China, one of my favourite subjects, popped out a film last year that has some great insight into how the world of government vs drugs, or (vice)
pretty much anything illegal, was initially started. How it has been manipulated. How it has been controlled.
Mind you, the movie was based on a real life character, it was of course a fictional account. But a pretty good watch.
The movie is set in Shanghai in the early Republican era. Cheng Daqi, a young man working at a fruit stall, travels to Shanghai in search of a new
life and he meets Hong Shouting, a police chief who is also a triad boss.
China's past blatant corruption, is kind of a looking glass into other cultures that spend so much effort trying to hide the true nature of
politics/government/law vs personal power and wealth.
There are examples right through western society as well, but look at any official version and of course, these things are anomalies.
Plenty of documented history in China of the police forces being entirely controlled by Triad bosses, which allowed them to pursue rival gangs and
build good public perception, while making a huge profit for themselves and protecting all their rackets.
The Chinese history of drug trade is a long storied one, dating back to the Opium Wars, (for anyone not familiar it's a good look into how the West
tried to subvert an entire nations trade by hooking their people on drugs)
Opium has been known in China since the 7th century and for centuries it was used for medicinal purposes. It was not until the 17th century that
the practice of mixing opium with tobacco for smoking was introduced into China by Europeans.
The import of opium into China stood at 200 chests (annual) in 1729, when the first anti-opium edict was promulgated. This edict was weakly
enforced, and by the time Chinese authorities reissued the prohibition in starker terms in 1799, the figure had leaped; 4,500 chests were
imported in the year 1800. The decade of the 1830s witnessed a rapid rise in opium trade, and by 1838 (just before the first Opium War) it
climbed to 40,000 chests. The rise continued on after the Treaty of Nanking that concluded the war.[a] (See Growth of opium trade below).
The opium trafficked into China had come from East India Company's operations in Bengal, British India, produced at its two factories in Patna and
Benares. In the 1820s, opium from Malwa in the non-British controlled parts of India became available, and as prices fell due to competition,
production was stepped up.
These commodities were carried by British merchants to the coast of China, where they sold for a good profit.
With the drain of silver and the growing number of people addicted to the drug, the Daoguang Emperor demanded action. Officials at the court who
advocated legalizing the trade so the government could tax it were defeated by those who advocated suppression. In 1838, the Emperor sent Lin Zexu to
Guangzhou, where he quickly arrested Chinese opium dealers and summarily demanded that foreign firms turn over their stocks. When they refused, Lin
stopped trade altogether and placed the foreign residents under virtual siege, eventually forcing the merchants to surrender their opium to be
When you see the quite apparent corruption in China's history, whether it be from a fictional standpoint or non-fiction, you get a glimpse into the
type of corruption that is everywhere, just simply less evident, less brazen.
From the mob-forced votes in Montreal 50-70 years ago, to prohibition which lead to criminalizing an entire nation of people, perhaps it might help
for some people to really see what exactly goes on around you. Many don't see it, because they hear things like ____ is bad from early childhood. Or,
that person did it to themselves... (Really? The law, persecution, stigma did nothing to them?)
Think about it, expand your mind a little.
Human nature is pretty universal worldwide.
edit on 17-10-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)