鸟与鸟笼--爱自由 vs. 爱国
Freedom Loving vs. Ancestral-land Loving
价值一语： Words of Value:
The cause of freedom is the cause of God. --- William Lisle Bowles: To Edmund Burke
自由的事业就是上苍的事业。 --- William Lisle Bowles: To Edmund Burke
By Kai Chen 陈凯 (Written 5/26/2006, Reprint 9/28/2011)
As I talked with a friend of mine, he mentioned what he thought about China and the Chinese culture. He concluded that what most Chinese strive for is not freedom, but better slavery. He used bird cage as an analogy. I entirely concur.
When the Americans used the term "Pariots" during the independence war, the term really means "Independence Loving", not "nation loving" as the Chinese translate today, for back then, there was no such thing as "American Nation". "Loving Values", not Loving territories, has always been the essence of the term "Patriots". Yet 爱国 entirely distorts the original meaning of the English word.
"Bird cage lovers" is the definition of the Chinese 爱国者们. This is because their premise of human condition is "No one is free" in this world, every nation is a cage in their eyes. So the paramount task in their agenda is to improve the conditions in the cage, or improve the appearance of the cage, making it more good-looking. They have never believed that human being are God's creation. They think humans are born in the cage, and raised by families and nations and government. They have never believed that each and every human being has a specific meaning of existence determined by himself and God. They believe human beings and their lives' meaning are determined by the cage, by the environment he is born into, by the culture, by the race, by the government that feeds him, by the economic classes he and his family are born into..., everything external of himself.
So no wonder nowadays when I read most articles and essays by Chinese, I always have a sense what they are fighting against and fighting for is entirely different and even opposite from what I am fighting for and against. A freeman values true values. A slave values concrete things. A freeman values meaning and existence. A slave values meaninglessness and nothingness. A freeman fights to smash all kinds, and all sizes of cages in the world to free human spirit and human beings. A slave fights against other slaves for better conditions in the cage, or to enlarge the cage, or to make the cage better looking, or use metal instead of bamboo to build the cage.
A slave will do everything to secure a cage, for they never believe human beings are born free. Cages are all they have come to know and to accustomed to. Even someone takes them from the cage and set them free, they will always come back to the cage. And they will always wait for the masters to feed them, to teach them how to sing, to clean up for them, or to butcher them for food. Government and nation is God to them. They believe government and nation has already existed before mankind came into being. They never believe a free bird can built nest himself, can find food for himself, can find love and mate by himself, can find happiness himself. This is the essence of "Nation Lovers" -- true slaves not only in body, but in mind and in spirit.
A freeman has entirely opposite outlook of life, an entirely opposite believe system. The outcome obviously will be entirely opposite. For a freeman, there is no Zero-sum game, there is only limitless opportunities and potentials, for he is NOT in a cage. He is Not predetermined by his own environment. He only observes his own freewill determined only by God. Indeed he is not guarantied food, shelter, and happiness. But because he is free to creat them, he has found not only he produces a lot more than he ever expected, he will have more to exchange with others and accumulate more for bigger and better future. Aboundance and prosperity is only the result of his being free, not the goal of his existence. While the cage-lovers worries constantly about others taking something from them, the freeman is only interested in learning about the unknown, and exploring into the unknown. While the cage-lovers are takers, a freeman is a creator and the fountainhead of limitless possibilities.
Dear visitors. What are you and who are you? When you read all the articles and essays surfing the internet, have you ever thought about your own identity? Have you ever given a thought and judgment about the premises and value-orientations of the authors of the articles and essays? If you haven't, maybe from now on you will pay little more attention to that. You will find many authors only produce better bird cages, while others intend to set everyone free, back into the bossom of their true creators.