I’d Vote for Rick Perry if Teddy Roosevelt was his Vice-President and if He Learned Respect for Diverse Peoples and Cultures Like China

Teddy Roosevelt: Awesomest American ever.

I find Rick Perry problematic, much like how I find soggy French fries, inefficient bureaucracy, and Asian chicks who dye their hair ridiculous colors and act cutesy problematic. But that aside, I want to praise glorious People’s Republic of China at Perry’s expense.

In a recent interview with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, Perry made the following side comment about China:

You know, China disregarded the world for a millennium… and they lived in their own little world. [America] can’t afford to do that.

I don’t know if the average Chinese person would be offended, but I would be if I were Chinese. This attitude about historical China – that it was a reactionary, isolationist civilization that refused to change – is one that even some historians believe.

Even a quick glance at Chinese history within the last “millennium,” as Perry puts it, would easily undermine any such claim that China “disregarded” everyone else and “lived in their own little world.” Some examples:

  • China was one of the if not the largest economies in the world up until the 1700s and 1800s. Chinese products such as silk, ceramics, coins, and so forth, have been found as far as places like Italy, Arabia, Persia, India, Indonesia, Russia, Kenya, Mozambique, and maybe even Zimbabwe. Why the heck do you think all those crazy white dudes like Columbus wanted to sail to China? To be brainwashed by Chinese propaganda?
  • The Imperial Chinese government allowed for various ethnic, religious, and political groups to settle in China, not counting those that were already in China. During the past millennium, people such as Muslims, Nestorian Christians, Central Asians, Southeast Asians, Persians, and other white people all moved to China, particularly because of the lucrative economic opportunities.
  • China was very much involved in the political affairs of everyone around them. Up until the 1800s or so, nearby countries were forced/persuaded to pay tribute. These included states in modern-day countries such as Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Nepal, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, and all those Stans in Central Asia. You don’t go around asking for tribute if you, well, “disregard the world.” Additionally, China did get involved in international affairs in other states. For instance, China assisted Korea in defending against a Japanese invasion in the late 1500s, of which had important historical ramifications for the three countries and even Mongolia. China also invaded Vietnam a few times, but they all failed because Vietnamese housewives beat their husbands.

    Chinese ships helping their Korean comrades by blowing up Samurai.

  • Chinese ships helping their Korean comrades. The Samurai don’t stand a chance. Notice the rockets. So much for a backwards military.
  •  Perhaps one of the clearest shows of Chinese power and domination during the Imperial era were the voyages of Zheng He, which lasted from 1405 to 1433. Long story, a Muslim eunuch named Zheng He (he was Muslim, but the Chinese emperor didn’t really care about that, now did he?) was appointed admiral and sailed in this huge fleet to a bunch of places, including but not limited to Southeast Asia, Indonesia, India, Persia, the Middle East, and Africa. The ships sailed by Zheng He were possibly some of the largest ships in the world until the 1800s, reaching hundreds of feet in length and holding hundreds of sailors and other personnel. Regardless, Zheng He made a good point convincing most countries he met why pleasing China was a good idea (or at least that China meant $$$ and a good business opportunities).

    Zheng He, epitome of what Rick Perry considers to be a civilization that "lives in its own little world."

  •  Even after China stopped these voyages and put restrictions on merchants and other travelers on where they could go, that did not mean that China suddenly “lived in their own little world” and turned into a backwards reactionary state in two seconds. During the Ming Dynasty, for instance, when these restrictions were first imposed en masse, the Chinese were still willing to trade with Europe; in particular, China stockpiled on a lot of silver coming from Spanish colonies in the America (the collapse of Spain’s gold and silver markets in the early 1600s might have been one of the causes of the collapse of the Ming Dynasty). Again, this doesn’t show “disregard for the world” if you go stocking up on stuff that is mined half a world away by Amerindian and Black slaves.

So given all these blatant counterexamples to Perry’s claim that China “disregarded the world” and “lived in [it’s] own little world” for the last “millennium”, why do a lot of people like Perry – and even some academics – continue to claim that China was a stagnant, self-interested, reactionary civilization in the previous millennium, and particularly the last few centuries?

It’s quite simple, I think, and it all rests on the fact that the Chinese (and other powerful non-Western civilizations such as India, Persia, Indonesia, Arabia, and West Africa) weren’t (and aren’t) white Europeans. China didn’t go around exploring vast territories, killing most of the natives, colonizing now empty lands, and reaping in the resources. But Europe did. Since Chinese people aren’t like Europeans, the Europeans logically concluded that they must have been inferior. Respect for diverse peoples and cultures at its finest.

Though China didn’t go on mass murdering colonization rampages (that’s not to say they didn’t do very mean things themselves), they did progress in different ways. For instance, China developed a number of innovations during this time, including but not limited to gunpowder, barreled gunpowder weapons, paper currency, movable type printing, archaeology, grenades, land mines, naval mines, forensics, rockets, multi-stage rockets, bureaucratic red tape, and political corruption.

Technically this is a Korean weapon, but it is similar to a number of Chinese rocket weapons during the same era. In short, rockets beat samurai.

Economically speaking, China had no reason to go on crazy adventures like the Europeans. It was not necessarily because they had all the resources they needed back home; rather, it was because places like the Americas and the African coasts were too far away, and merchants were already moving back and forth between other parts of Asia and the Middle East already making good profits, so why bother waste funds sending Chinese men on risky expeditions to the middle of nowhere?

