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Aug 27

Legitimacy, Democracy and Chinese Government

Written by whooper on Friday, August 27th, 2010 at 10:33 am
Filed under:General, Opinion |
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In order to understand any system of government, we need to understand the extent to which government aligns itself with the common good. For example, Fredrick the Great, King of Prussia 1740 to 1786, was an example of a famously benevolent and progressive despot who transformed his country from a relative backwater into an intellectual and military superpower. An interesting question is what mechanisms, if any, protected the Prussians against selfish / incompetent Kings? The answer is brutal, in 18th Century Europe incompetent regimes tended to be annihilated by their neighbours, because in the long run the common good, the flourishing of society, brings economic success and military power. For example, the Ottoman Empire eventually disappeared because its failure to embrace Prussia’s progressive values left it weaker than its European neighbours.

Today Political Scientists talk about the concept of “government legitimacy”. Defining legitimacy is actually quite difficult, but some of the ideas we tend to associate with it include benevolence, competence and popular support.

In fact, the 20th Century American political sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset offers by far the most compelling definition of legitimacy:

A government is legitimate if and only if it is generally believed that the government performs at least as well or better than that all conceivable alternatives. Performance here means proven increases in the public good, especially economic growth.  

Notice that the principles of both competence and consent are integral to this definition.

Lipset also describes this notion of legitimacy as the key source of a government’s stability. As a result, the key to a government’s persistence is either the want of a better alternative, or its ability to generate “performance legitimacy”.

Today Lipset’s theory of legitimacy is not just widely admired, it has achieved essentially axiomatic status.

How does democracy relate to Lipset legitimacy? If it is generally believed that voter choice guarantees optimal policy, then democracy achieves a sort of automatic “democratic legitimacy”. However, generally political scientists, including Lipset, do not believe this to be the case. Instead, the persistence of democracy is still believed to revolve around its ability to generate performance legitimacy.

Until very recently, political scientists generally believed that Western Democracy was economically outperforming all other models of government, demonstrating superior performance legitimacy. If this was ever proven widely incorrect, the decline of Western democracy follows axiomatically. For example: Robert Kagan, foreign-policy analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, has said: “We lived under the illusion that economic success required political liberalisation. All the [democratic] optimism of the 1990s rested on this assumption. Now it appears that the causality is less certain… The old struggle, the one that long predated the Cold War, has returned.”

Readers will probably ask themselves “Is democracy really on such shaky grounds? Is ‘performance legitimacy’ really the only factor? Surely there must be more to it, what about morality?” This is where political science and liberal politics diverge; Lipset’s theory does not make moral assumptions and is very focused on economic growth. Even Francis Fukuyama’s rather populist essay “The End Of History” revolved around the economic out performance of democracy, if you reverse that assumption you reverse the argument. Fukuyama did speculate that mankind’s evolution toward democracy on material grounds has accompanied his evolution toward democracy on philosophical grounds. In other words, democracy is the endpoint of mankind’s search for material progress just as it is the endpoint of mankind’s search for justice and virtue. There is something intuitively appealing about this argument, were democracy not to be the ideal system on material grounds, perhaps we would also find it not to be the ideal system on philosophical grounds.

Now that we have equipped ourselves with the concept of legitimacy, we can analyze the Chinese model of government. In fact the Chinese government essentially targets Lipset legitimacy directly. Instead of democracy, China employs policy experts, today generally scientists and engineers, who optimize policy in order to maximize Lipsettian goals such as economic growth. Although realized increases in living standards are the most important factor in Lipset legitimacy, radical unfamiliar policy changes can jeopardize public confidence in government. In order to maintain Lipset legitimacy, Chinese officials are not allowed to circumvent public support by relying on terror, which is egregious “despotic power”, such as that employed by Joseph Stalin. So Chinese officials must maintain public confidence, they must convince the people that they are delivering and will continue to deliver, that the government is working effectively in the people’s interest. For example: Officials are not allowed to suspend the need for broad public support in the hope that they will regain it at a later date when the wisdom of their radical new policy initiative manifests in greater social utility. One of the ways to overcome this limitation is to experiment with radical policy in a limited geographical area, avoiding endangering broad support, but giving officials a chance to publicly demonstrate the advantages of the policy, allowing them to subsequently extend it without protest.

Improving living standards are the results the Chinese people are looking for, the results by which they primarily judge the legitimacy of their government. Chinese technocrats translate this into a basket of numerical indices which include, for example, a growth index, a green index, a poverty index (further reading: Glasshouse Forum, China Model). The goal of policy makers then becomes the optimization of this basket. Behind the calculation and optimization of policy are vast numbers of academics, economists and statisticians. Chinese technocrats regularly experiment with new policy ideas at the provincial level, and if successful introduce them nationwide. Massive localised infrastructure investments have leveraged the type of economy of scale economics which Paul Krugman won a Nobel Prize describing. Whereas governments in most advanced democracies spend less than eight percent of government revenue on capital investment, this figure is close to fifty percent in China. The creation and incredible expansion of a highly competitive science and engineering focused educational system has also greatly contributed to the economic revolution. Many senior Chinese officials, including President Hu Jintao, have engineering degrees and industry backgrounds. In principle, opinion polls can be used to estimate the utility functions of the populace, allowing scientists to construct the best basket of statistics. Policy making looses all ideological colour, it becomes a purely pragmatic scientific process, a vast economic optimization problem driven by statistics and experimentation.

In summary, at the heart of Chinese Government we have a committee of expert scientists / engineers / economists running policy designed to maximize performance legitimacy constrained by the necessity of maintaining popular support. In the last thirty years these experts have delivered an average annualized GDP growth rate of over 10%, even the Japanese post war economic miracle only managed 8½%. It is an unparalleled achievement, and just as Lipset predicts, Chinese government is consequently hugely popular with the Chinese masses and politically stable.

Further Reading: http://www.theoligarch.com/scientific_development_concept_china_political_philosphy.htm


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346 Responses to “Legitimacy, Democracy and Chinese Government”

  1. Wahaha Says:

    Human beings are greediest animals among animals. If they had only taken what they needed, communism wouldve been an ideal system. But they want more, they want wealth and political power, both of them.

    What they dont realize is that the world is not perfect, you cant have all. I dont think any westerners had realized what they had lost with the political power they had. With 2008 financial crisis, they feel the feeling of powerlessness Chinese people have had about government, only their powerlessness feeling was towards the rich.

    People dont like the feeling of powerlessness, they want power. So, in the long run, (if) when Chinese people are wealth enough, they will want political power. At that time, the only thing that can save CCP is west, not their political system, but their economy. If West cant pull themselves together out of the economic mess, then by Lipset criteria, Chinese people will not consider Western democracy is better than the one-party system.

    and luck for CCP, West is doing that.

  2. Wahaha Says:

    Here is an example to show what westerners had lost with the political power they gained :

    Obama injected hundreds of billions of dollars to stimulus economy, hoped that this money would let banks loan the money to small enterprises, let employers hire people.

    But by human natural, those banks and employers who got money would first save and secure their only businesses first. So you see that the price of banks and financial institutes bounced back, they regained the profits, but they didnt loan the money to people who needed it, they didnt hire more people.

    Is there a way to solve it ? no, because government is not allowed to enter this business, there is no correspondest government agency to do that. To loan the money to the people who needed help, government had to go through the banks. and in this way, the power of government is limited, but people were helpless waiting while the stock market rebounded 50%.

  3. pug_ster Says:

    Good post. Too bad that that many people in Westerners won’t agree with you.

  4. Dragan Says:

    Lipset also predicted economic development leads to democratization.

  5. Arsent Says:

    Westerners value individual “rights” and “freedoms” over collective strength and progress. The kind of pragmatism you describe is why Asia will come out on top.

  6. Otto Kerner Says:

    At first, this article seems (citing Lipset) to be simply be playing a semantic game, defining “legitimacy” as equal to economic development, and thereby defining away the problem. Later, however, we find that “public support” is still a crucial element which is not to be circumvented. The argument then seems to be that legitimacy is caused by public support but economic growth is a major factor, often the predominant one, in maintaining public support. This does not seem objectionable. In fact, it seems a bit ho-hum, as it is basically re-stating the obvious.

    The idea of “performance legitimacy” is based on it being “believed that the government performs at least as well or better than that all practical alternatives”. But “all practical alternatives” is underspecified. I’m sure that I could provide faster improvements to living standards if I ruled China than the current government does. Am I a practical alternative to continued CCP rule? No, I’m afraid I’ll need a somewhat bigger army to seize control of China. Which are the practical alternatives to CCP rule right now? I’m not aware of any. If there are none, than “better than all practical alternatives” doesn’t mean very much.

    “Policy making looses all ideological colour, it becomes a purely scientific process, a vast economic optimization problem driven by statistics and experimentation.” This strikes me as an entirely ideological statement. What you are saying is that a centrally-managed economy, if run by the right kind of experts and scientists, will outperform a free market economy. Unfortunately, since the Western countries seem to be relying less and less on the free market component of their systems, this will never really be put to the test.

  7. Otto Kerner Says:

    “In order to maintain Lipset legitimacy, Chinese officials are not allowed to circumvent public support by relying on terror”

    So, you would agree, then, that Chinese rule in Tibet is not legitimate, right?

  8. whooper Says:

    Otto,

    I have amended the text to “all conceivable alternatives”. “all practical alternatives” was meant to include democracy, despotism, anarchy etc. I do not mean only governments which are practical given CCP power. Sorry I confused you, thank you for pointing this out, I was trying new language and it was a mistake.

    I am not sure how carefully you have thought through your remaining remarks, but I will answer them anyhow. (1) For more about the role of public support etc you should follow the link to the Scientific Development Concept. How could your personal leadership provide faster living standard gains? By sterilization of the unproductive instead of the current one child policy for example? That would not win public support. (2) “will outperform a free market economy”… Anarcho-capitalism is the only free economy, we have democracy. This is a good system if voter choice produces optimal policy – not a good system just because it is democracy under Lipset. In fact, we had something pretty close to Anarcho-capitalism up to the 1930s, it was a terrible failure. (3) Ethnic Tibetans represents a very small proportion of the Chinese population, just as for example native Hawaiians represent in the USA. Lipset applies to the country at large and Tibet, like Hawaii, is clearly regarded as a strategic asset by the majority – unlike for example Scotland which the bulk of the English population might be happy to release. Even given all this, I am not sure what proportion of ethnic Tibetans really think a democracy with the Dalai Lama as President would deliver better standards of living. Ethnic Tibetans in Nepal are in far greater revolt against Indian democracy (Maoist terrorism). I hardly dare get into the topic, but actually the Tibet issue is pretty uninteresting for an intellectual, it is a lot of fluff driven by Dalai Lama New Age popularity in the West. Even that popularity is misplaced, anyone who really knows their Plato from their Confucius can see Tibetan Buddhism is pretty primitive, more or less on a level with Christianity.

  9. Wahaha Says:

    “In order to maintain Lipset legitimacy, Chinese officials are not allowed to circumvent public support by relying on terror”

    So, you would agree, then, that Chinese rule in Tibet is not legitimate, right?
    _________________________________________________________________________

    A “controled” or “manipulated” public support is not public support.

    Otherwise, the dwarf in North Korea enjoys public support.

    So when you talk about public support, you must be sure that every individual of this “public” is knowledgable and capable of making decision for himself.

    as you said in other thread, you dont know.

  10. skc Says:

    This is different. It had never occurred to me to question the legitimacy of the CCP before. Nonetheless, you have defended it here. However, it does raise several questions for me.

    First, by your and Lipset’s metric, it seems that the CCP has demonstrated “performance legitimacy” over the past 30 years. However, the reason why this “30 year” reference is relevant is because many might characterize the CCP as having fallen short of this in her first 30 years. Does that mean that the CCP was illegitimate before 1980? And without the benefit of hindsight to know that she would gain “performance legitimacy” after 1980, should the CCP have been put out of its misery before 1980? Is her current legitimacy, by these standards, predicated by preceding decades of illegitimacy? If so, is there justification for this illegitimacy?

    Second, can a government or a system of governance enjoy an exclusivity of legitimacy? As you stipulate, “legitimacy” is conditional, “only if it is generally believed that the government performs at least as well or better than that all conceivable alternatives”. What if the system does not allow alternatives, as in China under the CCP? And how does such a system identify what is “generally believed” by the populace? This seems to be a glaring shortcoming of the CCP system.

    Third, how does this statement (“Fukuyama did speculate that mankind’s evolution toward democracy on material grounds has accompanied his evolution toward democracy on philosophical grounds.”) justify this one (“There is something intuitively appealing about this argument, were democracy not to be the ideal system on material grounds, perhaps we would also find it not to be the ideal system on philosophical grounds.”)? Even to stipulate that material and philosophical bases accompany each other does not necessarily imply that the absence of one results in the loss of the other. Ultimately, such a decision is within the purview of the purveyors of the system. At least it should be.

    Fourth, your argument is predicated on Lipset’s theory, which as you say is “very focused on economic growth”. “Performance legitimacy” may well be one reasonable metric for legitimacy, but does not speak to it in its entirety. What Lipset’s theory explicitly ignores (ie any shade of morality or “philosophical grounds”) seem to be to be valid metrics which remain unaddressed here.

    I would certainly presume that “improving living standards” is an important criterion for Chinese people in an assessment of legitimacy. However, are there other criteria to which they would aspire? In particular, as today’s “performance legitimacy” hopefully translates to progressive improvement of those very same living standards, might there be greater prominence of, or appetite for, other criteria tomorrow, or the day after that? How is the CCP system equipped to address that (hopefully) eventuality?

    Finally, you’ve made a case that the CCP is scientifically-inclined in its pursuit of “performance legitimacy”. It’s ironic, and a shame, that she doesn’t employ similarly-rigorous scientific methods in her assessment of her true and actual level of “popular support”.

  11. Otto Kerner Says:

    But “all conceivable alternatives” means basically anything. Legitimacy would seem to hinge more on the public’s ability to imagine alternatives than on the actual performance of the government. As for how I would provide faster growth, did you imagine that I think the CCP’s policies are already ideal? I would improve things by implementing my preferred policies, which I prefer because I think they are healthier for the economy. I’m not that impressed with the growth that the current regime has achieved. They have the benefit of a very productive populace. In my opinion, you have to work pretty hard to keep Chinese people from succeeding, at least in the modern era when success just means catching up to the developed world (I don’t mean to say that Chinese people could never develop by themselves, just that having someone to imitate makes it that much easier).

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at by making “free market” an all-or-nothing proposition. Some policy regimes are more free-market oriented than others. I’m also not sure what you mean when you say that “we” (is that China, or the United States?) “had something pretty close to Anarcho-capitalism up to the 1930s”. That hardly seems plausible, either for China or for the U.S. People often seem to mistake the spectacular chaos caused by severe political disruptions with a bona fide attempt to implement some particular radical political platform. This is somewhat true about people’s impressions about Marxism, as well.

  12. Otto Kerner Says:

    wahaha,

    “Otherwise, the dwarf in North Korea enjoys public support.”

    Actually, I think that’s an interesting topic you’ve brought up. As far as I can tell, KJI does enjoy a certain degree of public support in North Korea. Way more than the 0% support he has in the rest of the world. Does this mean his government is legitimate? Which alternatives are conceivable from the perspective of the North Korean public?

  13. Otto Kerner Says:

    whooper,

    Tibetans are very small percentage of the total population of the PRC, but they are the majority in their own region. Why would these rubrics for “legitimacy” apply only to the state as a whole and never to specific regions?

    “Even given all this, I am not sure what proportion of ethnic Tibetans really think a democracy with the Dalai Lama as President would deliver better standards of living.” Maybe they do and maybe they don’t. Do you imagine most people have very well-thought-out opinions on that subject? Tibetans live in a country where they see Sinophone people getting most of the benefit from economic growth. Maybe they look at that and imagine they would be richer without the Hans around. If they do think that, maybe it’s true and maybe it isn’t. I don’t think that’s really the point, though. You seem to be back to implying that economic growth is the only standard for judging political legitimacy. When Japan invaded China in the 1930s, did the Chinese respond with, “This will be bad for the bottom line”?

  14. Ernie Says:

    I think that legitimacy of a government lies with its responsibility to its people. In Canada (where I live), the country was born from ” responsible government”. While it was merely a slogan for self government from Britain, the words do resound with me. People need to know that government acts in a responsible manner, for the greater good. Western countries chose democracy as a form of “responsible government” because they feel that it would give them the power to remove politicians who were not responsive to the needs of the people or act irresponsibly. In China, there is no such power to the people. Local politicians are then able to do as they please, with little regard for edicts from the capital. Hence the cronyism and corruption endemic in local government. While I am not saying that democracy would be good for China, I feel that a lack of recourse for people (e.g. no responsibility or accountability system) will not show it is legitimate in the people’s eyes.

  15. Wahaha Says:

    #14,

    give you an example :

    In a town of 100 families, there was one factory with annual profit 10 million dollars. here are two cases :

    If in China, the whole town owned factory, but the mayor of the town used his power control the distribution of wealth, so he and his family took in 1 million (THE CORRUPTION), and and the remaining 9 millions could be used to help other 99 families.

    If in a western democratic country, the factory would be owned by few families, say, owned by 3 families. Let us say the mayor of the town took in only 200,000 illegally,(which means much less corruption). but how much money could be allocated to help the other 97 families ?

    and the most important : do you think the mayor would offend the 3 families that owned the factory ? No, he wouldnt, otherwise, he wouldnt get the 200,000.

    Such issue wouldnt surface if the other 97 families had decent incomes and few of them were poor.(e.g, developed country), But what if 50 of those 97 families are poor families (developing country)?

  16. Wahaha Says:

    #10,
    I think what whooper trys to say economic performance always is an overwhelmingly important factor in people’s mind in evaluating their government. TRY TO MAKE PEOPLE IGNORE THAT FACTOR IS FOOLISH.

    legitmacy depends on what people want most. As one poster here once said, most chinese now care more about the prosperity of China than individual right. For them, the govenrment have the legitmacy. But that doesnt mean CCP will also enjoy such support in the future. With internent, Chinese know what is going on around the world, therefore, the ECONOMICAL performance of western democracy will be the key.

  17. Wahaha Says:

    Westerners value individual “rights” and “freedoms” over collective strength and progress.
    __________________________________________

    No, that is the result of long-time brainwashing by media (and activitists).

  18. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To #16:
    Whooper is entitled to his opinion, of course. As for what actually constitutes an “overwhelmingly important factor in people’s mind(s) in evaluating their government”, I’d simply ask the people whose opinions matter most.

    I don’t think any given factor needs to be, or ought to be, ignored. However, I don’t think it’s useful to over-emphasize one factor to the exclusion of others. Nor would I assume that the relative importance of various factors remains static over time.

    Furthermore, even if a populace considers their government to be “legitimate” does not mean that they wouldn’t opt for an alternative if one became available for their consideration.

  19. Wukailong Says:

    whooper:

    I read your text about the Scientific Development concept and your summary doesn’t sound right to me. When I read it it sounded more like a mix of Deng Xiaoping theory, Jiang Zemin’s Three Represents and some ideas of what China ought to be like, rather than a summary of the main points. What sources did you use? Anyway, the concept was formally introduced in Hu Jintao’s report to the 17th Party Meeting in 2007, and I’ll quickly go through that to compare it with your summary:

    The background to the concept is that China’s development has been highly uneven. The focus has been mostly on GDP growth which has created social and environmental problems. Four points are brought up as a solution:

    1. The main focus in China is still development, with economic development at the fore. However, the quality of development must be raised.
    2. “Putting people first” – there are several interpretations of this. In the speech this is said to be a continuation of the concept of “serve the people,” but its deeper connotation is one of the Party as representing the whole people. The Party must not become its own interest group apart from the people, and its rule must be for the people and by the people (by more participation and consultation, or “people’s democracy” and “social democracy”).
    3. Sustainable development – One sentence in the speech which sums this up well is “more wealth, better production and a good environment.” It’s obvious this is a reference to consideration of social and environmental factors that the third generation of leaders didn’t consider that much.
    4. Coordination and focusing on all interests – China’s development has not only introduced differences between rich and poor, but also between the state and provincial governments, cities and countryside, as well as various interest groups. Chinese society is getting more and more complex, and the government must consider negotiating between various groups and make sure policies do not excessively serve certain groups as the expense of others.

    To make sure this policy is carried out properly, all existing policy guidelines should be adhered to – the four cardinal principes, reform and opening up, and strengthening the Party. [The four cardinal principles basically describe the current system where the Communist Party has a political monopoly, as well as being Marxist-Leninist in name].

    I compared these points to your summary:

    “(*) A post ideological vision of scientific government driven by pragmatism, experimentation and empirical validation”

    – Not wrong, but this sounds more like Deng Xiaoping theory to me.

    “(*) Maintenance of broad popular support for government, ie Lipset legitimacy, based on performance not democratic participation”

    – Broad popular support is correct. However, this isn’t necessarily coming at the expense of more democratic participation. “Putting people first” is a way of increasing democratic politics without threatening the Party’s grip on power.

    “(*) Transparency, debate and participation in government policy making at the elite academic level”

    – There is no specific provision in Hu Jintao’s speech that this participation must come at the elite level. To me this seems to go against the idea of “putting people first.” I haven’t been able to find these elitist descriptions in the policy documents either. I think this is more of a foreign description of how China ideally should work, rather than description of existing policies or practices.

    (*) Interventionist policy making designed to maximize economic efficiency, social justice and environmental conditions

    – Correct.

    “(*) An emphasis on development, ie future contentment compared to contentment in the here and now”

    – This sounds more like Jiang Zemin’s Three Represents. At least that’s where he alludes to a poem saying we should work for contentment in the future, rather than now.

    “(*) The guidance of society towards advanced values (even Classical Music).”

    – This again sounds more like the Three Represents and its idea of how the Party represents advanced cultural forces.

    Why is this important? Well, I think your conclusions are way too grand for a such a modest proposal. Certainly Hu says that his policies are a continuation of Deng Xiaoping theory and the Three Represents, but the keyword is balance rather than the perfect Platonic society. (This is quite obvious for anyone who’s read their Party materials – China is still a developing country and development gets more and more complex as China moves up the ranks. There is a reason Wen Jiabao often points out that China is still a developing country, even when foreign experts praise the country).

    Personally, I believe you should be looking at Singapore as your perfect society, rather than China. You do mention Singapore in passing, but they fit your description better – and Lee Kuan Yew is more likely to agree with your ideas than anyone else. :)

  20. whooper Says:

    Wukailong,

    Thanks for your comments. I have decided I better add some more detail to the article. I will get around to this over the next week or two and then email you for feedback.

    Specifically I clearly need to talk about transparency at the elite level.

    Briefly: Consider SARS for example. I think Hu realized that too little transparency hampered response and became a major problem. I think his scientific development concept is very much about modernization by transparency, decision making structures, also rule of law etc. Sure they talk about democracy and grassroots participation, and they are experimenting with this stuff, but the really important stuff is:

    “[to ensure that power entrusted by the people is always exercised in their interests] power must be exercised in the sunshine. … “

    “laws and rules of procedure… open administrative system … transparency in government … tightening oversight … improve the systems of inquiries, accountability….”

    “better use of human resources [policy experts]…”

    “we will develop philosophy and social sciences [and] encourage people working in these fields to serve as a think tank for the cause of the Party…”

    all from: http://www.china.org.cn/english/congress/229611.htm#7

    Now I know I need to go into this in more detail, that’s why feedback is so great. I think it was a big mistake not to mention democracy at all since I think people are getting confused about transparency and rationality in the Weber sense, which is a vital part of modernity taking place on the elite level, and popular democracy which is a traditionalist tool for socialist legitimacy by the proletariat or conservative legitimacy by the bourgeoisie.

    So although the scientific development concept mentions both the elite and the grassroots, elite democracy / Weber Legitimacy is by far the more important essence. You complain that elite power is not possible under grassroots power, but this is certainly not Hu’s intention demonstrated by his guidence discussion. Although you can say I am being a little speculative here, look at the pace of change, where is the evidence on the ground that grass roots democracy is a vital part of the scientific development conept? The evidence for consensual scientific expert decision making is however compelling.

    Going into more detail on the conflict between openess and paternalism is fascinating stuff. SARS was about lack of transparancy at the elite level, but the information would have spread down, creating an impact on the masses. The problem is that emotional responses are impossible to control and endanger paternalistic idealism. Why? Even though the masses are not able to embrace rationalitly, so allowing an emotional response is not a bad thing in itself, they should kept in a positive emotional state, so exposing them to stuff that is going to make them fly around like chickens is a problem. Other crisis examples including Milk, Earthquake are almost pure emotional issues which simply can get out of hand if you try to hide them. But go too far down the open route and you have emotional instability and a government hostage to pointless emotional responses such as we see in Obama handling of the BP crisis. What positive emotional response do you need to create in the masses in response to BP? Need for action on climate change and coming together of society – not anger and helplessness. In the old days they would have suppressed the news, now Hu is thinking about going the distance on guidence. So the Scientific Development Concept embrace of democracy and transparancy goes hand in hand with greater paternalism – not what you would think if you missed the subtitles of the debate or failed to read Hu’s statements carefully. Of course, the downfall of the Western World is precisely the increase in openness (due to internet etc) combined with the lack of government guidence turning the masses first in chickens and then into psychopaths.

    William

  21. S.K. Cheung Says:

    It is certainly true that “democracy” itself can’t help with making decisions of any sort, be they simple or complex, unless you’re talking about direct democracy. However, democracy to me isn’t about the act of making decisions themselves, but serves as a system for putting people into positions where they can make them. In a democracy, transparency helps to inform people in their decision of who should represent them in making government decisions.

    But in the CCP system, what would transparency, even if present, provide? If anything, in the CCP, it seems to me that transparency and accountability at any given level is there for the benefit of those higher up in the pecking order, rather than for those lower on the totem pole.

    Finally, why is there a “need to guide the masses paternalistically” anyhow?

  22. Wahaha Says:

    SKC,

    My feeling is that we were not born on the same planet. So let me first make sure we share the same common sense by an example :

    A student, a died hard democratic party member, graduated from Harvard in 2005 after 4 years. The total cost was about $170,000, he paid 70,000 of it by working part time and help of his parents, and paid the remaining $100,000 by loan.

    After graduation, he couldnt find a job for 6 months. Finally, he was offered a job of $33,000 a year. WITHOUT CHOICE, he accepted the offer. Of course he had trouble paying back the loan.

    One day, he got an interview from an employer who was a died hard republic. In the interview, the student saw the pictures that the employer had with Bush, Reagan, etc. Then, at the end of interview, the employer asked him how he thought of Bush.

    NOW, THE STUDENT FULLY UNDERSTOOD THE SITUATION HE WAS IN, HE KNEW THE RESULT OF HIS CHOICE OF ANSWER.

    Tell me what you guess his answer would be if he was offered $34,000.

    Tell me what you guess his answer would be if he was offered $45,000.

  23. S.K Cheung Says:

    To 21:
    If one thing is clear, it’s that your “examples” and “common sense” do not share the same time-space continuum.

    As usual, I have no idea what your “example” is supposed to exemplify. But surely it could’ve been delivered without the laborious wind-up. And it’s beyond human comprehension as to how it relates to the topic of the thread.

  24. Wahaha Says:

    2. “Putting people first” – there are several interpretations of this. In the speech this is said to be a continuation of the concept of “serve the people,” but its deeper connotation is one of the Party as representing the whole people. The Party must not become its own interest group apart from the people, and its rule must be for the people and by the people (by more participation and consultation, or “people’s democracy” and “social democracy”).
    ________________________________________________________

    WKL,

    There is no party in human history that is “of the people, by the people and for the people”, that is impossible.

    The only way that ordinary people feel “the party is of the people” is that there is abundant wealth and resource that make vast majority of people happy.

    The structure of a society is never like sea level, it is always like a chain, because some people love to be in control, love to be on top of the chain.

  25. whooper Says:

    “The Party must not become its own interest group apart from the people, and its rule must be for the people and by the people – which entails more participation and people’s democracy.”

    “For the people” means Legitimacy.

    Legitimacy is Lipset performance as discussed.

    This is what China has and democracy lacks. Democracy does not serve the people’s interest. It creates poverty, and it creates immorality.

    Do you want think that just becuase India is a democracy, that the people decide, that is serves the people as well as China? Only an insane person would belive that.

    By the way I don’t like the comments about chains. Sure it is not sea level, but the truth is every good man wears chains, from the top to the bottom. We all have responsibility, we live life for the good of our family, our country etc. Chains are universal, in the clouds have chains too, but the wise man welcomes them.

  26. Wukailong Says:

    @Wahaha (#23), whooper (#24): It seems you’re basically saying the same thing – the party gets its legitimacy from the way it’s governed China the last 30 years. I don’t disagree with that. However, you might have noticed that policy developments since Jiang Zemin have slowly been going away from pure economic development (“abundant wealth and resource”) to solving conflicts between different interest groups.

    My main interest is the way the Chinese government will cope with an increasingly complex society in terms of income distribution and lifestyle. This, together with corruption, is one of the main problems facing the party today.

  27. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To #23:
    “There is no party in human history that is “of the people, by the people and for the people”, that is impossible.”
    —for once, we agree perfectly. And it’s precisely for the reason you stated above whereby it doesn’t fly when the party and the political system are one and the same, as it is with the CCP.

    To #24:
    ““For the people” means Legitimacy.”
    —that phrase seems to be from an excerpt of Hu’s speech that WKL had summarized. So essentially, Hu states that “its rule must be (‘legitimate’)”. That sounds fine as a mission statement, or as a stated goal. Whether that’s been achieved yet is another story.

    “Legitimacy is Lipset performance as discussed.”
    —but it seems to me that “performance legitimacy” is at best one aspect of ‘legitimacy’. And in China’s case, even this performance legitimacy has only been around for the last 30 years, so it begs the question of how the CCP in China would’ve been characterized by this metric prior to 1980.

    No doubt that China’s economic performance in the last 30 years has been spectacular. But is that causally related to the CCP’s political system, or is that merely an association/coincidental.? It seems to me to have more to do with the adoption of a free market economy under Deng, and less to do with one-party authoritarianism. However, economic performance as a whole notwithstanding, there is nonetheless significant disparity in how well the system has served some people’s interests as opposed to others.

  28. whooper Says:

    S.K. Cheung: “but it seems to me that performance legitimacy is at best one aspect of legitimacy.”

    The point of the article is how everyone makes this mistake, becuase they are moralists not scientists, peasants not elite, women not men. Remember Deng Xiaoping: “I don’t care if it’s a white cat or a black cat. If it catches mice it is a good cat.” You can complain that “performance” needs to be more than growth, that a good cat must do more than catch mice, but you can not question “performace” as the goal unless your turn from science to morality.

    Wukailong,

    Yes of course we were saying the same thing. I was just trying to phrase it in a more more ‘mathematical’ way.

    You are right that pure growth goals are expanding since Zemin, but Lipset mainly mentions mostly growth. So maybe Lipset was a little old fashioned, or perhaps he was just being a realist. Perhaps eventually it mostly comes down to growth and all the hype about non-growth goals really just means sustainable growth goals. If China don’t think about the enviroment everyone is going to die and the growth is going to stop.

    Corruption is not an issue solved by democracy. India is totally corrupt, but Singapore has no corruption. Corrution takes time, it involes building up a culture of excellence in state officials, especially junior officials. Lipset is as anti corrution as Weber, becuase corruption is one of the major growth destroying factors.

    Equality is more interesting. Inequality makes democracy unstable, although it was less of an issue in traditional Monarchy. But the important point is that inequality is NOT a pure growth negative like corrution. To understand inequality we need to measure the social utility of the inequality. Look at China’s growth strategy, it has been built on localized investment, that is inequality which promotes growth. But there are other types of inequality. Inequality can also be useless and self perpetuating, even inhibiting. I think these inequality questions are best solved by science. I think China is doing a pretty good job right now, State Owned Enterprise is a big game changer. The major mistake China made, which it needs to reverse, is private property. This is the big test of how wise China is.

  29. S.K. Cheung Says:

    “but you can not question “performace” as the goal”
    —I’d say that you can’t question performance as A goal, rather than THE goal. But in your phrasing, I’d question “economic performance” as THE (one and only) goal. Likewise, i’d agree with Deng’s feelings towards cats, assuming I have a rodent problem…but I don’t, and I have a cat…so my cat must be good for something other than as a replacement for a mousetrap.

    If we’re going to talk science, where is the proof of causation of the CCP package (in its entirety) being responsible for this observed performance? I’d stipulate that the economic performance resulted from the CCP’s economic policy. Could a similar economic policy have played out without some of the other CCP accoutrements? No one knows. But I would imagine that, in moving forward, some people might want to find out.

  30. whooper Says:

    SK Cheung – “It is not about performace”

    You are making a terrbile mistake. Science is about objectivity. Science is about deciding what the cat is supposed to do and seeing if it actually does it. By abandoning performance you are talking morality / ideology / dogma / emotion.

    Think about Dengs words carefully. Moralists talk about black and white cats, they don’t focus on what the cat actually does. What the scientist does, ie give up on moralism, is what moralists call evil. But what the moralist does, ie give up on pragmatism, is what the scientist calls wrong.

    The moralist says the people must decide so let them vote. They do that becuase they do not think skill matters, government is moral. They do not think scientists can work in their interests, they believe all government is corrupt, they believe morality solves every issue. The scientists says measure what the people need and give it to them. If they choose for themselves they will starve.

    This is difference between Christanity and Rationality, between the uneducated and the educated, between the masses and the elite, between the past and the future, between the West and the East.

  31. Wahaha Says:

    My main interest is the way the Chinese government will cope with an increasingly complex society in terms of income distribution and lifestyle. This, together with corruption, is one of the main problems facing the party today.
    __________________________________

    WKL,

    There is no Mendela in China.

    There is no Walesa in China.

    There is no Kim Dae-jung in China.

    There is no Chen Shuibian in China.

    Without a widely respected leader, anti-government force in China is hopeless against CCP, every incident or riot or whatever will be isolated incident.

    and there is no opposite force in China that is INTELLIGENCE ENOUGH to compete with CCP, let alone the size.

    Please remember : Only politicians, activitists, media and writers care politics, that is way they can elevate their social status.

    For vast majority of people, they dont care politics. Although they dont like the corruption, they have to be convinced that other system would give them what they want to overthrow the current government.

    There was a poll that 86% of Chinese felt good about the future of China, and that was before the 2008 market crash.

    Let me put this way : West is now in financial crisis, can it be solved ? sure it can be solved, but to solve it, government needs sacrifice from people.

    Chinese government has such huge power to force people to sacrifice. Imagine in 1980s when the system of Iron bowl was abandoned, how much power must a government possess to accomplish that ? If there is crisis in China, CCP will do the same.

    That is why I said that the future of democracy in China depends on the economic situation in West.

  32. Otto Kerner Says:

    That strikes me as quite mixed up. What proportion of scientists do you think are aware that they have abandoned morality by becoming scientists? Scientific facts are one thing, and moral or ethical judgments are another. They are orthogonal, not contrary.

  33. whooper Says:

    Of course that’s what most people think. That morality is orthogonal. That government is about morality as much as science. That government decisions are not always rational, they are sometimes moral. That Government legitimacy is not only about logic, it’s also about morality.

    However, I think when scientists practice science they leave their morality outside the laboratory. Likewise political scientists. Likewise good technocrats.

    Morality, dogma, ideology are in my opinion something that people feel when they are not experts in a subject, but want to express an opinion on it anyway.

    I am not alone in claiming Morality is wrong and Rationality is right. Check the Age Of Enlightenment, or Plato, or Zhu Xi.

    ————————

    For example: On The French Revolution

    The Age of Enlightenment / Age Of Reason inspired the French Revolution. The English politician Edmund Burke, who is now considered to be the founder of political Conservatism, not only criticised the French Revolution, he correctly predicted that it would end in disaster. Burke had three essential arguments, one rational, two anti-rational. His rational argument was pragmatic, he believed the revolution was too heavily driven by radical, untested, and idealistic metaphysical arguments. He said: “What is the use of discussing a man’s abstract right to food or to medicine? The question is upon the method of procuring and administering them.” This line of reason advocates pragmatism. It is, of course, the key element of Deng Xiaoping Theory, and it was, of course, an essence the French Revolution sadly missed. Burke’s other two arguments were intrinsically anti-enlightenment. He rejected Hobbes’s argument that politics can be reduced to a deductive system akin to mathematics, he claimed the complexities of human society are too great, and human intellect is too limited. Consequently he advised against radically challenging the accumulated behavioural inheritance of the ages. Burke also rejected the cold rationality of Rousseau and Voltaire, and described himself a believer in “human heart-based” government which values man’s instinctive moral prejudices.

  34. Wukailong Says:

    But can women be scientists, in line of the above?

  35. Otto Kerner Says:

    whooper,

    Morality is irrelevant when one is describing what is. For moral people, morality becomes relevant when deciding what ought to be. So, naturally, a scientist leaves morality outside the the laboratory when attempting to describe reality as it is. Likewise, a political scientist can ignore his or her own personal morality when attempting to describe the political world as it is, although the morality, if any, of the subjects still has to be understood. On the other hand, moral concerns could be relevant if we are talking about suggested political policies, i.e. what the political world ought to be like. For instance, a friend of my father’s is involved with a radical environmentalist group that proposes a much smaller world population. One would expect to at least have considered the moral implications of mass human death.

  36. whooper Says:

    Wukailong, I was dropping in some yin and yang to make it interesting. Morality is Yin, Rationality is Yang. Confucianism explains that Morality has a vital place in society. Yet everyone can also achieve a degree rationality in some parts of their life. By the way, a women is not 100% Yin, not a man 100% Yang. Women are not 100% irrational, men are not 100% unemotional.

    What is supposed to happen is that the Yang, the Rational, is supposed to infect the Yin, Morality, with its wisdom. The peasants can not understand the dilemmas of government, but the rational elite provides them with dogma, which they work with. Because dogma is the opposite of rationality, it is not true, but it is appropriate.

    Otto, have a think on it. You have all you need to understand what I am talking about. You say science is in the now and morality in the future – is this your idea or a famous one? If its famous I would like to think about it more. Deng puts it another way – don’t try to look into the future – cross the rive by feeling for the stones. That is move slowly pragmatically with utility increasing. There is no need for great assumptions, the vision is found in the rear view mirror.

  37. S.K. Cheung Says:

    #29, 31, and 34:
    “SK Cheung – “It is not about performace””
    —this thread has been going on for over a week, and admittedly I can’t recall exactly what I have said and haven’t said. But i quickly scanned my comments on this thread to date, and can’t find where I supposedly said the phrase you’ve apparently attributed to me in quotes.

    Nevertheless, to respond to that quote, (a) it is not ALL about performance, though “performance” should be one metric in assessing whatever it is we’re talking about; and (b) there is more than one aspect to “performance”. Economic performance is certainly one such aspect, and I’m not dismissing its importance. But I wonder why you’re so quick to dismiss any other possible metric of performance, and so quick to dismiss anything beyond “performance”. It would seem that, in overarching attempts to create a model to justify the CCP’s existence/legitimacy, you feel you have no choice but to narrow the focus, knowing full well that to include any other metric starts to cast the CCP in a less flattering light. However, you’re also quick to invoke the concept of science. I happen to be very familiar with the scientific method as well. Usually, that involves observation PRIOR to drawing conclusions. It seems you’ve started with a conclusion, and are hell-bent to only consider the observations that fit those pre-ordained conclusions. You seem to be practicing science in reverse.

    “Science is about deciding what the cat is supposed to do and seeing if it actually does it.”
    —wrong again. Science is about postulating what the cat might do, then observing to see if the cat actually does it, resulting in a decision on whether to accept or reject that initial hypothesis.
    And even in your version of “science”, you have to keep an open mind to the possibility that the cat might just be capable of doing more than one thing. Hence the need for randomization, controls, blinding, and so forth. All of which takes Deng’s initial quote about “cats” farther and farther away from science. And that seems to be about where you’re at. In fact, your reliance on the pearls of wisdom distilled from Deng’s various quotes would seem to make your thinking more religious than rational, which is more than a little ironic.

    “By abandoning performance”
    —like I said, no need to abandon performance. But it might be time for you to abandon the blinkers, and broaden your scope a little bit.

    “The moralist says the people must decide so let them vote. They do that becuase they do not think skill matters, ”
    —this is a common fallacy. People in democracies aren’t rampantly denying the need for “skill”. But they’re given the opportunity to judge who has it. I don’t think people in democracies are asking to personally run the business of government themselves, contrary to what some people tend to suggest.

