Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The City: Beijing - A Place to Despair 北京 - 一个令人哀叹与绝望的噩梦般的城市

Beijing Celebrates 60 Years of Communism 北京中共党朝六十年

For a man imprisoned and conditionally released, neither neighbors nor strangers nor Beijing’s officials nor courts can be trusted., Chien-Chi Chang / Magnum Photos


The City: Beijing - A Place to Despair
北京 - 一个令人哀叹与绝望的噩梦般的城市

Aug 28, 2011 10:00 AM EDT

Ai Weiwei 艾未未

Ai Weiwei finds China’s capital is a prison where people go mad.

Beijing is two cities. One is of power and of money. People don’t care who their neighbors are; they don’t trust you. The other city is one of desperation. I see people on public buses, and I see their eyes, and I see they hold no hope. They can’t even imagine that they’ll be able to buy a house. They come from very poor villages where they’ve never seen electricity or toilet paper.

Every year millions come to Beijing to build its bridges, roads, and houses. Each year they build a Beijing equal to the size of the city in 1949. They are Beijing’s slaves. They squat in illegal structures, which Beijing destroys as it keeps expanding. Who owns houses? Those who belong to the government, the coal bosses, the heads of big enterprises. They come to Beijing to give gifts—and the restaurants and karaoke parlors and saunas are very rich as a result.

Beijing tells foreigners that they can understand the city, that we have the same sort of buildings: the Bird’s Nest, the CCTV tower. Officials who wear a suit and tie like you say we are the same and we can do business. But they deny us basic rights. You will see migrants’ schools closed. You will see hospitals where they give patients stitches—and when they find the patients don’t have any money, they pull the stitches out. It’s a city of violence.

The worst thing about Beijing is that you can never trust the judicial system. Without trust, you cannot identify anything; it’s like a sandstorm. You don’t see yourself as part of the city—there are no places that you relate to, that you love to go. No corner, no area touched by a certain kind of light. You have no memory of any material, texture, shape. Everything is constantly changing, according to somebody else’s will, somebody else’s power.

To properly design Beijing, you’d have to let the city have space for different interests, so that people can coexist, so that there is a full body to society. A city is a place that can offer maximum freedom. Otherwise it’s incomplete.

I feel sorry to say I have no favorite place in Beijing. I have no intention of going anywhere in the city. The places are so simple. You don’t want to look at a person walking past because you know exactly what’s on his mind. No curiosity. And no one will even argue with you.

None of my art represents Beijing. The Bird’s Nest—I never think about it. After the Olympics, the common folks don’t talk about it because the Olympics did not bring joy to the people.

There are positives to Beijing. People still give birth to babies. There are a few nice parks. Last week I walked in one, and a few people came up to me and gave me a thumbs up or patted me on the shoulder. Why do they have to do that in such a secretive way? No one is willing to speak out. What are they waiting for? They always tell me, “Weiwei, leave the nation, please.” Or “Live longer and watch them die.” Either leave, or be patient and watch how they die. I really don’t know what I’m going to do.

My ordeal made me understand that on this fabric, there are many hidden spots where they put people without identity. With no name, just a number. They don’t care where you go, what crime you committed. They see you or they don’t see you, it doesn’t make the slightest difference. There are thousands of spots like that. Only your family is crying out that you’re missing. But you can’t get answers from the street communities or officials, or even at the highest levels, the court or the police or the head of the nation. My wife has been writing these kinds of petitions every day, making phone calls to the police station every day. Where is my husband? Just tell me where my husband is. There is no paper, no information.

The strongest character of those spaces is that they’re completely cut off from your memory or anything you’re familiar with. You’re in total isolation. And you don’t know how long you’re going to be there, but you truly believe they can do anything to you. There’s no way to even question it. You’re not protected by anything. Why am I here? Your mind is very uncertain of time. You become like mad. It’s very hard for anyone. Even for people who have strong beliefs.

This city is not about other people or buildings or streets but about your mental structure. If we remember what Kafka writes about his Castle, we get a sense of it. Cities really are mental conditions. Beijing is a nightmare. A constant nightmare.

Like The Daily Beast on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates all day long.

Ai is an artist based in Beijing.

For inquiries, please contact The Daily Beast at 1c.
北京是两座城 - 杀人越权与杀人越货

作者:艾未未 翻译:BC@BC
2011-08-30 18:57:32












英文原文:The City: Beijing


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

陈凯再版/为什么牛顿不可能是中国人?! Why Isaac Newton was not a Chinese ?!

We the People - the Story of America 美国的故事 - 自由的故事

陈凯一语:Kai Chen's Words:

Dr. Kenneth J. Hsü (许靖华教授)的这篇论文从学术角度揭示了中文语言的弊病与中国人无科学、无逻辑、无创造、无自由之间的关系。 这是自William Hannas 后的又一篇关于中文语言与专制文化之间关系的一篇重要学术论文。 望中文语言系的人们深思。

Dr. Kenneth J. Hsü's thesis further reveals the relationship between Chinese language and China's lack of scientific inquiry. This is one more important academic paper (since William Hannas' "The Writing on the Wall") to depict why China till today still cannot free itself from despotism/tyranny. I hope all the Chinese speaking people deeply reflect on their own cultural heritage and their own anti-logic language.

Dr. Hsu 许靖华教授:

我的自知加上我个人作为一个科学家的观察可以得出以下结论: 为什么牛顿不可能是中国人? 这是因为基于中国文化的历史背景与中文语言发展的畸形过程,由此在中国不可能出现现代科学: 中文系人们的创造力被专制历史与无逻辑语言扼杀了。

My self-knowledge and my personal observations led me to recognize some patterns. I venture to conclude on the basis of pattern-recognition that Isaac Newton was not a Chinese, because the historicity of Chinese culture and the idiosyncrasy of Chinese linguistic development have served to discourage the creativity which gave us the modem science.

Why Isaac Newton was not a Chinese ?!

Prof. Dr. Kenneth J. Hsü 许靖华  教授

Search and Discovery Article #70002 (1999)

Thesis Link:  论文连锁:

Hsü’s Retirement Lecture, Delivered June 24, 1994, in Zurich

Table of Contents:

A Tale of Two Papers
The Inevitability of a Historicity
The Idiosyncrasy of a Historicity
The Two-Edge Sword of a Dephonetized Writing
The Integration of a Logographic into a Phonetic Language
Zero or Nothing
Equal to or Equivalent to
The Mandarin Mentality of Modern Scientific Establishment

Science is a pursuit of truth. So are philosophy and religion.

Christian fundamentalists seek truth in divine revelation contained in the written words of Bible. Zen Buddhists seek truth, or Zen, through divine inspiration during meditation, or we might say that they seek truth by pattern-recognition. Philosophers seek truth by induction and deduction, and natural philosophers, alias scientists, by induction, deduction, and falsification through observations and experimentations; they used an algorithm by digitized sequencing in their pursuit.

China has a long tradition of scholarship, and the Chinese have contributed much to science and technology: Joseph Needharn has written more than a dozen volumes to document that China has been much more effective than the Europeans in finding out about nature and using their knowledge of nature to benefit mankind for 14 centuries before the scientific revolution. Nevertheless this revolution occurred in the "backward" Europe. Paul Feyerabend, a philosopher of science, wrote to me and suggested that "deficient, not good, knowledge led to better knowledge", and he talked about an idiosyncrasy in the historicity of scientific revolution. Was Isaac Newton an idiosyncrasy in the intellectual history of mankind, or was he an inevitability? If Isaac Newton had to be born, why was he not a Chinese?

The question has been a favorite theme for speculation by historians of science. I am not a historian, and cannot hope to approach the problem, with the digitized-sequencing form of logic, like a scholarly historian. I am, however, a scientist, and I grew up in China I learned science in Chinese high school and university before coming to the West as a young man of 19, and I have been working in China with Chinese scientists during the last 15 years. My self-knowledge and my personal observations led me to recognize some patterns. I venture to conclude on the basis of pattern-recognition that Isaac Newton was not a Chinese, because the historicity of Chinese culture and the idiosyncrasy of Chinese linguistic development have served to discourage the creativity which gave us the modem science.

A Tale of Two Papers

The grossly different reactions to my two papers published a decade ago started me thinking. The starting point was the development of a seismic technique in the 1970s to explore the earth crust down to the depth of 30 km or more. It was found for the first time by geophysicists that the earth's crust under mountains is cut by low angle thrust faults into wedge-shape slabs. I do not want to get involved here with an essay on geology, except to say that I had an idea and applied the idea to interpret the geology of Switzerland and of China in two articles, 1,2

Switzerland is a small country, and the Alps extend southwestward to France. The French came up with a geological theory for the French Alps similar to that postulated by me for the Swiss Alps. The Alps also extend eastward via Austria to the Balkans, and a similar theory is also applied to explain the geology of the Austrian Alps and of the Carpathians. The theory of crustal underthrusting became generally accepted a few years after the publication of my article. While last rearguard resistance continued in Switzerland, other Europeans and Americans ignored the provincial prejudice. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Globe, the application of the idea to interpret Chinese geology has been met with stubbom resistance; I have failed during the last decade to make more than a dent in the orthodoxy of Chinese geology.

