Four Types of Consciousness

As we have discussed the top for many times, the world is not black and white. There are so many gray areas (different degree of gray) in almost everything. In foreign media, and people’s mind, Chinese government is the extreme side of irrationality, and Chinese people are on the same side, while the media is in the middle. However, this is not always true. I tried to draw a GRAY level chart. The chart is according the the dimension of consciousness or rationality (unfortunately, the world has more than 1000 dimensions you can take). Please add if you saw more people that can be hardly put into any of the four buckets.

  1. Angry Youth. Simple minded, and ready to die or kill or do whatever asked to do, if someone tells them this is the right thing to do for their country. There are plenty of them. They are typically young (I was once one of them, which I don’t want to hide), and don’t understand how complicated the world yet. If not because of the policemen, they are the first to burn a Carrefour store, or rush into US embassy with sticks in hand. Even with policemen guarded, they successfully throw a stone into a French, or Japanese, or US store, depending what is "hot" in TV. <–> In US, they are the individuals who never been to any other country, and even cannot draw where Tibet or Darfur is, and just join whatever protest group the saw and shout for something, as long as the evidence people show to them seems reasonable.
  2. Conscious Patriot. They know how to love the country, and take actions they believe can do good for their country – only their country, not anyone else. Conscious patriots also argue with each other (because they started to think independently), and if you look close enough, there are many sub groups within this group of people. Some believe boycott is the most effective way to show feeling, while others think putting Love China is cooler, and can engage millions of people already. Some may love both action, while others don’t like either. They just forward patriotism articles tireless on all major BBS, and even buy millions of email addresses to spread the emails (they don’t think they are spammer, because they are in the name of Patriotism). Some people form hacker group to attack targeted web sites; other completely disagree with any hacking behavior (also for many different reasons. Some may think hacking is illegal in any country, while others think to quietly use his power to disconnect a foreign company web site which happens to be in his IDC is more practical. Let me stop here without digging further.). I just listed very limited number of types of the different behaviors in this group. You may get the idea. They are thoughtful, and they believe in whatever they believe to help the country. Most of all, they know what they are doing, which is the key to distinguish this group from the Angry Youth.
  3. God-like Analyst. With the whole country full of patriots, there are still some calm guys who tried to tell people to cool down, and do everything in the framework of the current law. They remind people of consequences, and they call for stopping boycotting, stopping burning French national flag (especially not to burn German flags by mistake in some occasions), and call for communication. They try to provide a solution that benefits not only China, both also the world (or in many countries, not only world, but also China). They didn’t take any action other than thinking and writing (and not many dare to talk face to face with Angry Youth yet, because of the risk of injury) behind Internet. They tried to pull down the flame while others try to raise it. These guys are often called traitors in any camp, and their voice is seldom heard. They are often accused as "pretending to be the God, who don’t have a motherland".
  4. Careful Balancer. People who make decisions in the Chinese, and other government may below to this group. On one hand, they try to show to the people that they are fight back on behalf of the people hard enough (otherwise, they have really internal problems. The Qing Dynasty was overthrow partly because of it) while don’t want to cross the line, and cause real trouble with International world. The US and French government is the same. It is a political crisis for both China and France, and both governments have to be very careful to handle this hot potato. On one hand, they have to react the way its own massive people want (for China, request apology from CNN, and for France, the president has to throw away his Olympic opening ceremony ticket), and other the other hand, they have to maintain a level of good relationship for the interest of both people (for China, keep the real diploma relationship going, and carry out the signed big contract with France, and for France, the same, plus a letter from the president to Jin Jing). For Angry Youth, it is so simple to say "I want to die for this country". For Conscious Patriot, it is easy to boycott anything, for as long as they want. For God-like Analyst, it is even simpler – just type a word or two. However, for the government, any action causing death is called a war, which surely cause humanity disaster; any boycott from government means millions of worker lose their jobs in their own country, as well as the opposite country, or any careless word can cause a consequence that no one can take. Not everyone can take the job, and very few can handle it well. We already saw some really bad examples.