    “They do not think scientists can work in their interests,”
    —what is your basis for saying that? As a counterpoint, are you suggesting that “all” scientists can work in the people’s interests? If not, then at best (or worst), some scientists can work in the people’s interests. So who gets to decide which “scientists” might fit the bill? Hey, how about the people whose interests are at stake? Novel concept (for CCP China at least), eh?

    “I think when scientists practice science they leave their morality outside the laboratory. Likewise political scientists.”
    —first off, political scientists aren’t the same as scientists, just as PhD’s aren’t the same as medical doctors. Second, science is about isolating a variable, eliminating confounders, developing a hypothesis, and testing it with controls in place, then observing the outcomes and reaching conclusions. How does that mesh with the work of government? The more you wax on about science, the less you seem to actually know about it, it seems to me.

    “I am not alone in claiming Morality is wrong”
    —oh dear. Here’s to hoping that you will forever remain only within the anonymity of the internet, so as not to cause too much damage IRL.

    “the vision is found in the rear view mirror.”
    —isn’t it ironic, then, that any prospectus of any investment instrument is quick to remind potential investors that past performance is not a guarantee of future performance. Isn’t it also ironic that, if your relied solely on the rear view mirror, one of these days you’ll miss something in your blind spot. I’d say you need to shoulder-check more than the average bear.

  38. whooper Says:

    S.K. Cheung “But I wonder why you’re so quick to dismiss any other possible metric of performance, and so quick to dismiss anything beyond performance”.

    I am not dismissing any other performance metrics, you misunderstand. The performance metrics are not the problem, the really important point which evenyone except Wukailong is failing to get is:

    THERE IS NOTHING BEYOND PERFORMANCE

    Just like the black and white cat, performance is everything.

    Now I will give yet another example:

    ———————

    Lionel Robbins’ 1932 “Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science” sought to distinguish between the empirical rationality of modern economics and the more ideological assumptions of the past. The British mathematician turned economist John Maynard Keynes was spearheading the revolution in economic thinking at this time, today we think of him as the father of modern macroeconomics. Keynes revolutionised macroeconomics by introducing new levels of mathematical rigour. In the 1920s and 1930s his analysis of data and new methods overturned many long held assumptions. The arrival of the great depression further enhanced his reputation.

    One of the key ideas in Robbins’ 1932 essay defining economic science is the concept of neutrality between ends except as pertains to utility. For example, the popular prevailing theories at that time mostly held that free markets would automatically provide full employment as long as workers were flexible in their wage demands. Keynes overturned this and demonstrated how inefficiencies could develop within free markets which only government interventions could correct. Economic scientists were forced to embrace these new Keynesian ends, because of their proven higher utility, and regardless of their controversial conflict with prevailing political or moral ideology.

    ——————

    Do you understand?

    Neutrality between ends except as pertains to utility…

    Neutrality between cats except as pertains to dead mice…

    Neutrality between Governments except as pertains to performance…

    This is how we define rationality and science as opposed to morality and ideology…

    This is why Lipset is AXIOMATIC, any other defintion is not science!!!

  39. whooper Says:

    Look I am going to help you democractic die hards out so we can have a more rational debate. If you want to champion democracy you have to come at it another way:

    Winston Churchill wrote “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried”.

    You have to argue: OK so China is more legitimate with its current form of governent today than if it were a democracy. But will it last? By what mechanism can China’s government change if it stops delivering in the future. This is Churchill’s point, sure it looks great for a while, but how sustainable is it? Democracy is a necessary evil.

  40. Steve Says:

    @ whooper: I have having some difficulty finding the Lipset quotes you used in his original texts. Could you please footnote them? I’d like to read them in context. Thanks.

  41. whooper Says:

    They are not his exact words. I used to use the words of Professor Shaoguang Wang who describes Lipset as “A government is legitimate if no better feasible policy exists”. “The general belief that this holds is what prevents popular revolt”.

    I change the words around to see what works. The principle is obvious: the general belief that utility is maximized.

    By the way you can see a good video on all this at the glasshouseforum.org “Is there a china model”.

  42. Wukailong Says:

    @Wahaha (#31): “WKL,

    There is no Mendela in China.

    There is no Walesa in China.

    There is no Kim Dae-jung in China.

    There is no Chen Shuibian in China.

    Without a widely respected leader, anti-government force in China is hopeless against CCP, every incident or riot or whatever will be isolated incident.”

    I didn’t talk about “anti-government forces.” I didn’t even talk about democratization. What I discussed were structural problems the CCP is having, and these are problems they acknowledge in their own publications and policy papers, which I read because I’m interested in Chinese politics. Also, your viewpoint about China is probably 10-15 years old because from what I understand, you’re living in the US, and you’ve been there for quite some time.

    @whooper: “Corruption is not an issue solved by democracy. India is totally corrupt, but Singapore has no corruption. Corrution takes time, it involes building up a culture of excellence in state officials, especially junior officials. Lipset is as anti corrution as Weber, becuase corruption is one of the major growth destroying factors.”

    I didn’t say it was solved by democracy. You might have assumed that that’s what I thought, but corruption is an acknowledged problem in the party and it’s in almost all policy documents.

    It seems in these discussions it’s quite common to assume that everyone who criticizes or asks for information hold absolutely the opposite viewpoint, and then argue against that. Can everyone please try to narrow their attention to what is actually written? Thanks.

  43. Wahaha Says:

    WKL,

    Every system has some kinds of issues unless vast majority of people enjoy worry-free lives.

    Chinese people know the problem in the system : the corruption. (there was a poll in China, the #1 problem in China people concern is corruption.)

    but still, more than 86% felt good about the future in China.

    When the alternative is not attractive, CCP doesnt have to come up with a perfect solution.

  44. Wukailong Says:

    I’m going to be gone for a couple of days, so this is my last post until next week.

    Wahaha, all I’ve been mentioning is the official line of the CCP and the problems they agree on (which I also happen to agree on) – corruption and managing a more and more complex society. If the government rests on its laurels it’s going to have serious problems a decade ahead. How to manage conflicts between interest groups is going to be the new thing ahead. The Scientific Development concept and Harmonious Society are the first policy programs to deal with this, but there’s going to be more.

    I guess the best way to put it, so as to make everyone understand where I’m heading, is this: in the year 2020, China is going to be an even more plural society than today, with more social stratification and an urbanization rate of over 60%. That means that its basic character of a mostly agricultural society is going to be history. How does the party and the government “move with the times” (与时俱进) to accommodate this? As a hint to the future, don’t be so fast to write off “radical” solutions – no one imagined the Three Represents before Jiang Zemin proposed it.

  45. S.K. Cheung Says:

    “THERE IS NOTHING BEYOND PERFORMANCE”
    —okay, clearly my attempts at getting through to you are not working. So let’s try another approach. What is “performance”? After you provide whatever answer you care to provide, consider whether there might be other forms of “performance”. Once you accomplish that, then you may be at the point of possibly seeing the light.

    “Neutrality between Governments except as pertains to performance…”
    —the answer you provide above might also be useful here. And here’s the other thing…who is the judge of this utility? Or of this performance? As I already suggested earlier, I don’t have mice…so it would be more important for me that my cat is cuddly, doesn’t stink, and not have ringworm. A cat who’s only usefulness is catching mice, in a house with none, is a fairly useless cat. Is that difficult to grasp? If your governments are helmed by robots and have as their subjects a bunch of numbers and Keynesian odds, then maybe your argument flies. But when those governments are run by people, who propose to subjugate other people, then it seems not a difficult reality to grasp that your metrics for performance may not align with someone else’s, and that theirs may be as important to them as yours are to you.

    Your narrow-minded conception of “performance” seems to constitute your own unique ideology. And your repeated misconceptions about and misrepresentations of science should to hard to miss for discerning readers.

    “OK so China is more legitimate with its current form of governent today than if it were a democracy.”
    —this is a completely unfounded premise. China’s ECONOMIC progress today legitimizes her ECONOMIC policies initiated 30 years ago. A true CCP apologist would have to justify that these economic policies resulted in such economic progress only in the environment of a one-party authoritarian regime. If those economic policies would’ve allowed China to flourish economically even in a different political environment, then the CCP has already been an unnecessary evil for 30 years, and counting. Again, there are many ways to look at issues. You seem very regimented in your one and only way, possibly owing to the need to support your pre-determined conclusions.

    BTW, you like to focus on these past 30 years of apparent legitimacy. What about those first 30 years of, in the face of “THERE IS NOTHING BEYOND PERFORMANCE”, apparent illegitimacy?

  46. whooper Says:

    Wukailong and others,

    Thanks for commenting on this thread. I have been steadily updating the major article on my web site to take account of this discussion. Unfortunately it’s even longer now. Maybe a waste of time, but it is interesting and perhaps I will write a book one day.

    http://www.theoligarch.com/scientific_development_concept_china_political_philosphy.htm

  47. whooper Says:

    Wukailong, on inequality yea its a huge issue. My dream is that China goes non-consumerist. Japan and Korea and other blew up in property speculation and consumer booms. China needs to go the Singapore route of state owned and built housing. My dream is that the state provides most of the essentials of life, so income becomes less important. I wish I lived in China, living in the dying rotten West is very sad, no matter how much money one has.

  48. S.K. Cheung Says:

    “I wish I lived in China”
    —and rightfully so, the better to enjoy the fruits of that single-minded performance you admire. Since you apparently have little time for morality, you may feel right at home there.

    “My dream is that the state provides most of the essentials of life, so income becomes less important”
    —that sounds almost like communism. In Churchill’s vernacular, I think that’s already been tried.

  49. Andrea Says:

    The above ideas can be traced back to a Confucian concept: “The sovereign rules through the heaven, the earth, and the people.” The Chinese had thousands of years of tradition with przeprowadzki warszawa these elements in their political systems, and of all the great ancient cultures, China is unique in having survived with recognizable continuity.The foundation of majority rule alone is not sufficient to provide good governance.

  50. UFQ Says:

    I’m afraid upholding Sin-ka-pore (proper pronunciation) as a role model for public-housing catering to ordinary working people is way off the mark. The state capitalist ruling party have been using the slogan of “home for all” to lock the life-saving (in the form of a monthly mandatory 20% contribution of an employee’s salary to his/her Central Provident Fund/CPF account) of all working citizen/PR into their self-paid prison call home which most ordinary working citizen/pr breadwinners have to slave between 20 to 30 years to pay up. This so-call home is tightly regulated by the Housing and Development Board/HDB whose authority must be sought if any HDB flat leasee-owner wants sell his/her property after having satisfied a minimum occupation period of five years. Flat leasee-owners must also sought HDB approval to rent out their property provided they can satisfy certain HDB-set rules and regulations.

    In fact, the price of a brand new HDB flat carrying a maximum 99-year leasehold is probably the highest in the world, for example: a 40 sq. m 1-bedroom flat with kitchen and a living room costs at least 450,000 Rmb on the open market even if there may be less than 65 years left in its 99-years leasehold. It’s basically a consciously worked out ponzi scheme for the state capitalist rulers to hang onto their stranglehold on the CPF (Central Provident Fund) of most ordinary working people in Sinkapore. With recent wave-like influx of qualified citizenship seeking young people from China and India, HDB has become the main beneficiary and manipulator of a thriving open market it has set up for HDB flats. Even Wall Street is no longer as profitable as the HDB manipulated open flat market; this is a well known fact to most working citizens living in their self-paid prison call home in Sinkapore.

  51. whooper Says:

    UFQ: This bit that worries me most is the 99 year lease. That means that if demand increases, say a lot of people come to Singapore, the value of property rises, and the owner of the house can sell it and make a profit. The owner has to get permission to sell, and he can’t buys and sell houses regularly because of the five year ownership rules, but he can still walk away with a large profit or pass that profit on to his children.

    What social utility does that profit serve? Why are the leases 99 years in length? Much better to rent the property, or give it out a 25 year lease, or a lifetime lease. The lease should be as short as possible to prevent land speculation profits passing into private hands, yet at the same time long enough to allow the private party to develop his property.

    The goal must to prevent any land appreciation profits falling into private hands. China right now is facing disaster as a result of its overly long 70 year lease terms. Most amazingly people are treating treating these leases as if they are freehold, and the pressure will be on the government to consider them as such. But that would be the end of the world.

  52. whooper Says:

    In Singapore, in which 85% of people live in government housing, why are the government properties not given on a lifetime lease, or for a couple a lease which eqpires when they are both dead? Furthermore, when the person sells the property he should be forced to sell through the governemnt, and have the choice of either upgrading to a new government property, or having the reamining portion of his lease back (adjusted for interest). Futhermore, if he wants to rent the propert, he should only be allowed to rent to the government. They pay him rent not according to the open market value, but rather according to the price he paid for the lease.

    This adove described system seems like the most economicially effective to me.

  53. UFQ Says:

    As for upholding Sinkapore as a model for successful governance, a recent dissident news website exposes the uneveness of wealth distribution by stressing the findings of a research article which pointed out that the actual purchasing power of ordinary working citizens and residents in the banana republic is about the same as those in Kuala Lumpur given the fact that their nominal per-capita income is next only to Japan in Asia. The actual purchasing power of residents in Beijing and HK is higher than those in Sinkapore. This website aptly summarized such evenness in income distribution as “1st world per-capita income but 3rd world purchasing power”.

    Lee Kuan Yew and in recent year, along with some of his family members have been running the show in Sinkapore since he came to power in 1959. He’s the real emperor not so far behind the scene while his son, Hsien Loong is formally king. His law firm, Lee&Lee is so rich and powerful that police are known to have taken orders from Lee&Lee lawyers; two of the oldest Chinese banks, OCBC and OUB in Sinkapore were bought over by the Lee clan along with a long-time brandname company, Fraser & Neave Ltd of which Lee’s younger son, Hsien Yang has become the company Chairman. Lee has been ruling Sinkapore like it’s his personal kingdom. None of the nine sultans in Malaysia ever came close to ruling Malaysia the way Lee has been doing. In fact, it was Mahathir who abolish the last vestiges of feudal monarchial power in the early 1990s by stripping them of their command over the Royal Malay Regiments putting these armed units under the command of the Malaysian
    Federal Army answerable to the Federal Parliament and the cabinent. Btw, Lee made sure that both his sons were made brigadier generals before they left their military tenure to achieve fame and fortune in politics for the elder boy and in business for his younger boy.

    If the major central banks and stock markets in this capitalist driven world market were to crash in the foreseeable future, people in Malaysian still have enough land and natural resources to produce the neccesities in life to survive. But for the people in Sinkapore, those who are able to maintain close family ties with their kinfolks in Malaysia, Indonesia, China, India and other parts of Asia would move out; this would be the third time the people of Tumasik or Temasek, as Sinkapore was known when it was ruled by Sumatran feudal princes on two previous occasions, abandon the island kingdom. During a previous reccession in the 1980s, Lee Kuan Yew has openly questioned the long-term viability of his island kingdom. He’d even suggested then remerging with Malaysia; I think if a thriving HK and Macau can be eventually reabsorped into the China Mainland within perhaps another 10 to 20 years, it will be even easier for a leaner and emptied-out Sinkapore to be remerged with the Malaysian hinterland.
    Thanks for hearing me out.

  54. Rhan Says:

    UFQ / whooper

    I dislike how LKY treated his political opponent (used to be his comrade I believe), his decision to close Nanyang University and his very Anglophile / opportunistic manner, and finally, his authoritarian ruling and that Lee dynasty. However, I think most of us can’t deny how he successfully developed Singapore in term of economy and modernization.

    UFQ, Singapore is a city state that is without much resources, hence your third paragraph clearly draft out the reason why Singaporean continue to support LKY and his PAP, and if I may add, the threat of surrounding by Muslim country is another grounds (a propaganda?) of that unqualified supports (similarly America containment policy actually help to strengthen CCP rule).

    Your second paragraph is well known, and base on Singapore bragging of their meritocracy policy, it seems like LKY sperm capable to produce all the best brain of that island.

    But I disagree with your first paragraph on purchasing power. Most people spend a large chunk of our income on house and car, and I suppose we don’t expect a country that has less land to provide a “decent” pricing on both, knowing that Singapore has one of the most efficient public transportation of the world. As for other sundries and food, Singaporean enjoys the best in term of quality and variety. And don’t forget their strong Singapore dollar.

  55. Wahaha Says:

    I guess the best way to put it, so as to make everyone understand where I’m heading, is this: in the year 2020, China is going to be an even more plural society than today, with more social stratification and an urbanization rate of over 60%. That means that its basic character of a mostly agricultural society is going to be history. How does the party and the government “move with the times” (与时俱进) to accommodate this? As a hint to the future, don’t be so fast to write off “radical” solutions – no one imagined the Three Represents before Jiang Zemin proposed it
    _______________________________________________

    WKL,

    To address this issue, we should first talk about the credibility of government. There are two sources government gains credibility : one is what whooper mentioned, the other is from media,blogers, writers and activitists.

    Currently the economic situation in China is better than that in West, so government enjoys widespread support though corruption issue is serious. ( as 85+% feels confidence about the future.)

    Please note that media, blogers and activitists almost NEVER talk good about government, because SUPPRESSING GOVERNMENT is the way they gain social status, they want to be THE ONE who set moral standard in society; they want to be THE ONE in the group of decision-making, either in politics or economics.

    ( As I said before, the so-called freedom of speech, 99% is for those journalists and activitists, etc. If a journalist has some thought, he can deliver to the public directly; for a common person, his voice is heard by public ONLY when some journalists or activitists find his voice valuable to them.)

    In China, under CCP, media, journalists, bloggers, writers and activitists will NEVER be happy because they cant infer government’s decisions, which makes them feel powerless. So What do they do ? they collect all the “poop” that originally scatter around ( it is not hard, as there are 1.3 billion people.), put them together, and try to convince people that this is what they get from this government.

    So the only way CCP can stay afloat is that the economic perform under them is better than that in West. There is not much CCP can do no matter hard they try (assume they try to maintain the monopoly of power.), cuz those media and journalists want power. ( of course, they claim ” give the power to people!!!”)

    _______________________________

    Imagine yourself as an anchor holding a political debate, imagine the president of US, the most powerful man in the world, has to talk to you nicely. How do you feel ?

    That, is what a journalist wants.

    It is also what a chinese journalist wants.

    In China, the only group of people journalists are under is the government.

    In West, the only group of people journalists feel powerless about is the rich.

    Either way, people’s voices are controled and filtered by media and journalist who, in turn are controled either by government or by the rich.

    In China, as so many people use internet, internet becomes the frontier journalists use against government. But because their intelligence is solaugable that has not formed serious challenge to the power of CCP ( and in some ways, prove the famous slogan “only CCP can save China”), they are free to talk.

  56. Wukailong Says:

    Wahaha: We just aren’t talking about the same thing. You seem to think that there are no real problems in China except corruption, and that income equalities isn’t and won’t be an issue because there is GDP growth overall.

    Also, what you write about journalists feeling powerless about the rich – your experience is of the US, mostly. I have other experiences.

    Frankly speaking I don’t see much value in continuing this discussion. If you think everything’s fine, then I’m fine with that – I just don’t agree and I base this on my own experiences here, not what “bloggers and activists” say.

  57. S.K. Cheung Says:

    “because SUPPRESSING GOVERNMENT is the way they gain social status,”
    —the dearth of logic in that statement is mind-boggling. First off, how do activists etc “suppress” government? Criticize, for sure. Mock, perhaps. “suppress”?!? I think that’s what certain governments do to activists, so you seem to have that backwards.

    Second, after replacing “suppress” with “criticize’, for argument’s sake, how does someone “gain social status” by “criticizing government”? Certainly, there would be little to gain if such criticism did not resonate with the general public. So if something is to be gained by such criticism, this criticism must have merit in the eyes of those who might bestow “status” upon the critics. If a government wants to make her critics lose relevance and not “gain social status”, then she should aim to behave in such a way as to not give people anything legitimate to grieve about. That’s impossible, since somebody somewhere will find something to gripe about. But if a critic actually acquires “status”, then he or she is onto something in the eyes of the people. And that’s what the CCP is looking at, and apparently quite afraid of.

    “they want to be THE ONE who set moral standard in society”
    —considering that whooper’s argument relies upon the CCP sticking to a system that is “amoral”, well…somebody’s got to provide the moral compass. And again, someone can “want” to set the moral standard as much as they want…such a standard only becomes relevant if other people are in agreement.

    “they want to be THE ONE in the group of decision-making”
    —-actually, those guys can simply run for office. Oh, right, we’re talking about China…so i guess they can’t. Shame.

    “his voice is heard by public ONLY when some journalists or activitists find his voice valuable to them.”
    —oh give it a rest already, will ya? I’m having to listen to you, aren’t I? Besides, freedom of speech is exactly that. It doesn’t mean that you can impose on others to listen to said speech. Such a basic concept that you seem to fail to grasp…

    “NEVER be happy because they cant infer government’s decisions, which makes them feel powerless”
    —hey, you forgot one large group…Chinese citizens.

    “So the only way CCP can stay afloat is that the economic perform under them is better than that in West.”
    —so then take that “economic performance”, and continue to grow it under something other than the CCP political system. What’s not to like?

    “media and journalists want power.”
    —oh brother, again. I think that “power” business is what the CCP wants to hold onto, no matter what, at all costs. And some folks seem happy to try to justify it for them.

  58. Wahaha Says:

    WKL,

    I didnt say that corruption is and will be the only issue. There are only issue, but none of them can be even close to the seriousness of corruption.

    Remember during Mao’s era, people were poor, but no1 complained as no1 felt unfair.

    As there is no well respect anti-CCP leader, CCP can handle all the other issue, except corruption. Because that is what people care most: the distribution of wealth,( not human right defined by UN).

  59. Wukailong Says:

    The redistribution of wealth is exactly one of the issues that occurs when society gets more and more stratified like it is now. New policies will have to be put in place to deal with this and the CCP will also have to institutionalize changes. What changes they make is going to be crucial for the future of China.

    I don’t really understand why CCP can’t handle corruption but everything else? It depends of course what you mean by corruption: for example, these days large businesses are so tightly entwined with the party that it’s almost impossible to say which one is which. That’s a very serious problem that I don’t see any good solution to.

    Another thing is that I don’t think so much about CCP or anti-CCP, democracy or one-party system in these discussions. Even if the CCP manages to stay in power indefinitely, you might still have enormous problems if inequalities are not curbed (like Latin America). Now, how should these issues be solved?

  60. No99 Says:

    I can’t really think of any society or nation where there isn’t an ounce of corruption. The most I think they can do is lessen it.

    With China, I read an article in Forbes magazine saying the institutions should try increasing wages, offering higher salaries for public officials, health care workers, teachers and basically anyone involved in serving the people. Now, I can see pros and cons with doing that, and there are living examples where corruption was lessen or heighten when we did increase wages for professionals.

    With the wealth gap, here is a video link I can give you all;
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2GpHxio86I

    Eventually, workers in all industries will need that increase in wages as well. That video link had a panel who suggested that there needs to be more entrepreneurship in Chinese society, in order that the public at large can take part in the benefits of it’s increasing economy. Economy just means how much active a place is and what is it’s value (I’m kind of defining it in layman terms). Democracy, which I will define as a government where citizens determine its actions, comes hand in hand in prosperity. However, the issue of creating opportunity and ensuring prosperity for all people is very hard. In which both the experts and non-experts agree, but with many different ideas on how to deal with it.

  61. UFQ Says:

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed … by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary… The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false face for the urge to rule it.”
    (H. L. Menken)

    Types of Fake Crises in the West

    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article22775.html

  62. Wahaha Says:

    I don’t really understand why CCP can’t handle corruption but everything else?
    _____________________________________________________________

    Cuz 99% of people dont care politics.

    The journalists or acitivitists can stir the pot as much as they want, but unless it is really related to what people want most, they wont be able to gather enough power to stand up against the power of CCP.

    For example, the issues associated with relocation, first, lot of people realized that government has to do that to make their lives better, so now the focus is how government officers get money for themselves in the process, rather than several individuals were forced to move.

  63. Wahaha Says:

    WKL,

    Let me ask you this :

    at the end of 2008 and early 2009, when government decided to injected hundreds of billions of dollars to save big banks and financial instituations like AIG, how many Americans were angry ?

    Vast majority of them, and lot of them went onto streets to protest.

    Result : Nothing.

    Why?

  64. Wahaha Says:

    —the dearth of logic in that statement is mind-boggling. First off, how do activists etc “suppress” government? Criticize, for sure. Mock, perhaps. “suppress”?!?
    ___________________________________

    SKL,

    I didnt say that you didnt have common sense, I said we didnt share the same common sense.

    Tell me, if government were not “suppressed”, how could ALMOST ALL of them put their countries in deep debt after nearly 2 decades of economic development ?

  65. Wukailong Says:

    @Wahaha: The US government? What has that to do with what I say?

    Seriously, what are you against in what I’ve written above? That I say there are more problems than corruption, and that the CCP needs to find a way to solve these? That society in China is getting more complex, and that that’s a problem for CCP too, or any party in power?

    To me it seems you just say the same thing to everyone regardless of what they think.

  66. Wahaha Says:

    WKL,

    I was talking about how the anger American people had at the end of 2008 was controled.

  67. Wukailong Says:

    So do you mean that the result would be nothing in China too, and therefore we don’t need to worry?

    The problem I see with this idea is that it assumes that the only potential stability issue the country would have is anti-CCP demonstrations. I don’t agree with that. You could also have rising crime levels and a load of other issues.

    I’m not saying that this has to happen, though – which is why I’m interested in what changes the government will make in the future. If you read policy documents from the CCP, this is indeed an area they are focusing on (stratification of society, rising inequality and what to do about it).

  68. Wahaha Says:

    WKL,

    I mean that unless people are cornered to such extent that their living standards are much lower than their expectation, they wont BE ABLE TO stand up against the powerful people in the country.

    They need a leader, a well respected leader, and they need the help of media and journalists, otherwise they wont be able to make any significant splash.

    Like in New York 2 years ago, when a Cop shot a suspect 50 times, black society was very angry, even Al Sharpton jumped onto the stage, organized lot of protests around the city. What happened ? nothing, as media didnt follow and cover their activities. ( I think they didnt want to turn New York into 1992 Los Angeles.)

    That is why I believe CCP can control the situation. Like the strikes in last year around in China, I believe that those journalists and media like Southern weekend definitely wanted to make it a big tsunami, like in south africa, and obviously the government controled the reports from media, even there were lot of blogs on internet, no big deal for CCP.

    It is not about how much anger people have against the government, it is about if the eruption of angers happens at same time or happens in period of 12 months a year seperately. In late case, CCP can handle.

    In my opinion, unless people are almost completely cornered, 50% to 70% anger is fanned by journalists and media.

  69. S.K. Cheung Says:

    I imagine there are many people in China whose living standards fall far below their expectations, right now. If standard of living is the metric for assessing people’s contentment, there would already be plenty of fodder for discontent. But regardless of the level of discontent, there is no mechanism for “standing up” to the “powerful people”, because the system doesn’t, and wouldn’t, allow it.

    It’s almost like a binary system. Either you accept the system for what it is in its entirety (which is one where people’s contentment has no direct role in the existence of the system); or you would have to get rid of the system altogether. This same system has rigorous controls of “journalists” and “media”, so if people are looking to those estates to air their malcontent, they’re SOL. Absence of media or journalistic buy-in of a sense of discontent, at least in China, has no relationship to the existence or extent of such discontent, precisely because the system is designed to not tolerate it.

    Sure, the CCP recognizes the impending problems of progressive social stratification…but it’s probably out of a sense of self-preservation rather than the need to solve those problems for the sake of the people. She’ll want to find a solution so people don’t someday resort to trying to rid themselves of the system altogether, and if people’s living standards improve as a result, well, that’s probably a secondary byproduct that the CCP would find tolerable. Man, it’s no wonder that Wahaha enjoys living in such a system so much….except….oh, that’s right….he isn’t.

  70. Wahaha Says:

    Hi, SKC,

    you see #64 popped out, that is one of the three (same) answers I gave, no disrespect, that is why I didnt answer your post any more. I dont know why those posts wont show up.

  71. Allen Says:

    whooper, good job on the post. Hope you can post more in the future.

  72. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To 64:
    “if government were not “suppressed”, how could ALMOST ALL of them put their countries in deep debt after nearly 2 decades of economic development ?
    —you know what, maybe you should tell us your definition of “suppressing government”. In #55, you said “suppressing government” allows people to “gain social status”. Now you seem to suggest that “suppressing government” is causally related to national debt and/or the economic downturn. So which one is it? And what’s your logic for suggesting either one of those things? Or if “suppressing government” has some other meaning altogether, what’s the basis for this other definition?

  73. auto dealers Says:

    Maybe the Chinese government is among the more liberal government in the world, but has a coherent policy for medium and long term development. I think China will develop in the future faster than any other country, and this also because the Chinese government’s policy of

  74. Josef Says:

    Whooper, I run through your article, of which you provided the link in comment 46. It is long but definitely worthwhile to read. In the chapter legitimacy you defined similar to the quoted Lipset definition above:

    A government is legitimate if and only if the people generally believe that:
    (a) Policy is fair (b) Policy is optimal.

    It sounds like a scientific definition in mathematics, but if it is meant to be one, you must be aware, that for that all terms you use, they must be uniquely defined before.
    And here starts the problem: What exactly is optimized and for whom.
    You quote also Weber, here I extract the phrase” inseparable from pure rationality”. Similar critics: There is no such thing like pure rationality. The best example is, to quote your words:
    “Beijing has magnetic levitation trains and sky scrapers, but out in the countryside many peasant farmers still plough their fields with oxen. Although these localized investments have dramatically increased inequality, the benefits gradually trickle out across the entire economy, even the peasants gain.”
    So, hm, even the peasants gain.. – hm. should not they gain first and then do the levitation trains. What is pure rational now – how much to invest in high tech and how much to invest to replace the oxen? Optimized for whom?

    If you really think that the Scientific Development reflects to the traditional Confucian model, you must spend more time to explain why it brought China into such a back position. To my opinion China’s recent success has much to do that China broke with traditional values: like extend the schools to everyone, and not only an elite, encourage competitions etc.

    Finally about Democracy: I guess in many topics within FM we see a red line that democracy is not a mandatory ingredient for a big leap (here as positive development step). The only thing we see is, that rich nations are often democratic. To my opinion this is because democracies are very conservative (because they simply are unable for radical steps), which, in the case of rich countries could be good. Radical steps which could lead to disasters are suppressed. A good example again might be (I quote you again): “media failure in the West is Nuclear Power”: I know this can start a huge discussion but a very well accepted common line could be: There are concerns with respect to Nuclear Power so they usage should be controlled and limited.

    I end with a (joke) quotation – I did not find the English translation but it is easy to guess its meaning…

    La theorie, c’est quand on sait tout et que rien ne fonctionne.
    La pratique, c’est quand tout fonctionne et que personne ne sait pourquoi.
    Ici, nous avons reuni theorie et pratique : Rien ne fonctionne…
    et personne ne sait pourquoi. (Albert Einstein)

  75. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To Josef:
    those seem like good questions to me.

    I’ll try my hand at your quote:
    Theory is when you know everything but nothing works.
    Practical is when everything works and no one knows why/how.
    Here, we combine theory and practice: nothing works, and no one knows why.

  76. whooper Says:

    Josef,

    Utility is defined in the article as the baset of statistics.

    Your example of the train- If the government had simply given everyone in China $1 each it would have less impact on utility than building the train. The train may not be the greatest thing in itself, but it playing around with this type of technology has knock on benifits. Likewise sending a man to moon can be useful, even though it is a totally pointless thing to do. I will updte the article with more on this point.

    Why did the confucian model fail in the past? I mention that the elite became too traditional (Confucian philopshy is dual headed, the wrong head took over. Perhaps I should spend more time on the point, but it is a long article already and lots of good stuff is missing.

    Weber on pure rationality – one view is that pure rationality is impossible. But the entire article focuses on the opposite viewpoint. My position is that the problem of evil and Western Individualism condemned the reason revolution in the West. The ant hive is pure rationality…

    Nuclear Power- read more about it!

    William

  77. S.K. Cheung Says:

    “this type of technology has knock on benifits”
    —but Josef’s question remains unanswered. What are the “trickle down” benefits, and how have those benefits benefited the peasant folk? I don’t think people would suggest taking the cost of these trains and instead dividing that sum among every Chinese citizen to be handed out as a bonus cheque; but perhaps that sum could have been better spent on a targeted group of Chinese citizens…like the peasants.

    The comparison to the moon landing is a stretch. First, that was in a different era in a different world when it was a symbol of a competition between ideologies, which isn’t the case with the trains. That doesn’t mean going to the moon was a great use of resources, but the Americans devoted those resources there in the 1960’s instead of spending it on…well…who knows what else. But China isn’t in that sort of competition, and there are other things she could invest in, as Josef seems to suggest. Second, the moon landing was a far bigger leap for mankind than the trains, and brought some gravitas to the notion of what “democracy” can do, if one chose to view a technological achievement from that perspective; China has already demonstrated her capacity for infrastructure improvements, and the trains bring a much smaller incremental boost to the notion of what a one party authoritarian state can do.

  78. Josef Says:

    Whopper, a common saying is:
    Don’t trust any statistics which you did not tweak by yourself.

    Again, if you use mathematics, you need to define first what exactly is optimized, and then, if your options are “well ordered” ( counter example: what is “bigger” “1” or the imaginary “i”) you can find the optimal solution. But the latter is not the problem, the definition what you want to optimize is: for example in the train – peasant spend/waste money competition the time scale is very important: If you want immediate improvement than the immediate transfer to peasants accounts is optimal.

    But also the Chinese politics reality is very different from this idealized model. You see from time to time also the fractions fighting behind (and not with arguments about the optimal solution but purely on power). There is the economy focused current leading government on one hand and the more powerful PLA on the other hand. The first group cannot really win over the PLA but only contain them by avoiding “military” topics.

    Especially the second group has nothing to do with scientific optimal solutions, and I think when the majority of Chinese talk about the danger of corruption they mean actually that the PLA comes into more power again.
    We have seen this days the ridiculous promotions of Kim Jong-un, and various articles, like this one in China Daily:
    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2010-09/28/content_11359286.htm
    That is against the ideas of democracy as well as the ideas of communism. The support in China Daily is possible, as the PLA has influence there too, does not support neither of them, example the similar promotion of Mao Zedong’s son last year:
    “Mao Xinyu, the only grandson of Chairman Mao Zedong, will possibly become the country’s youngest major general by Army Day on Aug 1 next year.”
    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2009-09/29/content_8748055.htm

    Back to the topic: my point is, that there is no optimal solution, but the solution is found by negotiations between factions. And there a bigger audience, or, group of people involved can help, with a bias against big or risky steps. For big steps, as requested from developing countries, it could indeed be counterproductive. I wonder (and hope that) China, when she is ready, can make a peaceful transition in the future to democracy (like Taiwan did).

  79. Wahaha Says:

    hm. should not they gain first and then do the levitation trains.

    **********

    What do you think the strike in South Africa, will it make poor people lives better or worse, IN THE LONG RUN ?

  80. Wahaha Says:

    The rule of economy must be followed, otherwise it is the poor people who will suffer more in the long run.

    In last 20 years, when people demand, government must be submissive, even borrowing money. (even during economic good time.)

    Currently, who are suffering most in West society ?

    While big mouths love taling about morality of SEVERAL people, they never really care how to make MILLIONS of people live better.

  81. Wahaha Says:

    Read “Rich dad, poor dad”, it is a popular book in west.

    BTW,

    THE RULE OF ECONOMY DOES NOT COEXIST WELL WITH ABSOLUTIZED MORALITY.

    Communism is one of the examples : it forces people to accept the absolute equality, result ? see Cuba.

  82. Wukailong Says:

    result ? see Cuba.

    ==========

    WHAT DOES DONALD DUCK THINK??!

  83. S.K. Cheung Says:

    “The rule of economy must be followed”
    —what “rule” is that? Pray tell. And going back to Josef’s question about the trains, what are the “trickle down” benefits, and how have the people at the bottom benefited from them?

    “they never really care how to make MILLIONS of people live better.”
    —gosh, you could be talking about the CCP and rural peasants here. Who’d have thunk it? To be fair, the market economy in China has brought millions out of poverty. I wonder how ‘CHinese people + market economy – CCP’ would have made out compared to the current trifecta. Of course, no one can know. But I wonder how many Chinese people would like to find out. Sadly, no one can know that either.

  84. Wahaha Says:

    WKL,

    Please dont think I am only talking to you, SKC and Josef.

  85. Wahaha Says:

    SKC,

    By not answering my question in #82, you have agreed that what Josef said is not part of the “rule”.

  86. Wukailong Says:

    Wahaha, what you say makes a lot of sense.

  87. Wukailong Says:

    Bazinga!

  88. Wahaha Says:

    WKL,

    #22 doesnt make sense to you ?

    #82 is a meaningless question ?

  89. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To 85:
    “SKC,
    By not answering my question in #82,…”
    —listen, I don’t know how to say this gently…so I’ll just say it: you didn’t write #82. So not only do I not know of what on earth you speak, it seems that neither do you. Truth be told, we both knew that already.

    I have no idea what josef has to do with this. That said, it’s also fairly safe to assume that josef isn’t tapped into your train of thought, whatever and wherever that may be. And that’s probably to his benefit. But I’m afraid you’ll have to do #85 again. Feel free to take a mulligan.

  90. Wahaha Says:

    SKC,

    You dont have to be gently.

    #82 is a key question, it is using a fact to see if a theory is right or wrong, it is scientific. I really dont care whether it makes sense to you or not, I posted the question for the readers of this thread.

  91. whooper Says:

    Wahaha,

    are you saying:

    (1) science (utility maximization) can not answer the problem of equality.

    or are you saying:

    (2) that a scientific system must involve equality?

    —–

    My much longer article has more detail on this:

    Utilitarianism, the concept that ethical dilemmas should be solved by the rational maximization of human contentment, became popular. The theory tore apart the idea of moral laws and human rights, horrified Christians, and famously inspired the French Revolution.

    The English politician Edmund Burke, who is now considered to be the founder of political Conservatism, not only criticised the French Revolution, he correctly predicted that it would end in disaster. Burke had three essential arguments, one rational, two anti-rational. His rational argument was pragmatic, he believed the revolution was too heavily driven by radical, untested, and idealistic metaphysical arguments. He said: “What is the use of discussing a man’s abstract right to food or to medicine? The question is upon the method of procuring and administering them.” This line of reasoning advocates caution, an essence the French Revolution sadly missed. Deng Xiaoping once said words to the effect of: Don’t leap across the river, wade across feeling for the stones. Burke’s other two arguments were intrinsically anti-enlightenment. He rejected Hobbese’s argument that politics can be reduced to a deductive system akin to mathematics, he claimed the complexities of human society are too great, and human intellect is too limited. Consequently he advised against radically challenging the accumulated behavioural inheritance of the ages. Burke also rejected the cold rationality of Rousseau and Voltaire, and described himself a believer in “human heart-based” government which values man’s instinctive moral prejudices. Enlightenment critics rejected these anti-rational arguments. In one case we have the traditional morality associated with Conservatism, in the other case we have the humanitarian morality associated with Liberalism.

    Yet utilitarianism does have a problem. Would utility increase if a student stole some money from a rich man? Probably yes (because the marginal utility of money is much lower for the rich man). Should the incompetent be allowed to breed? Probably not (survival of the fittest promotes evolution).

    The problem is that utilitarianism assumes citizens are perfectly selfless and will happily sacrifice their lives and property for the greater good. In the real world humans do not have the communal idealism of ants, consequently society would rebel against utilitarianism. We can understand why Burke called for human heart-based government.

    Burke also has a point on complexity. Marx reasoned that equality increases utility, but he failed to anticipate that humans, not being ants, are often motivated by personal gain. The failure of central planning is testament to the difficulties of calculating utility. Clearly there are limits to what can be achieved.

    By limiting the scope of utilitarianism, allowing it to operate only across increasingly broad groupings, complexity reduces, decisions become steadily less radical, and the results increasingly resemble conventional human law. For example, if we treat all mankind equally, the optimization can no longer prevent the reproduction of incompetents. Although this technique gives good general principles, it fails on specific cases. Utility grouping is at the heart of jurisprudence, elsewhere it is of limited use. (Note: Kant’s deontological ethics are essentially this technique. Under Kant: We generalize to get should the poor be allowed to steal from the rich, apply universal law and there are no rich any more, negating the proposition. Utility grouping is not a purely rational ethical system because there is no justification for grouping. For example, why should incompetents be treated the same way as all other humans?)

