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A Puzzled Westerner Looks At Life In The Han Empire

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posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 09:28 AM
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The Han Empire, generally referred to as "China" by the mainstream media is frequently in the news these days. Many puzzle over its dealings with Iran, its interests in Africa and of course its altercations with the Tibetans and its dust-ups with the Uighurs in the far western end of the Empire.

in.reuters.com...


A Tibetan man died on Wednesday after setting himself on fire earlier this week in New Delhi to protest Chinese rule of the Himalayan region, activists said, hours before Chinese President Hu Jintao was due to arrive in India for a summit of emerging market nations.




How many of you know about the Han Empire's "issues", mainly linguistic, with the Cantonese speaking south? It isn't just the Tibetans who are feeling the cultural squeeze on the linguistic front.

The Hans like to tell us yokels from the West that "China" has always included Tibet and other far flung regions, despite the fact that these regions don't speak Mandarin (Guoyu).

On hearing such pronouncements our government officials assume an expression of dawning enlightenment and nod agreeably. Commerce trumps all.

How can you not like a culture that built the "Great Wall"?

How could a culture that produced Sun Tzu build a "Great Wall"?

www.thebeijingguide.com...



No matter.

I like the Han people and I wish them well.

They spend a considerable amount of time and energy and treasure and lives trying desperately to recover from their own history.

Will they make it this time? The last attempt, led by the ever impulsive artistic personality, Mao Zedong, couldn't really be considered a success, I don't think. The Hans and their conquered people are still staggering out of the Mao era.

The Hans have been staggering out of one era after another for centuries now. But they still control their Empire. More now than ever.

The modern era in technology and information technology particularly has made possible a much more thoroughgoing effort at consolidation of power in the Empire than was ever possible before.

But modern information technology is a two edged sword. It represents not only undreamed of opportunities for consolidation and centralization of power but also the possibility of a radical decentralization of power.

A sword with two edges.

The advent of sophisticated personal computers must have been greeted with great joy in heart of the Han Empire, because the moment modern word processors arrived, a door opened to a future for the traditional written characters of the Han language, Guoyu.

A great threat to the Empire was thus averted. Nothing holds an Empire together like a common language. On the other hand, nothing holds peoples together like their own indigenous languages.

Unfortunately for the upholders, and expanders of the Han Empire, that is where the other edge of the sword, cuts.

Sophisticated personal computers had the unfortunate effect of also saving the indigenous languages of untold other ethnic groups and nationalities around the world, including nationalities lying within the bounds of The Han Empire.

Like Tibetan, for example.

Nobody's culture was debarred from swimming with the mainstream anymore, thanks to modern computer controlled word processing. Computers make it easy to print books using whatever squiggles one usually writes with, no matter how absurdly unsuited for the modern world, like Chinese characters for example.

At one time, The Han Empire could boast the world's biggest wall. In fact they still can and I congratulate them on it. I hope they do a roaring tourist trade with it. I'd like to visit it myself.

It may be a military dud but it's a great money maker.

At one time The Han Empire could boast the world's biggest typewriters. Nowadays these would also be curiosities, interesting only to tourists. Another money maker. But no longer necessary, thank goodness, because they were never really adequate to the pace of the modern mechanized world.

Like the Tibetans and like the Uighurs, the Hans stuck to their old ways and defied the world, enduring one calamity after another, culminating in the Maoist holocaust that cost millions of lives.

Now, after centuries of alternating consolidation and dissolution, The Han Empire is beginning to look like it could last.

Modern information technology is, at last, making it possible for the Han Empire to systematically codify its laws and to spread the rule of consistent codified law throughout the Empire.

Because The Han Empire, throughout its history has never been a linguistically homogeneous one, huge problems of social organization have been a never ending and pervasive source of difficulties.

The overpopulation problem in the Han Empire is the result of its failure to implement a government funded and administered system of social security that could supplant having large numbers of children as the default social security system.

The Han Empire, like modern India, is a typical product of the forcible unification of many people's. A linguistic map of The Han Empire tells the tale. In the case of The Han Empire, a highly abbreviated tale.

en.wikipedia.org...:Map_of_sinitic_dialect_-_English_version.svg



The linguistic facts in The Han Empire are roughly as follows:

en.wikipedia.org...


China's many different ethnic groups speak many different languages, collectively called Zhōngguó Yǔwén (中国语文), literally, "speech and writing of China", which span eight primary language families. Most of them are dissimilar morphologically and phonetically.

