Continue Your "Is China Scary" Political Debate here

August 09, 2009, 05:56 AM posted in General Discussion

On your marks. GO!

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August 09, 2009, 06:15 AM


great to see you're not a malthusian.

would appreciate next time if you were more genuine. you've done your homework and deliberately provoked a person who you well know will respond exactly how you've planned. 

look mate well done! but it doesnt really take much to get me going.

the world is normal, it'll be like this for millenia, i can't see evolution making much of a difference over the next few thousand years. the media and the information age has in my view made propaganda an even more useful weapon. the west uses mass disinformation as opposed to censorship.

perhaps genetically designed humans or even virtual intelligence may appear in the next few hundred years. but there will have to be some sort of conflict to control the technology.

there is no escaping competition and resultant conflicts. its all as it should be. perfect.

regarding the use of disinformation. john pilger is worth reading, or watching.

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August 10, 2009, 12:52 AM

Hi tvan

Thanks to your concept about "evil", I can "proudly" say that Japanese army (Japan Self-Defence Forces) is not "evil", at least in the past 55 years, because it has never killed a man since its establishment in 1954. Anyway, I think that losing a war is not necessarily a bad thing, because you can have a "not-evil" army such as Japan SDF, which doesn't seem to be diligent in their "duties", haha.

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August 09, 2009, 06:45 AM

"Perhaps you don't get it."

All I saw was "Continue the debate here."  It wasn't very clear what you meant.  I tried clicking on the sentence and nothing happened; I didn't notice at first that the "here" was red.  Anyway, I did refer back to the lesson to keep ot on topic.

"would appreciate next time if you were more genuine"

I would have appreciated you having been less rude. 

"you've done your homework"

No, I've probably just lived longer than you, which is ironic as you were the one accusing me of being a child.

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August 09, 2009, 06:57 AM

control of technology. what is going on today in the world? what are the motivations of restricting nuclear weapons and power generation in certain countries? what is the real motivations behind non-nulcear proliferation agreements? i suggest the altruistic reason is nothing more than disinfromation.

its there to preserve and protect ideological viewpoints and certain ways of life. the long term goal is of course political and economic hegemony, nothing wrong with that, all 'scary' powers in the past do exactly this.

the point being of course, it depends on your own views as to who is scarier, like april/adam has stated.

which way of life and what kind of society do poddies want to live in? their answers will reflect who they view as more 'scarier'.

the only creatures on this earth that are not contradictory are animals fish birds etc, they live according to their dao, they have no choice, they are instinctual. humans on the other hand....

to deny conflict is to deny your to manage conflict and avoid war is the problem. but wars are inevitable. having the technological and economic clout to coerce change is what scary powers do, its their dao. humans being humans. perfect.

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August 09, 2009, 07:02 AM


chicken or the egg, i like being a big kid april, i have no pretensions. what you see is what you get.

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August 09, 2009, 07:05 AM

Hold on a minute aprilwhite,

Your comments here are directed at 2 different people. I know I wrote the first line you quoted, but not the next two.

If you are going to switch targets like that, could you please indicate who you are addressing each time. Otherwise everyone gets confused.

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August 09, 2009, 07:32 AM

regarding my above diatribe i'd like to add something.

the people that truly understand this truth are the povery stricken and the rich and powerful. bleeding heart pontificators and theorists using cultural relativist post-strucuralist decontructionist claptrap are only denying reality.

these ideas are used as a pretence for much suffering. but then again,humans being humans.  the suffering bought about from human ideological frailties and contradictions bring about change.

to eat the meat you have to kill the cow, but the cow must first have progeny to allow for further use.  to grow the rice you have to cultivate the land, and rotate your fields. to preserve one's place, one must be prepared to defend it and expand it.

its all scary, but its all perfect.


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August 09, 2009, 08:32 AM


You asked, "Does 'scary' have a negative connotation to you? "  Yes, it is quite negative.  Tell your mother she is scary, and I think you will know what I mean.  But I won't argue the semantics other than that. 

As for your assertion that "Wars are scary so any country that has the capability to fight is scary."  Almost all countries have this ability, so they are all scary by your definition.  This means the word 'scary' loses its meaning in this sense.  If you mean that the more capable a country is of creating war, the more scarrier it is.  I can see your point, but it does seem to me that any country that is large and prosperous will almost definitely have a strong military.  It is sad that you think that we are almost required to call a country that is large and prosperous 'scary'.  But again, semantics.