Acrimonious remarks by my Chinese colleagues led me to recall the occasion of my own metamorphosis when I was changed from Saul to Paul in my judgment on the earthscience theory of continental drift. In the early spring of 1967 when I was to leave California to join the faculty of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, a friend gave a farewell party for me. Jerry Winterer, an old UCLA classmate who had gone into marine geology at Scripps, was holding court praising the achievement of a new theory that continents are pushed apart by the growth of an intervening ocean. I edged to the group, interrupted him, and vented my polemics. Winterer remained graceful and smiled that I would eat my words some day. Two years later, Winterer had his vengeance. He sent me to the Leg 3 cruise of the Deep Sea Drilling Project, and the cruise objective was to falsify the new theory. Again and again, I experienced painfully the verification of the predictions of the revolutionary theory. Still, for two months, I wanted to fight against the inevitable. Why was it so difficult for a person of Chinese origin to accept a revolutionary idea?

The Inevitability of a Historicity

"I have given much thought to the question during the last two decades," Paul Feyerabend remarked on the inevitability of historicity. What is this historicity?

At the time of Confucius, the intellectual and social development in China found a parallel in antique Greece. There were city states, and there were a hundred flowers blossoming. Confucius was a teacher, and a politician in the State of Lu (in the present Shangtung Province). The eventual "monolithic" development of Chinese intellectual tradition is traced back to the rise of the Han Dynasty, whose first emperors in the century before the birth of Christ, discovered the usefulness of Confucius. Their predecessor, the First Emperor (of the Qin Dynasty) had unified China, but ruled only for two decades. He burned books, and buried alive Confucian scholars, and he suppressed rebellion with force. And the dynasty was overthrown a few years after the death of the tyrant. The Han emperors wisely adopted Confucius and Confucianism, because of its ideological value to the stability of their rule.

Confucius emphasized obedience and loyalty. The loyalty of sons to father, pupils to teacher, soldiers to general, ministers to emperor. Deviation from this basic principle is unethical, immoral, or even a crime punishable by death. The writings of Confucius became the bible. From then on, the Chinese intellectuals turned dogmatic: Confucius was supposed to have found the Truth.

Chinese teachers are called xianshen, or earlier born. Those who are born after Confucius, the Saintly Teacher, could have no more to contribute: they could only write footnotes or second-guess what the Grand Master might have meant by his often obfuscating statements. Yes, one can invent paper, gun-powder, compass, rockets, printing, seismometer, rotary drilling, etc., etc. But those are technological innovations, done in several instances by people who were not concerned about the philosophical truth. The philosophers were, however, not able to be inventive; they could not rebel against Confucius. That Isaac Newton was not a Chinese is thus not an idiosyncrasy in history, but an inevitability. My experiences have impressed me that this tradition lingers on in China till today.

I grew up in China, and the guiding light for me was the Confucian philosophy. Loyalty, constancy, gratitude, those are the virtues of a Confucian. After I left U.C.L.A., I had a special reason to have faith in a professor who had been kind to me in my hours of need; I had loyalty and gratitude. My professor had only polemics for the theory of continental drift. To retain my love and respect for my teacher, I had decided that I was not to analyze his judgment; I would not indulge myself in activities which might prove him wrong. My Confucian love was more important to me than my pledge to seek scientific truth.

I have a friend who is a fundamentalist. Accepting literally what is written in the Bible, he concluded that Jesus was either the Christ, or a liar. Since his Sunday-school teachers told him that the latter is unacceptable, he saw no alternative to the orthodox Christian creed. On the eve of my "conversion" to new geology, I was facing the same dilemma. How could my teacher, the person whom I loved and respected, be utterly wrong? How could I continue to love and respect him if I was to be convinced that he was wrong? I did not explore a possible alternative that Jesus was neither Christ nor a liar.

I wrote a whole chapter in my autobiographical opus, The Challenger at Sea, on the circumstances leading to my conviction that my teacher was wrong: the continents have moved, if not drifted. I was then almost 40 years of age, but I only began to acquire maturity in judgment. I found that I still loved and respected my teacher, perhaps more than ever because of a realization that none of us are infallible. We could not be right on everything. Science progresses with falsification, falsification of what we have learned. If we do not accept what has been falsified, we do not accept the progress of science. Painful as it was, I did accept what I had to, namely, I had been wrong in rejecting the theory which was to revolutionize the earth science.

In hindsight, I am convinced that I was able to make the switch because I had been Americanized. It was ironic that my flexibility caused some of my colleagues to accuse me as a traitor to the "cause;" I was pictured as an opportunist who jumped belatedly onto a fashionable bandwagon. The leaders of the opposition to my hypothesis on Chinese geology are favorite pupils of Professor T. K. Huang. Huang is a great man, open-minded, but his proteges could not bring themselves away from what they had learned from the beloved master. They are never to be accused of being traitors to the "cause," and they are never to be pictured as opportunists who jump belatedly onto a fashionable bandwagon.

I am personally convinced that the Confucian ethics of loyalty to teacher is one of the reasons why Isaac Newton was not a Chinese. But there were also authorities in the West, and there were also the Christian values of loyalty. There were popes, and there were tyrants who also demanded absolute obedience from their subjects. Galileo was even silenced by a pope, but he was succeeded by Newton. Why was Newton an European, not a Chinese?

The Idiosyncrasy of a Historicity

Rome had Caesar, but he was murdered. The Holy Roman Empire was founded by a Pepin, but the empire of fighting kings, dukes, and barons all but disintegrated soon after the demise of its founder. Even popes, with their centralistic catholic ideology and power of excommunication, failed to extinguish the rebellious spirit which finally surfaced in the renaissance and reformation. The Copernican Revolution was a manifestation of the democratic faith that we are all fallible and prone to error. Galileo may have been silenced, but he never did accept the dictate of the authority like his Chinese counterparts did. The Bull on Papal Infallibility has become no more than a "bull" and it was promulgated far too late to stem the advance of science.

The secret of the traditional Chinese success in enforcing authority, in my opinion, has to be traced to an idiosyncratic development in language. For reasons unknown, Chinese invented and kept their graphic symbols as words, whereas the people of the West invented alphabets and phonetic writings. This, in my opinion, is the most fundamental historicity of China as opposed to that of the West.

Languages were spoken long before they were written; spoken words are sounds. The oldest written words are Sumerian, dated back to 3000 B.C. or earlier. The first words are pictograms or ideograms, and they are now called graphs by linguists. Those oldest graphs have a specific, commonly monosyllabic, pronunciation, and they convey the specific meaning of the phoneme in the spoken language.3

This Sumerian practice of using identical graphs to designate spoken words with the same pronunciation but different meanings is adopted by the Akkadian and the Egyptians: the same graph was used for two or more homophonic expressions. Eventually a graph could only be defined only by its phonetic value, while the signification of the graph became obscured. After the graph was completely divorced from the original meaning of the word, the largely logographic Sumerian language became the syllabic languages of the Middle East. At more advanced stages of evolution, graphs became consonants as in Semitic languages and alphabets as in Greek and Roman. Descendents of those are the modern phonographic languages of the West, where individual syllables or alphabets have no meaningful significance.

The fluttering of the butterfly wings in the "butterfly effect" of the chaos theory started when the Chinese took a different path in making their words. The Chinese did try out the Sumerian approach of using the same graph to designate two homophones of completely different meanings, and such an approach is called jiajie () 4 For example, the graph , pronounced lai, was originally a word for wheat, but it was adopted to denote the verb to come, apparently because the two words had the same pronunciation. Now another word has been invented to designate wheat, and the symbol for lai is used exclusively for the verb to come. The Chinese prefer to have one word, one meaning, and one pronunciation. They tried not to use the same graph to designate homophones of different meanings,while they carried out two other experiments of word-making.

The first has been called zhuanzhu (): one graph was modified slightly into two similar (but not identical) graphs to designate two words of different meanings, but of slightly different pronunciations. The graph , for example, is the word for old and is pronounced lao, but is modified to make a new graph for another word examination which is pronounced kao. Zhuanzhu has not been an effective approach and few Chinese words belong to this category.

The second approach is called xingsheng (), or phonetization. They combine two or more graphs to make a new graph, which has a pronunciation identical to that of one of the graphs; the other graph is a silent signific companion of the phonetic component. For example the combination word for the (Tong Tree) consists of two parts: and . The Chinese graph is pronounced mu, signifying wood or woody. The Chinese graph is pronounced tong , and it is the word for together or togetherness. The signific graph is the silent partner in the combination, whereas its phonetic companion imparts no meaning but it tells us how this compound-word is pronounced in the spoken language. The combination word is pronounced tong, not mu-tong, so that new combination words remain monosyllabic, but the signific component identifies the graph as a word for a tree. The Chinese word for copper also consists of two parts, and . The silent partner is , pronounced jin, and classifying copper as a metal, the phonetizer is the same tong. The word is pronounced tong, and not jin-tong. Homophonic words cannot be distinguished by their pronunciation, but they are distinguished by their visual appearance; words have thus retained their individual identity even if they are homophonic. The introduction of the xingsheng practice was a late development: few Chinese words of the Shang Dynasty belonged to this category, but xinsheng became a common practice in the Zhou Dynasty after 1200 B.C.

