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1/22/2014

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Filed under: — Alan Baumler @ 7:41 am

Clomid For Sale, As it is the beginning of the semester, I went to dig up the famous quotes from Emerson and Adams on what is wrong with China. Ordering Clomid online, If you find yourself needing these, well, Clomid online cod, Clomid description, here they are.


 From Ralph Waldo Emerson's Journal & Miscellaneous Notebooks, Clomid schedule, Clomid mg, an entry from 1824:


The closer contemplation we condescend to bestow, the more disgustful is that booby nation, cheap Clomid. Effects of Clomid, The Chinese Empire enjoys precisely a Mummy's reputation, that of having preserved to a hair for 3 or 4, discount Clomid, Clomid natural, 000 years the ugliest features in the world. I have no gift to see a meaning in the venerable vegetation of this extraordinary people, Clomid treatment. They are tools for other nations to use, Clomid For Sale. Purchase Clomid, Even miserable Africa can say I have hewn the wood and drawn the water to promote the civilization of other lands. But China, doses Clomid work, Online buying Clomid hcl, reverend dullness. hoary ideot, what is Clomid. Clomid dose, all she can say to the convocation of nations must be --"I made the tea."



John Quincy Adams, addressing the Massachusetts Historical Society, Clomid recreational, Clomid used for, 184i
The fundamental principle of the Chinese Empire is anticommercial. Clomid For Sale, It utterly denies the equality of other nations with itself, and even their independence. It holds itself to be the center of the terraqueous globe, buy Clomid without prescription, Is Clomid safe, equal to the heavenly host, and all other nations with whom it has any relations, Clomid duration, Clomid class, political or commercial, as outside tributary barbarians reverently submissive to the will of its despotic chief, Clomid overnight. Clomid results, It is upon this principle, openly avowed and inflexibly maintained, Clomid over the counter, Clomid pics, that the principal maritime nations of Europe for several centuries, and the United States of America from the time of their acknowledged independence, herbal Clomid, Clomid blogs, have been content to hold commercial intercourse with the Empire of China. It is time that this enormous outrage upon the rights of human nature, Clomid cost, Clomid gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, and upon the first principle of the rights of nations should cease .

This is the truth, is Clomid addictive, Clomid wiki, and, I apprehend, Clomid from mexico, Clomid pictures, the only question at issue between the governments and nations of Great Britain and China. It is a general, but I believe altogether mistaken opinion that the quarrel is merely for certain chests of opium imported by British merchants into China, and seized by the Chinese Government for having been imported contrary to law, Clomid For Sale. This is a mere incident to the dispute ; but no more the cause of war, where can i find Clomid online, Order Clomid online overnight delivery no prescription, than the throwing overboard of the tea in the Boston harbor was the cause of the North American Revolution

The cause of the war is the kotow!- the arrogant and unsupportable pretensions of China, that she will hold commercial intercourse with the rest of mankind, Clomid alternatives, Buy generic Clomid, not upon terms of equal reciprocity, but upon the insulting and degrading forms of relation between lord and vassal, rx free Clomid. Buy Clomid without a prescription, From Grayson, Benson Lee ed, purchase Clomid online no prescription. The American Image of China New York: Frederick Ungar, 1979


The point of using these quotes, of course, is to help students get beyond the pretty standard American view that before being awakened by the West China was a stagnant unchanging place that was the opposite of everything a good society should be. If you want to hear me unpack everything that is wrong with these two quotes you should drop by 232 Keith Hall at 12:20 this afternoon.

From here (and also here) I found this great image of how Americans use  China to stand for backwardness. Would it not indeed be awful if Cincinnati became like China.