    So even though utility is theoretically the correct measure of good, it suffers from a mismatch between human idealism and utilitarian theory, also it is too complicated to calculate. Yet all is not lost, utilitarianism still works very well in some applications, indeed it is the foundation stone of economic science. There is also a way to overcome the idealism and complexity problem. Ensure the utility maximization is constrained by the level of idealism prevailing in society (use existing laws or opinion polls to set the boundaries), and proceed in small steps continually validating the results. This principle is the key to the Scientific Development Concept, as we see shortly.

    This idea of bounded utilitarianism is not as radial as one might think. In Plato’s Laws he discusses the problem of forcing idealistic policy decisions onto society without their consent (a problem he failed to address in The Republic). He says force should not be used, instead we should imagine a doctor administering treatment, he has to explain the procedure to the patient and win his consent (see Laws section 720a in Plato’s Complete Works by Hackett).

    —–

    So the ultimate evolutionary perfect society has no concern for inequality becuase the indivudals are selfless.

    In the real world inequality is an issue, but less of an issue than poverty. In other words it is better to have inequality that makes society rich than an equality in which everyone is poor (Cuba).

    Comparing India and China the former has made a big mistake by protecting the rights of the poor even at the cost of the overall economy. That is a function of its democracy. China is richer today becuase the government has promoted growth even at the expense of inequality. Eg it takes land from peasants and builds factories, in India they don’t do that so effectively. However, unlike Inda China does not have dead bodies on the street every morning. Clearly it is a more optimal solution.

    By the way in the West we have the same issue with democracy – it is called NIMBYism and Social Security. It is a major factor behind the decline of the West compared to China.

    Note also as the Chinese become more corrupted by Western individualism China will slow down (because the government will have to bend to popular protest and stop doing amazing things). China is strong today partly becuase the people have more communal idealism than in the West – they are closer to the ideal intellectual society (in this respect).

    Look at Japan, the rise of individualism, of consumerism. Now Japan is a basket case. When Chinese people start mixing the worlds most expensive wine with lemonade and drinking it for a joke China will have reached its failure point too. I guess this will happen in Hong Kong first!

  92. whooper Says:

    By the way it just occurred to me to mention a line of Plato Laws which is really interesting on inequality.

    Plato defined utility in terms not of living standards but enlightenment (selfless rationality – our intellectually perfect society). So the goal of government is to maximize the collective intelligence of society.

    He said a state must mitigate poverty not because poverty is a state of diminished wealth, but rather because it is a state of elevated greed. This state of elevate greed detracts from the selfless rationality of the poor – it makes them unable to make virtuous decisions but dint of their psychologically disabling greed.

    Thus the manipulation of inequality is a pure function of the maximization of enlightenment, government still has one pure goal, all policy challenges are subordinated to the single pursuit, like an archer, of that single goal.

    It’s an interesting point and a little sophisticated, but I add it here for fun.

  93. Wukailong Says:

    Wahaha, SKC already made the point but I’ll say it in a different way: you might want to check out what the question in #82 actually is. Hint: somebody else wrote it. As for whether the question is meaningless or not, I guess that’s in the eye of the beholder. The main point is about your debating style and how you tend to respond to questions with something completely unrelated, and often IN ALL CAPS. If you actually tried to keep to the subject and not having others guess at the meaning of your comments from time to time, it would give you much greater credibility. Also, when you’re making a general point, you might want not to use particular examples but try something that applies to every case. OK?

  94. Wukailong Says:

    Whooper, you said:

    “By the way in the West we have the same issue with democracy – it is called NIMBYism and Social Security. It is a major factor behind the decline of the West compared to China.”

    I’m not sure but you mentioned the Scandinavian model elsewhere, which does exactly that, and to to a higher degree than UK or the US. I’m not sure it’s behind the decline of the West since Sweden (which I happen to be from) grew faster than most other EU countries last year.

    Now, I don’t mean this as a cheap point. China too is experimenting with more social welfare under Hu Jintao. Pure economic growth without rights for the poor aren’t going to cut it – but you might agree with that.

  95. Wahaha Says:

    WKL,

    There are two kinds of legitmacy : instant legitmacy and long term legitmacy. the reason we have two is that long term goal and short term goal often conflict, and MOST PEOPLE ONLY CARE THE SHORT TERM GOAL.

    For example, the president in US always enjoyed 100 days of legitmacy, Obama now already lost his legitmacy as the president.

    What Josef talked about is instant legitmacy. Because people usually have short memory, it is they who elected the politicians, it is their duty to understand the policy before they vote. Do they understand Obama’s economic policy ? hell no.

    About economy (not politics, pay attention), Chinese government has won long term legitmacy, even in west. IF chinese people had not believed that this government will make China better (economically or a strong China), they wouldve tried very hard to repace CCP, the strike would not have been solved so easily.

    India is maybe the best example of government enjoying short term legitmacy but having absolutely no long term legitmacy. If you dont believe, please read their blogs and comments on CWG.

    I, not like moral absolutists, have been talking about long term legitmacy.

  96. whooper Says:

    Scandinavian coutries do have big advantages in terms of low population and natural resources. Eg for Norway, Canada and Australia life is effortless. But socialism did bring down the West in the 1970s as a result of too much spending, too much social security, too much labour regulation inspired by moral principles. The failure of America to raise taxes is a good example of NIMBYism, and it is a key to Amercia’s unfolding disaster.

    Anyway, I was not really saying social security is always bad, I was saying that inequality can be addressed in a rational way. I am simply saying that too much social security, driven by moral principles rather than rational debate, is bad. By the way, Plato and Confucius were far more into equality than Scandinavia. They problem is that individulas are too often motivated by personal gain, and you have work with that imperfection. That was the reason Communism failed of course.

  97. Wahaha Says:

    Whooper,

    Thanks for #94, it is very educational.

    I am a science major, not in economy or politics. so a theory is meaningless to me if it can explain WIDESPREAD facts. (I will talk more in next post.)

    I used the word “widespread” because the following (just my understanding):

    To scientifically solve or explain a problem, we must first define the variables we are gonna use that can accurately describle the problem, and I believe human beings are simply too complex to be describled by several variables. The best example is that Western democracy describle human society as “government” vs “people”, which is ridiculous and misleading.

    Or, in a simple sentence, you cant use induction or logic to predict what a person will do tomorrow. (so Hobbese’s argument, in my opinion, is nonsense.)

  98. whooper Says:

    Yea but if you read my big article you will see that as society approaches enlightenment Hobbese’s poisition becomes more sensible becuase society looses individualism and morality so policy makers can do anything.

    Anyway, on china inequality again. You have to remember that the government do not have control over wages, sweat shop work is done in China because labour is cheap. At the same time China does not want to stick with that model forever, so it is investing higher up as well. Thus wages are going to be very differnent, nothing one can do about that.

    So it comes down to the question of redistribution and taxes. In the West we spend 7% of government money on infrastructure, and the vast majority of the rest on redistribution. In China it’s 50% infrastructure. But that massive government investment is what is making China grow. If they spend too much on welfare now the party ends and it stays sweat shop forever. So there has to be some hard calculation on how to proceed, asking the people to vote on the share of welfare according to morality would be madness.

  99. Wahaha Says:

    About “Yet utilitarianism does have a problem. ”

    (the following is how I will approach problems in human society)

    No, it doesnt have a problem if you adapt Chinese’s Ying & Yang. (let use say Ying = Utilitarianism, Yang = morality)
    Ying complements Yang, Yang complements Ying.

    EITHER YING OR YANG ALONE IS NOT COMPLETE OR PERFECT.

    In Chinese history, chinese knew a lot of scientific facts, but none pursued the perfection.

    Perfection is western way of thinking problems, which allows them to achieve the greatness in scientific area, and they want to use the same way to solve the problems of human society, communism was a product of prusuing perfection.

    Either Ying or Yang cant explain the facts alone, you need both of them to explain the world, the human society and the human behaviors.

    A theory about human society is great because it is complemented by the opposite of it, using only one of Ying & Yang will make the theory like a joke in reality.

    I will end with the believe by an old chinese philosopher :

    《荀子•性恶》:
    人性有两部分:性和伪。性是人先天的动物本能,是恶;伪是人后天的礼乐教化,是善。性(动物本能)的实质是各种欲望,如果顺从性,人就会为满足欲望不择手段,导致道德沦丧、天下大乱。圣人知道性是恶的,所以创制礼义道德,“化性起伪”,用伪取代性,使人变善。

    You can see the similar problem in the following link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xun_Zi

    However, the flaw with Xunzi’s argument is as follows: if human nature is naturally evil, how did the sage kings come to invent the idea of goodness and morality?

  100. whooper Says:

    Wahaha,

    Important point:

    You said: I believe human beings are simply too complex to be describled by several variables. So you cant use induction or logic to predict what a person will do tomorrow.

    By are you saind that moral ideology will better help you predict action? I trade markets. It’s an emotional beast. But don’t tell me democracy would make a better trader. I use reason to trade. Ok it’s more than maths, but it’s still pure reason – not emotion or dogma or morality! When Englihtenment philopshers talk about science they really mean reason. That’s what I am driving at when I talk about scientific solutions – like economic science.

  101. whooper Says:

    I have to leave now. It is not that Yang is perfection. Yin and Yang reflect things and have many forms.

    Think about this:

    Plato rejected the assumptions underlying Greek society and religion. The process of acquiring wisdom, for example by pragmatically solving problems in order to survive, the process of rational thinking, of discarding ideology and illusion, was Plato’s process of ‘spiritual enlightenment’, the movement of consciousness from the flawed subjective human perspective back to the flawless objective divine. Man begins in separate selfish incompetence and evolves into perfect cohesive selfless rational unity.

    The most famous Neo-Confucian philosopher, Zhu Xi, espoused the same idea. He called his enlightening principle “gewu”, which is the “investigation of things”, the “paying attention to books and affairs”. He was also anti-traditionalist, also pragmatic, and he described God as a rational principle. It must be quickly added that one of the reasons people find the concept of ‘rationality’ so offensive is that the word carries excessively linear connotations – what we are really talking about is an objectivity described by Buddhists as “detachment”.

    To be honest Confucian is a bit of a mess compared to Plato becuase he hardly wrote anything down and he was trying to achieve more. I don’t think many people in China have really gotten the idea of it yet. They still pick on on the imitation path (parths to wisdom: reason, reflection).

  102. whooper Says:

    by the way the purpose of evil is a big topic. i did post another thread about it, but it didn’t work. i am not going to get into it here. if you guys can understand that Confucian and Platonic philosphy are similar and the opposite of Christanity and englightenment is a selfless rationality which resembles the power of god then i have achieved a hell of a lot! have a nice day, i am off now- friday night

  103. Wahaha Says:

    “are you saind that moral ideology will better help you predict action?”

    When a person enjoys good life, having car, house, nice weekend, medical insurance and retirement money, sure, he will be a nice person, cuz “Utilitarianism” has been realized.

  104. Wahaha Says:

    So you need both Utilitarianism and morality to predict, but again, you may predict right 7 out of 10 times, it is almost impossible to get 10 out of 10, even you have exact the same case, you cant be absolutely sure about the case in hand from the experience you had from the previous case, so it is not scientific.

  105. Wahaha Says:

    “by the way the purpose of evil is a big topic”

    How about replace “evil” with “greedy” ?

  106. whooper Says:

    Wahaha, you use rationality to predict.
    You use an understanding of human personality to aid that rational decision (eg a study of psychology and moral assumptions).
    But predicting human behaviour is still a rational, not a moral, process.
    You are not attached to any moral system, you simply use knowledge of it to help, just as a psychologist undersands human conditions without practicing them himself.
    This point is obvious, you are being stubborn.

  107. UFQ Says:

    Sounds like we have a neo-liberal rightwinger who upholds what was founded upon Reagan-Thatcher’s age old out-of- reach “trickle down effect,” fallacy. Whooper is shamelessly upholding bourgeois rationalism made famous by Descarte’s quote, “Cogito ergo sum. (I think; therefore I am) ” which signaled the advent of the Great Bourgeois Cultural Revolution, aka Renaissance, against the feudal theocracy which had been ruling supreme in Europe for more than 1,000 years.

    whooper doesn’t hide behind the restoration of capitalism rhetorics but openly and even proudly calls for it without the bourgeois democratic pretensions of proclaiming constitutional equal rights for all and sundry.” He stresses the efficacy of China’s capitalist developmental achievements over India’s bourgeois democratic pretensions. What Whooper is advocating boils down to the naked “big fish eat small fish” ethos of Capitalists. I won’t be surprised if Whooper had learned a lot of his BS from Sinkapore trainers in Nanyang Technical University. Lee Kuan Yew is the most vocal advocate of such naked capitalist line which he’s been consistently pushing in that little banana republic for decades.

    Last week, Lee Kuan Yew and Kissinger met on the side at a summit of the super rich held in USA to discuss what’s going on in China, those two super rich old ginger dicks. Old man Lee was even invited coupla days later to meet a greenhorn Russian President to advise him on how to transfer massive public company funds into private coffers.

    By the way, Lee was hospitalised soon after his Moscow trip for “chest infection”, according to a Channel News Asia report. At age 87, he may not make it out there walking straight. In any case, it’s about time for curtain’s down for the 50-year old Lee dynasty.

    What some call “deep,” is really nothing deep, just – and mostly meant to to be – very poorly articulated, that’s all.

    “There is nothing new under the sun but there are lots of old things we don’t know.”
    Ambrose Bierce

  108. Wahaha Says:

    you use rationality to predict.

    This point is obvious, you are being stubborn.

    *******************************************************

    No disrespect, but I have no idea what you are trying to say and from where you sense my stubborness.

    I love to use example, here is one :

    Suppose the government in a town planed to build a hospital, 100 families had to be relocated. Government agreed to give each family 70,000 yuan. After bargain, government agreed to give each family 100,000.

    Now 99 families agreed the deal, except one that wanted 200,000.

    Do you think government can solve the problem by giving that family 200,000 ?

    If not, will you give me a scientific way to solve it ?

  109. whooper Says:

    UFQ, you have not gotten it at all!

    It is not about the freedom of laissez-faire, nor about the compassion of socialism. It is a totally different system which is hated by both the humanitarian socialists and the self interested capitalists.

    I don’t think think you are every going to get this because you can not think beyond ideological models.

    You, a socialist, think because this philosphy is elitist it is capitalist. The capitalist thinks because the system is “statist” it is socialist.

    But it is not a moral system concerned with the morality of suffering or the morality of compulsion.

    You have to give up, you are not going to be able to get this.

  110. whooper Says:

    Wahaha I have not idea what your argument (110) is trying to get at.

    We are talking about utility maximization. Kicking them all out of their land without giving them anything is higer utility if their decline in utility is less than the higher utility of the hospital.

    Making the system more complicated. Governments usually pay compenstation based on what it will cost the individual to buy an equivalent home elsewhere – this is not a perfectly optimal solution, this is a combination of what selfish societies think is fair and what level of detail law courts can approximately handle. In England the government pays market value plus 10%-25% to help the individuals a little bit more. The valuation is not decided by the people, it is decided by independent experts.

    What if for some bizarrre reason one person attaches a higher value to his house than independently estimated replacement value? Hard Luck. How could a government possibly design a system to take account of that given human dishonesty?

    What would a more ideal society do? It would consider this problem in more detail and would tend to give the individual less than the value of the home he is giving up – becuase people are more willing to make sacrifices.

    What would a totally selfish society do? It would not allow the government to ever take an individuals property without his permission. The government would have to buy each property at whatever the seller wanted. The sellers try to predict the utility of the new project and change a price so high that they capture almost all that value. It turns into a game.

    This last case is how it happens in the West if a private sector counterparty wants to buy a block of homes (eg for a supermarket). In the West the government does not step in and impose a fair settlement, the private sector is forced to accpet this arangement making developmnet far more difficult, expensive and protracted.

    The ability of the private sector to get a more sensible settlement by getting local government back is a massive part of China’s outperformance.

    In India the government do often help private sector counterparties and compensation is then payed by market value. However local democracy can, and frequently does, block projects. This occured recently with the biggest car company in India and a very important project – creating a lot of headlines and a lot of hand wringing about Indian democracy.

  111. S.K. Cheung Says:

    Whooper:
    “Ensure the utility maximization is constrained by the level of idealism prevailing in society (use existing laws or opinion polls to set the boundaries), and proceed in small steps continually validating the results.”
    —umm, how does China under CCP assess this prevailing idealism? If “existing laws” don’t necessarily reflect society’s prevailing idealism, how can it be effectively used to set the boundaries of such idealism with any fidelity to the real thing? When was the last time the CCP conducted a scientifically rigorous poll? When the CCP “validates” her results, from whose perspective is she obtaining such validation? You sure spend an inordinate amount of time to cobble together “theories” in hopes of justifying your preferred conclusion. But when your “theories” are pre-ordained to fit your conclusions, they are no longer “theories”, but simply excuses.

    “it is better to have inequality that makes society rich than an equality in which everyone is poor”
    —I imagine that would be the case, assuming you were one of the “rich” in society; and that seems to be the only perspective for which you have shown any capacity to espouse, or even empathize. I am truly thankful that you are confined to waxing poetic on some blog, as opposed to trying to pass this stuff off in the real world. But I would certainly agree that this is the right medium for you, since your “work” here costs nothing, and harms no one.

    “He said a state must mitigate poverty”
    —So mitigating poverty may not be an end, but simply the means. That’s fine. How is China doing on that front? And if she’s failing to adequately provide the means, how well do you think she will attain the ends?

    Wahaha
    “IF chinese people had not believed that this government will make China better (economically or a strong China), they wouldve tried very hard to repace CCP, ”
    —but the CCP has a compelling means of discouraging people from even trying to do that sort of thing, don’t they?

    Btw, I’m quite relieved that you don’t care whether your questions make any sense to me. Cuz they don’t. And I wouldn’t want that realization to trouble you, since you have other things to worry about.

  112. whooper Says:

    Where are you from S.K. Cheung? I mean what coutry were your brought up in and where are you living now? I am interested

  113. S.K. Cheung Says:

    Born in HK. Living in Canada.

  114. whooper Says:

    Are there any real chinese here? I was hoping to converse with real Chinese people on this blog.

    Look I give you all (except Cheung!) a short story about China which I read in the Financial Times a few days ago.

    Basically the Western world is going crazy right now because China has acomplished “40 years of high-speed railway development in just 5 years” (in the words of a CCP official).

    From nowhere China is now world leader in high speed train and Japan and Germany have lost everything in five years. It is a staggering developlment.

    One guy wrote a letter to the FT about this. It was quite a nice little letter it goes as follows:

    ———————

    Dear Sir,

    Regarding China High Speed Rail..

    Some years ago when I was involved in overseas consultancy with British Rail, I was persuaded by the Department of Trade to host a visit by Chinese railway technologists to see developments in non-destructive testing of rails and track geometry by British Rail Research and Harwell (the Atomic Energy Research Establishment).

    The party of identically dressed specialists – about 12 – clearly covered every aspect of the relevant technology. Each took it in turn to ask detailed questions – some even wanted to crawl under the machines.

    The visit was incredibly well organised with every member of the team taking copious notes and photographs, until I asked them not to take any more pictures.

    It was like being done over by an intellectual vacuum cleaner and quite the most efficient visit I ever hosted.

    ———————

    Do you see in this story the 12 identially dressed scientists who blow this guy away with their efficency. Each one a different area, together they capture everything.

    This is why China is great.

    Do Chinese people identify with this elite crowd? Do they feel pride? Do they aspire to achieve this intellectual mastery which I have described both in this little story and in my long writings?

    Or is the average Chinese man like the average American, some sort of angry stupid nationalistic worthless fellow who has lost all piety and has no compensating intellgence?

    That is what fascinates me- how many average Chines have pride and understand the dream their country is achieving. I want to reach out to these people, not idiots like Cheung.

    Cheung’s problem is the Western problem – not so much a lack of intelligence (normal in the masses), but his lack of piety. Here is a guy addressing a person vastly his superior, a worm talking to an eagle, but the worm hardly listens and has no respect. The worm has lost sight of its worthlessness, Western individualism has puffed it up with false self belief, and now it thinks it is the smartest of them all. So this lowly worm has lost all Confician idealism, it is totally corrupt. China’s rise is as much about his revolting condition as it is about the goodness of China.

    Do people in China feel that? Love that? The worm and the superman, the intellectual and the peasant? Do they look at the Americans and the Indians and feel not only their superior economic progress, but also the intellectual superiority of their country? That’s the critical point of this age.

  115. S.K. Cheung Says:

    LOL. So, where do you live? China, I imagine. What, you don’t live in CHina? How does that work? You’re not living under the system you apparently so greatly admire? Actually, no need to feel any more ashamed than anyone else. In my experience on this blog, while there are some ethnic Chinese, and there are some who live in China, the group that represents an intersection of those two is vanishingly small. And for all the BS you’ve spewed in the last little while, as far as I can tell, you most certainly don’t belong in that vanishingly small group either.

    So here’s the thing. I don’t live in China because I don’t like their system. What’s your excuse?

    Here’s the other thing I’ve noticed. While you’re busy drumming up your own apparent “intelligence”, you’ve yet to show the capacity to answer even one of the many questions I’ve presented, or the depth of character to acknowledge the lack thereof. So here’s another question for you: when was the last time you met a truly smart person who had to repeatedly remind you of his “smartness”? I had yet to meet such a person, until I came across you. First time for everything, I suppose. And not a pretty sight.

    But the part I like best is the piety bit. You are as god-like as the pastor in Florida who wanted to burn Korans, whose name has already been deservedly forgotten. But hey, you should keep writing, cuz it gives me something to do…nothing constructive, mind you, but poking holes in your theories while poking fun at you will suffice as a pastime until hockey season starts up in earnest.

  116. Wukailong Says:

    Whooper, like SKC says, most people commenting here are either Chinese Americans or “Westerners” (the latter in the sense of people brought up in the West who do not have any Chinese heritage). I’m from Sweden but have lived around 8 years in China in total. I love the country but suffice it to say it’s for other things than its political system.

    You’d be surprised to know the level of consumerism here, and how fast the space for personal choice is expanding. Theoretically the party can stay in power for a long time (which is what I believe Wahaha means) because they’ve been good at adapting to the new circumstances, but personal freedoms are expanding rapidly not because of government interference, but because it can’t keep up the control. So what’s going to happen in the year 2020? That’s a question I find fascinating. China is hard to predict not because it’s big, but because it’s getting more and more complex every day.

  117. Wukailong Says:

    And yeah, many Chinese look up to the US. I can provide more details about this if you’re interested.

  118. HK'er Says:

    SKC,

    同 whooper 講多無謂 – 自大自恋狂,不知所为

    天方夜谭,狗屁不通,嗮九气 , 哈哈哈

  119. HKer Says:

    # 119

    WKL

    “… , because of free market reforms, had become much more competitive and intense. That made parents risk-averse, … And that invariably meant having their child test into a strict demanding high school, then a key university, and then onto graduate school in the United States…

    http://the-diplomat.com/china-power/2010/05/26/gathering-storm/

  120. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To HKer:
    you’re right, of course. But you know me…can’t help myself.

  121. wwww1234 Says:

    I could be counted as half a Chinese as I was born and now live in China but spent a long time in north America in between. It would be natural that peoples of different levels of civic spirit would benefit from different forms of governance. And most of my friends consider an authoritative government the best choice for china at this stage, a sensible and successful choice between totalitarianism and populist democracy. I appreciate very much whooper’s article and the subsequent discussion, as now I have a better idea about the scientific development model, which I wrongly considered as a propaganda slogan previously. Before it was difficult for me to perceive and accept anything but natural science –where results are predictable and replicable—as being scientific. I did not realize the word science, social science etc were largely coined as to mean reason/rationality originally.
    Some of the participants narrow the meaning of keywords eg freedom/choice/suppression/democracy strictly in the political sphere, whereas in actual life, their social/economic content or the deficiency of these content, has far greater compact on peoples life and affect their effort and choice more profoundly. Political correctness may be an achievement in a discussion forum, but performance legitimacy is what counts for most people. Thanks again for whooper and all the other participants.

  122. Wahaha Says:

    —but the CCP has a compelling means of discouraging people from even trying to do that sort of thing, don’t they?

    *****************************************************
    People ? what people ? or a few journalists or activitists what want the power of “指点江山” but have no knowledge of “指点江山” ?

    One of them somehow linked the highspeed rails to earthquake, go figure.

  123. Wahaha Says:

    Wahaha I have not idea what your argument (110) is trying to get at.

    **************************************************************

    Scientifically, that government pays 100,000 more would solve the issue, in realty, it wouldnt.

    Scientifically, an expert correctly predicted that 99% of the people would accept the offer of 100,000, but that 1% has the power of changing everything.

  124. Wahaha Says:

    What would a more ideal society do? It would consider this problem in more detail and would tend to give the individual less than the value of the home he is giving up – becuase people are more willing to make sacrifices.

    *************************************************************************

    huh?

    people are more willing to make sacrifices when utilitarianism is realized.

  125. Wahaha Says:

    Theoretically the party can stay in power for a long time (which is what I believe Wahaha means) because they’ve been good at adapting to the new circumstances, but personal freedoms are expanding rapidly not….

    ****************************************
    That is what I mean, but the “because” part is not what I mean.

    About personal freedom, see example #22.

    You stay in China for 8 years, how many chinese intelligentsia do you know who want to see China getting stronger and stronger, and put it as a priority when investigating political system ? how many scientists and engineers do you know ?

    The voice of this group is rarely heard publicly, because they dont complain much, they dont bash government much. very very few reports on them.

    If Chinese government is good at adapting to the new circumstances, it is because the policys have been made by scientists and engineers who have little interest in politics, not by those whose only interest is moral superiority.

  126. Wahaha Says:

    Whooper,

    You can NOT judge a sociey purely by utilitarianism or purely by morality.

    But utilitarianism is something an ordinary person has to deal with daily, morality is not an issue most of time, not even once every year, hence

    1)In genearl, utilitarianism > morality when utilitarianism is far from realized.

    2)Ingenearl, morality > utilitarianism when utilitarianism is realized.

  127. wwww1234 Says:

    on 128
    Wahaha, would you care to give morality examples in the case of judging the chinese society?

  128. Wahaha Says:

    #132

    挟尸要价

    google it.

  129. UFQ Says:

    If Whooper claims to want to talk to real Chinese people, then he should be speaking, reading and blogging in Chinese at the very least. If he were to continue blogging, speaking and reading only in English, he’s not ever going to get it, is he?

  130. UFQ Says:

    # 128

    What Wahaha wrote above is what every Chinese knows to be true:

    人窮志短
    發財立品,

    e.g.

    香港60/70年代, 警察/公務員貪污腐敗到嚇死人, 那個時候香港人民禮貌和質素比較現時, 香港不是進步左好多嗎.

  131. wwww1234 Says:

    on 130
    That is what I mean by level of civic development. According to my understanding of modern Chinese history (including reports of assessment on the ching government and chines society by Japanese spies from the mid 1800s on, it is my impression 挟尸要价had been the norm. What happened from 1949-1980s was a period of anomaly during which the Chinese population, of all walks of society, were brain washed (not in a negative sense) to value the spiritual
    above material gains. And this could not and did not persist, and we are now back to normal.

    In this case, it should have been the responsibility of a neutral agent, a government agency, to handle public safety and disaster situations. If you walk into a private US hospital, no treatment would be rendered till your payment method had been cleared, as a matter of fact; the ambulance would refuse to take you there. BUT, you do get free treatment in a county public hospital regardless.
    So people are force to behave against their moral sensibility in certain circumstances. To me, it is the government’s task to eliminate those situations, which the CCP government, is now affluent enough to work on. It becomes evident on comparing the rescue effort in Tongshan and Sichuen.

    Further, civility is easier to be enhanced when material needs are already or closer to being met. So I think at this stage, legitimacy can largely be judged by utilitarian achievement.

    on 132.
    “What Wahaha wrote above is what every Chinese knows to be true”

    Not so, many people I know, particularly those living in an ivory tower in Hong Kong, consider this to be the result of non-democratic rule, oblivious of the worse scandals in Taiwan.

  132. wwww1234 Says:

    On 131
    I am not sure what you try to imply. Multinationals, applying their knowledge of economic development patterns gained in their OWN countries, are extremely successful making a lot of money though their China investment without being able to read or speak Chinese.

  133. UFQ Says:

    # 133,

    發財立品:

    http://www.chinapost.com.tw/business/asia/other/2010/03/06/247168/Forbes-lists.htm

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2009-08/27/content_8623856.htm

    #134

    Let me put it another way: If as Whooper claims “to want to talk to REAL Chinese people,” he may have a better chance in gleaning in-depth understanding of Chinese thinking by doing so in fluent Chinese Mandarin.

  134. No99 Says:

    It’s kind of irrelevant, but I’m sort of scratching my head whether or not to say this.

    Judging from so many comments and posts, most of the “Chinese” here appear to be “sort of close” to what “Chinese” in Asia think (PRC nationals or ethnic Chinese in HK, Malaysia, etc.) That’s the impression I’m kind of getting, because to be honest, a lot of attitudes and commentaries I’ve read so far appear to be similar to what a lot of Chinese immigrants and students say. Could be the general propaganda, or these attitudes and opinions are what they grew up with. Of course, these P.R. statements don’t always reflect the real lives of people, not always.

    I’m generalizing here a bit, but not far from the truth. Most overseas Chinese (those by heritage, living in any country) don’t really think that much regarding social policies back in China or what works best for that country. Most of them are realists and cynical of any government. Usually, they don’t think much about it unless it concerns them personally in some way, like business interests or cultural links (the best thing for most people is to stay away from political matters as possible). It makes sense, as they don’t live there. That’s the general mentality of most overseas Chinese.

    It’s just something I want to point out, that’s all.

  135. UFQ Says:

    What WKL said in # 119 is quite true: ” many Chinese look up to the US. ”

    # 136 No99

    Speaking of brainwashing, …Some overseas Chinese sent me this article by Newt Gingrich with this remark at the end –

    ” If, after reading this, you agree with it, please pass it on to others. This is the most clearly stated, sensible, and historically accurate statement that I’ve read on this issue (and I’ve read a lot of them). Why can’t we have a President as intelligent, educated, and patriotic as this former Speaker of the House? ”
    …………………………..

    WTF ????? !!!!!! Sad, so very sad !

    …………………………..

    re: Statement on the Proposed Cordoba House Mosque near Ground Zero
    by Newt Gingrich

    http://politifi.com/news/Newt-Gingrich-Statement-on-the-Proposed-Cordoba-House-Mosque-near-Ground-Zero-960467.html

    This is one of too many such daily hogwashes that stinks and poison the international media, and yet to some overseas and a lot of Asians, they’re a welcome diet.

    http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/08/457886.html

    FACT Check:
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100819/ap_on_go_ot/us_mosque_fact_check

  136. No99 Says:

    UFQ,

    I understand the issue with the NYC Mosque and rhetoric surrounding it, but I’m not quite comprehending the point of putting those those links here. Like, what are you trying to say?

  137. UFQ Says:

    What WKL said in # 119 is quite true: ” many Chinese look up to the US. ”

    … NON-American overseas Chinese sent me this article by Newt Gingrich with this remark at the end -” …This is the most clearly stated, sensible, and historically accurate statement that I’ve read on this issue (and I’ve read a lot of them)…..”

    I am Chinese. I live in China. A lot of Chinese have unrealistic mis-led ideas about the West, and a lot of overseas Chinese in the West think like their host or OVERSEAS home countries. That is all, merely stating the facts.

  138. Wahaha Says:

    “these P.R. statements don’t always reflect the real lives of people, not always. ”

    *************************************************
    No99,

    What do you mean by “real lives” ?

    or you mean “these P.R. statements don’t always reflect what people think, not always.”?

    Talking about brainwashing, let me give you an example :

    In India, lot of middle class hate the corruption and impotence of government, they want having a government like China that can get things done.

    Go visit ANY websites by Indians, you wont find a blogger or a journalist talking about if the system in China is better .

    What is my point ? my point is that people dont have opinions that can impact the society unless that is what writers and journalists like them.

    In China’s 2000 years of feudal system, the chinese 文人never tried to replace the feudal system with another system under which people would have more power. Why ?

    So, other than what western (and chinese) 文人have told you, what else do you know ?

    If not, then most likely, you are brainwashed.

  139. Wahaha Says:

    www1234,

    What do you think that Chinese government now invests a lot in selling 孔子?

    ********************************

    (1) even if Chinese were in general as rich as Americans, they would still be “morally inferior”. That is because Chinese have a tradition of leaving a fortune for their children, and Chinese in general still feel responsible for the education of their children. I guess most people here know that lot of oversea students here depend on their parents in China for education. This is backed by the fact that Chinese rich donated much less compared to the rich in West.

    (2) My understanding of “absolutism” in human society is, simply speaking, ignoring the results. Moral absolutism is something like “you cant do that (even it means hundreds of times more people will suffer).”

  140. No99 Says:

    UFQ,

    ok, I see your point. Yes, of course, a lot of overseas Chinese adopt the attitudes of their host countries. This is normal. However, it’s not that really that straight forward and simple. Just remember that attitudes are varied and there is a lot of diversity of opinions regarding any subject. I wouldn’t call it total brainwashing, because this is just opinions aren’t reflective of the majority. In general, relationships and attitudes about China from overseas Chinese are mostly in the middle. They (a lot of them, relatively speaking) don’t believe in “All the BS” spilled by mainstream “Western” media, but they’re too far apart to understand what’s happening in the ancestral lands. Relatively speaking.

    For you and Wahaha,

    Sorry if my previous comment regarding P.R. statements sounded like I was saying people were brainwash. I’ll explain better. It’s sort of like how people talk about their own countries in foreign lands. Like if you ask a 100 Americans or a 100 French about their own countries, USA and France, you’ll end up with mostly the same comments, i.e. America = Freedom or America = hypocrites, or France = Artistic or France = arrogant, etc. People usually say the same stuff when they’re asked to described their home. Stuff that they grew up with or is drilled in their head by various means, like mainstream media, education, etc. That’s kind of what I mean by P.R. statements and propaganda (because propaganda really is a neutral term, it’s just today it’s mostly associated with negativity).

    I didn’t even mentioned brainwashing at all, but if that is what you all interpret what I said, well, it’s not.

  141. UFQ Says:

    Sorry, my bad …. I was not clear. It was just a neutral matter-of-fact “speaking of” statement anyway.

    www 1234 in # 131 wrote ” brain washed (not in a negative sense) ” which is fine.

    Truth is, I have no problem with the terms Propaganda and brainwashed – because it is true in every culture – and as for whether it is negative or positive, it’s not for me to judge, as SKC like to say “To each his/her own,” which is how it should be. we are not a know-it-all type of bloggers – I think, and I hope :-)

    I work with ABC, BBC, CBC, OZBC, South African BC and other English speaking south east Asians in China for years now. One of the most despicable one Chinese-American, well, to me and my overseas Chinese friends and colleagues anyway, is this Beijing born naturalized American. He went to America when he was in his early teens. And after six years in USA he pretends he doesn’t understand Chinese ! He would sometimes ask his ABC friends to translate for him when the locals talk to him! On the phone with his family, though, he ‘d speak absolutely perfect Beijing Mandarin. LOL.!!!!

  142. wwww1234 Says:

    re: “Vote -1 Vote +1Wahaha Says:
    October 4th, 2010 at 3:03 am

    www1234,

    What do you think that Chinese government now invests a lot in selling 孔子?”
    =================================================

    I dont have much insight in this. But under the current atmosphere, I suspect that is the only available tool to present our present=traditional cultural ideal, which has been and continues to be distorted often by the mass media.

  143. wwww1234 Says:

    may I add re : cultural ideal

    大同, 小康
    王道, not 霸道,

    others may be more knowledgeable

  144. S.K. CHeung Says:

    To 138:
    Riddle me this: if “no blogger or journalist” in India is talking about it, and considering that you are a non-Indian person living in NYC, how is it that you would know that a “lot of middle class” Indians want a CCP-style system of governance?

    Also, consider what you are saying here: “my point is that people dont have opinions that can impact the society unless that is what writers and journalists like them.” Then factor in that the CCP has strict controls over what writers and journalists are “allowed” to like. No wonder we wouldn’t hear about whether Chinese people would want a non-CCP style system of governance for themselves. Such a shame.

  145. UFQ Says:

    wwww1234 Says:

    孔子的有些政治主张过于理想化,在今日之社会断难付诸实践。比如 “丘未之逮也,而有志焉” 这段谈话里提出的社会大同主张。人为地改造社会是一件艰巨甚至血腥的事情。老子则不同,他站在关怀人类整体的角度提出了很多主张,不仅有助于寻常百姓,也有助于统治阶级。

  146. Wahaha Says:

    how is it that you would know that a “lot of middle class” Indians want a CCP-style system of governance?

    **************************************************

    Your question doesnt make any sense after reading the following.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2010/08/19/majority-of-indian-middle-class-is-almost-poor/

  147. Wahaha Says:

    #140, People usually say the same stuff when they’re asked to described their home.

    ***********************************

    Not in China, you cant imagine how sad some Chinese were when the highspeed broke the record or China sent satellite to the moon.

    Ironically, most of those who were sad are democratic advocates, I guess that is why their free-speeches are often tolerated by the evil CCP, that is why I said they need someone like SKC.

  148. No99 Says:

    UFQ,

    Yeah, I know what you mean regarding those Chinese that go overseas and come back pretending they know nothing. There’s no point to doing that. Whatever reasoning they have for it (they feel ashamed, feel a sense superiority for speaking a foreign language, or I’ve heard from others that it’s faster to learn a language if they forbid themselves from speaking their native tongue, but sometimes it doesn’t work in many situations), they’re just embarrassing themselves in the long run.

    I don’t know that Chinese-American guy’s situation, but people who immigrant in their teens don’t usually lose their ability to speak their native language. Often, their English accents stay with them as well.

    Oh, let me apologized for going off topic here.

  149. silentchinese Says:

    @whooper Says:

    October 2nd, 2010 at 7:19 am “…”.

    about your anology of worms and eagle.

    1) I think it is fair to say that average chinese (worms if you will) despises intellectual snobbery. i.e. eagle is better than you lowly worms and you worms should know it.
    2) what they don’t depise and highly repsect is intellectualism. intellectual ability was always looked up on, even in the depth of cultural revolution.
    3) hence as worms they appreciate self depreciating, humble eagles, because they aspire to be eagles.

    I think generally in the west, and especially in America, intellectualism is generally looked down up on. especially by those on the right. hence any person of any intellectual ability aspiring to higher office, must act like they grew up in a log cabin and chop his own fire wood, eventough he may be an andover prep school boy that went to harvard.

    anyways…

    back to china,

    like other pointing out, in china, consumerism is on the rise, individualism is on the rise, what the older generation calls “corrupting influences of the west” is on the rise.

    But so are interests in confucism and older chinese philosophies. chinese intellectuals always used history to “teach a lesson” if you will, and current debate is not above that. On the “high end”, Couple of years ago, hujintao and the party’s school commissioned a set of systematic historical studies into the conditions of rise and fall of all major western powers in the past 500 years, as means to gather lesson for china’s future rise. what’s remarkable is that 1) the study is almost completely void of leninist-marxist ideology ,2) the study is availble on the internet if one dig hard enough. and 3) I have yet to find any one in the west has done any thing like this on this scale.
    On the low end, one of most popular “genre” books sold over there couple of years now is a treaties on dialectics by a women confucian scholar. so are popular history books and novels that is steeped not in dynastical gossip but in real-philosophically inquiring historicisms.

    sure, chinese yuppies still want their ipad and iphones. but, I feel, they are bit more confident and interested in their own culture’s philosophies. compare this against the 80s. the contrast couldn’t be greater. the material superiority of the west over whelmed china. many of its young people and so of its leaders, faithfully trusted that their way forward is extreme and complete westernization. there was a story that back in 80s, Hu Yao Bang, was so radical a westernizer, that he ordered the mess kitchen in army units to serve only “western style” food. then comes the sobering reality. 89′ was much a cold bucket of water as it was a slap on the head.