Even within each family, most are mutually unintelligible.

Zhongguo Yuwen includes the many different Han Chinese language varieties (commonly called Chinese) as well as minority languages such as Mongolian, Tibetan, Uyghur and Zhuang. China has 292 living languages and 1 extinct language (Jurchen) according to Ethnologue.[3]


Even the guy who created the Chinese typewriter could see that language is not what has held The Han Empire together over the millenia. The credit for that goes to geography, military power and most important of all, commerce.

The one thing the peoples of the Han Empire really do well is business.

Culture is important, but secondary.

Language is almost a non-consideration.

So why is The Han Empire making such a big deal about language? Why are they risking overturning their own applecart, once again, on such a piffling issue as language, and on the even more piffling issue of religion, with the Falun Gong, the Muslim Uighurs and the Buddhist Tibetans?

Never have the possibilities for happiness in The Han Empire looked so good. It should be possible for everyone to get along and do business in Mandarin and then go home, to recreation, to worship in their own ethnic languages.

The whole rest of the world can do this trick, but it is such a big big problem in The Han Empire.

topics.nytimes.com...


On Jan. 23, 2012, it was reported that security forces opened fire on ethnic Tibetan protesters in western China, wounding at least 31 people and killing at least one of them. It was the largest violent confrontation in ethnic Tibetan areas of China since March 2008, when rioting and protests by Tibetans ended in a brutal crackdown by mostly ethnic Han security officers. The shootings took place in Luhuo, located in westernmost Sichuan Province.


edit on 28-3-2012 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

edit on 28-3-2012 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 09:44 AM
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Good thread.

I am in China working at the moment, been here for over 2 years. I am in the Cantonese speaking area of Guangdong Guangzhou and even here the locals will talk to me in Mandarin and not Cantonese. The schools will teach in mandarin and most of the (rubbish) tv is in mandarin too.

I went for a job interview a while back and my Cantonese gf was waiting in the reception area and the manager come out and asked her if she speaks mandarin (asked in english :lol


I think its Hong Kong which keeps Cantonese alive otherwise mandarin would of swallowed this area up a long time ago.

The Chinese in general are very nice people and i have never had any problems here but i am astounded at their lack of knowledge of geography and history. They get spoon fed that China has always been the same size and always included Tibet and Taiwan since the beging of time



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 10:18 AM
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reply to post by MrH191
 

I'm glad you are able to read this thread in China. Thanks for the response.

China is really starting to come into its own and I am happy for them. I don't think they need to be hard on their minorities. The answer is the carrot, not the stick.



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 10:37 AM
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Originally posted by ipsedixit
reply to post by MrH191
 

I'm glad you are able to read this thread in China. Thanks for the response.

China is really starting to come into its own and I am happy for them. I don't think they need to be hard on their minorities. The answer is the carrot, not the stick.


Hi puzzled,
Looks like you could have the makings of a wonderful thread here.
How far back do you want to start? I know some stuff.
So here is a flag for you.
I hope the exchanges of the members ideas are plesant and enlightening.
the best ljb



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 10:44 AM
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The overpopulation problem in the Han Empire is the result of its failure to implement a government funded and administered system of social security that could supplant having large numbers of children as the default social security system.


The overpopulation in the Han Empire has mainly to do with the need to produce males, combined with Mao telling the populace to have babies. The Han are very good at following orders in a chain of command. They did what they were told to do splendidly.

They followed orders and the limited vision of the chain of command didn't allow for the possiblity that anyone might even consider a consequence which might challenge the stated goal.

The greatest strength of the Han is their greatest weakness. The distribution of knowledge isn't modifying this tendency, it is merely providing a new method for people to collaborate on mass enforcement of new social concepts.



The one thing the peoples of the Han Empire really do well is business.

Culture is important, but secondary.


This is a false dichotomy which is not an accurate reflection of the use of money and culture among the Han.

It isn't business they do well - it is keeping their mafia, religious types, and elites in line with cultural vision so as to limit their destructiveness that they manage well at for periods of time. Isn't it nice that they are starving their people into being stunted currently?