Above are just some of the groups of people I saw. Where am I in the groups? I don’t know. I used to be the Angry Youth, and I sometimes act as "Conscious Patriot", and often, I am God-like Analyst (like in this post). Anyone can shift from one side to the other side a little bit depending on what they see, and what they think THAT day.

Interestingly enough, when Angry Youth types of people from two opposite camp met, who knows what may happen! Most of the times, Angry Youth just follow Conscious Patriots and do whatever they tell them to do. Let’s pray for the Conscious Patriots to make good decisions!

The real situation is far more complicated than this analysis. I just try to imagine some of the scenarios in this whole mess: the Conscious Patriot type of Pro-Tibet people may strongly disagree with Angry Youth type of pro-Tibet protester who were so wrong to try to get the torch from Jin Jing (a PR disaster for the camp), but they are also strongly against those God-like Analyst, who ask them not to leverage Olympics. God-like analysts in Pro-Tibet camp may claim that they don’t like what the Chinese government did in Tibet, but when they see how scary the behavior of the Angry Youth type of people in the Chinese camp, they may (my guess) think the government is more rational. It is the same for the Chinese camp. For God-like Analyst in China, they tried to ask Angry Youth to start to think before behave, but when they saw what the Angry Youth type of pro-Tibet guys did in Paris, they may be easily turned into Conscious Patriots, or Conscious Patriots may turn to Analyst, when they saw the consciousness of some people in the other camp. Wow. The combination is endless. Even people with the same type in the same camp may argue for a long time. That is the reason there are so many articles around this issue everywhere, including the one you are reading.

In both camp, there are some God-like analysts try to help the own camp to understand the other side, and find some way out for the both camp. Some God-Like Analysts even sit completely in the middle, like Grace Wang – the most dangerous position to take.

However, "history is made of People", and the history has repeatedly show us, the people is made of Angry Youth, and Conscious Patri

ots, but very rare is made of God-like Analyst, just because there are so few of them. The history in the combating world (like in the long history of China) is always written by the winner, and no matter which side win, God-like Analysts never get mentioned.

How sad it is.

20 Comments

  1. Great article.

    While IMHO, Grace Wang is not like a God-like Analyst. Writing ‘Free Tibet’ for whatever reasons is not an innocent action. So she’s chosen her side.

    Don’t try to be a neutral mediator after you showed what you stand. Personal attack to her and her family is Angry Youth’s mistake , while I think she’s not as neutral as a God-like Analyst after reading her article on Washington Post.

  2. Angry Youth = 義和團

    Conscious Patriots = 袁世凱

    God Like Analyst = 李鴻章

    Careful Balancer = 慈禧太后

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but don’t call me a traitor! Thanks.

  3. I think there is a movie call “the children of huangshi”, directed by roger spottiswoode, the story is based on the true story and began in a blood assualt on the capital of nanjing. as the japanese in the story that claim they were just trying to help the chinese in china, because of civil war, curruption and so on; they were there trying to rebuild the system……everyone in the world know wot japanese have done in nanjing tho, except the citizens in japan………and its quite understandable why the foriegner (politicians)so desperate and willing to help china, tho its rather amusing to me….

    angry youth had the rather dangerous destructional power…..which can leads up to massacre at tiananmen square….as a topic u might want to talk about….i always wonder and as i never been there myself, why the angry youth at that moment wannna stand up aganst the gov’t and willing to die for human right..as u said some one tell them to?

    may be its sth that u can help me to explore with……its becoming a trend that foreigner always judge chinese gov’t according to those very old material which may be distorted like wot BBC and CNN have done this time…

  4. hello jianshuo, I’m glad to find your blog. Recently I had an interesting conversation with a mainland student studying in California. He is about early 20s age. We talked about what happened in China in 1989 and he was so emotional about it saying foreigners made up the whole story and that thugs were determined to overthrow the government. It was obvious to me this guy was totally brain-washed. I felt sad because most young people in China are all brainwashed like him. I felt China is hopeless and has no future.

    Then I read several of your blog entries and feel China does have a bright future. Hopefully future leaders are smart enough to learn from you.