    I often feel that today’s china is more and more towards resembling china during the warring state period. Not on political division, but on the intellectual curiousity and of political thought. where confucists and legalist debated openly on deep philosophical questions, and giants such as han fei zi and xun zi walked the earth.

    I feel china right now is on the verge of something again, all she needs is a spark. I don’t mean revolution in political sense, but a revolution in human idea. an idea that 1) has rational basis and 2) that she can be proud of championing 3) can greatly advance the condition of china through next stage of its developement and 4) be a set of “universal value” such that it can actually benefit the human race.

    I feel it is intellectual snobbery and utter foolishness to think western liberal democracy is the “pinnicle” of human history. if this is the end then this is a sad end and humans have no hope.

    Thank you.

  150. HKer Says:

    ” I’ve heard from others that it’s faster to learn a language if they forbid themselves from speaking their native tongue ”

    Hm, sounds like another one of those many ESL fallacies and myths concocted by dumb monolingual English Native-speaker in South East Asia !

  151. HKer Says:

    # 149
    SC

    ” hence as worms they appreciate self depreciating, humble eagles, because they aspire to be eagles. ”

    This sounds quite true ANYWHERE, and in fact very much so in the UK.

    “Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”
    Albert Einstein

    “You know more than you think you know, just as you know less than you want to know.”
    holdingeternity
    Oscar Wilde

    “To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals courtesy, to inferiors nobleness.”
    Benjamin Franklin

    Therefore I also quite agree with SKC # 115

    “when was the last time you met a truly smart person who had to repeatedly remind you of his “smartness”? I had yet to meet such a person, until I came across you. First time for everything, I suppose. And not a pretty sight.”

  152. UFQ Says:

    No99

    #148

    ” people who immigrant in their teens don’t usually lose their ability to speak their native language ”

    Like I said in # 141

    “On the phone with his family, though, he ‘d speak absolutely perfect Beijing Mandarin. “

  153. UFQ Says:

    I love Albert Einstein who is believed to have said the following ….

    ” Math is too hard. So, I took up science, where guesses are called “theories” and you don’t need math to prove anything.”

    “You don’t have to have a good theory to be a good scientist. Just one that can’t be proven wrong until years after you’re dead!”

    “Only two things are infinite, Kansas and human stupidity. And I’ve never really been sure about the former.”

  154. wwww1234 Says:

    on 145 UFQ Says:
    ==========================
    Re: cultural ideal.

    I was referring to an IDEAL, rather than the approaches. Besides, Wahaha was probably thinking about what is happening inside China.

    But anyway, with the brief interruption in mainland china, since antiquity all literate Chinese can recite by heart大道之行也,天下为公. This was upheld even by tyrants and war lords as a cultural ideal, and almost a necessary qualifier to be a CHINESE.

    The Commonwealth of Great Unity – The Record Of Rites, Book IX

    “While the perfect order called the Great Dao prevails, the world is like a commonwealth shared by all. Virtuous and worthy people are elected to public office while capable people hold posts and contributing employment in the society. The maxim of living is to believe in peace and coherence, sincerity and trust among all people.
    Everyone loves and respects his or her own parents and children, as well as the parents and children of others.
    There are caring and protection for the aged until their last day; there is appropriate employment for the able-bodied; and there are nourishment and education for the children and youth.
    There is kindness and compassion for the widows and widowers, for the orphans, for the childless and for all who find themselves alone in the world, as well as for the disabled and sick.
    Everyman as well as woman has an appropriate role to play in the family and society.
    Although nobody likes to see natural resources and wealth wasted on the land, no one keeps it for oneself. Nobody likes wealth which is not the creation of one’s own labour. Moreover, nobody does things just to benefit oneself.
    A devotion to public service leaves no room for idleness; intrigues and connivances for ill gain are unknown. Villains such as thieves, robbers, rogues and rebels no more exist. The door of every house needs not to be locked and bolted during day and night.
    The above-mentioned are the characteristics of an ideal world called the Commonwealth of Great Unity.”

    Translated from

    礼记 – 大同篇

    大道之行也,天下为公,选贤与能,讲信修睦。故人不独亲其亲,不独子其子,使老有所终,壮有所用,幼有所长,矜、寡、孤、独、废疾者皆有所养,男有分,女有归。货恶其弃于地也,不必藏于己;力恶其不出于身也,不必为己。是故谋闭而不兴,盗窃乱贼而不作,故外户而不闭,是谓大同。

    And Chineseness has always been defined by culture, not by ethnicity.

  155. wwww1234 Says:

    On 149 silentchinese Says
    And on 151 HKer Says:
    =====================
    To be fair one has to stay in context., without truncating what was said and done prior.

    Whooper was responding to a post(115) that was unnecessarily harsh and provocative for any rational discussion. I believe we are all better off if we stay away from proclaiming others motive/personality and concentrate on others opinion instead.

  156. silentchinese Says:

    @HKer Says:
    “This sounds quite true ANYWHERE, and in fact very much so in the UK.”

    In UK and much of western world. the norm, if one is competent, is for one to aspire to be a successful upper middle class gentry existence. one doesn’t aspire to be a scientist that can discover new laws of physics or an engineer that can invent a new gadget, or a factory owner or something like that. no at best one aspire to be a trader on wall-street or something akin to that and make alot of dough.
    and more often or not, if a young man growing up aspire to be anything will be ridiculed by his peers.

    these are not the worm that aspire to be eagle.

    contrast that in china. a friend of mine, who was washed out in the college entrance exams, so he can only go to an technical college. never the less insistent on completing his bachelor degree with night school. he now leads a field team for one of the big name chinese telecom equipment makers that is doing contracts all over the world and is beating the **** out of cisco.

    these are the truly worthy people. they are aspiring to be eagles. not many of them will attain their goal at the end. but they strive and they reach. that’s the difference. this is why china has energy.

    anyway i may be generalizing.

  157. wwww1234 Says:

    On 144 S.K. CHeung Says: Then factor in that the CCP has strict controls over what writers and journalists are “allowed” to like. No wonder we wouldn’t hear about whether Chinese people would want a non-CCP style system of governance for themselves. Such a shame.
    ==========================

    The Pew report states only 26%( less than 30% for sure) has trust in the news media and its journalist in the US, a land with the most liberal law for freedom of speech on earth.

    I can hardly believe the journalists intentionally lie or fabricate, but rather are self censoring or being controlled by vested interest, the power elites. That is also in keeping with Chomsky’s assertion.

    So what people’s preference, which is much affected by the news media, is often not one of the same as what is in their best interest. Studies have shown unequivocally that rationality is bounded particularly for long term events, and voters in general are “predictably irrational”.

    So the merits of your “democracy” theory could only be fully realized if preference coincides fully with real interest, but we know they don’t. I for one would rather stay with the proven– 10% GDP increase annually— for as long as it can, as this translates into peasants being able to urbanize and enjoy modernity; being able to afford tuition, medicines, recreation for their children; and young people being able to be employed and feel being useful. I would not worry as much about the on going debate about morality—as given the fact that the nation has endured and persisted over the millennium, I have reason to be hopeful and optimistic that this would work itself out in the long run.

    I do share with your good wishes, it is just different opinion on approaches and timing.

  158. S.K. Cheung Says:

    I’m not sure how much I “trust” American media either. That said, it’s far too much of a generalization to hang your hat on “trust”, or to assume that it’s a dichotomous state (ie either you trust them or you don’t). First off, I read an article and determine how believable it is after I’ve read it. But whether I believe one article or not doesn’t impact on my reading of the next article…I analyze the next one just as I did the first, and so on and so forth. In the end, i probably would trust some authors from some organizations more than others, but only as long as they continue to pass my personal litmus tests. Also, the closer a topic is to my field of expertise, the less I care about what’s in the media, because I’d know more about those topics than the reporters reporting on them. In those cases, trust is irrelevant, since I would put no reliance on what they said. In a society that tolerates freedoms of speech, it is not surprising that no one group would enjoy a monopoly on “trustworthiness”, since so many different and disparate sources are vying for said trust.

    Chomsky has a notable following. It never hurts to be reminded of the usefulness of, and need for, skepticism from time to time.

    When we speak of people’s “best interest”, we must first decide if there is some gold standard to which people’s preferences are to be compared. If there is such a gold standard, then who should be given the privilege of making such a determination? Barring such a gold standard, one would have to leave people with the right, and also the responsibility, of making that determination for themselves. Furthermore, there’s identifying the “best interests”, and then there’s deciding how best to attain them.

    So when you submit that people’s “preference (should) coincide fully with (their) real interest” in order for democracy to fully reap its benefits, I would ask what those “real interests” are, and who gets to make that decision. 10% annual GDP increase is a legitimate interest, and quite a real one. But I would also ask if that is the only interest, if there are competing interests, the relative importance of those various interests, and again, who makes the judgment. Furthermore, one has to ask whether this “interest” has been achieved by the market system, or the political system. To me, the CCP had presided over the political system from 1949- 1979 just as she has since 1980; the difference has been the approach to the economic system, and while the CCP deserves credit for allowing this economic system to flourish, I believe its role was more akin to getting the heck out of the way rather than being the straw that stirred the drink.

  159. whooper Says:

    silentchinese,

    My eagles worms comment, as well as stirring up some better self analysis and a more lively thread, was designed to speak of a culture, which comes out of individualism, in which the average man assumes he right about everything he thinks.

    Plato, for example, teaches that we must never inflate our sense of rightness, we must always maintain an attitude of self questioning. That’s the mistake the American Right make, they assume they know the correct answer, they despise critics who claim to have studied the issue in more detail. In democracy man is entitled to his opinion, as if individual knowledge is a sacred right. In an intellectual culture man is not entitled to opinion, and he is only entitled to argue his position if he has the capacity to understand how he might be wrong.

    Plato, like Confucius, says that piety is a critical attribute for the young. The masses do not have the training to understand every point, it is critical they learn piety. In Western society we see that totally coming apart, the young actually disrespect the old. The young assert their independence by deliberately taking the opposite position. So I was wondering if Chinese generally have this same brash self confidence, which is as shocking for its lack of piety as for its ignorance.

    Also, and related to this I was wondering to what extent China is a stratified society. For example, England is famous for it’s tradition of upper class and lower class. Likewise, much of Europe. India is another example. I think China historically was the same, the imperial exam divided society into the elite and the masses. America has always been a much flatter society.

    —-

    By the way, I think that Plato and Confucius essentially taught the same ‘Eastern Perspective’ which is the antithesis of Western Christianity. Somehow many ancient philosophical ideas appear to have spread between China, Persia and Ancient Greece. Pythagoras, for example, is know to have traveled extensively visiting Egypt, Arabia, Phoenicia, Judaea, Babylon, India. In fact there is even a book called “Was Pythagoras Chinese?” which picks up on the similarities between Chinese and Greek mathematics. The book’s title is metaphorical, but it does speak of a seeming exchange of ideas.

    I highly recommend Chinese interested in leaning more about Confucian philosophy to read Plato. Unfortunately there are few texts from ancient China surviving today, but Plato produced a vast body of work which still survives perfectly intact today. Plato is not that easy to read, you can easily miss the deep fundamentals behind the seemingly bland words. Yet it is still a lot easier to read than Confucius. The vital thing to remember for Chinese reading Plato is that his mortal / immortal duality is the equivalent of the yin / yang.

    PS: I would love the link to the study you mention of the rise and falls of powers. Is it available in English? If not sounds like a great topic for someone to write about.

  160. silentchinese Says:

    @whooper

    this is the closest thing I can find to this in the western reference.
    The tv series is the public facet , and there was the private briefing in 2004-5 to the politburo. the private briefing notes is what i refer to, and i think it exist only in chinese and one can order a copy on line from book sellers.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rise_of_the_Great_Powers

    anyways.

    1)on moral decay of the west. may be it was because the intellectual elite of the western europe (through their affirmation and enabling or the ruling elites) has brought so much destruction and death to their respective countries through 2 world wars that they forefeited their right of peity.
    so often you see the argument constructed by the “democrats” such as only democracy can stop hitler and such, but one also don’t forget that the 1st world war s was a psychological watershed too. where the cream of the west perished, for what? manures in northern france. same type of anti-hierachtical behavior existed in china, between last empire fell and may 4th movement in china in 1919, the status quo has blatantly failed and thus discredited themselves. But I think the difference is, in the western european sense democracy acts as kind of stabilizer and tranquailizers of socieities, where in china democracy failed to take root because traditions, external and internal pressures, necessitated that strong mens will attempt to take charge.

    2) On plato’s eastern pespective.
    I am not sure Plato is widely read in china. high school students I think are certainly required to know him.
    but I think on the “eastern side”, in the most pure form, confucists are often credited with things that they do not originally espouse. alot of what “eastern platonics” engross are largely from legalist tradition. I think what happened is that legalist and confucist collaborated in the imperial rule of china, and the hybrid system is what chinese had for 2000 years. The direct governing meritocracy system, where competance trumps nobliity or feifrights, is certainly a originally a legalist invention. what confucius himself originally advocated as political philosophy is “Li”-based governing system, and “Li” certainly meant Zhou-Li, which means Zhou Rites or rituals and behavior norms laid out by Zhou. the original central-governing kingdom. all in all it was a philosophy harking back to traditions as opposed to pure reason.
    but if one widens the definition of confucists as those also from legalist tradition.then I think it is ok to called the “eastern tradition”, “confucism”.

    3) also, nature of man.
    all this talk about legalist/confucist reminds me of a classic debate that happened during warring state period between legalists vs confucist on nature of man, or ren-xing. is evil innate or is evil “learned”. no surprise who is taking up which position. kind of reminds of your dualism between christian moralism vs rationalism, and the nature or model of “God”

    anyways. I digress.

    SC

  161. silentchinese Says:

    S.K. Cheung Says:
    “To me, the CCP had presided over the political system from 1949- 1979 just as she has since 1980; the difference has been the approach to the economic system, and while the CCP deserves credit for allowing this economic system to flourish, I believe its role was more akin to getting the heck out of the way rather than being the straw that stirred the drink.”

    I know this might have been debated to death here before.

    but I do have a different view on 49-79.

    if one look at china in 49, it was a failed state, with much of northern and eastern china, its most productive area in ruins, pittence of industry, national defence in shambles. in 79 it is one of the regional powers, that has a industrial system and social and physical infrastructure that if not complete then self sustaining.

    if one just look at over all GDP growth, the industrial growth rates in the mid 50s and between the politically generated turmoils, are on the same order as the best in the later years. I am not going to bore anyone with statistical numbers citing growth especially industrial growth, but the fact that I can shouldn’t tell you that growth in the first 30 years are at least somewhat real?
    and if one were to talk of human life lost as evidence of mis-rule, ( and certainly they are) then shouldn’t we also chalk the human life gained ( china certainly had a population surplus problem in 79, thus the rationale of one-child-policy) as evidence of wise-rule??

    If one seperate the two halves of 60 years then one certainly missed the big picture.

  162. S.K. Cheung Says:

    I’m not saying there was no growth between 1949 and 1979. As you say, there must have been some. But it seems that Deng’s “opening up” policy in 1980 is viewed, by quite a number of people, as a seminal moment in China’s economic transformation from where she was before it to where she sits today. And that was primarily a shift in economic policy, rather than a political one. So it should leave one to wonder whether that change in economic policy has brought relative prosperity because of the concomitant political structure, or in spite of it. My belief is that it is the latter. Of course there is no way to prove that. But a similar economic policy has had success at different times under a different political structure, which makes me think that the political structure is not imperative to the success of such an economic policy.

    As previously stipulated, 10% annual GDP growth is great. As a solitary interest viewed in isolation, one might find it hard to improve upon. But human interests are varied, coexist, and often cannot be viewed in isolation. So one question is whether this growth could’ve occurred under a different political system within China’s unique circumstances, and you already know my opinion on that one. Another more nebulous question is whether Chinese people would accept a different level of growth in a political environment that does not have the trappings of the CCP system (and that level could be higher or lower than the current level).

    For this reason, when you spoke of “best interest” earlier, I asked: from who’s perspective? Is it the “best interest” to achieve the absolute very highest rate of GDP growth possible, everything else be damned? Maybe to some; but maybe not to others. In China’s case, the only people whose opinion would matter are Chinese people. And you’d think, at some point, that someone would think to ask them.

    I’m not sure how to classify the one-child policy. I think it was partly social policy, and partly economic. I will agree that it’s implementation required a CCP-style political system (it would be hilarious to visualize an American or Canadian politician trying that one at any point in history; then again, it was never required by a long stretch). But even then, there were loopholes like for rural couples with a first born daughter. If you were to conclude that it was a strictly economic policy, then I would have to stipulate that this economic policy did require the CCP’s political system for success, and would’ve failed in a “democracy”. On the other hand, compared to Deng’s aforementioned policy shift, I don’t think the one child policy had nearly the same impact in bringing about today’s economic reality in China.

  163. silentchinese Says:

    @SKC

    I have heard these arguments and briefly here is why I think these are problematic

    1) realistically a country can achieve, around 10% a year real growth, sustained with out running into problems. no country I think in modern industrializing history has achieved comparable rates that are statistically discernibly higher than china’s for this long of period. for 3 decades. and most of them are smaller countries with corresponding smaller population and at a higher level of starting industrialization. (Japan did it post war at 8.5%). if every factor is additive, and you posit that the historical reality is that it is entirely an economic policy change rather than a political change. then I do not think political change would have brought any higher growth rates. because a) the rates are already at its practical maximum. i.e. statistically political reform (WLD kind) at best is a neutral factor on economic growth. and b) every other precedent happened without meaningful political reform.
    In another word, we have a very close to optimal performance, AND multiple affirming precedents. I think the likely hood of a political change that will bring meaningfully higher growth is very, very low.

    2) as to the question of “growth could’ve occurred under a different political system” and “whether Chinese people would accept a different level of growth in a political environment that does not have the trappings of the CCP system (and that level could be higher or lower than the current level”

    my assertion the probabllity of that “alternate history” is very small, and here is why:
    two fold:
    a) political change itself comes with cost. no change is cost free. and those cost will be borne out economically and factor into growth. as why does business love stability and certainty to any business executive and he/she will tell you that they can manage the internal factors but it is wasteful to prepare for external unknowns. the exercise then, is to minimize the cost as a whole while generate maximum economic growth, if one’s target is economic growth. and by default one has to minimize cost associated with political change.
    b) this has been beaten to death, but… eastern europe. their experiences has been one of less growth rates and relative painful stagnation. their political system was on verge of collapse because their economic reform was more or less an free fall, in china’s case, it was baby step and empirically trial and error on small scale then nation wide exercise. experimentally derive a way to have a very high benefit to cost ratio if you will. this is also precisely whooper’s original point.

    3) regardless of sentimentalities in a democracy (we are talking about china remember) impact one-child-policy is not nebulous at all, even with conservative estimates factoring in impact of economic growth on fertility one could easily estimate benefit. this is basically an statistic exercise. and the savings is undoubtedly real.

    but this is not my point,
    my original point is, if death is counted as misrule, then shouldn’t increase in birth count as wise-rule as well?
    how can that be? clearly later in hindsight was a policy mistake that leads to a crushing explosion of population? correct?
    I think there is something drastically missing from the standard narratives regarding 49-79 Chinese history here.

    philosophically speaking,
    I do not believe standard model of “Western Liberal Democracy” or WLD as an socio-political-economic model is the only path to human progress and massive economic growth. in fact I can have many examples in modern and pre-modern history where this is not the case and not at least the decisive factor.

  164. silentchinese Says:

    found an interesting peice in NYT I think is relevent to the topic at hand.

    “Voter Disgust Isn’t Only About Issues”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/us/politics/07bai.html

    “These voters did not hate politicians. They simply saw both parties, along with the media and big business, as symptoms of the larger societal ailment. And this underlying perception, that politicians in Washington conduct themselves just as childishly and with the same lack of accountability as the kids throwing chicken casserole in the lunchroom, may well be the principal emotion behind the electorate’s propensity to vote out whoever holds power. “

  165. S.K. Cheung Says:

    “I think the likely hood of a political change that will bring meaningfully higher growth is very, very low.”
    —agreed. My point isn’t predicated upon a political change bringing even higher growth than has been seen up to present times. My point is exactly the statements you quoted to launch your point #2.

    This question of mine (“one question is whether this growth could’ve occurred under a different political system within China’s unique circumstances”) is purely speculative, and since we don’t have the benefit of an “alternate history”, your guess is as good as mine and vice versa.

    But this question of mine (“whether Chinese people would accept a different level of growth in a political environment that does not have the trappings of the CCP system “) remains unaddressed. Your frame of reference is still confined to “economic growth” as the one and only objective. My question speaks to, as previously alluded, competing objectives that different individuals might espouse. And it needn’t be retrospective. That question could be asked of Chinese people today, tomorrow, or the day after that.

    As you say, eastern Europe is an oft-raised point. But China’s unique position in terms of size and population, which you raised in point #1, also makes eastern European countries a poor comparator for China. In fact, there is probably not a good comparator for China, then or now. So any change in her political system, in a nation of her size and population, with her recent display of economic prowess, would be uncharted territory. Who should make the decision on whether to make such a move? I presume you can guess my answer to that one.

    Regarding point 3, you know what they say about statistics. I imagine someone could engage in a “statistical exercise” to show that the one child policy was to economic policy what sliced bread is to a sandwich shop. As I said, “one-child” would not fly in a democracy, so whatever kudos are due the CCP are truly deserved in that case.

    I still don’t understand your “original point”. Birth rates and death are biological and physiological phenomena. Their occurrence is no reflection upon the effectiveness of “rule”. However, other things like premature death or infant mortality might be a better reflection of the state of one’s society. If you want to suggest that “one child” was an example of the CCP making a good decision for the circumstances of the time, I have no big quarrel with that. My “original point” is that “opening up” was also good policy but one that was not the exclusive domain or invention of the CCP; that a free market economy doesn’t need an authoritarian system to succeed; and particularly that, at this point, China’s economy no longer requires a concomitant CCP-style political system, and it might be time to see how Chinese people would like to proceed.

    “I do not believe standard model of “Western Liberal Democracy” or WLD as an socio-political-economic model is the only path to human progress and massive economic growth.”
    —and you are entitled to that believe, for sure. My questions to you: are Chinese people entitled to having a belief or an opinion on the matter? Are they entitled to have that belief/opinion be of consequence? And is “human progress” always made exclusively of “massive economic growth”, or might there be some other worthwhile things in life from time to time?

  166. Wahaha Says:

    are Chinese people entitled to having a belief or an opinion on the matter? Are they entitled to have that belief/opinion be of consequence?

    *************************************************

    Prove that people have their own opinions besides what they are told to believe, especially by those 文人。

    (BTW, will you kindly give a english word for “文人”).

  167. Wahaha Says:

    The key here is :

    In a society, the moral standard is set by 文人 and activitists。

    But in a society where modern industry dominates the economy, government policy should be made by the experts, like eoncomists, engineers and scientists, not by 文人and activitists。

    文人and activitists are not happy about this, therefore when all a person knows comes from 文人and activitists, it is very possible he is misled, as 文人and activitists only present what he likes and CAREs to people, not the whole pictures.

  168. silentchinese Says:

    my time is limited so i will just tackle this one question.

    S.K. Cheung Says:

    “But this question of mine (“whether Chinese people would accept a different level of growth in a political environment that does not have the trappings of the CCP system “) remains unaddressed. Your frame of reference is still confined to “economic growth” as the one and only objective. My question speaks to, as previously alluded, competing objectives that different individuals might espouse. And it needn’t be retrospective. That question could be asked of Chinese people today, tomorrow, or the day after that.”

    to me this is also a moot question.
    the question is how do you achieve human progress, long term, right?
    human progress, well what is it? well to me that means evolution as a whole towards a more productive and more satisfying state of being.

    well what does it mean in context of 1980s-90s- even today’s china? that means, first and foremost, meaningful job. so one can feed oneself. and have chance at a better life.
    well how does one achieve that one a macro scale of a society that has 1.3Billion people.
    you can go and donate your money and time with all the charity work, that’s fine and very good,
    but the 1st order factor that will enable productive employement is ….. economic growth. it is pretty much a necessary condition for, well, anything.

    now we may come to a point where people doesn’t want have jobs and doesn’t care if they are productive members of societies. fine. but I can not imagine that this dystopia will exist in reality in any future scenario.

    p.s.
    I have yet to seen any one who agree with the notion that path to long term progress of a society is NOT productive employment and productive employment does NOT come primarily from economic growth.

  169. silentchinese Says:

    also bit more

    S.K. Cheung Says:

    “But this question of mine (“whether Chinese people would accept a different level of growth in a political environment that does not have the trappings of the CCP system “) remains unaddressed. Your frame of reference is still confined to “economic growth” as the one and only objective. My question speaks to, as previously alluded, competing objectives that different individuals might espouse. And it needn’t be retrospective. That question could be asked of Chinese people today, tomorrow, or the day after that.”

    what you said fit in with the frame work by original article,
    in the context of ” constrained by the necessity of maintaining popular support. “.

    it is not necessary to hard constrain any one who wants to do their own thing. as long social cohesion is maintained so that rational macro economic choices can be made, whatever an individual wants to do is fine.

    different individual objects, you have to admit, does change with external factors. Yes, what’s good for the whole in the long term may not be good for individual in the transient, but they are definitely alined in the long term….
    for if the long term individual interests does not align with long term interest of a group, then basically this is social collapse, and we humans can not operate in groups, which is not the case.

  170. silentchinese Says:

    also,

    “I do not believe standard model of “Western Liberal Democracy” or WLD as an socio-political-economic model is the only path to human progress and massive economic growth.”
    —and you are entitled to that believe, for sure. My questions to you: are Chinese people entitled to having a belief or an opinion on the matter? Are they entitled to have that belief/opinion be of consequence? And is “human progress” always made exclusively of “massive economic growth”, or might there be some other worthwhile things in life from time to time?

    =====
    Sure, average people are entitiled to have opinions, but that doesn’t mean one can’t convince them to change it. we are all products of our past interactions with this world. there is nothing set in stone.

    and… I put an “And” between those two phrases.

    and sure, one can louge around in their comfortable post industrial existence and contemplate whatelse is worthy.
    the point is one has to get comfortable, and takes material wealth, and that takes economic growth.

    or one can be a starving philosopher in the mudpits of slums, but I do not believe this is human progress.

  171. Wahaha Says:

    well what does it mean in context of 1980s-90s- even today’s china? that means, first and foremost, meaningful job. so one can feed oneself. and have chance at a better life.

    **********************************************
    Job ?

    Are you kiding ? for most 文人, more political freedom means more jobs, money and fame.

    So, Job is not the most important issue 文人, activitists and moral absolutists care, THEREFORE, IT SHOULD NOT BE THE #1 ISSUE AN ORDINARY PERSON CARES.

    Right, SKC ?

  172. wwww1234 Says:

    Re: “to me this is also a moot question.”

    ==========================
    No one can be certain of results for events that did not take place. But obviously silencechinese has an answer for his own. So it is a question only the inquirer can answer for himself, which I submit is not that difficult. A bit of social participation locally, asking in your neighborhooh, the long term unemployed, or those stuck at the bottom of the ladder with little generational mobility, if they would trade their voting right(plus whatever spiritual)for a job with 8% annual raise, and you will be approaching you answer; or come join an inspection tour outside of the megacities, in the poorer provinces like Guizhou.
    Not that everyone is unemployed, but I think it would be sufficient approximation to conditions of subsistence farmers and low skill factory workers in China. But then of course, that is provided you accept the idea of maximizing public good.

  173. S.K. Cheung Says:

    “to me this is also a moot question.”
    —how so? Is it because this is a question the CCP would never ask, or one whose answer would not be recognized by the CCP, since she’s just going to do what she wants anyway?

    “human progress, well what is it? well to me that means evolution as a whole towards a more productive and more satisfying state of being. ”
    —indeed, according to you. But is it possible that some others might define it differently than you? If it is in fact possible, then how would you know the differences in other people’s definition without asking them? Furthermore, is there a point beyond which “productivity” is no longer the sole criterion of a “satisfying state of being”? And how would you know where that point is, when everything seems to be framed in the form of what makes sense “to you”?

    I’m not talking about the 1980’s or 1990’s. And there’s no denying the importance of clothing/food/shelter/transportation, as the Cantonese phrase goes. I further don’t deny the importance of economic growth. But my point all along has been that you can have economic growth based on the current Chinese free-market economy, without the accoutrements of the CCP political system.

    Now, I have no reason to believe that Chinese people would opt for “dystopia”, as you call it. If that is the alternative to the status quo as they see it, then it really should be a no-brainer, right? But as I said before, life is not always in the pursuit of one solitary goal, to the exclusion of all others. Hence my several attempts to bring up the concept of competing interests, which you’ve ignored. Maybe at some point, people might in fact opt for a little bit less of that CCP-style utopia. Are we at that point? Who knows. But there’s a way to find out, and I presume you already know what that is. As I’ve also said, people may well prefer an economic system that continues to promote economic growth, in an environment where the political system promotes some other things than what the current one does. Granted, as you said previously, such a change may have a cost, such as some stunting of economic growth. And that would be one of the factors people certainly need to consider. But why is it that they should be prevented from considering it?

    I agree that individual interests must at some point, on some level, align with societal interests. BUt just as individuals may have competing interests, so too might societies. Since societies are made up of individuals, not only must the interests of individuals align with society, but society’s interests should align with and acknowledge those of her member individuals. You seem to assume that individuals and societies have one interest, and one interest alone. That would be a society of clones; not of individuals. And I think Chinese society is comprised of the latter, though the CCP would likely prefer it to be the former.

    “but that doesn’t mean one can’t convince them to change it. ”
    —absolutely. And if the CCP has a compelling case, then I imagine her job would be an easy one. However, the CCP currently doesn’t so much convince as compel through the use, or threat of use, of force of a physical and/or alternate nature. It would be far preferable if the CCP merely sought to convince people. Of course, that leaves the possibility that people might remain unconvinced, and that concept doesn’t seem to sit well with the CCP.

    Now, maybe it’s time to turn things around. You seem enamoured by the PRC’s economic growth, and you seem to think it has much to do with the CCP political system rather than as a reflection of economic policy. You also seem averse to an arbitrary distinction of pre 1980 vs post 1980. That’s fine. So how is this economic growth working out for millions and millions of CHinese who are still ‘waiting their turn’ to get rich? The CCP political system would also be responsible for leaving many people behind. And she’s had a window of 61 years to get it together, with limited success. At what point do you think a reasonable person might say ‘enough of that noise’ and consider opting for a different political system. After all, for many in China today, I think the experience is still more dystopic than utopic. Don’t you think they’d want to look for “human progress” in a different manner?

    To 166:
    “Prove that people have their own opinions besides what they are told to believe”
    —that’s easy. Let’s start with you as exhibit A. You’re not shy about accusing “western media” of selling some con or ruse. And clearly you’ve seen right through it. Don’t you think others could do the same, or are you that much more perceptive than the average bear?

    “government policy should be made by the experts”
    —ahh, the good ol’ “meritocracy” bit. We’ve been through this before, haven’t we? So I’ll ask again: who gets to select the ‘experts’? Presumably other experts, right? So who determines the very first expert who is responsible for choosing every ‘expert’ that has followed in his/her footsteps? Maybe you might want to suggest that Mao was that immaculately-ordained “first expert”….actually, I hope you do, cuz that would be a good one. And what prevents these experts from succumbing to human frailties like the corruption that WKL has often mentioned in the past?

    I may as well ask you as I did to SC. How is the “ordinary person” making out in CHina these days? Well, maybe you’re not sure, since you don’t live there. Of course, I’m not sure either, but at least I’d be happy to ask them. If the ordinary person is still spinning his wheels after 31 or 61 years (take your pick), do you think such an ordinary person might want to try something else. I mean, sure, ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again’. But it would take an extraordinary person to keep going after 31 or 61 years. Maybe Chinese people are indeed that extraordinary. Let’s say we ask them and find out.

  174. Wahaha Says:

    “Prove that people have their own opinions besides what they are told to believe”
    —that’s easy.

    ***************************

    Ha ha ha.

    If people knew what their choice would lead to, how come the approval rate dropped so quickly after elected ?

  175. Wahaha Says:

    —indeed, according to you. But is it possible that some others might define it differently than you?

    *****************************
    Yes, like for Liu Xiaopo, the right of protest is more important than a good job.

    That is why I asked you to explain #22.

    Understandably, it is not understandable to you.

  176. Wahaha Says:

    —ahh, the good ol’ “meritocracy” bit. We’ve been through this before, haven’t we? So I’ll ask again: who gets to select the ‘experts’?

    *************************************

    Select experts ?

    If you have trouble in mathematics, you are gonna selecting an experts or you go to a college to finding a professors or a graduate ?

    or you are gonna pick who is the best at giving a speech, like a lawyer ?

  177. Wahaha Says:

    How is the “ordinary person” making out in CHina these days?

    *********************************

    Economically ? greatly improved, an improvement never seen in human history.

    Did you hear any complains about how the people after WenChuan earthquake are living now ?

  178. Wahaha Says:

    No more nonsense.

    You have a family, you have loan for a house, you kids gonna go to colleges and tuition is very expensive, or you dont have enough money for your medcare or retirement.

    What is more important to you ? a good job or right of voting ?

  179. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To 174:
    you asked for proof that people can have independent opinions, and I provided it, with you as evidence no less. Then you segue to how people’s opinions can change? People’s opinions can often change in the face of evidence. Not everyone, mind you; you would be a notable exception.

    To 175:
    your #22 was a challenged ‘example’, not unlike all of your other examples. And I already told you so in #23. The truth hurts, dude. Deal.

    To 176:
    LOL!! So the people selecting the ‘experts’ are actually completely incompetent in those fields themselves. Fantastic! So a bunch of CCP dudes who are clueless when it comes to the economy are tasked with finding the ‘experts’ to help steward the economy for them, and Chinese people should be happy with that? What qualifies these people to choose ‘experts’ when they have no clue themselves? And this is better than Chinese people choosing for themselves how exactly? Do you think Chinese people are that clueless as well?

    To 177:
    “improved”? Sure. But still a long way to go. After 61 long years. Time for plan B for Chinese people if they want it, I’d say.

    Hey, nice job with 5 posts in 14 minutes. You’re sure a ‘quick thinker’. Either that, or you’re incapable of conceiving of more than one thought at a time. Well done.

    The “job or vote” choice is a false dichotomy. Why not give Chinese people both? Just because you don’t want it doesn’t mean they don’t. I’d say it’s time to ask them…no thanks to you, of course.

  180. Wahaha Says:

    You cant answer 178? you dont have family ? funny telling me “truth hurts”, hurt what ?

    about 174, 30 years of 10% growth, what did westerners see ?

    ****************************
    LOL!! So the people selecting the ‘experts’ are actually completely incompetent in those fields themselves.

    Yes, incompetent, otherwise, west wouldnt be in such big financial trouble.

    and read “meritocracy”.

    *****************************
    #177,

    you want to deny it? be my guest.

    *********************************
    The “job or vote” choice is a false dichotomy. Why not give Chinese people both?

    #2.

  181. S.K. Cheung Says:

    First of all, nice job providing more than one “point” per post. For you, I’d say that’s progress.

    On the other hand, do I have to number everything for you in order for it to be recognizable? If you look carefully, you might realize that I’ve already responded to #178. In fact, you later respond to my response. So either you’re simply acting clueless, or you’re not acting at all.

    China’s growth in the last 30 years is not pertinent to #174, nor my response thereto. It might be more relevant to my response to #177. However, it again ignores the first 30 years of the CCP experience. It also continues to ignore the plight of many many Chinese people even today. Now, why would you choose to ignore those things? Are those things not appropriate for Chinese people to consider when they weigh the totality of their experience under the CCP? Or maybe they’re things you’d rather ignore in the course of your CCP worship. That’s up to you. But surely you won’t impose your preferences upon Chinese people now, would you?

    The incompetent people selecting experts are the folks of the good ol CCP, based on your own assertion in #176. Yes, they’ve lucked out and chosen well in the last 30 years, but they weren’t so lucky in their first 30. I wonder if Chinese people would hope that the CCP remains lucky, or would rather try their own hand. Better yet, maybe they’ll keep the current open-market economic policy, and just get rid of the CCP political system. Best of both worlds, as they say. What do Chinese people prefer? i wouldn’t know, and unlike you, I also don’t pretend to know.

    As for #177, you continue to miss the point, which in itself is quite a spectacular achievement. Bravo! Whether I choose to deny it or not is beside the point. The point would be how Chinese people feel about it. For some reason, you’re not interested in that. A rather curious position to take, but not out of character, I suppose.

    Why can’t Chinese people opt for a system that provides a job and a vote? The people in the CCP who appoint these ‘experts’ apparently don’t know that much anyway, according to you. What’s wrong with keeping the appointees, and getting rid of the appointers? Presto, now they have both. Do they want both? i don’t know. Neither do you. But for some bizarre reason, you seem allergic to the concept of finding out.

  182. Wahaha Says:

    The incompetent people selecting experts are the folks of the good ol CCP,

    **************************************

    I said that even well educated westerners are incompetent, otherwise how come they are in such financial chaos ?

    Now beat it.

  183. Wahaha Says:

    ….Do they want both? i don’t know. Neither do you. But for some bizarre reason, you seem allergic to the concept of finding out.

    *********************************

    Do you have a family ? were you ever in financial trouble ?

    If you were, would you be willing to scrafice the right of voting for a better job ?

    Do they want both ? of course, they want both. can they have both ? #2 gives you the answer.

    Bizarre or not bizarre, TO YOU, I dont care.

    All you can do is throwing around well organized sentence, no fact at all. Let me remind you again : I wouldnt waste time typing a lot to convince you, other readers can see what I mean by #2. You dont understand ? who cares ?

    If you want to have a feeling of beating me on internet, be my guest.

  184. S.K. Cheung Says:

    Ahh, back to one point per post, I see. That’s probably for the best. Wouldn’t want you to excessively tax yourself.

    Absolutely, some western economies have not done well in the last 5 years. But they did pretty well in the 10 years before that. Will they rebound at some point? Probably. Will they ebb again at some point after that? Probably. That’s how it goes.

    The economic system in China under the CCP political system didn’t do so hot the first 30 years. They’ve done awesome the last 30. Will there be some peaks and valleys in the future? Who knows. China is, after all, a unique circumstance. So comparing her to western nations is yet another example of comparing apples and oranges. Habit forming tendency of yours, to be sure.

    China’s economic system is going well right now. Obviously no reason to change that. But it has little to do with her political system, as far as i’m concerned. So is there a reason to change that political system? Far be it for me to say. But surely Chinese people in China should have some meaningful input into that decision, no? Though I suppose some Chinese guy in NYC is much better equipped to determine what might be best for Chinese people in China than…well…Chinese people in China. Cuz you seem like such an “expert”.

    I have a family. I’ve never been in financial trouble. All of which amounts to the square root of bupkis when we’re talking about what might or might not be best for Chinese people. Which is what I’ve said all along. If you’re willing to stipulate that Chinese people “want” both, then why can’t they try to have both? After all, it should be their decision. Your preference has nothing to do with, since you’re not in China. Nor mine. But between the two of us, I’ve never been the one trying to impose my wishes on 1.3 billion people.

    Gosh, you almost seem weepy at the end there. I hope you keep going, cuz everytime you write, it puts a smile on my face. Oh, and I enjoy your “facts”. Please do share more from where those came from.

  185. Wahaha Says:

    again, well organized sentences that leads to nowhere.

    If you were in financial trouble, would you be willing to scrafice the right of voting for a better job ? No, answer.

    Can you explain #2 ? no, you cant.

    Again, I dont see what I said only concern chinese people but not westerners.

    People in west are making decisions while they have no idea what their decision will lead to, and you insist something ” it should be their decision.” while you dont know if it is their decisions or something others want them to.(#146)

  186. Wahaha Says:

    Oh, you want to know why people cant have both ?

    It is actually quite simple if you accept the fact (or assumption) that vast majority of the people care most about a decent lives, (or good lives).

    Now, what can bring people the decent lifes ? a decent job, a job with which he can afford a decent life.

    BUT WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CREATING THOSE JOB OPPORTUNITIES ?

    GOVERNMENT.

    so what must a government possess to accomplish that ?

    Money and power.

    Now, go try to beat the logic of it.

    ********************************************
    You know why people are incompotent ?

    The reason is very simple : #1.

    They want government working for them, but at the same time, they dont want government having too much power.

