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Liu Xiaobo, Dalai Lama, Falun Gong, Nobel Peace Prize
Xah Lee, 2010-10-11
Recently, the Language Log has a article on Liu Xiaobo, who recently won Nobel Peace Prize. (Language Log is a popular blog by several linguists, usually focus on language and usage myths from mainstream media.)
- 〈Liu Xiaobo〉 (2010-10-10) By Victor Mair. At: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2699
The piece is quite offensive, even worse than standard journalistic ethics as compared to mainstream US media. Basically, spreading anti-China propaganda, with factually incorrect info, biased implications and hints.
I made comments on the blog giving reasons why i find it offensive. This page is expanded version of my reasons.
I don't know Liu Xiaobo till now. I was born and grew up in Taiwan till 14. (but my parents were born in china) I've never set foot on china. On taiwan/china issue, i tend to support china. I don't know much about politics in China; don't think i ever read one piece of news on China politics in past 20 years... except in recent years have paid some attention to politics of Taiwan (my birth country), due to president Chen Shui-bian' corruption incident.
One of my favorite writer, is Li Ao, a well known free speech proponent, writer, historian, who's been a political prisoner for 7 or so years by Taiwan's KMT party, in 1960s to 1970s.
My Reasons Against Liu Xiaobo
I read up on Liu Xiaobo for perhaps just half a day recently. I'm against supporting him for several reasons:
- US politics and propaganda against China. (Dalai Lama, Falun Gong, and now Liu Xiaobo)
- Liu Xiaobo's “Charter 08” manifesto, to me seems downright treason. (can be likened to someone in US creating a communism-based manifesto against the US Constitution, against the Christian God.)
- Liu's Chapter 08 manifesto's central theme goes alone the lines of “universal human rights”, which i do not believe. And to me, that simply seem to be a tactic of demagogy.
- Several essays Liu Xiaobo has written attacking my most revered writer Li Ao.
I have written many essays documenting my sentiments and findings in the past few years.
If you do spend time to read the following links, try to earnestly look into the opposite side of the coin, else there'd be no point.
(Between english and chinese Wikipedia versions, i ordered them so that the one with more info comes first. Usually the info quality and quantity difference is large on some chinese subjects. In general, the english version is far better on general chinese related topics (such as history, food, culture, language, etc.) , due to perhaps 1k fold more readers. But on political topics, especially local ones, such as Taiwan or China politics or politicians, often the Chinese version are more informative, because mostly only native Chinese read them, with daily intimate familiarity from newspapers, TV, neighbors, etc, and English version often contains scarce info or article doesn't exist, and just Western point of view based from scarce Western mainstream media articles.)
On US Propaganda
The theme is pretty clear here. In US media and Western media, typically, China is depicted as the evil lord, its citizens live in a suppressive hell, that its citizens want freedom, but the Chinese communists put them in jail, torture them, gun them down. US orgs, such as CIA, send money to support politically disruptive causes and leaders, in the name of supporting US's political ideology the “democracy” and “human rights”, including guerrilla warfare training and weapons. Give public “human rights” awards to these leaders. (but as Li Ao said in one of his lecture, that while he was in jail for 7 or so years for fighting democracy against the KMT, the US didn't support him, because US needed Taiwan's KMT party to fight communists during the cold war era.)
Criticisms On “Human Rights”
For criticisms of “universal human rights”, i guess the topic is old. But Wikipedia provides some starting points if you are not already familiar with this
- Human rights#Critiques of human rights
- Universal human rights#Debate
- Master-slave morality
- Natural slavery
(i don't necessarily agree with the above in particulars... but am just citing well-established philosophies against the universal “human rights” concept) Here's some selected quotes from different parts of Wikipedia:
Philosophers who have criticized the concept of human rights include Jeremy Bentham, Edmund Burke, Friedrich Nietzsche and Karl Marx. A recent critique has been advanced by Charles Blattberg in his essay "The Ironic Tragedy of Human Rights." Blattberg argues that rights talk, being abstract, demotivates people from upholding the values that rights are meant to assert. In his book After Virtue, Alasdair MacIntyre claimed the concept that all human beings have certain rights simply by virtue of being human was illogical, stated "the best reason for asserting so bluntly that there are no such rights is indeed of precisely the same type as the best reason which we possess for asserting that there are no witches and the best reason which we possess for asserting that there are no unicorns: every attempt to give good reasons for believing there are such rights has failed."
The concept of inalienable rights was criticized by Jeremy Bentham and Edmund Burke as groundless. Bentham and Burke, writing in the eighteenth century, claimed that rights arise from the actions of government, or evolve from tradition, and that neither of these can provide anything inalienable. (See Bentham's "Critique of the Doctrine of Inalienable, Natural Rights", and Burke's "Reflections on the Revolution in France"). Presaging the shift in thinking in the 19th century, Bentham famously dismissed the idea of natural rights as "nonsense on stilts". By way of contrast to the views of Burke and Bentham, the leading American revolutionary scholar James Wilson condemned Burke's view as "tyranny."
Master-slave morality is a central theme of Friedrich Nietzsche's works, in particular the first essay of On the Genealogy of Morality. Nietzsche argued that there were two fundamental types of morality: 'Master morality' and 'slave morality'. Master morality weighs actions on a scale of good or bad consequences unlike slave morality which weighs actions on a scale of good or evil intentions.
Corruption of Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel prize, especially Peace, is very controversial, and this is a well-established fact. It is often criticized as politically motivated. In many cases, the laureates are considered war mongers by many.
Liu Xiaobo's Attack on Li Ao
To find Liu's articles attacking Li Ao, just web search on: “李敖,刘晓波”. (Google search: 李敖,刘晓波.) Here's some of his essay titles:
Why Do I Not Support the “Human Right” Concept?
What right? Right with respect to what? Who gave you the right? God? I don't believe in a god, and in particular, i don't believe The Gods from Abrahamic religions (Islamism, Juadaism, and Christianity with its tens of factions).
When a animal, say, cat, eats a sheep, play with it before kill, does the sheep has a right? Are you gonna do justice for the sheep? When a wasp, lay eggs in spider's paralyzed body, so her offsprings can eat the spider alive from the inside, does the spider get rights? When the US, wrote universal human rights in its constitution, while importing blacks as slaves, where is the right? When George W Bush, made hundred thousands of Iraq civilians dead, where is the right?
All human animals are born “equal”? How so? Is a natural retard equal to your ability to work? Does he have equal chances? Does he really have equal opportunity? Should he deserve equal earning as you? Do you, give half of your income to those homeless or lazybums you see everyday on street corners?
I believe food is good, pleasure is good, pain and suffering is no good, and i believe in my good and bad to be about the same as other human animals. I believe that if i punch you in the face, you gonna punch back. We want prosperity, and this prosperity can come thru rational, responsible, dealings, same with conflicts.
If George Bush is to kill few hundred thousands of people, or when US Americans eradicated the native Americans out the face of this earth, i prefer the the reason given to be “because i like it, i am the king now”, than with believing in human rights, or manifest destiny.
The “human right”, is a moral fiction concocted out of ether much like religion. As a piece of untruth, it spreads woe and disaster, in a indirect way but with far-reaching consequences.