To ProfCS101, you posted two very passionate comments which I want to respond. Because you wrote so strongly, I have tried to be very thorough in my reply to you.
mightygoobi, your proselytizing of the Chinese government is superb, and perhaps some less intelligent Americans will believe every word.
If I may summarise the rest of your post, USA is good because it is free. China is bad because it has a dictator government and the citizens are oppressed, killed, tortured (although I am brainwashed into not knowing it) You hate the chinese government, and I am lying to defend it and all the Americans who believe are less intelligent than you.
With respect, your point of view is held not only by yourself, but by many of the internet. I've read similar thoughts on other forums. In this forum even I've read similar ideas. I see 'karma' points for "good reason for hating the Chinese government" and "hate the communist, damn communist". So I do not see you as a troll or a baiter but as someone making a strong and popular point.
You also made the time to not only put your thoughts once, but also reply to a post. Many times, I see "China sux!" and then the poster disappears. So I respect your consistency. Unsurprisingly, I am not agreeing with you - and disagreement can accompany respect for different views.
I understand you have a great pride for the United States. I think thats great - it is nice to see patriotism. From your writing is also a passionate hatred for China. What I don't understand is why 'love for America government' must also accompany to 'hatred for China government'.
So I'd like to explore the reasoning for your passion.
No matter what crap your propaganda control spreads about American foreign policy, there is no nation on the planet that is safer and more free then the United States and its citizens.
One possibility for passion is that China gives crap propaganda about America. You are welcome to read what China Ministry for Foreign Affairs, our media or simply talk to someone on a Chinese street about the US. Of course you will get a hundred different answers. But generally, I think they are very soft compared with other remarks I seen written about the US from other countries and even in here forum.
When the world was talking about Abu Grahib or Guantanamo Bay, China media was quite soft. I needed to read international media to find more and get more of the photos. As far as I know, we don't even have a Chinese word for "extraordinary rendition" but this word is used a lot in foreign press.
We read much about the positive side of Clinton, Obama and McCain - so much so that I think the are all excellent. It was hard to find any information in Chinese press about Clinton dodging sniper fire or Obama's priest.
Our young people eat American McDonalds, watch NBA. Our middle class want American cars. Our educated want to go to Harvard or Yale. Our Professors cite your supreme court. Our legislature models new laws on American legislation (our new company law with emphasis on directors duties and the fiduciary principle is taken directly from your laws). I personally respect American way of life even if it is different to my own.
So I'm not clear where there is the idea that 'China propaganda attacks US all the time'. Even today, we are thanking the US for the use of satellite to find earthquake victims and thanking America for the money donated for the earthquake.
This is why some Americans hate the Chinese. While Americans fought and died for their freedom (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_revolution), the Chinese fought and died for their dictatorship (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_civil_war).
One possibilty for your passion is that Americans fight and die for freedom, Chinese fight and die for dictatorship. Your two wiki links are to the American War of Independence from British and China's civil war between the Communist Party and the Nationalist Party.
My understanding of the American War of Independence is that US did not want to be taxed by Britain without representation in the British parliament. US wanted to keep the US money taxes for US politicians, rather than British politicians. I respect that this is a kind of freedom that US fought for, the freedom to spend your own money and make own decisions instead of giving it to another government.
The wiki on the Chinese Civil War is very long. I do not see the part which says "Chinese fight and die for dictatorship".
If I may provide an extra short and simplistic summary - two sides fought a Chinese civil war. One side had the label 'Communist'. The other side had the label 'Nationalist'. I use the word 'label' because the wiki does not explain fully what the two sides political beliefs are.
Each side felt they were doing what was right for China. Both sides did bad things to each other and caused lots of damage to the country. The side label Communist wins.
Perhaps you may argue that Communist policy was bad and Nationalist policy would have been better. And we can have that debate if you would like. But of course, rear view vision is always perfect.
Also, perhaps you may argue that Communist did very bad things to China after they won the civil war. I agree that Communist Party has done good and bad things and we could debate what is good and bad.
But I'm sorry that I do not agree with you that "Side with Communist label wins civil war" means "Chinese fight and die for dictatorship". So I do not understand how this can be the basis of "why do Americans hate Chinese".
Freedom "AS #1 PRIORITY" looking pretty damn good right about now.
I agree that Freedom is very important. I also think that it needs to be balanced on other things.
I believe that some american scholars says that even American Freedom is not absolute freedom. For example, you don't have Freedom to shout fire in the crowded theatre. A journalist can not say lynch Tiger Woods on a golf show. I can not bring a gun onto an airplane.
