Thursday, May 17, 2012

Enter the Dragon - 2012

“In the end China will win” father once said.

The 70’s western China watchers have had nothing but dire predictions for the ability of the sleeping dragon to wake up from the stupor caused by a burgeoning and hungry population,  unabated natural calamities, substandard manufacturing, backward technology, pollution issues, Mao's cultural revolution prior to the Deng Xiao Ping leadership and the curtailment of basic human rights and freedoms.

To the chagrin of these critics China has emerged victorious. Chinese domination in all significant fronts has been awesome; from economy to sports, from technology to the arts, they have demonstrated enviable prowess. To be expected is the effect it had on nationalism of the citizens; the same euphoria which the Americans experienced in the 19th century is now in the consciousness and awareness of the Chinese.

With it is the jingoism that accompanies the feeling of superiority of their citizens against all others. It makes   them believe that anything they do is tolerable if it is for the good of the nation. It probably goes further than that in the way it fosters arrogance utterly disregarding universal precepts of morality and fair play.

This groundswell of support will keep China’s resolve to maintain its super power status. As with the Americans of more than a century ago, the same kind of power status and approbation of its people gave rise to the notion of Manifest China it is their birthright minus the blessing and the comfort provided by a divine sanction which probably the Chinese have no need for. From early Chinese civilization they have always felt the confidence of being superior in culture and civilization and that their ultimate destiny will be one of universal ascendancy.

Perhaps this is what would be worrisome. China is a godless nation and therefore would not share some of the precepts of morality that emanates from the recognition of an Almighty. Some of the local reactions on the bullying of China at the Scarborough Shoals had some tinges of resignation and of leaving it to the divine for a comeuppance on the offending bully.

China will probably be more successful than the US in handling their dominant position in world politics. Despite their huge population they are able to hold in check the resistance to their stringent ways of governing by applying harsh penalties for subversion and the limiting of basic freedoms; human rights and press freedom.

The democratic principles adhered to by the Americans are the source of their dynamism which propelled them to their greatest heights, but these are the same principles that helped undermine their success as it allowed much protest, protest actions, for perceived abuses of government and the mighty institutions that are allied to government.

American commitment to basic freedoms within their country is laudable but in many instances has been a source of critical observations and pressures to government as they tended to give much freedom to those who tend to abuse them and those organizations who champion anti establishment advocacies. A leading democratic nation, the US is sensitive to the opinions of their publics, much more correctly, to politics which at times bend honest intentions to accommodate what is politically expedient.
As in other democratic countries the US is not exempt from the abuses the establishment has in curtailing freedoms through machinations, manipulations and conspiracy among the institutions that represent the structures that make up their society. The government, the financial bloc, the political groups, the military and civic organizations who champion the rights of civil society find themselves in collusion with each other, in several instances contrary to the individual citizens’ interests and well being. 

Their role in the international sphere started from their imperialistic dreams as seen in their doctrine of Manifest Destiny. At its start Manifest Destiny was just a way of justifying and idealizing their desire to spread American influence to the whole world. At its basest it represented the penchant of dominant countries to exercise power over puny countries using “shamful” altruism as motive. Real intentions have been subsumed in the messages their media and mercenary chroniclers have depicted in their propaganda not only addressing their countrymen but the world at large.

The Americans are masters of this artful deception. The guys who brought you Balangiga Massacre, the carnage in San Juan bridge, the My Lai village obliteration are the same guys who brought into our culture Coca Cola, Levi’s, Ford, the Marcos regime, political corruption, a rambunctious and irresponsible media. Through their crafty use of media to massage our minds we have become reasonable facsimiles of the white man minus the wealth.

These have all being ushered in by Admiral Dewey in the spirit of Manifest Destiny in that infamous afternoon when the hapless Montojo saw his fleet sunk against a glorious Manila Bay sunset. This American naval victory heralded the brutal and harsh colonization of a far eastern country. Our former colonizer, Spain just looked on helplessly as a former ward nation underwent a harsh change of masters. Not any of the western master nations could lift a finger in succour of vanquished wimp nations.
Manifest Destiny is not arguable and so is might is right, an unfortunate but factual notion.  However, it provides the other powerful nations like the US, UK and France the reason to just stay away from the scene and let the travesty happen. At the end of the day, nations instinctively avoid order threatening situations and other issues which may be more inimical than beneficial for their state. They once had their fling with Manifest Destiny in one form or another, so, even without condoning China’s imperialist thrusts, they understand and may cast a blind eye.

Only the noisome terns and frantic baby terrapins would be witness to the abuse committed on distant shoals. The bullied is alone.

Woe to the Philippines and the other countries that would be swept away by the Yellow tide, the ever extending boundaries of Chinese sovereignty.

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