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4/4/2013

Buy Alesse (Ovral L) Without Prescription

Filed under: — Alan Baumler @ 8:29 pm

I was reading Leyland Stowe's They Shall Not Sleep  Buy Alesse (Ovral L) Without Prescription, Stowe was a WWII journalist, and I was interested in his time in SW China. While on the Burma Road he has a bit of an incident as he, Alesse (Ovral L) from mexico, Where to buy Alesse (Ovral L), his driver, and a Chinese named Yang rocketed along the road, taking Alesse (Ovral L). Buy Alesse (Ovral L) from canada,

Yang was an amiable, shrewd-eyed young roughneck, Alesse (Ovral L) samples, Where can i cheapest Alesse (Ovral L) online, reckless and devil-may-care, and his friend was of precisely the same stripe, is Alesse (Ovral L) safe. No prescription Alesse (Ovral L) online, The valleys were longer and wider now, so Yang drove at a fast pace, my Alesse (Ovral L) experience, Generic Alesse (Ovral L), all the while chattering, joking, Alesse (Ovral L) pictures, Alesse (Ovral L) dose, and gesticulating with his pal. Hitting it up in this fashion, Alesse (Ovral L) cost, Alesse (Ovral L) natural, we burst suddenly over a slight rise in the highway and a sickening sight struck my eyes. Exactly in the middle of the road lay the body of a man, Buy Alesse (Ovral L) Without Prescription. The side of his head was bashed wide open, ordering Alesse (Ovral L) online. Alesse (Ovral L) overnight, His face and shoulders were covered with blood. He was trying to crawl- to lift the upper part of his body on his hands, low dose Alesse (Ovral L). Alesse (Ovral L) dosage, I saw all this in a split second as Yang jerked the wheel to the right and we sped past. Buy Alesse (Ovral L) Without Prescription, I grabbed the knee of the driver, who sat between Yang and me. "Stop, Alesse (Ovral L) interactions. Alesse (Ovral L) recreational, He's dying. We've got to help him, effects of Alesse (Ovral L). Alesse (Ovral L) from canada, Stop!" I cried again. Though they couldn't speak a word of English, of course they knew what I meant, Buy Alesse (Ovral L) Without Prescription. But Yang pushed his foot down on the accelerator, purchase Alesse (Ovral L). Alesse (Ovral L) duration, We were making fifty miles an hour now. I looked back, cheap Alesse (Ovral L). Get Alesse (Ovral L), I thought I had seen pieces of brain bulging from the wound in that man's head. Buy Alesse (Ovral L) Without Prescription, Yang and his partner were jabbering to me in great seriousness now. The gist of their gestures was plain enough, Alesse (Ovral L) no rx. Purchase Alesse (Ovral L) for sale, Their gestures said: "If we stop we will be blamed. People will say that we ran him down, about Alesse (Ovral L). Alesse (Ovral L) without prescription, If you try to help people you only get into trouble. The only thing to do is to get away fast." Yang drove on faster than ever, Buy Alesse (Ovral L) Without Prescription. In a few minutes the two Chinese were chattering and laughing together as lightheartedly as ever, Alesse (Ovral L) gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release. Alesse (Ovral L) forum, In the Orient you seldom worry about a dying man or a dying animal. Here, Alesse (Ovral L) use, After Alesse (Ovral L), and most of all on this Burma Road, it is every dog for himself, Alesse (Ovral L) no prescription. Buy Alesse (Ovral L) from mexico, Yang and his partner had simply followed a rule of the over-populated, misery-ridden East, order Alesse (Ovral L) from mexican pharmacy, Alesse (Ovral L) steet value, a rule which is thousands of years old. ((p.16))
Buy Alesse (Ovral L) Without Prescription, The indifference of Asians, and maybe especially Chinese, to human life is one of the commonplaces of Western travel writing and fiction and I can think of lots of examples of this kind of thing.  This seems to extend all the way across the East. "In Casablanca, Alesse (Ovral L) street price, Buy cheap Alesse (Ovral L), human life is cheap" but it seems to have been really prevalent in the 20th century. Stowe is not quite writing fiction here, but he is repeating the standard western literary trope that you know you are in China when you see someone die unattended by the side of the road. In this story this essential fact of Chinese culture even transcends the language barrier, as Stowe is able to translate his companion's Chinese inhumanity without even knowing Chinese. Stowe's account is particularly bad about this, but I am wondering if anyone has a sense of when this became so prevalent and how it changed over time. I wonder if the war may have been particularly bad, since in the warlord era or the Qing you could always talk about cruel warlords or feudal mandarins to get in your bits on Chinese inferiority, but after a while it sort of had to be the common people, as China was running its own affairs.