And now for something completely different:

Tibetans are a different people. They are constructed differently. The main problem between the Tibetans and the Han isn't quite as apparently as culture and land issues. The way the Han mind works, and the way that the Tibetan mind works are different in a very profound way. The Han are waging a war of the mind played out in human bodies and replacement. There is enough of what the Tibetan mind is in the Han population to be truly concerning. One wonders what would happen if the Dalai Lama was less motivated by reason and more motivated by The Dream.

edit on 2012/3/28 by Aeons because: (no reason given)

edit on 2012/3/28 by Aeons because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 10:45 AM
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reply to post by longjohnbritches
 

Thankyou.

I don't know how long the thread will go but I do hope we get around to Chinese film starlets, because there are some real honeys.

I really am pulling for China, but I am highly embarassed by the whole "minorities" issue. I think they should be too. They are much smarter than that. Maybe the real problem is the minority at the top of the CCP.



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 10:52 AM
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reply to post by Aeons
 
I think the Han are basically a yin culture, who have always been passive and when confronted by yang cultures like the Mongolians or the Tibetans or the Muslim Uighurs, for example, have accepted and enveloped, and through the mysterious alchemy of the yin, sought to modify and soften the yang entity with which they are having intercourse.

Ultimately, like Zsa Zsa Gabor, they have been great "house keepers".




edit on 28-3-2012 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 11:17 AM
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Originally posted by ipsedixit
reply to post by longjohnbritches
 

Thankyou.

I don't know how long the thread will go but I do hope we get around to Chinese film starlets, because there are some real honeys.

I really am pulling for China, but I am highly embarassed by the whole "minorities" issue. I think they should be too. They are much smarter than that. Maybe the real problem is the minority at the top of the CCP.


What I was really getting at is do you want to get to modern day China via history or just linquistics?
Are you going to make judgments by opinions or the evolution of the Chinese people?? About the ladies? Are you looking for the Chinese equivelant to Kama Sutra??



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 11:38 AM
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The indigenous people of China had been the Han. From small diverse tribal groups, they were united by the 1st Emperor of China 5000 years ago, and as a united people, true civilisation began as it did around the world then.

Subsequent centuries saw the rise and falls of numerous ambitious ruling tribal houses as well as land conquests and loss, with its successes as well as its decadences, for with power comes corruption when unchecked, normal for mankind throughout the world - east or west, then.

There were other neighbouring national civilisations then, considered barbarians by the chinese for they had no form of economic social political systems that was similar to China, and viewed either as a threat or a great other resource to enrich China through conquests.

The biggest of them were the brutal Mongol hordes and the Qing tribes, which succeeded instead of conquering all China and adding China into their territory. But they too, saw their own barbaric existence, and eventually absorbed the Chinese way of life, even making mainland China it's capital.

Over time, these barbarians were evicted and the Han people whom had kept their culture homogenous, ruled again. With the rise of the Ming Empire, its wise 1st Emperor charted a new course for the nation, and that was the consolidation of terrorities to rule it well. They no longer sought for conquest, but only tributes from neighbouring countries in Asia for China's protection, till the barbaric Qing conquered latter decadent Ming emperors.

Qing rule was absolute totalitarian and brutal even while adopting many of China's culture. Assimilation was mandatory with Qing culture aknowledged as superior to Han, to even changing historical facts. Many indigenous Han could not adapt and were either murdered or force to flee the country when opportunities present itself, such as trade and covert immigration to other lands - Asia and USA.

Those who fled were the TRUE sons of the dragon - Han China. It was them that remembered and held on to their ancient past and glories, never forgotten.

In time, the brutal Qings were overthrown, and a far worse menace - Mongol-Qing-Han assimilated Chinese ruled China - the commies. It caused even further dispora of the Han chinese to the rest of the civilised world, Taiwan being one of them.

It was these TRUE sons of dragon Han chinese that kept the ancient traditions and culture alive overseas. Under Mao's CCP gov, it had destroyed chinese culture through the burning of books and the murder of parents by their children. Many of such children no longer remembers the past, but revered Mao or at least decades of commie indoctrination, and are in positions of the CCP gov - a bastardized version of the True sons of dragons, chinese in name, but not in culture.

As to the CCP's direction in Tibet, it is nothing more than brutal commie tactics - robbing of another nation's resource and imposing its brand of enslavement to a People. It will not stop with its neighbouring states. Africa is soon to be laid waste in order to feed its 1.3 billion people to keep them pacified. Asia is another resource rich target for commie haegomony.

It is hope that the brutal CCP gov will change its way, or its enslaved Han People will rise up again, and soon.



