China in the spotlight – the journey of the flame

China in the spotlight – the journey of the flame

I am sorry to disappoint my self-righteous friends but i have to say that, concerning the recent events surrounding the trip of the Olympic flame , I find myself on the side of the Chinese people…

I am afraid us, the westerners, are too quick to transfer our values, political and ethical expectations onto other civilizations; we see everything through our home-made lenses and if sometimes the reality is skewed we blame the reality and not the lenses or our projections…

It is easy to be self-righteous when does not affect you; it is easy to condemn other people’s nationalism when yours goes unquestioned.

If Beijng deserves boycott for these Olympic games i see plenty of reasons, within the same framework, for Atlanta, Sydney or London to have received similar protests; somehow, though, our right is more right than others’ and it seems fashionable today for people to have pet-causes that keen keep them busy in between other social activities…

Would be easier if the world were to be all in black and white, but it isn’t, while bigotry and stupidity is definitely colour-blind…

1 comment

Cosmin, I think there is a measure of truth in your comentary. Moreover, I think the Chinese people deserve the Olympic games as a recognition for their amazing acomplishments over the past decade.

That being said, it is without a doubt that the Chinese government, in its atempt to self promote and to promote nationalistic sentiments amongst the Chinese, pushed propaganda past good taste, not to mention trampling on anyone who had or could have a different perspective. China (and by this I mean the government event though many people, in a nationalistic fervor do think the same) is not afraid to go to any extreme to achieve its goals. Look what they did regarding Everest. Closing their mountains was outrageous enough, arm twisting Nepal to do the same was despicable. The torch up was a sham (but a very nicely coreographed sham) hence all moutaineering associations distanced themselves from it, a gesture that should grab the attention of anyone thinking this was a true achievement. Still, the Everest story was a benign case yet a good example of China’s approach to things and its respect for people … sadly, of things to come.

The saddening thing is that the Chinese people are, for now, accepting the propaganda cool-aid. Just because problems are beaten into submission it doesn’t mean they will go away. A kangaroo institute cannot fabricate enough arguments to demonstrate that Tibet belonged to China. Problems are not solved in a certain way just because we want to. Maoist style propaganda and methods will not serve China well in this century and I have no doubt that the Chinese people will not be forever fooled. They are a great nation which doesn’t need the BS of a party which ditched the comunist dogma for a nationalistic dogma since the first one proved to be bankrupt.

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