Posted On: Monday - January 30th 2023 8:38PM MST
In Topics:   Commies  University  China  Americans
(Continued from Round 1.)
This round, a comparison of the political actions of university students here versus in China, was supposed to be the post. However, I got carried away with that look back at half a century ago - actually closer to 6 decades as of publication date.
One could go back to what is, believe it or not, more than half way back to that time of protests and turmoil here and the Cultural Revolution there, the Tiananmen Square protests of June 1989 (33 1/2 years back vs. 54-58) for a minute. I do remember the event. There was momentum from a decade already of political reforms by Chairman Deng Xiaoping already. The students must have assumed they could accelerate a transition to the liberty and freedom that were still somewhat of a thing in the West. It took guts to go up against the Chinese government (doing the bidding of the CCP).
It's not that I think there's really a lot of understanding of the principles of liberty in the Middle Kingdom, maybe even by genetics. Those students stood up to authority in a way I haven't seen much from American students, who, at the time of Tiananmen Square, were still in a calm learning environment - say, from 1973 to 2008, before our own Cultural Revolution got cranked up.
The recent protests against the Chinese Gov't's/CCP's ridiculous and Totalitarian Covid~Zero stupidity was another instance of political bravery. The university students there, if not at the forefront of this action, played a big part. (Ironically, the idiotic face diapers may have helped them out to some degree in avoiding detainment. Supposed, the Orwellian "Skynet" style AI/surveillance network can do successful facial recognition even of people wearing the masks. I'm not sure I believe that.)
Then, the students got sent home early for Spring Festival to put the kibosh on the resistance. Unlike when Johnny Cougar fights it, authority doesn't always win, and they Chinese authoritah backed off the Covid~Zero stupidity.
In the meantime, the American universities have been undergoing Cultural Revolution 2.0, which is getting increasingly Communistic,Totalitarian, humiliating, and plain stupid. There are parts of it that already top the stupidity of China's Cult-Rev 1.0 half a century back. As I wrote in "Round 1", I'd read a dozen books on the Chinese version of this stupidity a decade (maybe it was a dozen years) ago. At that point I still pondered how the Chinese people could have let that shit happen. As I watch the blue-haired loud-mouthed freaks and soy boys drowning out speakers that trigger them and the tearing down of statues and paintings of tradition and history, I no longer wonder how it could have been let to happen in China.
The thing is, in China, with an all-powerful "leader" and massive State apparatus, it wasn't as if an anti-revolutionary group would have made much headway before being sent to rot in a dungeon in Peking. Sure, one wonders if the young population could have decided to keep in their minds the upbringing and love of their parents rather than falling for Mao's Red Book and joyfully reporting the Capitalist Roader ways of their parents and shaming them with big-character posters and pig's blood. I don't know how much choice they had.
Though much more free to do so, the American university students today have generated a pitiful amount of pushback. There are a few Conservative and alt-right groups on the campuses. They are nowhere near as powerful as the ctrl-left.
It's very hard for me to imagine my being in the classroom today and putting up with the abuse the normal/White male students do. It's hard to because in a technical field that long ago, nothing of the sort ever happened. The students and Professors, 90-95% American White people and men, respectively, were Conservative. I couldn't imagine it any other way.
The Humanities side of the campus was more left wing, but the Communist-style talk and actions of today could not be imagined still. (I and a friend of mine had this idea to audit* a class and call out the Professor on any point of opinion we didn't agree with. Ahhh, regrets...)
It's sad that American students value that likely not-so-valuable "education" they are putting up with over the great feeling they'd have if they were to speak out and actively resist the wokeness. They've got those grades or even suspensions or expulsions hanging over their head, as they put up with all the humiliation in their quest for that invaluable piece of paper. (Well, it SHOULD mean "non-valuable"!)
A difference between Chinese and American universities is that getting accepted is the hard part in China, while getting through the 4 years is kind of a given, from what I've heard personally. That does sound like Harvard, but in most of America the students feel obligated to go along with the political shenanigans to get good grades. However, in China, as I mentioned regarding one anecdote from the Tiananmen Square times, one can still get kicked out, cancelled, or worse.
I don't speak about all of them, of course, but it seems that generally the non-woke, non-Communist portion of the American university students seem pretty cowardly about fighting against the Cultural Revolution 2.0. In a situation that is a complete turnabout from 1/2 a century ago, with the Establishment ctrl-left though and through and no rule-of-law and Constitutional rights to depend on, protests against the Communism may be harder to organize and complete compared to those by the ctrl-left of the past. University learning is a joke compared to that past time, so you'd think there'd be less to lose. OTOH, there's no powerful manufacturing economy as in 1965 to fall back on, if one gets kicked out of college. As of yet, there's no camaraderie to allow one to ignore the threat of arrest, as back in the day for the ctrl-left. (Think of a particular Arlo Guthrie song.)
Perhaps those are good excuses for the lack of action, or reaction, I should say. Still, I can't help thinking that I'd have been raising hell right now were I at the university, rather than putting up with this new Cultural Revolution. Instead, they're all riled up about the Totalitarianism in China, supporting the anti-Covid~Zero protest by the Chinese students.
That's the Fox News headline for this article. We read:
Chants of "Free China!" and "Xi Jinping, step down!" were heard at California Berkeley protests, with one protester holding a sign with a drawing of Chinese President Xi Jinping that read "Death to the dictator."It's really something to hear of Berzerkely students being AGAINST Communism. Still, I would tell the American university students to first "clean your rooms!"
Round 2 also goes to the Chinese university students, both as compared to Americans in the 1960s and to those of today.
* "Auditing" means attendance but without a grade or credit, and this was free for us at the time.