May 17th, 2019

我近几天在Disqus上的几个关于中国的评论(Some comments of mine over past few days on Disqus on China related matters)

Originally published at 狗和留美者不得入内. You can comment here or there.

我是个码农,写过些上过生产被上万或上百万用户直接用的代码,也学了些纯数学。可是在这些,虽然自己有一定实力,绝对不能算最发挥出自己的影响力。我觉得我的在美国长大但成功抵抗了美国文化对那儿长大的华裔的精神和文化阉割,与我的语言,写作和传媒能力相结合远远更有价值。它可能不会给我直接带来什么金钱,但更能让我影响历史和文化的进程,也更能帮着中国赢得中国应当有的国际话语权。

我这个人比较强调可持续性发展,对忽悠和夸张作为自然比较反感,而这方面美国做的实在太过激,早晚会砸自己的脚。美国人宣传中国大多都是假宣传,只有非常少数美国人敢于对此直接表态反驳,心里肯定大多也是为了美国好,因为能感觉到美国这样做是会早晚大自食其果的。

比如,我很欣赏的BobSykes评论了

This is utter nonsense. China’s political institutions are among the strongest in the world, as has been demonstrated repeatedly. That’s what communism is all about. And in a trade war their position is stronger than that of the US. China has the skilled workers and modern factories. Their problem, and it is a big one, is to find markets for their products to replace the US. That is a much better situation to be in than the US. In trade with China, or anyone, what we have is store shelves. In a trade war we have empty shelves and a population that cannot find basic needs.

At present, we are in a similar position v.v. China as the Indian Raj was v.v. England. England imported Indian and Egyptian cotton, and solid it back to the Indians and Egyptians as cloth, at a profit.

Our loss of our industrial base means that in a military sense we are to China today what Japan was to the US in 1940. How did that turn out.

Bolton and Pompeo are pursuing and extremely belligerent foreign and military policies with everyone, including our oldest allies. These policies will eventually cripple American and destroy its influence and power even if we can avoid a major war, which seems increasingly unlikely.

我对这个的回答却是

I’m sad for America. I’m perhaps more sad for the minority of woke white Americans like you and a few of my similarly woke white American friends in my generation who and whose children don’t really have an escape route. Like, I actually have more freedom of speech than my smart woke WASP American friend who is actually more or less stuck in America or at least in the Anglo world, much subject to a certain group for his career, etc.

The minority of white Americans like you and Jared Taylor and Ron Unz (he’s Jewish so slightly different) who dare to speak out are far from enough to counter the main trend. But at the very least, it’s a form of insurance in that if America really crashes and burns, they can make a case for themselves and receive better treatment or at least sympathy from the other side. I suspect there are many, especially young, white Americans who feel similarly but are at least half closeted out of career risk-aversion, can’t blame them really. I myself though am I guess less of a conformist and more of a risk-taker, unlike most Chinese who grew up in America.

I’ve spoken with one of my WASP friends, who’s very understanding and rational on China (like he openly told me that China’s banning Google and Facebook was a smart move), on how I feel sad for him that he won’t have a white homeland. This was of course only after I got to know him well enough that we could openly exchange such opinions. Most people are too afraid, especially in the suffocating American political climate. In China, in spite of censorship, people are generally much more direct about how the world works and less politically correct. Like, I’ve had some writings censored on a Chinese internet media platform for using certain blacklisted words several times, but nowhere close am I to actually getting banned, account-wise, and I’ve made some real friends on there. On the other hand, Quora has banned, or at least severely downranked, accounts of certain people who have opposed the politically correct liberal group-think idiocy that characterizes most of the site’s content.

这些我就先不翻译了。

然后看到一个美国傻逼写了个

On of the fundemental reasons China has prospered is that it treats its people less worse then Mao did. For instance, and God forbid, if today 10 million Chinese were murdered like Mao did, the economy would collapse . So, greed is good. You can not harvest wealth from dead field hands. Engineers and nimble businessman must be better treated.