By the way, Afghanistan isn't unique.  America also went on the offensive against Japan after Pearl Harbor.

I don't mind if you or anyone else is critical or America or even anti-American, but I just don't like weak arguments that come at my country's expense because others might actually believe them.  That being said, I can see that you think you were clear, though.  I still think that your reasoning is a bit strange and unclear, but at least I get your drift.  I can accept that.

Okay, I'm going to try to exit this conversation for good (or maybe I will come back, but in Chinese), so sorry if I don't reply to any other comments.  It was fun, but now it is distracting.


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August 09, 2009, 08:54 AM

I have copied akii's post below and deleted the others in the "Is America/Nuclear Weapons/Lyndon Johnson Scary" debate. I will continue to delete non-lesson related comments in that thread.


Hi changye

I guess if I lived in Japan I might be more scared of N.Korea, but on a global scale the US is definitely the biggest cause of war and suffering.

Is the Russian government evil? Maybe. But again its influence is, since 1991, pretty localised.

Is the Chinese government evil? I would say definitely not. I think the Chinese government is working for the betterment of the Chinese people. This is in contrast to the US and UK where those governments are working for the increased profits of a select few.

calkins - I suggest you study the world economy before criticising.

xiaophil the US was fighting N.Vietnam for 26 years. Come on man, they couldn't win?

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August 09, 2009, 09:05 AM

Hi akii

Wow, I didn't know that at all. Thanks for your nice opinion. It's very impressive.

Is the Chinese government evil? I would say definitely not. I think the Chinese government is working for the betterment of the Chinese people. This is in contrast to the US and UK where those governments are working for the increased profits of a select few.

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August 09, 2009, 06:37 AM

Aprilwhite continued to post in the other discussion board after Pete's warning. I have copied here post, and am pasting it here. I have suggested again that she continue her discussion here.

Here is her post:

I think I was quite clear. Wars are scary so any country that has the capability to fight is scary.I mentioned that some of the wars that the U.S. fought in were ones in which they invaded, ie U.S. soil was not attacked before hand. Afghanistan is a unique case: the U.S. invaded Afghanistan but the U.S. had also been attacked by Al Queda which was operating out of Afghanistan at the time.
You'll notice in a later post I mentioned that criticizing the U.S. is viewed as "anti-American". This is, unfortunately, a way to quell debate. I think the lesson is guilty of the same thing: the Western media is accused of "exagerating" and being "negative" when all they might be doing is reporting the news. People are warned to not follow the American media for fear of being "misled". Again, the analogy is quite clear.
Does "scary" have a negative connotation to you? What if I were to have said "powerful" in the military sense? That's pretty much the same thing. I'm reminded of the line from Iron Man: "They say the best weapon is one you never have to fire. I prefer the weapon you only need to fire once. That's how dad did it, that's how America does it, and it's worked out pretty well so far." That was before Tony Stark came to realise that the other side can also acquire the same weapons.

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August 09, 2009, 09:29 AM

Wow! I am currently recovering from that Pig-ear-induced food poisoning I got in Beidaihe so I had the time to go through this and the original thread.

As changye highlighted out perfectly in his post above, there is a really enriching variety of opinions here - adding up perfectly to what I have heard during the last two weeks (The outcomes of the great leap forward and the cultural revolution? Of course, just results of the foreign politics of the evil west!).

Actually, in my opinion, the original question is wrong. Each group or social cluster is scary if it is tightly closed up (including governments, cults, or even web communities). Only by the means of continous interaction and cooperation with non-group members the "evilness" fades.  

(Where "evil" is actually in most cases nothing but a rigid definition of "inside" and "outside" that is usually based on arbitrary and blurry concepts like "nation", "religion", "shared myths" or "ethnecity").

But well, real men hunt in packs.

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August 09, 2009, 09:36 AM

akii, how do you know what I have and haven't studied?  How do you know I'm not a professional economist?  Probably because it's one of the last things in the world I'd want to do!

Anyway, you still haven't provided any solid foundation for your ridiculous claims.  I'm all for freedom of speech, having your own opinion, yada yada yada...but at least back it up with something remotely credible.

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August 09, 2009, 09:40 AM

Hi henning

Let me ask you a question. Is this a sort of joke, or are you serious? If the latter, I and my chubby dog won't eat pig ears from now on.