With respect to government, your own scholars also say that too much freedom is anarchy. There is freedom of speech, of action, of assembly but it is not infinite.
So there must be some line on freedom. To draw the line on where is the freedom appropriate is a very good question. Should I have freedom to burn an American flag in times square? Should I have freedom to say 'god damn america' in church? should I have freedom to riot outside the white house? These are all excellent questions to be debated.
But Freedom as a #1 Priority above everything else might be too far, isn't it? Otherwise, why not give you the freedom to shoot the president? or you to shoot me? Perhaps the better question is where to draw the line on freedom as a high priority but still give people the enough feeling of being free?
I would agree with you that America and China put the priority on individual freedom at different levels. I also don't think that just because we priority freedom at a different place makes one country better or worse than the other. Nor does putting the priority on freedom differently seem a reasonable reason to hate.
"Give me Liberty, or give me Death!" - Patrick Henry, March 23 1775
I understand your good quote comes from Mr. Henry talking about rising arms to fight against the British after Britain sends the ships to America to take back the colonies. It seems Mr. Henry spent almost 10 years, giving speeches, proposing legislation, using every political power he had to oppose British rule and tax. It seems it was only when the British ships were on the sea about to come in with cannons, did he give this speech that ends with the line you quoted.
The quote comes from a man who is pushed to the very edge, desperate having tried over and over and over again for tens years to get something done but his government stops him. And only when the government is about to bomb him with ships and cannons on his door, does he say "give me liberty or death".
If my government was on my door with ships and bombs and guns, I suppose I would be super angry and say something like "I don't care! Try and kill me but I will resist! Liberty or death!" as well. So I think his words are correct in his situation.
But, in my case, I don't think my government is going to bomb me. In fact, my life seems to be getting better. Since my life seems to thankfully be much better than Mr. Henry, I think our situations are not the same.
You claim you can speak out against the government (without getting shot, hah). Thats fantastic, but here in America, we can CHANGE our governmental leaders. In fact, we can CHANGE the entire party of the government. Why is that possible? Because we had the balls to FIGHT for it
The Chinese people, no matter what they think they can "say" (and not "get shot" saying), are still controlled by their single party totalitarian dictatorship government like little robots. You think you have freedom because you can complain, when in reality, you have none. If the communist party some day decides to dispose of you goobi, they can and would make you disappear.
Here we are today, the Chinese let themselves be pleased by more worthless crap (toys, cars, computers) but you ignore the most important thing, the freedom to determine your own future. The fact that you settle for your totalitarian government, while sitting in your homes watching your new TVs and eating rice disturbs me.
I think your point is China can't change the government by voting, but America can because it had the independant war. Although I pretend to complain, actually it is a 'fake' complaint and 'fake' freedom - actually I'm an obedient government robot. One day if I upset the government by going too far I will die. I am brainwashed with little commerical goods like TV and car and computer, but this is distracting from the power to change the government which is the real freedom to determine future.
Is the 'true' definition of 'freedom to determine my future' the ability to vote out the government? If that's the case, then it is true, we can not vote out our government so by this definition, we have not freedom to determine our future.
For me, if government can keep the street safe of crime, keep economy good, keep jobs available, rescue people when there are dying in an earthquake, then I feel I have enough freedom to determine my future. I feel no blockage in making money, finding a job, getting educated, donating money to charity causes, looking after my family, taking my girlfriend on a holiday overseas.
You say that I am brainwashed because of my "worthless crap" like computers and toys and sit at home eating rice. I understand the right to vote your government is a key issue for you. I guess that you are more interested in politics and government change that I. But just because I have a different idea to you, I don't think that makes me brainwashed or that I spend all day wondering in awe at my pretty rice bowl.
You have a desire for political activity. You "had the balls to FIGHT" for your government. Frankly, China has had so many many many civil wars, I hope the next one is not soon. If the government seems to be doing a decent job, well, I think the need to revolution is low. I guess if it is doing a very bad job, I may change my mind.
But as I've mentioned, since today is better than yesterday, I am hopeful tomorrow will be better than today. And I'm happy with the government continue with its things so I can continue with my things.
Though I can not change the government in the way you are used to through a voting election , I feel I can change the government actions in ways that are meaningful to me. I am not silly to think one letter to one Minister will completely change China tomorrow. But I do think that when I comment or blog or write a letter or make a phone call, in my own way, I am contributing to the change of the government. When 1 million Chinese comment on a topic, I do feel the government listens.