The Two-Edge Sword of a Dephonetized Writing

It would have been ideal that there could be one phoneme for each graph, but this is not possible. The Chinese had some 50,000 graphs, of which some 3000 or 4000 are commonly used, but there are at most hundreds of ways to pronounce a syllable, even if intonations are introduced. This was the reason why the Chinese had to introduce xingsheng words. The Occidental solution of making polysyllabic words seems more elegant. Adopting the phonetic values of both components of a graph to pronounce a word, such as lugal for king, the Sumerian words became polysyllabic.3 Graphs adopted for conjugations and declensions were further added to root-graphs so that most of the written words in the Occidental languages could become polysyllabic. Grammatical graphs in Chinese are never combined with root-signs; they are called "empty words" (), but they could retain their individual visual experience and pronunciation. Chinese could thus keep their graphs, simple or composite, purely monosyllabic.

Paradoxically, the initial Chinese effort to phonetize words has led to its dephonetization. Spoken languages are dynamic. Consequently a written language, based upon phonetization of sounds in spoken language, has to change constantly. However, in a written language where words are defined by their visual appearance, there is no longer the need to change the composition of combined words in order to effect an adaptation to new sounds. My own surname serves as an example to illustrate the dephonetization of the Chinese writing. I am known to all my American and European friends as Hsü. I was introduced once to a Mr. Houk, a Malaysian of Chinese origin in Sarawak. I noted that his name, as indicated by the name plate on his desk,is , exactly the same as the Chinese character for my surname. I protested, but I was told that houk is the pronunciation of the same in his dialect. Only then, did I appreciate the fact that the visual shape of the word is fossilized, but its pronunciation is not; the symbol has acquired various phonetizations in different places.

After four thousand years of such a language practice, the Chinese writing is completely logographic. Each graph has its specific meaning, but its pronunciation is different in each dialect. Meanwhile the other languages of the world have become phonographic when graphs are adopted to designate a particular phoneme, a consonant or a vowel. Syllables or alphabets acquire a specific pronunciation, but not specific meaning. Starting from the same beginning of using pictographs to represent spoken words, the practices of the East and West deviated more and more. The Chinese written language has become primarily visual and only secondarily acoustical, while the Occidental writings are phonetizations of spoken words.

Chinese tend to think of language as something being written; our language is the writing. Language to a Westerner is spoken. There were thousands of dialects in China, of course, the Beijing dialect (Mandarin), the Nanjing dialect, the Canton dialect, etc. But dialects are dialects. The Swiss understand this paradox; they will tell you that there is no schwitzerdüütsch, only Baslerdüütsch, Berndüütsch, Zuridüütsch, etc. The Swiss of Germanic origin have to adopt the writing of Germany as their official writing in order to retain a consistency in grammar and spelling. The Chinese have no such problem. The Chinese writing is Chinese, not Mandarin nor Cantonese. Chinese cannot write down their dialects in different scripts like the Swiss do, because the Chinese writing is not phonetic. This one language for one people is written, but not spoken, by all the Chinese. An idiosyncrasy in history that the Chinese invented xingsheng permitted the Chinese to have one written language and one only. Looking back, this development is probably one of the most important elements in the historicity of China. When foreign invaders came to China, they had no writing. In order to govern, they had to acquire a writing, namely the Chinese writing. Eventually they forgot their own language which was only spoken, they had to learn the written Chinese and they began to talk in one of the Chinese dialects which can be harmonized with the written language. The barbarians became absorbed or assimilated by the people they conquered.

With the practice of writing their words phonetically, the history of the Occident has taken a very different turn. The Germanic hordes descended onto the Roman Empire. Some, like their Asiatic counterparts, adopted the spoken and written language of the conquered, but the Latin was replaced by different modern languages: they are the French in France, the Wallons in Belgium, the Lombards in Italy, the Burgunders in Switzerland, etc. Others kept their own languages, and it was no big deal to invent phonetic writings of their own. Every young Swiss has no problem to write his Baslerdüütsch or Zuridüütsch. With the phonetization of writing, a person does not even have to share his language with his relatives in the next city; he certainly feels no compulsion to bow to the authority of a foreigner who uses a strange language. The phonetic languages have served the purpose of being diverse and, at the same time, divisive. People drifted away from one another and lost the sense of a common heritage when their spoken languages became formalized in different written phonetic scripts The well-known Chinese Nobel laureate, Yang Zhenling, pointed out that China had made good progress in science, before they were overtaken by the Europeans after 1400 A.D. Thc timing coincides more or less with the invention of printing by Gutenberg. First books in German, French, English, Italian, etc. were printed in the fifteenth century shortly before the Copernican Revolution. It is perhaps no coincidence that the renaissance, the birth of modern science, and the separation of the national states in Europe came concurrently with the abolishment of Latin as a common written language

With the diversity of written languages, Europeans could think freely and become rebellious to the central authority who had dictated in Latin. Thomas Aquinas may have been the greatest scholar of the Medieval Europe, but he was not an Englishman, and Francis Bacon did not suffer from a sense of betrayal when he proposed a different way of searching for truth. Nor did Copernicus worry about being sacrilegious when he proposed a theory of planetary motion completely different from that of Ptolemy. In China, however, there could be no escape. Through an idiosyncrasy in history, having adopted a different logic in constructing their writing, China has trodden down a different path from that of Europe. This quirk of fate has led to an inescapable acceptance of the Confucian dogma. The teaching of Confucius cannot be falsified. The historical inevitability why Isaac Newton was not a Chinese seems to have been rooted in an idiosyncrasy of a linguistic development.

The Integration of a Logographic into a Phonetic Language

"Everything in physical science is a lot of protons, neutrons, and electrons," Richard Feynman once said, "while in daily life we talked about men and history, or beauty and hope."5 This discrepancy is an outgrowth of the development that the literature of modern science is written not only in a phonetic language, but also in another logographic language called mathematics.

Few are bothered with the etymological origin of scientific terms in a phonetic language. A new term, expressed by syllables of no meaning, expresses an original idea, a new concept to promote our understanding of nature. Steve Hawking, for example, attributed to the rise of modern science to the invention of the concept and the precise definition of the word acceleration by Galileo and Newton.6 The Chinese word for acceleration consists of two graphs, , meaning increase and speed respectively, and there was no convention in written Chinese to ascertain if the two graphs should mean an indeterminate increase of speed as the phrase is understood in daily conversations, or an increase measurable in changes of speed per unit-time increment. It is difficult to communicate the meaning of a new concept, when the new expression is not a new word, but a combination of old words of fuzzy significance.

More important than the nature of the language is probably the fact that loan words are easily introduced into an alphabetic language. The scientific language consists of a combination of phonetic words and symbols of representation or of abbreviation from another language called mathematics. The symbols such as:

They are graphs like Chinese words; they are not phonetic and their meaning, properly "fossilized," could be universally understood. The language of mathematics makes very good "bookkeeping:" Its grammar and vocabulary could be manipulated to express precise quantitative relations which are falsifiable by experiments. It has been difficult to integrate mathematics into classic Chinese. I appreciated the difficulty when I was asked recently by an editor of a popular periodical to delete-all mathematical equations in a science article written for laymen, because such an inclusion is not possible in the text which was to be printed in the classical format of writing from the upper-right-hand corner downward and line after line leftward.

Newton was helped by his invention of the calculus to express his theory of gravitation. Electricity and magnetism were explained by the Maxwellian wave equations. Einstein studied Riemann geometry to formulate his general theory of relativity. Mathematics has done wonders for science, and scientists like Lord Kelvin acquire eventually an arrogance that truth can only be expressed in the language of mathematical physics.

A phonetic word composed of parts which do not have to impart meaning to the word has the advantage of conveying an idea which could contradict daily-life experiences. Relations expressible by mathematical symbols could also ignore the reality. Bertrand Russell once lampooned mathematicians as those who are working on something when they do not know what they are doing, and getting an answer which they do not know if it is true. Mathematics is not science, but only a language spoken by scientists. The language has become less and less comprehensible to most lay persons. Paul Feyerabend provoked with an unorthodox view that science invents postulates to contradict common sense.7 In fact, modern physics is a collection of paradoxes, starting with Planck's recognition of quantum action. De Broglie gave us the wave/particle duality of light, Schrödinger his cat, and the physics of light became totally unpicturable. Heisenberg invented the uncertain principle, with the same Planck's constant to connect two uncertainties such as momentum/position or energy/time. Then there was Einstein's twin paradox and Minkowski's space-time coordinate. Relativists divorced themselves from their daily-life experiences when their equations yielded mathematical solutions that there could neither be simultaneity, nor past, present or future. Time became "just a coordinate," and to think about the time before the Big Bang is considered just as silly as to ask "for a point on the earth at 91 degrees north latitude."6

I have great respect for the achievements by scientists during the second half of the 20th century, but they are mostly technological achievements like the Chinese inventions of the last two millennia. What have we done for science? We spend billions looking for the elementary particles, and we have a host of fermions and bosons, but have we really falsified the postulate by Isaac Newton? Newton wrote in his Opticks:

Now the smallest particles of matter cohere by the strongest attractors, and compose bigger particles of weaker virtue: and many of these may cohere and compose bigger particles whose virtue is still weaker, and so on for diverse successions, until the progression ends in 1he biggest particles on which the operations in chemistry, and the colours of natural bodies depend, and which by cohering compose bodies of a sensible magnitude.

