Most Chinese people agree: Chinese rich people suck

Update: In looking over this post hours later, I think I just threw it up so that I could post something new, no matter the quality. That’s because of my time crunch. I really hate putting up posts that I later look at and say, “Did I really write that crap?” Maybe I threw it up because I felt guilty that I hadn’t written a single word about China for days. Anyway, my apologies – I can do a lot better.

I am so cynical about Internet polls, which are famously easy to rig and manipulate and often so unreflective of society as a whole. I’m even more cynical about China Daily polls (this was the first such poll I wrote about on this blog, nearly five years ago.) So when China Daily teams up with one of China’s major portals to perform a survey I look at its results with some skepticism. Still, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if this survey were accurate.

About 70 percent of Chinese regard the wealthy as immoral and unworthy of respect, according to a survey in the world’s biggest Communist state.

A poll of nearly 4,000 people by a Chinese Internet portal and a local newspaper found only 4 percent thought the rich were “good”, showing that a maxim widely attributed to prominent politician Deng Xiaoping “to get rich is glorious” holds little water for most respondents.

“A scarcity of positive images of rich people in society mirrors the many perceived drawbacks of the character and values of wealthy people,” the China Daily quoted the survey as saying.

“Some rich people are thought to have accumulated their wealth through illegal means, such as bribery,” it quoted Yuan Xiaoying, a post-graduate student, as saying.

“Rich people on the mainland invest too little in charity and gain too much,” according to An Xiaoze, a Beijing student.

Lots of rich people in lots of countries suck when it comes to giving back to society and abusing their position to avoid taxes, engage in corruption, etc. Just look at recently deceased billionaire Leona Helmsley, dubbed “the Queen of Mean” by her many detractors – she and her husband Harry simply couldn’t fathom the notion of charity. And she went to jail for tax evasion, poor thing.

Are China’s wealthy any worse than those in other countries? Is this just another phase for a developing country, one that will improve as the country develops? Is this just a big bunch of sour grapes? Or do most Chinese rich people suck?

I know, it’s a complex subject and there are no absolutes; there are all kinds of rich people here, and everywhere. So why the high level of animosity toward them here? I have my own ideas, and am curious to see what others have to say.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 95 Comments

Jade, no, what’s nuts is the Chinese-nationalist obsessive historical revisionism (aka, lying). Yes I know religions like Buddhism developed in their own way in China. But I get irritated – no, maddened to the point of ripping my hair out – when I hear Chinese nationalists (aka, the CCP and their whores) going on about “traditional Chinese” things which the Communist Party laboured so hard to destroy, and they succeeded in destroying it for the most part.

The CCP are the destroyers of Chinese civilisation and they ought to just shut up about it and admit that they’re nothing more than a front for Russian imperialists who gave up on them long ago.

September 14, 2007 @ 5:50 pm | Comment

Anyone who claims to be a Chinese nationalist and supports Mao’s actions or Communism is an idiot. I don’t get the feeling t_co does, however.

Truth is, “traditional” China has been dead since the end of the Ming. Preserved maybe, but still dead. But in the moral, religious and philosophical vacuum left after the Mao era things should be done to revive it and modernize it.

Look, even the Pope says Europe has Christian roots. I laugh every time you talk about how much you revere European culture and Christianity and won’t tolerate it when someone suggests China should get hers back.

Oh but I can’t see why anyone with sense or dignity would be against China rushing into embracing a religion who’s adherents are so hostile and disdainful to everything Chinese.

I’ll admit I’m not that “traditional” at all, but accepting Catholic European chauvinism goes well beyond the tolerance of moderates.

September 14, 2007 @ 6:02 pm | Comment

*whose

September 14, 2007 @ 6:03 pm | Comment

t_co wrote: “I read some of the authors you provided, and while they do offer substantial points, none of them has continued making their claims past 1996 at the latest.”

True and untrue.

1. These authors’ works are like most other sociological research, in that they are spatial and temporal specific. Some of them may have moved on to other projects (e.g. Parish is now researching the spread of STD in rural China), but none of these researchers have revised their position on rural-urban relationship in China.

2. From late 1990s to 2007, there is much more independent research on economic relations between the urban and rural areas in China. A search on Questia will literally give you hundreds of publications. Many research findings based on current field data confirms the validity of previous research I cited earlier. See J. Knight, L. Song and L. Holyoak for more details.

September 14, 2007 @ 11:28 pm | Comment

t_co wrote: “After 2002, when Hu Jintao assumed leadership, most data points to a flow of money the other way around.”

I don’t know what kind of data t_co is referring to. I presume he is talking about “official” data released by the Chinese government. If this is the case, I have very good reasons to be skeptical; the Chinese government rarely releases figures that contradict its policy. The central leadership in China is under increasing pressure nowadays to move towards a rural policy that would guarantee a continued supply of cheap migrant workers for the manufacturing and construction industries in major cities.

September 14, 2007 @ 11:29 pm | Comment

t_co wrote: “Also, if you look at the tax statements of rural Chinese counties … payments from rural regions to the central government have decreased in proportion to the rest of rural tax income as the central government lowered the crop tax once again.”

