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“中国人”的定义 The Meaning of Being Chinese

in 陈凯论坛 Kai Chen Forum 不自由,毋宁死! Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death! Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:31 pm
by fountainheadkc • 1.369 Posts


The Meaning of Being Chinese

"Free Beings" vs. "Chinese" Series

价值一语 Words of Value:

But if man loses all, when life is lost, he lives a coward, or a fool expires. --- Edwards Young: Night Thoughts

如果一个人认为因为自己失去了生命自己就失去了一切,那他只不过是一个懦夫胆小鬼。 充其量他死的时候不过就是个蠢人从地球上消失了。 --- Edwards Young: 夜思


By Kai Chen 陈凯 (Written 5/4/2006, Reprint 8/10/2011)

Few Americans don't know what being an American means. If you ask an American that question, he or she will answer it without hesitation:

"Being an American means loving freedom, loving life, loving our rights to pursue happiness and creativity. In short, being an American means being a human being with dignity and rights, being an American means being an irreplaceable individual, being an American means being a unique being by God."

In sharp contrast, if you ask a Chinese what means to being a Chinese, he or she may hesitate to answer or be perplexed with your question. The reason for the hesitation is that he or she may have never thought about this question, and he or she may have thought he or she is not eligible or qualified to answer such a question. For them one Chinese person is only a number in a group, and how can one number answer a question regarding one's identity?! In China, one never has an individual identity, one has only social and cultural roles to play. His or her own role has long been designated by the group and environment around him or her, even before he or she was born.

So the word "Identity" has never been in existence in the Chinese vocabulary. "认同“ is only a translation and the meaning of it is very vague in Chinese. One can never have an "Identity" without the concept of "individual", without "Self" and "I". And the concepts of "Self" and "I" have never existed in the Chinese vocabulary. When a Chinese mentions "我”, it is without "自" - self. "我"is only a role one has to play. He or she is never himself or herself. He or she is only a number in a sequence of numbers without unique meaning by our creator. Wang Zhizhi, the NBA basketball player who returned to China for his loyalty to China, put this concept of a Chinese person so succinctly:

"I have no individual value without serving the state/collective."

No one questions why there is such an entity called "中国" - China. No one dares to ask such a question. It is as if "China" itself has a sacred meaning in it of which no one knows or dares to ask. Yet this meaning of invisible entity is as great as "God". It is somehow equivalent of a Christian saying that he is only a servant of God, a Chinese will always proclaim he or she is a "中国人". Being a "Chinese" is not only his or her only identity, it is his or her only standard to judge what is right and wrong. He or she is completely NOTHING without the title "中国" - China. He or she will feel completely lost without such a title. Same as the radical Muslims dividing the world into believers and infidels, the Chinese divide the world into '中国人“ and "外国人" - Chinese and foreigners.

When you ask a question such as "What China stands for" or "What values a Chinese stands for", you will usually hear such words as "勤劳,勇敢,善良" (diligence, bravery, kindness).

Let's analyze these words. Warning: the English translation has difference meaning for these words from the Chinese characters.

"勤劳", Diligence: Does the word mean "physically busy"? The Chinese are always proud of China's four inventions - paper, gun powder, compass and printing. Yet they will never see the severe lack of creativity in their culture that in their 4,000 years of history, those are the only inventions. And they had even been invented before there is such a united entity called "China". In contrast to America's thousands of inventions every year, should the Chinese feel proud or ashamed? There has never been a theoretical scientist in China. In music, art, literature, social sciences and natural sciences, the world recorded almost none of the Chinese names. So where does this "勤劳“come from? Is it because the Chinese are busy in their physical activities for follow emperors' orders and the slave owner/government's command? Is there any thing else you can think of in explaining this weird phenomenon?

"勇敢”, Bravery: In English, being brave has a definite moral tone in it. Should we call the Islamic suicide bombers brave, because they are willing to die for their cause? "义和团" (Boxers Rebellion) Boxers were very brave if you think today's suicide bombers are brave. But the similarity between the Chinese terrorists "义和团", and the modern Islamic terrorists does not define the word "Bravery". It demeans it. Moral confusion mars both the Chinese and the Islamic radicals. An act void of values of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness can never be called an act of bravery. It can only be properly termed "terror" committed by the morally degenerated and deranged. And seeing the timidity and pathetic helplessness among the intimidated Chinese and Islamic masses toward their own authorities' horror and atricities over their own population, how can anyone call these masses composed with only flesh and blood without souls and minds "brave"?