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12/26/2010

Prozac For Sale

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 10:46 pm

Prozac For Sale, Quite by coincidence, I ended up reading three books on Chinese monuments, but not until the third did I realize that what I was reading was a history of modern monuments. The first two books I picked up relatively recently - as my "to read" stack goes - but since they were related to my Early China course this last semester they moved to the front of the line. Order Prozac from United States pharmacy, (( If memory serves, they were both bought at Daedalus Books in Maryland. Great prices, Prozac blogs, if they've got what you're looking for; dangerous place for book-hounds. Buy Prozac without a prescription, )) The third was a review copy sent by Cornell UP to "Jonathan Dresner, Frog In A Well Blog." (( Yes, the rest of the address was there, Prozac canada, mexico, india, too, Online Prozac without a prescription, but that's boring. )) The books are

  • John Man, The Terracotta Army: China's First Emperor and the Birth of a Nation, Bantam Press, 2007

  • Julia Lovell, The Great Wall: China Against the World, 1000 BC - AD 2000, Grove Press, 2006.

  • Chang-Tai Hung, Mao's New World: Political Culture in the Early People's Republic

Why do I say these are modern monuments, Prozac For Sale. The terracotta warriors, while a monumental work, Prozac class, were unknown until 1974, Prozac from canadian pharmacy, and did not become "monuments of China" for several years after. The Great Wall was a fairly obscure remnant until foreign visitors, mistranslations and reporters (including Ripley himself) raised so much interest that the Chinese government refurbished and made it accessible primarily as a nationalist beacon and tourist attraction, Prozac forum. Though they have older stories to tell as well, What is Prozac, they actually fit quite well into the discussion Chang-tai Hung presents of the artistic and aesthetic politics in the first decade of the PRC.

Portland Art Museum - Han Clay ChariotJohn Man's investigation into the Qin tombs is a journalistic archaeological whodunit, a very competent roundup of physical research into Qin remains and contemporary technologies, order Prozac from mexican pharmacy. Prozac For Sale, For me, the journalistic investigation style wears thin very quickly: the habit of holding back important information to the end - which journalists share with weak mystery writers, among others - as a way of impelling the reader really grates my academic reader instincts. The archaelogical and journalistic investigation into the physical possibilities of the tomb and tomb figures is not matched by historical sensitivity: the treatment of historical texts here is adequate but not satisfying. Purchase Prozac online, Man presents the theory that Sima Qian was, through his heavy-handed criticism of the Qin emperors, attacking his own sometimes cruel and capricious monarch, buy Prozac without prescription. (( 16-26, Order Prozac online c.o.d, passim. Man doesn't really explain, then, Prozac natural, how he distinguishes between the details from Sima Qian that he trusts and those that he doesn't, Prozac used for, though he continues to cite him. )) This gives him opportunity to present other recent evidence suggesting that the Qin legal system wasn't that bad (e.g, Prozac For Sale. 82) and that the problem with the Qin was, fundamentally, after Prozac, leadership (especially succession). Online buy Prozac without a prescription, Aside from the historical revision, Man embarks on a revision of the traditional narrative of tomb figure creation itself, investigating the processes of construction and production - using the souvenir reproduction industry as a surrogate - in an attempt to arrive at a plausible figure for workers and time needed to complete the tombs as we know them, where can i order Prozac without prescription. The number of assumptions necessary is problematic, Prozac schedule, but the physical descriptions and pictures of the figures are great fun. In related news, U Mass Amherst's Warring States Project looks like it might bear great fruit, fast shipping Prozac, the lectures section looks like the best starting place for dabblers. Prozac For Sale, Julia Lovell's survey of Chinese wall-building is more traditional history, but is clearly directed at a broad audience as well, and she has extensive journalistic experience in addition to being a history lecturer at Cambridge. Cheap Prozac no rx, The book is quite comprehensive, but the narrow focus on the development of what comes to be known as The Great Wall - the careful elucidation of the history of the naming is worth what I paid for the book by itself - means that the context is sometimes lost. The core of the book is, taking Prozac, in a way, Japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal, the maps: a lovely series throughout the book showing the different configurations of long walls built by dynasty after dynasty, and pictures and descriptions highlighting the very temporary nature of the typical earthen walls. My biggest question about Chinese wall-building has always been its effectiveness: continuing wall-building suggests that the Chinese dynasties believed their effectiveness, Prozac alternatives, while the historical record seems to plainly indicate that walls were ineffective in times of crisis and conflict with northern societies, Prozac maximum dosage, almost invariably highly mobile cavalry-based forces. Lovell's thesis in this regard is interestingly nuanced: when dynasties are vital and trade with pastoral communities is reasonable, then walls are both effective and largely unnecessary; when dynasties are weak, Prozac brand name, or try to close off trade with the northern peoples, Prozac pharmacy, then the walls are a speedbump, at best. Walls appear effective when they are built by young, vibrant dynasties; this makes them attractive for tottering governments which are trying to bolster borders without spending real time and money on military preparedness, Prozac For Sale. As Lovell notes several times, buy cheap Prozac, and the French learned much later, Ordering Prozac online, the problem with walls is that they have ends: determined enemies routinely rode around, rather than through, them, is Prozac safe. And dynasties in decline often have trouble maintaining the loyalty of border guard commands that are ill-paid and can't rely on vigorous back-up, Prozac overnight, so circumstances like the end of the Ming dynasty were more the rule than the exception. Lovell relies heavily - and openly - on Arthur Waldron's The Great Wall of China: From History to Myth, but since I haven't read Waldron yet, Prozac wiki, I can't tell how much she's added to his work; the bibliography is very substantial, Buy Prozac from canada, though, and very up-to-date. She ends with a consideration of the "Great Firewall" which certainly is appropriate, buy generic Prozac, though I'm not sure really adds all that much to the book.