This statement of t_co is very ambiguous and misleading. Most independent research has already established that financial burdens of China’s rural communities and the ways in which rural communities continue to subsidize urban development cannot be fully explained if we just take into account the “crop tax” paid to the central government, as t_co seems to have suggested. A more accurate assessment suggests that the financial burden is largely a result of unfair rural-urban products price structure, an intersectoral transfer of labour and relative wages in favour of urban development, and last but not least, the extent to which government policies favour urban over rural sector.

September 14, 2007 @ 11:31 pm | Comment

t_co wrote: “just because ferins has said good things about the CCP does not me he is “defending” them.”

t_co, you got it completely wrong. I don’t care if Ferins is defending or attacking CCP. I’m only asking questions about whom he claims himself to be. He is lying and is doing a very bad job at it, not to mention that he is rude and lacks common courtesy. I don’t have issues with commenters defending CCP or G W Bush or John Howard, as long as they argue reasonably. Have I ever picked on commenters such as JXie?

September 14, 2007 @ 11:32 pm | Comment

As for Ferins, you are completely wrong to have put Ivan and Nanhe in the same category. If you care to read more carefully, you’ll notice that Ivan is more critical of the US than of China. But most important of all, Ivan can’t stand stupidity. He has all my support for giving you some bashings so that you can grow up and stop playing silly games.

You don’t even know who your friends are. If you care more about China than your pride (which I very much doubt you do), you would have understood why ethnic Chinese such as myself will ask critical questions about what’s happening in China today.

Just for your information, some of the expats that you despised so much are playing a very important role in China’s economic development. Many of them are as outspoken about China’s social problems in real life as they are online. And guess what, their sincerity and their habit of speaking their minds have gained them much respect from their Chinese hosts. I’m glad to know that not every Chinese shares your sense of inferiority and blind nationalistic sentiment.

September 15, 2007 @ 12:03 am | Comment

@ Fat Cat

“unfair urban-rural price structure”

Hence the recent rise in food prices.

I’m not sure as to what data those authors are referring to. Most rural regions close to cities are doing very well; it’s the central regions (Henan, Hunan, Anhui, Shanxi, Shaanxi) that really have issues with poverty.

@ Ivan

Your anti-Chinese flaming got you very close to being banned here last time. Watch it.

@ Ferins

Don’t you understand the strategy of triangulation? Ivan baits you out by spouting out some extreme comments, sacrifices himself in the process. Then Fat Cat, who now looks moderate, comes back to tag you as an extremist. Hence your claims of Ivan’s extremism now look hollow. It’s a classic Clinton strategy…

September 15, 2007 @ 4:34 am | Comment

He is lying and is doing a very bad job at it

Lying about what? I rarely talk about myself here or anywhere else on the internet for that matter.

And if I’m rude, it’s because people are asking for it.

September 15, 2007 @ 5:00 am | Comment

btw Ivan, have you seen anything like this in China yet?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6946810.stm

September 15, 2007 @ 12:22 pm | Comment

t-co wrote, “@ Ivan

Your anti-Chinese flaming got you very close to being banned here last time. Watch it.”

t-co, do you speak for Richard now?

First of all, Richard asked me enthusiastically to return.

Second, you, t-co, are an obnoxious testament to Richard’s tolerance.

Third, if you only knew what Richard knows about me and how “anti-Chinese” I am. If you only knew.

September 15, 2007 @ 3:10 pm | Comment

t-co, i respect you, but please don’t talk about things you know nothing about.

September 15, 2007 @ 3:28 pm | Comment

Richard, my mistake. Maybe I thought that was the reason for the drama surrounding his previous exit.

Ferins, tu quoque is a logical fallacy.

Fat Cat, ferins is not lying. He is merely disagreeing with you without providing necessary evidence. And if 1) you list the claims he made which you think are false and 2) he cannot back up those claims with evidence, then you can attack him all you want. But until then, stop. Mob justice and mob sentiment are no substitute for rational discourse and fair debate.

Ivan:

[b]
China has no indigenous religion other than its residue of barbaric superstitions, just like 99 percent of all Chinese civilisation was borrowed from other countries and then corrupted into something worse, like “Marxism with Chinese characteristics”, and pathetic Chinese attempts to bake Western style bread.

Virtually everything decent or civilised in China came to it from the outside, and yet the Chinese always manage to f— it up. “With Chinese Characteristics” means nothing more than an overlay of barbaric racist-nationalist propaganda laying claim to accomplishments of more civilised Foreigners. Hell, even your “First Emperor” modeled himself on Darius of Persia. [/b]

I rest my case. Every time I respond to Ivan now, I will include this in my response, just like Richard did with another poster.

September 15, 2007 @ 4:16 pm | Comment

I should add to Ivan: prove your claims.

Prove your 99% claim, prove that nearly everything in Chinese civilization was corrupted from another civilization. Prove that “‘with Chinese characteristics’ means nothing more than an overlay of barbaric racist-nationalist propaganda laying claim to accomplishments of more civilised Foreigners”. Prove that “virtually everything civilized or decent from China came from the outside”.

Ivan, we both somewhat respect each other, but as someone who doesn’t want to see your credibility go down the drain, I seriously ask you to either prove it, or recant it. Please.

September 15, 2007 @ 4:22 pm | Comment

“Prove that “virtually everything civilized or decent from China came from the outside”.”

