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.

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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.

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


Wearing China’s Shoes

February 4, 2010

“Beijing – China suspended military exchanges with the United States and threatened sanctions against American defense companies Saturday, just hours after Washington announced 6.5 billion in planned arms sales to Taiwan.” by Cara Anna, Associated Press Writer

The private sector’s American Military Industrial Machine thrives on wars like KoreaVietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Military industrial tycoons would have strokes if America didn’t have any enemies to scare the public with. Without fear of the boogieman, would America need the second-largest military on earth? Would America need to spend more money on weapons than the rest of the world combined? These Military Industrial types are like greedy Christmas morning kids who pout when there aren’t enough presents to open.

Don’t read me wrong. We need to fight the nasty Al Qaeda terrorists (the ones hiding in Pakistani caves like flea ridden Neanderthals) who want to burn our underwear and sink our cities from global warming.

Now, slip into China’s shoes. During the 19th century, China was the victim of Western Imperialism. The Chinese emperor didn’t want his people to have access to opium. The West did, and the British and French waged war against China forcing China to allow opium in. American merchants benefited from those wars too. Then China fought with Russia, Germany and Japan and lost more territory. Then along came WWII and a Japanese invasion that cost at least thirty million Chinese their lives.

Is it any wonder that China is upset that the United States industrial military machine is selling Taiwan $6.4 billion in weapons. Geez, these industrialists should be making enough off Iraq and Afghanistan and this “war” (oops, we aren’t supposed to say that—political correctness you know) on terror. Prior to 1949, Taiwan was part of China. After the Nationalists lost China, the people in Taiwan lived with martial law under a dictator for thirty years before being forced to hold democratic elections.

Think about this from the Chinese point of view. The Chinese want was lost to Western Imperialism in the 19th century and the early 20th century. Check China’s maps to see what was lost. Mao reclaimed Tibet, and China has been badmouthed in the Western media ever since. With this history, how would you feel if you were Chinese?

How many wars has China started with other countries in the last century?  Make a list and compare it to the wars started by the other major powers (don’t forget America). Once you finish the list, tell me who should worry the most?  China or America.

Of course, the Chinese could change the name of their political party to Republican or Democrat. They could do away with the yellow stars on their flag and replace those symbols with a red ass or a blue pachyderm. They could even vote to join America as the next state, but that would make the dreaded double “L” happy.  No, not me—Lawyers and Lobbyists.  Right now, China has about 110,000 lawyers for 1.3 billion people while America has more than a million to rob less than a quarter of China’s population.

Isn’t it bad enough that we’ve already given China fast food and Ford?

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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.

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