Sunday, November 30, 2014

ASNET Talk (Tokyo University): Knowledge is a Polyglot

ASNET - Tokyo University - Pattberg: Knowledge is a Polyglot: Japan and China in the Global Competition for Terminologies (Jan 8, 2015)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Pattberg accuses @nyt @wsf, others of 'censoring China,' & 'Orwellian rules of writing

To be exact, I also said they are "pseudo-global publications". That's because if The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist etc. were truly global, they wouldn't censor Chinese (and so many other foreign) words and concepts, and they wouldn't stick to their outdated, ultra-violent, racist Orwellian rules of writing (or derivatives of thereof). I reckon that, since so many Western journalist are evidently slow in reporting their own limitations, the case of rampant translation of Chinese key terminologies in those publications will only become a well-reported issue in the West in a decade from now or two; or ten -who knows. But, I would be surprised if the West could get away with language imperialism forever. The liberalization of non-Western words and concepts has only just begun.

Language Imperialism in Western China Studies

At the core of this notion is the West’s (almost) universal disregard for foreign cultural property and originality, as demonstrated in this piece by the Western syndication of “philosophy” and its shady and shameless propaganda methods. Western academics, publishers, and journalists have fabricated an Orwellian ‘World History’ in which Western-only (now exclusively English) terms are eligible. Everything else must be translated, or perish.
This coercion and blackmail of Chinese thought has been going on for centuries, unchecked, uncontested, with the result that today’s ‘China Studies’ and by extension China and the Chinese people in the Western mind have become literally ‘Chinese-free’. This is going to change, says Pattberg, but slowly: That’s because language imperialists hold most positions of power, are well funded, and are determined to guard their dubious (often biblical and philosophical) translations, their academic, political, or journalistic legacy and their colonial sense of entitlement. It’s basically like confronting an organized religion or very dangerous cult of China experts.
The only thing language imperialists don’t have is probably this: an easy future. Just like racism, language imperialism is going lose its justification and its legitimacy eventually; in favor of a more just, authentic, and more correct depiction of foreign cultures. The liberalization of Chinese and other foreign terminologies has only just begun.
Dr. Thorsten J. Pattberg (裴德思 Pei Desi) is a German writer, linguist, and cultural critic. Dr. Pattberg has written and published extensively about Global languageCompetition for terminologies, and theEnd of translation. He is also active in promoting Confucianism, in particular Chinese terminologies, on a global scale.
“Historians persistently warn against misleading biblical and philosophical Western translations of non-Western concepts, but few people outside the profession have heard about their critique. Meanwhile, Western language imperialists pick “Cultural China” into pieces word by word. Most of today’s Western China Studies is fraudulent, incorrect, and misleading.” –Asia Times, July 24, 2012
Language Imperialism in Western Scholarship, Media, and Schools - by Thorsten Pattberg
Institutions and persons mentioned by name (for or against the notion):
Frontiers of Philosophy in China, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, George Orwell, Slavoj Zizek, Benjamin Schwartz, Ji Xianlin, Tu Weiming, Gu Zhengkun, Roger T. Ames, Cambridge University, Harvard University, Warp Weft Way, Peking University Department of Philosophy, Council of Research in Values and Philosophy, The East-West Dichotomy
Book titles and images shown (for or against the notion):
Introduction to Classical Chinese Philosophy by Bryan W. van Norden
Chinese Philosophy: A Selective and Analytic Approach by Joseph S. Wu
Encyclopedia in Chinese Philosophy by Antonio S. Cua
Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy: Han Dynasty in the 20thCentury by Justin Tiwald
Chinese Philosophy by Peter Nancorrow
Creativity and Taoism by Chung-yuan Chang
Heaven and Earth Are Not Humane: The Problem of Evil in Classical Chinese Philosophy by Franklin Perkins
The Way and Its Power: Lao Tsu’s Tao Te Ching and Its Place in Chinese Thought by Arthur Waley
On Philosophy in China by Hyun Hochsmann
The Beginnings of Philosophy in China by Richard Gotshalk
Chinese Philosophy by Wen Haiming
Virtue Ethics and Consequentialism in Early Chinese Philosophy by Bryan W. van Norden
Philosophy on Bamboo: Text and The Production of Meaning in Early China by Dirk Meyer