Only if you pay me a full professor’s rate to teach a full year online course in remedial history. That’s what it would take, a full course. The problem with the historically miseducated is even worse than the uneducated, because to teach the miseducated you have to clean their minds of all the bullshit they’ve been stuffed with.

But here’s a more important question: How does my saying that make me “anti-Chinese?”
I say the same thing about my own ancestors, the British. Civilisation came to Britain from the outside, beginning around 2,000 years ago with the Roman settlement. I have no problem with that. But all too many Chinese are far more insecure about their civilisation than I am about mine – otherwise they wouldn’t so desperately pretend that so many non-Chinese arts of civilisation are native to China.

And more simply and clearly, I’m not even 100 percent anti-CCP, but they need to be taken to task for the intrumental – nay, essential – role they played in destroying the civilisation which they now are beginning to wish they hadn’t ruined. I’m not against one-party rule in China at the moment. But I object to their pretending that they’re defenders or representatives of anything “traditionally Chinese”.

And, t-co, I object to an amoral atheist like you pretending to advocate traditional Chinese religions just like the CCP are pretending to do now. You – the CCP – broke it, you destroyed China’s traditional culture and religions, so don’t you dare pretend to be competent to bring it back. Just leave it alone and return the Chinese state to its tradition of secularism.

September 15, 2007 @ 4:45 pm | Comment

“You – the CCP – broke it, you destroyed China’s traditional culture and religions, so don’t you dare pretend to be competent to bring it back. Just leave it alone and return the Chinese state to its tradition of secularism.”

I sense a logical fallacy here. How does breaking something mean that you don’t have the competence to encourage its reemergence? Especially when those steps could be taken so easily (like funding the growth of centers dedicated to Confucianism or Taoism?)

“But all too many Chinese are far more insecure about their civilisation than I am about mine – otherwise they wouldn’t so desperately pretend that so many non-Chinese arts of civilisation are native to China.”

? Insecure? Please be more specific here. what “arts” are you talking about?

And now we have come from “99%” and “virtually every” to “so many”? What’s next, “some”??…

And remember folks, this is what he said:

“China has no indigenous religion other than its residue of barbaric superstitions, just like 99 percent of all Chinese civilisation was borrowed from other countries and then corrupted into something worse, like “Marxism with Chinese characteristics”, and pathetic Chinese attempts to bake Western style bread.

Virtually everything decent or civilised in China came to it from the outside, and yet the Chinese always manage to f— it up. “With Chinese Characteristics” means nothing more than an overlay of barbaric racist-nationalist propaganda laying claim to accomplishments of more civilised Foreigners. Hell, even your “First Emperor” modeled himself on Darius of Persia.”

A full year as a professor? Ivan, that’s a copout. You didn’t even provide a single example.

September 15, 2007 @ 4:59 pm | Comment

Well technically you did, but that claim–that Qin Shi Huang modeled himself after Darius I–needs some evidence, now does it?

September 15, 2007 @ 5:06 pm | Comment

“How does breaking something mean that you don’t have the competence to encourage its reemergence?”

In this case it’s partly because the CCP has never repudiated its official hostility to the traditional religions it suppressed and whose legacies the CCP ruined. I’m amazed (well, no longer amazed, just exasperated), t-co, by your dishonest unwillingness to acknowledge the inherent inappropriateness of an officially atheist, officially anti-religious party pretending to promote religion of any kind.

“what “arts” are you talking about?”

Evidently you didn’t learn much more than basic English comp 101 at U of Chicago; you don’t know one of the alternative meanings of “arts”, as in the “arts of civilisation.” In this context it means techniques (including political ones), not just fine arts. Which leads to the next point:

“And now we have come from “99%” and “virtually every” to “so many”? What’s next, “some”??…”

I’ll avoid engaging with your sophistry and stick with “99 percent”, although that’s a shorthand way of saying “virtually every”, and shorthand is required because civilisation is qualitative rather than quantitative.

And in brief, virtually all the arts of Chinese civilisation were imported from the outside, because this is true of ALL civilisations in the world except for the mother of them all in the Middle East. The Middle East invented civilisation and all – and I do mean ALL – civilisations in the world are its direct heirs.
Granted, there have been many local forms and adaptations of the basic arts of city-building and the rule of law, and the kinds of morals and ethics to which those arts give rise. But they began in the Middle East – all of them – including what China received (through myriad channels) from the Middle East and then adapted in its own ways just like Greece and Rome and India did.

“A full year as a professor? Ivan, that’s a copout”

No, it’s refusal to agree with the false premise underlying your question/request. You’re assuming that the refutation of your – and the CCP’s – ignorant beliefs/myths about Chinese history (and world history) can be accomplished in just a few blog comments. But that would be similar to “proving” evolution to a fundamentalist Christian who believes the world is only 6,000 years old; their minds are already too full of elaborate myths and superstitions and false premises to be engaged with in any casual way, or any way at all unless and until they become willing to admit their own fathomless ignorance.

