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Getting On : All My Politics

Western Culture Re-Appropriation Committee

from Fish - Wednesday, February 06, 2008
accessed 954 times


Iím getting more and more annoyed with the smug attitude of some people from certain non western cultures, particularly Japan. Itís very well and good for them to be proud of themselves and their culture; after all they have accomplished a few things, and their culture makes the world a more interesting place. However, their relatively recent step into modernity and luxury by no means gives them the right to act as pompous as many of them currently do. Given Japanís massive debt to the west, their national practice of treating Westerners as ďbarbariansĒ and barely literate savages seems hardly appropriate.

And now, as if their traditional racism was not enough, the government feels the need to ratchet it up a notch by photographing and fingerprinting all non Japanese citizens entering or re-entering Japan. It doesnít matter if said foreigner holds permanent residency, was born and has lived their entire life in Japan, they all must be printed! This doesnít seem like a particularly big deal until one realizes that in Japan, only criminal suspects are ever fingerprinted, and therefore by instituting this xenophobic law, the government is effectively implying that all foreigners are suspected criminals.

The reason given for this unheard of (in Japan) procedure is that it will ďhelp prevent terrorism.Ē Interestingly, all terrorist activity in Japan or to do with Japan has (unlike America) been carried out solely by Japanese nationals (Aum Shinrikyo, Red Army, etcÖ). When this was pointed out to Japanís Minister of Justice, he replied with a story about how a friend of a friend, who is a member of Al-Qaeda(!), snuck into the country using a fake moustache. This story is so surreally bizarre as to be beyond idiotic. Its something only a lunatic would think up. Can you imagine a member of the US cabinet admitting to having a false moustache wearing friend who, oh, just so happens to be an active MEMBER OF AL-QAEDA? Why is this man in the government? Naturally when the oddity of his remark was pointed out, the minister quickly retracted it. Too late, moron.

In my opinion, this latest fingerprinting idiocy is emblematic of the general superiority complex suffered by the moronic denizens of this country. When Iím blatantly shadowed while shopping (to stop me from shoplifting), commented on to my face (everybody, look itís a gaijin!), and harassed by the police (for being white), its too much. No, Iím not going to steal your designer WESTERN clothes. Yes, I understand your language; most of the world understands mine, do you?

Iíve had it with the snobbery. Yes, the West may be in the decline. Yes, perhaps Asia will be the leaders of the future. Good for you. But all the inventions and institutions you used to get where you are now came from us (like modernity for starters). You donít like Westerners? They are too big and intimidating? You think their blue eyes are soulless? They seem dangerous? Fine, weíll leave. However, itís only fair that we leave you the way you were before we arrived.

This means we will be re-appropriating a few things. We will take all your cars, your planes, your phones, your computers. Anything electronic has got to go! We will take your banks, your currency, your health care. You can go back to acupuncture! Further, you can go back to living under a shogun. You donít need democracy; itís western, barbaric, right? Tokugawa family, where are you?

You want to hunt whales? Thatís fine, after we take your western ships, you can use canoes. You like your designer western clothes? Thatís too bad; cause its kimono time baby! Now to think of it, some land redistribution is also in order. Its time to go back to the pre-MacArthur, pre-Meji state. That means 90 percent of you will be surfs. Enjoy! Growing rice should prove interesting without any western machinery (Whip out those sickles!). We will also take all printed matter with us. Now you have a chance to write more haiku! (With feathers and scrolls!) And you wonít have to worry about pesky WW2 textbook controversies, as you wonít have any books! In fact, since two thirds of your written language was most likely invented for you by Syrian missionaries (of all things) we may as well take that also (we will return it to them).

After we re-appropriate these corrupting western inventions and institutions we will leave you to your much longed for isolation. You can go back to milling about your tiny insignificant islands. Your average citizenís day will consist of planting rice, while trying to avoid decapitation at the hand of some random samurai. Your national excitement will once again be provided by provincial infighting. At least thatís the way it will be until Russia seizes the day and commences a second Sino-Russo war, in which they soothe the national embarrassment over their defeat in the first by conquering Japan and enslaving its populace.