Understanding Confucian Philosophy: Classical and Sung-Ming by Shu-Hsien Liu
An Intellectual History of China, Vol 1, Knowledge, Thought, and Belief before the Seventh Century CE by Zhaoguang Ge
Chinese Thought in a Global Context: A Dialogue Between Chinese & Western Philosophical Approaches by Karl-Heinz Pohl
Three Ways of Thought in Ancient China by Arthur Waley
Yinyang: Cosmology, Lineage, and Ritual by Robin R. Wang
Chinese Thought: From Confucius to Mao Tse-Tung by Herrlee G. Creel
Ancient Chinese Thought, Modern Chinese Power by Yan Xuetong
Dictionary of Chinese Symbols: Hidden Symbols in Chinese Life and Thought by Wolfram Eberhard
A Short History of Chinese Philosophy: A Systematic Account of Chinese Thought From Its Origins to the Present Day by Fung Yu-Lan
Readings in Han Chinese Thought by Mark Csikszentmihalyi
A Daoist Theory of Chinese Thought: A Philosophical Interpretation by Chad Hansen
The World of Thought in Ancient China by Benjamin I. Schwartz
Contemporary Confucian Political Philosophy by Stephen C. Angle
Sagehood: The Contemporary Significance of Neo-Confucian Philosophy by Stephen C. Angle
Human Rights and Chinese Thought: A Cross-Cultural Inquiry by Stephen C. Angle
A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy by Wing-Tsit Chan
Oriental Philosophy: A Westerner’s Guide to Eastern Thought by Stuart C. Hackett
The Central Philosophy of Tibet by Robert A. F. Thurman
Confucian and Neo-Confucian Philosophy by Chung-ying Cheng
Dao Companion to Neo-Confucian Philosophy by John Makeham
Embodied Moral Psychology and Confucian Philosophy by Bongrae Seok
The Confucian Creation of Heaven: Philosophy and the Defense of Ritual Mastery by Robert Eno
Confucian Reflections: Ancient Wisdom For Modern Times by Philip J. Ivanhoe
An Introduction to Chinese Philosophy by Karyn L. Lai
Confucian Perfectionism: A Political Philosophy for Modern Times by Joseph Chan
Confucian Philosophy: Innovations and Transformations by Chung-ying Cheng and Justin Tiwald
A Confucian Constitutional Order: How China’s Ancient Past Can Shape Its Political Future by Jiang Qing
An Introduction to Chinese Philosophy: From Ancient Philosophy to Chinese Buddhism by Jeeloo Liu
A History of Chinese of Chinese Philosophy, Vol 1, The Period of the Philosophers by Fung Yu-lan
The Way of the World: Readings in Chinese Philosophy by Thomas Cleary
Key Concepts in Chinese Philosophy by Zhang Dainian
Philosophy, Philology, and Politics in Eighteenth-Century China by Li Fu
Dialogue of Philosophies, Religions and Civilizations in the Era of Globalization, ed. By Zhao Dunhua
Book titles and image on Good Writing shown:
Media Writing: Print, Broadcast, and Public Relations by W. Richard Whitaker
An English Grammar with Exercises, Notes, and Questions by Rev. W. Allen
The Grammar of Empire in Eighteen-Century British Writing by Janet Sorensen
An Arrangement of English Grammar with… by David Davidson
The Principles of English Grammar by William Lennie
Effective Internal Communication by Lyn Smith
The Little Book on Oral Argument by Alan L. Dworsky
Speaking to Good Effect: An Introduction by Douglas G. Lawrie
Writing Remedies: Practical Exercises for Technical Writing by Edmond H. Weiss
The Wall Street Journal: Guide to Business Style and Usage by Paul R. Martin
The Chicago Manual of Style: The Essential Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers, The University of Chicago
Writing with Style: Conversations on the Art of Writing by John R. Trimble
The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E. B. White
The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage: The Official Style Guide Used by the Writers and Editors of the World’s Most Authoritative Newspaper by Allan M. Siegal and William G. Connolly
The Economist Style Guide: The Bestselling Guide to English Usage, The Economist
Effective Writings Skills for Public Relations by John Foster
A History of English Language by Richard Hogg and David Denison
Eighteenth-Century English: Ideology and Change by Raymond Hickey
Political Book titles and images shown:
China’s Security State: Philosophy, Evolution, and Politics by Xuezhi Guo
Politics and the English Language, George Orwell
The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order by Samuel P. Huntington
On China by Henry Kissinger
The End of History and The Last Man by Francis Fukuyama
God’s Empire: Religion and Colonialism in the British World by Hilary M. Carey
George Eliot and the British Empire, by Nancy Henry
A Union for Empire: Political Thought and the Union of 1707 by John Robertson
Understanding the British Empire by Ronald Hyam
Race and Empire in British Politics by Paul B. Rich
The Ideological Origins of the British Empire by David Armitage
1984 by George Orwell
Concepts mentioned:
rujiao, daojiao, fojiao, jiao, xue, jia, zhexue, shengren, tetsugaku

