All entries for Thursday 27 April 2006
April 27, 2006
If we look at the Chinese translation of democracy 民主 (the people master), it comes from old confucius ideas which has had a great deal of application in old Dynastic systems. Li Shimin, the much praised emperor of early Tang Dynasty, which is the most prosperous time in Chinese history, left a famous saying on this: the people are like water, they can bear the boat, but they can also overflow the boat. They boat here denote the one in power. Such is different from the modern western understanding of democracy – normally simplified as 'more than two political parties' 'elections' and 'freedom of speech'.
It is true that people in the west now enjoy more material wealth and transquibility, less fear of insecure and risk. But haven't they just give too much account for the so–called democracy? Isn't it also because the accumulation of wealth from the old imperial time, the rich nature given by the geographic position, the good climate, the much smaller population concentration that have made people living more comfortably.
In contrast, if this kind of modern western democracy would do no good towards the living and psychological condition to the people – which is true in some cases, that it hasn't even improve the economic status of the country and increases the crime rate etc. would democracy still do the favor?
What do we want democracy for if it doesn't bring peace, if it only expands people's ambitions and already endless desires?
Same to equity, it is never gonna be equal unless you amend your attitude towards it. For example, you are uglier than your neighbour. The creator (if there is one) has been unfair. Now you can have plastic surgery and going to the gym three times a day, but still, you make more effort to be beautiful than your neighbour. It is unfair in the beginning, and it never gonna end. Unless, you don't concern about it in the beginning, it won't bother you whether she is more beautiful or not. Same applies to the common discourse in a society, if one doesn't concern on certain things and so does another person, if no one concerns of beauty of ugliness, there isn't a thing about equity in this issue. However, I have to admit that this is a very weak example…....................................................
And I have troubles with identities too…. why we care so much about who we are? We are essentially the persons how the society, our relationships with other people, and at most our gene shaped. It is kinda pointless to figure out who we are by putting on customised costumes, following some cultural specific conventions or speaking in a certain way. Because we are after all just what we are permeated or up to change…. you know…. making effort in there doesn't help us to know the world more…......
anyway…................ enough rambling….... bye…..