Doubtless the eccentric Minister of Justice will attempt to stem the tide of Russian invaders by fingerprinting them at the border, however, without the western inventions of electronics and computer technology this will prove difficult. Unless he is somehow spirited out of the country by his moustache sporting terrorist connection, he will likely end his days partaking in the luxurious amenities of a gulag.

Well, now I feel better. Do I hate Japanese people? No, not at all. Do I think Japanese culture irrelevant? Once again, no. However, I do think that Western culture is vastly superior to all other cultures. I am sick of hearing about ďwestern hegemonyĒ and ďimperialism.Ē Iím tired of non-westerners decrying aspects of the west they disapprove of, while simultaneously making use of western innovations and institutions. Many of these countries, in my opinion, exist only ďby the grace of the WestĒ to paraphrase the verse. The Japanese are hardly the worst offenders in this respect; they are simply the ones I live with.

All this bitching and moaning in the Middle East has got to stop. You donít like water boarding? Fine, try camel riding. Across the desert that is, as we will re-appropriate all your cars and planes. You want a purer Islam, without western influence? Fine, have fun walking to Mecca. No more broadcasting obnoxious imam speeches either, since after all, television is an infidel invention. Selling oil is also right out, as dollars and euros are western crusader money. Instead we will just come and help ourselves to it from time to time, and youíre welcome to attack our tanks with scimitars and arrows.

The bottom line of this disjointed rant is that anyone who uses or benefits from anything western ought to show some gratitude and respect for the culture and institutions which produced those things. They should have a humble attitude, and be aware that without the west, most of them would still live in huts made of dung.

Is the west perfect? No. Does the west have a history of violence? Yes. But I challenge you to name another culture under whose hegemonic influence the world would be better off (by the world, I mean people, not the environment).

Of course there are stupid Americans, obnoxious Brits, snobbish French, smug Germans and annoying Australians. Every culture has its idiots. Iím not talking idiots here; Iím talking great people, great culture, with great historical traditions, institutions and innovations. What other culture has the equivalent of an Athens or a Rome, or even a Florence, Amsterdam, Paris or London? Where is Islamís Socrates, Plato, or Aristotle? Show me the Chinese Marx, Darwin, or Freud. (No, Mao doesnít count for anything, except perhaps a minus.) Who is Japanís Adam Smith, Edison, or Wilbur Wright? How about the Japanese Mozart, Beethoven, or Strauss? Find me a Hindi Machiavelli, Da Vinci or Michelangelo.

These people simply donít exist. This claim is easily proven by their obscurity. If they were great, we would hear about them. When a non-western equivalent is claimed, they are inevitably little more than a shadow of the western version, held up by morons in an attempt to promote the politically correct yet obviously fallacious ideal of cultural equality.

Derrida notwithstanding, the West is the best.

Period.

Reader's comments on this article

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from Barney2
Wednesday, March 05, 2008 - 22:33

(Agree/Disagree?)

I have been looking for statistics in the newspapers in Japan regarding the number of people refused entry to Japan after the new immigration control measures were put into effect in November. Perhaps as to not stir up controversy, they seem to be published infrequently. However, in the Daily Yomiuri on Tuesday, March 4 I found the numbers in the last paragraph of an article entitled "Number of illegal aliens fall 21,000." As of Feb. 19, the immigration authorities had refused entry to 256 foreigners based on new immigration control measures introduced in November that require foreigners to be fingerprinted and photographed.

Although the main storyline is the reduction of "illegal aliens" staying in Japan (149,785 - down 21,054 from last year), the article also states that a total of 10,424 foreigners were refused entry to the country at immigration examinations at airports and other places. Of them, 71.6 percent under suspicion of lying about the purpose of their visit.

Regarding the new procedures, most people seem to think they are just something that has to be put up with to enter the country. If one has nothing to hide, then what the hell. However, it is troubling that the FBI is encouraging Japan to institute a full ten finger printing system. Personally, I doubt if they will adopt it due to the expense and trouble involved.