Therefore, I also don't think voting in an election is the only way to affect change in society or government.
I suppose I may be the tiny minority of Chinese special middle class that feels 'free'. Perhaps "real" Chinese population still lives in oppressed tortured fear with no chance to make any comment. They get kidnapped when they 'truly' complain and I am just a special exception.
So don't listen to my words because I am biased - I warmly invite you to come into our forums, read our blogs, visit our country and have a look. You can visit our University Centers on Human Rights. You can come to our Government Schools and audit the classes on - most classes are public.
Of course I can't guarantee what you will hear. I am guessing it is not 1.3 billion people uniformly saying 'China government is perfect' and looking in rice bowls playing with toys. I am guessing you might hear some complaining. You are welcome to see how the Chinese government is changing, reforming, down-sizing, upgrading. Some of the changes are good. Some of the changes I strongly disagree with. Others have comment and complain. And I am guessing that not all of the complaining people have been tortured or murdered.
If Americans had no chance to vote and choose their leaders nationally, many would be in the streets in murderous revolt.
My understanding is that Americans deeply value your right to vote and choose your national leaders.
Often I am reading about the need for 'voter turnout' - how many ordinary Americans come to vote. I understand that this year, there is exciting because voter turnout is very high.
I did a google and the first entry indicated that voter turnout in the 2008 Presidential Primaries seems to be 2.1 - 52.5%
And voter turnout in the 2006 General Elections seems to be 28 - 61%
So, even at the high point, doesn't that mean that only 5 or 6 in every 10 people vote? Now, if people have the right to vote, but only let's say 6 actually do vote, I am not clear how this means "If Americans had no chance to vote and choose their leaders nationally, many would be in the streets in murderous revolt". I may be reading that table wrong and I welcome you pointing out where it is not accurate.
But even if there are 4 or 5 people in every 10 that do note vote, I presume all Americans would say that the government listens to them a little bit and at least partly considers their thoughts.
So by no means do I suggest that the right to vote is unimportant for you. Nor do I encourage taking it away. I simply stating that even if people do not vote, they still can have an impact on government.
I'd prefer not to have governmental officials slaughtering my own people by the tens of million. Liberty is pretty damn important in that case, huh?
65 million Chinese people have been killed (directly and indirectly) by their government for political reasons since the Chinese civil war.
I'm not clear exactly where the numbers come from - but for now I will accepting your figures. I am guessing you are referring to the period during which Chinese people died in famine under Chairman Mao. I agree it was a terrible time in Chinese history, many died, and I think there's little doubt that any policies leading to national famine are awful.
You may also be referring to the cultural revolution - something which Ooglyboogly very honestly spoke about with regarding his family. Again, I agree it was a terrible time - a time which wiped out a whole generation of intellect and again many died.
So it's important that we make sure those times are never revisited. One way I suppose, is to overthrow the government in a violent revolution. Another way is for the society to become more educated, more demanding of the government, have more and more pressure on the government in non-violent ways. I guess both ways have advantages and disadvantages. I would not agree that the ONLY way or the BEST way to stop history mistakes from coming back is to have "the balls to FIGHT" in a violent revolution.
Concluding, one important point I'd stress is that it's important to me not to 'bash America', just as I think it's unproductive to 'bash China'. I recognise so many many things that America does well - as mentioned before, we copy, use and cite America regularly here in China. There is no doubt that America is THE superpower - and I'm not sure China even wants to challenge the title. Frankly, there are places in China right now with no running water. I don't think we are very close to 'superpower' status.
When ProfCS101 you come out with very strong passion as to why we should hate China, you'll understand that I come back with strong passion as to that hate seems difficult to understand.
I started this post query with the suggestion that I can love country A without hating country B. I think it is very obvious that I have a deep pride and love for China. And I have that pride and love whilst having no "hate" for US. I don't think there needs to be a competition as to "my country is better than yours". In fact, from an outsiders point of view, I suspect US is more comfortable to live than China. You are more developed, more richer etc.
But my love my China does not stem from the 'toys' or money or the government. China is my home. I have no intention to leave. I have no desire to compete with you. I want to stay here and make things better in my own smallest way. And I would like to debate on inconsistency between outside world comment and my real world.
I don't think China is perfect. Nor do I think America is perfect. We may have different views on 'freedom', on 'communist' and 'democracy', on 'rights'. And we can debate them. We SHOULD debate them. I understand that I have a lot to learn about the way you do things over there. China has a lot of things to change. And I respectfully suggest that there are things that China can teach and share as well as learn.
Welcome your reply.