"善良", Kindness: Is pity over oneself's helplessness, or others' misfortune the definition for "Kindness"? Is there any element of respect in such pity? Can tolerance of evil be termed "kindness"? Can "kindness" be free of moral values and judgment? I have lived in China for many years, not a single day have I sensed and benefited from this "善良". Those “Kind/Benevolent ” people often turned out to be man-eaters. They use their so called "kindness" to numb people and use them shamelessly under some lofty titles and fashionable names. The viciousness of their words and conducts is without bound. These are the "kind" people who have supported the most murderous regime in China over a half century. These are the "kind" people who trample on others for a morsel of food. These are the "kind" people who will turn on each other under some grand ideals, reporting each other to the communist authorities just to gain an edge in climbing the social ladder. These are the "kind" people that will sacrifice their own lives for the state to suppress other people - the Tibetans, the minorities, the individual dissidents, the Taiwanese... These are the "kind" people who prostitute themselves and castrate themselves and sell themselves for an entity which represents absolute NOTHINGNESS. These are the so called "Kind People"... I have seen many of them. But I have never seen "Kindness".

What does China stand for? What is China and why does it exist? What is a Chinese? What does being a Chinese mean?

Maybe in the darkness at night when you lie on your bed, in the deep recess of your souls and minds, you can face/dwell upon your own conscience and your "self" to ask these questions that you have never asked before in your lives. Only when you start to ask such questions, maybe conscience and God can descend upon you and make you a human being, an individual with dignity and respect, not just a flesh and blood on the altar of "China".

Last edited Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:33 am | Scroll up


RE: “中国人”的定义 The Meaning of Being Chinese

in 陈凯论坛 Kai Chen Forum 不自由,毋宁死! Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death! Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:32 am
by fountainheadkc • 1.369 Posts


Your Happiness Is On Yourself Alone

"Free Beings" vs. "Chinese" Series

价值一语: Words of Value:

While not all the time one is responsible for his own misery and misfortune, he is always responsible for his own happiness. --- Dennis Prager

虽然一个人并不总对他自身的不幸与痛苦负责任,他却永远对他的幸福承担全部责任。 --- Dennis Prager

The ones who want to escape from misery and pain will always find excuses/pretenses for their own personal irresponsibility. Only the ones who pursue freedom and happiness will have the courage to take their own individual responsibility for their actions and words. --- Kai Chen

永远逃避痛苦与不幸的人们也会永远为自己的懦弱与胆怯寻找借口与托词。 只有无畏追求自由与幸福的人们才会为自身个体的言论与行为负责任。 --- 陈凯


By Kai Chen 陈凯 (Written 11/14/2006,Reprint 8/4/2011)

Think a little more about the above quote from the conservative talk show host Dennis Prager, maybe you will have better understanding of the conservative philosophy.

All despotic societys' philosophies/doctrines promise the people under their rules happiness if they walk the authorities' lines: Nazi Germany under Hitler promised 3,000 years of a great Reich with prosperity and happiness for all if German people observed the Nazi ideology. Communist societies such as China and USSR also promised their people great happiness if they followed the communist and socialist morality of individuals being nothing and the collective being everything. Now the Islamic fundamentalists guarantee their followers if they die for Allah, they will have 72 virgins waiting for them in heaven. Leftists in the West also often promise the poor and the unfortunate that if they vote for a big government, they will have happier lives with no worries.

In Contrast, free societies and the conservative teachings have never promised and will never promise individuals their happiness if they observe the principle of freedom, justice and human dignity. They only make sure that individuals in a free society are truly free - free from others' obstructions and interferences. This is to ensure that one's misery and misfortune do not come from other entities and individuals. And one's happiness will never be the result of others' pity and handouts from government and will always be the result of one's own virtue, character, talent and hard work, and maybe a little luck as well. As a result, proven by empirical evidence, people who treasure freedom will often find their own happiness. And people who dream of happiness as the result of government's benevolence and power elite's sympathy/handout are often the people of great misery and misfortune.

Freedom will NOT always result in an individual's happiness, for freedom entails danger and risk-taking, and most of all, freedom entails personal responsibility. Yet without freedom, one will never have any possibility to be truly happy. No matter how comfortable one is in a cage, fed by some masters who control one's life and destiny, one will never have a chance to find the unique meaning of his own existence, to find his true love and happiness. Only free people can be truly creative, productive and progressive. Only free people can be truly happy with a chance to find true love, personally and professionally.

Yes, indeed, Mao and his cohorts of Chinese communists, despotic Chinese cultural tradition and the Chinese language itself have caused the Chinese individuals a lot of confusion, misery and suffering. But should these entities be also responsible for our happiness? Are they able to give us happiness? Should we expect them to give us happiness? If we have expectations that others, be it an ideology or some people (people in our family or some self-claimed saviors), should promise, provide and guarantee our happiness, does that imply we are ultimately the roots of our own problems and unhappiness by these insidious expectations??

I have sensed now in China there is an emergence of Neo-Nazism and Neo-Collectivism that promise the Chinese people their happiness if they walk the line of self-deception and self-castration. And culture-wise, the Chinese are very vulnerable to such a deceit and confusion. That is part of the reason the Chinese have never accepted the principle of freedom and individual responsibility. They have yet to grasp the truth:

"While one is not always responsible for his own misery and misfortune, one is ultimately always responsible for his own happiness."

I rest my case.

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