t said reveals elements of the politics of fear.

I wrote on this topic March 16, 2011, in China Reaching for Stealth and Aircraft Carriers.

The Chinese aircraft carrier that is generating so much concern from the U.S. government and the Western media is more than twenty years old and is not nuclear powered. It was originally launched in Russia (1988), but was never completed due to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Russia has also been negotiating the sale of another aircraft carrier to India, which is supposed to be completed and delivered in 2011, but we hear nothing about that and India also has nuclear weapons and has waged war several times with another nuclear power, Pakistan.

If the U.S. is so concerned about China having an outdated aircraft carrier, what about all the other countries that have aircraft carriers?

Global Security.org lists twenty for America (nine small/medium sized in addition to eleven of the largest in the world), and then Brazil has one in addition to France, India, Italy, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Thailand and two for the UK (Britain is planning two more large carriers and France wants another one too).

Global Security says that all of America’s aircraft carriers add up to nearly 70 acres of deck space while the rest of the world’s carriers combined have less than 15 acres—one fifth that of America.

With such a massive superiority over the entire world, what is the “real” reason for so much concern in the U.S. of one out-of-date aircraft carrier in China?

One clue may be discovered at Global Security.org, which lists World Wide Military Expenditures and of the more than $2 trillion the nations of the world will spend in 2011, the US will spend more than $741 billion (37% of the global total).


Former US Secretary of State James Baker talks about US-Sino relations starting at 4:13

The top five countries in the world for military expenditures are the United States ($741 billion), China ($380 billion), India ($92 billion), Russia ($92 billion) and Saudi Arabia (about $60 billion).

If America were to cut its defense spending to equal China, that would go a long way to solve the National Debt crises.

However, the truth of why the West and especially America is making such a big deal over China’s one aircraft carrier has more to do with generating fear to achieve political agendas, and those behind the smear campaign don’t fear China.

To discover more, this series will continue September 15, 2011 in The Politics of Fear – 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.

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.


China’s Great Famine (1958 – 1961) Fact or Fiction – Part 3/4

September 2, 2011

The War in Korea (1950 – 1953), Vietnam (1955 – 1975), McCarthyism (1947 – 1957) and the Cold War with the USSR (1945 – 1991) set the stage for what may have contributed to mass deaths by starvation in China during the Great Leap Forward.

During the McCarthy era (1947 – 1957), thousands of Americans were accused of being Communists or communist sympathizers and became the subject of aggressive investigations and questioning before government or private-industry panels, committees and agencies.

In 1950, since China fought alongside North Korea against allied UN forces under the leadership of the US, the United States implemented a “complete embargo” that forbade all financial transaction with Communist China.

The US also convinced many of its allies to join this “complete embargo” to cut China off from the world.

After the Korean war, the United States did not lift this embargo for the next twenty years (1949-1969), with a goal to disrupt, destabilize, and weaken China’s communist government by causing the people to suffer and this “complete embargo” was one of the tools to achieve this.


The US embargo on China was a “complete embargo”, whch certainly must have contributed to the death toll of the Great Famine, a factor never mentioned before.

High American government sources have admitted that the objective of the economic warfare was aimed at causing a breakdown of Communist China. The idea was that problems in the Chinese economy would lead to loss of support from the people causing the collapse of the Communist Republic. Source: China for all.info and Asia for Educators – Columbia.edu

This embargo was lifted in 1969, when Richard Nixon was President. Source: Washington Post.com

However, while people were starving in China and US officials were waiting for Communist China to collapse, Washington D.C. had no idea how much suffering the Chinese people were capable of enduring and that even with the drought and famine, most Chinese were better off than they had been in centuries.

The evidence that the quality of life was improving was the fact that in 1949 when Mao came to power, life expectancy in China was 35, and by 1960 life expectancy had improved to age 60 or almost double what it had been in 1949, while the population of China increased by 19.5% with child mortality rates improving dramatically.

Field-studies in the 1930s revealed that in all parts of China, large numbers of landless laborers lived in tremendous poverty, and their situation had not changed since the sixteenth century. Source: China for all.info

If you want more evidence, I refer you to Pearl S. Buck’s “The Good Earth”.

We may never know how much of an impact America’s “economic warfare” against China crippled its ability to import food to feed its starving people in a time of drought and famine. In fact, this may have also influenced Mao’s decisions since he wanted the world to see China as strong and capable of feeding itself.

If anyone pulled a trigger on China’s people, it was not Mao. It was Washington D.C. fueled by fear of everything Communist caused by the Korean War, Vietnam, McCarthyism’s Red Scare and the Cold War with Communist Russia.

Continued on September 3, 2011 in China’s Great Famine (1958 – 1961) Fact or Fiction – Part 4 or return to Part 2

View as Single Page

Recommended reading on this topic for those who seek the unblemished truth: From the Monthly Review, Did Mao Really Kill Millions in the Great Leap Forward? by Joseph Ball

From Griffith University, Australia, Poverty, by David C. Schak, Associate Professor

______________

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.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


China’s Great Famine (1958 – 1961) Fact or Fiction – Part 2/4

September 1, 2011

The other factors that may have contributed to China’s so-called Great Famine will be listed in order of influence with the most damaging factor listed first and the least damaging last.