Could the fermions and bosons be the smallest Newtonian particles and the aggregates of such particles? Steven Weinberg told us that the Newtonian approach had reached a dead-end. Or is that a dead-end only for those who speak in the language of mathematics? Could we understand modern physics in plain words again, phonetic or logographic?

Zero or Nothing

There are some fundamental flaws in the mathematical language, if it is spoken by those who are not accustomed to think precisely. Mathematicians know the difference between zero and nothing, but the distinction is not sufficiently emphasized when we are taught physics. We find equations in chemistry, describing beta-decay as natural radioactivity of spontaneous disintegration: it seems that, out of nothing but from time to time, a potassium nucleus emits spontaneously an electron and changes itself into a calcium nucleus, as represented by the reaction:

K40 ® Ca40 + e- (1a)

In textbooks of particle physics the beta-decay is described as the decay of neutron n¡ into proton p+, electron e- and an antineutrino

no ® p+ + e- +

I was told that the last term in Eq. (2a) is a "book-keeping device." When the beta decay was first discovered a serious problem threatened to undermine the fabric of physics. The charges are conserved during the decay, but the momentum was apparently not conserved. Faced with the observation, physicists had to make a choice: "Either momentum conservation for elementary particles had to be abandoned, or something was being emitted that could not be observed, but which carried off just the right of momentum to make everything to work out right. One of the "czars" of theoretical physics in the 1930s, Wolfgang Pauli, declared that that the second alternative was the only acceptable one. Later, Fermi coined the name neutrino - Italian for "little neutron" - for the unobserved that must have been "emitted in the reaction."8

Keeping the books on the conservation of the energy balanced, physicist could calculate the energy of the neutrino by rearranging the terms of Eq. (2a):

® p + + e - - n o (2b)

"Either-or" propositions are typical tricks by politicians to obscure other viable alternatives. The boy who fails to see the emperor's new clothes could suggest a third solution to the problem that "threatened to undermine the fabric of physics." Instead of an unobservable particle emitted in a spontaneous decay, the neutron may have acquired energy and momentum through the capture or collision with a neutrino, or

no + ® p+ + e- (3a)

Time in the language of mathematical physics is not particulate, it has no mass and is not definable in terms of energy, so that time does not enter into the equations (1) and (2) which only consider the conservation of charge, of energy and of momentum when particles interact. Time is nothing in equations (1) and (2). But time is not nothing, time is more than a scale, time is a commodity. I came to the postulate of a particulate time because I was thinking in a language spoken in daily life. The word time (Zeit in German) is derived from the Indogermanic dai, which signifies divisible; daily-life experiences tell us that time is divisible into parts. The divisible consists of indivisibles, and a logical semantic deduction is that there should be smallest indivisible elements or particles in each part (Teil in German), and those particles (Teilchen in German) are the atoms of Greek philosophers, or the chronon ( c ) proposed by me to designate the elementary particle of time.9

In order to the keep books balanced, elementary particles in modern physics are defined by their charge, mass/energy, and angular momentum, and we have thus many kinds of the so-called elementary particles. In viewing elementary particles as one basic kind of objects which could carry variable charge, possess variable mass/energy, or have various angular momentum, then the elementary particles in particle physics are either various manifestations of chronons, or they are various aggregates of chronons.

The one constant in modem physics which is involved in various particle-interactions is the Planck's constant, which is a quantum action. In considering particles actions, they are not only definable by the mass, charge and spins, they should also be deemed by a temporal term such as frequency or period of particles in wave motion. The time represented by a quantum action is energy divided by the Planck's constant (h). Time became a particulate property, when quantum action (h) was defined as a particle called quanton.10 Time is thus not nothing in equations balancing books on energy and momentum. There is the waiting time for a decay process: a radioactive atom, for example, starts to decay because a passage of time has elapsed. There is also the duration of particle capturing or interaction and the duration is for example the wave period in case of photoelectricity.

Introducing the concept of an elementary particle definable by a temporal variable, I suggested that natural radioactivity is a manifestation of an action which I had called "chronon-capture,"9 or

K40+ c ® Ca40 + e- (1b)
no + c ® p+ + e- (3b)

Now we can play a mathematical game of comparing Eqs. (3a) and (3b) and conclude

c = (4)

Translated into daily-life languages spoken words, Eq. (4) states that the chronon captured in the beta decay is a neutrino.
Physicists have not chosen neutrino-activation to balance their books on beta-decay. The language of mathematical physicists seems to have a peculiar grammar. To postulate the emission of antineutrinos, or anti-matter to keep the books balanced is science. The postulate of an action, or a neutrino-capture, was not made, because one should not "speculate" on the possibility of an action which cannot be verified. This mentality of book-keeping may have been psychologically related to the Anglo-Saxon judicial system: criminal defendants are tolerated to tell white lies, but the evidence of the prosecution witness has to consist of verifiable facts before they are admissible to the court; the burden of proof lies with the prosecution.

That the emission of an electron, as in beta-decay, could be induced by the capture of a neutrino is the basis for experiments to detect neutrinos. A Brookhaven team conducted experiments to measure the solar neutrino flux in the Homestake gold mine in South Dakota. The neutrino target consists of C2Cl4. Solar neutrinos interact with 37Cl to create an electron and 37A. The latter has a half-life of 35 days and its creation can be detected before it decays by electron-capture to form 37Cl again. Is this experiment a sufficient demonstration that radioactive decays are not spontaneous "tunneling effects," but are induced by chronon-capture, or, in the case of beta-decay, neutrino-capture? If so, do we still need antineutrinos and/or other purely "book-keeping" devices?

Equal to or Equivalent to

The sign of equality in mathematics could be dangerously misleading. The Chinese did not use the symbol in their writing, but two words , signifying equivalent to. This is in fact more appropriate in some instances. When we enter a store, for example, with two francs and come out with a loaf of bread, we understand that the worth of the bread is equivalent to the value of two francs. Nobody ever think that two coins are mysteriously converted into a load of bread. Yet what do you think of the famous Einstein Equation? With the expression

E=mc² (5)

we were taught that matter is annihilated and is converted into energy. Something material is changed into nothingness, and out of that annihilated material comes the tremendous nuclear energy. The postulate is taken for granted, probably because every Occidental child was taught of the fairy story of phoenix coming out of ashes. We Chinese tend to think differently. What is not observable could be real, or even substantial. Chinese use the expression sheng-qi to designate anger: when one is angry, there is not only a change of state, but also the production of an invisible substance called qi. Now anger is real, and qi prompts a person to act, even violently. Who can deny that anger is an action, which is an integration of units of quantum-actions (alias chronons), or that qi has accumulated to such an extent to compel the person to act angrily?

Equation (5) could be viewed as just another effort to balance the books: the split atoms have a smaller mass than that of the parent atom before the fission, because a tremenous quantity of particles are released in the forms of neutrinos, heat, light, X-rays, etc., the last of which is incidentally the trigger for thermonuclear weapons.

When we keep our accounts, we write:
1 loaf of bread: 2 francs
Or we say, in English or in Chinese, that two francs (F) are equivalent to a loaf of bread (B), but nobody are foolhardy enough to state

1 B = 2 F

Financial statements are numerically correct, and they are falsifiable; they could be compared to good science. On the other hand, financial statements such as income-tax returns may have kale relevance to truth. If we are not satisfied by the emptiness of bookkeeping, and allow ourselves to find meaning in the Newtonian physics, we could state:

An aggregate (with measurable mass) of elementary particles (chronons) was a part of an atom and this aggregate is disaggregated into elementary panicles (photons and possibly other chronons) with the mass of individual particles too small to be measurable, white the binding energy which has kept the particles aggregated is converted into the kinetic energy of dispersed particles.

For one who prefers a mathematic language with symbols, we could have equation:
ml= m2 (6)
El =E2= m1c²= m2c² (7)

The three signs of equality (=) in Eq. (6) do not have the same meaning, thc first and the last are abbreviations for equal to, but the middle sign signifies equivalent to.

In their preoccupation to keep the account balanced, some begin to forget the original purpose of scientific pursuit. The ultimate in arrogance by scientists was exemplified by a recent treatise on the physics of time, stating11:

The mistake of pre-relativity physics was to identify time too closely with human experience...  Relativity physics has shifted the moving present out of the superstructure of the universe, into the minds of human beings, where it belongs. . In the absence of an acceptable theory of the mind in physics, any discussion of physical time must necessarily exclude the consideration of the now, and the apparent forward flow of time, because these are meaningless concepts within the context of ordinary space-time.

It is very difficult for a geologist to accept this edict, when the now is the key to his past, and the past existed long before there were human minds.