No doubt current and former religious extremists are probably in the hot seat. I personally hope the new procedures keep them out of Japan.


(reply to this comment)

From Fish
Saturday, March 08, 2008, 02:44

Average visitor agreement is 1 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
Who the hell are you? Are you even an exmember? And how long have you lived in Japan? I get the feeling you are just some random ALT douchebag. If so, your opinion is of zero consequence.(reply to this comment
From Barney2
Saturday, March 15, 2008, 06:57

(Agree/Disagree?)

To answer your personal questions:

I was a child member of your cult. I feel sorry for you guys who were raised in such a weird way. My parents left after the "RNR", but stayed in Japan.

As for your questions regarding my last posting... (which surely nullify your initial emotional "western culture re-appropriaton committee" comments) it should be stated that rather than raging and complaining about entering Japan nowadays (especially from a "western" perspective), people should be encouraged to know that the likes of David Berg and his cult members will not be allowed in with whatever "high-tech" measure it takes.

Finally, I thank my parents for having the face to leave in 1979 and raise me as a normal kid. Look forward to hearing from me in Japan.




(reply to this comment

From Fish
Sunday, March 16, 2008, 03:44

(Agree/Disagree?)

OK, so you weren't raised in the family and you are ethnically Japanese?

As for your "last posting" it didn't "nullify" shit. (reply to this comment

from Barney2
Saturday, February 16, 2008 - 06:13

(Agree/Disagree?)

In fact, "hundreds" have already been stopped at the gate to Japan after photos and fingerprinting were instituted and it has been reported as such from day one in the media (Daily Yomiuri, Japan Times). Although the big deal of this policy was part of the Japanese goverments to join in the "global war against terrorism", everyone in Japan actually knows that it is actually to:

1) pay lip service to the USA (in its newest war) and...

2) catch Visa Violators (which it really wants to do).

As you all should know, especially if you are a Fish, Japan is presently an open and prosperous country of islands with seemingly unlimited possibilities.

For the government of Japan, the main problem in this is that people from outside of Japan have been taking advantage of its open system. As a recourse, the allowing of a system to catch violators of Japanese law at the border (via new techo checks) is not only proper, but also popular with the populace.

In addition, it is a fact that the only people turned away at the border in Japan are people that:

1) have been kicked out of Japan before

or

2) are on the international list of "bad and sorry asses"

This is not to forgive the sorry state of Japanese government border services. How can we every forgive them for not finding David Berg himself, and his entourage, at the border? Then to even let them do their deeds on their soil is unforgivable.

Although it not perfect, I have a hope that this system will at least keep us safe (if you have nothing to hide) and that at the best it will catch Maria and Peter as (hopefully) they have been flagged.


(reply to this comment)

From neez
Saturday, February 16, 2008, 15:00

(
Agree/Disagree?)
Most of the points you make about Japans border problems apply to Australia. But I can only imagine the international uproar that would follow if we, or somewhere like the UK, ever implemented anything like this.(reply to this comment
From ........
Saturday, February 16, 2008, 10:02

(
Agree/Disagree?)
anyone (family members) trying to go back to japan having been caught before and fingerprinted will be denied entry at the least. (reply to this comment
From double
Saturday, February 16, 2008, 07:31

(Agree/Disagree?)

OMG!!! What - Oh what!- is the "international list of bad and sorry asses?" Seriously, was I not invited??? My ass may not be bad, but it is very, very sorry. (reply to this comment

from vacuous
Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - 11:28

Average visitor agreement is 3.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3.5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

While allegedly you 'hate' the smug superiority and detest the supposed racist undertones in 'Japanese/asians' you simultaneously brand an entire nation as being inhabited by 'moronic denizens' with a moronic leader and allude to them being no better than savages with arrows and simitars with no achievements equal to that of the superior culture you seek to identify yourself with.

While you discount and ignore as 'obscure' many notable non-western mathematical, scientific and discoveries which were an important part of the foundation from which western inventions arose, you simultaneously abhor what you perceive to be a lack of respect displayed by cultures now using western contributions to civilisation as their foundation for rapid development and innovation.

