This article “The Theories that Chinese People Invent Because They are Afraid of Democracy” appeared on some websites inside and outside of China from mid 2005. I looked up some of the hits on this article on Chinese blogs and other websites and found that they had been erased. Perhaps looking at such articles on overseas Chinese websites and finding their traces on Google or other search engines (and in caches) from pages in China that have been erased, one could get some impressions about censorship.
[I wonder about this kind of thinking myself. If Americans said these things about Chinese, it would be be racism or close to it. If Chinese people say it about themselves, insulting themselves, what is it? There seem to be feelings of inferiority (can’t be democratic because) and superiority (unique culture, unique cultural values) all bound up. This must result in all kinds of psychological phenomena and double talk. When I read Yu Jie‘s books what I take away are meditations about Chinese society and psychology and false talk. Those books help me think about these things.]
The “The Theories that Chinese People Invent Because They are Afraid of Democracy” is an intriguing compilation.
- Chinese culture is just not suitable for democracy.
- People talk of western democracy and US democracy. Just as if it were mooncakes which come in Suzhou variety, Guangdong variety etc. But democracy is a social science that takes no account of different nature just as science is international.
- Democracy is just the road to chaos and division. What happened to the Soviet Union is a good example.
- Just compare China and India. People who do this think that India is far poorer than China and use it to prove that democracy is not suitable for China.
- Chinese people are just too vulgar. Yuan Shikai used to say this all the time.
- China is already reforming and is already moving towards democracy. Some privileged people use this theory to block criticism and protect their own interests. In fact the people of the world know that Chinese reform only means economic reform.
- The democratic inside but dictator outside theory. These people say, US democracy is fine but it is only for the US and it isn’t ours. Saying that US democracy is good can’t help China any.
- Democracy is the moral equivalent of betraying China. That is because democracy activists often receive international support.
The article concludes the tide of history is clear. The [Chinese government] policies designed to keep the Chinese people stupid are harder and harder to carry out. The dictators with their smug attitudes won’t be able to hold on for long. If the Chinese people can be self-confident and have faith in themselves and their compatriots, the tide towards democracy will be unstoppable and the day when the people rule the country will finally arrive.
One of the many BBS outside of China that have a copy of this article is
http://www.starmate.com/phpwind/read.php?tid=936&fpage=1 [No longer available. I couldn’t find another copy] There must have been some dangerous thoughts in this article!