The Chinese want to live in a peaceful country, which they consider to be the middle of the world, pursue their food, their culture, and their traditional ways of life. The rest of the world is irrelevant and not worth knowing. They want to have nothing to do with foreigners, foreign culture, or foreign political ideas.
That has always been the Chinese way, never changing for 5000 years, until foreigners forced them to buy drugs at gun point, to be divided up, enslaved, and wholesale slaughtered.
Having a dream implies discontent with the present. Their ideal is to be content. They don't need a dream.
Junko, I think a strong reason you or Fallows might have that non-altruistic impression of China is that the population is huge. True altruism cannot be practiced effectively, and even with strong government intervention, which would be frowned upon, I don't think you'll get any sincere altruism, with such a large population, with the tendency to large income gaps.
I was wih you until your last sentence, which struck me as utterly absurd, Junko.
First, the American dream is hard to define, but I would say it has something to do with being free to follow your own star, and to be as successsful at it as your stamina allows. Unencumbered by an overly meddling government or Party apparatus.
Clearly, not all Americans dream of riches. They simply want to be able to pursue their passion.
I don't necessarily buy this idea that strong government control is necessary at a particular stage, most especially in a culture that is the oldest one on the planet. The idea begs the question, then when is it time for less government control?
And I fail to see what about strong government control strikes you as being remotely similar to the Republican party ideals. (Leaving aside their recently acquired religious rhetoric, of course, which itself is cetainly not similar to Chinese government rhetoric).
And too, there is something that makes it difficult to compare the American ethos with that of most other cultures, including European cultures. And that is, the rights that Amercians have are not bestowed upon them by the government, by a "leader," by a monarch, or by anyone else. The rights are intrinsic, from birth. Most other cultures don't quite get this concept, as far as I have been able to tell.
Duane, I agree. It is not our place to judge; and freedom, indeed, means different things to people in different countries. And yet, there is nothing wrong about having hope for unlimited possibilities.
When my Chinese friend said that "control" is necessary to keep peace in China at this point of the nation's history, I respect that.
Although, I must add that that's far from anything we know or we understand in our daily life in the United States.
I am very cool with current chinese leadership. my only wish is they get themselves disciplined better.
They keep your TV clean and street safe, and shut out the liberal idiots fast and sweepingly. You don't have to have the headache to waste your time to argue with em.
yeah, americans , enjoy your mormon president.