The first factors that may have contributed to the famine were droughts, floods and general bad weather.

In 1959 and 1960, the weather was less favorable, and the situation grew considerably worse, with many of China’s provinces experiencing severe famine.

Droughts, floods, and bad weather caught China completely by surprise, and in July 1959, the Yellow River flooded in East China and directly killed,either through starvation from crop failure or drowning, an estimated 2 million people.

In 1960, at least some degree of drought and other bad weather affected 55 percent of cultivated land, while an estimated 60 percent of northern agricultural land received no rain at all. Source: Great Leap Forward – Climate Conditions and famine in China (Wiki)

In fact, droughts and famine are common in China. Between 108 BC and 1911 AD, there were no fewer than 1,828 major famines in China or one nearly every year in one or another province.

In the West, most if not all of what we hear about Mao is that he was a brutal monster responsible for the deaths of about 30 million people during the Great Leap Forward as if he pulled the trigger and ordered others to deliberately kill people by the millions as Hitler and Stalin did.

However, the facts do not support this claim.

The first time I heard that droughts and extremely bad weather also played a role in the so-called Great Famine was early July 2011 while I was researching another topic for this Blog and stumbled on that mostly unknown fact by accident.

Then I discovered another more insidious factor when I started working on this post, which may have contributed significantly to the early deaths of millions in China and no one in China was responsible for this one.

This factor was influenced by both American and Chinese paranoia generated by the Korean War (1950 – 1953), America’s involvement in Vietnam (1955 – 1975), McCarthyism‘s Red Scare (1947 – 1957) and the Cold War with Communist Russia (1945 – 1991).

Continued on September 2, 2011 in China’s Great Famine (1958 – 1961) Fact or Fiction – Part 3 or return to Part 1

View as Single Page

Recommended reading on this topic for those who seek the unblemished truth: From the Monthly Review, Did Mao Really Kill Millions in the Great Leap Forward? by Joseph Ball

From Griffith University, Australia, Poverty, by David C. Schak, Associate Professor

______________

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.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution (Viewed as Single Page)

August 6, 2011

Before reading this post, I suggest first reading China, The Roots of Madness to understand what led to Mao’s era in China (1949 – 1976). This link will take you to that post. When you finish, return.

****

Mao’s era started October 1949 with victory celebrations in Beijing, as the country with the largest population saw a Communist government come to power.

Mao says, “The People’s Republic of China is founded today. China will be free of inequality, poverty and foreign domination.”

Before 1950, most Chinese lived as they had for centuries as part of a feudal system. Even after the collapse of the Qing Dynasty, warlords ruled much of China, and then China was torn by Civil War and an invasion by Japan during World War II.

For most Chinese, feudalism describes the “old society” that existed before “liberation” in 1949.

The following video shows what this life was like before Mao’s era.  It is estimated that about half the people in rural China lived in severe poverty and were in debt to landowners.


(When the advertisement appears, advance the video scroll bar to 2:00 minutes to avoid it.)

In the video, Hu Benxu, a peasant farmer from Sichuan says that in the past, there was justice for the rich but nothing for the poor.

Chiang Kai-shek believed that improvements would spread through the country (sort of like President Reagan’s trickledown theory, also known as voodoo economics or Reaganomics, which did not work in the US) as foreign investments poured into China.

However, the opposite happened. As the country industrialized, the gap between the rich and the poor widened because the rich held on to money and wanted more and protests about working condition in the factories were met with death from Chiang Kai-shek’s troops.

Meanwhile, at the same time, Mao promised land reforms, and his troops treated the peasants with respect.

When Mao won China, he said, “We Chinese should work hard. The country is poor. Our people are uneducated. We must make China a modern industrialized state.”

However, there would be many mistakes and much suffering during the next 27 years. After two thousand years of an Imperial system of government, China was embarking on a journey of reinventing a country and a culture without foreign influence.

Mao held more power than anyone since the emperors, and he wanted China to be a purer, fairer more progressive state than the Soviet Union, so the peasants were the first to benefit.

As Mao promised during China’s Civil War (1926-1949 – with a break during part of World War II), there were land reforms.

Luo Shifa, a party official in Sichuan, tells his story about what happened in 1950. Rural property owners were judged enemies of the people (by the people) and hundreds of thousands were executed.

Changes in urban areas were not as violent. The owners and managers of factories were needed to keep things running but all property was signed over to the state. Factory and business owners who resisted were executed.

Women were given new rights at work and in marriage and foot binding was abolished. Literacy was also important. Before 1949, illiteracy in Mainland China was 80% and life expectancy was 35. When Mao died, the average life expectancy had increased to 55 and today it is 76 (while literacy is now more than 90% and China has done more to reduce poverty than any country on earth).

To deal with disease, the Communists launched programs to improve health care that had never existed before. Millions were inoculated against the most common diseases.

The nation went on a cleaning spree. Posters said everyone had to help exterminate pests. Songs were sung, “Pest free areas are glorious. Let’s wipe out the flies, bugs, mosquitoes and rats.”