The Mandarin Mentality of Modern Scientific Establishment

Toulmin and Goodfield lamented that "Newton's dynamics or Maxwell's electromagnetism is purchased at the price of a certain detachment from the world of fact."12 The price, as Richard Feynmen observed, is that the details of real-life experience have to be divorced from the fundamental physical laws. Yes, everything in physical science can be ultimately phrased in terms of "a lot of protons, neutrons, and electrons," and of their motions and changes. But what can the language of mathematic physicists tell us about men and history, or beauty and hope. Those entities are irrelevant to scientific truth, but Feynman5 asked:

"Which end is nearer to God? Beauty and hope, or the fundamental laws?"

My favorite story about scientists is the anecdote about a Webstüber (mentally retarded) of Basel: It was midnight, and the Webstüber was seen walking back and forth on the market square, in search of his lost keys. He was assisted by a sympathetic policeman. After half an hour of a vain effort, he was asked where he might have lost his keys.
"Oh, I lost them in the dark alley over there?"
"Why don't you go over there to search?"
"It is too dark out there. I can search better where the street lamps are well lit."

Scientists have invented a language and can only tell stories with this language. Its limited vocabulary has no words for beauty and hope, and they are thus restricted in their search for a truth which excludes beauty and hope.l lit ."

Paul Feyerabend sent me a manuscript not long before his death, expressing his opposition to the European integration. He read a draft of my manuscript Why Isaac Newton was not a Chinese, and he concurred, viewing the homogenization of Europe as the beginning of end of the Occidental culture. Feyerabend has been a voice in the desert in making polemics against the scientific establishment. I had been angry once when I learned that he would lead "three cheers to the fundamentalists in California who succeeded in having a dogmatic formulation of the theory of evolution removed from the text books and an account of Genesis included."13 Later, I was no longer angry at Feyerabend when I had to persuade a good friend, an eminent evolutionary paleontologist elected to the U. S. National Academy, not to co-author a book on evolution with a creationist; we both understood all too well the inevitable consequence of persecution and retributions from his colleagues.

When I was a young man entering university, I never hesitated in my idealism to choose a study in science. I was an idealist, a missionary, electing to devote my life for the society, for the mankind. Science has been, as I thought, a blessing for the mankind. Science has given us technology, and technology has given us the Industrial Revolution which wiped out famines, the wonder drugs which wiped out epidemics, and the terrifying weapons which stopped us from fighting hot wars. Fifty years later, on the eve of my retirement, I begin to see things differently. Technology has given us slums, unemployment, and Tschernobyl, without eradicating the famines in the Third World. Technology has given us gerontology and population explosion, without preventing the spread of the AIDS epidemics in Africa and Southern Asia. Technology has given us terrifying and less terrifying weapons, and people, as of this writing, are still being massacred in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Cambodia. And science has been enslaved by technology.

The scientific establishment which recognizes no language other than its own has become in the words of Bakunin "the most aristocratic, despotic, arrogant and elitist of all regimes."14 Science is one ideology among many, and the language of science is one among many. Feyerabend in his warning against totalitarianism in religion, added that "this caveat applies not only to religious leaders such as Reverend Jones (which dictated the Jonestown killings) but also to secular leaders such as philosophers, Nobel Price Winners, Marxists, liberals, hitmen of foundations and their educational representatives: the young must be strengthened against being imposed upon by so-called teachers." "Ideologies," as Feyerabend noted7, " are marvelous when used in the company of other ideologies. They become boring and doctrinaire as soon as their merits lead to the removal of their opponents."

I have a friend who was an eminent scholar in particle physics. I asked him why should they spend billions to build the super-collider, and his answer was: " We build accelerators like the people in the Middle Age built their cathedrals; we are building an edifice of beauty."

One of my young relatives has an artistic temperament, but he decided against a study of physics and became a musician. I wondered what was he looking for, and his reply was:

" We musicians are searching for truth."

Many young people today are idealists like I was, but they do not choose a career in .science. They are not interested in superficial edifices of beauty; they are searching for a truth which cannot be found in a language that has no relevance to men and history, that defines time as the illusion of human mind, and that has expurgated beauty and hope from its vocabulary. I wonder if the young rebels of our generation have provided an answer to the question Why Isaac Newton was not a Chinese: the scientific revolution did not occur in China, because the truly talented became poets, painters, and creative writers; they chose not to be stifled by the Confucian academic tradition.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Trio of Tyranny in China 中国专制的三暴虐 - 文字,文化与政治

Lee Greenwood- God Bless the U.S.A. 上苍祝福美国


Trio of Tyranny in China
中国专制的三暴虐 - 文字,文化与政治

China's Despotism - From linguistic tyranny, to cultural tyranny, to governmental tyranny

"Free Beings" vs. "Chinese" Series

- The trio of tyrannies and its horrific effect on the formation of Chinese slave mindset – a treatise and indictment on the Chinese dehumanization process -

By Kai Chen 陈凯 (Written 4/10/2006, Reprint 8/29/2011)

  As people puzzled over the persistence of the Chinese communist regime after the collapse of the communism as an ideology world wide, only a few saw the roots of the Chinese despotism. Many are not willing, some not able, others lacking courage to recognize the connection between the Chinese traditional culture and the current deplorable state of affairs in China. Almost all reject even the slightest suggestion that the Chinese character-based, syllabic language has something to do with the formation of Chinese mind-set which can only be properly coined “complete slavery and dehumanization of human beings”.

 Some even suggest that preservation of a Confucian culture is paramount in reforming the Chinese society and curing the ills in the Chinese mind. To me this suggestion is tantamount to saying that solution to communist tyranny and dictatorship is the communist party, and the cure of AIDS is introducing more HIV virus. Some, with various motives and deep secret complex, come in a hurry to defend the indefensible cruel Chinese feudal culture. And they defend even with more vehemence than the despotic masters the origin of the Chinese tyranny – the character-based, syllabic Chinese language. The panic feels like as if someone is digging into their ancestors’ untouchable graves. It is as if someone is touching that “sacred cow” in their hearts. No matter how much they hate the Chinese communist party and its despotic regime, they are willing to defend the roots of it with their blood and lives. Sounds comically contradictory, doesn’t it? Some, even come with more hilarious accusation against those who point out the intrinsic and inseparable connection between the Chinese language and culture with the miserable human condition in China today, calling them “traitors of the Chinese race” and “harboring ulterior motives to demean the Chinese”, and “potential dictators in the future”….

Their entire defense not only fails to exonerate the evil culture that has been created to destroy individuals, humanity and freedom, their preposterous accusation against those who see the evil shows exactly how their mind-set of cultural, linguistic and governmental slavery has been formed. That mind-set is the living proof of the existence of evil.

The following is a treatise to detail the process of Chinese dehumanization of individuals through this “trio of tyrannies” and an indictment against this evil origin of the complete alienation and enslavement of Chinese mind over their own existence.

Chinese Linguistic Tyranny

(Since Chinese society is patriarchal in nature, I will use “man” and “he” in the composition of this essay. This is not to demean or ignore female human beings.)

From the moment a Chinese toddler starts to put sounds and symbols together, he is handed a brush with ink as his writing tool. (Nowadays a pen or pencil is usually the case) He is presented with a paper with lines and usually a series of rectangle boxes with four evenly divided quadrants in each box. In front of him is a text of writing samples dated maybe hundreds of years back to his ancestors. He is told that his task of learning to write is first and foremost to mimic the perfect symmetry and forms in those pictorial images his ancestors left for him. During this process of repetition, copy, mimic of his ancestors’ leftover in his initial contact with human knowledge, his own dehumanization against his own individuality has formally begun.

He learns that creativity and initiatives are not important; conformity is. He learns that his own mind is not important; his ancestors’ legacy is. He learns that he as an individual is not important; competing with others to see who comes closer to the original forms left by his ancestors is. He learns that meaning and substance of the word is not important; the appearance - the formation, the image and the shell is. He is further confounded, yet not knowing consciously, with the fact that language is not a tool to comprehend and analyze phenomena to reach to reality, rather it is an artistic endeavor to please the eye, and the others. However, in this supposed artistic endeavor, he is not allowed to create and produce. He is forced to copy, to memorize, to follow… His two hemispheres of the brain are inundated with conflicting input of symbols and images. (We now know that all humans have the same structure in their brains – one hemisphere in charge of language, analysis, abstract thinking, logic, rationality.., and the other art, music, concrete images, creative impulses…) His analytical hemisphere is being force-fed with pictorial images, instead of abstract symbols, while his artistic hemisphere is starved with a strict and deliberate stifling of his instinct and impulse to create. In learning to write the Chinese characters, he is weaving and knitting an elaborate and intricate mesh to smother his own brain, to restrict his own initiatives, to deny his individual uniqueness.

While humans are endowed by our creator to have a unique human quality to create, change and reform our surroundings and environment to serve our own purposes, as a distinctive quality from other creatures, the cruel and inhumane process of Chinese systematic stripping of this unique human quality has effectively taken place with their young, in the form of indoctrination of a confusing and crippling linguistic system. The very possibility of human creative spark is effectively eliminated. One does not have to snip the bud. The bud has never appeared for it has died long before it can ever manifest itself. The very mind of each distinct individual is thus insidiously being forced into a tiny rectangle box from which he will never be allowed to escape to return to his nature of free being.