    But without the power, the expense of any project will be doubled or tripled, or even more.

    without the money, how will government help people ?

    Do people know how to balance these two ? No, they have no idea.

  187. S.K. Cheung Says:

    Hmm, i wonder where your poorly-constructed sentences lead us?

    For the umpteenth time (man, the uptake is slow in some people), my decision one way or another is not relevant to a discussion about what might be best for Chinese people. How many times in how many different ways does that need to be said before it starts to percolate through, do you think?

    Gosh, what is #2? I’ve addressed your earlier “points”. If you missed it, read it again. If you disagree with it, that sentiment and $2.50 ought to be able to get you on the bus.

    We’re talking about China. If you want to gripe about “westerners”, is this the most appropriate place you can think of for that type of pursuit?

    #146 is another one of your hypocritical efforts where “western media” are bad until the Wall Street Journal says something you like, in which case you’re happy to use it and sing its praises, until such time as the WSJ says something else that you don’t like, whereupon “western media” returns to the dark side. Anyhow, if that’s how some Indians feel, that’s how some Indians feel. Now, if enough Indians actually want to go to a CCP style system, should they be allowed to? Presumably yes. But if enough Chinese, if only given the chance, want to go away from a CCP style system, they shouldn’t be allowed to? I know being internally consistent is not a high priority for you, but maybe you can chew on that for a while.

  188. Wahaha Says:

    SKC

    Can you beat #186 ?

    No, you cant.

    That is good enough for me.

    I believe #1, #2, #22, #146 adn #186 make sense to 99% people as long as a person can accept the UNIVERSAL value is that people will take a better pay job over the right of voting. (assuming his living is not good enough.)

    Enjoy.

  189. Wahaha Says:

    #146 is another one of your hypocritical efforts where “western media” are bad until the Wall Street Journal says something you like, in which case you’re happy to use it and sing its praises, until such time as the WSJ says something else that you don’t like, whereupon “western media” returns to the dark side.

    ******************************

    I guess you dont understand what is fact, what is distortion.

    when you say something about hundreds of millions of people (without reporter’s personal opinions), it is either fact or lie.

    It is not like your picking out couple dozens of people out of millions of people to prove your point, cuz you dont know what the whole picture is.

    Get it?

  190. Wahaha Says:

    West media doesnt lie, they just used the part of facts that can prove their point.

    CCTV are bunch of morons, they dont talk.

    Like the collapse of school in WenChuan earthquake, people wanted to know the real real reasons, but government didnt give a reasonable explanation.

    So if there is incident, and chinese government immediately came out to explain, then I may trust government’s report more.

    If those anti-government activitists dont talk much about some issue, then it is not an issue in China, like child labor.

    If those anti-government activitists accuse the government and no response from government, then I may trust those activitists more.

    West media talk about everything, WITH FACTS, except I have no idea how much facts they DIDNT present. Like Obama’s medical reform, is it overall good in the long run or not ? I have no idea. I think I have to study at least one month to get a clue.

    Can you tell me what exactly Obama did wrong ? to me, it looks like he just did what he promised in campaign, but I am not sure.

  191. Jerry Says:

    Some comments, WHH.

    Again, WHH, about what, pray tell, are you writing?

    SK’s comments are logical, relevant and cogent. WHH, your examples and comments are bereft and without the benefit of the thought process, reflection, cogency, and relevancy. Ouch!

    When I read your spewing monologues, Cervantes’ marvelous character, Don Quixote, comes to mind. Replete with his overflowing, hallucinatory madness, pulsing through every vein in his body. You both seem experts at irrelevant tilting at windmills! And you both seem driven by the same ghosts.

    Cervantes’ Quixote was a magnificent, artistic literary device. Your writings are not literary devices.

    So, keep tilting at windmills, WHH. Figuratively speaking, that is.

    Some have indicated to me that you consider yourself the greatest. Too bad. It is not going to happen.

    Keep on keeping on, SK. WHH, I recommend reflection and thought. It will greatly benefit your discourse.

    WHH, you might try the 6 W’s: who, what, when, where, why and how!

    BTW, as per your standard way of dealing with dissent, I expect that you will attack me as an FLGer. I do not know much about FLG. Furthermore, such an attack would be meaningless and demonstrate a lack of intellect.

  192. Wahaha Says:

    Hehe,

    Jerry, I am not the greatest, on political at least, but on something that is irrelevant to this forum.

    Logical ?

    SKC talks like a lawyer, except no fact at all.

    I have only two points :

    1)vast majority people will take a better pay job over the right of voting, if financial situation is not promising .

    2) people cant have both, the more political right you get, the more financial benefit you will lose … to the rich.

    Do you agree (1) ? SKC never answer that, he tried to play word games on this issue.

    BTW, is #22 too hard for you to understand ?

  193. Wahaha Says:

    BTW, I dont attack FLG.

    I just want to make sure I am not talking to a FLG, cuz there is no point to argue with them.

  194. Wahaha Says:

    Here is what SKC said :
    ****************************
    Gosh, what is #2? I’ve addressed your earlier “points”. If you missed it, read it again. If you disagree with it, that sentiment and $2.50 ought to be able to get you on the bus.
    ******************************

    #2 is fact, there is nothing to agree or disagree.

    and he has no explanation, but claim my explanation doesnt make sense, which is typical SKC : ” I have no explanation but I wont accept your explanation ” or ” I dont understand what you talk about, therefore, you are clueless”.

    Bravo !!!

  195. Wahaha Says:

    Jerry, please dont be next “” I have no explanation but I wont accept your explanation ”.

    and please tell me you understand #22.

    #22 supports my first point, #2 supports my second point.

  196. Jerry Says:

    WHH,

    I don’t see it as a binomial decision. Voting and earning an income can both easily exist concurrently.

    #22, IMHO, is meaningless, meretricious and irrelevant, like most of your examples. Sorry to disappoint you. My main questions on your examples are what are you talking about and what does it really matter! Hence, I spend little time engaging you in dialogue.

    You would be well served by taking more time to reflect before shooting from the hip.

    I find that my comments improve dramatically if I reflect.

  197. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To 186:
    here’s the thing, m’boy. I certainly don’t accept your “facts”, flimsy as they are. And I’d rather not accept your assumptions. You know what they say about those who “assume”…then again, maybe you don’t. That might explain why you continually advocate “assuming” what Chinese people want, whereas I’d much rather have them tell us. I guess that’s one fundamental difference between you and me (one of many, thankfully).

    I don’t care what you would define as a “decent” or “good” life. You don’t matter. Do you know how Chinese people would define it? Care to share it with us (and please, not more of your “assumptions”, and certainly not more of your “examples”)? More importantly, if you claim to know how Chinese people define it, how on earth did you come upon their definition, since you’re not Chinese, and you haven’t asked them?

    All of that aside, if you want to suggest that government must have money and power to create jobs, great. Let the Chinese government keep their money and their power to create jobs. That’s what they already have with their current economic system. And if you’ve been paying any attention whatsoever (and sometimes, I do wonder), that’s what I’ve been saying. But what’s not required is the CCP political system. It needn’t be all or nothing. It needn’t be jobs or vote. As I said, that’s a false dichotomy. Convenient for you, perhaps, but false nonetheless. If Chinese people want it, they should keep their current open-market economic system. And if Chinese people don’t want it, they should be able to rid themselves of the CCP political system. How many times have I said it in how many different ways? How slow are you?

    The latter half of 186 is another of your wingnut examples. Thanks, but I’ve already eaten.

    To 188:
    gosh, you assume a lot. First you assume what Chinese people want and don’t want. Then you assume how Chinese people define things. Now you assume what I can and cannot answer. You might want to see above…or maybe you don’t. Listen, if you want to “assu”, be my guest. But leave “me” out of it. i don’t want you getting any of your questionable stuff all over me.

    Hey, “universal” values. I like that. I thought your type don’t like to speak of “universal” values…things like human rights, freedom of speech…you know, annoying things like that. Oh, i see…as usual, things are okay as long as they fit your commentary. So “universal” values is fine when it suits you…just like western media are okay when they say what you want to hear. I must say, if there’s one redeeming quality on display here, it’s that you’re predictable.

    Would people take a better paying job over right to vote? Some, maybe. I guess it depends. How much better paying is it? How good is their pay now? How bad are the other aspects of their life when they don’t have a right to vote? You have considered those variables, have you not? Cuz if you haven’t (and it sure seems that way), then you’re hardly the person to answer on behalf of 1.3 billion people. Yet here you are…

    Forgive me if I don’t bother re-reading your drivel from those other comments you listed. Sometimes, even for me, it’s just not worth it.

    To189:
    now that’s interesting. So if a reporter is quoting from another source (cuz let’s face it, that reporter didn’t ask 640 million Indian people whether they are poor or not; he/she was quoting someone else), then it is accepted fact. Interesting. i’ll try to remember that the next time you complain about western media. Lord knows you would never stoop so low as to employ double standards, now would you?

    BTW, did you even read the article (and with you, i think that’s a legitimate question). The article basically says that India effectively has no middle class, and that many are still effectively poor. No need to thank me if you hadn’t read it; I just gave you the Coles’ Notes version. But how is that article supposed to further your argument? Did you have a point? (with you, I think that is also a legitimate question).

    To 190:
    not sure what you’re trying to say here. Who knows when anyone has all the “facts”, or at least all the necessary “facts”, about any given issue? That’s a question with no answer. But if you want the facts, or more of it, then yeah, it might take some effort to find it/them. It seems you expect the media to do all the work for you. But if something is worth having, then it’s worth spending the time to work for it, rather than expecting to be spoon-fed with it.

    To 192:

    Regarding your 2 “points”:
    1. vast majority of people MIGHT take a better pay job over the right of voting, if financial situation is not promising. But it depends on individual circumstances, and also some of the conditions I listed in response to #188 above. Once again, you don’t know until you ask them. So why not ask them? Why always “assume”? Here’s the other thing- if you were actually convinced that you know what they’d say, then you should have no qualms about asking them, since you would have utmost confidence that you know their answer. To me, the people who are afraid of asking questions are those who don’t know the answer, or are afraid of what it might be.
    2. People can have both. Take China’s current economic model, and mix in a non-CCP political system. Like I said before, the same CCP political system sucked at the economy until 1980; with a change in economic policy, her economy has relatively flourished (though some have benefitted much more than others). So it’s not the political system that drove the change; it was the change in economic policy that drove the change. And what’s your answer to that, since you’re into asking questions?

    You know what, you’ve been asking a lot of questions, even after i’ve answered them repeatedly, as demonstrated immediately above. I’ve also asked a lot of questions, but those remain woefully unanswered. That’s alright. i enjoy asking questions to people with few answers, just to illustrate how woefully devoid of answers they truly are. Oh well, I guess these might be “word games” as well. Sigh.

    To 194:
    LOL. OK, so I ask “gosh, what is #2?”. And you accuse me of not responding to #2, right after I asked you what it is/was. Are we speaking the same English language? Was I playing word games again? Cuz if asking a question in 3 words is too hard for you to understand, then I am truly speechless, but have yet further reason to doubt your ability to accurately “assume” answers on behalf of 1.3 billion people.

    I don’t think you’re clueless because I don’t understand what you’re saying. It’s when I do understand what you’re saying that I have a solid basis for considering you to be clueless. If that was too hard for you to comprehend, just ask, and i’ll say it more slowly for you…maybe with some hand signals…and flash cards.

    To 195:
    you really are beyond words. Comments #2 and #22 are (yet again) examples generated from the depths of your head. You are supporting your points using examples that you made up? Are you freaking kidding me? And you have the audacity to wonder why I have trouble accepting your “explanations”?

    I think I’m not alone in finding your “examples” to be a couple of bricks short of a load. If those examples serve as the basis for your explanations, then you can imagine how I view your “explanations”. If you can’t, just ask, and I’ll be happy to spell it out for you.

  198. Wahaha Says:

    #196, #197

    I see.

    1 trillion dollars couldnt help unemployment a bit, that is meaningless ?

    Poor people are willing to exchange their votes for several pennies, that is meaningless ?

    Ha ha ha,

    Go to India, find a place that you have to share toilet with 10 people (not 1000 people, thank god), then maybe you will understand the meaning of the word “people”.

  199. Wahaha Says:

    My example, couple of bricks ? be my guest.

    An example that cost 1 trillion dollars is a brick.

    An example that can explain millions, maybe billions people’s behaviors, is a brick.

    You win, you win, congratulation on your beautiful theory you got from the study of behaviors of gold fishs in your fish tank in your study room.

  200. Wahaha Says:

    And you accuse me of not responding to #2, right after I asked you what it is/was. Are we speaking the same English language?

    *******************************

    You dont know what it is ?

    FACT.

    Give your explanantion.

    I guess if I ask you why millions of poor people are willing to exchange their votes for a little money, you will ask me what it is, right ?

    (Are you two gonna tell me that you cant see the similarity between this FACT and #22 ?)

    Theory is meaningless unless it can explain facts.

    You can spin the thing on your shoulder hundreds of time a day.

    You can mock me with your perfect English.

    But you dont have explanation for the fact, then whatever you said is garbage.

  201. wwww1234 Says:

    re 191 Jerry says:
    =======================
    as much as I am unfamiliar with the way WHH writes and probably would never be able to learn to emulate it, I must say it is probably the only effective way to communicate with the nihilistic writing style of S.K Cheung, who along with requesting the impossible as proof ( running a societal experiment as if in a science lab), at the mean time claiming innocent naivity in human affairs as a grown up man. Can’t beat this combination. Even silentchinese has given up?

  202. Wahaha Says:

    I dont have style of writing, I just write whatever come out of my mind. I wont spend 30 min to type something to someone whose greatness is “my english is better than yours.”

    But my approach is very simple : here is the fact, explain that, otherwise, whatever you said is garbage.

    SKC’s approach:

    I dont have explanation, but I am a lawyer.

  203. Jerry Says:

    WHH,

    People are creatures of habit and do seem to have identifiable writing styles. That is ok

    You don’t have to write “great prose” or memorable passages.

    This is not about whose English is better.

    I am a human. If you write things that don’t make sense to me or are not relevant to my life, I tend not to reply or participate. And that is just why I have not responded to your examples and comments.

    SK is not a nihilist. I don’t know many like him who are nihilists. Furthermore, he would have to be the only hockey freak nihilist I have ever known. IMHO, he ain’t.

    He is messing with you. And to me, his logic makes great sense. But I just don’t usually play with his comments to you. It would be redundant and I don’t want to play.

    You talk about facts? I will grant that you have observations, but facts, no!

    Explain what?

    Our opinions are just that. Not fact, not garbage. Why the need to explain?

    Your examples and comments are usually not interesting to me. So I don’t reply. Sorry, but that is me!

  204. Wahaha Says:

    If you write things that don’t make sense to me …

    No Fact.

    *******************************************

    What FACT I presented dont make sense to you ?

    I simply gave some explanation.

    If my explanation doesnt make to YOU or SKC, that is fine with me, give your explanation.

    No fact ?

    that is funny.

    Let us start again :

    1 trillion dollars injected into economy, and unemployment rate hasnt dropped a bit, that is not fact ?

    lot of poor people are willing to exchange their vote for a little money, that is not fact ?

    Can you explain ? or it is not interesting to you because you dont have explanation?

    please, dont lower yourself to the level of Chinese democratic advocates.

  205. Rhan Says:

    I think Wahaha comment make sense, but i don’t really understand his stance, he doesn’t give me an impression that he support CCP, but at the same time, he criticize the West and democracy.

  206. silentchinese Says:

    Rhan Says:

    October 11th, 2010 at 4:24 pm
    I think Wahaha comment make sense, but i don’t really understand his stance, he doesn’t give me an impression that he support CCP, but at the same time, he criticize the West and democracy.
    ========

    hehe. it is a sign of the times.

    My postulation for a while now is that the two main camp right now to the big debate in chinese sphere, are the “democrates” vs “pragmatists”.
    with marxist largelt sidelined.
    “democrates” are those vocal few who wants immediate and utter capitulation to western values. including mutli-party democracy freedom etc etc. they have brought the farm and drank the cool-aide, sort to speak.
    “pragmatists” seems to put up these concerns that are clearly real, they advocate to slow down and adopt a gradualist approach, some acknowledege that probablly in the long run democracy/freedom etc will one day arrive. some acknowledge this because they believe, some grudgingly acknowledge this because there are no alternatives.

    right now the pragmatists are in majority in china. but not all of them have the answer (i.e. Wahaha ). to the future, i.e. an philosophical vision for the future.

    But I do think if an attractive alternative presents itself, then I think the majority of pragmatist will take this alternative on, and even those who acknowledge long term universality of democracy/freedome etc will defect camp, and if the alternative is forceful/attractive enough (i.e. overwhelming economic-political power) then I think even a large chunk of the “democrates” will defect camp.

    and if the alternative can graft part of its ideology onto Marxist socialism, presenting as a development of true marxism-maoism, that at least has an element of collectivism, then I think Marxist will happily throw in their lot with the alternative camp too.

  207. silentchinese Says:

    My main “thing” with the Democracy-Capitalism-Freedom triamphurant as a political-economic system is two fold.

    1) Individualism. society as a system is clearly not a simple aggregate of individuals. the relationship with man and his social structure is clearly inseperable, i.e. those who wandered off in the woods when human first migrated out of africa clearly didn’t survive. it is the group dynamics that completes us.

    2) as an economic system, pretty much it all rests on the fundamental point that pursuit of individual rational self-interest is not only best for oneself it is also produce optimality for the system as a whole. those who subscribe to that point probablly do not play chess, or even fight in wars. or even realize that “happiness-per-dollar” decreases drastically as one’s dollar accumulates.

    clearly as a political-philosophy this is not satisfying, and clearly as economic system I have heard enough of “if there was only a free market” to realize that this is false argument. on top of this plaster a layer of judeo-christian morality, oh heavens where shall we start?

  208. silentchinese Says:

    and to SKC’s arguments

    “the same CCP political system sucked at the economy until 1980; with a change in economic policy, her economy has relatively flourished (though some have benefitted much more than others). So it’s not the political system that drove the change; it was the change in economic policy that drove the change. ”
    =====
    let’s explore the logic, since we can argue the facts until earth swollowed up by the sun. and still not agree.
    – lets say first 30 year did really suck, and only thing that did changed were the economic system.
    what do you call a system that can reverse itself in an instant? I would say it is pretty adaptive system.

    btw, I would suggest SKC to explore the notion that first 30 years “sucked” with facts. go look at china growth rates :
    from some websites:
    http://www.chinability.com/GDP.htm
    a simple characterization would be: pretty high growth rates were punctured by GLF and CR.
    1980’s GDP were 5.5 times of that in 52, that is annualized to ~6% a year-on-year over 28 years. including those lost years in GLF and GR where growth were negative.
    compare to 2000’s GDP were 6 times that of 1980. ~9.5% annualized in 20 years.

    hardly a failure. consider India grew roughly the same rate (~6%) even during its reform period (90s) and even lower during 47-80 (~3%).

    If you would say China’s economy sucked in first 30 years, then you would have to call india’s economy even suck-er.

  209. silentchinese Says:

    and I would also say something about the nature of last 30 years of chinese economic system.

    some one would say that it is capitalistic and non-interventionistic.

    wrong.

    case in point: SOE reform.

    much of the big SOEs that the lassiz-faire-ists dread and loathe thoday was the child of SOEs of yesteryears. during the early 90s and late 80s, the financial position of the vast empires of industrial SOEs were simply untenable, money bleeding sores. if lassiz-faire-purists were to have their way, the State could have sent teams of auctioneers to each of these factories, regardless of their profitability and auctioned off much of the assets, but instead what happened? state made a harsh choice, it forced much of its holding to be profitable or die. and forced married much of the remaining profitably assets into proto-giants of today.

    so instead of performing a mass Seppuku on its assets and completely got of the business of business, state intervened and down sized as a giant bloated company would have done, and focused on its core-profitable businesses. where in long term economy of scale ensures profitiability and fierce competition means relatively healthy efficiency.

    Lassiz-faire purist would argue today that the success of SOEs giants are hurting over-all economy, sure, but that’s not the point, the point here is these SOEs, much as pesudo-monopolies in western economy are enormously profitable because of their economy of scale. and are for good or bad increasingly integral part and growth deliverers of chinese economy of today. like it or not, The SOE reform has succeeded.

    Simply put it, with out the political system of 80s-90s, it was not possible to have the harsh political choice that propelled the change.

  210. silentchinese Says:

    No lassiz-fair-purists today would argue to Breakup Hyundai or Samsung, to the degree they argue for SOEs of china to be broken up.

    yet these chinese industrial SOEs of today are even smaller by relative scale compare to these companies.

    sure the SOEs are owned by state instead of share holders. but does it really matter that much?
    these SOEs are fiecely competitive. they are ran like subsidiaries of a giant companies and their chiefs routinely have been told, by their state-controllers, for the last 20 years now, to be proftitable, grow, or, die?

    Does ownership necessarily mean un-profitability and un-competitiveness?

    a large chunk of of corporations in the west is owned by state and private pension funds, some even were ran by non-profits (Hughes Aerospace comes to mind). does that ownership fact change the way these companies were ran? of course not.

    something needs to be rethought here.

  211. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To 198 and all of the same author’s nonsense that came after it:
    yes, the US banks need to lend more to small businesses to regenerate growth…but they also need to be careful about the basis of their lending, and to whom, so that the cycle that led to the recent predicament doesn’t repeat itself. Is the Obama administration putting rules in place to facilitate lending but also apply appropriate checks at the same time? I don’t know. What relevance does the current US scenario have on our discussion? BTW, are you ever going to start to even try to answer one of my questions on point, or are they simply too tough for you? Does the current US fiscal difficulty in the realm of her democratic system mean that the exact identical problem would befall China if she were to move to a democratic political system while keeping her current economic system? And if you say it does, on what basis do you say so? Did I ever say that China needs to employ a carbon copy of the US financial and political system? It seems you guys are all too keen to say that China is unique-this, and unique-that, but when it’s convenient, then everything bad that happens to the US would be replicated in China is she ever adopts a (gasp) democratic system, Chinese uniqueness be damned. You guys flip-flop more than a pair of flip-flops.

    So then you segue to vote-buying. Yes, that would be a problem. So yes, Chinese people should put barriers in place to prevent that sort of thing. Good thinking, trying to identify potential pitfalls. And that should definitely be a consideration when Chinese people go to implement a democratic system. But I think they need to first decide if they want to implement such a system to begin with. So you’d still have to ask them.

    And as I’ve said before, these things you’ve “explained” ought to be considerations for Chinese people as they weigh whether such a system is right for them and for China. The trick is to get people like you to realize that Chinese people need to be given the chance to consider them. As we’ve seen, that’s no small task. If nothing else, folks like you are well-blinkered.

    Examples from your head aren’t facts. One really can’t say that enough times. I can’t explain what comes out of your head, and for that I am truly thankful. But mocking you, that I can do. Say, any answers yet to some of my questions? Here’s a basic one: what’s wrong with letting CHinese people decide how they should be governed?

    “What FACT I presented dont make sense to you ? I simply gave some explanation.”
    —that about sums it up. You think your “explanations” are “facts”? Wow, good for you. Too bad I don’t agree. I’m not sure who would. But I would suggest that you need a more discriminating metric when it comes to “facts”.

    Well, good to see that the reservoir for “toilet” references is well-replenished. You have interesting fixations. And as I always say, to each his own.

  212. Wahaha Says:

    “What FACT I presented dont make sense to you ? I simply gave some explanation.”
    —that about sums it up. You think your “explanations” are “facts”? Wow,

    ******************************************************

    1 trillion dollars injected into economy, and unemployment rate hasnt dropped a bit, that is not fact ?

    lot of poor people are willing to exchange their vote for a little money, that is not fact ?

    Give your explanation.

  213. Wahaha Says:

    yes, the US banks need to lend more to small businesses to regenerate growth…but they also need to be careful about the basis of their lending, and to whom, so that the cycle that led to the recent predicament doesn’t repeat itself. Is the Obama administration putting rules in place to facilitate lending but also apply appropriate checks at the same time? I don’t know.

    *******************************************
    You basically said that Obama is a moron and he selected bunch of morons into his circle. because this 1 trillion dollars was not spent in one day, but over a long period. According to your logic, Obama and his adviser didnt realize, not only that, he kept injecting money.

    BTW, if journalists really care for people, shouldnt they raise the question already ? Either they are bunch of morons, or they dont care for people, or they dont want to say something that will damage their reputation or power.

  214. Wahaha Says:

    #206, #205,

    SC, thanks a lot for the explanation.

    Rhan,

    I said long time ago in this forum that China is like a town with two restaurants, one is “democracy”, the other is “authoritarian”.

    The “democracy” provides excellent soap, but the food is bad; the “authoritarian” has good food, but the soap is terrible.

    China needs a third restaurant.

  215. S.K. CHeung Says:

    To www:
    what, pray tell, do I tend to deny? If all WHH can do is to ask me to explain his “facts” (which, as he’s even said, are “facts” only insofar as that they’re his “explanations” for things, but I should accept those two items to be synonymous), then the least he should expect to do is to offer some proof for same, no?

    At the same time, my situation and my circumstances surely are quite irrelevant to Chinese people, are they not? So how I would respond to an arbitrary scenario is really quite beside the point, but this is the type of thing that fascinates some people. Who knew?

    On the other hand, if WHH and others feel that the concerns exemplified by those scenarios are relevant, then they should be put to Chinese people. I agree that Chinese people should not make decisions in a vacuum, and that they should be equipped with as much information as possible. But ultimately, shouldn’t it be their decision? If not, why not? (I hope you do not find that to be an excessively-demanding request for proof).

    As I’ve also said, if people around here feel that their concerns are so self-evident that Chinese people would surely opt against a “democratic” political system in the face of such compelling evidence, then why are you so perturbed by the prospect of putting such evidence to the test?

    To SC #206:
    that sounds nice, but until you or someone else can tell us what this alternative is, it’s speculation upon conjecture. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. If you let people freely decide which camp they want to go to, and which camp they would defect from, I think that’s actually already a really good start.

    207:
    “society” may be greater than the sum of its parts; inherent in that, it can’t exist without said parts. So if you want to nurture the whole, you also need to nurture and be respectful of the parts.

    208:
    “I would say it is pretty adaptive system.”
    —sure.

    You are one of the notable few to suggest that the economy pre 1980 was pretty good. I salute you for actually providing numbers to substantiate your belief. However, I think most Chinese would opt for the post 1980 economic system than the pre 1980 one. I also wonder how Chinese people themselves would characterize that pre 1980 system. As for a comparison to India and how one might characterize her situation, I’ll leave that to you.

    209:
    Fair enough. But no one is proposing to rewrite history (well, at least not me). From today moving forward, what prohibits people from choosing to keep the state of the current economic system (including the current state of the SOE’s as you’ve pointed out) while changing the political system, but for that very political system that you seem to admire more than me? If people share your belief that the CCP political system was an integral and essential part of the economic reform that has resulted in the China that we know today, that should weigh significantly on their decision on whether to change that political system, right? So you should rest easy…if they shared your belief…and if you actually asked them.

    Furthermore, state ownership is not unique to China’s economy, and that needn’t change even in any democratic system (unless the people wanted to change it, of course). When I spoke of CCP accoutrements, with the clear implication that such accoutrements weren’t necessarily all that desirable, SOE’s were not what I had in mind.

    210:
    I’ve never argued for any uniform disbanding or liquidation of Chinese SOE’s, so I’ll leave that for someone else. Though on this blog at least, I don’t recall anyone ever arguing that position, from what i’ve seen.

  216. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To 212:
    I would like to thank you for evidently reading at least until the second last paragraph of my post, since there are many times when, on the basis of your inane comments, I wonder if you’d read mine at all.

    But you’re asking me the same questions that I answered with the first two paragraphs of #211!?!…

    To 213:
    Oh, so you did read those first 2 paragraphs, but you did it after reading the second-to-last one first. Hmm, that’s a new one…even for you. Ok, i’d just like to stipulate here that my comments might work better if you read them from the top to the bottom. Perhaps that might explain why you have no comprehension whatsoever of what I’ve been saying. Previously I thought it might be an issue with capacity. Now it seems maybe you just have a procedural glitch.

    No, i had not “basically said that Obama is a moron…” And I think Obama and his advisors did realize the problem…because I read about this realization in the papers.

    Given that you seem to have read #211 almost in its entirety (albeit in an unusual sequence), I noticed an absence of a response to this section. I’m sure it’s just an oversight. So let me show you again here:

    “What relevance does the current US scenario have on our discussion? BTW, are you ever going to start to even try to answer one of my questions on point, or are they simply too tough for you? Does the current US fiscal difficulty in the realm of her democratic system mean that the exact identical problem would befall China if she were to move to a democratic political system while keeping her current economic system? And if you say it does, on what basis do you say so? Did I ever say that China needs to employ a carbon copy of the US financial and political system? It seems you guys are all too keen to say that China is unique-this, and unique-that, but when it’s convenient, then everything bad that happens to the US would be replicated in China is she ever adopts a (gasp) democratic system, Chinese uniqueness be damned.”

    So there are a few questions in there for you. Want to take a crack at one/some of them? I mean, you like me to answer your questions, so you must be a principled guy who answers questions when asked, right? Rather than compiling all those answers to all those questions I’ve been asking you into some opus to be shared with us at a later date, why not start answering them now? Thanks a bunch.

    As for the second part of 213, when/why did we segue back (yet again) to journalists? Can you tell me the relevance wrt our discussion about whether or not Chinese people should be given a choice about their preferred political system? What role would you propose for American journalists in the education of the Chinese masses if they were to be allowed to prepare for making a decision regarding their own political system?

  217. Wukailong Says:

    #214: I’ve elaborated on the restaurant analogy elsewhere, but since there have since been a slight change to the analogy I’ll be happy to provide new feedback:

    Bad soap is mostly a problem if you want to wash your hands before dining, and I agree that’s a good idea (but what is bad soap really? Toxic contents?). Since toilets keep coming up in these discussions I have to be frank: they usually suck in restaurants in China, so if a democratic restaurant can bring good toilets, I’m all for it. I would even be willing to lower the food quality a bit to achieve that objective.

    Honestly, though, I can’t see the connection between the two, except that it’s a good idea to keep a certain distance between toilets and kitchens.

  218. Wahaha Says:

    WKL,

    Why make it so complicate ?

    I never said the “bad soap” issue would be solved in the restaurant, I dont know.

    and I dont know if the “bad food” issue will be solved in the “democracy” restaurant.

    Seriously, I want to see how west sociey will solve the current financial crisis, this will be a monumental test for western democracy. If failed, I think this will be the beginning of downfall of western democracy; if succeed, then it proved that large scale problems can be solved under the system, then I will believe that western democracy will win out eventually in China.

  219. Wahaha Says:

    SKC,

    I didnt force you to accept what I believe was the fact. all you said is ” it is your illusion.” Well, I dont know how you can deny #212 IS fact, and you even tried to give an “Obama is a moron” explanation. If you had thougt it was my illusion, why did you bother to explain ?

    You want me to answer your question ? fine, but I am not a lawyer, not a political major. As a science major, I only care explaining facts (whether you believe or not).

    So you can ask me to explain the facts. If you ask me something about theory, I am not sure I can, because I dont have enogh theoretic knowledge nor do I have good enough English to explain such “complicated” issue to a lawyer.

    Frankly speaking, I dont know how on earth a lawyer could convince the jury OJ was not guilty.

    Frankly speaking, I dont think it is a good idea to let bunch of lawyers to rule a country, even though under them, law would be much more enforced.

  220. Rhan Says:

    Wahaha
    SKC is a lawyer? I thought he is a science major as well? His writing and thought process is too rational and lack emotion. Can’t believe it.

    Wahaha / WKL
    People walk into a restaurant for food, and good food but WKL placed his attention to toilet (haha), just like some commentators here prefer to talk about democracy and vote when what Chinese want right now is perhaps eat rice and shelter.

    SC
    I think CCP and Mao sincerely believe that democracy is the way out for China when they first come into power, otherwise they would not waste time to involve democrats into the cabinet, however, Mao is impatient, he just want to rush everything within his lifetime. The moment Mao removed democracy as one alternative form of government, the subsequent leader have great difficulties to revive it back, or I shall put it bluntly, CCP will lose power if they do so. Actually I still find it unbelievable Jiang Jingguo could eventually become open and relaxed government control, or is it because it is almost towards end of his life?

    Han and Tang do have their glorious peak but what happen next? I suspect almost all the Chinese here in FM don’t have an answer for the future. My opinion is that you either become a SKC, or give your full support and trust to CCP, and then perhaps you will find the answer.

  221. wwww1234 Says:

    re 120 SKC is a lawyer? I thought he is a science major as well?
    ==========
    Could be in the legal field as any argument can be entertained and sometimes even succeed in that profession, where being truthful/factual/logical/rational often does not prevail. The strategy is to confuse the probability with numerous possibilities. I have seen that.

    Unlikely to be trained in science and definitely not in engineering or medicine, as in scientific methodology, the one advocating the unusual bears the burden to proof, not the other way around. He would be the one to convince and persuade that, china without ccp rule would be equally capable of a 10% annual gdp growth rate long term, as there are no examples of any fast developing country that succeeded without authoritative rule. But it seems he kept on asking for proof instead.

  222. Wahaha Says:

    Rhan,

    I think he talked like a lawyer.

    What I did is giving a fact, giving an explanation, if you dont like my explanation, fine, give yours.

    He often classified what I presented as illusion. I wouldve understood if he had thought my explanation didnt make sense, but how could he called what happened in the real world or common problems for most people not fact ? I think he is intelligent enough to distinguish facts from explanations. How on earth can an educated person not understand #22 ? Ask any people who lose their jobs what they want, they want the right of voting more than a job ? Isnt true that lot of people exchanged their votes for little money ? isnt true that millions of parents let their children work, wouldnt they want a decent job so that their children can enjoy childhood ?

    How can you argue with a person who constantly give “explanation” like #23 when you ask him a question that every ordinary person would worry?

    and he gave an “Obama is a moron” explanation to something he called “illusion”. I dont know what his point is, to me, he is just busy at spewing “you are wrong”. and that is what lawyers do best : I dont have explanation, but your explanation is wrong.

  223. Wahaha Says:

    here’s the thing, m’boy. I certainly don’t accept your “facts”, flimsy as they are. And I’d rather not accept your assumptions. You know what they say about those who “assume”…then again, maybe you don’t. That might explain why you continually advocate “assuming” what Chinese people want, whereas I’d much rather have them tell us. I guess that’s one fundamental difference between you and me (one of many, thankfully).
    ________________________________________________

    SKC,

    Please no more MEAINGLESS long post from theory to theory.

    If you again reply with some BS like “why cant people have both”, then answer #186, dont give the BS like “oh, boy…”

    THERE IS NO IMAGINATION OR ASSUMPTION IN IT, GET IT ? the question is very simple :

    WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CREATING JOBS FOR PEOPLE ?

  224. Wahaha Says:

    Government is responsible for creating jobs for people.

    ***************************************

    and are you gonna call the above statement “flimsy” or assumption ?

    Before you answer that, please remember that Obama just gave the rich 1 trillion dollars and didnt create any new jobs.

  225. Wahaha Says:

    Oh, I dont think I have to wait for his answer, so I post for him

    ***************************************

    by SKC,

    here’s the thing, m’boy. I certainly don’t accept your “facts”, flimsy as they are. And I’d rather not accept your assumptions. You know what they say about those who “assume”…then again, maybe you don’t. That might explain why you continually advocate “assuming” what Chinese people want, whereas I’d much rather have them tell us. I guess that’s one fundamental difference between you and me (one of many, thankfully).

  226. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To 219:
    do you even have one logical bone in your body? First you ask me to “explain”. So I give an “explanation”. Then you ask me why I bothered to explain. C’mon, dude. If you want an “explanation”, then ask for one; if you don’t, then don’t. Doing both is lame.

    Reading is less lame. Here’s what I said in 216: “No, i had not “basically said that Obama is a moron…” But in 219 (which, by any numerical system, comes after 216), you say “you even tried to give an “Obama is a moron” explanation.” If you’re not going to read, then I can’t help you.

    “I only care explaining facts”
    —sure. Fact: Chinese people can’t choose a political system for themselves. Question: why should they be prohibited from doing so?

    Here’s another: your fact (“1 trillion dollars injected into economy, and unemployment rate hasnt dropped a bit”). Question: “What relevance does the current US scenario have on our discussion?…Does the current US fiscal difficulty in the realm of her democratic system mean that the exact identical problem would befall China if she were to move to a democratic political system while keeping her current economic system?…If you say it does, on what basis do you say so?”
    I think those should keep you busy for a while, if you’re up to the task.

    BTW, I am not a lawyer. And if you’re a science major, you would be the most illogical one I’ve seen to date.

    To 222:
    “What I did is giving a fact, giving an explanation,…”
    —this is certainly not a “science” person talking. “fact” and “explanation” are not the same thing. In science, we make observations. THose observations engender theories and hypotheses, for which experiments are designed with which we test those theories and hypotheses. Not sure what kind of “science” you’re doing, or where you learned it from.

    Once again, #22 is not fact; it’s another one of your “examples”. Once again, not the same thing, though it’s very cute that you think they are. It might be time for you to go back to school of some form.

    To 223:
    LOL. Asking why people can’t have a job within a democratic system in China is “BS”. But crap like this from 214 (“The “democracy” provides excellent soap, but the food is bad; the “authoritarian” has good food, but the soap is terrible.”) is apparently gold. Well, fool’s gold, perhaps.

    “WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CREATING JOBS FOR PEOPLE ?”
    —I mean, I already answered it in #197 (paragraph 3, in case you’re wondering). So you can’t read a post from top to bottom, have no clue about scientific method, and can’t recognize an answer to one of your own questions. You’re not leaving me with much to work with here. But then I knew that already.
    My question to you is….you know what, forget it. I’ve asked many questions, and if there’s one other thing you’ve shown, it’s an inability to answer any of them. So I won’t burden you with another. But if you are up for a challenge, #197 has enough questions to keep you busy for a while.

    #224:
    actually, in this case, just way too much of an oversimplification. Government creates public sector jobs, where workers are paid by tax dollars. THe private sector creates many other jobs independent of what the government does. Ultimately, the economy creates jobs. When the economy is growing, jobs are created; when the economy stagnates or shrinks, jobs are lost. In the current US case, jobless rate has not decreased because the jobs created don’t yet outnumber those lost. But what does that have to do with China?

    #225 is truly pathetic. You’ve been posting over a period of nearly 5 hours today. This is my first time on the site today. I don’t answer within 15 minutes, and this is the cheap stunt you whip out. Well, you got one portion of my “answer” guessed correctly: “I guess that’s one fundamental difference between you and me (one of many, thankfully).” Absolutely grade-school antics.

  227. Wahaha Says:

    actually, in this case, just way too much of an oversimplification. Government creates public sector jobs, where workers are paid by tax dollars. THe private sector creates many other jobs independent of what the government does

    *********************************************

    SKC.

    I guess you are saying Americans and people in Europe are so stupid that they have turned all their anger at government. (in other word, you agree my point that people are incompotent.)

    and you definitely called out those journalists and activitists who must be biggest @$$ on earth as they never came out to bash those bankers even govenrment gave them so much money.

    As journalists and activitist are @$$ in your mind, then I guess Liu Xiaobo must be one of the biggest @$$ in China in your mind.

    Stay away from mirror.

  228. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To 221:
    “as in scientific methodology, the one advocating the unusual bears the burden to proof,”
    —LOL. I guess you and WHH probably studied your “science” together, such as it were.

    You seem to be missing the entire thrust of my point. My point isn’t that a change in China to a democratic system has been proven to sustain or improve her current economic performance. My point is that Chinese people should be given the choice of whether they want a democratic system of governance or not. Further, if they want to maintain the current economic system to go along with a new governance system, that’s their purview as well. Finally, it’s not my job or place to convince or persuade them; the decision should be theirs. Of course, that means it’s not your place, or even the CCP’s, to try to manipulate their decision either. Maybe that’s the part that’s tripping you people up, cuz it’s not a complicated point, but it sure sails over some people’s heads, spontaneously or willfully I don’t know for sure.

  229. Wahaha Says:

    My point is that Chinese people should be given the choice of whether they want a democratic system of governance or not.

    ********************************************************

    While they have no idea what the choices in front of them would lead to.

  230. Josef Says:

    silentchinese, I appreciate your comments 206~210 and add here some remarks.

