The following is a translation of this post by Li Yinhe.
Nowadays there are some young people who are quite conservative in their thinking, who have more or less stopped at the level of the Westernizing faction of the late Qing dynasty. They advocate a Chinese “system” but Western “usage”. They promote the adoption of Western science and technology, but are against the adoption of the Western democratic system. They refer to those who call for a western style democratic system “Han Jian” (Han Traitor). They even compare some Chinese practices with McCarthy era legislation
The following is a quote:
The Alien Registration Act or Smith Act (18 U.S.C. § 2385) of 1940 is a United States federal statute that makes it a criminal offense for anyone to
…Knowingly or willfully advocate, abet, advise, or teach the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing the Government of the United States or of any State by force or violence, or for anyone to organize any association which teaches, advises, or encourages such an overthrow, or for anyone to become a member of, or to affiliate with, any such association.
The bill has been revised a number of times since it was enacted, but is still in effect. In July 1948, in accordance with the aforementioned law, the Us government brought a lawsuit against Eugene Dennis and 11 other Communist Party leaders for breaking it. Among the accused were journalists, who were charged with “teaching and advocating the violent overthrow of the US government”. Proof of this was in the Communist Manifesto and other Marxist works. Because these 11 leaders of the Communist Party USA were “considering publishing certain ideas” they were thrown in jail. This was in America, the land of “no legal limits on free speech or publication”. According to Title 18, 2385 of the United States Code “Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty […] of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States […]” or any person who “prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter” to that end “Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both[…]”. Freedom of speech does not extend to obstructing the provisions of the US Constitution, nor does it extend to publications that libel or attempt to overthrow the US government. China’s Han Traitors haven’t even read Uncle Sam’s laws and are blindly kowtowing to him. They think that in America you can criticise the Communist Party however you like and call it freedom of expression.
I have two points to make about the above:
1) Are we against adopting Western laws? Why are we making Western laws the benchmark? It’s like saying, “Well, even America punishes people for expressing certain political views, so why can’t China do the same?” Isn’t this kind of logic the mistake the so called Han Traitors are making?
2) In advocating for the adoption of Western ideas, we’re advocating adopting good ones, not bad ones. Be it America or China, punishing people for expressing political views is wrong. America made mistakes during the McCarthy era, and democratic and intellectual circles did a lot of soul searching about it. If America made another mistake with regard to this law today, we would have to oppose them on it. I remember in Pittsburgh in the 80s there were Communist Party USA members handing out flyers and since then I haven’t heard about them being charged with anything. The West not only has a history of punishing people for expressing their political views, but of executing girls for being witches. Naturally we shouldn’t adopt this kind of thing, but instead those things that they do better than us.
Basically, I believe that adopting democratic improvements from the West doesn’t make one a Han Traitor, on the other hand wanting to adopt its barbaric past does.