Just as a morsel I’ll throw you a bone to gnaw on: Many’s the time throughout my years in China (I’m gone now, by the way) that I heard Chinese telling me what they believed were “Chinese” stories, like the one about the blind men and the elephant. But that story isn’t originally Chinese – it’s a Sufi story (I have some personal expertise in Sufism by the way) originally from somewhere around India where, well, where there are elephants. (And elephants have never been endemic in China; common sense should tell you the story came from a land where there are elephants.) That story, like so many others now believed to be “Chinese”, came to China via the Silk Road.

As for the First Emperor modelling himself on Darius, again I’m using shorthand, but it’s more like an amalgam of Darius the “King of Kings” and
similar legends based on Alexander the Great – who usurped the throne of Persia for a while – whose empire extended all the way to Afghanistan and India, almost to China. That was circa 330 BC; the Qin kingdom of WESTERN China became conversant in the legends and half-understood ideologies of the Persian and later Hellenistic (Alexander’s) empires, and a few generations later, Qin Shi Huang Di modeled his own empire and his role as the “Son of Heaven” after a half-understood, slightly garbled interpretation of the legendary (Persian/Greek) Empire which almost bordered on the Qin kingdom in Western China.

“The First Emperor” = “Persian despot with Chinese characteristics”.

But I’m not going to dig up lots of historical references for that, because quite simply, I’m not being paid enough to do so. I ain’t your research monkey. But I’m giving you enough to work with to do your own research – after you become willing to clear the Chinese-nationalist gunk out of your brain.

September 15, 2007 @ 7:12 pm | Comment

PS, t-co, “Especially when those steps could be taken so easily (like funding the growth of centers dedicated to Confucianism or Taoism?)”

Those traditional religions don’t need your CCP to “fund” them and thereby bring them even more under the thumb of their dedicated atheist enemies.
What they need is for the CCP to just leave them alone and become truly secular.

If the CCP ever began funding Christian churches in China, they’d end up withholding funds unless the Priests begin preaching ludicrous shit like “Jesus is good for economic development!”

September 15, 2007 @ 7:45 pm | Comment

Jade,

I like the way you say things clear and simple but your statemenst about the local papers not following party propaganda are to say the least unconvincing. I will come back on that in more detail.

“””””””””””””‘btw Ivan, have you seen anything like this in China yet?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6946810.stm“”””””””””””””

Ferins,

you are really criminal sometimes. DO you know that holocaust denial is like a criminal act cause it is an outright lie and undermines history and turth (of course)? Right so when you go around pretending that China is clean.

I am a Falun Gong supporter okay. I have done my research and I know how the media and governments bend under the will of the CCP and hide the facts of that persecution from the general public Especially the Chinese.

So your little examply is flying in the face of the reality that is, THE CCP ARE EVIL MURDEROUS CRIMINALS.

So dont tell Ivan or anyone else that China is good because most people dont murder, the party that is higjacking Chinese government are evil and you Chinese should bloody well do something about it.

September 15, 2007 @ 11:05 pm | Comment

Ivan,

Maybe you think Jesus is the only Way, thats fine if it worls for you, its your personal belief and you are totally entitled to it. But if you you want the Chinese race to ever agree that Jesus is the only Way and that Jesus is the source of all morality, let it go man cause it will never EVER fly.

The Chinese have some history as we all know and there was morality was once revered as the most importan element in life in China, with no Jesus, so it’s just not at all rational to say that China is lacking Jesusness. Now they are of course, its all propaganda culture now. Im sure there are some good people there though who still have some normal thinking.

September 15, 2007 @ 11:11 pm | Comment

But I’m not going to dig up lots of historical references for that, because quite simply, I’m not being paid enough to do so. I ain’t your research monkey. But I’m giving you enough to work with to do your own research – after you become willing to clear the Chinese-nationalist gunk out of your brain.

In other words, you can’t come up with an argument as always. Qin Shi Huang was Qin Shi Huang, he didn’t model himself after Darius. Something that indirect like hearing “garbled” half-assed stories doesn’t exactly count unless you want to attribute everything Voltaire wrote to Confucius. And if you want to call him civilized.. well, that doesn’t need any further comment.

Ferins, tu quoque is a logical fallacy.

Yes? It’s not tu quoque unless you’re trying to deny a problem with another’s. I’m just saying some people have poor perspective; the CCP is bad, but for whatever reason Russians have the highest suicide rate and extremely high violent crime rates.

DO you know that holocaust

Not where I’m from, no. But don’t compare killing several hundred Falun Gong to the Holocaust. There’s the numbers issue again.

What they need is for the CCP to just leave them alone and become truly secular.

That, and hope the CCP blocks out Christianity and other things. Sounds brutal, but it’s the best case scenario. Look what happened to South Korea, after all the dust cleared Christians settled in. And now some of them are the most extreme, hateful, disgusting fundamentalists you will ever find, literally physically beating people with giant red crosses and vandalizing Buddhist temples.

In this case it’s partly because the CCP has never repudiated its official hostility

The CCP isn’t made up of the same people any more. I disapprove of quite a lot of things the modern CCP does, but I don’t bring Mao into the picture when I’m trying to discern one official from the other. It’s a few thousand people, and the Chinese bureaucracy has never been monolithic even since the Qing. Pretending to support Confucianism or folk religion would be hypocritical, but so is calling yourself “Communist” when you yourself perpetuate some of the largest income disparities in the world in absolute terms. To me, at least, it would almost be like comparing the Japanese LDP to Showa Japan and the IJA. There might be some similarities here and there, but it’s not really useful to do it except as an insult.