Apparantly you've "had it with the snobbery" and so you vociferously display your heritage alongside the culture you blatantly regard as superior and demand respect from those you have painted as being little more than ungrateful savages.

The only consistency you show in your rant is that you project your xenophobia, snobbery, small minded ethnocentricity onto millions of people in order to justify it.

But I do agree with you, every culture has it's idiots.
(reply to this comment)

From Fish
Tuesday, February 12, 2008, 21:03

Average visitor agreement is 2 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 2 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 2 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 2 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 2 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

Well, well, where to begin? Even putting grammar errors and redundancies aside, your comment makes little sense, and is extremely vague. Worse still, over half of the statements you attack are things I NEVER SAID. People on this site love to do this and its fucking annoying. It would seem as well that you didn't bother reading my article in its entirety, and instead just skimmed through it, picking out things you didn't like.

Interestingly, you failed to refute a single genuine claim I made, preferring instead to attack targets of your own making. Your conclusion that I am xenophobic, snobbish, and ethnocentric has no basis in anything I wrote.

I can only conclude that english is not your first language. If this is the case, try reading my article again, slowly, and maybe you will understand my argument better. If english is your mother tongue, then you are a fucking idiot.

If you want any sort of intelligent debate, kindly refute something I actually said, and leave straw men out of this.

(reply to this comment

From vacuous
Wednesday, February 13, 2008, 05:39

Average visitor agreement is 3.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3.5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

Unfortunately I did read your article in it's entirety and unfortunately there is no choice but to go ad hominem since you have left no room for "intelligent discussion" in your post. This is because you have already pre-decided and pronounced your value verdict on any contrary facts or argument stating that any eastern contributors or contributions that could be mentioned... "are INEVITABLY little more than a shadow of the western version, held up by morons in an attempt to promote the politically correct yet obviously fallacious ideal of cultural equality".

Ergo there was no genuine claim or question to be discussed as not only have you shown the issue to be prejudged but you have also initiated the ad hominem by deeming all who would challenge you with any evidence of (what you deem to be "obviously fallacious") cultural equality as being 'morons'.

Nor have you made it clear by what criteria you are judging this juxtaposing of cultures by? Western cultures may have, for a recent period of history, been at the forefront of scientific advances, but science merely responds to human need and want and does nothing to change human nature. For instance, hunter gatherers today have a better diet than many in developed nations, sure we may live longer but hunter gatherers have more free time. Has our society made us any happier or "better off" as humans? Who arbitrates the meaning of the term "better off", what is the context of comparison?

Sure because of recent western discoveries some societies now desire cars instead of carts, but this does not make the society with cars any "better off".

Take for instance, the move to farming. The domestication of animals and the usage of the plough did not necessarily make those peoples better off as opposed to hunter gatherers...it was a response to pressures such as population pressures, dwindling resources, climate change etc. In many cases farming gave a class structure that enabled a few to live well and allowed a larger population of people to live a less free life more given to toil. That farming could support a larger population that could then outcompete and kill off hunter gatherers does not mean that this was a "better" way of living. Hunter gatherers often killed their young so as to maintain the balance with nature and live withing the resources around them, farmers engaged in wars for territory when populations surged often razing cities and killing populations...which is "better"?

In this light giving the example of reappropriating farming machines is a ludicrous, illogical retrofit which doesn't evidence anything other than a new technology into which humans evolved, which once developed allowed for a different (but not "better) way of life.

Progress is a fact and change inevitable but belief in it (that it makes something 'better') is a superstition. Recognising cultural worth from a neutral perspective means going outside your ethnocentric mindset which has tainted your objectivity (as evidenced by your value laden rhetoric).

In any case my previous conclusion was entirely in response to targets of your making and stands firmly rooted in what you have said.

My conclusion that you are snobbish is based in you identifying yourself with a "superior culture" (you blatantly stating ..."I do think that Western culture is vastly superior to all other cultures.") and pre-branding anyone who disagrees as 'morons' (see above).