  5. And just today there was a letter to the Editor of our local paper (San Jose Mercury News) written by an American expat living in Suzhou Jiangsu province in which the writer states: “…(I) observe daily an immensely peaceful and prosperous society where the vast majority of families are intact, people worship freely and openly, and there is an overwhelming feeling of excitement and optimism for the future. I myself feel greater freedom here, in China, than I do in the United States. China’s workforce is happily working toward the future with a fervor and motivation that the United States hasn’t seen since the Industrial Revolution. Quite simply: China is poised to become the next world superpower. From where I stand it seems certain and well deserved.”

    I do not know this writer, or the circumstances for their being in China, but I was happy to read one person’s opinion which seems to support the hope and optimism Jian Shuo has described among the Chinese people :-)

  6. What about you . You seem to be a God-like analyst.

  7. Thank you for putting this all in perspective. As an American in China I was beginning to think from the blogsphere that the entire country had turned into a seething cauldron of hate. This view didn’t comport with my daily experience, but I just assumed people were being polite to my face, but hated me behind my back. Maybe there is still hope for rationality on both sides.

  8. @Allen, I mentioned about my type in the article (and I know people may see me completely different from what I see myself).

    @CRM, don’t worry. Not everyone is involved in this. My guess is your friends are polite to you before you and behind you. No matter how tough the international relationships between countries are, the friendship of people are seldom affected.

  9. @Tony, there is no surprise that the 20s student you met talk about the event that way. If he is 20 years old, at that time, he is only 1 year old. In China, after that date, it is not a topic people can discuss, or mention. Even something align with the CCTV statement is discouraged. They just want people to forget… However, there are many people who won’t forget.

  10. @CRM, it is this perception that you have that worries me, because that is probably the same perception that people outside China would have too – that the Chinese have all turned rabid. This doesn’t help China at all.

    The same perception in reverse is probably true too; (no thanks to the media) the Chinese also have this idea that everyone else is against them, and the fenqing (angry youth) resort to more angry rhetoric and actions.

    Tada… a vicious cycle is perpetuated.

    The international media amplifies every news and yes, they are pretty skewered in reporting and tensions are heightened as a result. But we can choose not to be led by our noses; we have a choice to be objective, don’t we?

    Just this morning in the gym, I heard someone speaking French. I could scowl at her, but I chose to smile. (Traitor… did I hear someone say that?)

    We struck up a conversation; we seem to hit off quite well. Who knows whether it is the beginning of a friendship? Who knows, there may be more commonalities between us than differences like Free Tibet.

  11. @mei: unfortunately when you have no idea of the “truth” you will be led by whichever “news” you consider accurate. The news people are pretty powerful these days. Impartiality is a joke. This is the golden age of yellow journalism and we are all lemmings diving off a cliff.

    @Tony: brainwashed implies that the person once knew things differently. I noticed that this is a convenient catch-all word many westerners like to use when describing anyone who holds a contradictory position. It allows them to dehumanize the other party. Please resist describing us as such. The person whom you deemed “brainwashed” may not have the opportunity to see the whole picture. If you must, use ignorant, which would be a fairer label. I hope through this forum you see us as individuals and not a “brainwashed” mob.

  12. A sane and measured dose of skepticism is what we all need.

    I was once merrily (foolishly?) naive, then I was angrily cynical and now I’m a healthy skeptic of almost everything… including anything, any slogan, labels, titles that has the word “Free” or “Freedom’ in it.

    I don’t mean to be disparaging, but these words are way loaded in meaning to be so readily and often carelessly (or deliberately) bandied around, in whatever that may turn up next.

  13. @Jian Shuo, 不同意你的观点,20岁的小孩子就一定不了解那些事情吗?

    如果没猜错,你那个时候也是10来岁,你又懂得什么呢? 如此不负责任的否定一个人的观点,你是否觉得不妥?

    你如何认为你了解的就一定是真相?CNN吗?美国的某本书吗?还是某几个美国人的观点?

    不知道为何,我从你的字里行间我能感受到你的一种”傲慢”和”优越感”在里面,不知道你的优越感从哪里来?