I am currently recovering from that Pig-ear-induced food poisoning I got in Beidaihe

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August 09, 2009, 11:44 AM

just a few thoughts:

ignorance of the law doesn't excuse the criminal, he still pays his debt.

ignorance of nature's laws result in the same consequences.

those in power are well educated and informed people, but follow their own ideals of a perfect world.

the idea of a well educated and informed middle class bringing about utopia is flawed. people are willing to defend and preserve what they have worked for, and who they love. they are also willing to swallow  propaganda to meet this end. this is a law of nature. 

a precedent of the magnitude unseen before in history will only change this.

hegemony is in the best interests of the world. the question then is which hegemonic system is best. by hegemony, i mean political and economic and welfare sytems, not cultural or national, and herein lies the challenge. to create consensus whilst breaking a law of nature. to break this law may require much suffering and does in fact reveal the contradictory nature of nature, by breaking the law we will be following it. nature abhors stagnancy and punishes severely.

how can we create a world with a fair and just system for all humanity without some form of concensus, read hegemony? the UN is a first step, but currently it is largely ineffective. it needs to be more inclusive particularly in the security council.

we are perhaps at an infant stage, at least i'd like to think so. most ppl don't enjoy watching others suffer, and abhore violence, but they are also willing to kill to protect what they have or what they believe in.

in my view, ignorance cannot be said to be the cause of the world's current previous or continuing ills. the path of human existence reveals this quite starkly. rather it is competion for recources, wealth, and power.

such is the contradictory nature of ignorance.

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August 09, 2009, 12:38 PM

well it sure didn"t feel like a joke. Just keep your dog away from cold meat dishes on open display without any visible cooling - regardless of the body part.

It was really tasting different - but not necessary bad (another problem was that I am not sure how it was supposed to taste and besides me only my 4year old ate a small bit of it - and he was lying flat for two days streight,also).

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August 09, 2009, 01:02 PM

Hi akii

Your comment just reminds me of an opinion I heard before. It goes like this :

People's Liberation Army is a "good/benign" army, but other countries' armies are all "bad/evil" armies.

Do you agree with this?

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August 09, 2009, 03:33 PM

It's interesting that in the discussion above,  the definition of a "good" or "evil" government seems to rest on how that government treats other governments, not on how it treats its own citizens.  I guess in this regard countries such as (Saddam Hussein's) Iraq, North Korea, and Burma are good international citizens.

Using this concept to answer Changye's question, the PLA is indubitably Evil.  (Note the capital "E.")  It attacked the Korea and Vietnam.  However, killing students at Tianamen... eh, ya do what ya gotta do.

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August 09, 2009, 08:29 PM

Re: the idea of the U.S. rebuilding countries for its own benefit, there was a harmless little novel written called "The Mouse that Roared" wherein a small, impoverished East European country declared war on the United States with the hopes of getting rebuilt like Germany and Japan.  It was made into a movie starring that ersatz East European, Peter Sellers.

Btw, kudos to desluo929 for setting up the thread and to Pete for taking the time to copy previously deleted comments to it.

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August 09, 2009, 09:09 AM

"Good" and "evil" are inappropriate words to use in discussing governments. They ignore or conceal the complexities of reality. It is much more useful to examine the causes and effects of individual government actions. Who benefits, and who suffers?

Some government actions have the effect of benefitting a small group of actors whose interests are not those of the people they supposedly represent. Some government actions are apparently altruistic, and yet would better be described as "win-win" situations (ex: the Marshall Plan, the G.I. Bill). Some governments, for a variety of domestic and international reasons, are able to plan further in advance than others. It is utterly beside the point to damn governments as "evil," or to praise them as "good." This is the sort of tidy and wildly incomplete analysis that has led to great suffering in Iraq, to name just one example.

Regarding the Vietnam war, the vast majority of American involvement was over just ten years, from the Gulf of Tonkin incident till the US withdrew in April 1975. As Calkins pointed out, US forces won almost every battle they fought. But the war was not winnable with only military means. Because it lacked cultural awareness, an understanding of the appeal to the Vietnamese of Communism and nationalism, and a clear definition of "victory" (body counts? villages taken? social reform?) the American war effort (like the French before it) was doomed, regardless of battlefield successes.

Ignorance causes far more suffering than any idealized form of "evil."