My conclusion that you are ethnocentric is based on that you do not think that any culture can be on equal terms of value to yours (..the..."obviously fallacious ideal of cultural equality" you mention).

My conclusion that you are xenophobic is based on the inherent contempt you show for cultures not your own, stating that "most of them would still live in huts made of dung" and calling japanese peoples "moronic denizens".

While you say you "hate the snobbery" of eastern nations and feel that your culture is entitled to "some gratitude and respect" and "humility" you have demonstrated the very snobbery and lack of respect you are projecting onto them to justify it. All this does is create artificial 'us' and 'them' distinctions built on value judgments derived from ethnocentric prejudices.

Respect works both ways.

(reply to this comment

From double
Saturday, February 16, 2008, 07:38

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

"Sure because of recent western discoveries some societies now desire cars instead of carts, but this does not make the society with cars any "better off". "

um... Really? Have you engaged the "societies with carts" and asked them weather they feel they are "better off" then those with cars rather than carts?
(reply to this comment

From vacuous
Tuesday, February 12, 2008, 11:32

(Agree/Disagree?)

Please agree with me that the grammatical oversights I displayed above is also idiotic.(reply to this comment

from its happening everywhere
Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - 07:23

(Agree/Disagree?)
The FBI is gearing up to create a massive computer database of people's physical characteristics, all part of an effort the bureau says to better identify criminals and terrorists.


The FBI wants to use eye scans, combined with other data, to help identify suspects.
1 of 3

But it's an issue that raises major privacy concerns -- what one civil liberties expert says should concern all Americans.

The bureau is expected to announce in coming days the awarding of a $1 billion, 10-year contract to help create the database that will compile an array of biometric information -- from palm prints to eye scans.

Kimberly Del Greco, the FBI's Biometric Services section chief, said adding to the database is "important to protect the borders to keep the terrorists out, protect our citizens, our neighbors, our children so they can have good jobs, and have a safe country to live in."

But it's unnerving to privacy experts.

"It's the beginning of the surveillance society where you can be tracked anywhere, any time and all your movements, and eventually all your activities will be tracked and noted and correlated," said Barry Steinhardt, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Technology and Liberty Project.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/02/04/fbi.biometrics/index.html


Also DNA of everyone on record.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?view=BLOGDETAIL&grid=F11&blog=yourview&xml=/news/2007/09/05/view05a.xml


---I am not afraid of terrorism so please don't go and create a 1984/police state on my account! Free human.
(reply to this comment)
from Falcon
Monday, February 11, 2008 - 23:23

(Agree/Disagree?)
Though I don't agree with everything written, I found this view a refreshing break from the usual decries against the Western world. Interesting read, and well written. Thanks.
(reply to this comment)
from Barney2
Monday, February 11, 2008 - 04:59

(Agree/Disagree?)

Discrimination takes place in many forms around the world and is a fact of history. That said, the taking of photos and fingerprints seems to be just another way of discrimination. In modern days there is no way of telling how far that personal info will go... As the old saying goes "Never trust city hall."

Nevertheless, there are realities in this world that governments must accept to somehow protect law-abiding citizens from needless death. Understandably, it is a personal infringement to be photoed and printed, but it is better than being needlessly blown away by religious fanatics.

Ever since Japan instiduted this practice, they have turned away hundreds of people who would never have been caught otherwise.

So if you have nothing hide,

just let it ride.

The times are always a changin'...

and as soon as other countries have the technology they will be doin' the same checks at airports. The wierd thing about Japan is that it is always the fastest to follow the USA.

As far as discrimination goes (not only in Japan), if one is different in any respect, you must first accept that you are different and take it from there. Surely, many of the members of this site are "third-world" and (especially) look different than the culture they were raised in.

Finally, if one can get beyond looks, if you can speak the language (lingo) it makes it easier too.

Rather than speaking out against the current policies of the Japanese government, I would say that is better to understand recent trends in world security and to secure your personal status wherever you live.



can accept that



(reply to this comment)

From Fish
Monday, February 11, 2008, 18:01

(Agree/Disagree?)