Gao Zhen and Gao Qiang - 2009 - Miss Mao Trying To Poise Herself at the Top of Lenins Head Prozac For Sale, Chang-tai Hung's study of cultural production and manipulation in the first ten years of Mao's rule is a surprisingly clear and lively work: the combination of theory and aesthetics and politics could have made this book unreadable and useless, but I'd actually consider using this with undergraduates if I were teaching a more focused course on China. Prozac duration, (( The individual chapters would work as stand-alone readings, as well, though the totality of the vision doesn't come through that way, Prozac dangers. )) Looking at the early years of the People's Republic through the lens of architecture and art makes clear both the ideological themes and the totalizing visions that made up Maoist communism. Prozac coupon, The core of the book is ten chapters in five categories, bracketed by Tiananmen Square - first, the square itself, rx free Prozac, and the Sino-Soviet rivalry that led to the creation of the world's largest public space, Prozac dose, and finally the "Monument to the People's Heroes" which decorates it, and the historical and political debates that determined its orientation, decoration, Prozac trusted pharmacy reviews, inscription and presentation. In between there are chapters on parades, folk dance, cheap prints and ornate oil paintings, including the infamously altered Founding Ceremony by Dong Xiwen. The balance between syncretic adaptation and revolutionary rejection of existing aesthetics is fascinating, as is the tension between internationalist communism and Chinese nationalism, Prozac For Sale. The latter isn't, actually, so much a tension as an outright contradiction, I suppose: Hung argues consistently that nationalism was part and parcel of Mao and the CCP's appeals, a kind of "original sin" of the PRC that eventually manifests in the Sino-Soviet split, the Great Leap Forward and the present rising tide of national self-regard.

In this context, of course, the Qin tomb figures and the walls become part of a longer, larger story of national self-creation. Though it's probably wrong to speak of "nation-building" in the case of the Qin - or even in the case of the Ming - there's a strain of something like nationalism at the elite levels of Chinese culture that is very easy for populist leaders to adapt into a broad-based cultural phenomenon. I had a substantial discussion about American exceptionalism a while back in which I argued that Chinese elite culture displays all the substantive hallmarks of nationalism in the Early Modern, except for a broad-based popular movement, and possibly even before that. At the very least, the centrality of these monumental works is clearly part of the current nationalist discourse, and very deliberately so.