So, China might well lose the field hand jobs of low manufacturing, and the cash flow. They will have to move up, with ever more skilled labor, requiring more liberty.
I hope for the best. China’s problems are political. They’ve shown understanding of political reform leading to better living.

我对这个的回应是

The foundation of China’s modernization happened under Mao in the 50s with aid and technology transfer from the Soviet Union. US which China fought a war with in early 50s had nothing to do with it. That is the reality that Americans are going to have to eventually accept…

翻译成中文就是

中国现代化的基础是在五十年代在毛的领导下由苏联的支援和技术转移所实现了。在五十年代初和中国打过仗的美国与其基本没啥关系。这是个美国人得早晚接受的现实。。。

对此,他回应了

Khrushchev cancelled it, brought back the technicians and stopped aid. Mao then i( 1960)nstituted The Great Leap Forward/ Cultural Revolution a disaster killing 40++ million. Chinese GDP/Person never reached a few hundred dollars until the early 70’s.

而我却反驳

A reasonable estimate for the sum of excess deaths plus fewer births between 1959-1962 was 15+15=30 million. The total population was about 600 million at that time. I don’t really think it’s reasonable to count the people who weren’t born due to the economic crisis as part of the death toll. I know that people exaggerate these death tolls just like how people often exaggerate salary and net worth. The Cultural Revolution targeted almost exclusively people in the political or intellectual elite, a small base population to begin with, not to mention they were merely politically attacked and demoted, rarely actually killed directly or indirectly.

GDP per capita is a very flawed metric. The planned economy at that time in China very likely underestimated it. There was basically no inflation. Withdrawal of Soviet aid did some damage but China still did fine, developed nuclear missiles, industrialized more places in the country, etc. This only gave the world more “proof of ability,” sufficient to integrate into US world order without subordination later on. Enough for China to be where China is today 40+ years after Mao’s death.

I don’t see much point arguing further on this matter. Because China was quite objectively mostly the winner in relations with the US since end of WWII, there is not all that much for Chinese to be regretful or resentful or insecure about. The Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution were pretty big mistakes (whether the latter was might even be arguable) but they were certainly not fatal, far from it. The Anglo world’s using those to gaslight the Chinese on their past had some effect over the past generation but that stuff is becoming ever more irrelevant, and their exaggerations ever less convincing. If America denies this reality, then it is mostly America’s problem. There is relatively little to fear from America now.

I wrote in https://gmachine1729.com/20… that it is in war that relative status/position changes most precipitously. America made a historical blunder by becoming overconfident and reckless enough to give China the very-hard-to-come-by chance of making such a leap in international status/position in the early 50s. The long term historical verdict may well regard that as the critical point or determinant of America’s failure vis-a-vis China, we’ll see. After all, that was what largely set the stage for the developments in China later on, politically and economically, which to America’s dismay were actually quite successful in spite of much intentional and malicious obstruction on America’s part, a double slap on the face. It’s a giant dark mark on US history that the US narrative/media has desperately tried to cover up and forget. Though it might fool many people especially Americans and make America seem better, it’s not really conducive to guiding America towards a more effectual policy vis-a-vis the PRC.

其翻译成中文为

一个对1959年到1962年多余的死亡加上缺少的出生的合理估计是1500万+1500万=3000万。当时的总人口是6亿。我觉得由于经济危机而未出生那些人算到死亡数里是不太合理的。我知道人经常夸张这些死亡数,如人经常夸张薪水和身价。文化大革命也基本只是针对政治和知识精英,这个总体人数本身就少,不用说他们大多是被政治冲击而下台,很少直接或非直接的被导致死亡。

人均GDP是个很有问题的衡量经济的标准。当时在中国的计划经济很可能低估了它。当时基本没有经济膨胀。苏联援助退出的确对中国有所害,可是中国之后依然可以,搞出了核导弹,扩张了工业化,等等。这只更加向世界“证明了能力”,足以进入美国国际体系而非受制于它。足以中国毛逝世四十年后达到现在的程度。