September 16, 2007 @ 4:35 am | Comment

DO you know that holocaust

Not where I’m from, no. But don’t compare killing several hundred Falun Gong to the Holocaust. There’s the numbers issue again.

You may be right that during the holocaust the nazis killed more Jews than the CCP has killed Falun Gong, but actually, how do we know how many Falun Gong practititoners have been killed? The persecution is unabated presently, this is in the midst and its considered a state secret by the party and therefore anyone who fears the party which seems like everyone.

Anyway I don’t think that the Falun Gong issue is the only one that makes for the comparisson. The CCP kills all sorts of Chinese people and has been butchering up people for how they think for 50 years. The total is estimated by different sources as between 60-80 million Chinese, and these slaughters were mandates same as the Nazis persecution of the Jews. They use slaughtering a part of the population as a means to prop themselves up. You might say “But the CCP now is not the same people as a t those other time” well, they are doing the same old evil against the Falun Gong. Tibetans and all that, so how can you say they are different, they struggle for their survival by lying and cutting people up, body and mind, they are the same.

September 16, 2007 @ 8:58 am | Comment

They aren’t giving special persecution to Tibetans. It’s the same bad treatment everyone else gets.

September 16, 2007 @ 11:45 am | Comment

“You may be right that during the holocaust the nazis killed more Jews than the CCP has killed Falun Gong, but actually, how do we know how many Falun Gong practititoners have been killed?”

Still less than 6 million, unfortunately. In fact, I doubt there are even 6 million FLGoonies left in China–most smart Chinese renounce beliefs quite easily when it is convenient to do so.

“well, they are doing the same old evil against the Falun Gong. Tibetans and all that, so how can you say they are different, they struggle for their survival by lying and cutting people up, body and mind, they are the same.”

Unfortunately, snow, the struggle for political survival extends to violence and deceit in every government on Earth. So, ultimately, you either can’t choose between them if you believe each sin carries infinite weight, or you have to use some measuring scale to evaluate them.

And if you accept that we have to use a measuring scale, then the current CCP is leaps and bounds ahead of the pre-1978 one.

September 17, 2007 @ 2:57 am | Comment

info on Falun Gong death count:

http://www.faluninfo.net/DisplayAnArticle.asp?ID=6517

t_co, how come you’re so cold and cruel? I think its not good. I know sometimes it seems “smart” to just be a materialist and follow the crowd even if the crowd is horribly immoral, but in ones heart one should at least know that that is not the right way to be.

The reason I think being compassionate is “smarter” than following the CCP is because in the long term the bad way will show the manifestations of its wrongness. It is smarter to consider the big picture, the future, the goodness for all beings and all that. If we dont do that, we will just feel good for a few minutes (or whatever) and after that the consequences will leave is with big piles of poo too big to clean up later, so we should not create so much nastiness and fill our environment with bad nastiness.

Maybe that still seems too abstract for you, what do you think?

September 17, 2007 @ 4:08 am | Comment

about the Tibetans,

Right, all people are persecuted by the CCP, but whoever holds on to their values gets hit the hardest (of course, this is brainwashing were talking about)

The Tibetans werent in on the beginning campaigns, they had some space to breath a bit towards the start, so they have some beliefs still. They werent caught up as much in smashing culture and religion as the main han people.

So they still stick out and are targeted as a speacil region.

September 17, 2007 @ 4:14 am | Comment

I said that you have to find a way to measure different acts of deceit and violence that governments commit. Somehow I do not fathom why that would make me cold or cruel.

Furthermore, snow, “following the CCP” (which in your mind probably means not constantly agitating for revolt and protest) isn’t necessarily born of a lack of compassion. Indeed, if you consider the enormous tragedy that would befall China if the Party dissolved tomorrow (anarchy, civil unrest, and the reversal of two decades of peace and growth) you would realize that support for Party-centric rather than an anti-Party reform is the most compassionate choice for China.

September 17, 2007 @ 8:24 am | Comment

T_co

I think it is very ignorant of you to suggest that other governments come even close to measuring up with the evil of the CCP.

If you are too brainwashed against reading the Nine Commentaries on the Communist party read the black book of communism or Mao, the untold story…

to say that the party is a different one than before is pretty sleazy as well, its the same party otherwise why do they still hide those crimes thay always have committed and continue to commit?

Enormous tragedy for the dissolution of the party!!!??? You are so brainwashed. That stupid party has dug its claws in so deep that people have adjusted to them being in their minds and feel they won’t even live without the party! Its rediculous. DOnt you see that the so called need for the party is the false line that the party propagates the most? And do you think that they propagate that and restrict all freedom of expression to make people believe that because they are legitimately needed? Heck No!

If the party was indeed legitimate and needed, they would not need to control peoples minds as they do.

You think you have peace and stbility in China? WHat you have is terrorism and lies, equating to the impression that you are expressing. The people are afraid or dilluded by the party. The ones who are neither afraid or delluded, are captured and tortured until they either die or submit to brainwashing.

So do you think China is a better place for this? You seem to think conforming to brainwashing is a “smart” thing to. And do you accept that if you do not follow the party lines even in your mind, that they will torture you to death? Thats just sick.