"Ever since Japan instiduted this practice, they have turned away hundreds of people who would never have been caught otherwise"

That's a wild claim. I would like to see some numbers to back it up, as I'm pretty sure your talking out of your ass.(reply to this comment

from murasaki
Monday, February 11, 2008 - 00:46

(Agree/Disagree?)
Lets give numeric arithmetic and the origins of modern medicine back to the arabs.
Lets give gunpowder, printing and paper back to the Chinese.
Lets give the wheel back to whoever in the fertile crescent first invented it.
Lets all go back to the stone age and the world would be a better place. ;)
(reply to this comment)
From Fish
Monday, February 11, 2008, 02:22

Average visitor agreement is 1 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

Wrong and redundant. Wrong and retarded.

Maybe. Wrong. Obviously wrong.

Stupid.

Obviously stupid.(reply to this comment

from reyoko
Sunday, February 10, 2008 - 08:50

Average visitor agreement is 2.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 2.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 2.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 2.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 2.5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

All in all, it sounds to me like your just a bitter gaikokujin who didnt get any play while in japan. so you decided youd take it out on the japanese as a people. and as far as going back to the way thing were before the west came in, im all for it. my family is part of the shogunate. hell if that happans i might even move there.
(reply to this comment)

From Fish
Sunday, February 10, 2008, 21:00

(Agree/Disagree?)

"Get any play"? Are you asking to play with me? Ive got some legos, we can make a castle or something I guess.

As for you being part of the shogunate, if japan did revert to a pre-western state your head would be on the block for treason, as I take it you don't live in japan.(reply to this comment

from Jailbird
Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 16:21

(Agree/Disagree?)
Hmm. ...

It's certainly the case that many Japanese have a smug attitude about their culture and their achievements. Isolationism and xenophobism certainly have a place in their history and collective psyche.

They're very proud people. I think they deserve to be proud.

I also question whether or not the new generation espouses the xenophobism and smug isolationism to the degree that their parent's generation does.

It's shameful being an American at this stage in history. I never thought I'd say it. We're the laughingstock of the world for the type of idiots we put into office and, let pillage our society, economy and lifestyle by putting them into office.

I'd take the story of the sneaky, mustache-wearing, al-quida operative over phonie claims of WMDs any day of the week.

We have civil liberties built into our constitution along with a stipulation that all wars shall be declared by congress, and yet we have a executive willing to defile the constitution by conducting illegal wiretaps, torture, waterboarding, deciet, funding an undeclared war for nearly a decade.

The United States at this point, in my view, is going the route of Natzi Germany in the 1930s, it's a scary place to be.

In generally the world sucks. ...
(reply to this comment)
From Jailbird
Thursday, February 07, 2008, 16:22

(Agree/Disagree?)
In general, the world sucks. ...(reply to this comment
From Fish
Thursday, February 07, 2008, 17:34

(Agree/Disagree?)
I generally agree with you that the world generally sucks.(reply to this comment
from Phoenixkidd
Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 14:40

Average visitor agreement is 2.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 2.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 2.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 2.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 2.5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

Wow a lot of hate there, Japan's not the only country that fingerprints all foreignors including those who have lived their almost or all of their lives. Besides Japan can afford to keep tabs because it is an Island, a lot of other countries including the US would do the same thing if they had a less pourous border.

I really think you should study colonialism and it's terrible effects on the world before you make your rash judgements. Many countries are still paying the price for having other nations strip them of their resources and are still recovering, look at Africa or India.

When I went to England I could just see so much wealth, wealth that they robbed from other countries for a good 400 years! They even had 3 wars with China in order that they could get the entire nation hooked on Opium and thereby rob the country of it's wealth. Can you imagine if Columbia did that to the US and actually won? By the time the communists roled into China 1/4th of working men were addicted to opium and heroin. The only cure to get his starved and devastated country back on it's feet after World War II was to kill them all! I am not justifying Mao's actions I am just saying he had a terrible crisis to take care of. By pure economic and population figures it was perhaps the worst human crisis in the history of mankind.

