Tuesday, March 29, 2005

China on US Human Rights Record

The information office of the state council of China has released a scathing report on the human rights record of the US. I have mirrored it here, since the original site is quite slow. The facts in the Chinese report are mainly from the US media. It looks pretty grim. And half of the country (at least) isnt noticing? Do they have a response? New york times has corrected some grammar and summarized it.


Blogger $mike said...

China lambasting America on human rights? That’s rich... And you know that’s what Americans are saying. They’ll say, “China has political prisoners making Gap clothes and clamps down on freedom of expression, how can they accuse us of anything?” So that’s that. That’s all anyone here is gonna think about it. We’re so wrapped up in our holier-than-thou bullshit attitude that we refuse to intelligently process any direct criticism.

I see this in another light. To me it comes down to competing philosophies: Christian/Islamic/nation-state versus Buddhist/reflection. Christians (despite their Savior’s warning, Matthew 7:1-5) and Muslims love to tell other people they’re being bad. Communists gleefully bring up examples of capitalist extremes and suffering poor. America gets off on their big-stick-driven Manifest Destiny, equating money and might with success.

The problem is nation-states need this idea of wrathful gods and godless enemies to keep populations in line. It doesn’t matter if that god is Allah, Jesus, Communism, or America. They use their unique idea of god to differentiate themselves and judge others. No need to help those others, mind you, because they’re intrinsically bad, thus doomed. But it sure is fun to point out their problems and use those deficiencies to convince your people we’re better than them. It keeps your population’s mind off your own troubles. If you do “help” them, it’s by imposing your god on them.

The solution, in my opinion, is to adopt a more Eastern tack: concentrate first and foremost on solving your own problems, then *help* others solve theirs. But that philosophy is detrimental to the status quo. With reflection comes insight, with insight comes understanding. The population may come to see that the established power is corrupt and greedy. They may figure out the controlling structure does not have the people’s best interests in mind.

Now let’s kick this down a level. You see the same thing going on in our decidedly Christian American society. Take the reports of kids who sign sexual abstinence contracts and then engage in non-vaginal sex. Girls are giving their boys blowjobs and taking it up the ass, all in an effort to avoid that procreative act of the good old-fashion his-penis-in-her-vaginal kind. Ever hear reports of those gentlemen doing the same for their ladies? I haven’t. So by limiting information and enacting God’s rules, men have secured pleasurable access to women, but not vice versa. If we sit back and reflect on the problem, we might come to see this is having a disastrous effect on these girls’ self-esteem, rewarding selfish behavior in the boys, and is in fact skirting the real issue of how we deal with sexual health in the first place (which is, not).

More examples of wrathful-god-rules-to-keep-status-quo trumping actual-reflection abound. Prison guards tell us to legalize pot to get rid of the soft criminals being released as harden criminals. Health care costs skyrocket as more and more people go uninsured. Muslims despise America for toppling a despot. Again and again, America refuses to reflect on root problems and just goes forward with whatever rules we think we’re bound to apply to others.

4:07 PM  

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