Heading to China

It’s business, and unfortunately the project has forced me to literally ignore this blog. If I have any readers left when I get back around March 12 maybe I’ll start posting again. Until then it’ll be pretty dark here.

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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: 170 Comments

I don’t see you in the mirror.

Geez, I am worried for your schizophrenic mind. You actually attempt to use a mirror to look someone who you have never meet face to face before. Have your medications just ran out before your next consultation?

March 7, 2010 @ 2:54 am | Comment

@SK
I readily concede that, in a democracy, not every single individual’s personal choice on every single matter will rule the day every single time.

That wasn’t the point and never was. I’m not going to throw my arms up in the air and scream “straw man” like you love to, but that is what you are doing- my point is that even the most BASIC rights of an individual are not safeguarded, or have not been safeguarded from the mob in most contemporary democracies. The most recent issues I can think of is extradition for torture, assassinations overseas, and how a slim majority can deny marriage rights to a minority for no logical reason.

In Switzerland, communities can kick people out of the nation based on their race and religion. I respect their democratic right to do that, but what do you think of it? Switzerland, as far as I know, is among the most democratic of nations.

How is it better for 9 people out of 1.3 billion making decisions than for 51% of the population of any given democratic state

It isn’t worse either.

WHAT?!? What about your beloved CCP? Oh dear, so first you complain about democracy while availing yourself to the benefits thereof. Then you can’t even find it within yourself to voice preference for the mother of all authoritarian states? What is this world coming to?

WHAT?!? What about your beloved India? Oh dear, so first you complain about authoritarianism while availing yourself to the benefits thereof. Then you can’t even find it within yourself to voice preference for the mother of all democratic states? What is this world coming to?

I wonder, IF Hu Jintao were ever guilty of corruption (I’m not saying he is, just wondering how PRC’s system would deal with it), what are the chances that he’d end up like CSB?

Who knows? Many officials in China have been killed off, purged, or sent to work camps.

(a) who gets to decide who constitutes an “expert”? (b) and these experts might themselves be beholden to…?

Who decides who gets hired to top positions? Who decides which applicants are allowed to attend prestigious schools? Who decides who gets into the NBA or NFL? Obviously you work out the prerequisites. They would of course, be beholden to the function they serve- among them, the citizens of their country.

here we go again. What’s “short end of stick”? What’s “every time”?

Look on wikipedia or something.

can you just for a millisecond look beyond the American system? You should realize that you’re not even arguing against democracy; at the very best, you’re arguing against the American iteration thereof.

Oh okay then what democracy do you suggest for China, because your open ended arguments and lack of ideas is getting repetitive. Canada? So the CCP and their supporters can kill everyone they don’t like and everyone else won’t be a citizen until the economy develops and stabilizes.. sounds great.

even then, you also get to vote for a senator, and a representative.

Half of them serve corporations, another half serve themselves. Even dinky, worthless states such as Kentucky get 2 Senators. This is why they are so heavily subsidized by larger states- which is tyranny.

But on what basis do you suggest that it’s not worse?

100 million idiots is no better than 9 idiots. In fact they’re often worse- if you look into the psychology of mobs. They are simply more aggressive and remorseless. Then again you are overestimating the power of the politburo as well.

I suppose they can be. But do you think it more likely, even if we just speak in terms of odds, of having 9 bad apples, or having 100 million bad apples.

It doesn’t work that way. You just need the 100 million bad apples to organize themselves into a political party, squirt out 20 babies a decade, and you have a ruined nation. This is what Americans call “the republican party”

and yet, stated preferences notwithstanding, we find you here. Interesting. I’d say that’s (ahem) voting with your feet, if you’ll pardon the pun, which is of course very much intended.

Right and all the foreign execs in China are voting with their feet. Don’t be stupid. Oh and I’m sure the Native Americans are voting with their feet too.

@Mike Goldthorpe
Yeah, right 🙂 That’s why you live in the good old US of A! So easy to talk the talk when you bask in luxury… I’ll bet your…oh, hang on, you’re not even from the PRC…not even your own countryfolk…I’ll bet a heap of those you speak for are jealous as hell for your good fortune.