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10/4/2010

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Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 3:34 pm

Buy Proscar Without Prescription, I had a student ask me in class, recently, about whether China, among other countries, was planning to take advantage of our coming collapse to move into a position of world domination, that they had operational plans and expected the collapse to come momentarily. Proscar pics, I responded by pointing out that most advanced nations develop contingency plans for a wide variety of possible future scenarios, so that the existence of a plan is no guarantee of it's probability, Proscar trusted pharmacy reviews. Order Proscar from United States pharmacy, Then, today, Proscar treatment, Purchase Proscar, I read about this 2006 Delaware Senate debate:

Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell of Delaware said in a 2006 debate that China was plotting to take over America and claimed to have classified information about the country that she couldn't divulge.

O'Donnell's comments came as she and two other Republican candidates debated U.S, Proscar cost. After Proscar, policy on China during Delaware's 2006 Senate primary, which O'Donnell ultimately lost, Proscar from mexico.

She said China had a "carefully thought out and strategic plan to take over America" and accused one opponent of appeasement for suggesting that the two countries were economically dependent and should find a way to be allies, Buy Proscar Without Prescription. Proscar over the counter, "There's much I want to say," she said at the time, Proscar used for. Online buying Proscar hcl, "I wish I wasn't privy to some of the classified information that I am privy to."

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2/12/2010

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Filed under: — C. W. Hayford @ 3:04 pm

Buy Ventolin Without Prescription, "Beware of China, for when the dragon wakes she will shake the world."

Napoleon. Although there's no evidence that he ever said it, rx free Ventolin, Ventolin recreational, the quote caught the essence of what westerners thought should be the case and has been endlessly recycled.

But over the last decade a lot of  loose talk about "China Rising" has been going around, Ventolin canada, mexico, india, Ventolin price, coupon, getting more intense in the last couple of years.

History News Network has a collection of recent posts gathered from the internet, Ventolin from canada, Ventolin online cod, "HNN Hot Topics: China Rising."

China Beat, our second most favorite blog (after this one) has run a powerful set of pieces on "Big China" books, Ventolin description, Get Ventolin, that is, books that loudly hail or bemoan China's rise or menace, real brand Ventolin online. Buy Ventolin from mexico, Jeffrey Wasserstrom, has roundup, purchase Ventolin for sale, My Ventolin experience, "Six Takes on Martin Jacques," a follow up to his piece in Time Magazine online blog (Feb 8, Ventolin price, Where can i find Ventolin online, 2010), "Big China Books: Enough of the Big Picture." Jeff skewers the Olympic scale conclusion jumping in a gaggle of these books, especially Martin Jacques, where can i buy cheapest Ventolin online, Order Ventolin online overnight delivery no prescription, When  China Rules the World : The End of the Western World and the Birth of a  New Global Order.

