- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 90 Hour
- Reading permission
Originally posted by schreiber at 2007-9-4 14:04
China needed enemies because it was running out of political steam. Communist revolutions are messy business and communist states function as long as the revolutionary attitude is mainta ...
Yeah. History shows that the search for an external enemy culminates with enemies being found within. A bit of psychology explains why.
Albert Einstein once said:
“If my theory of relativity is proven correct, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say that I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew.”
A theory known as self-categorisation theory explains Einstein’s prediction. The theory proposes that an individual has various social groups that they identify with (family, state, country, continent, religion, humanity). In order to gain self-esteem, the individual will a) either associate themselves with a social group that is defined by success, or b) distance themselves from a social group tainted with failure. This identification is quite fluid. For example, once minute, religion might be important. The next, the country is important. Five minutes later, the religion is important.
There are numerus problems stemming from trying to unite people by seeking enemies. One is that distancing the in-group from the failure of an out-group is one of the weaker forms of esteem attainment. More esteem is attained by talking about the in-group’s success. So hating the Japanese hinders conversations about positive aspects of Chinese. A second problem is that hatred stifles the fluid nature of social identification. So as Chinese are encouraged to hate the Japanese, they are constrained from finding esteem in other possible identities. In a way, Communists want this as communism is expected to be the sole identity that matters. However, that Communist ideal is at odds with ingrained human psychology to identify with multiple groups. Consequently, the individual may find the singular Communist identity to be repressive and constrictive. Subsequently, they rebel and a cultural revolution may be needed to deal with the rebellion. A final problem is that the hatred becomes a point of division between groups seeking esteem. For example, southern Chinese, who didn’t experience the history of Japanese occupation, might pride themselves on being more forgiving and less political than the northern Chinese who experienced the invasion first hand. Likewise, Taiwaness or Tibetans might approach the war issue in a way that helps their group find some positive distinctiveness from the rest of China.
So, all in all, I’d say more unity could be achieved by talking about the positive achievements of China, rather than negative things about the Japanese. It would definitely make this board more interesting as well. I don’t know about you, but I find it quite boring always reading about how evil the rest of the world is.