A few days ago we published a translation of the satirical Fifty Cents Party Training Manual. In the interest of fairness and at the request of some Anti-CNN commenters, we now bring you a translation of this, a similar sendup of democracy advocates.
First item: This egg tastes great, because it is a democratic egg.
Second item: All democratic eggs taste good, there is no such thing as a bad-tasting democratic egg.
Third item: Undemocratic eggs are definitely disgusting, because they are undemocratic eggs.
A: This egg tastes great.
B: Why does it taste so good?
A: Because it is a democratic egg.
B: Democratic eggs are definitely good?
A: Of course! Please see the second item [above].
B: So how is it that the eggs of democratic India taste bad?
A: Well…you’re making a messy comparison there.
B: But India’s eggs really do taste bad.
A: I’ve already told you, please see the second item: All democratic eggs taste good, there is no such thing as a bad-tasting democratic egg. Even if it did taste bad you can’t say it tastes bad, making comparisons with India is messy, you should make comparisons with America, remember political correctness.
B: So democratic American eggs definitely taste good?
A: Of course! Because they’re democratic eggs.
B: But democratic America also has some bad tasting eggs.
A: Please refer to the second item [above].
B: I think Chinese eggs also taste good.
A: Please look at the third item [above], undemocratic eggs definitely taste disgusting, and even if they taste good you can’t say they taste good, please remember political correctness.
B: So what must Chinese eggs do to become good?
A: Become democratic.
B: And what is “democratic”?
A: Democracy is one-man-one-vote elections, separation of powers, the right to own guns, etc.
B: If there were elections, would everyone choose you to be the president or a legislator?
A: Well…hmph! I don’t have that much money, and I don’t have a grip on public opinion, so they can only choose someone else. Whoever has the most money, the most speeches, the most honors, and the fewest scandals will be elected.
B: So do you understand the person you want to elect?
A: For that all you have to do is watch the media.
B: Who is qualified to be a candidate?
A: That’s not for me to worry about, those capitalists and financial groups will pick two candidates and the public will select one of them.
B: So you’re saying you can only choose your own boss from the representative agents chosen by financial groups. How is that democracy? It’s clearly just choosing your own emperor.
B: Those three items you said are definitely correct?
A: Yes of course, I learned this in America, the media is always howling about democracy, people are always talking about democracy, and the internet is also influenced. There is no need to doubt the correctness of those three items, if anyone raises doubts about their correctness then they are anti-democracy.
[Since this one was a little shorter anyway, a few comments from netizens on Anti-CNN. There aren’t many comments on the post yet, and most of the replies are more in the way of personal conversations between forum members than direct replies to the topic, though]
The original poster [i.e. the person who wrote the dialogue] is an idiot. Just some mental ward patient jacking off?
[In response to the above commenter] As soon as you see the word “democracy” you’re always the first to rush out. In the future, be a little bit more restrained.
This kind of summarizing post should be often reposted, let everyone see clearly the face of democracy mongers!
Obviously, both this and the Fifty Cents Party Member’s Training Manual are attempts at satire and thus, to some extent, attacking a straw man. Obviously, the “democracy” described in this post isn’t democracy at all, and arguing that China shouldn’t be democratic because India is a mess makes about as much sense as arguing that China shouldn’t be Communist because the Soviet Union collapsed. What both authors are satirizing (and, ironically enough, also engaged in) is the other side’s refusal to see reason and their stooping to straw-man tactics in arguments.
The difference, of course, is that the Fifty Cents Party is, by all accounts, a real thing. Where democracy advocates are perhaps just zealous and unwilling to admit democracy’s flaws, Fifty Cents Party members are literally being paid to deflect criticism (of course, not everyone accused of being in the Fifty Cents group actually is).
The whole democracy or not argument is irrelevant until both sides are willing to actually consider the truth. There are good and bad things about democracy, and both sides could stand to learn from the lessons democracy has taught us throughout history: the good and the bad. Characterizing it as either the best thing since sliced bread or a chaotic mess controlled by “the media” to give power to corporations serves no one.
Although I suppose it does serve as an opportunity for young men to vent their frustrations by cursing at strangers over the internet. And who am I to get in the way of that?
On an unrelated and narcissistic note, check out this article on China bridge blogs in the AFP (via ESWN). It talks extensively about ChinaSMACK, which both Max R. and I also write for, and also mentions ChinaGeeks (although for some reason they didn’t put a link). The author interviewed Fauna (of ChinaSMACK), who is insightful and humble as always, Kaiser Kuo, who I should probably be thanking for mentioning this site because he is awesome, and Shaun Rein, who I have called “extremely pedantic” and once suggested should be replaced in his post at Forbes by an empty beer bottle. So, all in all, a good mix!