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7/29/2009

Imperial Visits and Attitudes

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 1:02 am
I just learned of the Japanese Emperor and Empress' visit to Hawai'i [via]. It's not the first time that a member of the Japanese Imperial family has visited the islands, though you would hardly know it from the gushing "historic" reports of the media. Though this is the first visit by Akihito as Emperor, Akihito has visited the islands before, as have other members of Japan's now-symbolic dynasty. In addition to the Advertiser's photo gallery, there are some excellent shots on Flickr by "731photo" and "onecardshort", as well as one picture from the US Pacific Command. (( That it's a better shot of the Admiral than of the Emperor is, I suppose, not surprising. )) The continuing connection between the Hawai'i Japanese immigrant community and Japan was a matter of strategic concern from the beginning: The Kingdom of Hawai'i wanted to use Japan as a counterweight against US power; the Republic of Hawai'i used the threat of Japan -- which was actively concerned about the treatment of Japanese in Hawai'i -- to support the annexation of the islands by the US; in the Territorial era, disputes about immigration and about labor organization often involved the Japanese consulate. (( See Gary Okihiro, John Stephan, also Morris-Suzuki )) Chinese Old Man Statue 2 And it's also true that the Japanese government considered Japanese emigrants to be an extension of the nation (( see also )) , and tried, in a fairly blunt fashion, to influence foreign opinion through the overseas communities. By the 1910s and 20s, discussion in the media and halls of power of the Hawaiian Japanese community as a potential "fifth column" was pretty common, and that view was also common on the mainland. It took an immigration ban, a war, Japan's crushing defeat and entry into the US security system, and the "blood sacrifice" of Nikkei serving with distinction in the US military to overcome those fears, and transform the Japanese immigrant community and their descendants into simply "ethnic" Americans. So, a little over twenty years past the end of WWII, fifteen past the end of the US occupation, the centennial of Japanese immigration into Hawai'i could be celebrated with public monuments, publications and events. This history is why I was so disturbed to read about PRC policy which sees overseas Chinese as intelligence and lobbying agents. There's a reasonable argument to be made -- as Ichioka does -- that Japanese government policy towards emigrants gave support to anti-immigrant attitudes in the US and elsewhere. It's true that other governments treat emigres as resources to some extent, and urge their citizens overseas to represent the nation well, but the level of coordination, and open encouragement distinguishes pre-war Japanese policy and current PRC policy from the rest of the pack. I don't think we're on the verge of a "Yellow Peril" panic in the US at this point, but there's no question that this has lead to serious negative consequences for individuals, and could lead to wider problems in the future. x-posted

6/3/2009

The twentieth anniversary

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 11:39 am
I have, as it turns out, very little to say that I didn't say five years ago, but I'll reproduce it under the fold. Reading this year's crop of remembrances, and Philip Cunningham's first-person history, I don't think my views have changed all that much, except that I see the movement more in the context of the decades before -- periodic reformist movements which invariably met with repression whether or not the reforms were eventually pursued -- and it's much less shocking to me now than it was then. Still tragic. And the history since has been, by comparison, oddly quiet.
Still (Mis)Remembering Tiananmen Nicholas Kristof is proclaiming the death of Communism in China and the victory of the Tiananmen protestors. But the death of communism wasn't the point of the Tiananmen protests, nor is communism in China as dead as Kristof would like to think. As stirring as the '89 protests, as tragic as their end, they were relatively moderate in their demands (which makes their vicious suppression perhaps more poignant, that so little was asked). They wanted a more open political process, by which they mostly meant less cronyism and cliques and more egalitarian meritocracy. They wanted an environment in which political speech would be more free, mostly so that they could critique and improve the state, not create alternatives to it. They saw themselves as loyal citizens, their demands as a call for higher and better standards of leadership and their suppression as a deep betrayal, not a foreseeable conflict. They were not a call for economic reform or anti-communist, and they were not democrats. We didn't really realize it at the time, of course. Nor is communism dead in China: the public education system, through which the vast majority of Chinese children pass, is still ideologically communist, though the specifics of the curriculum have evolved as the political mandates have changed. The Tiananmen massacres were carried out by troops brought into Beijing from rural areas less sympathetic to political dissent, and the divide between urban and rural remains more than a difference of economic mode. The Chinese who are not significantly benefiting from economic liberalization -- because of job losses in state enterprises, loss of health benefits, difficulty shifting to new market modes -- or who are doing no worse but who see their neighbors (or neighboring regions) doing radically better have a ready-made critique of capitalist development which still rings true. "Everything the communists said about communism was a lie," goes the new Russian proverb, "but everything the communists said about capitalism was true." The Chinese government still pays lip service to communism and still has trouble justifying its cuts when capitalist development is still a long way from "lifting all boats." If serious trouble breaks out in China, I believe that one of the potential rallying points could be "Communist" (or Socialist) "Renewal." I have a particularly strong tie to the Tiananmen Massacres. It is not only one of the most dramatic historical events to which I was witness (via TV, yes) it was one of the defining moments of my career as an historian, and as a participant in public discourse. It happened the summer after my college graduation, and the drama of the protests was something I felt deeply. I identified with the protesters, as did my friends. I also discovered that the logic of history was not necessarily the logic of humanity (or is it the other way around?) because a day or so before the tanks rolled I told a friend (as an expert on things Asian, of course) that the government did not dare crack down because of the international attention and the likely international backlash against the use of violence. That was a lesson I've carried with me since. My first public writing was a direct outgrowth of Tiananmen. Six months after the event, a memorial event was held at Harvard University (complete with a candlelight vigil I remember as very, very cold) which included speakers from the movement itself, longtime Chinese activists, scholars and others. It turned out to be rather tense and dramatic evening. As with so many interesting events, the news coverage of it the next day in the Harvard Crimson was shallow and sensational (for some reason, I can't find the original article in their archive, I'm afraid). I wrote my first letter to a newspaper that day. I had no idea how long a letter to the editor should be, so I wrote everything that I wanted to say, and dropped it off at the office. I got a call, I think the next day, asking if they could run my piece (absent the introductory paragraph chastising the original article) as an op-ed. THEY DID, and it occupied about half of a page! A friend described it as "dripping with humanity." He meant it, and I took it, as a compliment, and I've been speaking out ever since. I've since learned the art of writing a short letter, and it's still one of the best ways I've found to relieve productively some of the stress of modern life. Blogging's fun, too.

