I think you are reading too much of the media's view on the republican party. They don't hold the "everything for my family and friends; nothing for anyone else" view you allude to. We don't believe that people shouldn't be helped, it's that that federal government of the US shouldn't be the one providing all the support. There are local levels that work much better for that, starting with family and local communities.
And in answer to the Chinese Dream - the answer seems obvious from the outside looking in. Using my best William Wallace (cue Braveheart images) impression - "FREEDOM!!!".
one point you got right is Junko's IQ can't process such complicate/subtle social issues.
yet she is not willing to give up though and generating all this trashes.
one thing she should do is put on her nike shoes and visit next customer.
/relates to 'freedom' comment see below...
I don't share your view that this is obvious at all!
I don't know that we could really say that "freedom" is the Chinese dream. If I were living under an authoritarian government, I would want to get out or find a way to free myself and the others around me, but I'm not convinced that the Chinese as a whole or all cultures strive for freedom, or at least not freedom by our standards.
I also don't think that it's our place to decide if other peoples should want freedom by our standards. What is our place, in my opinion, is to be an example of what limitless possibilities there are when free. We are far from perfect because we are human, but we are and should be a beacon of hope.
We have had civil war, civil strife, world war, depression, recession, oppression, hatred and all of the other bad things that humans do to humans, but because we do have freedom, little by little over the years, we have made ourselves a better people. We have, by example, inspired others to be free.
There are plenty of people who are perfectly satisfied with easy and are more than happy to accept easy over freedom. If not, authoritarian governments would disappear. Most of us here in the U.S. would very much rather have freedom that we need to work for, than an easy life without that freedom. Not much is easy in the U.S., but almost anything is possible. That "almost anything is possible" is the American dream in my mind.
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.
Indeed. From a Chinese lady:
"In my country, I can go virtually wherever and whenever I want without worrying for my own safety. In yours, you have a list of districts to avoid during daytime and it gets longer at night. Free country you said?"
I met a Chinese business man in tech who recently returned to China and bemoaned the fact that everyone is out for themselves.
It seems it makes for a cold world if the dog-eat-dog business culture is the only culture and getting yours for you and your circle is the only value.
freedom, lmao, you mean freedom to access porn video, freedom to own a machine gun? save it to yourself.
freedom... you will never get real freedom in any place, you can't drink beer if you are below 21 in US, in china you can.
so what's the point, a vote? yeah right if it really matters.
let me clarify,
1. chinese has the de facto freedom of speech in criticizing govt. same as americans. americans can't threat to kill your president as well. chinese govt change policy many times due to (internet) feedbacks.
2. one thing americans really have an advantage IS:
better access to PORN magzines and DVDs, you can subscribe em or get em from street markets easily.
that's sth americans does have a advantage and be proud...
Right... because free speech is so much easier when the government puts controls in place to limit your access to information on the internet and can shut down cell networks when unrest occurs.
I humbly bow before you incredible debating skills.
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.
uh.. I have to say the movie plot came from real life. don't try to pretend chaste.
all the world knows what's frat party for americans.
how many americans remain a virgin when getting married? maybe 2 %?
why on earth they get married. ans: they need to raise the poor kids which was more of an accident...
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.
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.
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.
Individually, “Chinese Dream” for a Chinese adult is to be admired/respected by his/her peers.
As a nation, “Chinese Dream” is to be the superpower that U.S. was. i.e. every other country need to take the Chinese national interests into consideration when making decisions, just like they normally bowed before American pressure. Having military bases in other countries. Making RMB the standard currency for international merchandise transaction, (especially in oil and other commodity deals).
Chinese culture has always been humble and peaceful. Chinese dream should be a return of that. Look at "Voyages of Zheng He" from 1405 to 1433. What Chinese huge fleet did when they arrived at Africa.
Being as aggressive as US is not what many Chinese expect if not all.
"So, I wonder. Am I alone in thinking that China — supposedly the last great stronghold of Communism — seems to have an awful lot in common, philosophically, with the Republican Party?"
No you are not, Junko. The political spectrum goes into full circle. The extreme left and the extreme right are surprisingly very close. That is why you had people like the late Christopher Hitchens (RIP) for example who started his life as a Trotskyist and ended up a Neo-Con!