September 17, 2007 @ 10:23 am | Comment

The modern CCP is objectively much better than the Bush oligarchy in terms of death tolls and economic damage. Mao might be the absolute worst leader in the world, considering he was capable of destroying the intellectualism, commerce, morality and culture of even Chinese people. But they’re still different. I think the smartest move for the CCP would be to just change their name. Costs nothing, immediate benefit.

Death toll: Over 2,800 confirmed, actual number believed to be between 5,000 and 10,000

As intolerable as 1 single death is, you have to realize more people in America get murdered in 3 months than this. But this is from faluninfo.net so I’m skeptical.

September 18, 2007 @ 6:17 am | Comment

Be advised: the following is not meant as a personal attack, just impartial observation.

Ferins, I think arguing death tolls with snow is an exercise in futility. You see, snow has a classic case of anti-Communist paranoia–every claim that is even remotely positive about China’s current form of government is immediatley attacked as a byproduct of “brainwashing.”

When one argues with him, he always argues back with the claim that they are either brainwashed or cold and heartless or lacking in some other vital personal quality. There’s a Latin phrase for this, although I’ll leave that to you to find out.

Until he actually starts arguing with arguments instead of with people, I’m going to refrain from acknowledging his existance. I hope there are a few brave souls out there who can join me on this one and ignore the logical fallacies snow spews out.

Oh and by the way, snow, the evidence you cited is has been researched and thoroughly discredited by forensic professionals and academic researchers. Indeed, your beloved FLG often uses the takes the number of total deaths of its followers in China and assumes they are all due to the CCP. That methodology is quite suspect because many people die of natural causes–there is no reason to link those deaths to a persecution campaign.

Indeed, given the FLG’s perspective on modern medicine, I would think that the FLG itself is responsible for a large part of those deaths, but I digress…

September 18, 2007 @ 10:40 am | Comment

Well, everybody digresses here, somehow. It was originally a thread about rich & poor, remember?

So I digress a bit further…

I seriously doubt what happened in China in the past 50 years had anything to do with communism in its original sense. It’s just another episode of continuity in the Chinese history, which has been repeated since more than 2000 years. You might call it C-Dynasty if you want. They did nothing new; just take a look at the Chinese history.

In the Chinese history, if a Dynasty went extremely corrupt and cruel, the people (mostly the peasants) would rise in revolt and drag the whole country into war for 20 or 50 years, and someone would succeed in the end to become the next monarch after millions were dead. And everything started from the beginning again. There was barely any evidence that the new Monarch would be any better than the previous one.

Mao and his fellows were nothing more than a bunch of peasant revolt leaders and their dreams were the same, too.

If I said the Chinese as a nation has made the most violent history of the human kind, I would offend lots of my countrymen. But still, I’m saying that blood soaked every page of the Chinese history. Massacres happened constantly and repeatedly. Atrocities were everyday life and everywhere.

Zhang Xianzhong, a peasant revolt leader at the end of Ming-Dynasty, killed the whole population of the province Sichuan. For absolutely no reason. Just because he was able, and, willing to.

During the chaos of some 20 years at the end of Ming-Dynasty, the number of people the imperial army and the peasant rebellion forces managed to kill, would made Hilter or any other tyrant of the same category shame to death.

So I also seriously doubt the revival of the traditional Chinese values. They didn’t do much good to this nation in the past.

I’m a native Chinese. So please forgive my poor English.

September 20, 2007 @ 3:37 pm | Comment

your English is good.

T_co,

I don’t know where you got such information about the recorded murders of Falun Gong people. That’s a serious weirness if it were true, so if you really think it is true it is absolutely necessary that you back it up otherwise you should apologize and admit you were wrong to say that.

The other thing is that the CCP says that the Falun Gongs “view on modern medicine” which you probly know nothing about, is causing health problems, and they say they are coming to the rescue by torturing them to death…

People practice Falun Gong all over the world dont you think it would be a well known phenomenon if they had poor health. Actually the opposite is recorded, especially in China. I know lots of Falun Gong practitioners and they are in very good health and very energetic for their age…The CCP praised Falun Gong all over the place before they decided to hate them. It was known that in China, peole practicing Falun Gong saved the country tons of money on health care since so many people practiced in China.

September 20, 2007 @ 9:41 pm | Comment

laoquan,

Where did you learn about Chinese history? Did you learn from Chinese textbooks after the CCP came in? I’m just wondering cause I know the CCP wants people to think that their way is the best way so they would want you to reject the good things in Chinese history to make sure no one would have something better to hope for. I think there are very good things in your culture that should be valued and I am not surprised at all that most Chinese people are no seeing that.

September 20, 2007 @ 9:46 pm | Comment

well, I did learn Chinese history from CCP-compiled textbooks, which told us that the leaders of peasant revolts were heroes, they helped the poor and liberate them from the tyranny (of course, to justify their own origin). What they didn’t tell was that they turned out to be the same after they took over power, if not even worse. You could check out that piece of history I mentioned in many books in English.