3/26/2009

Following Younghusband to Lhasa

Filed under: — Scott Relyea @ 5:50 pm
Just a quick post of a wonderful website I stumbled upon doing a bit of background research for a point I needed to make in the chapter I'm currently working on (yes, Googling a dissertation!) Field Force to Lhasa 1903-04 These are the letters of Captain Cecil Mainprise, who ventured to Lhasa in 1903-4 as part of the Younghusband Expedition. In another example of 'history-as-it-happens' (similar sites have been highlighted in past Frog posts) a relative of the captain is posting the letters throughout this year, 105 years later, on the day that they were written. Now that I've found him at the Phari Fort today, it's a journey I plan to follow until they reach Lhasa in August, and beyond. For a bit of background, this is the text of the editor's note from the first post on the blog: This book of letters remained unread in my father's book case for many years. I dont think anyone had read them because they were so difficult to decipher and perhaps also because no-one quite realised what an exciting escapade Uncle Cecil had been involved in and what a charismatic and remarkable character Younghusband was. I decided to have a go at reading them after my father died. I would spend evenings reading the letters and dictating what I had learnt into a cassette recorder. This process continued over a period of months. It helped that I had a period of jury service when I could press on. It was a wonderful experience. As if time had doubled back on itself and Cecil was even then on his way to Lahssa. It was a tough journey but in those days they tended to just get on with things. And of course writing to Delia he would not have wanted to worry her.

3/7/2009

Zhou Confucianism? Ming Quality Control?