Friday, November 21, 2014

O culto aos ‘especialistas em China’

Big Shout-out to the Instituto João Goulart, Rio de Janeiro!
"A maioria dos ‘especialistas em China’ são preconceituosos até a última fibra. Toleram todas as cores de pele, desde que ocidentalizadas e falantes de inglês, mas manifestam o mais total desprezo por termos em outras línguas, conceitos, terminologia (a isso se chama “imperialismo linguístico”). E são quem decide quem – chinês ou não chinês – é elogiado e repetido e quem será difamado, com suas opiniões – o que é ainda mais grave – varridas para sempre de qualquer matéria ou coluna sobre a China. A corrupção pessoal desses ‘jornalistas’ e ‘especialistas’ é cuidadosamente apagada dos registros. 

Pergunte a você mesmo: quando você encontrou alguma matéria, coluna, ensaio, o que for, assinado por analista chinês não ‘dissidente’, publicado em qualquer dos jornais e noticiosos e telejornais redigidos no idioma de seu país [no nosso caso: em língua portuguesa]? Nem precisa pensar muito: você jamais leu, nunca. O cerco orwelliano é total, apertado, absoluto. Sobre a China, não se lê no ocidente absolutamente nada que preste. Nada. Zero." [...]

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Corruption at Peking University. No more, no less. (The case of Xia Yeliang)

It is hard to be a democrat in an authoritarian society: China's flagship of higher education, Peking University, has once again ministered to that reality by debunking yet another of its liberal voices: Xia Yeliang

Normally the removal of its internal critics goes unnoticed. Yet, Mr. Xia [a now former] economics professor who is a signatory of Charter 08 calling for democracy, decided to fight injustice and go public. [...]

This piece was first published by Asia Times on Aug 19, 2013.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Difference Between Chinese 龙 "Long" and Western "Dragon" (Video)

The Chinese 龙 (long) is in many ways different from the Western concept of "dragon." If they two civilizations meet, they clash: the majestic, divine, and inherently good 'long' (it is a composition of creatures such as horse, snake, eagle, tiger, and so on) in the imaginations of Westerners turns into a fierce, pear-bodied, flame-throwing beast that needs to be slain.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