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 11:39 AM
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reply to post by longjohnbritches
 

My starting point is what I consider a fact that is not really acknowledged generally, and that is that China, is to a great degree, the Empire of the Han people. People tend to focus on the recent encroachments made by China, but the real story, illustrated in a way that is difficult for propaganda to cover over, is that China is a unity of hundreds of linguistically disparate nationalities.

It suits the CCP to pretend that this is not the case and in modern practical terms they have a point, except in areas where there is violent resistance to Han hegemony.

I deplore the situation. I think that the Chinese Communist Party has to grow up and get rid of, not the socialists in it, but of the militarists and thugs.

The Chinese people will eventually be unleashed, probably by unleashing themselves, but this doesn't have to be characterized by such events of the sort that are familiar to Tibetans or to Uighurs or to the Han people massacred in Tienanmin Square.

If you have a response to the remarks made in the thread, I'd like to read it.


edit on 28-3-2012 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

edit on 28-3-2012 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 12:09 PM
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Originally posted by ipsedixit
reply to post by longjohnbritches
 

My starting point is what I consider a fact that is not really acknowledged generally, and that is that China, is to a great degree, the Empire of the Han people. People tend to focus on the recent encroachments made by China, but the real story, illustrated in a way that is difficult for propaganda to cover over, is that China is a unity of hundreds of linguistically disparate nationalities.

It suits the CCP to pretend that this is not the case and in modern practical terms they have a point, except in areas where there is violent resistance to Han hegemony.

I deplore the situation. I think that the Chinese Communist Party has to grow up and get rid of, not the socialists in it, but of the militarists and thugs.

The Chinese people will eventually be unleashed, probably by unleashing themselves, but this doesn't have to be characterized by such events of the sort that are familiar to Tibetans or to Uighurs or to the Han people massacred in Tienanmin Square.

If you have a response to the remarks made in the thread, I'd like to read it.


edit on 28-3-2012 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

edit on 28-3-2012 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

Actually I would like to continue from here.
I am not agreeing with or disagreeing with you .
Thanks for the reply above. it is what I was looking for with my questions.
Just to recap it
You are saying that the best of the best of the Chinese are Han???
You are saying that the current CCP is no good because it is not Han???
I am just trying to get on the same page as you.
Rember that what you think about this subject is something you must have had in mind for awhile so let me catch up to that before I comment.
thanks ljb
edit on 11pm12 312pm31 by longjohnbritches because: add a sentence



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 12:32 PM
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Originally posted by longjohnbritches
Just to recap it
You are saying that the best of the best of the Chinese are Han???


Could you point out that part for me?


You are saying that the current CCP is no good because it is not Han???


Again, could you show me that part?


I am just trying to get on the same page as you.


Yes, of course.



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 12:54 PM
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Originally posted by ipsedixit
reply to post by Aeons
 
I think the Han are basically a yin culture, who have always been passive and when confronted by yang cultures like the Mongolians or the Tibetans or the Muslim Uighurs, for example, have accepted and enveloped, and through the mysterious alchemy of the yin, sought to modify and soften the yang entity with which they are having intercourse.

Ultimately, like Zsa Zsa Gabor, they have been great "house keepers".




edit on 28-3-2012 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)


You've missed out on adding the Manchu to your list.

I think that your assessment is missing much information about the Han use of warfare on a cultural and a military level. The long empire doesn't limit to one set of tricks.

Also I find your depiction of all the other groups to be quite biased. Yes, some of them were brutal. The Han aren't excepted from this trait in history. The Han are just protecting themselves by taking over populations like Inner Mongolia.

Propaganda over centuries is not recognized as propaganda. Exotic cool propaganda is even better.

www.bibliotecapleyades.net...
journals.cambridge.org...

Such non-chinese people as the rong, di, and hu are often portrayed in the traditional historiography of ancient China as greedy, aggressive, and acquisitive (Sinor 1978; Honey 1990). Chinese writings of the Zhou dynasty (c. 1050–256 b.c.) contain many instances of unflattering statements aimed at foreign peoples: the Zuo zhuan compares the Rong and Di to wolves (ZZ, 1:209); the Zhan guo ce says the state of Qin shares the same attributes as the Rong and Di—the heart of a tiger or wolf, greed, and cruelty (ZGC, 11:869; cf. Crump 1970:436). Foreign peoples were often considered “have-nots” with an insatiable lust for Chinese goods, mainly silk, grains, and, later, tea. This stereotype, which developed in the historical sources along with the process of crystallization of the Chinese ethnocultural identity and codification of the written and oral traditions, was regarded as sufficient to account for otherwise complex social and political phenomena. In the course of time, with the historical development of powerful nomadic states confronting China militarily and politically, the attributes of “greedy” and “ravenous” stuck essentially to those people who “moved in search of grass and water”: the pastoral nomads.