    To my understanding Whopper proposed, that the “alternative” is already the current “pragmatic” line. He claims to some point that China had this basic ideas already over centuries. It is worthwhile to study it, also as a potential improvement to “democracy”: In Telegraph style: selected experts form an educated base could improve China in the last 30 years (and in the previous dynasties), therefore this path might be superior (superior in the definition of Lipset)
    At #207 you want to argue on the direct influence of democracy to the development of a country: I take here S.K Cheungs translation from #74/#75: ” Theory is when you know everything but nothing works.” Nevertheless you simply observe its results in high developed countries: they can keep their high standards with it. I take again from #74/#75: “Practical is when everything works and no one knows why/how”. Again, it might be simply the conservatism coming with democracy, and I assume CCP tries to extract the good points of democracy without implementing its drawbacks.
    You wrote in %209: ” So it’s not the political system that drove the change; it was the change in economic policy that drove the change”, and I agree: for a developing country there are more and other factors important than the political system.

    To my opinion and for the sake of arguments it is better to skip the first thirty years of CCP – it makes the discussion too complex. It is a fact that people were starving to death at that time, not matter what GDP figures you quote. Also at 206: I think the marxism-maoism is already corrupted: it is an elite within, trying to keep their privileges – like North Korea or Mao’s son (remark #78).

    Certainly Asian democracies, like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan does not have so much to do with “judeo-christian morality”, but again, during the development phase they also were not (real) democratic either. But they probably managed the right point to change. Unlike the old USSR: [the first man in space was Juri Gagarin] – the communistic system became corrupt and did not use its (dictatoric) power for the good anymore(i.e. unlike Singapore).

    wwww1234@221
    “He would be the one to convince and persuade that, china without ccp rule would be equally capable of a 10% annual gdp growth rate long term, as there are no examples of any fast developing country that succeeded without authoritative rule. ”
    First, there are also counterexamples for developing countries, which were not successful, so it is not necessarily a fool proven path.
    But in this thread the question is: And then, after the fast development? We have one successful example which is Singapore, but the USSR might serve as a counter example. The rest of developed countries are democracies.

    Back to Whopper and Lipset: What he proposed is not oligarchy, but restrict the elections rights to capable people and restrict the to-be-elected people to scientists. Democracy on purpose wants “common” people to rule, but why not analyze the benefit of this approach and just customize the rules so it meets the benefits. A customization could be limiting the powers, limiting the ruling times or automatic changes of experts,- I could think of detailed rules to avoid the original drawback: the scientist in charge becomes a dictator.
    And let’s not forget: there are so many different kind of democracies over time that the definition itself is already very vague. Example Switzerland: only since 1971 they allowed women too vote, before actually less than 50% population had the right to vote- what it a democracy then? Another example: nowadays developed democracies, like Germany, are scared to hell when it comes to public votes. On the other hand there is some voting and election with the ccp and potentially it becomes more and more. Probably it will converge to a better solution?

  231. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To 227:
    “I guess you are saying Americans and people in Europe are so stupid that…”
    —huh? Most of the time, it seems you barely have a grasp of what you’re saying. You have no capacity for “guessing” at what other people are saying, at least with any degree of accuracy. BTW, was this “guess” supposed to be another one of your “facts”? I can’t tell anymore, since you’re pretty liberal about labeling what you say as “fact”.

    “and you definitely called out those journalists and activitists who…”
    —huh?

    “As journalists and activitist are @$$ in your mind,…”
    —huh?

    Yes, this is definitely the work of a “scientifically-minded” person.

    Hey, I asked you some questions in #226 about some of your “facts”. I thought you said “As a science major, I only care explaining facts “. So why the deafening silence? Your display to date would be extremely funny were it not so painfully pathetic.

    To 229:
    “While they have no idea what the choices in front of them would lead to.”
    —and you say this because….? (It’s okay if I ask you a question about one of your stated “facts”, right?) You have no shortage of “opinions” about those choices. What makes you think that Chinese people can’t formulate their own? Why do some Chinese-Americans insist on downplaying the capacity of Chinese people in China, when they don’t even live there and thus have no grasp of said capacity? This I just can’t understand. I don’t live in China either, but I don’t assume them to be as incapable as you like to do.

  232. Wahaha Says:

    LOL,

    According to what you said, government should not be the one who shoulder the most responsiblility of creating jobs. therefore, FOLLOWING YOUR THOUGHT, government shouldnt be the one to be blamed.

    Then why are people in America and Europe argry at government, huh ?

    and in a free world, do journalists and activitist represent people’s voice ? shouldnt they tell people that it was not government’s fault but banker’s fault ? why now all the anger towards Obama ?

    Are journalists and activitest so stupid that they have failed to see something that is so obvious to YOU ?

    If so, then again, following your thought (though you didnt realize), logically journalists have to be bunch of morons because all they did is bashing government, but in your opinion, government shouldnt be the one to be blamed.

  233. Wahaha Says:

    “While they have no idea what the choices in front of them would lead to.”
    —and you say this because….?

    ********************************************

    You answered that yourself by ridiculing people’s anger towards government, though that was not your intention.

    Thanks.

  234. S.K. CHeung Says:

    Gosh, for a supposed “science” person, your “logic” befits that of a simpleton.

    “Then why are people in America and Europe argry at government, huh ?”
    —first of all, I don’t know why, but I imagine there is more than one reason why people might be angry at government. It seems you only have the mental capacity to conceive of “one” (1) reason for any given thing. It’s no longer a false dichotomy for you; it’s a false monopoly. Here are some possibilities for anger: no wage increases in public sector; trimming of benefits, which, apparently in some places in Europe, used to include booze on vacation; increase in retirement age; reduction in services provided by government. I think it’s often to do with cutting expenditures in the face of low revenue in an attempt to balance budgets.

    Of course, none of this is relevant (and if there’s one thing you’re good at, it’s this). I’m talking about giving Chinese people the opportunity to have input into their own system of governance. You’re talking about journalists and who should blame which government for what. I hope your “science” work doesn’t include open flames or toxic chemicals, cuz you seem easily distracted…

    “shouldnt they tell people that it was not government’s fault but banker’s fault ?”
    —-huh? I think “people” know about the issues with the banks (sometimes, you seem to want to come across as knowing things that the unwashed masses don’t. I’d suggest that that is a rather unfounded position for you to try to assume).

    “government shouldnt be the one to be blamed.”
    —blamed for what? What was the government’s “fault”? What was the bankers’ “fault”? You just throw around words with no context or explanation, and proceed to argue upon those words. It feels like I’m debating a dictionary, and not a very good one at that.

    Oh, here’s a lesson. The way “if / then” logic works is that you first have to establish the “if”, before you proceed with the “then”. Your suppositions are flawed as I’ve shown you above. So most of what you wrote here is, as per usual, fairly useless.

    Say, why so silent on all those questions I’ve posed, as recently as #231? I haven’t forgotten that I’ve asked them, nor have i forgotten how incapable you are of answering even one (1) of them.

  235. Wahaha Says:

    Hahahahaha,

    here comes again, try to spin away.

    Well, if govenrment doesnt shoulder most of responsibility of creating jobs, what else should government be more responsible, huh ?

    But didnt the journalists and activitists blame government for everything ?

    Therefore, they are morons, according to you.

  236. Jerry Says:

    WHH,

    First of all, SK is not spinning or co-opting here. He is logically revealing flaws in your logic.

    Look, it is time to slow down, reflect, think critically and reason scientifically.

    “Well, if govenrment doesnt shoulder most of responsibility of creating jobs, what else should government be more responsible, huh ?”

    Really!

    What does government do? Let me list a few items for which government, at various levels, is responsible:

    foreign policy
    economic policy
    building and maintaining interstate freeways
    transportation policy
    food safety
    protecting the environment
    public education
    local road building
    mass transit
    parks and recreation
    libraries
    public universities and colleges
    civil rights
    defense of the country
    energy policy
    dams on public waterways
    the justice system
    prisons
    policing
    fire departments
    public forest lands
    national parks
    Medicare
    Social Security
    Medicaid
    social services for the poor
    Center for Disease Control
    Legislation
    environmental regulation and policy
    Army Corps of Engineers
    Keeping rivers navigable
    Health and Human Services
    Public hospitals
    Supreme Court
    Federal Appeals Court system
    Military – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard
    Pentagon
    CIA – good intelligence
    and more too numerous to mention

    And as SK has pointed out, if the supposition of your argument is flawed (the “if so and so is true”), then the “then so and so” is irrelevant.

    WHH, you need sound suppositions! Otherwise your arguments are meaningless and irrelevant.

    Start with simple, sound assumptions and observations. Be prepared to add to or modify your observations. Reflect on what you are writing. That is how a good discussion works.

    Take care.

  237. Wahaha Says:

    Jerry,

    The purpose of your list is for what (domestically) ?

    Jobs. (why would westerners rather invest in authoritarian in China, not deomcratic India ?)

    What was Obama’s plan for ? creating jobs. (and he failed) If it was not his job, why did he bother ? fed up ?

    Take care.

  238. Wahaha Says:

    And as SK has pointed out, if the supposition of your argument is flawed …

    ****************************
    There is nothing flawed :

    Government shoulders the most responsibility of creating jobs, dont you agree ?

    and SKC refused to accept this.

    If he doesnt think so, then he should believe that people should not be so foolish to blame everthing on government for job market (and this is why media and republic party attack Obama).

    As Media and people blamed everything on government, therefore in SKC’s mind, they must be so stupid not to see that it was not government’s fault, as this is like blaming English teacher for poor math grade.

    Therefore, SKC must believe that people are not capable of seeing the whole picture.

    What is wrong with the logic ?

  239. Jerry Says:

    WHH, you asked, “Well, if govenrment doesnt shoulder most of responsibility of creating jobs, what else should government be more responsible, huh ?”

    I gave you a list of a lot of government responsibilities in the US.

    “Government shoulders the most responsibility of creating jobs, dont you agree ?” (This is an opinion and you wish for SK and me to agree with you. I don’t agree)

    No, government should set policy which creates an environment where small and large businesses and the public sector are incentivized to hire people to work in good jobs which pay sustainable wages. Government is part of the equation, not the primary actor and employer.

    You may be wrong about “What was Obama’s plan for ? creating jobs. (and he failed)”. Actually, OB’s action may have prevented a worse unemployment situation. This is precisely why I said that you need to reflect on your observations.

    People are free to state opinions. People are free to agree and/or disagree.

    The media is not attacking OB. Some media outlets and pundits/columnists agree with him and others don’t.

    The Republican Party wants to take the leadership of the House and Senate. And you believe what they say as being the truth? I don’t think so. And which party from 2000 to 2008 caused a lot of this mess?

    I don’t agree with your logic (nor can I actually follow your logic) in #238. I would advise you to paddle your own canoe, not SK’s. Worry about what you think and believe. What does WHH believe and think about the economy or whatever.

  240. Wahaha Says:

    “Government shoulders the most responsibility of creating jobs, dont you agree ?” (This is an opinion and you wish for SK and me to agree with you. I don’t agree)

    No, government should set policy which creates an environment where small and large businesses and the public sector are incentivized to hire people to work in good jobs which pay sustainable wages. Government is part of the equation, not the primary actor and employer.

    ************************************************************************

    You call this “not mostly responsible”? Are you talking about that NY state should hire 10 million policemen ?

    For god sake, that is exactly what china’s government did and Indian government failed to did, the environment.

    and WHAT HE DID DIVERTED AWAY FROM WHAT HE SAID IN THE CAMPAIGNE, wasnt it because the support from those genius that he beat Hilary Clinton and later won the president ?
    Tell me what Obama failed to do IN HIS POWER on job market that he deserves all the bashes from those genius journalists and activitist.

  241. Wahaha Says:

    Let me ask one question :

    Government spent 1 trillion dollars, unemployment stayed at 9.6% and didnt drop a bit.

    What will be your first question ?

    How was those money spent ?

    Dont you feel strange that neither those “forever right” journalists and activitists nor republic party asked this question ?

  242. silentchinese Says:

    # Josef Says

    To my opinion and for the sake of arguments it is better to skip the first thirty years of CCP – it makes the discussion too complex. It is a fact that people were starving to death at that time, not matter what GDP figures you quote. Also at 206: I think the marxism-maoism is already corrupted: it is an elite within, trying to keep their privileges – like North Korea or Mao’s son (remark #78).

    ===========
    I am going to say some thing very un popular, some one needs to say it but might as well be me.

    starving people matters, but it is not the only thing that matters.

    The fact is by 1979 CHina went pretty much from a fragmented failed state, to an united (somewhat, except taiwan) “State” with a strong unified central government and an industrial base that was basically self-sufficient. all in 30 years. the fact is worst of famine was in 3-4 years period. after which china was largely from starvation. this should be kept in perspective here, as whooper in his comments pointed out, moral sentiment change with perspective.

    to keep a bit more perspective here:
    the great Irish famine of 1845, in which upwards of 1/4 population of Ireland was wipped out, happened under one of the most liberal representative democracy at that time, The British Government. the Prime minister at that time, was Sir Robert Peel, who broke away from the “Conservatives” (which is more or less “Republicans” in the US-political alignments) by repealing the infamous corn law. His peelite disciples goes on to form the liberal party of Gladstone and David Lloyd George fame.
    No democrates/liberty-lovers of today, indeed even no “democrates” of 1890s would discredit the British parliamentary system and what it represents. given that a 1/4 of a country’s population was starved to death under its famously lassiz-faire policies.

    Mao’s son btw, was buried in Korea. He died during Korean War.

  243. Josef Says:

    Silentchinese, thanks for your reply and sorry for the type error (of course spell checkers cannot correct that).
    I copy from #79 again:
    “Mao Xinyu, the only grandson of Chairman Mao Zedong, will possibly become the country’s youngest major general by Army Day on Aug 1 next year.”
    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2009-09/29/content_8748055.htm
    So I meant grandson, not son.

    My argument, not to include the first thirty years in that discussion was mainly as for this for thirty years the government was barely the “Scientific” approach, whopper discussed. And the great Chinese fame indeed might not be the best reason to exclude this time, but rather the Cultural Revolution, which by no means could be the result of,-
    I quote from the original text:
    In summary, at the heart of Chinese Government we have a committee of expert scientists / engineers / economists running policy designed to maximize performance legitimacy constrained by the necessity of maintaining popular support.

    You quoted the Irish famine – Just the singer Sinead O’Connor comes to my mind. I think Irish people do discredit the British Government, and in that sense also the British parliamentary system, as it was possible with that system that the government did what it did. Not all people regard the British empire of the 19th century as good, – example, at that time all nationalities within Austria-Hungary were much better off than Ireland under Britain. But that is off-topic.

    But yes, I also wrote that the definition of democracy changed significant over the years, therefore one should not blame China not to follow (completely) the newest democracy trend (I brought the Swiss example). I am just wondering, with others, if the Chinese government development might lead to a model which is superior to democracy. Or, when a certain wealth is reached, it becomes democratic (like others did), and keeps its wealth like (again like most of the democracies do), or decline (like some did).

  244. Jerry Says:

    WHH

    Small businesses create the bulk of jobs in America, not government. End of discussion on #240.

    #241 has good questions. Why don’t you answer them? I am not surprised that some people don’t ask questions which will bite them in the tuchus if they ask the questions. End of discussion on #241.

    Shrub’s administration ran up the deficit by more than $10,000,000,000,000 during his reign. $1,000,000,000,000 was reasonable to try to lower the unemployment rate. The first thing is to stop the bleeding from worsening, which they did. The second is to read what Robert Reich has to say about job creation. You might want to listen to Christopher Lydon’s interview of Reich out at Radio Open Source, which is broadcast from Brown University.

    Do some homework, WHH. Maybe your questions and observations will change, for the better.

    HINT: How do you create jobs for the middle class when the super-rich, the über-rich, are earning a record share of the income? Why is this surprising?

    WHH, take your game up a notch. You are boring me.

  245. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To 237:
    “The purpose of your list is for what (domestically) ?”
    —services.

    To 238:
    “he should believe that people should not be so foolish to blame everthing on government for job market”
    —which people are blaming “everything” about the job market on government? What is “everything”?

    “why media and republic party attack Obama”
    —-you know there’s more to “media” than Fox, right? And is your metric that the Republicans should sing Obama’s praises? You know Obama’s a Democrat, right?

    “As Media and people blamed everything on government”
    —they have? Really? Maybe you should broaden your media consumption. Maybe your people interaction as well.

    “SKC must believe that people are not capable of seeing the whole picture. What is wrong with the logic ?”
    —- IF you had the capacity to answer just the questions so far in this comment, THEN you might see the flaws in your logic. But you probably can’t/won’t. So you won’t/can’t. Such a shame.

    To 241:
    “Government spent 1 trillion dollars, unemployment stayed at 9.6% and didnt drop a bit. What will be your first question ?”
    —what would the unemployment rate be if they didn’t spend that money?

    This is your problem. Your question is nuts to begin with. Many legitimate questions can be asked. It needn’t be confined to one question, or the first question. People may have asked questions of which you disapprove simply because they felt their questions were more legitimate. Or it may be that the questions you feel are legitimate, simply aren’t. You have so much yet to grasp.

    Why still the deafening silence with all the questions I’ve asked? You know, the polite thing is to at least acknowledge the questions. And the adult thing is to acknowledge when you don’t know the answers. And the classy thing is to admit when you need to retract a statement or assertion when a question provides you the requisite insight to come to that realization. So you’re batting 0 for 3, multiple times over. Way to go.

  246. Wahaha Says:

    Small businesses create the bulk of jobs in America, not government. End of discussion on #240.

    #241 has good questions. Why don’t you answer them? I am not surprised that some people don’t ask questions which will bite them in the tuchus if they ask the questions. End of discussion on #241.

    ***************************************************
    Obama did nothing wrong if you approved his plan during election campaign, he said that he would inject lot, lot, lot of money into economy and claimed that it would create lot,lot, lot of jobs. and He did that in last 2 years, except what he and people expected didnt happen.

    Who convinced the people that his plan was right ? media.

    Who are bashing him now? media.

    Who trusted his plan ? people.

    Who are bashing him for his failure ? people.

    Dont you find it ridiculous ?

    (also to SKC) did media and people have any clue if Obama’s plan would work or not ?

  247. Wahaha Says:

    To 238:
    “he should believe that people should not be so foolish to blame everthing on government for job market”
    —which people are blaming “everything” about the job market on government? What is “everything”?

    “why media and republic party attack Obama”
    —-you know there’s more to “media” than Fox, right? And is your metric that the Republicans should sing Obama’s praises? You know Obama’s a Democrat, right?

    *************************************

    For god sake, I live in United States of America.

    Who else did media blame for job market ?

  248. Wahaha Says:

    “Government spent 1 trillion dollars, unemployment stayed at 9.6% and didnt drop a bit. What will be your first question ?”
    —what would the unemployment rate be if they didn’t spend that money?

    This is your problem. Your question is nuts to begin with.

    ********************************************************
    Here we go again, ” I cant answer your question therefore your question doesnt make sense.”

    Remember that the key question we are debating on is “are people capable of making right decision for themselves?”

    Obama claimed his plan would created lot of jobs, cut unemployment rates.

    Did media and people believe him 2 years ago ?

    Yes, they did, and that is good enough to prove the answer to the key question, because if people understand the possible results of their decisions, they shouldnt be so angry. What are they angry for ? they should know the POSSIBLE OUTCOME (like #22) before they decide who they would vote for.

    Now, if not spending 1 trillion, what would the unemployment rate ? I think you have to tell me how much of it was spent by Bankers to save themselves, because Obama’s plan was giving banks the money and banks loaned the money to small business, which banks didnt.

  249. silentchinese Says:

    Let me jump into the “Trillion dollar question” before my good senses tells me not to:
    that 1 Trillion dollar (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) was used mostly “useless” because it was a mix bag of
    1) tax relief (the last thing anyone need in time of uncertainty was tax cuts)
    2) bandaid to prop up state-local budgets (needs to be done)
    3) welfare. (some needs some don’t)

    infrastructure investment (physical and R&D) was basically an after thought. which is no surprise because uncle sam has stuck to the mantra of lassiz-faire too long and can’t plan any more.

    TARP of 2008 is basically used to plug holes in financial system. (another story)

    My main objection to the stimulus is: it is too small. and too much individual tax cuts not enough infrastructure & R&D spending.

    why did it got that way? Repubs. and their past history of shifting the economic debate to the right (i.e. Tax is bad, government is bad, repetition 1000 times.)

  250. silentchinese Says:

    @Josef

    On Mao’s Grandson/Son:
    he is not nearly on the same level as Kim the grandson. He has barely any influence and it is pretty much a retirement job. so I think your argument wrt Mao’s son/grandson and NK kim dynasty do not hold.

    On first 30 years and Scientific approach:
    those technocrates in charge now will all be purged during these political movements, sure. but that’s not my point, my point is that one can not seperate the two 30s and have a rational judgement. Further, it is precisely the previous 30 years experiences that dis-enchanted most elite and political leaders including technocrats from policy driven by ideology way of governing, and when they examine the first 30 years they see strong growth when a technical and scientific driven approach was followed, and disaster when ideology and politics interfered. That’s the story they (and most chinese IMHO) learned from their examination of first 30 years.
    and if we simply ignore the first 30s, we are missing the big picture.

    on Irish famine:
    ” you quoted the Irish famine – Just the singer Sinead O’Connor comes to my mind. I think Irish people do discredit the British Government, and in that sense also the British parliamentary system,…”
    ===
    wether or not the irish hate the brits for it, is not my point.
    my point is certainly non of the “democrats and freedom” supporters of today bash the British parliamentary system because of it. Why is that?
    now one can find other excuses. sure, but if this level of discredit can be attributed towards the chinese government for a proportionally less severe famine. then I don’t see how Irish famine should not discredit the british parliamentary system.

    also. btw, the british parlimentary system did not change that much from 1845 to today. the major parties of that day is still there (conservative and peelites (Modern day Lib-dems) )and same brand of ideological economic philosophy still has its advocates.

    and btw, Austro-Hungs is not exactly an parlimentary democracy on the same level of contemporary britain. not a smart example if one is arguing FOR democracy.

  251. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To 246:
    “Who convinced the people that his plan was right ? media.”
    —which media? And you can repeat the same concept with your subsequent inane questions.

    “Dont you find it ridiculous ?”
    —what is “it”?

    “did media and people have any clue if Obama’s plan would work or not ?”
    —which media? Which people?

    To 248:
    “” I cant answer your question therefore your question doesnt make sense.””
    —ummm, newsflash, I already answered your question, even though the question doesn’t make sense. Why do I say it doesn’t make sense? Try this: (“Many legitimate questions can be asked. It needn’t be confined to one question, or the first question. People may have asked questions of which you disapprove simply because they felt their questions were more legitimate. Or it may be that the questions you feel are legitimate, simply aren’t. “) Not surprisingly, that part came right after the segment you did quote. It’s never a bad idea to read the entire paragraph – it might contain stuff not found in the first 2 sentences.

    “they shouldnt be so angry.”
    —where are all these angry people you keep talking about?

    “What are they angry for ?”
    —man, i wonder if there might be more than one reason why a person might be angry, if they actually are angry? BTW, if you don’t know, ask them. Similarly, if you don’t know what Chinese people want, go ask them.

    To 247:
    “For god sake, I live in United States of America.”
    —precisely. So what does any of this have to do with whether Chinese people should opt for a democratic form of governance in China? You don’t live in China. And it seems you’re not particularly interested in actually talking about China. You live in America, and you seem preoccupied with talking about Americans in America. Why is that? And why on this blog?

  252. Wahaha Says:

    To 246:
    “Who convinced the people that his plan was right ? media.”
    —which media? And you can repeat the same concept with your subsequent inane questions.

    “Dont you find it ridiculous ?”
    —what is “it”?

    “did media and people have any clue if Obama’s plan would work or not ?”
    —which media? Which people?

    *********************************

    I get it. Obama’s economic plan was written on only several pages, like 3 or 4 pages.

    Most voters read and understood the plan by themselves.

    BTW, what about the economic plan in Canada ?, half a page.

    I guess a fifth grader would understand, right ?

    I guess your children are smarter than your prime minister, why wouldnt you let them run for government ?

  253. Jerry Says:

    SilentChinese #242

    I am going to say some thing very un popular, some one needs to say it but might as well be me.

    starving people matters, but it is not the only thing that matters.

    The fact is by 1979 CHina went pretty much from a fragmented failed state, to an united (somewhat, except taiwan) “State” with a strong unified central government and an industrial base that was basically self-sufficient. all in 30 years. the fact is worst of famine was in 3-4 years period. after which china was largely from starvation. this should be kept in perspective here, as whooper in his comments pointed out, moral sentiment change with perspective.

    Several comments:

    I hope you are in no way saying that the end justifies the means. Killing 10’s of millions, even by accident or Mao’s stupidity and ego, can never be justified. It happened, because absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    Self-sufficient maybe, but certainly not self-sustaining. The massive destruction of Chinese eco-systems was and is a high price to pay.

    The methods employed to “unify the central government” seemed to me fairly barbaric, e.g., The Red Guard, GLF and CR. This sounds to me like a justification for Joe Stalin-like tactics. I don’t buy the justification.

    Regarding Peel and the Irish Potato Famine: Peel was as much murderer as Mao. The British parliamentary system did not murder the Irish; Peel, his cronies and his Brit followers heinously murdered the Irish. Similar to guns don’t kill people, people do.

    Shrub, his cronies and his followers are similarly guilty of the same regarding innocent Iraqis, Afghanis and Pakistanis. His war crimes are both heinous and incredibly huge.

    SC #249

    “My main objection to the stimulus is: it is too small. and too much individual tax cuts not enough infrastructure & R&D spending.” Amen, brother. Forget tax cuts. Send checks directly and/or purchase vouchers. They used purchase vouchers here in Taiwan. It stimulated the economy here. Direct infrastructure investment, like road building, is good, too. R&D has a longer payback, but is better than unmitigated, undirected tax cuts. Tax cuts and breaks should serve economic policy.

    As Robert Reich said:

    The Great Jobs Recession continues. And we won’t get out of it until we face and deal with the structural problem at its core: A record share of the nation’s income going to the top, leaving the vast middle without enough purchasing power to get the economy moving.

    WHH #252

    You are engaging, IMHO, in irrelevant ephemera. I give up for now. IMHO, WHH, you need to ground yourself in concrete ideas.

  254. Wahaha Says:

    Jerry,

    Mind telling me how an average american knew the economic plans of candidates ?

    SKC opened another front line.

    You dont want to engage in ? take care.

  255. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To 252:
    “I get it.”
    —I highly doubt that.

    To 254:
    “how an average american knew the economic plans of candidates ?”
    —you’d have to ask an “average American”. Are you an “average American”? If you are, then how did you hear about them?
    Now, being an American, it stands to reason that you’d be very interested in American affairs, and keen to talk about them. That’s understandable. What’s less understandable is why you would choose to do so on a blog about China.

    As an American, you’re also extremely incapable of answering any questions? Is that normal for an American?

  256. silentchinese Says:

    @Jerry
    I don’t think you understand what I was saying.
    pouting stuff like “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” is frankly, really reminds one of a high school civics debate.

    also, wrt Peel.
    by saying stuff like “Peel was as much murderer as Mao” you really showed your naivety of British Political History,
    Peel was the one that pushed through the repeal of Corn Laws. if anyone who was the “hero” in the british system it was Peel.

    Gosh if your chinese history were any better.

  257. silentchinese Says:

    and with regard to ” The British parliamentary system did not murder the Irish; Peel, his cronies and his Brit followers heinously murdered the Irish. Similar to guns don’t kill people, people do.”
    =========

    And here is a perfect specimen of why history must be rigoriously taught in schools…looks like the only thing they did taught in Schools were moralizing grandstanding ill-respect to the facts.

    Irish Famine has its roots precisly in the British Political System. First the (Irish) Catholics were not able to own land and sit in parliments. i.e. act of emancipation.
    English absentine land lords extracted as much wealth as they could, They were well represented in the Parliment.
    Thus any laws checking the confiscation of Irish land were met with extreme opposition.

    and Actually the only thing the parlimentary system did was force the resignation of Peel, the prime minister who actually did most long term good by repealing the Corn Law, which favored the landed interests over new industrial interests.

    and what did his Whigs successor do? ah, following lassiz-faire economic principles, market will be “optimal” and cut back on government food and work relief…

    it is not the system that failed? the prime-minister that defeated high price food tariff (the one who you described as “Cronies” ) was voted out,
    the party that believes Lassiz-faire in time of famine and cutting BACK on food and relief was voted IN.

    ah, yes! the system worked very well. too well, if your criteria of working well is murdering the Irish.

    oh btw, there were a sizable Irish MPs sitting in British Parliment at that time. so don’t blame the “British” if you were.

    next time, learn some history before grand standing, it might do you some good.

  258. Josef Says:

    silentchinese, you wrote:
    “First the (Irish) Catholics were not able to own land and sit in parliaments. i.e. act of emancipation.
    English absentine land lords extracted as much wealth as they could, They were well represented in the Parliament.”
    and
    “oh btw, there were a sizable Irish MPs sitting in British Parliament at that time.”

    Indeed, my knowledge about that is very limited, so I ask you, who seem to know more, how that ends meet:
    ” Irish Catholics were not able to sit in parliaments BUT a sizable Irish MPs sitting in British Parliament.”
    My point is: Britain at that time was not democratic at all, and, there are people from the continent who does not regard Britain as a democracy even now (House of lords, kings and queens).

    btw, Austro-Hungs: although slightly later they had parliament(s) – In Prague, in Budapest. But I was not arguing so much that this was democracy (probably compared to the British, yes), my point was just that suppressed minorities had bigger rights there: just an example: The Austro-Hungarian Emperor was supposed to speak all country languages (and there were a lots) – I don’t remember that queen Victoria spoke fluently Irish (Gaelic)?

    so: we had two cases were dictator regimes caused or forced a famine to people: what’s the point?

    Back to China
    ” first 30 years they see strong growth when a technical and scientific driven approach was followed, and disaster when ideology and politics interfered.”
    I guess we are not too far away here. My point is just (like Jerry’s): the dominant events of that time were ideology and politics driven and thus caused inferior results. So for the discussion, this time does not add too much value. Probably only how the ” technical and scientific driven approach” can control or overrule/master “ideology and politics interference”,- which I see mostly from the PLA (not so much Mao’s Grandson, he is just an example how un-communistic, un-democratic the PLA, like any other military structure, is). You can see the factions shimmering through the news: every time some glorious “common event with DPRK” is posauned, you know that the ” ideology and politic” faction was active. Also nowadays, but much less compared to the first thirty years.

  259. Wahaha Says:

    “how an average american knew the economic plans of candidates ?”
    —you’d have to ask an “average American”. Are you an “average American”? If you are, then how did you hear about them?

    ********************************

    That is BS question.

    I simply asked you how an average american understand the economic plans by those president candidate.

    if not media, then how ?

    (Are you gonna ask me to prove that most Americans watch media like TV and Newspapers ? )

    and you cant answer that.

    I would say that they do with the similar ways as an average Canadians.

    Are you gonna ask me what “average Canadians” means ?

    Are you gonna ask me what “media” is ?

    OK, please define what media is.

    and you love using the word “people”.

    Please define “people”.

  260. silentchinese Says:

    @Josef:

    on the question of Irish in Parliment:
    two question for you:
    1) you do not know act of emancipation at all, do you? when was act of Emancipation?
    2) are all “Irish” catholics?

    oh god you know there is a thing called wikipedia do you?

    On your point of Britain at that time was not democratic at all.
    that’s bit of a strech. if you keep moving bars sure you can retrofit your definition all the way back, but the fact remaines the Britain had the most democratic political system vs any major european powers upto 1900s. French had Napolean III, the Prussians, Absolutists to the turn of century. etc etc.
    and if your argument is right, that “Britain at that time was not democratic at all”, then just exactly when did Brtian become a democracy?

    on the question of Austro-Hungs: and its minority rights.
    you picked the wrong example, if you purpose was to argue that Democracy does protect minority rights (which I don’t think it is the purpose of me bringing up Irish famine at all) .
    The minority rights in Austro-Hungs were not minority rights in a modern sense at all, but the left over from classic hereditary feudal monarchy. as Hapsburg holdings in Germany increasing fragmented, the hapsburgs depends more and more on Hungarian nobilities to prop up their empire, the rights of Hungarian nobility rest squarely on their(military) power, which derived through their feudal holdings in Hungry.
    completely different power dynamics.

    Back to China.
    I still don’t understand your point on why bring up mao’s grand son and DPRK. or that the fact PLA is an undemocratic structure (as it should be, as any military is in the world). Mao’s grandson was a political appointment. actually many career officers resent it privately. that’s another point.
    as for you ideological based trifles on NK, China, hard to understand. but…
    370K Chinese bleed and died in Korean War, just so that China wouldn’t have a militarized border today on the Yalu. and manchuria avoid another the threat of invasion from Korea.
    that’s enough to seal the deal. Just as so many American boys splattered their guts in Normandy sealed the bond between France and America, even during the gaulist times when France walks off nato they still honor and respect that relationship.

    anyways,
    your analysis on Peel and the conclusion you derived was completely off. The fact that he repealed the corn law, and the fact that he was voted out of office and his successors were ideologically completely against any form of gov’t food relief and acted upon those ideologies to the severe detriment of Ireland was telling enough of failure of Britain’s Parlimentary system– the most liberal political system amongst european powers at that time.

    My original point is: In analysis of political history, one has to be intellectually honest.

    If one think an ideologically worsened Irish Famine(s) (famine(s) that is almost entirely man made and in the end wiped out 1/3 of a countries population and repeatly did so for good part of a century) does not consitute a black mark for liberal democracy (and I don’t think it should be, given appropriate perspective) then in fairness one should not regard ideological driven disasters such as chinese famine of 60s (which lasted 3 years and has less proportionate population loss then Irish famine) consitute a black mark for the chinese system. (given the appropriate perspective).

    if one think both the irish famine and the 60s chinese famine should be regarded as discrediting black mark, then I am open to that interpretation too.

    One can not pick and choose. And One must have an appropriate perspective.

    p.s.

    If The Irish Famine is too “OLD” or that Brtish Parlimentary system at 1845 was not a “True” democracy.
    Then we have the severe disparity between china vs India’s infant mortality rate. which murders more in India through out the years then those CRs/GLF ever did in China.
    If all men are created equal, then death of men should be equally heinous. Isn’t it?

  261. Rhan Says:

    “In analysis of political history, one has to be intellectually honest.”

    So what if there is still people arguing that this blog is about China, and not about Britain?

  262. S.K. CHeung Says:

    To 259:
    “I simply asked you how an average american…”
    —but I’m not an average American. I’m not even American. You’re the American. So my asking an American about an average American is “BS”, but your asking a Canadian about an “average American” is OK? Alrighty then. You do employ some interesting logic.

    Actually, I have a pretty good concept of “average Canadian”. Probably much better than yours.

    Yes, I’d love to define “Chinese people” for you. They’re the individuals who live in China who you avoid talking about, whose lives you like to dictate to from overseas, and whose opinions don’t interest you all that much…at least not enough to talk about.

    I can also define “American people” for you. They’re the individuals you obsessively talk about, which isn’t necessarily all that strange in and of itself, except that you do so on a blog about CHina.

    I can also define “people who can’t answer any questions”. That’d be you. Well done.

  263. Josef Says:

    Rhan,
    what silentchinese is saying is, that a famine, like it happened in China, could also happen in a democratic system. I was challenging that, as to my opinion, Great Britain in the 18th century was not a Democracy, at least not in the sense as we are discussing democracy here.

    silentchinese,
    Yes, both famines should be regarded as discrediting black marks. But both were made possible by rulers which were not elected by the people – the subset which were allowed to vote at that time in Great Britain I do not count as the people. Hm, when did Britain become a democracy – A country with big colonies and occupied nations where some people are regarded as second class (like the Irish), hardly can be called a democracy.
    But your argument about India’s infant mortality rate is very good and valid.

    One question: how big do you regard the influence of the PLA to the Chinese government (i.e. compared to the influence of military in democratic countries)?
    I pick this sentence of yours again:
    “examine the first 30 years they see strong growth when a technical and scientific driven approach was followed, and disaster when ideology and politics interfered”
    To my opinion you can trace the disasters to the PLA supported faction, while for the positive events I see not only experts at work, but to a certain extend elected experts. And this second group or system I hold responsible for the success of the second 30 years.

  264. silentchinese Says:

    @Rhan
    “So what if there is still people arguing that this blog is about China, and not about Britain?”
    ………..
    This goes to a fundamental sense of fairness and objectivity. if one does not have lateral comparison then how do you differentiate?

    @Josef
    ” A country with big colonies and occupied nations where some people are regarded as second class (like the Irish), hardly can be called a democracy.”
    ………..
    then tell me if there is any democracy in the world right now in the world?
    Is Brittain today a Democracy? what about France? what about US?when did they became democracy?
    the disqualification is enormously wide.
    In your opinion, was Athens, the city state that practically invented democracy, in the height of its power a democracy? It certainly had a sizable second class – it had a slave population that’s many times its voting citizens. It certainly had colonies, it wipped out and enslaved city states just because they would not ally with her in the pellopenesian war. Was Athens disqualified as a democracy?
    I eagerly awaits your question.

    p.s
    on PLA’s influence in Chinese politics.
    if one thing the PLA is an active partisan in the chinese political struggle, then it is pretty wrong headed projection of the NK system. It was always the party controlls the gun, not the other way around. The only time PLA got itself involved was during CR which was a used as the last institution that could uphold order. hardly being partisan.

  265. silentchinese Says:

    silentchinese,
    Yes, both famines should be regarded as discrediting black marks. But both were made possible by rulers which were not elected by the people.
    …………

    you are telling me, with a straight face, that, the prime minister of Britain was not elected by the people.

    I rest my case.

  266. Wahaha Says:

    I can also define “people who can’t answer any questions”. That’d be you. Well done.

    ********************************************

    Define “people”.

    Put you in China, so you wouldnt have the right of voting.

    So I am asking you, if you were in China, you had a family to feed, which one would be more important, the right of voting or a good job?

    Of course you want both a good job and the right of voting, I am asking which you would fight first.

    Or let me put it this, on a day, there is a protest for the right of voting, and there is an interview for a good job, which one would you go, the interview or the protest ?

    and you want to foolishly claim you are going to the protest ?

  267. Jerry Says:

    SilentChinese #256, #257

    My bad. I got Peel wrong (maybe). Thanks for the information.

    pouting stuff like “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” is frankly, really reminds one of a high school civics debate.

    How condescending and dismissive. In my book, Mao was living proof of Ashton’s dictum. Still is. Using condescension to enhance your opinions. How novel.

    The Peel mistake on my part aside, I still got the gist of Irish famine/murder/holocaust. This little evasion demonstrates what I see as the Chinese/Western cultural/educational divide. Chinese do rote memorization of facts better than Westerners. We do critical thinking and scientific reasoning better and then some. And your lack of reasoning here dwells on a few facts (trees) and misses the whole forest. How typical.

    I am glad that you brought up how Peel obviously went against members of his own Conservative party which split after the repeal passage. But Peel was also in favor of an Irish Coercion Bill, which vote he lost at the same time. Confusing fellow, Mr. Peel. Historians seem to think that the losing big time on the Coercion Bill brought down his government, not the victory on the corn law repeal.

    It sounds to me like Peel was not a supporter of the Irish and was very similar of sentiment as David Gladstone, who passed a law which allowed the Irish to be imprisoned without trial. Not very humane. Wow, the similarity to Mao is building.

    And here is a perfect specimen of why history must be rigoriously taught in schools…looks like the only thing they did taught in Schools were moralizing grandstanding ill-respect to the facts.

    How arrogant, ASSumptive and Chinese the statement. I understand the gist; I may have some of the players wrong. The gist of the Irish Famine, pretty much right. It is not moralizing. I am looking at the actions of whatever and whoever Brits did against the Irish. And they had the nerve to consider the IRA as terrorists. Sounds like the Brits were doing a bang-up job against the Irish. Perhaps you care little about morals.

    Irish suffering has its roots in Brits using the system to accomplish their greedy, evil goals. And they were very successful in doing so. And such is my opinion which seems to be in opposition to yours. Seems you would like to blame systems rather than the people who manipulate the system. How convenient. Mao and Shrub would have loved you. Bush/Cheney did not help to devastate Iraq, the American Political system did. Mao’s policies did not kill 10’s of millions of Chinese. It was the system. Hmmm! Sounds like prevarication and euphemisms to me.

    oh btw, there were a sizable Irish MPs sitting in British Parliment at that time. so don’t blame the “British” if you were.