For anyone who could read Chinese I’d recommed a book called “Seven Faces of the Great Ming Dynasty”. I was surprised that the book passed the mainland censorship, for the author did refer to Mao and his fellows now and then in his book. Here’s another story about what I meant with the tradional Chinese values:

Hai Rui was one of the most praised upright officials in the entire Chinese history, by both the emperors and by the common people. He was also a popular figure of the CCP because he refused to cooperate with the corrupt colleagues. For the governing party he was a model official, for the common people their last hope in the overall corrupt bureaucracy. Another thing they didn’t tell about him was, he had an eight year old daughter. Once he saw her with a piece of cake and he asked her where she got the cake. she said the manservant gave it to her. Hai Rui became furious and scolded: How dare you take a piece a cake from a manservant, when Confucius told us man and woman(if not from the same family) shall never touch each other? You humiliated your whole family and deserve to starve to death! The girl was quite stubborn as well and refused to eat anything since. After 7 days she really starved to death.

Massacres happened maybe every hundert years, but those kind of cruelty was everyday life in China for hundreds of years.

I’m not trying to protect CCP, just because they did kill a few millions of people less than maybe the second emperor of the Tang Daynasty. My point is, anybody who wants to comprehend what’s going on in China right now, should dig a little deeper in its history.

So I would agree with ferins that most Chinese people are kind, under given circumstances; what snow said that most Chinese people suck was also not entirely wrong(though as a Chinese I do have emotional objections to say so), because if the circumstances change, they change too. It’s really sad to go through the Chinese history and see that people from the buttom of the society worked their way up and had chances to change the history, but they never did.

So now we’re getting back a little to the original thread: Do the poor people hate the rich people in China? The answer is quite obvious: Yes, according to my knowlege far more than 70%. Would they switch positions if it’s possible? Well, you might hear different answers. But I know that for the majority, the answer is HELL YES.

September 21, 2007 @ 12:56 am | Comment

laoquan your knowledge of Chinese history is very thorough. But I think your knowledge of African and European history could be lacking, if you think China was unique in its brutality.

Every now and then China would produce some disgusting, satanic, animal, lower than shit, subhuman, butcher, whore, bastard like Zhang Xianzhong or Mao Zedong. The loss of life and genetic diversity from the massacre of Sichuan still infuriates me at this moment.

But between then and normal times there would be constant massacres and genocides all around the world. The per capita death tolls have always been higher elsewhere; but when China and Chinese rulers are bad, it’s REALLY, really bad.

And I agree wholeheartedly, the CCP is exactly like a “Red Dynasty” and the peasant rebellion costing millions of lives was present as well. That’s why I think Republican China was a great time, and Chinese people were finally almost free. But then Showa Japan, and those demented prostitutes Hirohito and Tojo, along with Mao and the Warlords, ruined everything. No thanks to some rich people, like one of my great aunts, who were enjoying luxury and lavish living conditions when many of her countrymen were starving to death. I would almost say we in the upper classes deserved to get beaten and chased out of the country, but my grandparents were noble people and not all of China’s rich were corrupt and heartless.

But so many of China’s problems came from aloof and detached bureaucrats, aristocrats and Emperors making arbitrary judgments without the consent of the people. But what could they do? Chinese characters are too heavy for any texts to disperse widely into the countryside as it did in other regions. That’s one of the prevailing reasons why China stagnated in science and thought. Aside from the suicidal hai jin, passed on by the arrogant and conceited ultra-conservative ruling class. To top it all off the sweeping ban of the development of gunpowder warfare, and there goes the so-called “Four Great Chinese Inventions”, that only foreigners ended up using well.

Thus, I don’t believe Chinese history or culture is without its flaws. I believe in a reformed and modernized Confucianism (not sexist, not ultra-conservative) and Chinese culture that will keep Chinese people free and happy for the next 1,000 years.

That’s why I think it would be sad if Chinese people struggled for 2,000 years to get out from under the feet of the rich and corrupt just to become the slaves of American-style consumerism, egotism, narcissism and materialism. They deserve good treatment just like any other kind and hard working people.

I’m just rambling though.

September 21, 2007 @ 6:10 am | Comment

“””””””””Chinese people struggled for 2,000 years to get out from under the feet of the rich and corrupt””””””””””

Sounds like propaganda to me. The thing is that, like what was said above, when you “struggle” to get whatever, by using the same devilish monoevering, you are no better than the previous overlord.

Thats what I see as a quite problematic pheneomenon… Its like how people under brainwashing often express the wish to safe guard the peace and stability that they have struggled for… But actually the only thing thats stable is struggle itself. It’s almost as if struggle and warring have become standard to Chinese (CCP wants people to accept brutality and evil thats for sure)

When the CCP got people to kill and steal like mad they convinced the people that it was for “good” and when the CCP persecutes innocent and truthful people, it convinces peopel that it is for “good” and stability and all that.

I heard that in the past that if the leadership was judged by the Tao, and if the leader strayed from the Tao (some moral code) then he would be considered bad.

For me I like that kind of justice/moral code because as it is now anybody can come and say to the Chinese people that sucha and such is “good” and it seems the people can’t judge based on the normal standards, they just follow the propaganda.

If the CCP hadnt destroyed peoples sense of culture and traditional values, there is no way that people would accept this party to still be their leader after the disgusting crimes they have commited against random innocent Chinese people.

September 21, 2007 @ 11:21 am | Comment

I really hate to prove that Chinese history was the most violent and brutal one of the human kind…but sadly, it was.