If I live in luxury, your wife is a three-titted whore. Don’t make assumptions about things you don’t understand- this is a fundamental pathology of the Western mind.

Merp, keep talking. It’s all bullshit from your end – you don’t even want to live in the PRC. Put your money where your mouth is,

Mike, keep talking. It’s all bullshit from your end – you don’t even want to live in India. Put your money where your mouth is.

@sptwo
Sino-Vietnamese adversary is a long-standing issue which dates back to thousands of years of animosity.

Dates back to thousands of years of your wet dreams, perhaps.

you probably flunk it.

You probably flunk it! Your peculiar diatribes suggest that you are mentally challenged.

March 7, 2010 @ 7:16 am | Comment

Dates back to thousands of years of your wet dreams, perhaps.

That more recent Chinese invasion, like many during 2,000 years of animosity between Vietnam and China,

http://patrick.guenin2.free.fr/cantho/vnnews/china99.htm

Facts to you are wet dreams? You are truly one of a kind, ferin/merp.

March 7, 2010 @ 12:13 pm | Comment

“If I live in luxury, your wife is a three-titted whore. Don’t make assumptions about things you don’t understand- this is a fundamental pathology of the Western mind.”
No, she’s got the normal Chinese woman’s two tits…both used to feed our Eurasian daughters. You STILL live in the US, mind… Not making assumprtions – you’re sure as hell not in the PRC and you sure as hell aren’t making moves there 🙂

“Mike, keep talking. It’s all bullshit from your end – you don’t even want to live in India. Put your money where your mouth is.”
No shit Sherlock! Where did I ever say I wanted to live in that god forsaken country? I chose to emigrate from the UK to New Zealand – if I wanted to live in India I would have done, fuckwit! Like you, I know what lifestyle I like to live in! You live in the US, I live in NZ…we both know how to feather our nests!

Soooo….you got anything else stupid to say? I know you’re only a student who can’t pass exams in Taiwan (or even the PRC) so you need Mama and Papa to pay for your education in the US, one of the few countries that would take you…. Show me I’m wrong…

I wonder…you mama and papa run away from Uncle Mao? Did they come into Taiwan with Cash My Check? I bet they did….

March 7, 2010 @ 1:12 pm | Comment

Who knows? Many officials in China have been killed off, purged, or sent to work camps.

Pure naivety and brainwashed by the state media. While the Party mouthpiece often trumpets the death penalties and long jail sentences for those who were caught, how high are the odds of being caught in the first place? Answer: Negligible.

“The data on the punishment of government officials is also not encouraging. The probabilities of officials getting caught and punished are both small. At the ministry level, the chance of corrupt officials getting caught is about 1 in 10. The rate is about half of that for county level officials, where 90% of corrupt officials operate. Of those that get caught, the number of officials that get sentenced by criminal courts is about 6.6%, a negligible number. The intrinsic problem here is that the penalty for corruption is too light while the risks of engaging in corrupt activities are also too low.

http://www.carnegieendowment.org/events/?fa=eventDetail&id=284

March 7, 2010 @ 2:16 pm | Comment

To 152:
“my point is that even the most BASIC rights of an individual are not safeguarded”
—well isn’t that funny. If this was your “point”, then why not make it a week ago? It’s like you try to make a point (for instance, your recent fascination with how 49% of people get screwed in a democracy), I shoot it down, then you say “wait, that was never my point; THIS is my point”. Whatever you say, pal. We’ll see what your “point” becomes tomorrow.

And you know what? You are correct about your point-of-the-day. Democracy by itself (if you want to limit the discussion strictly to the concept, without the real world accoutrements that co-exist with its application) does not guarantee basic (or human, if you will) rights. I also never said that democracy guarantees human rights. Constitutions and laws do. However, an authoritarian system does not guarantee human rights either (and of course in the CCP we have as shining an example of that as one could ever ask for). So if your metric is “guarantee of human right”, in isolation, it’s probably a wash. Of course, the differences come with their real-world application. And if there’s one thing that the CCP is good for, it’s being a real-life cautionary tale.