    I know little of this contingent. My bet was that they were Northern Irish, ersatz Irish. It seems that the Irish were prohibited from being members of Parliament. Any “Irish”, most like were Brits.

    next time, learn some history before grand standing, it might do you some good.

    Perhaps you need to look in the mirror, SC. Your manipulation and distortion of logic to justify your opinions is rather obvious. Your use of insults is a cheap cover for your illusory logic.

    Opinions are fine. You seem to want club people with yours. Good luck.

    Now let me opine further. I think you like the academic, hands-off idea that systems kill people, whether Chinese, Israeli, British or American. To me, the system is both a cover and a tool. Those in control, whether plutocrats or dictators, refine the parties, the government, the system, its institutions, and its laws to suit their purpose(s). Thus, those in control are responsible for the harm the system causes.

    My suggestion: Don’t look at the superficial events! Dig deeper! Follow the money. It is the monied interests who usually call the shots. They are the plutocracy.

    In the case of the Brits, they instituted mono-cultural agriculture in Ireland (killing off biodiversity) for the purpose of making money (hence the repeal of the corn laws). They guessed horribly wrong and killed many Irish through the famine. The same for Mao and his autocratic rule. Same for Jiang Jieshi and the KMT in Taiwan. Why was and is the US in Iraq and Afghanistan? Why are Liu Xiaobo and Tan Zuoren in jail? Why are there no free elections in China? Why can’t Israel find peace with their Semitic brothers, the Arabs? Why can’t Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank have their own territory and government?

  268. Mythbuster Says:

    “Chinese do rote memorization of facts better than Westerners. ”

    Probably TRUE especially with elementary Chinese, yes, but with Maths and higher learnings?

    We [Westerners] do critical thinking and scientific reasoning better and then some.

    REALLY ? Critical thinking based on what, wishful thinking ?

    Doesn’t anyone find it preposterous to hear these dime-a-dozen foreigners who has none or even basic second language skills who are ever trigger happy to criticize foreign cultures they have only read about but can’t communicate with real people of their host countries above pleasantries, even that? I mean, why should people of any country have to put up with this nonsense any longer?

    “Don’t look at the superficial events! Dig deeper! Follow the money. It is the monied interests who usually call the shots. They are the plutocracy.”

    Absolutely. But everyone already knows that, though. We rote memorized Chinese history remember? Oh, by the way, I am Chinese, but I stopped rote learning by the time I entered Junior high. The thing about having all the facts in by high school is that it allows the brain to compute stronger logic with greater efficiency. As for English, I learned by reading books, watching movies and singing English songs – no rote memorization there.

  269. silentchinese Says:

    @Jerry

    I see that finally you spent some time read up on the subject, good for you.

    On “We do critical thinking and scientific reasoning better and then some”.
    …………….
    uoooohhh such superiority complex.
    last time I checked, critical thinking and scientific reasoning depend up on a solid foundation of facts. the fact that you jumped in with your moralizing with out getting your facts straight on Peel speaks volume.
    with out foundation of facts how do you know your conclusion is correct? you had your conclusion and you are defending it even with thin understanding and disregarding of actual facts? what is that? that’s an ideologue.

    “Perhaps you need to look in the mirror, SC. Your manipulation and distortion of logic to justify your opinions is rather obvious. Your use of insults is a cheap cover for your illusory logic.”
    ……………….
    wait, you are the one who got the facts wrong in the first case thus missing my entire point. you understand that in logical arguments that if your intial tenents are off you will end up with vastly different conclusions?

    “Thus, those in control are responsible for the harm the system causes.”
    …………….
    are you telling me that the communist system is not the problem, Mao is? or that the Nazi germany weren’t at the fault, but Hitler and his acoylites? are you defending communism/Nazism the system? how novel.

    On the other hand, can we just randomly drew lots and pick our leaders and oh well after all the person is at fault not the system? what do we need elections then, because we can just blame the unlucky guy who got the short straw to do the job?
    Isn;t the gist of a good political system is the ability to pick the right leaders?

    btw, if you follow up on my conversation with Josef, you should know my central point by now,
    my point is always, one has to be intellectual honest and consistent.
    given similar results, one either has to discredit/credit both british parlimentary democracy and the chinese communist system, can not be either or.
    or similarly in your case, in both cases one has to blame the either person or the system, can’t pick and choose just to jive with your ideology.

    p.s.
    you keep going on and on about How “Chinese” this and “we are better at scientific reasoning” etc. who is “CHinese” and who is “We” in these cases?
    bit ironic consonsider that generalizing is not how scientific reasoning works.

    oh, btw, I am educated in the west. so much for your “Chinese/Western cultural/educational divide”.

    allow me for some generalization but,…
    oh god if this what western education system is producing these days I dread the future. (my self’s included)

    p.p.s.
    Yes, I was beating you pretty hard with my stick. regret that this may have ticked off you a bit, but I made you read history and got your facts straight didn’t I?
    kinda funny considering outcome, you became the exact type of opinionator that you accuse the stereotypical “Chinese” to be.

  270. silentchinese Says:

    Jerry urged me to…
    “Don’t look at the superficial events! Dig deeper!”.

    great advice, I will take up on this.

    we have one opinionator that seemingly disqualifies almost all examples of current “democracies” as not true democracies. Colonies and Disfranchisment being the disqualifiers.
    we have another opinionator here that conjectured that in reality democracies are really monied interest plutocracy.
    (both of you guys can kindly correct me if I got the gist of your point wrong)

    Seems like, “Democracy and freedom etc” is less universal and bit more of a fluff fakery then I first thought.

    then can both of you Josef and Jerry, kindly explain to us (hopefully with Jerry’s superior innate “Scientific Reasoning and Critical Thinking” that why, today, west has this evangelical urgency to push this “Democracy and freedom etc” on to the Chinese?

  271. Josef Says:

    silentchinese,

    first let me emphasize that I really appreciate your comments.

    You wrote
    “then tell me if there is any democracy in the world right now in the world? … I eagerly awaits your question.”

    In this discussion I understand democracy as a system where the majority or the people have a right to vote, and with that, gain some protection. Now, if you would take the number of people living in the British Empire and compare to the number of voters you might end with a similar ratio of the number of people living in china and the number who are member of the CCP and thus have a right to vote.

    You extracted only part of a sentence with: “the prime minister of Britain was not elected by the people”. Well, he ruled over half of the world, but did half of the world elect him? Who are the people? (not everyone regards the British empire as good). In 230 I wrote: Example Switzerland: only since 1971 they allowed women too vote, before actually less than 50% population had the right to vote – was it a democracy then?

    Probably you can give us your idea about what democracy is. Just because its named ? Or can we have some metrics?

    However even without colonies the decision on Ireland/famine might have been the same.
    This Irish/English situation is even more difficult. To my opinion even then a majority cannot vote, or overrule, on essential rights of a minority. A very similar situation arose recently with Serbia and Kosovo, ( and some people say potentially with China and Tibet ).

    and finally you wrote
    …evangelical urgency to push this “Democracy and freedom etc” on to the Chinese?
    I thinkt it is not so much democracy but rather peoples rights what are evangelically urgent pushed.

    Again Demcracy as a conservative system for rich countries, which can maintain their wealth (proven by many examples). And protects its people by giving them rights. For a developing country not necesarilly well suited.

    And: I am more wondering, and/or learning in this blogg, if there is a real alternative, invented from China…

  272. S.K. Cheung Says:

    OK, so the Brits had a famine in the 19th century, and the CCP had one in the 20th, so a parliamentary system or a CCP political system are not uniquely or independently causally-related to famine…or so the argument goes.

    The “western democratic” system has had economic success. The CCP political system has had recent economic success. So the system of governance is also not uniquely or independently causally-related to economic success. Which is what I’ve been saying all along. China should keep her current economic system. But Chinese people might not want to keep their current political system…or more to the point, Chinese people might want a political system of their own choosing and design.

    People speak of intellectual honesty and consistency. Now let’s see them walk the talk.

  273. Wahaha Says:

    But Chinese people might not want to keep their current political system…or more to the point, Chinese people might want a political system of their own choosing and design.

    *********************************

    Define “people”.

  274. Wahaha Says:

    Josef and SKC,

    The election system makes sense only when people understand the results of their choices, like #22.

    People vote based on the results they anticipate (I guess SKC will ask me to prove it). Therefore, when people dont have the understanding of the possible results of their voting, their votes are guided by those elite and media, THEREFORE, IT IS NOT NECESSARY WHAT THEY WANT.

    For example, China set up SEZ, the benefit of it has been clear and obvious. But till now, Indian government still cant set up an SEZ along coast line. Why ? cuz those poor people protest, led by those activitists who claimed that government set up SEZ for the rich to exploit the poor, just like when ShenZhen was set up.

    What if those activitists had told the poor what had happened in ShenZhen, What if the media had told the poor what had happened in ShenZhen, what would be the result ? Most likely, there would be at least 1 SEZ along coastline in India.

    That is, what several activitists and media, just very small group of people, can lead people to believe something or disbelieve something.

    The difference is very simple : SEZ is a result of result-driven, while those activitists only cared selling their beautiful idea.

  275. Wahaha Says:

    To show that people are result-driven,

    Just ask youselves what you would do in the following situation :

    You want to pick a high school for your kids, what will you check ?

    Are you gonna spend lot of time checking the GPA of principles and teachers ?

    no,

    You check how many graduate from the school have gone to great universities and colleges.

    That, is result-driven.

    When a voting system can not at same let people understand the possible outcome of their voting, the voting is not for real. The only good thing for such system is that if the leaders in such system has done so bad that it is become so obvious to people, people can elect a group of new leaders.

  276. Wahaha Says:

    People assume media is on their side, that is ridiculous.

    What make those journalists immune to the greediness ? what make those media immune to power thirsty ?

    for example, most people support death penalty, how on earth can media be so animous on this issue ?

    Have any of you thought of that ? If media represent people’s voice, then the voice of those who support death penalty should be heard, right ?

    Then why does media suppress the voices of those death penalty supporters ?

    1992 Los anageles roit, didnt media make any mistake ?

    House bubble, was media free of any responsibility ?

    Did they ever criticize themselves for their mistake ?

    Think of that, you may get a clue who media speaks for, themselves or people.

  277. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To 273:
    that’s just lame. What makes it worse is that it’s not the first time you’ve asked your most brilliant question, despite the fact that I’d already provided the answer in the last 3 paragraphs of #262. Not only do you ask lame questions, but you need to answer them twice after they’ve already been answered. Is the superlative variant of “lame” a word? Cuz if it is, you would embody it.

    To 274:
    the solution, then, is not to get rid of all semblance of democracy. It’s to equip people with the requisite information to exercise their rights effectively. You know, maybe give them some of your sources from which you derive your most excellent thought patterns. Though for balance, they should have access to some other sources as well, your thought patterns being what they are.

    To 275:
    more suppositions. Yeah, let’s not give Chinese people a choice in their own affairs cuz it’s so much better to speak of arbitrary examples. That’s compelling.

    To 276:
    “What make those journalists immune to the greediness ? what make those media immune to power thirsty ?”
    —you know, the same could be asked of the CCP. THe difference is that you can choose which journalists and media you consume, but you can’t choose the CCP (since there’s no choice in the matter).

    Obviously, “the media” makes mistakes. I’m shocked you didn’t mention Iraq, since that’s a standard go-to for you people. What does a media subject to human error have to do with allowing Chinese people to make decisions for themselves?

  278. no99 Says:

    This can be applied to a lot of countries;

    In the long scheme of things, eventually politics in China will change, and eventually there will be a form of democracy (meaning people will make choices and the civil servants will have to oblige by them). It doesn’t always have to be just mob rule, or decisions made by the elite. Eventually things will change, and of course, it will be unique, one of a kind, as it is with all countries. Anything is possible though, and the democratic countries today may become something quite different in the long run as well, for several reasons. Like it could be in name democratic but in reality not so, if you understand my point.

    More importantly though, there needs to be opportunity for people to grow and prosper as well. Democracy or not, if that particular issue can’t be managed, things will get very ugly and dirty.

    In any system, from those with a lot of checkpoints (like a constitution) to those who are very loose (like a dictatorship), in the end, it’s really the people themselves that make things work (either by going along with it, or changing it which could be subtle or extreme) and sustain it.

    This is the middle ground, and I believe the view of most people who are aware of how things work in life.

  279. Wahaha Says:

    #277

    Lame ?

    the word “people” is the most brilliant deciting word ever used by “people”. let us give two groups :

    Group A : the media, journalist and activitists, the priority for them is political right.

    Group B : common people whose priority is a decent job and decent lives.

    So group A and group B simply dont share the same goal, how can they be put under the same name ?

    How can group B be represented by another group A who has different goal ?

  280. Wahaha Says:

    the solution, then, is not to get rid of all semblance of democracy. It’s to equip people with the requisite information to exercise their rights effectively.

    *****************************

    That is why you are shameless (on the open thread).

    You push “democracy” while you have no idea of how to equip people with the requisite information. The Indian example in #274 clearly illustrated what would bring to poor people under such situation. With hundreds of millions of people suffering year after year, you still throw around your idea from Mar.

    Shouldnt you first give a practical way with which people can get requisite information ?

    and I simply ask you how common people get their information in WEST world, you dont even have gut to answer this question and you still talk about “equip people with the requisite information”.

  281. Wahaha Says:

    Obviously, “the media” makes mistakes. I’m shocked you didn’t mention Iraq, since that’s a standard go-to for you people. What does a media subject to human error have to do with allowing Chinese people to make decisions for themselves?

    ************************************

    Do you have an explanation that why media suppresses the voice of those who support death penalty ?

    somehow, I think you know (at least you have a reasonable guess), but you will pretend you dont know.

  282. silentchinese Says:

    S.K. Cheung Says:
    “The “western democratic” system has had economic success. The CCP political system has had recent economic success. So the system of governance is also not uniquely ”
    …………
    Well, in case you haven’t caught Josef’s argument… by this esteemed opinionator’s criteria, most of time when “western democratic” states has had economic success, when they are in ascend, they were not truly democratic. see Josef for details.

    “People speak of intellectual honesty and consistency. Now let’s see them walk the talk.”
    …………
    Yes! I just wish the opposing camp has consistent arguments.

  283. silentchinese Says:

    @Josef

    Your Criteria for a democracy is 50% of people allowed to vote.
    that would disqualify Classic Athens and most of “Democratic” city-states in Greece.
    that would disqualified most of America up to 1964 Before that it is legal to have a poll tax.
    taht would certainly disqualified most of Britian until mid 30s…
    then reminds me what was ww1/2 all about? oh something about making world safer for democracies? in your opinion that was a open face lie then? that millions died in wars not for democracy?

    oh, one more thing, on paper chinese election laws are more liberal in 1960s then that in US (no poll tax or restriction on blacks), would that mean China was more “Democratic” then US during 1950-60s?

    under your proposed criteria, there are so many paradoxes, which could only mean one thing. your proposed criteria is flawed may be?

    On British prime minister.
    and who is the most powerful person in the world, today? Barack Hussein Obama?
    may be my memory is wrong but I don’t remember any chinese or indians or any one in subsahara african citizens voted in 2008 US presidential? how come he has so much power in the world?
    What I remembered is essentially couple of strategically placed counties in some swing states decided 2000 presidential election. and that has been the case almost every US presidential elections in recent memory. That’s not majority. you are telling me that is a fair and demoratic way? that it comes down to some senior citizens in miami dade or cleveland deciding who the most powerful person on this planet, who has the power to deciding life and death over millions and fate of many nations, is for the next 4 years?

    because it comes down to essentially this. right?

    tell me this is what you want. tell me this is fair.

  284. silentchinese Says:

    repeat. deleted.

  285. silentchinese Says:

    And tell me why citizens under age of 18 can’t vote in most democracies today?
    why this requirement?
    They are citizens of a state aren’t they? they pay taxes, they work.
    some of them are adults.
    why doesn’t their opinions count?

    something about maturity?

    ah. right.
    so reasoning ability of a citizen is in fact seen as a requirement for voting rights.

    so what’s the noise about “rule of the wise” being too authoritarian?

  286. silentchinese Says:

    This is my “perfect state”

    1) institute a examination requirement for voting
    math, science, philosophy, literature, history. geography.
    2) Those who score above certain level, is eligible to vote.
    3) those who score above another higher level, is eligible to hold office.
    4) Ban political parties.
    5) Science based policy.
    6) Establish the State’s role to provide guidance of proper mores and value.
    ….

  287. Wahaha Says:

    #285

    Bravo !!!

  288. Josef Says:

    Democracy, in this discussion, are the political systems which are called democracy today. I doubt that the system, i.e. the British empire had, during the Irish famine would be called democracy today (House of freedom or whatever). If China would turn into this system I would not call it democracy either.
    It does not help to the discussion to quote ancient systems, which would not fulfill minimal requirements of human rights, even if they are historically called “democracies”.

    With your other statements you potential open a box of worms leading to off-topic discussions and I only add short comments here : ww1/2 were not for democracy in the first idea, especially ww1, which was purely nationalistic motivated (i.e. ” for the millions died”). Second: Barack Hussein Obama is not ruling over me. Of course he is influencing the world, like many others. But the British Prime minister was really ruling over the colonies- or wasn’t he?

    The trend of democracies is clearly that less and less people are excluded from the right to vote. I actually do not know any case were an opening was reversed. Therefore, when we talk about a future democratic option for China, we talk essentially about one where all people have the right to vote. I would say this trend to opening improved the (Lipset) performance of democracies. I think I picked up recently news of a county within some European state where the lowered the voting age to 16…

    On the “perfect state”. Yes this kind of improvement ideas, is essentially why I and probably others keep open minded. Until now restrictions on the right to vote were mainly to maintain selfishly the power for a minority. To ask for as certain level of intelligence sounds tempting, especially when you see some of the drawbacks at some of current democracies. What I have here in mind is the support of extreme right winged parties or charlatans in Europe.
    However, when you propose to ban political parties, what are this people supposed to vote on. On technical topics (like Switzerland – every important decision is done by a public vote) only? If yes,- how are the leaders selected. I guess it is better to have declared parties, than having under table factions.
    Science based policy: we have been there before in this discussion. There is no unique (best) solution. But I admit my argument is picky, as probably every best solutions based on science is better than an emotional decision.

    “…so what’s the noise about “rule of the wise” being too authoritarian?”
    If the “wise” is recognized as the “wise” by a majority and minorities are nevertheless protected, many people can live with authoritarian decisions. But with that you come very close to a democratic selected “wise”.
    If he is not selected by the people, the selection and recognition as “wise” might be justified by his actions and results – that’s what this blog is talking about. But, what if the “wise” becomes crazy? Would you call Mao Zedong wise, or the three generations of rulers in North Korea? Democracy, with its forced changes from time to time offers a solution. Let’s take Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and take him as a “wise”: I wonder if the majority who supports him wants him as an authoritarian ruler or as an elected president.

    Anyway, do you accept or propose in your “perfect state” authoritarian rule?

  289. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To 282:
    ummm, news flash. I’m not Josef. He makes his arguments; I make mine. Can you make your own? You see, if “famine” is “famine”, be it 19th century Ireland or 20th century China, then “economic system” is “economic system”. Do you only bring out qualifiers like “most of time” this or “not truly” that when it suits you?

    Like I said, ““People speak of intellectual honesty and consistency. Now let’s see them walk the talk.” And so far you’ve given us a face-plant. Forget about arguing against a “camp”. Start small and provide arguments to individuals first. So you’ve still got some work to do with #272.

    To 285:
    “And tell me why citizens under age of 18 can’t vote in most democracies today?
    why this requirement?”
    —that’s better. A fair question. And that age isn’t even uniform…I understand there are some places where it’s as high as 21. It is certainly arbitrary, just as driving age, drinking age, legal age for standing trial as an adult vs a juvenile are also fairly arbitrary. I don’t know how the voting age is arbitrarily determined…much like those other age criteria. It would seem that one can’t do certain things as a newborn infant. So at what point in life is one capable of “driving”, “drinking”, committing adult offenses, or “voting”? Admittedly, not all 15 year olds (for example) are created equal. So if you can think of a better system to use as a determinant of eligibility, I’m all ears. On the other hand, it seems extreme to think that if some adolescents aren’t eligible to drive/drink/vote, no one should be eligible.

    “They are citizens of a state aren’t they? they pay taxes, they work.”
    —they sure are. Some work, though I suspect the younger they are, the less likely they would be to exceed their annual personal income deduction to actually end up paying taxes. But if your argument is that a relatively small proportion of U18’s are being taxed without representation in democracies, that is most likely correct.

    “some of them are adults.”
    —-well, I think that’s the point of the arbitrary 18 year old distinction. Before they hit “age of majority”, they’re not considered adults.

    “why doesn’t their opinions count? ”
    —because they’re not adults. “kids” can’t even make decisions for themselves without parental consent. It’s arbitrary, it’s imperfect, and you should step up if you’ve got a better solution. But treating a 10 year old the same as a 20/30/40/50 year old….(you get the idea) doesn’t seem like a most awesome solution to me.

    “so what’s the noise about “rule of the wise” being too authoritarian?”
    —who gets to determine who is “wise”? Besides, the CCP isn’t just about “wise”. It needn’t have anything to do with “wise”. As long as it’s under the umbrella of the CCP, it’s “wise” enough. Which doesn’t necessarily make it very wise at all.

    To 286:
    well, your perfect state sounds not too terrible on first blush. Of course, once you start rationing rights and making some people more worthy of certain basic rights than others, there are problems around the corner. You ask people to demonstrate proficiency to qualify for privileges; you don’t make them qualify for rights, or they wouldn’t be rights at all.

    With point #4, i guess even the CCP has some work to do. Refreshing to see that you don’t think they’re perfect.

    Science is great, if it’s actually science. The “science” that Whooper suggests, and you seem to support, is a different animal.

    And with point #6, novels have been devoted to that sort of thing. Thankfully, it’s still fiction in most places, though probably only quasi-fictional in CCP CHina.

  290. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To 279:
    first of all, no idea what “deciting” is.

    I’ve already defined “people”. If you want more, check wiki or webster’s. Within that definition, obviously there can be different subgroups. No idea what you’re arguing about. Are “journalists” not people?!?

    There’s an open challenge to you from over on Open Thread. Make a point or an actual argument, rather than obsessing over what constitutes “people”.

    To 280:
    “You push “democracy” while you have no idea of how to equip people with the requisite information.”
    —that’s a recurring concern of yours. I can’t be expected to solve all your concerns or problems for you. But if YOU think the problem is dissemination of information, the solution would seem to lie in some method of improving such dissemination, and NOT in getting rid of democracy.

    To 281:
    what does “death penalty” have to do with this? Is it too much for you to make an actual argument, rather than the endless short bursts of verbiage that seemingly lead to nowhere in particular?

  291. wwww1234 Says:

    WHH, here is my two cents
    It is always difficult to get a logician to define and accept simple facts and common human behavioral patterns.

    Flawless logic works perfectly and effortlessly when and only when reality is virtual and free flow imagination is unrestrained and unconfined by facts and common sense. Operating in a vacuum allows one to freely project, proclaim, promote. Take that off, and there is little substance to be learnt from pure paper logic.

    knowledge of historical/economic/social facts do not accord more freedom in a debate, actually they are restrictive as to what one can write; but then this is what distinguish the logical+impractical from the rational, the relevant from the frivolous.

  292. wwww1234 Says:

    Re: silentchinese Says:

    This is my “perfect state”
    =========================
    I wonder what the mechanism might be, that the less wise (non voters) could be shielded from exploitation by the wiser.

    In the old time at least the emperor, the sole owner, had a vested interest in ensuring a clean bureaucracy.

  293. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To 291:
    forget “flawless” logic; I’d settle for something that vaguely resembles half-baked logic from folks like you.

    You should also realize that “impractical” to the CCP need not be the same as what is “impractical” to Chinese people. But perhaps it is the lack of such realization that causes all those problems for some of you.

    If you need to make a distinction between what is logical and what is rational, then you are truly deserving of all that you can “rationally” conjure up. But surely you wouldn’t foist such creations on others, like Chinese people in China, now would you?

  294. Wahaha Says:

    I’ve already defined “people”. If you want more, check wiki or webster’s. Within that definition, obviously there can be different subgroups. No idea what you’re arguing about. Are “journalists” not people?!?

    ************************

    Well, the issue is when you say “giving the power to people”, which subgroup do you mean ?

    The rich, the meida, or the group of parasites, or the group of human being who are willing to work hard for a good living ?

  295. Wahaha Says:

    You have been talking about “let people decide”, and I have been saying that people dont know the result of their choice.

    Now, let us have a look of what is going on in France. The strike has lasted for 2 weeks, 3/4 of Frenches against government’s plan. Even government has said that without this policy, their children and grandchildren would not enjoy the retirement benefit.

    Can you explain the behavior of those protesters ? do they understand the result of their behavior ? do they understand the policy of government ?

    If people had understood the result of their choices, there would be no Nazi.

    If people had understood the result of their choices, America would enter WWII before Peral Harbor.

    if people had understood the result of their choices, there would be no culture revolution.

    if people had understood the result of their choices, there would be no housing bubble.

  296. Wahaha Says:

    —that’s a recurring concern of yours. I can’t be expected to solve all your concerns or problems for you. But if YOU think the problem is dissemination of information, the solution would seem to lie in some method of improving such dissemination, and NOT in getting rid of democracy.

    **********************************

    and from where do people get their information ? can you quanrantee that information is not biased ?

    Show your greatness by telling us how to improve.

    and please tell us how much percent of people in Canada have the time, energy and intelligence to understand the economic plans by candidates(let alone the possible result)?

  297. Wahaha Says:

    what does “death penalty” have to do with this? Is it too much for you to make an actual argument, rather than the endless short bursts of verbiage that seemingly lead to nowhere in particular?

    ***********************************

    Well, that shows that media in West does represent people’s opinions, they are not even honest to themselves. (how come almost all of them are against death penalty.)

    What is the dirty secret in it ?

    Do you trust a person who is not even honest to himself ? and how can you trust the information from such person ?

    Again, what source do people have to get info other than media ?

  298. silentchinese Says:

    @Josef etc,
    May I suggest you guys sum up your points more concisely, I find alot of fluff but not too many meat.

    @wwww1234
    The Athenian Assembly, the most democratic institution ever devised on this large scale, exiled Perciles and executed Socrates.
    The Venetian Republic, an Oligarchy by any definition, existed continuously from the twilight of Western Roman Empire to Napolean and the French Revolution.

    The Greeks noted that In a democracy The demogogues will always seeks to exploit the majority opnions to seek their own end.
    what mechanism is there even today to keep in check the demogogues?

    One should also wonder more about what the mechanism might be, that the majority could be shielded from their own stupidity.

  299. silentchinese Says:

    @S.K. Cheung

    I am just pointing out some glaring in-consistency in the Pro-Demos camp, that’s all.

    also, stop dancing around my salient point by using fancy but substanceless words.
    My point is two fold.:
    first,
    clearly, most democratic institution of today sees that some sort of voter requirements (i.e. Age) is needed, because of maturity of voters. The Requirement EXISTS. and the very existence of this requirement means some sort of limit is accepted by even the most ardent democtates. that means there exist a need for a distinguisher between citizens wrt their political rights. is there not?

    now that we establish that a distinguisher does exist, then my second point comes into play:
    second:
    why not institute further distinguishers in order to perfect the state? US Constitution already restrict candidacy of POTUS to citizens born in US and above a certain age. is it? why not add another one that test his/her intellectual ability?

    isn’t the point of any political systems is to pick the best person for the job?

    rest of your stuff is just fluff and dancing around my point with out actually addressing it.
    current state of any political institution is not point of my post.

  300. Wahaha Says:

    wwww1234,

    Thx,

    I wont spend 1 hr to organize a speech to someone who refuse to accept facts.

    Like this SKC who cant even define the information source while big-mouthing people being well-informed.

    Let us see how he will come up “explanation” about what is going on in France, a country in which most people are well educated. Of course, he will repeat “I wont explain your illusion”.

    Did he ever explain any fact on earth ?

    People like him always talk about “things should be done in this way”, but “this way” in real world is built on lot of conditions (something they never talk). They are like gold fishes in a fish tank who have no idea what predators are.

    For example, even billions of dollars was spent in helping Haiti’s victims, most of the victims are still living in miserable condition and now 200+ died. Do they care ?

    What is funny is that they dont care how to help people IN A MEANINGFULL WAY but it seems they are always on morally high ground, which is extremely annoying.

  301. silentchinese Says:

    also, as an after thought.

    The longest political state in existence is the Vatican.

    It is an institution that is clearly oligarchical in nature, with life time tenures and limited voters appointed by the head of the institution. and it proclaim itself to be Representative of God’s Kindom on earth for much of the last 2 millenia, and its head a direct heir to key holder of gate to heaven.

    Tell me Western Liberal Democracy is universal and good and pinnicle of human developement. and I will ask you first to get the next pope to be elected by people of the Catholic faith.

  302. silentchinese Says:

    Any institution should not exist because of for its own existence sake.

    The betterment of human condition should be the criteria and end goal for any human institutions.

    In another word: democracy should not exist for democracy’s own sake.

    If one argues that Democracy (especially the Western/Liberal Brand) should and would be the best type of institution for a political state to advance human condition and progress, then one should demonstrate it.

    except through out history, we find staggering historical evidence that Democracies are clearly out matched by its oligarchal competitors, be it in Pellopenesian wars (Imperial Athens vs. Sparta) , Rome (civil war prone Republican Rome) , or even during the ascend of modern western european democracies (Rise of Dutch, British capitalism was argumablly in less-than-democratic conditions, and the rise of a German under Absolutist traditions) , or even east asian newly industrialized countries (SK’s Military dictators, and Japan’s LDP).

    I need Evidence. I just can not thrown my belief in the democratic system with out good evidence.

  303. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To 294:
    sigh.

    ““giving the power to people”, which subgroup do you mean ?”
    —it should be pretty self-evident that I’m not talking about the subgroups at all. However, if your new fixation is “subgroups”, then I am referring to all subgroups. I’m not sure how much more clear it needs to be…not a difficult concept if you put your mind to it.

    To 295:
    yes, Sarkozy is doing some unpopular stuff in France. So first off, this goes against your prior assertion that democratic governments won’t do things that are unpopular, even if for the greater good. Obviously, I don’t expect that you would acknowledge this point, since you seem genetically incapable of acknowledging much of anything when an argument comes back to bite you in the nether regions.

    The French unions are protesting because of the delayed retirement. Obviously, those protesting don’t like this proposition. Do they know what will come of this protest? How would I know. Do they understand why Sarkozy is doing it? How would I know. They’re protesting, so all one can say is that, based on their understanding of the situation, they don’t like it. Anything beyond that is pure conjecture…your specialty, it would appear.

    Ahh, now you move on to predicting the future. Would Germans have chosen the Nazis in the 30’s if they knew how the Nazis would look in the 40s? Possibly not. But I guess you would fault them for not foreseeing the future. If FDR knew Yamamoto was coming, would he have acted pre-emptively? Who knows. So yes, FDR’s crystal ball was clearly on the fritz. Someone should harass his crystal-ball supplier. But since no one can predict the future, you make your choices, and see what happens. The point is being able to make those choices, which i would give to Chinese people, and of which you would rather deny them. Good for you.

    Are you now blaming Chinese people for putting Mao into power and subsequently subjecting them to the CR? That is an obscene suggestion, even by your standards.

    The housing bubble is not a political event. Not sure what this has to do with the above…not that a dearth of logic has stopped you before. If your point is that people can make mistakes, then thanks for that news flash. Are the leaders of the CCP people as well? Cuz if they are, then it seems that they can make mistakes too. So if leaders can potentially make mistakes one way or another, then I’d just as well let Chinese people help to decide who will lead them.

    To 296:
    I can’t “guarantee” that ALL information won’t be “biased”…though as we’ve seen, your understanding of “biased” is rather skewed (ie. anything you don’t agree with). In any event, the way to mitigate bias is to avail as many sources of information as is possible, or required. Basically, the exact opposite of how the CCP does things.

    To 297:
    what does your completely irrelevant fascination with the death penalty in the US have to do with the subject of this blog? Here’s a thinker for you: do you need to be told about someone else’s opinion of the death penalty in order to engender your own opinion about it?

    And the fascination with American media. We’re not talking about the death penalty. We’re not talking about American media. We’re not even talking about America. You should really refresh your memory about the subject matter of this blog.

    To 299:
    listen, I’ve just been taking target-practice with each and every one of your “points”. If that’s “dancing”…well, ok, whatever floats your boat.

    Yes, a requirement exists. And you’ve already identified it. It’s “age”. And democratic societies have deemed that to be a reasonable limitation. Just as they have for those other things I listed.

    If you want to suggest other limitations, you’re welcome to. And citizens can pass judgment on whether those limitations are reasonable or not. Who knows…they might even agree with you. Isn’t the system great?

    Yes, POTUS has to be US-born. So no dice for Arnie. If you want to propose a change to the constitution to put in place other qualifiers…well, there’s a system in place to amend the constitution. Good luck.

    The discussion hasn’t been about whether finding the best candidate for the job is a worthy objective. If you haven’t even figured that out yet…well…you have some catching up to do. The discussion is about how that person is selected. So if #299 is supposed to be a reasonable facsimile of your point, then you’ve completely missed THE point.

    Sorry if my comments don’t necessarily address “your” points. But I’m far more interested in addressing THE point.

    To 300:
    LOL. So you think I’m on the moral high ground. Well, i certainly don’t think the same of you. If you realize that you’re on morally shaky turf, you should really ask yourself why you insist on staying there. To each their own, I suppose.

    To 301:
    ummm, aren’t you assuming that Catholics in the Vatican seek to elect their pope? Is there any basis to this assumption? Here’s the difference. If you wanted, you could go there to see if there is a move afoot to allow open election of the next pope. If someone in the Vatican wrote a “charter” suggesting such a thing, they might be on the receiving end of some stern looks, but it’s much less likely they’d be on the business end of an 11 year jail term.

    The Vatican hasn’t done a very good job of separating church from state, to be sure. It’s also not much of a democracy. So as a non-democracy, it is certainly not a good example of a democracy. While your “point” is amusing as a circular argument, I’m not sure what that’s supposed to accomplish beyond comic relief.

    To 302:
    in ancient times, in war, some democracies didn’t do well. Thankfully, we’re not in ancient times. Even some western / industrialized nations came into democracy over time. But at some point in their development, they did. So are you arguing the “if”, or the “when”? As it pertains to China, is the issue whether she moves toward democratic systems at any point in time, or that she does so at this point in time?

    Here’s the other thing you should remember. Whether you believe in a democratic system is of no interest to me whatsoever. The thing that interests me is how CHinese people in CHina feel about it, today, or tomorrow.

  304. S.K. Cheung Says:

    BTW, silent one, you’ve yet to address this:

    “if “famine” is “famine”, be it 19th century Ireland or 20th century China, then “economic system” is “economic system” (me, in #289)
    “So the system of governance is also not uniquely or independently causally-related to economic success. Which is what I’ve been saying all along. China should keep her current economic system. But Chinese people might not want to keep their current political system…or more to the point, Chinese people might want a political system of their own choosing and design.” (me, in #272)

    Like I said, nothing about “camps”. If I can address your point, then you can address mine. Or can you?

  305. Wahaha Says:

    yes, Sarkozy is doing some unpopular stuff in France. So first off, this goes against your prior assertion that democratic governments won’t do things that are unpopular, even if for the greater good. Obviously, I don’t expect that you would acknowledge this point, since you seem genetically incapable of acknowledging much of anything when an argument comes back to bite you in the nether regions.

    ***********************************
    SKC,

    Yes, by the rule of democracy, french government shouldnt even consider that plan.

    French government did this against the rule of democracy.

    So a so-called democratic government has to do something extremely undemocratic to help people.

    Are you happy now ?

    ************************

    Dont spin away from the issue in France. do french people understand what this policy is about ?

    If they dont, then it is an example of my assertion that people dont understand the policy by elected politicians.

    If they understand, then they are irresponsible people who dont care the benefits of their children and grandchildren, hence their right of voting should be taken away.

    Tell us which one you like more, please ?

  306. Wahaha Says:

    If you realize that you’re on morally shaky turf, you should really ask yourself why you insist on staying there. To each their own, I suppose.

    *****************************

    LOL,

    No, I dont feel I m on morally shaky turf, as I see the data of child labors around world.

    As I understand, you dont care the misery of those children, and you still FEEL good about yourself.

    That, is annoying.

    What is more annoying is that people who have no idea of how to help those children try to educate others about morality.

  307. silentchinese Says:

    @S.K. Cheung

    once again, you failed to meet my point head on.

    my point to bring up requirement for POTUS is that even liberal democracies have extra-citizenship requirements for political office. why not extra intellectual based requirements for voters and office holders?
    but again, you mumbled some thing about amending the constitution.

    and about Vatican.
    and yet again, you failed to grasp my point.
    I did not bring up Vatican as an failed example of Democracy to be attacked. quite contrary, I think it is bit amusing and thought provoking that a highly-non-democratic theocratic-state is the longest surviving political state in the western europe. If the Church was to be democratic, frankly I don’t think it could have survived.
    Democracy as a “universal” system is a relatively recent thing. and frankly in my own opinion hasn’t stood the test of time. Democracy is by non-means the pinnicle of human development.

    Why china necessarily must move towards a “Democratic” system in the mold of western liberal democracies, in the future? inertia of history like you suggested? as history has suggested not really. to be “In fashion” of the day? isn’t that a very shallow reason? and defeat the notion of in-evitability and time-tested-universality?

    as for what chinese people feel, see my previous post on the 2 camps in china today. I don’t think you have a monopoly on what they think. and even if what they think a liberal democracy is the best thing, why should I be a conformist?

  308. silentchinese Says:

    @S.K. Cheung

    on your point of seperation of political and economic system.
    imho you are pretty much wrong.

    political system matters, and does have a huge impact on economic system. the success of past 30 years of china is precisly that its economic planner pick and choose what they think is the right policy and not blindly follow the lassize-faire or any other policy prescription. (read up on Joshua Cooper Ramos’ original beijing consensus essay)

    with out a pragmatic and highly de-ideologicallized and somewhat authoritarian political leadership. A popular democracy would have given in at many times to popular but long-term detrimental policies.
    reform of SOE (massive layoffs) would never have happened. infrastructure investment will never have happened. exponential growth in college-education would never happened. I would dear to say a “democratic” government would never had the verve to perform these painful operations against vast vested interests, because pretty much of the democratic countries facing similar challenges today have yet to performed with such resolutness. China would have been a poorer, less progressive, un-happier place if it was a democracy for much of last 30 years.

  309. silentchinese Says:

    I am going to question the premise of Liberal-Capitalist-Democratic system once more.

    not directed at any one.

    a draught stricken community of 1000 people decide to spend 1 million dollar on raising overall happiness of the community by getting a fresh water supply.
    if adam smith and lassiz-faire was true and scale independent, then…
    the total happiness level would be the same if
    A) each person were to get 1000 dollar towards getting its own water well;.
    B) the ruler of the community decides to spend the 1 million to dug a common community well.

    clearly A) would not satisfy the most of its citizen’s need. and B) would actually be the better option.
    but lassiz-fairist would let us believe the A) is equivalent to B). and A) is more preferrable because the rulers would never be trusted to spend the money wisely. In reality A) would never ensure proper water supply to all.

  310. S.K. Cheung Says:

    To 305:
    that was an unbelievably weak effort (even by your standards).

    The French have a representative democracy. They don’t have direct democracy. We’ve been through this before. They elect their representatives, then those representatives make decisions during the term of their mandate. Not unlike the US, where you live and obviously love so much to talk about. If Sarkozy put the retirement age question to a referendum vote (I don’t know if French law allows for this, so it’s a big “if”), then proceeds to ignore the results of the referendum vote, then you would have a point. Right now, as usual, you’re ‘pointless’.

    So in fact, Sarkozy’s government is trying to do something unpopular but necessary for French people. This is exactly the type of thing you’ve accused “democracies” of being incapable of. How does it feel to bring up an example that ends up biting you on the back-side? What are the chances that you would have the depth of character to even acknowledge this?