James Miller: The demonization of China is shameful

Will Canada ever end its demonization of China? by James Miller via

"Of course, no country is perfect. America launched the second Gulf War on a false pretext, and brought about 100,000 or more civilian deaths. But Canadians view America as a flawed big brother whose power we must respect and whose flaws we must, from time to time, accept. It would be absurd to imagine that we should boycott the American Fulbright scholarship program as a result of America’s foreign policy." --J. Miller

Here are some of my own thoughts on this:

As APEC 2014 kicks off in Beijing this week, there has been increasing reportings about militant 'China experts', mostly from Western countries, that have nothing else to do in life than demonizing China and everything Chinese (there is big Western money in it), resembling or at least bordering on the systematic demonization of the Jewish race in the 20th Century. Their ultimate goal is clear: China either Westernizes and does as Washington and its allies demand, or else (especially if your racial or cultural features prevent your from doing so), we the foot soldiers -under the guise and pretext of Western free journalism -, destroy your reputation, dislodge your society, and usurp your government. Already, US journalism dispatched its troops in order to destabilize Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong. This anti-China bashing has gotten so out of control in the last 10 years that we may as well speak of rampant journalistic terrorism aimed at China. If historians in a hundred years will look back at the corruption and the China reporting by today's The New York Times, The Economist, Bloomberg etc. they might conclude that it was a form of US Nazism. And, yes, some commentators fear that war and genocide is coming back to East Asia, because this toxic hatred for China, fabricated and spin-doctored by Western media and the so-called China experts, might get out of hand, as it did towards Islam or the Russians. That said, more and more academics (because their lives are increasingly affected by this Western anti-China, anti-Russian, anti-Islam, anti-everything madness) call for an end of racial and cultural demonization of the East. Finally, everyone hopes that China will not overreact to Western journalistic terrorism, because that is exactly what Western agents hope to archive: creating enough momentum to justify and launch the next, even bigger anti-China campaign.

Thought of the Day: Noam Chomsky calls US "world's leading terrorist state", based on its own definitions of what constitutes 'terrorism' when other states are doing it.


Foreigners have a blast in Beijing, refuse to assimilate!

The Beijinger has a fantastic piece by Michael Wester on foreign "expats"* in Beijing:
"If you've been thinking lately that Beijing's expat scene is a complete sausage fest dominated by foreigners who can barely speak Chineseyou're right: A comprehensive study of the foreign population in China released last week shows that 74 percent of the expatriate population are dudes and three out of four "understood only simple words in Chinese."
In a poll designed to figure out how to attract and retain foreign talent, the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs discovered that 73.8 percent were male, and only a shockingly low 8 percent report that they could speak at least simple Chinese."
Egads you neanderthals! [READ FULL PIECE AT THE BEIJINGER]
*Note that most Westerners reserve the classy title "expats" (expatriates) for themselves, but few of them really are. They are neither dispatched nor have expat packages or diplomatic status. The large majority of them are just tourists, students, and immigrants.
Shoutout to ThinkInChina for sharing it!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

When predicting the future of nations goes terribly wrong

Francis Fukuyama’s ambitious 'The End of History' wasn't the only historical blunder of epic proportions when it came to foretelling the future. Here's a 1910 report drafted by Theodor von Holleben, a former German diplomat, about a future of China, Japan, Germany, and the USA that was never meant to be...

'China Experts' Take China Aim in A War of Words

Didn't know you have a radio show, nice. On that blogger, I am not so sure, Ian. I honestly believe that he is just one of about 4-5 billion people on this planet that don't like US imperialism. We can't blame them, really. That said, it is probably the mighty US media which is in full propaganda mode now and constantly coerces all other governments and civilizations. And, needless to say, the Western cause is far better equipped (the global English language), staffed (privileged white people such as yours), and is ideologically absolutely determined to win that "War of Words" almost effortlessly between this and the next pee break.
#China  #WarofWords #IanJohnson #Imperialism#LanguageImperialism  

