Netizen: Random Thoughts on the Olympics

The following text was posted by Chunaqinglaowei (纯情老卫) in a popular China-based social networking site Douban.com, but the original author is unknown. Thanks to M.J. for the translation:

(It is inconvenient for the author to leave his name, please forward freely)

On the morning of the day before yesterday, I turned on my computer and saw on MSN a friend’s signature: “Don’t boycott Japanese goods, don’t boycott French goods, boycott idiots.” I found his words a little extreme, but I stand on the same grounds. When I first saw the text message to boycott Carrefour, my first reaction was also: “How are these people so stupid?” My thoughts were then: We should base any decision on the premise of truth, but do we understand the truth? Is the domestic media reporting the truth? This is not in line with our experiences in China, otherwise we will not refuse so many foreign journalists from traveling to Tibet.

There is also another simple truth: If the Dalai Lama truly advocates violence, then how did he win the Nobel Peace Prize? Is the Peace Prize also manipulated and exploited? Later we changed our explanation, saying that he was able to conduct a successful international public relations campaign. This explanation does fit in with our consistent strategy of political deception and utilitarian logic – we cannot acknowledge that he is fundamentally rooted in real values and gains recognition from the international community, who identifies with those values. If not so, then why don’t you go and try to conduct an international public relations campaign?!

Also, we always say that the Dalai Lama fans the flames of “Tibetan independence,” but we have never heard the Dalai Lama talk about his ideas — when Hong Kong media broadcast the Dalai Lama, it immediately cuts off the news as he begins to speak. On one hand, to ask nationals to remain obedient, and on the other hand, to so crudely pull the wool over their eyes, is this really appropriate behavior? Is this how a so-called “great power” country treats its own citizens? With such an attitude towards the people, how can the people be convinced?

It seems that the international anti-China forces are not just a handful, but are quite influential: the European Parliaments, the U.S. Congress, and many government officials. Do all these people have ulterior motives? We are given the answer that these people harbor bad intentions, and are deeply fearful of China’s rise – even experienced senior analysts in Hong Kong have said so. They may truly have some fear, not because China is rising, but because such a China is rising: a China with no guarantee of human rights, in which rights defense is an impossible ordeal; where people cannot be their own masters and lack dignity, while corrupt officials rage in action, where the wanton abuse of public power reigns; natural and manmade disasters follow one after the other, and the ecological environment can sends a person into shock…when all are living on the same planet, anyone with a conscience will be burdened with worries, not because his own position is under threat, but because the planet is laid to waste, and humanity is being destroyed!

Yes, amidst all of this are strategic voices using the Olympic stage to express their demands, and so, we accuse them of politicizing the Olympic Games – but wait, did we not politicize the Games as well? Is the the purpose of our hosting the Olympic Games truly that of sportsmanship, friendship, and peace? We keep saying that the Olympic Games will be the means by which China will showcase its great achievements in opening up to reform and displaying its spirit of a harmonious society, is this not politicizing the Olympics? This is a more profound politicizing: to strengthen political legitimacy through the Olympic Games. In this sense, the Olympic Games has not only been politicized, but was also made into a tool — along with all those who are participating.

The Chinese overseas have also opposed “Tibetan independence,” and are “Pro-Beijing.” If they act out of free will, then it is completely legitimate. But this precisely explains this logic: The world itself is multi-faceted and full of differences, so why not allow people the freedom of expression rather than suppressing the so-called dissidents by arresting them? Stop deferring to “because it hurts the 1.3 billion Chinese people’s feelings” and “these are the common sentiments of 1.3 billion Chinese” at the drop of a hat. You have never asked for my opinion, and I have never given you the authority to represent my views.

“Beijing Olympics” is a dilemma, a difficult problem. “Beijing” represents the Middle Ages, and the “Olympics” relays modern universal values, but now, the two mismatched icons have been tied together, how can one react in accordance? To participate means a loss of dignity, to boycott means a loss of business. And that which caused the Olympics to become such a predicament is, of course, not the Olympics itself. But those who exploit the Olympic Games – those are the real culprits with ulterior motives! Why is it that as soon as the Olympic Games came to China, such plight and difficulties arrived as well?! Why are you so difficult with all those in the world?

Can the Olympic Games lead China to become more open? Perhaps, it is like a meteorite that fell on China, shaking loose the facade and exposing the gaps underneath. From then on, “unified thinking” becomes ridiculous, “no dissent” becomes a falsity, and “no exceptions” becomes farce.

2008-4-18