By the time he is taught to compose sentences, he is further stripped of concept of time by a lack of tense in the Chinese verbs. Though the adverbs are constantly put in to modify the verbs, he has been reduced to never have had a strong sense of sequential events according to time. As his study of Chinese language progresses, he has found that he lacks a distinction between individual and collective, for in Chinese verbs there is no such differentiation of plural and singular. “People” can be viewed as something like an inseparable entity while an individual’s uniqueness is severely diminished. Last time I checked, a fascist view of collective as a living entity has the same connotation. He further learns that in pronunciation of chinese third personnel, there is no distinction between genders and between humans and animals or between humans and a rock. The dehumanization process is deepening.

He finds that he cannot read and write to communicate till he is six or seven years old, with barely enough storage of Chinese characters laden with pictorial images, memorized through repetition in his analytical hemisphere of the brain. He is forever crippled in coming up with new abstract ideas.

As he goes further in his study of his ancestors’ leftovers/feces, he finds that he is strictly forbidden from creating any new Chinese character by himself. All 50,000 Chinese characters are all he can copy and use in his understanding of his world of reality, though only about 5,000 in normal usage. By definition, all human knowledge on earth has stopped within the confinement of these 50,000 some Chinese characters. He can only try to manipulate, combine the existing characters to describe what he sees, not to invent new concepts. Thus the primary function of Chinese language is to describe, not to prescribe, is to inherit, not to expand, is to please, not to pursue, is to control, not to discover, is to possess, not to enjoy. the alienation is thus thorough and complete – the tool has become the master to be served with total devotion of chinese human lives. The creators of the language have become the slaves of the same language.

With the rigid and stagnant Chinese language in place and in charge, humans are not here to create; they are only here to procreate. Humans are not individuals with indivisible integrity, dignity and uniqueness; humans are only an indistinguishable blob of flesh and blood of fleeting images, banded together by a tiny rectangle box to experience excruciating pain and suffering, much like a contortionist. Conclusion: The Chinese language is an inhuman and inhumane language which only facilitates a perverse dehumanization process among the Chinese masses/population.

In sharp contrast, English, as a multi-syllable, alphabetic language, takes the premise that humans are free and unique beings. Language is their tool to serve their lives’ purpose, not their master to dominate and control their existence. With English language, children as early as three years old can read and write and communicate effectively with their peers. The abstract, alphabetic symbols of the language – the letters can be easily and freely assembled and dissembled and resembled to create new words that represent new discoveries and new concepts. They are designed to be abstract to input information into human brain’s abstract hemisphere. and the meaning of the word and compositions, not calligraphy, is the most important aspect of learning such a language. With this language, humans are allowed to be humans – free, creative and exploratative. With the way human brain is hardwired, there is no doubt that English language (alphabetic and multi-syllable) is a human and humane language.

Chinese Cultural Tyranny

From the moment a spark of consciousness start to flicker, a Chinese youth witnesses at first hand, how humans treat each other and how he is treated by these humans around him. Another dimension of Chinese dehumanization process is taking place in his perception of reality – a cultural tyranny starts to dominate his life.

When the infant starts to observe his surroundings and tries to make sense out of them, the first thing that enters his mind is the fearsome hierarchy everyone carefully follows and obeys. In this invisible hierarchy, everyone’s identity is predetermined by his birth and gender. He discovers that one cannot open his mouth unless he does so according to the echelon he occupies in this hierarchy. He has to find out how old he is, how much money he makes, what connections his family has in relations with this classification of superiority and inferiority. He has to know his gender stratification, male as always being on top of female. He has to know every title and name in the generation differentiation and address his peers by proper titles and names. He has to know exactly all of these before he can open his mouth.

He is conditioned to know that the highest echelon in the hierarchy is the ubiquitous officialdom in the government, and the highest judicial judge in morals and all affairs affecting him is the highest official in this government – the emperor, chairman, president. He now knows that the God in his life is China itself – a nation with a border, a population with the same racial and ethnic features, a way to behave and think – never disturbing the existing order. China is the combination of all the desirable values in his life. He will be dedicating his entire life to this invisible God.

As he continues to grow up and further immerses himself in the Chinese literature, cultural habits and order of things, he finds that he himself as a person gradually dissolved and disappeared in the cultural soup everyone is stirring to cook into a shapeless entity. Everyone starts to behave in the same manner according to this invisible hierarchy, and no one is distinct and unique by himself. For the first time, he tastes the fearsome power of his cultural environment. That faceless everyone is called Big Family which he is obligated to preserve and please. Everyone seems to want to please everyone else and no one however, wants to initiate anything. Passivity is the order of the day and fate is everyone’s master. Learning to patiently live with desperation and helplessness is a must if he wants to survive. And it even becomes an art. He starts to cheat, lie, manipulate, intimidate, pretend… Anything he does is alright so long as he is to preserve and please the big family. Saving face is the biggest concern for everyone, from top down. The Big Family and the government that represents it has become his overlord and his entire individual worth is to be judged by only it.

He practices hard to write beautiful calligraphy, for he knows without the beautiful and unobtrusive appearance, everything else is meaningless. One will have hard time climbing the social ladder if one’s calligraphy is no good. The more he self-effacing his own being, the more likely he will climb high. He learns to entertain himself by practicing Chinese violin, but finds that the bow is stuck between the strings and he can only play one string at a time. The music that comes out of the instrument always bears a sad, lonely, helpless tone he can never escape. He picks a brush to paint a picture, but finds that only water color is available. The painting comes out will always be smeared and blurred. The human image that comes out of the water color has no spirit, no deep feelings, no facial expressions, and no passion (not to mention there is no shades and no one know where the light comes from). Even this dubious representation of humans on paper cannot last long. The water color always fades over time. A blurred image of reality for others to guess and feel is the standard of art.

He is frustrated, trying to find and etch a permanent mark for himself in the history of China. He starts to read the Chinese classic literatures, for in there he can find all kinds of intrigues, plots, manipulation of emotions, pretentious grace.., widely applied in the chinese officialdom. He attends school to memorize and mimic all the tactics and tricks to use, abuse and manipulate others humans so he can climb over their corpses to advance in this hierarchy. He learns how to mesmerize his victims by pretending to be their savior, making them believe they are all victims of others. Like a king cobra, he wants to desensitize and distract his prey by letting them focus on his beautiful and symmetrical markings, the carefully planned, mesmerizing movements, the ingenious camouflage, and the speedy and powerful strikes. He does not want others to know his nature. He is doing everything to hide it. He has learned all these through the books he has read and observation he has made and he is well versed in all of them. None of the education process has focused on the nature, the essence, and the substance of things and phenomena. No moral judgment has ever been rendered. So he is not about to start to attract others’ attention on his deadliness and his poisonous-ness. He has become the master of all his ancestors’ teachings. His only goal: to acquire power as much as he can. The more power he has, the more he is close to the omnipotent and arbitrary head of the big family, and the more he approaches God/being God.

However, he is very unhappy and insecure, for every step up he climbs, he is losing something - something he could not describe and may never recover. But he somehow senses that something is essential for his fulfillment and happiness. He becomes more and more drained and emptied, but the urge to climb even higher is so great that he cannot stop. It is just like, no, it is exactly like a narcotic addiction. The more you have, the more you want to have, even knowing it is killing your organs, killing your humanity. He now is in the deep grip of a powerful, enticing presence he can never escape without help from outside/divine forces.

But the outside help never comes. All the cultural narcotic addicts never admit they are addicts. He is no exception. His mental health starts to deteriorate. He can not distinguish right from wrong, illusions from reality, truth from falsehood, what is good for him from what is harmful…. Yet he continues the path of climbing toward that illusive peak in the officialdom, knocking down adversaries ruthlessly with no mercy. He never feels safe, for everyone else is doing just the same. He is exhausted but he dares not to stop or relax. Momentary reflection of himself scares the hell out of him, for he does not have guts to admit how deep and how far he has embarked on this road of self-destruction. And he knows it is all his making. and relentlessly, the atrocious/miserable/meaningless end is coming.

One day, a more ruthless and poisonous adversary knocks him off the ladder of officialdom. He falls and ready to give up and die. Before he dies, he curses the enemy; he curses back luck; he curses fate; he curses all others. He even curses the system for failing him, not knowing or admitting he is exactly the essential part of it, the foundation of it. His only lesson from all this is: (and he will tell all his children about it) next time, if there is ever going to be one, I will be more ruthless, poisonous and deadly. In the process of victimizing each other, everyone becomes inescapably victimized. The cycle of men-eating-men is thus completed.

Such is a soulless life’s story. Such is a loveless life. Such is a joyless existence. Such is a zombie’s journey. Such is a definition of evil and corruption. Such is the portrait of a Chinese cultural slave - a Eunuslawhore (eunuch, slave, prostitute).