Let’s take an example of the Chinese legal system. Death penalties were everywhere in the world, but China must have been the only
state with dozens of different death penalties, mostly with different torturing methods to make the criminal experience the severst pain without causing immediate death. The absolute peak of those was Ling Chi, which used a small knife to cut the convict 3600 times. This penalty was abrogated in 1905. Before that, it was widely praticed in China over thousands of years.

In the long history of China, the severst crime one could ever commit, was conspiracy against the emperor. The punishment was almost the same in 2000 years: Execution of all blood relatives within 9 generations, men and women, young and old. That was always a huge execution of hundreds, sometimes thousands of innocent people, most of them hadn’t seen the convict even once in their lives.

During war time, anything could happen. The difference between China and other nations might be not so significant. The examples I took were during piece time, it happened in China constantly for more than 2000 years. I may lack knowledge of European or African history, but I really haven’t heard of such things happened anywhere else in the world.

September 21, 2007 @ 12:54 pm | Comment

And snow, the brainwashing in China is not an invention by CCP. It was the most important governing tool for every dynasty and the mostly used textbook was Confucianism.

The basic principles of Confucianism are the so called Three Carninal Guides: Ruler guides subject, father guides son, husband guides wife. Comparing with the work the CCP has done in the past 50 years, the brainwashing Confucius has done in more than 2000 years has far more impact on the common Chinese people. It is the ideology which made such kind of brutal, savage regime possible and last so long. It is also why every emperor honoured Confucius so much, using solely its theory to select officials through the state examinations. It gives the ruler the absolute freedom to do anything they want, and makes the common people to sit and watch while innocent people get killed.

September 21, 2007 @ 3:05 pm | Comment

ling chi wasn’t that common from what i’ve read from contemporary visitors to china. and yes, entire houses/families were often killed elsewhere. there are lovely people like vlad the impaler and shaka of the zulus, etc.

September 21, 2007 @ 11:12 pm | Comment

and snow:

no, you’re brainwashed!

September 22, 2007 @ 2:24 am | Comment

Hi Snow,

Waiting to hear your thoughts on the reach of the central government’s oversight into local newspapers. Just to clarify – I do understand that for core issues – Falun Gong, 1989, corruption, politics, etc, that even the smallest paper does not dare to write anything that isn’t approved by the “authorities”. My assertion, however, is that everyday “laobaixing” stories (including the poll we were all originally discussing) do not go through the machine. This does not necessarily mean that these stories accurately depict the truth and/or display the epitome of journalistic rigor, but by and large, they are spawned, researched and reported so to increase readership and attract ad revenue, and not as part of any master plan beyond this. Again, looking forward to your comments.

September 22, 2007 @ 3:50 am | Comment

ferins, would you care to explain? O therwise whats the point of your last post?

“”””core issues – Falun Gong, 1989, corruption, politics, etc,”””””

You MIGHT be right Jade, there is a small chance that the situation you described is the nature of this particular poll…Personally I think the chance is really small since I think most issues worth reporting have some party line behind them. As you said politics etc., Well what is politics? When it comes to the CCP it is hard to know what is considered politics because if you love your mother and she is Falun Gong, you can be said to be taking a political stance. Thats just an example, another is that when the CCP makes a line of brainwashing, it might be quite apolitical seeming, but if one has an opinion that relates to such and such issue, it can then be called “political” For example when the Falun Gong people speak out for an end to the persecution and go ask the government to stop attacking them, the CCP and those brainwashed will say that they are messing in politics. The CCP says to foreign governments to stay out of their “internal affairs” as though human rights and politics were the same thing. You know what Im saying? Anything that has to do with some kind of core human rights is censored and that is such a broad thing, just for example…And I would say the same will extend to social issues, they will be channelled for the party’s use in protecting itslef by manipulating peoples ideologies…

Basically, Im saying that depending on what the CCP wants to acheive and how it wants people to think, it will use the media to achieve that, that is for sure.

The CCP promotes class struggle and fighting among people as a so called means to reach a perfect society (social darwinism as some might call it). The CCP usually sews hatred within the country so that people will struggle against each other and accept the CCP and all the bunk CCP philosophy. If people accept that they should struggle against such and such “forces” , then the CCP can make people believe that when it elliminates whoever it doesnt like, that it is for the good of the future and the country, which is a BIG FAT LIE, they just want to struggle for their own survival. My point there being that it wouldnt surprise me if the CCP felt the need to use “the rich” as a scapegoat as it always does with some group or another…

heres something to check out…

http://www.cpj.org/attacks06/asia06/chi06.html

By the way thank you for reminding me, I actually took some time for that and then forgot ( ;

September 22, 2007 @ 9:03 am | Comment

Snow,

To clarify – I meant “politics” as the REPORTING of maneuvering of politicians and the policies that they promote. Yes, politics is a broad term, I should have clarified (and sorry about the bold type, I hate doing that but I’m in a hurry). Again, I understand you’re position – we are really just cutting hairs about where we place the line in the sand – obviously the CCP has the ultimate say on the press, and no matter how much Reporters Without Borders hopes it’ll get better someday soon, the likelihood is that it won’t.

September 22, 2007 @ 10:35 am | Comment

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