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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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".
- 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.