Contrast distinctly from this cycle of dehumanization, Christian ethics stresses exactly the opposite of this men-eating. It preaches that every individual human being is an entirely unique universe, a beginning and end in himself. He is not to be used, abused and abandoned as some used-up tools by others, no matter how many they are in quantity. In short, he is not to be a mean to an end, but an end in itself. Because of such an inalienable and inseparable nature of the entity, he is endowed by god to have rights and freedom; therefore, he has the possibility to be happy and joyful. No one, no matter how powerful he is as in the case of a government, should be morally justified to define such a being. He is indeed a sacred creation and only god can design him and make possible for him to discover that sacred design. Bias, prejudice, power for the sake of control and self-degradation are detested in such an ethics and culture. Dignity and respect are coined to depict such a being as unique and irreplaceable. Nothing can be ever justified without his own individual consent, for only he knows his own values and worth. Group and government oppression is viewed as the embodiment of evil. Servitude and slavery is as insidiously detrimental to human mental and spiritual health as viruses and narcotic addiction. Equality among humans is a natural extension in the very fact that each and every one of individuals must ultimately face god and himself, not others and governments. Conscience and spiritual integrity is established in such a cultural environment. Self-direction rather than others-direction becomes the orientation of such moral being. Creativity and productivity, Not robbing, begging, cheating and stealing, flows like fountainhead, nourishing a new generation of such free beings. Values are constantly produced and nothingness inevitably sneered and discarded.

Such is a human ethics. Such is a human culture. Such will be the humanity's future.

Tyranny of Chinese Political Institutions

When a crippled Chinese adult, mentally and spiritually ill-equipped, enters into the political arena characterized by the omnipresent Chinese officialdom, he painfully discovers that he is further trapped and demeaned by the very institutions his ancestors left to control him. He is viewed as nothing more than a cog on an enormous grinder aimed to mix truth with falsehood, right with wrong, black with white, existence with nothingness. Every ounce of everyone’s individual energy is absorbed and usurped to contribute to the speed of the spinning machine. In the cultural soup it produces, nothing is distinct and unique and nothing can be used as values, particles and concrete foundation to build anything. The only function of such a political machine is to drown everyone with this toxic cultural soup and make him a part of its ingredient to kill still many others.

Fostered and boosted by the linguistic tyranny and cultural tyranny, the political machine his ancestors created and left for him is a ferocious and insatiable beast of destruction.

As his maturing consciousness starts to question his own being in his political surroundings, he finds that no one is in charge and henceforth no one is able to change this political environment. Everyone is only operating in it, much like everyone is using the same Chinese characters to write. No one is able to create anything in this political environment, much like no one is able or supposed to create any Chinese character by himself. He is trapped. He further finds that in this political culture, government precedes people. Government is viewed to have existed even before humans appear on earth. Government authority comes from the mysterious “heaven” and it has nothing to do with human beings. So the emperors have all been called “sons of heaven” and everyone who dares to question this order and authority is doomed to “hell” and eternal ostracism.

Thus, the government has always been viewed as parents, and the masses under it have always been viewed as some infantile children in need of care. Government officials are endowed with titles such as “parental officials” and the people “children people”. A person is born not free, but underneath this parental government and the power it wields. Any limited freedom is freedom in a cage, and freedom to obey and conform, for he is reared and raised by the government and the emperors. He has been taught that when the big river has water, the small creeks will flow. Even God in heaven is with a title “jade emperor”. It is the emperor that gives people their clothes and food. It is the nation and government that give people their livelihood and meaning of life.

He has read from all the literature that his ancestors have left that all heroes in Chinese history are “nation loving” heroes. All immortals he ever worships are ancestral officials in the emperors’ court. Everything that has any values in China is tied with officialdom. Government and officialdom is not only he depends on for his livelihood, but he depends on for his meaning of life. All the educational institutions have one aim – to produce “nation loving” and “emperor loving” officials in the echelon of governmental hierarchy. The higher he climbs in the official ladder, the more power he acquires and hence the more meaning in life he has. Thus, he stops/kills all his other interests and endeavors and focuses only on one thing – joining officialdom to climb the ladder.

In the process of climbing the ladder, he learns further from his ancestors and the knowledge they have left via those rectangle boxes written in those thread-bond books all the official tricks, plots, deceits, maneuvers, manipulations. He is well versed in the spirit all these books and the ultimate message they espouse – “the end always justify the means”. So long as he is for others and for the helpless masses, all his excessive tactics and murderous methods are thoroughly justified. His only slogans in his heart are “loyal to the emperors, loyal to the nation/party-dynasty, loyal to the ancestors and all the language, institutions, culture they have left to him.”

He has learned that the most effective method of controlling the masses with their infantile and meaningless existence is to hold their loved ones, their family, and anything including their own profession they love, hostage. If one offends the order of the court, the entire family suffers, the generations related to the person in anyway suffers. No one is responsible for himself anyway, so everyone else around him must be responsible. Here is the most effective weapon in his arsenal, among others like confusion, fatalism, superstition, jealousy, denial, blindness to truth… Though he himself is subjected to the same control mechanism, he is nonetheless enthusiastically enforcing the order using these means, for the illusion is the higher one climbs, the freer one becomes.

Not only family is used to be the hostage in this scheme of things, family is used as the very control mechanism to subdue everyone in it. Family has become the very basic unit of the government, to serve the government. The very word “nation” (Guo, Jia 国家) in Chinese is simply composed with two characters – nation and family. The saint of all Chinese – Confucius has long deemed the Chinese moral order to be inviolable – “emperor to subordinates, father to sons”. The bigger the government, the better, and since family has become the basic unit of the government, the entire society does not only belong to the government, it is indeed the government itself. Separation of government and society has never existed in China. Any political order in China is only the extension of personal order of the individual and his identity. An ingenious design it is indeed, by the ancestral saint-the Confucius.

In the later years of China's modern history, Mao only further inherited/enhanced this very Chinese tradition of building the entire China into a giant prison, in which everyone can be potential a spy to report on others to the authority, particular within the family. So why build prisons to hold those unruly scoundrels like in the USSR under Stalin? Instead, the chinese under mao have followed our ancestors under emperors and confucius: They make the entire society governmental, and make the entire population prisoners of their own family, or their own relations with others. Yes indeed this is exactly what has happened during the notorious cultural revolution. The poison has seeped through every pore of the society and the corruption via total surrender by the individuals is thorough and complete.

America represents the exact opposite of the Chinese experience: It is based on individual freedom with a solid foundation in Christian faith; therefore each and every individual is fully aware of his or her responsibility to his own conscience and action. Its political institutions are established on the premise of human fallibility and subsequent potential abuse by government and majority. Separation of power, checks and balances within the political power structure, a constitutional base to limit government and guaranty individual rights, federalism to ensure a bottom-up direction from individual sovereignty to local autonomy to limited federal government.., all are the healthy and necessary institutions aimed at expanding individual freedom. Government is contracted to serve people’s purposes, not the other way around – people are subdued to serve the government. Legitimacy, transparency and openness are understood to be the concern of all the individual citizens in their eternal vigilance to guard their liberty and rights against tyranny. American political institutions are human institutions for human interests, freedom and happiness.


Over two thousand years ago on this land that humans inhabited, a divergence of humanity began to emerge. In the East over the vast land of Asia, a process of dehumanization started with the unification by an emperor with his swords, bloodshed, and oppressive force over the population on his domain. Through the intrinsic defects of its own language, the facilitation of eunuch official intellectuals, and the state power, human beings had become the subjects and slaves of their own creation. They have been terrorized by the very alienation they created ever since and become deformed humans with twisted mind-set. A stagnant and vicious circular course of history has been the order even today.

About the same period over on the other side of the planet, a quiet and powerful revolution to recognize and confirm humanity also began to take shape, championed not by someone with swords, but by a mild-mannered man dressed in rags who never held any official position. A new kind of values was being preached upon the population and into the very soul of humans – truth, liberty, equality, individuality, fraternity, tolerance, creativity… Through the sparks he has ignited, a torch has been lit to light up the course of human history. History would never be a circle to trap humans with their corpses and misery. History started to advance toward life, freedom and joy. Humans are no longer the slaves of their own creations. They have become their own masters over their own language, their own culture and their own political institutions. A liberation of the human souls has enables them to advance through darkness toward better and better future. America is the epitome of this very advancement.

In the West, human beings continue to advance along the line of liberty for humanity. in the East, human beings continue to be trapped by the tyranny of their own culture and government. They are nothing but slaves of their own cultural conditioning and tools of the despotic state they have created and passively obeyed. The gap is gigantic.

In view and analysis of what has impeded Chinese society from entering modern history and join the community of free nations, I am confident that these three mountains – the three tyrannies that have oppressed the Chinese people without them knowing the nature of the tyrannies, must be removed before any healthy human institutions can be developed. The dehumanization process via these three tyrannies must be stopped and destroyed. Human beings must be returned to their original form intended by their creator – free, full of life, joyful and creative, the masters of their own environment, their own language, their own culture, their own political institutions, their own fate, their own future. The thorough and complete alienation of individual human beings to their creations must be reversed. The vicious dynastic cycles must be reviled, condemned and eliminated. a society of individual human beings, by individual human beings, for individual human beings must be finally realized. China must join the post-historical America by emulating its examples to release the tremendous energy of human creativity and productivity of its own citizens. Let’s start to remove the three mountains and the tyranny they have imposed on the Chinese people for thousands of years. Let's start this process from ourselves as free and responsible individuals.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Milton Friedman - Redistribution of Wealth 弗里德曼 - 均贫富解析

陈凯一语: Kai Chen's Words: 


Artificially and arbitrarily dividing people into groups and treating them with discrimination and promotion is the very definition of evil.