    也许你知道西藏问题和天安门问题一样,都不是简单的国内问题。国家与国家之间从来都只有利益的关系,其他的都只是这个棋盘上的一颗棋子而已。民主如此,自由也是如此。

    本拉登是谁培养出来的?

    阿富汗自由了吗?

    伊拉克民主了吗?

    西藏问题,台湾问题,新疆问题的后面隐藏着什么,我相信以你的聪明和智慧,不可能不知道。我想你应该不会告诉我你没有听说过CIA,没听说”促进民主基金会”?

    沟通的确能解决很多问题,但是沟通不能解决所有问题。正如不希望看到一个强大的苏联一样,美国也不希望看到一个强大的中国,只要中国想立于世界民族之列,中美之间的博弈就将永远进行下去。其实美国根本就不care中国是否民主,是否自由,它只关心它的国家利益。

    民主,自由对于美国来说,只是一个对付中国的工具而已。

    我想,对于今年的这个事情,对于中国人来说,绝对不亚于911之于美国人。911美国人是如何处理的?美国人有说我们应该和本拉登沟通?有人敢说美国应该和本拉登沟通?

    民族感情是不能被侵犯的。如果对方一味的用各种方式来侮辱你的民族,你的国家,而你在那里讲这个可能是我们的错,我们应该沟通,这只能表示你的软弱,用比较通俗的话讲这就是一软蛋,别人想怎么捏就怎么捏。

    我从来不喜欢给人口帽子,我也愿意相信你是一个具有爱国心的人,但是在这个敏感时期,你是否应该考虑你的言行是否有助于国家度过这个难关?或者真的符合你提倡的”沟通”的标准?

  14. @dalas, (please allow me to use English to response to your comment for the sake of many readers on this blog who dont read Chinese)

    I agree with you on these points:

    1. I am 12 in 1989, and I only got some limited “facts” during that time. I didn’t know what was going on behind the fact that my favorite cartoon program was paused and replaced with burned bodies all the time on TV. I still don’t think I know what happened – I don’t pretend to know.

    2. There are big interest conflict between US and China, and it is so between any country, and there are conspiracy group behind man political events. I am aware of this.

    However, I don’t agree on some of your argument.

    What I am doing is to seek the truth – what is happening in this country. In the last few years, I talked with many people (I recorded some of the conversation and my thoughts on this blog during the last 5 years) just want to know more. I am trying very hard to understand different perspectives – what are those guys protesting for? What can be wrong in China, and what can be wrong in the western countries, just because I love this land. I often question people’s confidence of knowing exactly the truth, since the more I learnt, the more I know the importance to be humble to history, and don’t be too easy to say: “You are wrong. This is what right looks like!”. Sorry if I sound like arrogant – but I am often misunderstood when I say: what you heard from this source may not be the truth (in Tony and the student case, I am very sure what the students said (overthrow the government thing) is not the complete story). People may perceive that I imply I know more than them – I don’t.

    On the conflicts between US and China, it is more of the two governments. I am more concerned in the people to people field. These are completely two different fields. I don’t want to mix to two. Let the politician and conspiricist in both side do their job to protect the interest of the two countries, and I do my job to increase communication between the people. I don’t know how you feel after reading the 100 to 200 long comments (like yours) on this issue, at least I personally learnt so much during the direct conversation on this blog in the last few weeks. Imagine how big the influence it will be on me after reading 26,000 of them? I admit that I may also be mislead by my comm enters, which I don’t can be avoided. As I always believe, the world is much more complicated than we can imagine.

    For your final comment about patriotism, do you agree that just as you have your right to use your way to help this country pass this difficult time, I also have the right to use my way to help. We can discuss about what is the best way to help (is it boycotting, or protesting, or something else, please give me suggestions), but up to now, I still believe that I am doing something to help this country. If you think otherwise, please share your thoughts, as many others have done on this blog, instead of just ask me to stop doing what I am doing.

    I accept any accuse that what I am doing is not helping this country, or helping keep the world away from World War III, but I don’t accept any claim that my intend is not helping.