See here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonialism

Japan and Thailand are the only countries in Asia that didn't get colonized. Thailand did it through very crafty negotiations and bidding between French, British and Spanish governments, Japan did it by dictatorial isolationism, as a result today they are some of the richest countries in Asia. Whereas the rest yielded to colonialism or didn't have enough social inertia to withold their own. As a result their was a complete breakdown in social structure and extreme lawlessness and poverty ensued, Indonesia parts of it were colonized for 400 years, India for well over 150, Indochina kept an Iron Grip and the Philipines went through horrible genocides by the US throughout it's 100 year rule of that poor country. These countries still suffer from Imperialism and are taking so long to recover.

I used to not like Japanese culture at all, I could simply not relate although I have it in my blood, I didn't like their isolationism and smug attitude. But then when you realize their huge population they have to deal with in their very poor resource Island, then you begin to appreciate and understand the need for so called, "dictatorship" and strict moral codes. It's good to compare Japan with England because they have much in common, Island, very reserved culture, very meticulous society and ways of operating.

Geography and History have much to do with a nation's cultural climate.


(reply to this comment)

From Asian Historian Extraodinare
Saturday, February 16, 2008, 22:58

(
Agree/Disagree?)

"Japan and Thailand are the only countries in Asia that didn't get colonized....as a result today they are some of the richest countries in Asia."

Are you serious? Both countries have generated wealth only by embracing trade with, and culture from, the West, as has any country in Asia that is wealthy, i.e., Taiwan, S. Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong. Japan especially has no one to thank for their wealth but US consumers. (reply to this comment

From Jailbird
Saturday, February 16, 2008, 23:30

(Agree/Disagree?)

Hmm. ...

Well, I'm very familiar with Asian History and particularly that of Thailand and Japan.

There is some truth to the idea that the royal families of those countries have incredible wealth as the result of not having been colonised. Whereas in countries like India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Indochina, some colonies worse than others, their populatins were almost reduced to a slave labor type situaiton where the colonizers set up apartate type situations and build railroads etc., to ship out the country's resources en-masse, without giving a dime to the indigeonous people of those countries. Whereas nations like Thailand who maintained their own soverienty, were able to be a little less pillaged than others.

At present there's some truth to the idea that the wealth of their population depends on embracing trade etc., as you suggested.

I disagree that Japan has no one to thank for their wealth but U.S. consumers. In the past that may have been true, but China is buying a hell of a lot of their stuff right now.

Also they've been a mainstay of the asian steel market for years. Like I wrote their proud people and deserve to be proud.

In the 80s the Japanese got their Iron Ore from South America, their lime and coke from Indoesia, shipped it all to Japan, processed it there into high quality steel. Shipped it back to the United States and beat the U.S. at their own game a superior product at a price that undercut the U.S. steel makers when the U.S. had all the natural resources in their own country.

If you've spent any time in Asia you know that almost anything that rolls in southeast asia comes from Japan or Korea, mainly Japan, so they've managed to acheived economically what they failed to do militarily in the second world war. Japan after WW2 was very much reduced to a 3rd world type nation, very few people have the enginuity and ability to make a comeback like the have.

I don't agree with all of their ideas etc., just as I'm sure they don't agree with all of my ideas etc., there are some fundemental differences in our cultures, difference, not necessarily superiority or the lack thereof.

I've always had a great deal of respect for Japanese people, but recognize that they are given to some institutionalized bogusnesses as well.(reply to this comment

From Ne Oublie
Sunday, February 17, 2008, 08:15

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
Jailbird, you're deluding yourself if you think the average indigenous population were any better off simply because it was their own tyrannic monarchs, rather than Western Imperialists who were primarily benefitting from their labours.

In fact, quite to the contrary, the imperialists tended to establish, and leave behind political and educational systems and civil infrastrucutre, such as roads, railways, postal services, etc. Thus greatly improving not only the quality of life but also the long-term potential for the average citizens.(reply to this comment
From Jailbird
Sunday, February 17, 2008, 20:29

(Agree/Disagree?)