To go back to dream question, I believe in a universal human dream, not an American, Chinese or other. Chinese people nowadays want economic progress first and foremost, that's a basic human need which all humans value first and foremost. According to Maslow, security, love and belonging come after, then esteem and self-actualisation.
Americans for instance did not yearn for their independence from the British because they ideologically valued freedom. American independence was dictated by economic interests first and foremost. Of course, the narrative changed afterwards to sell the idea to the masses but underneath all, it was about economics.
Before I am accused of having a materialistic (Marxist) view of the world, I must say that I do recognise that there were instances in history where economic interests did not dictate behaviour, but these are expections rather than the rule. Anyway, I could go on forever about this subject, but this site is not the proper outlet...
Sorry, but you have to do a real stretch to get materialism out of Marxism.
Practical realities always defy simple political slogans. So the practical reality in China is that everyone scratches out a living the best way he can. As people gain some welath, that will no doubt change.
The only "similarity" I see between the practical reality in China and the Republican Party platform would be one of self reliance, and personal responsibility. In China, because individuals would have a tough time surviving otherwise, and in the US in general, because that has been the American way ever since the early pioneers. For the same reason that it's the practical reality on China today.
As far as IDEALS go, the Democratic Party in the US is the pary of left wing politics. They are the kindred brethren of the Socialist and Communist Parties in Europe. Just listen to the rhteoric of Francois Hollande, for example, compared with Barack Obama, and the similarities are obvious.
By the way, I get a super kick out of Sprite0022's comments. Always revealing to see what the stereotype of a culture is, from another's point of view.
To target the Marxism point more precisely:
Marxism is all about the Party, or the Government, deciding how wealth should be distributed. Marxism is about central planning of the economy, and the planners making the moral decisions concerning distribution of wealth. As opposed to any concept of "natural market forces."
How does this sound remotely Republican to anyone? It is the antithesis of Republican thinking.
The fact that Chinese individuals cannot live by this Marxist ideal is simply another example of how Marxism doesn't work IN PRACTICE. However, wealthy people who are so inclined and can afford to, or the very poor who would benefit from it, do keep that Marxist rhetoric alive.
There are plenty of similarities between Marxist thought and the Democratic Party platform from the more left-leaning elements, those now in the administration.
Marxism anticipated technological and economic progress to the point where the state would largely 'wither away' from irrelevance, along with the necessity for wage slavery. The USSR was '1984', while authentic Marxism will be more like the Federation. May humanity 'live long and prosper.'
I do not like the equation of materialistic = Marxist. In my opinion Americans are more materialistic than anybody else in this world. For that matter all the nations decide their policies on materialistic views.
Try keeping your political view out of the "News & Analysis" section of EETimes. It should NOT be here. If you feel that you must "share" your opinion, it should be in an EE Life blog or similar.
That last sentence was JUNK[O]! Trust me, that's the nicest thing I could say about it.
It would be nice if UBM management would tell you the same thing, but based on other information I've read on the site - I doubt it.
amercians need to understand, 70 years ago when japanese blowed pearl harbor, it's not because of one evil japanese emperor, or a handful of japanese top officials, it's because the general japanese public are evil.
they are like snakes, bite you while you are sleeping.
that's also how Eisenhower justified the 2 A-bomb for the japanese publics...
just a reminder...
@Bert22306, in simple terms, both the extreme left and the extreme right have a materialistic interpretation of human development. The extreme left use this to come to the conclusion that individual ownership should give way to common ownership, whereas the extreme right use this to come to the conclusion that common ownership should give way to individual ownership. It's a subtle point but a valid one nonetheless.
I repeat what I said above: political views go full circle and that is why it's surprisingly easy sometimes for people on the extreme left to switch to the extreme right, and vice-versa. The fact that both extremes start from the same philosophical point (a materialistic interpretation of human development) means they have a lot of common, yet they arrive to opposite conclusions! I believe this is the point Junko was trying to make at the end, although the use of "republican party" touched few nerves (understandably). AFAIC, political parties are broad churches with a spectrum of views and mixture of influences. It's hence hard to categorise them...