我认为继续争论这个问题没太大意义。因为中国客观而言在和美国的关系上自二战结束以来大多是赢者,中国人没有多少所后悔或所怨气或所心理不安。大跃进和文化大革命都是大错误(后者是否真的是其实都可以争论)但它们绝对不是致命性的,与此差得远。英文界用这些打击中国人对于他们过去的心理对上一代的确有所影响,可是这些在变得越来越无关,并且其夸张越来越不可信。如果美国否认现实,那主要是美国的问题。相对而言,现在已经没有多少需要怕美国了。

我在https://gmachine1729.com/20…里写道地位最突然的变化是通过战争。美国的过度自信及无所顾忌的表现却在五十年代初给了中国非常难得的一下大提升自己国际地位的机会,造成了历史性的错误。长远的历史结论或许会将此为决定美国对华失败的要点。毕竟,它为中国之后的发展,在政治上,在经济上,开出了序幕,并且这些之后的发展尽管美国有意并恶意的阻碍却挺成功的,让美国大所惊愕。这是在美国历史上的一个黑痕迹,一直被美国媒体和描述所掩盖和忘记。虽然它能欺骗很多人,尤其是美国人,并让美国显得更好,这对将美国引导到更有效的对华政策却是不太有利的。

Propaganda in film, or propaganda films

Originally published at 狗和留美者不得入内. You can comment here or there.

In English, the word propaganda is obviously rather pejorative. That need not any explanation. Some people might even disparage my blog as “Chinese communist propaganda.” If they do, so be it.

A native Chinese female who I talk with a fair bit now, sometimes about film, asked me if I’ve seen Anna and the King. My answer to that was that I had never even heard of it. I skimmed through the plot on Baidu Baike to get a gist of it.

She seems to know a fair bit about popular culture, and the gossip that goes along with it. Relatedly, she seems to have seen a fair bit of film, including the TV series Gossip Girl. I had watched maybe like the first 10 episodes of that. I was probably more motivated to do so for the attractive girls in it than for the plot, though surely the plot was certainly not bad. I sure got a good taste of “upper class white privilege” from that. I even joked to a math PhD student I was talking with a fair bit at that time, who said he had watched the whole thing, that I need to become filthy rich eventually so that my daughter can become like Blair Waldorf.

I had told her that I watched the historic Nazi anti-Semitic film Jud Süß largely out of curiosity. I think almost certainly, had I revealed that to my typical America raised peer or friend then, I would have been ostracized to some degree. Even many Chinese in America who did up through high school or undergrad in China would have at the very least viewed me funny or with some backlash.

The best I could find of it on YouTube is

with French subtitles. (To someone who really wants to watch it with English subs, then you better find some way to obtain it yourself.)

Out of curiosity, I had also watched, in my last year of college I believe, the North Korean film, The Flower Girl.

It was about some girl from a poor family in Korea in the 30s oppressed by some wicked landowning family that acted as a puppet for the Japanese who colonized Korea at that time. She sold flowers for help support her family. The end result was that her brother, who spent some time jail, became “woke” and led an uprising against those oppressors.

I actually told my mom about that, and the result was her raging at me, saying that if I mentioned this to the outside world, people would think I’m mentally insane, which I’m obviously not. At that time, maybe I actually took that a bit more seriously, but now, it’s like, “it’s just a movie, and the propaganda aspect of it is too obvious to miss, so what,” not to mention that hundreds of millions of people in China also watched it in the 70s, so I’m far from alone. I don’t remember how I found out about it.

Similarly, I watched around the same time 英雄儿女 (Heroic Sons and Daughters).

It was about some Chinese revolutionary turned commissar during the Korean War who rediscovered and reunited on the war front with his daughter serving in the army, who he had left to another family to raise when she was a baby.