Dom, I'm not sure where in my writings I suggested that the average member of the indeigenous population were better off as the result of not being colonized. That's your assumption not mine.

In Thailand's case, they were the first country in the region to have a functioning railroad, a functioning postal system etc. ... Thanks to Rama V, also known as Rama The Great, His Majesty King Chulalonkhorn of the Chakri Dynasty, son of King Monkut Rama the IV.

I didn't say that the average person had a better life, I said the royalty made a great deal of money, and in the case of Thailand at least, they weren't that tyranical, compared to the colonialists in neighboring Indochina.

I also acknowledged that Japanese had some institutionalized bogus ideas. One example was that under the Shogunate, the Samurai had the right to cut down anyone they felt they needed to and then explain afterwards why they felt they needed to cut the individual down. So I'm certainly acknowledging that there is/was some institutionalized bogusness in some of these cultures.

Now if we're talking about colonialism, that's a completely different dicusssion. It is/was a double edged sword.

You're very mistaken if you think that imperialists tended to establish and leave behind political and educational systems and civil infrastructures. Some did, some did not. The french in Indochina did no such thing, the infrastructures they did put in place were expressly for the purpose of extracting the nation's natural resources with efficientcy, i.e. railroads from mining areas to the port city.

If you've travelled in Southeast Asia, as I know you have, you can't take what, say the English did in some parts of India, and use it for a model of imperialist behavior across Asia altogether.

There's a huge difference between what the English did in India and what the Dutch did in Indonesia and their territories, and what the French did in Indochina.

Imperialism and colonialism was/is a double edged sword. In some cases it improved the quality of life and led to long-term potential for the average citizens, in other cases, quite the opposite. It depends and you're deluding yourself if you think that imperialism was a boon to the indigenous people across the board.

In some cases, I conceded, say in India, it's doubtful they'd be able to compete in the global economy the way they do today if it weren't for their colonisation by Great Britain. But the brits also have a great deal of blood on their hands for what they did in India to the people there.

When Dutch left Indonesia they left no educational system, a very skinny railroad system used for extracting Java beans and rubber-sap to the coast cities, of the the islands of Java, Kalimantan and Sumatra. They left no postal system, they left no educational system. The Indonesians are no better for their colonial experience than are the Vietnamese, or the Cambodians, who after being colonized by the French were used as a pawn in the American Indochina intrugue, then slaughtered by their own people, and occupied by neighboring Vietnam.

(reply to this comment

From Fish
Thursday, February 07, 2008, 18:08

Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

This statement is full of fallacious claims, inconsistencies, and ambiguities; and therefore I will only answer it if enough people appear to agree with you.

For your immediate edification I will simply ask why you are not living in the Congo or somewhere in Mongolia, some Utopian place left unscathed by the evil colonizers? It must be heavenly there, with "so much wealth" and "resources" lying around. I suggest you relocate.(reply to this comment

From Jailbird
Thursday, February 07, 2008, 18:21

(Agree/Disagree?)
Both the Congo and Mongolia have been occupied or colonized in some fashion if I'm not mistaken.

(reply to this comment
From Samuel
Thursday, February 07, 2008, 19:27

(Agree/Disagree?)

Correct. The Republic of Congo is a former French territory, while the considerably larger Democratic Republic of Congo was once a Belgian colony.

Mongolia, on the other hand, was ruled by the Manchu during the 17th century, finally declaring independence in 1911. Mongolia has often aligned itself with the Soviet Union and Russia in order to protect itself from China and Japan.(reply to this comment

From Fish
Thursday, February 07, 2008, 19:36

(Agree/Disagree?)

Incorrect.

"The Congo" refers to a river and its surrounding jungle, a good deal of which has yet to be explored, much less colonised. "Somewhere in Mongolia" also refers not to the country, but to a geographic location. Idiot.(reply to this comment

from neez
Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 00:11

(Agree/Disagree?)
I'll miss wasabi.
(reply to this comment)

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