By popular demand, we continue our translation of this post by Zhao Weilu. Click here for Part 1. In the post, Zhao Weilu is listing thing Chinese internet “patriots” often do that he finds both widespread and annoying.
Translation Part 2
- Talking about “the motherland/mother says…”
- Talking about “Five thousand years of civilization…”
- Saying “Patriotism is opposing the West”
- Talking about “Loving the country means loving the Party”
- Talking about “great, glorious, and correct”: “Patriots” seemed to have learned by heart old Mao’s saying “There is no love that is completely without reason, there is no hate that is completely without reason.” Therefore, according to logic, when explaining why they love the Party, they always bring up these three reasons. Unexpectedly, [many of the] the slowly-awakening masses [have taken the attitude of] ‘you make lofty speeches, I will stand on the side and regard you coldly. And they [the people] are often raising doubts: it’s uncomfortable to speak of [historical incidents like] opposing the Anti-Bolshevik group, the Anti-Rightist Campaign, the Great Leap Forward, the People’s Commune, the Great Chinese Famine, the Cultural Revolution, the current trend of official corruption, layoffs at State-Owned Enterprises, eroding economic assets, the unopposed control of the ruling class, allowing real estate [prices] to kidnap people, people who can’t afford to study, see a doctor, or even die; can all of these things be called “great, glorious, and correct”? This is the absurdity of “patriots”.
- Talking about “the great Mao Zedong”: Every year for these two days, the voices eulogizing old Mao can be heard loud and clear. Commemorating a man who had such an influence on modern Chinese history is of course necessary. But this kind of “commemoration” has gone beyond the kind meant for men and has become more like prostrating oneself before a god; this truly makes a mockery of [Mao’s famous saying] “the Chinese people have stood up.” This is true, if for no other reason, because when prostrating oneself the legs cannot be straight and the waist is bent [thus, the Chinese people are not standing]. Some poet once wrote that “time” has started, but only today has time truly started. With the tick of the clock, the truth of history will be revealed and the lies will be peeled away. This is the falseness of “patriots”.
- Talking about “traditional culture”: How to look at traditional culture is a truly a big question, but when it gets into the hands of “patriots”, only a single word is left — “love”. Actually, the long-windedness of these “patriots” is unnecessary; the quintessence of traditional culture will always be inherited and treasured by Chinese people, and will never be abandoned no matter how much society changes. What’s been abandoned is really just the ‘dregs’, like queues, mandarin jackets, bound feet, and palace eunuchs. “Patriots” close their mouths and don’t speak of it, but what’s really mean was the destruction campaign against the ‘four olds‘; who knows how many wonderful treasures were lost that could have been passed down to future generations. Right now there’s a big uproar in the field of Chinese history about preserving traditional culture, and that does have inherent value, but giving “traditional culture” over to these “patriots” [to define] makes one uneasy, if for no other reason than that what “patriots” fervently tag themselves as is “lovers of the nation” and not “lovers of culture”. From the language in their essays, we can see that the “traditional culture” and “national history” they write about is just about ruler and subject, father and son to them. This is the “slavery” of “patriots”.
- Talking about “the Chinese people/the descendants of Yan Di and Huang Di”: Originally [we all] spoke like this from when we were little through adulthood, because it was convenient and we were used to it, so continuing in this manner seems unavoidable. But re-thinking it, there’s really something doubtful about these two phrases. You, me, and he, we all have Han, Mongol, Hui [Muslim], etc. on our ID cards, there is absolutely no one whose ID card says “Chinese nationality/ethnicity”. So along with this comes a question: who is a member of the “Chinese ethnicity”? And that brings along another question: are those who aren’t “the descendants of Yan Di and Huang Di” Chinese or not? This is truly a confusing issue! Looking at things from the beginning, “the descendants of Yan Di and Huang Di” has long been something Han people call themselves, and “Chinese ethnicity [中华民族] also has more than a hundred years of use as a name [for Han people]. Now, even if the “five thousand years of history” is true, who should get credit for it? This is even more confusing! If the motherland says we must succeed, then who exactly is the mother? This is a much, much more confusing question! What is clear is that “patriotism” [love of country] is not unconditional, and that clearly saying whose country it is one loves is a necessary condition. But “patriots” won’t explain themselves, yelling, “it’s just love, it’s just love.” Isn’t this the “stupidity” of “patriots”?
- Talking about “when you’re full [from eating] you must be patriotic“: Finally “patriots” are talking about a substantive topic. The people see food as heaven, so if heaven collapses [i.e., if there is no food], there there’s naturally no love or lack of love [of one’s country]. But the logical error is that “patriots” have taken being fed, which is a condition necessary for survival, as though it were a condition that meant people were totally satisfied. They say you must be patriotic once you’re full, and if you aren’t, then you’ve lost your roots. Without even talking about the past, how many times since the “Chinese people stood up” have they fallen to the ground in hunger? Is it because they weren’t industrious? “Patriots” will not say this. Is it because the geographic conditions weren’t right? “Patriots” always talk about China’s ‘vast territory and abundant resources, with produce rich and plentiful,’ and so on and so on. Regardless of how they hold the banner of righteousness aloft, “patriots” will never say how the “country” itself produces food and clothing. In the final analysis, the food that people eat is the result of their own labors, and thanking the earth and the Kitchen God on holidays is enough, what does the “country” have to do with it? This is the “muddled-ness” of “patriots”.
- Talking about “those who aren’t patriots are beasts”: “Patriots” fear and suspect that their own voices are not loud enough; [so] with their asses in the clouds they act as though they were gods. They are indeed wiser than gods, in that God only made Adam and Eve on the last day, but “patriots” can ‘create’ chickens, dogs, pigs, and goats on any day they wish. Ah, how similar to “The Forces of Evil” they are! “Patriots” always feel they are standing on the moral high ground, but people with any real level of morality at all don’t treat others as though they were beasts; or is it that if they don’t suddenly feel patriotic, then they aren’t people at all? This, surprisingly, is something negotiable, and “patriots” love ripping into their inferiors. After those called “evil”, “ruthless”, “perverse”, and “barbaric” by “patriots”, is there anyone left?
[For the full translation of the first four points, read Part 1 of our translation.]
“Fakeness”, “Greatness”, “Emptiness”, “Plotting”, “Absurdity”, “Falseness”, “Slavery”, “Muddled-ness”, “Evil”, “Ruthless”, “Perverse”, and “Barbaric”; adding them up together it’s thirteen points; consider it a New Year’s gift for the “patriots”. If you avoid New Year’s as a foreign holiday, then I’ll wait until the Dragon Boat Festival to give it. Just as the fervor of “patriots” does not fade with time, it’s likely that this criticism of them won’t become inaccurate over time [because “patriots” will still be doing the same things].