Ego and Freedom
|Alice Poon||Mar 13, 2009|
Here is my translation of the essay:-
"How are Chinese different from Westerners? Well, Chinese like to fight for their ego while Westerners like to fight for freedom.
When the Chinese feel their own ego is threatened, they tend to squabble with their own family. When the Chinese family feel their ego threatened, members of the family tend to squabble with other clans. When the nation feels its ego threatened, it tends to squabble with other nations. When Chinese humankind feel their ego threatened, they tend to despise and denigrate animals like tigers and wolves – they say 'heart of a wolf and guts of a dog' (狼心狗肺); 'heart of snakes and scorpions' (蛇蠍之心), 'tigers and wolves taking charge' (虎狼當道), which are all debasing language about animals from humans’ standpoint.
No Chinese likes to fight for freedom, like freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of association, freedom of religion etc. The Chinese do not think such freedom is important, or tend to buckle when faced with suppression. Instead, they pick their battle for the sake of their ego. When they drive on the road, they fight with pedestrians to protect their own ego; when they surf the internet, they vilify other netizens on their posts to protect their own ego; when they are in a restaurant, they scold the waiter to protect their own ego. Whether the aim is to protect their own ego or to let out steam, the Chinese seem to live for such fights.
When the Westerners encourage the Chinese to fight for their own freedom, their democracy and their human rights, they are accused of destabilizing the Chinese society. Why? Because as far as Chinese are concerned, their freedom is controlled; if you fight for freedom, you are rebelling against that control; and if you rebel against control, you are causing upheaval. That is why the way of the Westerners is an exhibition of their wish to destroy us; that is why they are our enemies.
When the Westerners started to fight for their freedom, they began with freedom of love. This was all well and was gleefully accepted here in China. But the Chinese government is unable to accept the silly concepts like freedom of association, freedom of speech and human rights, worried that there are some kind of nuances or secret plots within them. But Westerners are stubborn. When they succeeded in achieving their personal freedom, they went on to fight for their nation’s freedom. When that was achieved, they went on to fight for humankind’s freedom. When that too is achieved, they will likely fight for animals’ freedom, and then for the whole ecosystem’s freedom. So you see, Westerners are the kind who, with their well-fed bodies and spare time on hand, like to mess with other people’s business and to fight for such worthless and meaningless thing like freedom.
For us Chinese, we only care about our ego. If you Westerners want us to fight for our freedom, we must reject it outright. And we don’t want human rights either. So eat your heart out, Westerners!
We live for our ego, whether as a nation or as an individual. Freedom? Is it something that can feed us?!!"