Some comments on the 'Cult of China Experts' #China

[–]throwaway13375934 19 points  
Last, we have legions of lesser, disposable China watchers. Few of them enjoy fat expat packages, bigwig relatives in the media, or peddling political influence. Unable to find proper jobs and secure a future in China - apart from becoming activists, bloggers, or English teachers- they are recruited easily and radicalize quickly. Everyone has met those frustrated Westerners who once believed in their entitlement, got disillusioned, and found a way to spend their days: to patronize and correct the Chinese.
So everyone on /m/China?
[–]Rampaging_BunnyUnited States 2 points  
I think this is a bit unfair of the article to assume that's the only way these people can cope- to "patronize and correct" the chinese. What about the so-called disillusioned ones or the teachers who truly do try and integrate, make friends, learn to cook chinese food, marry/date, etc. This article was FULL of holes and shoddy uncited statements.
[–]TheDark1Australia 1 point  
Clearly the lesson to be learned is that we should be more like Pattberg - write bizarre gobbldygook praising the party and criticize our home countries and get fat on the paid appearances, articles and book sales that follow. He sure found a "proper job" in China, right?
[–]TheDark1Australia 0 points  
[–]boobweiner69 7 points  
"Americans finance Taiwan separatists"
Seriously? Even if you think that Taiwan belongs to China, any one who looks into the situation for more than five minutes will see it's more complicated than that.
[–]TheDark1Australia -3 points  
The entire article, Pattberg's entire world view is unbelievably batshit insane. Look how he throws out these massive claims without backing them up every few seconds. It's an opinion piece so it's not like he should be giving citations, but you can't just say something like:
China isn't the only victim. All other six non-Western civilizations are feeling the whip of Western imperialism. The West claims it is "universal" and that is does not (and cannot) take responsibility for any of its abusive individuals in foreign lands since they are all free agents. It's the same old excuse since the age of colonialism
In the West, foreign extremist groups, left or right, are monitored and tightly controlled. But no-one controls these Western imperialists. Germans finance Xinjiang separatists, Americans finance Taiwan separatists, British finance Tibetan separatist. US journalism even dispatches tactical troops to Hong Kong determined on bringing down Xi Jinping, the president, and his family.
Without somewhat qualifying the bizarre claims you make.
Also, I love the idea that this guy thinks he is more of a "China expert" than Henry Kissinger.
Final note: If you ever feel down and need a good belly laugh, just do an image search for this turkey. Hours of fun for the whole family!
I love the one where he's superimposed a picture of the dictionary entry for "language" onto the picture.
[–]thoreaupoeUnited States[S] 7 points  
Europe Needs Its Own Confucianism
[–]tabitha777 5 points  
I find it funny that you're slandering this guy's character and appearance as if you're more attractive or qualified than he is.
pattberg has accomplished more than you ever will in your lifetime, so while you neckbeard on reddit, and live in a place you hate, he's gaining worldwide recognition.
But please, continue hating, because that's all you have.
[–]Kooglemoore 5 points  
Nice try, Pattberg.
[–]movingon11United States 1 point  
Patberg has accomplished being a shitstain far more than most, certainly. Similarly, so have you, it would seem. You two must have so much in common. Must be cute to see you two get chatty.
[–]TheDark1Australia 0 points  
He's gaining world recognition as a bizarre maniacal shill.
[–]tabitha777 5 points  
He's gaining world recognition as a bizarre maniacal shill.
Haha haha the irony is beyond epic!
[–]Kooglemoore -1 points  
Interesting word choice. What exactly does it mean for irony to be "beyond epic?"
[–]tabitha777 5 points  
Because thedark1 is a maniacal shill - not original enough to be bizarre though. ;)
[–]perihelion86United States 1 point  
I am new here, but how is this guy a moderator? I perused his comments and saw multiple violations of the posted rules.
[–]Rampaging_BunnyUnited States -1 points  
Haha. You read into his words too much. Get off reddit its affecting you too much!
[–]elcerodeluz 10 points  