Perry’s claim that China “lived in their own world” is perhaps fueled by a Western misconception of China’s own perception of its place in the world. For a very long time, China considered itself the center of the civilized world, hence its modern name “Zhōngguó,” which means “Middle Kingdom” or “Middle Nation”. It had good reason to be, though, given all its achievements and how big it was compared to most of the states around it. Thus, when Europeans first came to China, the Chinese scoffed at them, particularly when the Europeans refused to pay respects to the Chinese officials in the Chinese way (kowtowing) for instance. So much for respect for diverse peoples and cultures. Europeans and Americans have since misinterpreted this attitude as an arrogant, self-interested one, since, of course, anybody who wasn’t going around colonizing and killing was either stupid and uncivilized or self-interested and backwards.

In fact, the Chinese were just as self-righteous, prejudiced, and conceited as the Europeans were. They just expressed their bastardom in different ways.

And that, I think, is what respect for diverse peoples and cultures boils down to: learning how and why other peoples and cultures are just the same bastards as you are.

I don’t blame Perry for his comments, though; as stated earlier, most people – and even a number of historians – still hold the same, outdated misconceptions of China, and these misconceptions won’t go away for a while. I just hope that everybody learns to respect diverse peoples and cultures. Seriously. It would make international relations a lot easier.

Anyhow, still, when it comes to Republicans, I think I’d rather trust Jon Huntsman over Perry when it comes to China. Actually, just make Teddy Roosevelt the Republican nominee again, seriously. I’d totally willingly vote Obama out of office if that happened.

China vs. Japan: An Objective Comparison

China and Japan sort of hate each other. It’s a known fact. They’re also the only two East Asian countries your average white person can name. Because of this, misconceptions arise, such as the idea that ninjas are from China, or that Tokyo is a province in China, which would actually be hilarious.

People don’t realize, for instance, that rice from China and rice from Japan are different. Rice from Japan is mushier and stickier from my experience, making it easier to pick up with chopsticks. However, Japanese chopsticks are fatter at the end, making it harder to pick up other stuff.

Therefore, because the common masses need to be educated about diverse peoples and cultures, I’ve devised an objective, scientific, unbiased, proletarian way to compare the two countries and see which one is awesomer based on 10 randomly selected aspects. Let’s start, then:

1. Greatest Invention Ever
Japan: Supercheap McWeddings at McDonalds
China: Mesopotamia as a children’s toy c. 3000 BC (source: The Onion)
Winner: China

2. Geography
Japan: a bunch of random islands
China: a chicken
Winner: China

It'd still look like a chicken without Tibet, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia.

3. Chances of Meeting Someone’s Who Hot
Japan: average, I guess?
China: there’s more people in China, so, by logical reasoning, there’s more hot people
Winner: China

4. Head of State’s Title
Japan: “Emperor”, the only one in the world
China: “President” is a rip-off of the American version
Winner: Japan

5. Medieval Weaponry
Japan: Katana are just swords, as hard as it is to believe
China: Repeating Crossbow – it’s a crossbow, it’s a machine gun; no, it’s a machine gun speed crossbow!
Winner: China

Used in Asian armies up until the 1900s. Beat that.

6. Best McDonalds Menu Item
Japan: Bacon Potato Pie
China: Chargrilled French Fries (at least in Hong Kong)
Winner: China

7. Worldwide Cultural Influence
Japan: anime, video games, and Pokemon
China: grandfather of all East Asian cultures; homeland of Confucianism, Taoism, Zen; inventor of the printing press and gunpowder; important part of the Silk Road trade network, etc. etc. etc.
Winner: Japan

8. Relations with Vietnam
Japan: about half a decade of occupation during WWII
China: 1000 years of occupation, followed by 1000 years of on and off aggressions up until the present day (arguably)
Winner: Japan

Average Vietnamese women going about daily business of beating up Chinese guys before returning home to beat their husbands.

9. History
Japan: bunch of warlords sitting around on an island killing each other (and themselves) and otherwise doing boring stuff until white people come along
China: too long to summarize
Winner: China

10. Double Headed Eagles
Japan: obscurely used in some obscure anime adaptation of some (obscure) video game
China: they probably invented it, but I can’t confirm that
Winner: Draw

Conclusion:
China wins 6-3. It invented East Asia, after all.
All hail the glorious People’s Republic!

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Denounce Inefficient Bureaucracy: Inefficiency is Capitalist

Bad bureaucracy encourages propaganda, greed, and a lack of respect for diverse peoples and cultures, just like capitalism. Like everybody’s mind, mine is like a bureaucracy, a sprawling mess of random thoughts, memories and emotions that oftentimes are left in an antiquated archive rarely to be touched again. It’s time I purged my mind of unwanted, capitalist elements.

Therefore, in order to create an atmosphere of trust and informed-ness, it’s time I create a blog for the good of the greater masses. It’s time to denounce inefficient, capitalist bureaucracy.

Anyhow, like most bloggers, I’ll love to see comments and thoughts from anybody who reads this. Actually, I’m desperate to see comments. Reading just my own propaganda isn’t fun – seeing the diverse, democratic thoughts of others is always enlightening. Criticism is also welcome, as long as you do not sound like a nationalist bastard. I promise that you will not mysteriously vanish after making such comments.

That said, I have received word that this post and blog are approved by the Imperial Propaganda Agency and the Imperial Public Relations Ministry.

Remember: support the bureaucracy of the people by denouncing inefficient bureaucracy!

Two eagles, one body