“It isn’t worse either.”
—ok, seems you’re not one to be swayed by mathematics. Mathematics is probably too logical for you.

“first you complain about authoritarianism while availing yourself to the benefits thereof”
—like I’ve said several times before, imitation is the highest form of flattery. It’s too bad that flattery coming from you isn’t worth much. btw, i’ll leave you to figure out how this statement doesn’t even apply. And if that’s not clear enough for you, I’d offer the example that I can say jumping out of a plane without a parachute is a bad idea, even though I’ve never tried it. Sometimes, when you copy something, you still need to make subtle changes for it to make sense. Better luck next time.

“Many officials in China have been killed off, purged, or sent to work camps.”
—I’d settle for jail terms. Those poor saps probably would have, too.

“Who decides who gets into the NBA or NFL? Obviously you work out the prerequisites.”
—of course. But in all your examples, people are making selections based on their assessment of merits as they apply to their private ventures. Who plays PG on the Cavaliers to deliver the ball to Lebron doesn’t matter to people who don’t care about the NBA. BUt when it comes to “prerequisites” for running the country, that is something that affects everyone, and it’s something everyone might have some interest in. So, in your system, who gets to decide those? Oh, that’s right, your favourite 9 dudes.

“Look on wikipedia or something.”
—you’re right. Wiki would probably offer up better arguments than you.

“what democracy do you suggest for China”
—I would like to see a democratic system in China, applied in a way as seen fit by Chinese people. It’s for them to decide. It certainly has no need to look like Canada’s system, or the American system, or anyone else’s system.

“So the CCP and their supporters can kill everyone…”
—if there’s one thing you don’t mind, it’s to say the same thing over and over…

“Even dinky, worthless states such as Kentucky get 2 Senators.”
—if anything, this system was put in place to counter-balance the potential for tyranny of the majority. Sparsely populated states get the same voice as densely populated ones. BUt at the same time, you could argue that this is somewhat counter to the fundamental concept of democracy. That being said, you need to pick one. You could either say that democracy exposes you to the risk of tyranny of the majority, and acknowledge that the Senate in the US system mitigates this to a certain degree; or you could say that the Senate by itself is undemocratic, while acknowledging that this is counterbalanced by the other branches of government in the US system. But it makes no sense to argue both, which is what you seem to like to do.

“100 million idiots is no better than 9 idiots.”
—if a person can be an idiot or not, then the odds of the former are 1/2 to the 100 millionth power; for the later, it’s 1/2 to the 9th power. Do you need me to tell you which one is more likely?

“Then again you are overestimating the power of the politburo as well.”
—is there something more powerful than “all-powerful”?

“This is what Americans call “the republican party””
—guess what? You’ve just exercised the right to assess the members of the GOP as idiots. And you can next put that right to work in the mid term elections later this year. That is also the exact same right that Chinese people don’t have, even if they think the Politburo are a bunch of doofs.

“all the foreign execs in China are voting with their feet.”
—if those execs in China are complaining about China’s authoritarian system, then they are being hypocritical. Right now the only hypocrisy on display is yours.

March 7, 2010 @ 4:54 pm | Comment

To Merp, here is your comment and threat:

“So how do you keep your “Chinese” “wife” in “her place”, N_a_S? I think if we forced her to watch her green card provider get slowly sliced apart in a death by 1,000 cuts, and then a pull-apart-by-horses, that would suffice. I wonder what would happen to you and your property if your threats of nuclear warfare against the Chinese were discovered.
Turn on the human flesh search engine!”

Based on the last two sentences I have filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security to investigate your threats against a U.S. citizen while a guest in this country. I have been informed that they take all such threats seriously. Your IP address will be investigated and further action may result in the revocation of your visa and immediate deportation.

While my unfortunate tirades in the past keep coming back to haunt me, they were the empty words of someone who was as frustrated with his own nation’s policies as much as they were a rant against a convenient (though thoroughly misplaced) “enemy.” Still they are allowed under of system of free speech. Personal threats, however, are not. I’m interested to see you continue to spout off now.