The standard in modern thought is to depict all nomads as being evil forces, or innocent savages.


I wonder what would happen if the organized Tibetan dream took hold Cote d'Ivoire, Lesothos or Botswana.
edit on 2012/3/28 by Aeons because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 01:34 PM
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reply to post by Aeons
 

I don't think we disagree that much. I thought of the Manchu, but didn't write them down. I'm not a Sinologist, but have done some reading in this area, mainly in the context of Tibet and its problems.

One can get some insight into Chinese cultural history by reading about current efforts to modernize and unify the administration of justice in China, based on German Law, Portugese Law and English Common Law interlarded with the Chinese practice of "circumstantial" (my own coinage) law, i.e., decisions by "favor".

Until the modern computer age it has been impossible for the Chinese to unify their systems and criteria for court judgements. Lawyers have until recent times had little access to legal reference material. "Circumstantial" law has been the resulting stopgap, that became the norm for generations.




edit on 28-3-2012 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 03:14 PM
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Originally posted by ipsedixit

Originally posted by longjohnbritches
Just to recap it
You are saying that the best of the best of the Chinese are Han???


Could you point out that part for me?


You are saying that the current CCP is no good because it is not Han???


Again, could you show me that part?


I am just trying to get on the same page as you.


Yes, of course.


Did you miss the question marks?
I can point that out.



posted on Mar, 28 2012 @ 04:18 PM
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Originally posted by longjohnbritches
Did you miss the question marks?
I can point that out.


I saw them but I couldn't relate them to the material I posted. Sorry.



posted on Mar, 29 2012 @ 05:37 AM
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Imagine that you have been invited to enter a garden of earthly delights, populated by a highly cultured people containing a vast museum of beautiful art and architecture, and multiple cities, ranging from ancient archeological artifacts to dazzling modern techno beehives, and that the only requirement asked of you, in order to be fully accepted into the club, is that you take the time to learn 4000 complicated symbols that the people of this wonderful place need, to achieve a basic level of literacy . . . and that you abandon your own rediculously simple and practical system of writing.

You are further informed that if you want to achieve a level of literacy comparable to that of a university graduate or of a serious scholar, that you be prepared to learn up to another 26,000 complicated symbols that will carry you into the elite world of intellectual discourse.

That is a substantial hurdle for the owners of the theme park to insist upon, particularly if you have a perfectly good system of writing, capable of handling all the demands that life and scholarship place on language, already in place.

Of course if you are Tibetan, and have a language and system of writing that has been, as Latin was in Europe, the lingua franca of Central Asia for centuries and a repository of most of the most learned, esoteric and recondite philosophical writings and yogic practices that are at the core and heart of the cultures of all the Far East and you are being ordered, against your will, to lower your intellectual sights and undertake the task of learning 4000 symbols in order to function at the level of basic literacy in the language of your conquerer . . .

Well, does anyone really think the Tibetans are being unreasonable when they balk at following the directions of their Han conquerers in the sphere of language?

The Han Empire, in making such a linguistic demand is, in fact, requesting an entire culture, in Tibet, to descend the intellectual ladder and function for generations at the level of basic literacy.

When Hitler conquered Poland, his solution to the intellectual "problem" was simply to shoot as many of them as he could, . . . intellectuals, that is.

The solution that the Han Empire has arrived at for the intellectual problem is to subject entire populations to the almost "game show" like absurdity of being required to learn Chinese written characters and to watch one's entire cultural and intellectual life wither on the vine while that absurd "game show" plays out in one's own life and the life of one's children, who by the nature of things are slowly and painfully pulled by the conquerer's educational regime, away from family and tradition, in their own homeland.

And this is the result . . .



edit on 29-3-2012 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 29 2012 @ 11:36 AM
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reply to post by ipsedixit
 

The first part of this pertains

Lowell Thomas - Media Tycoon - The Life of Lowell Thomas ...
www.cliohistory.org/thomas-lawrence/thomas/media/



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