Thursday, October 11, 2007

government power

Just now I heard about yet another Taiwanese flag controversy. Nothing new, really; the Chinese government issued threats, the Chinese participants hurled insults at the Taiwanese winner, and in the end, the organizing body will probably apologize profusely, groveling in fear of China's economic might. In short, a Taiwanese person was again ridiculed and/or punished for having a small scrap of national pride.

What caught my eye was this astute reader comment, submitted by an American living in Taiwan:
The rabid and irrational reaction of young people in the PRC to the concept of “Taiwan” is getting dangerous... for all of us. The manner in which the PRC govt. indoctrinates youth with anti-Taiwan venom reminds me of a pit bull owner who is training it to fight; the dog itself is not inherently bad, but the owner, for its own goals, encourages rabid aggression. No better way to encourage rabid aggression by telling some die hard gamers that if they allow the R.O.C. flag to be seen they will not be allowed to participate in future competitions. Come on, that’s just twisted and manipulative! The 23 million people that live here in Taiwan, living an independent life from the PRC for over 50 years developing democratic institutions and a free press, are living with the threat that one of these days, those kids in the PRC are going to be unleashed on them.

Indoctrination, brainwashing, propaganda; whatever you want to call it, it's scary stuff. I worry about the Chinese government brainwashing its citizens about Taiwan, of course, but I also worry that the US government is trying to tell Americans what to think. Who is it that's been pushing the idea that anyone who opposes the war in Iraq is supporting the terrorists?

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