in 陈凯论坛 Kai Chen Forum
不自由，毋宁死! Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!
Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:35 am
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华盛顿vs.秦始皇 Good vs. Evil - The Legacies
Good has but one enemy, the evil; but the evil has two enemies, the good and itself. --- Johannes von Muller
良德（好）只有一个敌人，那就是恶魔（败坏）； 可是恶魔（败坏）却有两个敌人： 良德与恶魔（败坏）本身。 --- Johannes von Muller
Lately I have watched a documentary TV show on George Washington. I cannot help but deeply moved by Washington's greatness as an moral being, as an integrated individual, as a great founding father of a truly great American society.
"George Washington and the cherry tree" has been a poplular story among the Americans. The honesty and the value of truth-telling from the story only reflect the morals held dearly in American society. And I learned so much more about Washington through the documentary: A truly peace-loving man, a deeply and genuinely loving father, a family man who treasured joy and happiness of family life.... I have learned that before the decisive battle with the British in Yorktown, Washington went back to his beloved home in Mt. Vernon and redecorated his house -- he was thinking about retiring into a quiet civilian life. Though later he had to come out to preside the Constitutional Convention and be the first president of the US, he had never showed that he was power-thirst in the slightest degree. Such is a great man. Such a life-loving man.
In contrast to Washington, the first Chinese emperor Qin -- a psychotic man, a sadistic maniac in his thirst for absolute power, delusional in superstition and eternal life, Qin emperor was a morally evil being. There was nothing he could not do to secure his absolute grip on power, from killing anyone who dare to oppose him to silencing any dissent from any intellectuals. Everyone was only a tool and a means to him for aquiring power. He later, at the ignorant advice of his Chinese doctor, drank mercury to prolong his life. Instead, the mercury killed him. What a despicable, small being! What an evil existence! What a pathological mental-case!
Yet, the legacy of Qin emperor has endured even today. One example is that the Chinese still praise him in sick movies such as the morally warpped, degenerated "Hero" 英雄 by people like 张艺谋. In the Chinese society, power-worshipping, superstition, intolerence of differences and dissent, ignorance, moral confusion still permeat every corner of the Chinese civilian life. All the Chinese still mistaken power for greatness, still take small and despicable conduct as something of value, as long as one acquires power. So the Chinese remain small beings, for they value smallness and evil.
In America, the enduring legacy of George Washington has been witnessed every moment in every aspect of American life. Values of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness far outweigh one's hunger for power. Peaceful and enjoyable civilian life is central to what an American strives to achieve. Any sign from anyone with unquenchable power thirst is ridiculed, sneered and frowned upon. George Washington's value and greatness is deeply etched and imprinted in the American psyche. This is true greatness, true hero from mankind.
Think about the legacies these two men had endowed upon their societies. Dwell deeper into the meaning of these two human beings -- one good and another evil. Then I want you to think about your positions on the issues of today, when you try to compare, NOT contrast the two societies, try to compare good American founding fathers with evil Chinese emperors such as Mao and Qin.
How you see the two men, the two societies reveals the deep-seated values in you. And you may not like what you see in the mirror.