Morals behind Class Division and Tax Code

By Kai Chen 陈凯 (Written 3/21/2006, Reprint 8/27/2011)

I often hear people talk about who is rich and who is poor. Yet I have never quite grasped by what standard people decide who is rich and poor. Very seldom I hear people talk about how and why someone gets rich and how and why someone becomes poor. Nonetheless, BEING rich or poor has almost universally become the preoccupation of most people among most countries, even here in America.

Once when I attended a party in my neighborhood, someone started to complain about how unfair things are because he works his butt off eight hours a day and only make a tiny fraction of someone like Michael Jordan who only dribbles a ball on the court. When I was in China where Marxist ideas permeated among the masses, people and the communist authorities always attacked America as being exploitative against the so called Third World, making them poorer. It seems from ordinary individuals to the governments, people have bought into the concept of class division, (being rich and poor) without ever asking themselves or questioning the authorities about the standard by which to judge and categorize such class division. And many wars are fought and many revolutions are started and millions people died because of conflict based on such a class division, sadly without ever knowing why and how such class division is defined and started.

To dwell deeper into the meaning and definition of such a class division, one can easily find that it is not always easy to decide who is rich and who is poor. And the arbitrary and artificial division of such classes by people in power, by governments, by force of guns is often blurred, unscientific, subjective, misleading and disastrous. $10,000 a year income is definitely categorized as being poor in America today, but would be categorized as rich in America 50 years ago or very rich even today if the standard is applied to some other countries. During China’s land reform, people in the north with three mules could be categorized as landlord and hauled away after a mass rally to be shot, while people in the south with four horses could be categorized as poor or middle class peasants and hence benefit politically under the communist rule. In America, because of the current progressive tax code, one dollar difference in income will prompt you into a distinct tax bracket by which you have to pay a higher percentage of income as tax. The damaging effect of such a lack of objective standard has never been adequately addressed and corrected. People continue to be artificially, arbitrarily and UNFAIRLY categorized into classes today.

Such an unfair practice to categorize people into classes has lasting negative effect on a society’s psyche. First, material wealth of a person has somehow been artificially/irrationally connected with morality. Viewing rich people as bad and poor people as good has always been the rhetoric of the left and they formulate their policies according to such man-made morality, often branding themselves as somehow morally superior and the savior of the poor people and the world. Communist regimes around the world are built upon the Marxist class theory and economic formula of zero-sum game. In China and elsewhere dominated by socialism/communism, people have been brainwashed into a frenzy to rid of rich people. They are told if you want to be rich, the quickest way is to kill the rich and put their wealth into your own pockets, and they believe this assertion because they believe they are poor because the rich has somehow, in an insidious and mysterious way, robbed them what should have been theirs in the first place. This rhetoric is not uncommon today in American liberal left. Corporations are always evil, the wage-earners are always good, and the government is the savior for the poor and the unfortunate.

Moral perversion is not the only negative by-product of such class division. Outright dishonesty/hypocrisy has become a must if someone wants to keep a little more what should have been theirs in the first place. They have to cook the book, find tax shelters, and manufacture business expenses…. Even Clinton’s pajama had been deliberately checked in the tax form to get some tax benefit, while he in public continued to demonize the corporations for their “greed”.

Another casualty is the poor themselves, often brainwashed by the left into a moral stupor, they are cautious about working hard to become rich, for they don’t want to be branded bad. Being poor somehow give them a false sense of moral superiority, so they can always curse the rich to hell. It is fun, safe and entertaining to engage in such hatred and venom-venting. It is not so safe to engage in such activity once one becomes rich. My English teacher used to be my friend when I lived in a single-bed room apartment. After he learned that I now lived in a five-bedroom mini-mansion, he was enraged and called me all kind of names. I told him my family was doing well and hoped to have his blessing. But somehow in his mind I had become a moral degenerate and he somehow always remained pure and poor with a illusory sense of self-righteousness. Thus the poor has no incentive to learn to become rich and better their material lives.

Logically we have to ask who gives anybody, any government, any authorities the right to categorize people like that, to divide them according to their incomes. Does God or Heaven give them the right, simply because they have majority? Or simply because they have guns? Or simply because they have manufactured some popular culture and artificial moral code? Where does their moral authority come from?

Zero-sum game in economic arrangement is fundamental to Marx’s theory, and the basis of modern liberal left in their theory of class struggle/class envy. Somehow Marx viewed productive force and human potential as finite. Market somehow is also a finite concept, according to Marx. It is based on these misconceptions and misinterpretations of reality, the communists/socialists and liberal left formulate their theory of class struggle and solidify their power base – the weakness and helplessness of the ignorant masses. They exploit the dark-side of human psyche and use it to gain power. As all the dialectic materialists, they view human beings as primarily physical beings, and their productive forces only from their muscles. Yet the reality tells us a different story about human beings. We have found that primary productive force is not from human muscles but from human mind with freedom to initiate. We have found that human creativity and ingenuity is infinite, the market potential is infinite, the resource from which humans can explore/employ and produce material wealth is not just physical, it is mental and spiritual. Therefore, the resource is infinite as well. Capital, the word itself, has a connotation of mind, head, primary means. It is not just money and material things.

In viewing world history, all conflicts, be they class, religious, racial, ethnic, gender…, erupt by an obsession with zero-sum game, with a concept of finite entities. Once we realize the existence of a none zero-sum game, with a concept of infinite resource and infinite outcome, the man-made conflicts, along with the man-eating power elite, will finally diminish and disappear.

I now illustrate this case with my own investment, hoping to shed a little more light onto this issue.

In 1992, Los Angeles had a riot due to the Rodney King incident. At the time I lived right in the middle of this riot – Mid City Los Angeles. The following year after the riot, the LA housing market reached a new low. Many people moved out of LA, because of their concern for their own safety and security. Having grasped the new reality that now was a buyers’ market, I made a very low offer on a magnificent mini-mansion near our house and got it, a little to my surprise. We moved into the mini-mansion but were unable to sell our own house for the desired price. We decided to lease it out to wait for a better time. 10 years later, our mini-mansion, purchased at a very low price, was worth many times the original price. And because the market turned into a sellers’ market, we were able to sell our original house with a good price. We re-invested the proceed into a multi-unit apartment building.

I and our family are now most definitely into another category – into the class of rich. In deep analysis of my investment history, we now can expose the zero-sum theoreticians and their fallacies.

According to Marxist theory, I can never become rich without being exploitative toward the poor. Yet in this scenario of my investment, I fail to see where/how I have exploited people/the poor. The seller was motivated and willing to sell, while I was also motivated and willing to buy. Where is the exploitation?

According to modern liberal leftists, someone must have been unfortunate or unlucky and made mistakes, so shrewd capitalists like me are able to exploit people’s misfortune and mistakes to have made themselves rich. This also is dubious explanation to say the least. There has been no evidence that the people who sold their house to us and moved out of LA lead miserable and unhappy lives. And hence there cannot be assertion that they had made any mistakes by selling. We might have both benefited from this transaction, and there is no way to tell and measure objectively who benefited more than the other for there is only subjective satisfaction by either party. Market exists not according to people’s right and wrong choices and decisions, though these choices and decisions may create opportunities. Market exists because people simply have different priorities. The people who sold their mini-mansion to us right after the riot might simply view safety and security as their priority, rather than investment opportunity. They might have had less confidence in LA’s future economy than I had. Does this mean they had made a big mistake and should have kept the house to wait for better time? No. It only means that they are not willing to take the risk I am willing to take. Should risk-taking be awarded or be punished, by some unfair tax code? All creative and inventive activities by humans imply risk-taking. To punish risk-taking is to punish human creativity and impulse to invent, which is our(human) distinction from lower creatures. To punish risk-taking is to punish us as human beings, to make us just like animals, living with only flesh and blood, not mind and souls.

I refuse to apologize to others, be it the poor or the government or the liberal left, for I came to America precisely because I want to be a real human being to realize to the fullest extent, my potential. I left China because I was treated as a tool and lackey for the collective machine – the Party-State, because I was treated not as a creative mind, an independent thinker, but only as some lower being with only body cavities and biological functions. Even that was viewed as a burden on the collective and the government. I could not see and feel my very own existence and could not fulfill the innermost, intense yearning for freedom and happiness. I now not only have dreamt an American dream, I am living in this dream. I am fulfilled not just as a material being, but as an intellectual and spiritual being. If this is not the most moral longing and behavior a human individual can have, I don’t know what is.

Flat tax, that is, imposing a fair levy on the citizens by its elected government, is the only way to ensure the meaningful limited government, and to avoid moral degradation and degeneration of human beings. It is not difficult, especially with today’s modern technology, to calculate a fair and flat tax level, to ensure the adequate and minimum funding of the government. With flat tax, every one is viewed as equal participant in a moral society, regardless how much and how little they have. It fosters human dignity and motivates people to do better as time passes. It is congruent with American spirit of risk-taking, creative endeavors, and fulfilling each individual’s potentials.

With American spirit alive and well, with each individual strives to be his or her best and not holding back, with a fair tax code – the flat tax, only sky is the limit.