March 8, 2010 @ 5:59 am | Comment

@Mike
No, she’s got the normal Chinese woman’s two tits…both used to feed our Eurasian daughters

Not a Thai or Filipino?

No shit Sherlock! Where did I ever say I wanted to live in that god forsaken country?

First you said it was “doing well”, now you’re saying it’s god forsaken? Because India was a democracy from the ground up- Britain and America were not. I have no problem living in China, or Singapore, or Taiwan when it was authoritarian. You, on the other hand, need the privilege and comforts afforded by long years of genocide.

I know you’re only a student who can’t pass exams in Taiwan (or even the PRC) so you need Mama and Papa to pay for your education in the US, one of the few countries that would take you…. Show me I’m wrong…

Are you saying that ROC and PRC students are smarter than Western students and thus score higher on their tests? hohoho

@sptwo
The probabilities of officials getting caught and punished are both small. At the ministry level, the chance of corrupt officials getting caught is about 1 in 10.

Is there any chance that the worst war criminal of the past 30 years, George Bush, will ever be sentenced to anything? I didn’t think so. 1 out of 10 is better than 0 out of 10- but that wasn’t the point. Read a bit more into the CCP’s history.

@S.K Cheung
without the real world accoutrements that co-exist with its application

These real world accoutrements are not inherent in democracy- they were developed alongside various systems all throughout world history. Again, democracy at it’s philosophical “base” in Athens did not accord much in the realm of human rights- that is, 90% of the population was not “special” enough.

ok, seems you’re not one to be swayed by mathematics. Mathematics is probably too logical for you.

Because “mathematics” don’t predict human dynamics. Or rather, human behavior is not linear. That’s probably your fundamental defect.

btw, i’ll leave you to figure out how this statement doesn’t even apply.

It does, perfectly- you live it up on the blood of the First Nations. Back when Canada wasn’t exactly a democracy. Go move to a country that has always been democratic- like India.

What you prefer is not democracy but the comforts of a “first world” imperialist life, at the expense of the indigenous and the world at large.

BUt when it comes to “prerequisites” for running the country, that is something that affects everyone, and it’s something everyone might have some interest in. So, in your system, who gets to decide those?

Reason. Not the mob.

I would like to see a democratic system in China

You can’t even define democracy properly, and your knowledge base is so shallow that you don’t even recognize historical examples like Athens and Nazi Germany. America and Canada’s versions are unacceptable for the Chinese as well- they’re not about to kill every non-Mandarin speaker.

if anything, this system was put in place to counter-balance the potential for tyranny of the majority. Sparsely populated states get the same voice as densely populated ones. BUt at the same time, you could argue that this is somewhat counter to the fundamental concept of democracy. That being said, you need to pick one. You could either say that democracy exposes you to the risk of tyranny of the majority, and acknowledge that the Senate in the US system mitigates this to a certain degree; or you could say that the Senate by itself is undemocratic, while acknowledging that this is counterbalanced by the other branches of government in the US system. But it makes no sense to argue both, which is what you seem to like to do.

It was, but all it does is create a tyranny of the stupid based on state lines. Relatively speaking, state lines are arbitrary- at least they have become arbitrary. All this accomplishes now is benefit one political party based on imaginary lines. It’s advantageous for one group of people if they move to and demographically take over a less populous state, as it gives them disproportionate voice- one they overwhelmingly use to obstruct “consensus”.

It makes perfect sense to argue both- democracy is not so much founded on a set of unassailable principles, but on ruthlessness like outbreeding your opponent, abusing loopholes, and brainwashing.

if a person can be an idiot or not, then the odds of the former are 1/2 to the 100 millionth power; for the later, it’s 1/2 to the 9th power. Do you need me to tell you which one is more likely?

You’re obviously delusional. Again, this is your fundamental illness- seeing each person as just a statistic with a predictable set of behaviors. Certain political groups form themselves based on superstition and hatred- both of which are signs of stupidity.

http://www.people.vcu.edu/~mamcdani/Publications/McDaniel%20%282006%29%20Estimating%20state%20IQ.pdf

Go to page 6.