  15. Jian Shuo: I appreciate your seeking the truth and trying to understand the points of view of all sides. Keep strong in the face of false accusations and unfair personal attacks. Hopefully some Chinese angry youths can be influenced by your wisdom…

  16. I am not a big fan of labels. These lablels get people into trouble and some even suffer time in prisons because these labels worked against them with the change of leaders in the party. Patriots, traitors, communist, kuomintang, four olds, capitalist roader, liberal bourgeoisie, etc, do some of these nationalistic labels make any sense to you nowadays?

    I know its sad and shocking to see a protester snatching away the torch from Jin Jing who is a handicapped. But the conscious Chinese need to ask themselves “Why?” Why did it happen? What led to it? What can we do about it?

    The person who snatched the torch hasn’t been identified so far. Some doubt if that person is even a Tibetan. The latest news is that Chinese have started threatening to this wrong person who is from USA and was at USA and not in France at that time. Some pictures captured traced the guy with Chinese supporters later on. Pictures can be deceptive sometimes. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a staged action planted by CCP to play with nationalistic sentiments.

    All lives are important and precious. During the recent protest in Tibet, some Chinese were harassed by Tibetans and some innocent people got killed. But do you know how many thousands and thousands of Tibetans were murdered by the Mao Tsetung armies? How many Tibetans were killed by Chinese armies after the 1989 protest in Tibet?

    I ask Chinese people to watch the movie “Dalai Lama- Renaissance”. When asked by western scholars if they can strategically work towards boycotting Chinese goods in the west, he clearly stated that there is no need to boycott Chinese goods by westerners. He said, it will harm the poor Chinese workers depriving them of work and income. Whatever we do, should have “mutual benefit.” He further commented “pressure the Chinese authorities, and not Chinese people If allowed in your country, please read the book ” My Land and My People” by His Holiness The Dalai Lama, so you will know the Tibetan side of the story.

  17. I am not a big fan of labels. These lablels get people into trouble and some even suffer time in prisons because these labels worked against them with the change of leaders in the party. Patriots, traitors, communist, kuomintang, four olds, capitalist roader, liberal bourgeoisie, etc, do some of these nationalistic labels make any sense to you nowadays?

    I know its sad and shocking to see a protester snatching away the torch from Jin Jing who is a handicapped. But the conscious Chinese need to ask themselves “Why?” Why did it happen? What led to it? What can we do about it?

    The person who snatched the torch hasn’t been identified so far. Some doubt if that person is even a Tibetan. The latest news is that Chinese have started threatening to this wrong person who is from USA and was at USA and not in France at that time. Some pictures captured traced the guy with Chinese supporters later on. Pictures can be deceptive sometimes. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a staged action planted by CCP to play with nationalistic sentiments.

    All lives are important and precious. During the recent protest in Tibet, some Chinese were harassed by Tibetans and some innocent people got killed. But do you know how many thousands and thousands of Tibetans were murdered by the Mao Tsetung armies? How many Tibetans were killed by Chinese armies after the 1989 protest in Tibet?

    I ask Chinese people to watch the movie “Dalai Lama- Renaissance”. When asked by western scholars if they can strategically work towards boycotting Chinese goods in the west, he clearly stated that there is no need to boycott Chinese goods by westerners. He said, it will harm the poor Chinese workers depriving them of work and income. Whatever we do, should have “mutual benefit.” He further commented “pressure the Chinese authorities, and not Chinese people If allowed in your country, please read the book ” My Land and My People” by His Holiness The Dalai Lama, so you will know the Tibetan side of the story.

  18. @TibetanLady,

    Thanks for your comment. Labeling and using the label as a way to fight between people is bad, but classification is the only way we can understand the world. We can try to classified things better, but we need to do it for discuss.

  19. What I have observed is that most of my University classmates are like tape recorders, many say the same things (Angry Youth), but when asked “Why?” “Why did it happen?”, etc, they don’t know, they have no idea and worst of all, they don’t want to explore the topic any further.

    They are happy with their neatly wrapped reality!

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