Sparrows were considered pests since they were accused of eating crops. Whoever killed the most sparrows in each village was rewarded.

However, exterminating sparrows led to insect populations exploding, which endangered crop yields.

Then the people were told to watch for capitalistic or counter revolutionary behavior and to denounce suspicious people.

In 1958, Mao’s boldest program was launched. He wanted to out-produce industrialized nations in manufacturing and crop yields. The land given to the peasants in 1949 was confiscated and people communes of 100 thousand or more were created.

Mao believed that more people working together meant larger projects. By the end of 1958, 700 million people had been placed into 26,578 communes.

Ironically, one of the key factors in food production in China was the weather and 1958 had particularly good weather for growing food.

Then in 1959, things started to go wrong.

The excellent growing weather of 1958 was followed by a very poor growing year in 1959. Some parts of China were hit by floods. In other growing areas, drought was a major problem. The harvest for 1959 was 170 million tons of grain – well below what China needed at the most basic level.

Soon, in parts of China, starvation occurred and millions died.

In addition, political decisions/beliefs took precedence over commonsense and communes faced the task of doing things which they were incapable of achieving.

Mao said, “Revolutionary enthusiasm will triumph over all obstacles.”

To achieve Mao’s goals, the Communist Party encouraged competition between communes. Instead, overproduction caused crops to rot in the fields and the communes hid the truth by faking records.

Huge construction projects began without proper planning leading to accidents and deaths, which were hidden by the project managers. No one wanted Mao to discover the lack of proper revolutionary enthusiasm.Some critics claim that Mao was aware of what was going on but others argue he had no idea of the extent of the problems until late 1959.

During this time, steel production was to double in one year. Instead of producing steel from industry, Mao wanted the peasants to build small furnaces.

Again, there was competition between teams of peasants, and forests were cut down to fuel the crude furnaces the mostly illiterate peasants built.

All over China, people were neglecting the fields and crops to produce steel because the people were told they had to listen to Mao. All metal was melted — including cooking woks, but the steel produced using these methods was useless.

While the peasants were producing this useless steel, the crops rotted in the fields. Then in 1960, there was a drought and food production fell more than 25% and millions died from the resulting famine (no one knows the exact number — estimates run from 10 million to 45 million or more).

Having failed, Mao publicly admitted he had been wrong and stepped aside to let someone else run the country.

The large communes were abandoned in 1960, and the peasants returned to their villages and were given land again.  At the time, Mao was still popular with the people but he still resigned as the Head of State.

However, fearing a return of capitalism and exploitation of the people, Mao’s supporters printed a book with his quotations and slogans.

The goal was to break the thinking and attitudes of old China. Using film, a propaganda campaign was launched so Mao could regain power. Then in 1966, the Cultural Revolution started.

By 1966, Mao’s Red Book of quotations was being used as a textbook in the schools.

Shao Ailing, a head teacher in Shanghai says, “The pupils began to realize that all the changes taking place in their families, in school, in Shanghai and China were because of Chairman Mao.”

Mao encouraged students to attack authority and the leadership of the Communist Party that did not agree with his beliefs.

This advice was coming from a man considered to be the “George Washington” of China, the man who had delivered on his promises to the peasants in 1950 and brought them medicine and land reforms—something the emperors of Imperial China and Chiang Kai-shek had never done, and Mao was still popular with the vast majority of the Chinese people.

Zhang Baoqing, an early Red Guard member in Beijing, says, “Chairman Mao started the Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1976) to keep up the momentum for change. We thought if we followed Mao, we could not go wrong.”

Mao motivated millions of students from speeches in Tiananmen Square. This time it wasn’t the rural peasants that suffered the most during the Great Leap Forward (1958 – 1960). This time he looked for support from China’s urban youth that did not remember or were not aware of Mao’s earlier mistakes.

Urban student anger focused on Mao’s rivals, President Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping. Even small children were taught to denounce Liu. Then anyone in power was denounced. The structure of the Communist Party collapsed. Schoolteachers were attacked and tortured by their students. More than a million were killed or driven to suicide.

The anarchy caused by Mao’s Cultural Revolution spread. Schools and hospitals closed. Offices and factories were in chaos. Qi Youyi, who was a factory worker in Beijing, describes how bad it was. Production stopped. No one knew when he or she might be denounced and arrested. Many workers committed suicide.

After two years (by 1968), the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was called in to restore order and reestablish the Communist Party. Then to bring peace to the streets, millions of members of the teenage Red Guard were sent to the countryside to learn from the peasants.

However, the Cultural Revolution did not officially end until 1976 when Mao died.

After his death, Mao’s closest supporters, the Gang of Four, were arrested and Maoist revolutionary activities were abandoned. In an attempt to hold the country together, the Communist Party used propaganda and the PLA to maintain control.

Deng Xiaoping replaced ideological fervor with economic activity so the people would be motivated not by dreams of equality but by money. In the 1980s, the new message was “to get rich is glorious”.

This post first appeared as a six part series starting June 21, 2010 as China’s Great Leap Forward – Part 1.

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. 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.

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves.

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China

China’s Holistic Historical Timeline

 


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?

______________

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.