    If you want to know what the French do and do not understand, you need to ask French people. This is a common problem for you. You ask me what others think/know/believe/would choose in specific circumstances. How the heck would I know. If you think you know, then you’re delusional in addition to all your other apparent attributes.

    But since you like dichotomies so much, let me throw in a third “if” to turn your world upside-down. IF they do understand the policy and realize the need to not excessively burden future generations, but dislike the manner in which the proposal is being fast-tracked through the legislative process and would like more discussion and consultation with stakeholders, THEN they are protesting merely as an extension of their democratic rights. I like that “if” way more than your wing-nut polar-opposite extreme examples. Too bad for you.

    I see that you at least had the good sense to forget about those Nazi/FDR examples, or of accusing Chinese people of bringing the CR upon themselves. But I did appreciate you giving me a good laugh on a Sunday. Thanks for that.

    To 306:
    oh, here we go again. Is it already time to go back to “child labour” already. I thought it wasn’t time yet to recycle that one until next week. I guess the well is running dry for you. No worries though…you seem to have a vivid imagination, so I trust you’ll come up with something weird and wonderful. A guy can dream, no?

    To 307:
    listen, if I’m not addressing your point the way you’d like, maybe you’re not making your point with enough clarity. What is it with people these days? So quick to place the blame on others; so reticent to reflect on their own behaviour. Oh well…

    “why not extra intellectual based requirements for voters and office holders?”
    —I’ve already addressed this. Why not? No particular reason. You just have to convince enough people to want to change the system to encompass these new requirements. I’m not American, but my understanding is that the eligibility criteria for who can become POTUS is enshrined in the Constitution. This is why I mentioned amending the Constitution. If a simple act of Congress will suffice, then great. As I said, good luck. I look forward to hearing about the debate on the issue.

    As for the Vatican, yes, a small Church-centered theocratic state has survived a long time in western Europe. An interesting precedent indeed. Is China a small Church-centered theocratic state in western Europe? It would seem that the Vatican is most things CHina isn’t. So if you’re into evidence as you like to say you are, then perhaps you can explain to me how this piece of “evidence” relates to an absence of democratic institutions in China.

    China needn’t move towards anything. My point is that Chinese people should decide where China is to move in the future. Perhaps I haven’t been clear enough either, cuz you clearly don’t catch my drift. And I certainly don’t claim to have a “monopoly” on what Chinese people think (I’m not even sure what such a “monopoly” would be). I’m the one who says that, if you want to know what Chinese people think, you should go ask Chinese people, remember?

    To 308:
    well, we’ll simply agree to disagree. “democracies can’t do the tough things that are required” is not a unique refrain. Even wahaha has come up with that one in the past. Except that many democracies are doing tough and unpopular things as we speak.

    Also, I’m not talking about changing or ignoring history. China is what she is today. Could she have done some of those things under a different political system? Who knows…but that’s also irrelevant. I’m talking about whether China still needs the current political system tomorrow. Maybe she does, maybe she doesn’t. I’m certainly not in a position to say. Which is why I’d defer to the opinion of Chinese people.

    So hopefully, I’ve explained to you why this statement (“China would have been a poorer, less progressive, un-happier place if it was a democracy for much of last 30 years.”) is not relevant to what I’m talking about.

    To 309:
    do you really want to go down that road of creating “examples”, a la Wahaha? Well, it’s up to you.

    Aren’t you ignoring some basic common sense questions in your assumptions? Why assume it’s “scale independent”? Can $1000 actually buy a functioning and reliable well in your imaginary community? If not, and the community had determined that water was important, who would opt for the cash rather than having reliable access to a necessity of life?
    On the other hand, a family of 4 probably wouldn’t need 4 wells. So could $4000 buy you a reliable well to serve 4 people in that community? Also, how much is it to buy water from somewhere else? Is it cheaper to simply buy water as a community than to spend a million to get their own?
    You see, all manner of questions come up, and it’s not so simple as “is A better than B”. Not really sure what this example is supposed to teach us, but certainly hasn’t done much for me.

  311. Wahaha Says:

    The French have a representative democracy. They don’t have direct democracy. We’ve been through this before. They elect their representatives, then those representatives make decisions during the term of their mandate. Not unlike the US, where you live and obviously love so much to talk about. If Sarkozy put the retirement age question to a referendum vote (I don’t know if French law allows for this, so it’s a big “if”), then proceeds to ignore the results of the referendum vote, then you would have a point.

    **********************
    Soooooooooooooo funny.

    The poll already showed that 3/4 of frenchs dont like the plan.

    It is so obvious that there have been lot of controversey on this plan that the elected representitive dont represent people’s voice, why dont they carry out the voting, just like you have insisted that “let chinese people decide”.

  312. Wahaha Says:

    To 309:
    do you really want to go down that road of creating “examples”, a la Wahaha? Well, it’s up to you.

    **********************************

    You are so pathetic, like a gold fish who never spend day out of his fish tank, and try to educate others about how to live in a pond, in a lake, in a river or in the sea and ocean.

    Did you ever explain any meaningful fact with your blah blah blah ?

    No.

    Hence, you are simply talking to a mirror by repeating “I am right, I am right,…”

    Pick a fact and give a reasonable explanation, can you ? for example, I am sure that french government must have explained the plan to people again and again, why do people still protest ? are they too stupid to understand the plan or they are irresponsible ?

    DONT WRITE A NOVEL TO SAY I AM WRONG, USE WHATEVER YOU HAVE IN YOUR MIND TO EXPLAIN THE ISSUES IN REAL WORLD. Remember, I didnt claim I am definitely right, I just give explanation, you disagree, fine, give yours. Do I make myself understood ?

  313. S.K. Cheung Says:

    Listen, I know you’re slow. But c’mon, this is getting ridiculous.

    “the poll” is nice. Such and such a percentage, with a certain margin of error, 19 times out of 20. I’ll spare you the technical terminology. But the next “poll” that really matters in France is whenever they have their next election. That’s when French people can decide how well their representatives have represented them since the last election. You don’t like democracy, but it seems that your problem (well, one of them anyway) is you don’t know enough about how democracy works to have any semblance of a logical opinion about it. Gosh, you might need more education about the concept of democracy than Chinese people in China, so gold star for you. You just accomplished something that has a pretty high degree of difficulty. Man you’re good at what you do.

    If and when Chinese people can enjoy democratic rights in China, i would imagine that they would expect their representatives to represent them as well. Surely they can’t do worse than the CCP…who does the CCP represent apart from themselves anyhow?

    “why dont they carry out the voting”
    —I am repeating myself, but now what on earth are you talking about? I realize you don’t spend much time on your comments (and it shows) but jeez is it too much to ask for your sentences to at least make some sense?

    I do insist on letting CHinese people decide. Maybe it’s draconian statements like that which give you the perception that I occupy the moral high ground. And for once, you’d be right.

    Now, do I try to educate others? I wouldn’t bother trying to educate you…you’re far beyond hope. But consider this: I’m the one who wants to ask Chinese people how they feel about any given subject, and to let them make decisions for themselves. You’re the one who would rather prevent them from enjoying such rights, and telling them what’s for their own good. So who is actually trying to “educate” others here? I guess you can add that to the incredibly long list of questions to which you have no answer. If there’s one thing you’re good at, it’s not being able to answer any questions.

    Listen, I’ve already answered your stupid question. Asking it again in no way mitigates the depth of its stupidity. You should learn to read, among others skills that you can improve upon. The answer is the third option, which you were too dense to come up with. That’s hardly my problem. I guess for people like you, dichotomies are best, since the material between your ears is not capable of making decisions involving more than 2 choices.

    Hey, didn’t realize I’m writing novels here. You must have a short attention span if you find my comments to be long. But I am able to respond with one comment, instead of over 2 or 5 or however many you seem to require. So let’s review. Can’t answer questions. Can’t read. Can’t understand what you do read. Deficiency of attention. Non-existent logic. On the other hand, you are slick with the CAPS. Good show, m’boy.

  314. Wahaha Says:

    Listen, I’ve already answered your stupid question.

    *****************************************

    Why do you write a novel again ? What question did you answer ? Listen carefully, moron, I simply ask you give explanation, I didnt ask you whether my explanation is right or wrong, get it ?

    Whatever in your mind doesnt make sense in real world, How can you ignore the fact that a better job is more important than the right of protesting for vast majority of people ? Why do you deny it like a clown ?

    SC’s example is simply an illustration of “give a fish or teach fishing”, dont you know ? and you must have elephant skin to ridicule it.

    Name some questions I asked that you answered, for examples:

    If you lived in China, and in a unstable financial situation, what would be more important to you, a good job or right of voting ?

    From where do people get their information IN WEST, like in your country ?

    I am sure that french government must have explained the plan to people again and again, why do people still protest ? are they too stupid to understand the plan or they are irresponsible ?

    Why Russia deep in debt under Yeltsin, but had surplus under Putin, even with heavy corruption ?

    Why with 20 years of economic growth, most western countries dont have the money to handle the financial crises ?

  315. Wahaha Says:

    the poll” is nice. Such and such a percentage, with a certain margin of error, 19 times out of 20. I’ll spare you the technical terminology. But the next “poll” that really matters in France is whenever they have their next election. That’s when French people can decide how well their representatives have represented them since the last election.

    ******************************

    If voters dont even understand the possible results of the economic plans by candidates, how do they know which one is better at representing them ? That is like letting a kid to decide if he should go to school or not.

    How about this :

    You ask me to explain a fact, I ask you to explain a fact.

    No escape, for once, I treat you like a man with honor.

    Deal ?

    Here is the fact I like you to explain :

    French government must have explained the plan to people again and again, why do people still protest ? are they too stupid to understand the plan or they are irresponsible ?

  316. S.K. Cheung Says:

    314
    Your stupidity knows no bounds. Not only can you not recognize an answer to your question (forget about agreeing with the answer; merely realizing that an answer was offered is beyond your grasp), you can’t even remember your own question from a day prior. Gosh you are ‘special’.

    “What question did you answer ?”( from you in 314).
    “I am sure that french government must have explained the plan to people again and again, why do people still protest ? are they too stupid to understand the plan or they are irresponsible ?” (from you in 312. HINT: that’s the question I had already answered).
    “IF they do understand the policy and realize the need to not excessively burden future generations, but dislike the manner in which the proposal is being fast-tracked through the legislative process and would like more discussion and consultation with stakeholders, THEN they are protesting merely as an extension of their democratic rights.” (my answer from 310. Now, why did I provide an answer, you ask….)

    …because you had said this in 305: “If they dont, then it is an example of my assertion that people dont understand the policy by elected politicians. If they understand, then they are irresponsible people who dont care the benefits of their children and grandchildren, hence their right of voting should be taken away. Tell us which one you like more, please ?”

    So you ask a stupid question, which I answered anyway out of pity. You then ask me the same stupid question again. I then gently inform you, speaking slowly and using small words, that the answer has already been offered. You then ask me which question I had answered. Excuse me, but are you in some time warp? Have you been captured by aliens and had your “thought” contents removed over a 48 hour period? You are disingenuous at the best of times, but this is downright pathological. You should seek medical help.

    Your examples (and silent dude’s recent example) are pointless because they consist of false dichotomies. I didn’t ridicule his example. I merely asked some questions to illustrate that it was a false dichotomy. Such false dichotomies may be all that you are capable of, but surely they are beneath him.

    “If you lived in China,…”
    —again, as I’ve said, pointless question. I don’t live in China (and neither do you, I might add), so how would I know how I would feel IF I lived there? However, many people live in China. So explain this to me, Einstein: why ask me a supposition, when you can ask them the real thing? Sorry to repeat myself, I know I’ve asked this before, and just as surely as the sun rises in the east, you won’t be able to answer it…again.

    I get my information from many sources. I imagine others in the “west” do so in similar fashion. That the CCP needs to forget this silly GFW business and allow her citizens access to information is a whole other topic, but admittedly an important one.

    “why do people still protest ?”
    —umm, you just asked the same question again. Are you suffering from amnesia? Do you remember that I’ve already addressed this (again) at the beginning of this comment? If not, can you scroll back up and refresh your memory?

    Hey, here’s a funny thing. If you do have amnesia, then I’ve just put you into a perpetual loop. You’ll read the beginning, forget it ever happened, get to that previous sentence, and scroll back to the top again. Over and over. If you do have amnesia, you’ll never make it far enough to read the rest of my comment. Oh well…

    315
    Here’s another example of your flawed suppositions. Basic “if/then” logic. I thought I taught you this (again) recently. When the “if’s” are flawed, the “then’s” are pointless. But you are correct that people need information in order to better understand things, and make decisions. So why does the CCP deny CHinese people information? Why does the CCP willfully try to maintain an ignorant populace? Good thing she’s not entirely successful. Oh, I get it. Try to keep Chinese people in the dark. That way, they won’t ask so many questions. Ahh the CCP, such a benevolent big brother.

    You conclude with the same false dichotomy, using the same question that’s been asked and answered, then asked again. Seriously, what is your impediment?

    I’ve asked you too many questions to count, for which you have offered ZERO answers. So in defense of my position on the issues, I answer (sometimes repeatedly) any and all of your questions. In supposed defense of your position on the issues, you have yet to answer one (1). Since you like dichotomies so much, here’s yet another question for you: are you at a loss for answers because your position is simply indefensible, or because you’re just not a very good defender of it?

    In case you’re wondering, for a long time, I’ve treated you as a dude with a serious problem, in need of some serious help. Maybe that last question will spur you to seek it. One can only hope…

  317. Rhan Says:

    SKC,

    I read below comment from a website, i think this is perhaps the similar position what Wahaha trying to tell.

    “Capitulation with a destructive fatalistic attitude and coming from the elected leader of Germany. Is it as Merkel has said that Germans have failed to grasp how Muslim immigration has transformed their country or is it that perhaps Germans have failed to grasp the changes inflicted on them by their own leaders. And where, in a free society, do elected officials get the authority to tell their citizens what they must accept.

    When politicians speak of their commitment to a multi-cultural society, where did they get that commitment. From the people they represent. If so when were the people asked and when did the people decide to change from a traditional to a multi-cultural society.

    The truth is the people were never asked if they wanted their society changed drastically in ways never imagined. It has been gradually forced and when it fails they blame the people. The German people were never asked about joining the EU but they are now in the EU.

    So who is to blame if things are going wrong, the people who never had a say or the politicians who did it without any mandate from the people they represent.”

  318. S.K. Cheung Says:

    Hi Rhan,
    I’m not sure what a “comment from a website” means. Is it the opinion of one disenchanted German? We’ve seen similar comments from an apparently disenchanted American, and as you can surmise, that’s only worth so much. On the other hand, if that “comment” is a summary of a scientifically valid poll of German attitudes, then that obviously would be more worthy of consideration.

    But let’s examine the “comment” on its face. Is Merkel forcing multiculturalism onto a German electorate that has no interest in same? I’m not familiar with the context, so you’ll have to tell me. If the majority of Germans has no interest in multiculturalism but Merkel is forcing it upon them, that’s one thing. If some guy is out of step with German society wrt multiculturalism, that’s quite another.

    I can’t recall when Germany joined the EU. I understand some countries have held referendums to determine whether to join the EU or not. Did Germany do the same? At or around the time Germany joined the EU, did leadership candidates declare their position on EU membership on their platforms? Were German politicians elected on the basis of their views on EU membership?

    Finally, is someone blaming German people for something? I’m not sure who is blaming them, and for what, so perhaps you can fill me in.

    Ultimately, it’s again understanding the difference between representative democracy and direct democracy. Merkel may not put “multiculturalism” or “EU membership” to a referendum, just as she may not do so for a vast number of policy decisions. But if her government’s policies in general do not represent German priorities, then her government will likely face its reckoning at the next German election.

  319. Rhan Says:

    opps, i think i am being neutralised by SKC, again. :)

  320. Wahaha Says:

    “I am sure that french government must have explained the plan to people again and again, why do people still protest ? are they too stupid to understand the plan or they are irresponsible ?” (from you in 312. HINT: that’s the question I had already answered).

    ******************

    You didnt answer. You said “That’s when French people can decide how well their representatives have represented “.

    That is not an answer, I am asking if French people understood the plan, get it, moron ?

  321. Wahaha Says:

    Here’s another example of your flawed suppositions. Basic “if/then” logic. I thought I taught you this (again) recently. When the “if’s” are flawed, the “then’s” are pointless. But you are correct that people need information in order to better understand things, and make decisions. So why does the CCP deny CHinese people information?

    The truth is the people were never asked if they wanted their society changed drastically in ways never imagined.

    ********************

    Since when I denied CCP controled information, huh ?

    I am talking about if People can understand the adequate information and even if they have access to those information, can they understand the possible outcome of their decision.

    Since you are one who insist that people “make decisions”, arent you obligated to prove that people understand what their decisions will lead to ?

    Come on, be a man.

  322. Wahaha Says:

    In case you’re wondering, for a long time, I’ve treated you as a dude with a serious problem, in need of some serious help. Maybe that last question will spur you to seek it. One can only hope…

    ********************************

    LOL, a gold fish who try to teach others.

    What kind of edcuated person cant understand #309 ?

    What kind of edcuated person cant understand #22 ?

    Please show your great intelligence you learn from your fish tank what is wrong in #22 and #309.

    and why dont you ask me to explain a fact, hud ? afraid of having to explain the fact I asked ? not man enough ?

  323. Wahaha Says:

    Ultimately, it’s again understanding the difference between representative democracy and direct democracy. Merkel may not put “multiculturalism” or “EU membership” to a referendum, just as she may not do so for a vast number of policy decisions. But if her government’s policies in general do not represent German priorities, then her government will likely face its reckoning at the next German election.

    *****************
    Theory to theory to theory to theory, no fact.

    A gold fish has spent all his life in a fish tank, he never worry about food, never worry about predators, never worry about water getting dirty.

    and he teaches others how to live in a pond.

  324. Josef Says:

    Rhan, do you really mean that, in the context of democracies?
    “So who is to blame if things are going wrong, the people who never had a say or the politicians who did it without any mandate from the people they represent.”
    That would fit to the CCP, but certainly not for a democracy. The people have a say – just look what politicians are doing to satisfy them. I would not call that a theory.

    silentchinese on @309, I think you know that example is not too deep going, especially your conclusions what “laissez-fairist” would do or not. The question here is: would the best solution justify the mandate of the ruler. Now, most of the people would say yes, as long as the best solution is chosen. The more tricky question is: for how long is this mandate justified? If this persons fails, how is he or she replaced? And do you need a control mechanism? This questions, resp. the answers points to some extend to democracy.
    However, at some point I think you wrote that you do not expect to believe that democracy has reached its final development. I would not believe that either and I wonder where it is going. I would not be surprised if a new trend would come from China, i.e. by opening the system on one hand for items where democracy has added value, but avoiding some of its pitfalls. For example, it might be that restricting the right to vote, probably not based on intelligence but rather social competence, could avoid that certain selfish politicians are elected. Or Singapore might set a trend, where social competence is highly valued.
    The other way round: if China is not changing, then there is a big chance that following rulers might not select the best solution anymore. On personal interests, like it happened in the USSR. Back to your example: ” B) the ruler of the community decides to spend the 1 million to dug a common community well. He finds a company, owned by his uncle, who can do that for half a million by using bad and cheap material (which will break at the next earth quake) and shares the remaining money with his controllers and party members.” I do believe that China is doing a lot to avoid that.

  325. Wahaha Says:

    The question here is: would the best solution justify the mandate of the ruler.

    ***********************************************

    It is justified if the alternative will lead unacceptable result.

  326. wwww1234 Says:

    re: 324 Josef Says: Or Singapore might set a trend, where social competence is highly valued.
    ===================
    Josef, could you elaborate or provide reference as to the mechanism in how people with social competence is nurtured/discoverd/ and SELECTED. and if countries of much larger size and diversities would be able to adopt such a scheme? It seems social competence would encompass good intelligence and social ethics=believing and working for public good?

  327. Rhan Says:

    Josef,

    Not really in the context of democracy, just to explore what is the people perception that live under a democracy system and CCP system while link back to SKC statement “ask the Chinese people”.

    I am curious why one that live under a democracy system have the same thought that his government never ask his opinion or view pertaining to some issue, and there might or might not have a policy change eventually when there is a change of government which may take years, provided the ‘one’ I pasted here could turn into millions. In the Germany case with regards to immigrant, integration and so on, I suspect there is not much what the government can do unless they act like CCP, or are they ready to face the consequence of Muslim become the majority in the end?

    CCP honestly tell us end justify mean, I am wondering what is the course of action under a democracy system would do, in reality and not theory. And some even talk about Nazi and the six million Jew now.

    I don’t have a stance yet, perhaps I just need to have more convincing fact.

  328. S.K. Cheung Says:

    320:
    You really are too stupid for words.

    “I am asking if French people understood the plan”
    —you do know I’m Canadian, right? Now you expect me to know what French people do and do not understand? How the heck should I know. But as usual, you can only manage to deal in false dichotomies, so you gave an “either/or” choice. The problem for you is that I gave you an answer, in the form of a supposition, that was neither of your artificial choices. Understandably, that has thrown your world asunder. Fortunately, not my problem. I even labeled it for you as the “third “if””. Of course you didn’t catch it, your memory, logic, and comprehension abilities being what they are. Hey, how did you extricate yourself from that perpetual loop I set up for you? I guess you’re not completely amnesic after all…so I suppose we can add “selective memory” to your list of gifts.

    BTW, what you quoted of mine is from 313. It was said in response to another point. So yeah, I guess it didn’t answer the question we’re talking about. BUT IT WASN’T INTENDED TO, since it was in a different comment, addressing a different point. So I refer directly to post numbers to tell you where things are, and you manage to go to an entirely different post, pull out a random comment, and try to lambast me for not answering your question? Short of leading you around by the nose, how much more help can one guy require? Like I said before, “disingenuous” doesn’t even begin to describe you.

    321:
    “Since when I denied CCP controled information, huh ?”
    —you take crappy logic and useless reading comprehension to new depths every day. This is what you objected to (“So why does the CCP deny CHinese people information?”). I am NOT accusing you of denying it. I am asking you “WHY” they (ie the CCP) do it. Look again…second word of that thing I wrote. How do you expect a human debate when you argue against things people DIDN’T say? (of course, I’m foregoing “rational”, “intelligent”, or “productive” debate, because with you, that ship sailed a long time ago). Oh, and of course, you didn’t answer my question. What else is new?

    “I am talking about if People can understand the adequate information and even if they have access to those information, can they understand the possible outcome of their decision.”
    —of course they can. However, even though they might understand a possible bad outcome, it doesn’t mean they will be happy if that possible bad outcome becomes reality. They’ll have to learn from it, and try to not make the same mistakes the next time.

    “arent you obligated to prove that people understand what their decisions will lead to ?”
    —well, I understand the consequences of my decisions. How do I “prove” that to you? You argue that people don’t understand their decisions. Can you “prove” to me that you don’t understand your decisions? And if you can, then that’s good reason for people to NOT listen to you when they make their decisions; but they can still listen to themselves.

    322:
    “are you at a loss for answers because your position is simply indefensible, or because you’re just not a very good defender of it?”
    —hey, it’s a dichotomy question. You’re the expert in dichotomies. Why no answer? Pathetic display on your part.

    I already asked the necessary questions of #309. I don’t expect you to understand them, your limited capacity being what it is. Your stupid examples have been shown for what they are repeatedly. I should no longer be surprised that stupid examples are all you have to offer.

    323:
    do you even know the difference between representative and direct democracy? Do I need to say that slower for you? Someone really needs to teach you that.

    I’ll carry on suggesting that Chinese people should lead their own lives, while you continue to teach them how they should lead theirs (while you set an awesome example by living your life someone else…how convenient). It’s no wonder you feel you’re on the low ground looking up at me.

    To Rhan #327:
    if your quote is in fact the opinion of “one” German, then I’m not sure how illustrative that could be. Look at Wahaha. He’s living in a democracy, and apparently none too happy about it (though not enough to leave, of course; perish that thought). Would you base anything on how one wingnut in NYC feels? If that one German opinion eventually became the majority opinion, that would be a different story. But one disgruntled guy who’s unhappy about something somewhere merely confirms the diversity of the gene pool.

  329. Josef Says:

    @wwww1234: elaborate or provide reference on “Or Singapore might set a trend, where social competence is highly valued”

    I wrote that out of my head, as I remember, when I came to Singapore I found in one the registration forms questions, concerning social activities (i.e. community activities).
    I searched now the Ministry Of Manpower webpage, but did not find any proof, but I found there a entry questionnaire, (more on intelligence and common sense) for the work permit.
    http://mom.gov.sg/foreign-manpower/passes-visas/work-permit-fdw/after-you-apply/Pages/upon-arrival.aspx#et
    Probably the aforementioned questionnaire was from the company. Probably someone from Singapore is reading that and can clarify?

    For countries of much larger size and diversities: that is certainly very challenging, but it might start within smaller units and after walking through a learning curve might be expandable to larger sizes.

  330. Wahaha Says:

    “I am asking if French people understood the plan”
    —you do know I’m Canadian, right? Now you expect me to know what French people do and do not understand?

    **************************
    You are truely a moron.

    You basically tell west world to shut up about China, as by your logic, you imply that west world has no idea what Chinese people want most.

    You better be the first one to shut up about China.

    and you better explain if french people understand the plan, because if well educated frenches cant understand the plan, how can you expect hundreds of millions of much less educated chinese people to understand what their choice will lead to ?

    So your whole argument is equivalent to “why not let kids determine what they want to do”. I guess that is the way you have educated your kids, and your kids must be really special, as he voluteerily go to school most of time?

  331. Wahaha Says:

    do you even know the difference between representative and direct democracy? Do I need to say that slower for you? Someone really needs to teach you that

    ******************

    Look, moron.

    As you leave in Canada, how do you know both representative and direct democracy, huh ?

    Just like I said, a fish in fish tank.

    I never say I know a lot, I just want explanations for facts. If you somehow invent a democracy of fish tank that can explain the real world issues, I will modestly learn from you.

    Can you explain facts ?

    You are canadian, OK, tell us how canadians understand the economic policies by candidates, Can you ? During G-20 meeting, why did those people get onto street to cost your government 1 billion canadian dollars ?

    I guess you will say you spend 99% of time in your backyard (the fish tank), therefore you dont know.

  332. Wahaha Says:

    I’ll carry on suggesting that Chinese people should lead their own lives ….

    ***************************

    This is typical comment from a fish who has spent all his lives in a fish tank.

    YOU CANT LEAD YOUR OWN LIVES UNLESS YOU ARE FINANCIALLY SECURE.

    Servants in Mumbai have to work seven days a week otherwise nobody hire them, how on earth would they be able to lead their own lives ?

    You think those miners in China are so stupid to risk their lives going underground ? Why do they risk their lives ? for money, get it, moron ? you think for these people would put the right of protesting above their lives ?

    Like I said, you must have elephant skin to even argue about that.

  333. UFQ Says:

    LOL ! It looks like the moving of mountain pebble by pebble halted by too many self important Westerners and Westernized spectators and Bs’ers. This original CHINESE parable for longsuffering meek, pragmaticism, like too many Eastern holistic concepts (including Christianity which is of eastern origin also full of parables ) have been dragged through the Greco-Roman sewers of hubris and rendered vain, unfit even for the hounds of hell.

  334. UFQ Says:

    BY winning battles, like those filled with US style High rhetoric war-for-profit mentality, it has lost the war on injustice against humanity!

  335. S.K. Cheung Says:

    330:
    “You basically tell west world to shut up about China, as by your logic, you imply that west world has no idea what Chinese people want most.”
    —hey, for once, that’s probably not the dumbest thing you’ve ever said. Way to improve! Although your ability to grasp points, and to utilize logic, is meagre at best. I’d suggest you try to grasp your own first, before trying to grasp others’. In any event, allow me to phrase my point using some of your own terminology, with the fleeting hope that this might improve your capacity for comprehension: the “west world” may have some idea of what Chinese people want, but they certainly don’t know “what Chinese people want most” as well as Chinese people do. This would be why I suggest that, if you really want to know what Chinese people want, be it for their political system or anything else, you should really go ask Chinese people. Now is that so hard to understand? Are we computing yet?

    BTW, if people in the “west world” need to shut up about China, that would include you. Isn’t irony delicious? I find it quite tasty.

    Now, not only are you fixated with false dichotomies, you also mix in some fetishes. Lately, that’s with “French people”. But we’re still awaiting your response to this dichotomy: ““are you at a loss for answers because your position is simply indefensible, or because you’re just not a very good defender of it?”” Come on, dude. It’s a dichotomy. If there’s one thing you’re good at (admittedly a leap of faith in itself), this would be it, no?

    You should also realize that Chinese people aren’t kids. Admittedly, that’s how the CCP has apparently trained you to view them, which is quite consistent with how the CCP apparently views Chinese people. Well hooray for being consistent. Well done.

    331:
    “As you leave in Canada, how do you know both representative and direct democracy, huh ?”
    —LOL. First, Canada has elections and the occasional referendum, so I have experience with both. Second, I’ve read about them. Not a bad skill to have, this ‘reading’ thing. You might want to try it out sometime. Good luck with that.

    “I never say I know a lot”
    —good thing too, cuz you don’t, and I doubt anyone would believe you even if you said you did.

    “I just want explanations for facts.”
    —umm, as you embark on your “reading” experience, you might want to check out a definition for “fact”. Cuz a lot of the stuff you like to call “fact”, really aren’t.

    “OK, tell us how canadians understand the economic policies by candidates,”
    —just like any sane person would. By listening to the candidates, and by reading about the policies.

    “why did those people get onto street to cost your government 1 billion canadian dollars ?”
    —ummm, I think you’re mixing up some facts. Might be the reading thing. The government spent 1 billion to provide security, primarily for the safety of all those world leaders. The protesters didn’t cost the government 1 billion. If you’re concerned with “facts”, you certainly seem a little loose and careless with them. People were protesting all kinds of stuff, as they’re allowed to do in Canada. What’s your point? (assuming, perhaps optimistically, that you have one).

    332:
    What, people have to work to make money? You mean money doesn’t grow on trees? Wow, what a revelation, I wish you had told me that sooner….
    But what are you actually arguing here? Seriously, do you even know? Suddenly we’re talking about right of protest? Well, ok, if people have to work they may not have time to protest. And your point is?
    No one is suggesting that people MUST protest. BUt if they CHOOSE to protest, as long as it’s peaceful and doesn’t endanger people or property, why not? After all, shouldn’t it be their choice? Oh, of course, in your world, people should only protest if YOU (and the CCP) say it’s ok. Chinese people, for instance.

    You ability to hop from one pointless tangent to another probably reflects years of practice…or perhaps training. No matter. It is amusing to watch. Oh, in case you’ve forgotten, I’ll leave you with this: ““are you at a loss for answers because your position is simply indefensible, or because you’re just not a very good defender of it?””

  336. S.K. Cheung Says:

    330:
    “You basically tell west world to shut up about China, as by your logic, you imply that west world has no idea what Chinese people want most.”
    —hey, for once, that’s probably not the dumbest thing you’ve ever said. Way to improve! Although your ability to grasp points, and to utilize logic, is meagre at best. I’d suggest you try to grasp your own first, before trying to grasp others’. In any event, allow me to phrase my point using some of your own terminology, with the fleeting hope that this might improve your capacity for comprehension: the “west world” may have some idea of what Chinese people want, but they certainly don’t know “what Chinese people want most” as well as Chinese people do. This would be why I suggest that, if you really want to know what Chinese people want, be it for their political system or anything else, you should really go ask Chinese people. Now is that so hard to understand? Are we computing yet?

    BTW, if people in the “west world” need to shut up about China, that would include you. Isn’t irony delicious? I find it quite tasty.

    Now, not only are you fixated with false dichotomies, you also mix in some fetishes. Lately, that’s with “French people”. But we’re still awaiting your response to this dichotomy: ““are you at a loss for answers because your position is simply indefensible, or because you’re just not a very good defender of it?”” Come on, dude. It’s a dichotomy. If there’s one thing you’re good at (admittedly a leap of faith in itself), this would be it, no?

    You should also realize that Chinese people aren’t kids. Admittedly, that’s how the CCP has apparently trained you to view them, which is quite consistent with how the CCP apparently views Chinese people. Well hooray for being consistent. Well done.

    331:
    “As you leave in Canada, how do you know both representative and direct democracy, huh ?”
    —LOL. First, Canada has elections and the occasional referendum, so I have experience with both. Second, I’ve read about them. Not a bad skill to have, this ‘reading’ thing. You might want to try it out sometime. Good luck with that.

    “I never say I know a lot”
    —good thing too, cuz you don’t, and I doubt anyone would believe you even if you said you did.

    “I just want explanations for facts.”
    —umm, as you embark on your “reading” experience, you might want to check out a definition for “fact”. Cuz a lot of the stuff you like to call “fact”, really aren’t.

    “OK, tell us how canadians understand the economic policies by candidates,”
    —just like any sane person would. By listening to the candidates, and by reading about the policies.

    “why did those people get onto street to cost your government 1 billion canadian dollars ?”
    —ummm, I think you’re mixing up some facts. Might be the reading thing. The government spent 1 billion to provide security, primarily for the safety of all those world leaders. The protesters didn’t cost the government 1 billion. If you’re concerned with “facts”, you certainly seem a little loose and careless with them. People were protesting all kinds of stuff, as they’re allowed to do in Canada. What’s your point? (assuming, perhaps optimistically, that you have one).

    332:
    What, people have to work to make money? You mean money doesn’t grow on trees? Wow, what a revelation, I wish you had told me that sooner….
    But what are you actually arguing here? Seriously, do you even know? Suddenly we’re talking about right of protest? Well, ok, if people have to work they may not have time to protest. And your point is?
    No one is suggesting that people MUST protest. BUt if they CHOOSE to protest, as long as it’s peaceful and doesn’t endanger people or property, why not? After all, shouldn’t it be their choice? Oh, of course, in your world, people should only protest if YOU (and the CCP) say it’s ok. Chinese people, for instance.

    You ability to hop from one pointless tangent to another probably reflects years of practice…or perhaps training. No matter. It is amusing to watch. Oh, in case you’ve forgotten, I’ll leave you with this: ““are you at a loss for answers because your position is simply indefensible, or because you’re just not a very good defender of it?””

    My suspicion is that it’s probably both. But hey, maybe by the next time we see a blue moon, you will have answered one question. Everyone has to go at their own pace, such as it were. And the reach should exceed the grasp, as they say. I’m done with this conversation. You’ll have to subject someone else to your inane questions, based on faulty logic, composed with brutal English, targeting tangential and irrelevant points. Have fun.

  337. Wahaha Says:

    In any event, allow me to phrase my point using some of your own terminology, with the fleeting hope that this might improve your capacity for comprehension: the “west world” may have some idea of what Chinese people want, but they certainly don’t know “what Chinese people want most” as well as Chinese people do.

    ***********************

    How stupid can you be ?

    if you dont know how french people understand the economic plans, how do you know what french people want most ? how do you know what french people want THE SECOND ? how do you know what french people want THE THIRD ?

    As you have absolutely no idea of the order of what French people want SIMPLY because you are a canadian, there is no reason you know the order of what Chinese people want.

    In other words, YOU DONT CARE WHAT CHINESE PEOPLE WANT WHEN YOU MAKE A SUGGESTION. YOU ONLY CARE WHAT YOU WANT FOR CHINESE PEOPLE.

    Or you are just a fish in a fish tank, like I have said. A fish in fish tank never worry about anything, they can have what want most, the 2nd most, the 3rd most, all of them at the same time.

    Get a picture, moron ?

    Also, when you suggest “letting peopel make decision” , it will be THE people who will make decision, under you suggestion. The instance in France clearly show that though politicians are elected, it is not people who make decision.

    Did russia people make decision letting few scumbags control the nature resources in 1990s ? Did American people have a say when government spend billion dollors saving banks? Did French people make decision when they can get their retirement money?

    Your suggestion is no different from the used tissue you used in bathroom because people dont make decision under your suggestion.

  338. Wahaha Says:

    “OK, tell us how canadians understand the economic policies by candidates,”
    —just like any sane person would. By listening to the candidates, and by reading about the policies.

    **************************************

    Here is why you are a moron.

    People “listening to the candidate”, do they understand his economic plan ? like did American people understand Obama’s plan in 2008 ?

    If they dont understand, the election is meaningless. as every political candidates will hide the bad part of his plan, or the possible bad outcome of his plan. In other words, people dont understand the plan, they are just brainwashed to believe that plan will work.

    I guess you dont mind being brainwashed.

  339. Wahaha Says:

    What, people have to work to make money? You mean money doesn’t grow on trees? Wow, what a revelation, I wish you had told me that sooner….

    ***************************

    What ? you dont understand “YOU CANT LEAD YOUR OWN LIVES UNLESS YOU ARE FINANCIALLY SECURE.” ?

    You think those americans who are about to lose their house can “lead their own lives” ? You think those low income people who lost their jobs can “lead their own lives”?

    Please enlight us by showing how you and your family would enjoy lives if your family was about to lose your house (or apt).

    Can you ?

    You cant, as you are just a clown.

  340. Wahaha Says:

    As you are so stupid, let me explain to you.

    Let us say Chinese governent does what you want, “let people decide what they like, A or B (assume only two choices).”

    People dont know what is good AND BAD about A and B. SOME PEOPLE must explain to them, right ?

    If most of this “SOME PEOPLE” favor A, do you think people will understand what is bad about A and what is good about B ? they dont, they will be brainwashed to believe A is good, B is bad, and they will pick A.

    Can you tell me if A is people’s choice or “SOME PEOPLE”‘s choice ?

    Get a clue why you have to explain if people understand their choices if you try to sell your used tissue, clown ?

  341. Ryan Says:

    Interesting, but we must not disregard the fact that: 1) Chinese government has banned nearly ever social network, and censored its people to the point where they have no real opportunity to contribute or express themselves without fear of repercussion (i.e. police crackdown on protests or pro-democracy advocates being thrown in jail). 2) Regardless of your perception of the Chinese government as good or bad, the fact that there is no real check and balance (i.e. separation of powers and true democratic process) creates the potential for a radical agenda that, while some may perceive as “good” for the people, will ultimately be at the expense of the people; there is no doubt that China’s GDP has grown significantly (to over 4 trillion USD), but at the expense of its people (i.e. through poor working conditions and un-livable wages).

    Overall, the perception of the government as being legitimate (i.e. in the best interest of the people) is irrelevant in the context of the Chinese government, because regardless of perception, the system itself has no realistic check and balance, which inevitably would leave the door open for even further abuse of power, and the Tienanmen Square massacre was only one of many incidents that reminds us of that fact.

  342. wwww1234 Says:

    re: Ryan Says: “Interesting, but we must not disregard the fact ”

    do you read chinese? Have to talked or met any common folks inside china?
    Even if you simply read chinese blogs esp those within china, you wont appear as if you were living in Mars.

    Pack you paper logic and extrapolation, time to sit down and learn like the typical chinese students. Rhetoric not based on knowledge does not get you far.

  343. Ricky Start Says:

    As a westerner I have great admiration for the Chinese system of governance, the stability of the Chinese government is a particularly strong point. Chinese leaders also have respect for their predecessors something Western governments have no concept of, they do not build on top of one another idea and instead continually undo each others policies. It is this see-sawing that destroys the public faith in western government forms. In my country of the United Kingdom polls show all time lows in support for the Parliamentary system, the continental governments have never seen such success of anti-democracy parties since the days of Fascism. The continued competition and corruption of western governments is staggering, they blatantly associate with bankers and corporations who simply buy the system. The western system does not work, it only serves one social group, the rich, the Chinese model however (with faults of course) has generally served the best interests of the vast majority of Chinese, and with the instability in the west many governments are simply turning on their people anyway through acts which allow them to detain people without warrant, break up crowds, beat defenseless protesters in the streets. The rich can pay to have courts rule that you can not even speak of the acts they have done, regardless of how morally wrong with the injunction and super-injunction system. While China’s system may have it’s flaws the Chinese government is much more responsible than the west and is not hypocritical when it speaks.

  344. Ricky Start Says:

    To someone who stated that China has no checks and balances, Britain, a false democracy of hypocrisy has no checks and balances, Parliament is sovereign and can do what it wishes. Which it often does, such as giving itself a large salary increase while leaving many common people homeless, is this the glory of Democracy? Democracy, like Communism is an ideal which cannot and does not work. A paternal dictatorship is a much better concept as it does not ignore the nature of humanity.

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