Then look at this, most people hate the site. However, it’s the only place I could google up the real data on (that wasn’t infected with all sorts of crap).

http://vdare.com/sailer/061022_iq_table.htm

As you can see, one party simply revolves around being stupid.

Now look at this:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2165/2994934040_ca5b05d221.jpg

No wonder Cali is going bankrupt, they have to subsidize Sarah Palin’s state. Isn’t that ironic, considering the “red states” are against big government and “subsidies”. To anyone with sense, there is no reason why democrats and republicans should remain in the same country.

guess what? You’ve just exercised the right to assess the members of the GOP as idiots. And you can next put that right to work in the mid term elections later this year. That is also the exact same right that Chinese people don’t have, even if they think the Politburo are a bunch of doofs.

A woman killed an official and rightfully was not charged with murder, so it’s not as straightforward as you mention. Regardless, I could criticize the GOP in any country on the planet.

Based on the last two sentences I have filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security to investigate your threats against a U.S. citizen while a guest in this country. I have been informed that they take all such threats seriously. Your IP address will be investigated and further action may result in the revocation of your visa and immediate deportation.

lol. I’m sure they’ll get right on it after they process all other 1 billion internet insults. This just shows how deranged and cowardly you are, N_a_S.

While my unfortunate tirades in the past keep coming back to haunt me, they were the empty words of someone who was as frustrated

This pretty much sums up your entire life.

as much as they were a rant against a convenient (though thoroughly misplaced) “enemy.”

Yes, this is typical white behavior- make a racial enemy out of someone who is far away and minding his own business to justify genocide. You did it with the blacks, you did it with the Indians, you did it with the Southeast Asians, and you do it now with the Arabs. Try that with the East Asians and it will be the last mistake your civilization will have ever made.

Still they are allowed under of system of free speech. Personal threats, however, are not. I’m interested to see you continue to spout off now.

Like your “personal threats” to have me tortured without due process? Funny, that is also typical white behavior.

March 8, 2010 @ 7:18 am | Comment

“You, on the other hand, need the privilege and comforts afforded by long years of genocide.”
Yep, the Cultural Revolution was good for the west 🙂 Made us rich…

March 8, 2010 @ 9:39 am | Comment

“Try that with the East Asians and it will be the last mistake your civilization will have ever made.”
Ummm, we already did it…

March 8, 2010 @ 9:41 am | Comment

Yep, the Cultural Revolution was good for the west 🙂 Made us rich…

Pure stupidity.

Ummm, we already did it…

and given your whining about China, and Vietnam, and Korea, I’m guessing you regret it 😉

March 8, 2010 @ 10:47 am | Comment

George Bush, will ever be sentenced to anything?

Geez, i don’t think telling them stories about Dubya will appease the anger and sadness of parents whose children died because corrupt officials built “tofu” school buildings to get rich and get away scot-free.

March 8, 2010 @ 12:59 pm | Comment

To 158:
“These real world accoutrements are not inherent in democracy”
—then in which/what world are you arguing against democracy? Don’t know about you, but I live in the real one. Besides, I had already said this in 156(“So if your metric is “guarantee of human right”, in isolation, it’s probably a wash. Of course, the differences come with their real-world application. And if there’s one thing that the CCP is good for, it’s being a real-life cautionary tale.”).

“Because “mathematics” don’t predict human dynamics.”
—then please share with me what testable basis you use to say that the Politburo serves the people better than the people themselves. I’d add that if your belief is based on something that’s not testable…well…many people call that religion.

“you live it up on the blood of the First Nations.”
—you invoke this at the drop of a hat, without any clue of what you’re talking about.

“So, in your system, who gets to decide those?

Reason. Not the mob.”
—it’s like playing 20 questions with a kid. On whose reasoning would such decisions be based?