Filed under: — Jonathan Dresner @ 1:26 pm
In an absolutely fascinating article on the modern petition redress system (( via, where the discussion quickly veered into the surreal, with participants unsure whether China's petition system made it a more responsive and fair political system than the republicanism of the US. )) focusing on attempts by regional officials to prevent petitions from reaching a national office, the Financial Times sidebar, "Confucian Accountability" says
China’s petition system dates back to the Zhou dynasty 3,000 years ago. It embodies a Confucian tradition that idealises an authoritarian yet benevolent ruler who puts the concerns of his subjects above the interests of corrupt officials.
There's the obvious point, that the Zhou dynasty predates Confucianism by a half-millenium or more. Confucius never dealt with the issue of petitions (( One of the many issues Confucius never dealt with. )), nor can I recall any pre-Han thinker postulating such an active (and literate) role for commoners. All of them, though, put the welfare of the people and the state above that of individual (especially dishonest) officials. One of the principle concerns of the more institutionally-minded figures (Mozi, Xunzi, Hanfeizi) is how to pick honest officials, and root out (or work around) dishonest ones, but none of them argue for violating the chain of command, even in extraordinary circumstances. They want a monitoring system which works well in normal circumstances, not something which encourages disorder. The sidebar continues
After the 1911 republican revolution, petitioning was abolished by the Nationalist government. The Communists reinstated it soon after their 1949 revolution. Experts say petitioning remains basically unchanged from the system in place 500 years ago in the Ming dynasty, when the formal evaluation of government officials began to take into account the number of petitioners who travelled to the capital from their region.
Since the Nationalist government was a democratic/republican system, presumably petitioning wouldn't be necessary. I'm a bit surprised that the article didn't take a slightly more critical approach to the idea that petitioning was a normal process over the last sixty years and only recently has started to break down. I can't imagine that petitioning for redress in the era of Mao or Deng wasn't fraught with danger for the petitioner, from the problem of unauthorized travel to the assumption that Party officials are always in the right. The responses that the article describes -- detention, harassment, false imprisonment under the guise of mental illness -- are classic Communist party tools for handling dissension, used widely in the Soviet Union as well as in China. The last point in the sidebar -- the use of petitions as a metric of administrative quality -- is central to the article: the extralegal attempts by local officials to suppress petitions and petitioners is rooted in systemic self-protection, the avoidance of the appearance of trouble. Modern transportation technology, as the article notes, makes travel easier for petitioners, and has contributed to the rise in numbers. But, of course, the nature of modern society is such that it is also much easier to identify, track, monitor petitioners now than it was even fifty years ago, much less five hundred. The problem of danson minpi ("honoring officials, despising the people" as the Japanese put it) was intense during the latter half of the 20th century in China: the scaling up of suppression efforts to match the scaling up of petitions is pretty much par for the course, but the information environment is very different now, and the question of government legitimacy more intense.

2/26/2009

When America looked East (or maybe West)

Filed under: — Alan Baumler @ 1:27 am
Speechwars.com lets you see how many times American presidents have used various words in their State of the Union addresses. This is not a perfect representation of American interests, since some Presidents are more prolix than others and just from my own perusal of the site the SOTU seems to be getting more vague over the years. Still China turns up a lot (353 times) and it is sort of interesting to look at why. The handful of early references use 'China' to mean the ends of the earth or are brief mentions about foreign relations. Grant mentions China a lot in 1870 and 71, usually coupled with Japan (only 222 total mentions! hah!) and the "nations to our South" as the solution to American economic problems. China Market stuff seems to take precedence in the late 19th Century, although the theme of Chinese as barbarians seems common as well. ((I just sampled the speeches rather than reading them all line by line)) The biggest spike of interest comes from 1900 to about 1912, when China got more individual mentions than it would in the 1940's as our wartime ally or than it gets today as the sugar daddy who buys all our paper. The big jump came in 1900, when McKinley gave a long recounting of the Boxer uprising, which was of course America's first major act of cooperative imperialism, just as the Spanish-American war ((Cuba got a spike of mentions just before 1900)) was the first ((Yes, not the first. It's a blog post)) unilateral act. I got the impression he was trying to justify his "soft" policy on indemnities to an American public who were going to have to learn that there with other ways of dealing with non-whites besides killing 90% of them and putting the other 10% on reservations. Teddy Roosevelt seems quite the Friend of China. In 1905 he promised to keep out Chinese laborers but insisted that "we must treat the Chinese student, traveler, and business man in a spirit of the broadest justice and courtesy if we expect similar treatment to be accorded to our own people of similar rank who go to China." (What, gunboats are not enough?) In 1908 Roosevelt uses China as an example of the perils of deforestation, implicitly saying that China was part of the human community and that we could learn lessons (even cautionary ones) from them. Fortunately Taft comes along right after that to get us back on the dollar diplomacy track. He spends a lot of words in 1910 assuring us that American capital is right there building railways and exploiting China along with the best of them. He gives the fall of the Qing a brief notice in 1912, but only to assure us that the loans will keep on coming. After Taft China flatlines for a good decade, however. Not much chance of making a buck in warlord China, and it was not a good example of how American policy was civilizing the globe. So 1900-1912 looks like a time when America and China were both coming out into an international world at the same time. Via Fallows

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