It was produced in 1964 and became a classic film in China. I certainly found the whole plot quite moving when I watched it. A song in it 英雄赞歌 (A Paean of a Hero)

became widely known and sung too and still is up to this day I believe.

I did not actually tell my mom about my watching that, but I told that native Chinese female about my watching that along with The Flower Girl and my mom’s reaction to my having watched the latter.

Her response was, having slightly misunderstood

what’s wrong with your mom, 英雄儿女, it was on cctv6 yesterday.

I also told her that I had watched Saving Private Ryan, which could also be regarded as propaganda of a different nature, and sigh, its director was the anti- China Jew Steven Spielberg.

Also I am reminded that I have an ABC friend without a Chinese name. I had asked him what his Chinese name was and he said he didn’t have one. But when he told me that his birthday was October 1st, I joked to him, “[姓]国庆”, which means “[his surname] national day.” He has some interesting views that I liked to laugh at.

Once when he visited me, I made some jokes using the Chinese name I had given him, and we watched this 1952 film 南征北战 the plot of which was on some battle in the civil war 4 years earlier.

We didn’t finish it since he had to leave.

I began listening to Soviet music my final year of college. A female Chinese international student from Harbin in casual chat with me told me about the song Katyusha (and also that How the Steel Was Tempered book that I had already heard about) and I found it so beautiful that I wanted to understand its lyrics in the original, authentic Russian. That was what got me learning Russian on my own, much by accident. I had a Russian friend who helped a bit and was quite supportive of it.

I was a bit anxious though since I was still very much trapped by the norms of America, especially its school system. I was afraid that people would find out and think that I was crazy or brainwashed. (Some Indian-American had said to me a summer earlier, “you seem brainwashed by the Chinese government!” notwithstanding that at that time, I was still in school and consuming and creating verbal content mostly if not almost exclusively in English and still thinking in more of an “American” mindset.) But it was more of a real start at spiritual liberation. Now, I could care so much less about what all those idiots in America think. I’m not the one who’s mentally crazy. It’s America and American culture that’s mentally sick, and becoming ever more so.

As I’ve indicated, the political reaction of many if not most in China would be quite the opposite. For instance, when I wrote about my experience growing up in America, some female jokingly commented in Chinese,

Comrade, you are a modern version of 18 Years in the Enemy Camp!

I was somewhat confused when I saw it. But after looking up online, I learned that it was referring to some TV series on some CPC agent who spent 18 years within the KMT, between 1927 and 1945.

I eventually decided to actually watch it, not just listen to the theme song, and it was entertaining enough for me to have finished almost all the 40 episodes. Contrary to the negative Hollywood portrayals of Asian men, the protagonist was a charismatic, competent, and heroic alpha male who easily attracted and seduced women, even a woman high up within the KMT who he managed to manipulate again and again to help achieve his objectives without her knowing who he really was. When she finally found out, she had to keep it a secret too not only out of love but also to avoid being implicated.

Though I read stuff on the Chinese internet starting from high school, it was really only a year ago that I began to comment, write, and meet people through that. Pertaining to this, some America raised guy at elite school asked me how I managed to meet all these people from China or in China. I don’t remember how I answered, but on this, I will remark that surely, what I’ve done is something that most ethnic Chinese who grew up in America would not even dare think of doing, due to immersion in American culture and social pressures and what not, let alone actually doing. But I guess that’s just my personality. Not being terribly conformist and doing certain things that most people would be afraid to. Can’t really help with that. Somewhat tangentially, I’ve written to a math PhD student from China too that my interest in pure math surely had something to do with my difficulty fitting in culturally in the American school system.

Finally, my sympathies to those stuck in America who feel similarly but feel at dis-ease about it. When I say this I have in mind not just ethnic Chinese who grew up in America but also the unusually woke white American who can more or less actually understand where I’m coming from, who thinks that the people running the country are basically delusional, witnessing directly there a big theatre of political idiocy. If that’s you, you are not alone.