“they’re not about to kill every non-Mandarin speaker.”
—and where did I suggest this? I’ve lost count of the number of times you’ve argued against something I never said. Is that fun for you? I don’t presume to know what Chinese people want, which is why I think it best if they have a system that allows them to decide for themselves. You, on the other hand, would like to decide for them. Rather arrogant, wouldn’t you say? Considering that you don’t even live there, what makes you a better judge of what’s best for them than they are? This I’d love to hear.

“tyranny of the stupid based on state lines”
—OMG. Just because someone votes differently than you makes them stupid? You have an interesting POV…rather self-centered, I’d say. Probably the same trait that allows you to think that you are better equipped to say what’s better for Chinese citizens than they are.

“It makes perfect sense to argue both- democracy…”
—once again, “both” refers to characteristics of the US system. You constantly argue against the US system and misconstrue that as an argument against democracy. What is your impediment?

“To anyone with sense, there is no reason why democrats and republicans should remain in the same country.”
—yet 340 million people continue to coexist in one country. So either 340 million people are stupid, or you are. I wonder how the odds work out for those 2 possibilities.

“A woman killed an official and rightfully was not charged with murder”
—didn’t you just finish trying to argue that laws are not part of democracy? So how does the presence or absence of a murder charge have anything to do with the people’s ability to exercise democratic rights, or lack thereof? Take your time.

“I could criticize the GOP in any country on the planet.”
—sure you could. But you live in a country where you can express that criticism on a ballot. People can criticize the CCP too, and probably within China as well. But that’s as far as it goes, even if you live in China. That, in a nutshell, would be the difference.

March 8, 2010 @ 3:54 pm | Comment

“and given your whining about China, and Vietnam, and Korea, I’m guessing you regret it”
Whining? Moi? You’re the one complaining about nasty ol’ whiteys all the time 😉 I personally think it came out great. Western forces got land around Shanghai, made it wildly successful, which attracted people who married and had kids and who, ultimately, begat my wife.

Je ne regret rien, old boy.

Still can’t see it as the last mistake we’d make…as you suggested. We did it and, whoopsy daisy, we went and made more mistakes afterwards. Your assertion is therefore wrong.

On another note, reading your diatribes make me smile. Heard that purile guff so many times before, from whites, blacks, browns and yellows 😀 Reading your comment above makes sense when you play this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzeNj1vlzAk in the background 😉

More historical resonances…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqSJzpfWRj4

March 8, 2010 @ 4:42 pm | Comment

A woman killed an official and rightfully was not charged with murder

While the decision not to charge is one with compassion, it reflects that the current legal system in China does not allow people channels to redress their grievances against corrupt officials such that they have to take law into their own hands. A rough system you have under the Party indeed, isn’t it?

March 8, 2010 @ 6:40 pm | Comment

@SK Cheung

Merp, you’re going to have to make that comment a little nicer before it’s published.

Richard

March 8, 2010 @ 11:27 pm | Comment

George Bush, will ever be sentenced to anything?

Let me illustrate the absurdity more vividly..

Parent: (Sobs)Will justice be done? Will the Party ever bring those responsible for building “tofu” structures ever be sentenced? My only child has been killed by corruption!

Merp:??? What the heck are you whining about? Is there any chance that the worst war criminal of the past 30 years, George Bush, will ever be sentenced to anything?

Parent:!!!???…….

March 9, 2010 @ 2:20 pm | Comment

Your ego is astounding, are you presuming that your own inexplicable [deleted] vendetta against the CCP is equivalent to the suffering of the victims of the Sichuan Earthquake?

March 14, 2010 @ 3:41 am | Comment

Your ego is astounding, are you presuming that your own inexplicable [deleted] vendetta against the CCP is equivalent to the suffering of the victims of the Sichuan Earthquake?

I take this diatribe of yours as an admission that you can’t explain how GWB’s impunity from his actions has anything got to do with scourge of corruption under the CCP. Try harder next time.

March 15, 2010 @ 9:30 pm | Comment

“Based on the last two sentences I have filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security to investigate your threats against a U.S. citizen while a guest in this country.”

WOW!WOW!WOW!

I am truly flabberhasted.

March 21, 2010 @ 8:13 am | Comment

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