The cult's a lot older than you think.
Look up the tale of the Chinapol email listserv out of UCLA:
China studies, since 1990, has become an ideological battleground way out of touch with reality in China. It's been dominated by the ideology of confronting the CCP rather than the ideology of analyzing China's situation. Even academic pieces that start off as analysis inevitably get tinted into evaluating the impact of that analysis on the CCP's continuing ability to rule (or put in polite academic-speak, "political stability").
You would probably learn more about "the real China / the Chinese status quo and likeliest sociopolitical outcome" taking a developmental economics and policy and industrial organization courseload than you would taking a Chinese culture/politics courseload.
Now, what is doubly interesting is that even as so much US/Canadian/Australian academic research focuses on various things in China vis a vis political stability (e.g. how things help or hurt the CCP's ability to rule), there is precious little research that actually wonders what a post-CCP China would actually look like. It reminds me of the analytical mistakes the US intelligence and Middle Eastern research community made in the decade prior to Iraq 03 - so much time spent figuring the how of not strengthening/weakening and killing Saddam's regime, but precious little time spent figuring out what comes after...
[–]nojusticenpeace 2 points  
maybe some people are just tired of the bullshit in China. Something gets stolen? you're fucked. get hit by a car? fucked
there's so little rule of law here. There's so many idiot drivers in part because most drivers ever take a test or learn how to drive, they just merely pay a bribe.
Even in the nicest of neighborhoods, it's fucking dirty unless every neighbor is worth $10 million. Check into a nice hotel? some dumb fuck is gonna smoke in the elevator...
wy the fuck do people romanticize it here when there's so much that is just fucking stupid?!?! It's not that it's 'not western,' it's that it's just fucked up. HK, TAiwan, Philippines, Vietnam... the list goes on of countries that are far poorer but not so fucked up.
sorry guys I'm fucking grumpy after people almost running me over at Metro, my parents and I almost getting hit by a BMW, and showing up to the beach and it's fucking disgusting and dirty because people are so selfish and lazy and throw their fucking shit everywhere. even at the 5 star hotel there's shit on the beach
[–]brahswell 2 points  
because people are so selfish and lazy and throw their fucking shit everywhere. even at the 5 star hotel there's shit on the beach
takes 20 years for this type of culture to change, see 1950's America
[–]nojusticenpeace 1 point  
20 years? why 20 years? and when are we gonna start counting in China? just curious
[–]justpin 1 point  
It's generational. Those who are children now in 20 years will be the core of society. It is their values ethics and behaviour which determines what society will be like in 20 years time.
In the western world we split society into distinct groups:
WWII veterans who rebuilt Europe born around 1920-1930,
Post war baby boomers. 1950-1970
Generation X 1970-1985
Generation Y 1986-1999
Right now we are in the last 6-10 years of the millennials.
[–]nojusticenpeace 1 point  
I see. I don't think this generation will be the one to change, maybe the next one. I live next to the beach and that beach is next to a 5 star restaurant. There have been beach clean days and some volunteers even put trash cans on the beach... it's just as dirty as ever, it's really sad.
[–]canuckupyTO 5 points  
I can't speak for other disciplines, but as a political scientist I can confirm that this article is a hysterical misrepresentation of the academic study of China.
[–]TheDark1Australia -4 points  
You can relax. Only someone with the reasoning skills of a child and the anger of a ex- German army officer and art school dropout could take this kind of invective seriously.
[–]TheDark1Australia 4 points  
By Thorsten Pattberg
[–]3llt33 1 point  
Barely readable crazy talk. Who wrote this...
[–]AgentCC 1 point  
Germans fund Xinjiang separatists? I know there are a lot of Turks living in Germany who are supposed to be ethnically related to the Uiyghurs. Does that have anything to do with the conclusions he's drawing?
[–]goin_dangUnited States 1 point  
Cult? Experts? Why am I not on board? I declare such cult non-existent!