Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Please Forgive Me

for this serious post. I don't intend to deal with too many weighty issues here if I can avoid it, not least because, to be perfectly honest, I'm well aware of my own ignorance. However, one post particularly caught my eye as I pissed around on the 'net today. It's a post about anti-Japan demonstrations in China by Scott Wickstein.

It occurred to me when reading this, and I'm sure it's not a novel thought, that the encouragement the Chinese government gives these demonstrations is a clear indication of an ideological switch. It's obvious even to me that the leaders of China are not particularly bothered about following communist theory, and, in fact, haven't been for many years.

A while ago, I saw a TV program about China which claimed that Chinese people watch the profit margins of their major companies closer than we in the west watch the news, and that the business pages in the newspapers are by far the most well-thumbed. This should be a pretty clear indication that the Chinese people, as a whole, are no longer particularly interested in following the allegedly communist thought of their leaders. So they're replacing this with nationalism. By patriotic drum-beating, they've engaged the attention of the young (who are, in China as everywhere else, most likely to be most politically active), and persuaded them to be concerned by atrocities that affected their great-grandparents generation.

Nobody, least of all me, is trying to deny that many war crimes were committed in the name of Japan in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. However, many war crimes were committed in the name of Germany too, but I'm not going to haul a brick through my local BMW dealers windows because of them.

I suppose the real reason why I'm writing about this is that I'm fascinated by both Chinese and Japanese culture, and it's very sad to see such unnecessary conflict whipped up among an impressionable segment of the population, by a bunch of tyrants like the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.

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