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Sunday, 11 September 2011

How many bizarre incidents occur in China daily?

Hyperlink to source text in Chinese: 每天有多少荒唐的事情在中国上演?   
Translated by @krizcpec

In my earlier blog I ran a few editions of “Common Sense Weekly”, which had had to be discontinued because the objective I set to answer ten questions in each new issue was too difficult to achieve. Shielded from China are the many common knowledge which, despite higher learning is not needed to understand, many people just can't figure out.

And a lot of people blindly believe in the many deliberately misleading opinions which are not only popular, but also get publicized by the all forms of media repeatedly. What is worse, these people not just believe in these false information, they also help spreading them further across. These actions harm not only their own interests but also that of others.

In view of this situation, I feel it necessary to share my views on a couple of incidents that have become subjects of heated discussion.

First, Lin Hao the 10-year-old “hero” in Sichuan Earthquake. Lin Hao himself didn't tell lies, someone made him. It's the sins of we adults and the community that made Lin lied. He's just a kid and should not be a subject for condemnation. Those who made Lin appeared to be a “hero” are officials of all levels who love to show off their accomplishments; the propaganda department that aims to fool the public; the central government that attempts to divert attention from its poor disaster relief effort and avoids criticism from the people; and the media that blow things out of proportion and observe no media ethics.

Lin Hao should not be promoted as a hero because he saved two lives, not even if he saved two hundred lives. It's the responsibility of the grown-ups to save lives, minors should not be encouraged to do it.

What sort of a country it is if it can't even protect its minors? In 1988, Lai Ling, a 14-year-old boy died fighting a forest fire. What stands out to me was not Lai's bravery; but rather the negligence of the firefighters. And it is certain that some of the details were fabricated.

I think that we should stop the practices of rating under-aged heroes, shortlisting top ten young pioneers and so on. Because this doesn't just reveal the irresponsible nature of the adult society; an education system that divide people into different categories is one that nurture submissive subjects rather than citizens.

Instead of carrying out disaster relief work properly, the officials can't wait to release self-praise reports of heroes and models. I can only say that this regime truly gives birth to an abundance of evil, nothing but evil. If you have no idea how to protect minors like Lin Hao, if you don't know how to love your children, go take a look around and see how people of countries that care for the citizens do. There are examples out there!

Let's not mention the traditional practice of raising children as a source of pension remains popular, the law states specifically that it's the children's duty to support their own parents, coupled with the long history of filial piety being promoted as a virtue that can bring forth a harmonious society. All these make both parents and children find it is right and proper that children should financially support their aging parents. But think carefully and you would realize how erroneous the above mentioned thoughts are.

All individuals, from the moment they were born to the time they die, are taxpayers—unless they live isolated like Robinson Crusoe. It is one of the taxpayers' rights that they get supported on issues like medical care, housing, and daily necessities. And who should support the taxpayers on these? The government, and not the children. If children want to support their parents it would have to be out their emotion rather than obligation. The government, however, should at least bear most of the responsibility in supporting the elderly financially. So why is the government so keen in promoting filial piety? why does it specify in law that children are obliged to provide their parents with money? That's because these would enable the government to satisfy its own greed with taxpayers' money and have the taxpayers to look after themselves, freeing the government from its duty and making it possible for double deprivation on the taxpayers.

It shouldn't be difficult to understand where the responsibility of financially supporting ones parents lies. But the fooling practices of Chinese governments throughout history have made it so. The result of these practices is the people see that it is a family business to support ones parents, and the government as the trustee of public affairs of society and the collector of tax money has no responsibility on this.

Intellectuals of the May-Fourth period who opposed Confucius and filial piety like Hu Shih, Lu Hsün, Chen Duxiu, and Wu Yu went only so far as to see the inhuman side of filial piety and its moral constraints. They missed the more important point that filial piety—the government imposed burden— is a form of vast economic deprivation.

That imposed burden is not just moral constraint on the people, it's also a mean to eliminate human nature, and most importantly, a form of a double economic deprivation. If great thinkers of a century ago failed to see it in this light, then how could we expect the ordinary people to realize it?

Being severely deprived economically because of the government imposed obligations to support both their parents and their young, the Chinese people have lower life expectancy on average.

This burden of filial piety is more of a harm to the people's dignity than a moral constraint.

To this day, we can still see brainless People's representatives like Zhao Chao who proposes that children should give three percents of their income to their parents as pensions. And so that the government can be freed from its responsibility to care for the elderly. Ridiculous People's representatives like Zhao are more than just a few in China I'm afraid.

Third: Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. This famous saying of Samuel Johnson is the perfect sentence to describe Cai Mingchao. If his refusal to pay for the animal head sold to him in an auction was his personal behavior alone, he should not have said that to be an act of patriotism.

But then who can say for sure who or what is behind Cai Mingchao's foul play? If it were Cai's personal action, he would not have said it in an arrogant manner like this.

China Poly Group Corporation, a military subsidiary known for its lack of respect to other—a fact that Premier Wen Jiabao should have come to realize from his Sichuan earthquake relief work, is the chief patronage of Special Funds for Rescuing Chinese Cultural Relics Lost Overseas (中华抢救流失海外文物专项基金), to which Cai is a consultant.

The Poly Group has, apart from its other mindless expenditure, spent huge amount of money to purchase quite a few animal heads (two of which were a gift from Macao tycoon Stanley Ho). And much of the money belonging to the Special Funds was in fact taxpayers' money, as it has the backing of the Ministry of Finance.

It is sad that animal heads are lost overseas. But the way to solve this should be through modern means that is civil and proper, and not resort to inciting patriotic sentiment in the people and bringing the whole thing to the level of national pride.

We need to remember the many evil deeds, and those interests that cannot see light are done in the name patriotism in China. This auction fiasco is just another example. For the common people, they should start loving themselves, and then they should think how many cultural relics have been destroyed since 1949, how many of them stolen and became private belongings of the leaders. Why don't we start from bringing these to light and indulge ourselves in the patriotic trap laid by those care only about their personal gains?

Why don't you ask yourself this: yesterday you were still a patriot, today you woke up and found yourself died from “eluding the cat” because you had been arrested for no reasons? Do you love your country so much while you couldn't care less about yourself? Then let me be blunt: you do have the spirit of sacrifice. You've asked for your own death.

I cannot say what is the most important thing in life. I only know that there are priorities. For us ordinary citizens, the most important thing is to live quality life with dignity. And what keeps us from doing that is not foreign enemies blown out of proportion by the authorities, it is the authorities themselves. The authorities incite the patriotic sentiment in you is because in so doing they can deprive you of your interests more conveniently.

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