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清水与补坝，重建与改造 Rebuilding vs. Reform
清水与补坝，重建与改造 Rebuilding vs. Reformin 陈凯论坛 Kai Chen Forum 不自由，毋宁死! Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death! Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:45 pm
by fountainheadkc • 1.369 Posts
Rebuilding vs. Reform
价值一语：Words of Value:
It is not the place that maketh the person, but the person that maketh the place honorable. --- Marcus Tullius Cicero
环境并不造就人，是人去造就一个道德的环境。 --- Marcus Tullius Cicero
There is no royal road to anything. --- One thing at a time, and all things in succession. That which grows slowly endures. --- Josiah Gilbert Holland
成就之途并不平坦荣耀。 --- 一件一件去做，最终积累就会成功。 那些逐渐成长的才是可以延续下去的。 --- Josiah Gilbert Holland
By Kai Chen 陈凯 (Written 7/26/2006, Reprint 9/3/2011)
I have long maintained that rebuilding Chinese culture from scratch, using all the available human tools in the world that have been proven to be freedom-facilitating, rather than reforming the Chinese culture using the existing Chinese tools and concepts, is the way to go. I now use some analogies to illustrate my point: The Farmer's, the Painter's, the Builder's, and the Yellow River analogy:
1. The farmer's analogy: Through centuries of farming on the same land, a wise farmer finally discovers that no matter what he tries, with different crops, different methods of farming, different techniques from foreign land, the best crop he can ever harvest is only opium and other narcotic products. He has never been able to grow crops that nurish human beings.
Now he is determined to grow something that benefit human beings and nurish human bodies and souls. He discovered that the soil he tills is poisonous, the climate he lives under kills all the fruit bearing trees and plants. He has to change the soil content and build a giant green house to keep the crops and fruit trees inside, in order for them to survive and flourish. He now not only learns to borrow better seeds and seedlings, but to change the soil content and grandually build a giant green house to resist the vicious climate. His approach is slow yet steady, but very deliberate and logical. He will eventually succeed.
As he looks around, there are still many farmers fighting among themselves, arguing where and how to get better seeds and seedlings, but they are never willing to change their soil content and build a giant greenhouse. He understands that all their effort will be in vain, just like all their ancestors, for the soil remains poisonous and the climate remains vicious.
2. The painter's analogy: Facing an already contaminated canvas, on which all kinds of ugly stains spread, the wise painter decides to replace the canvas all together with a clean and un-contaminated canvas, so he can plan to paint a beautiful, inspiring painting. Not only he has to replace the canvas, he has to replace his old brushes and out-dated paint and dye. He has to start anew.
As he looks around, he finds that most painters are still obsessed with the old contaminated canvas, fighting hard among themselves, trying to figure out a way to paint a good-looking painting on the ugly canvas, with their old outdated paint, brushes and dye.
3. The builder's analogy: Realizing that an old building's foundation is warped and rotten away, a wise builder decided not to save the building, but to build another building so he and his family can live in. He also realizes the old building is tumbling down, not only because it is old, but because its foundation from the very beginning is tilted and the materials used are defected and rotted away. He then decides to use entirely new kind, long-lasting materials, and modern measuring equipment to solidify the building's foundation. His appoach is deliberate and steady. And his chance to successfully build an entirely new building that can last is excellent.
As he looks around, his fellow builders are all arguing how to save the old building, without fixing the foundation. Some even suggest add more stories on the old building. Some praise the old rotten building as the most enduring ediface on the planet of earth. Not only do they want to save it, they want to have all their children live under the roof of a structure whose foundation has not only warped from the day it was built, it has long been rotten and eaten away by all kinds of parasites and termites.
4. Yellow River analogy: A modern surveyer has just concluded surveying Yellowing River. He concluded that the most urgent task to secure the river from flooding is to solve the severe soil erosion by planting billions of trees along the river valley and along the upper branches. It is a slow, painful and painstaking process. But he concluded this is the only way that the river can be saved, and people's lives along the river can be saved. Only when the yellow water becomes clear water, the river can benefit people's lives, he firmly believes.
As he looks around, many of his colleagues are still arguing among themselves, shouting to build a higher levees, and fixing the old holes on the old levees, and using better, borrowed materials to solidify the levees...
The analogies I have used here is to make clear my point: Do not have illusions about Chinese culture and society. Rebuilding a new culture and new society, though seemingly slow and deliberate, is the only way to go. Reforming and reconfigering the old structures that have been proven to be man-eating and an eternal failure, is only a waste of time, though it often is seemingly quicker and gives people an illusion of immediate progress. In the end, it will all tumbling down just like every dynasty that had existed in China. Communist dynasty will be the same, and it only serves to remind us reforming and reconfigering will not work.
Let's rebuild a new culture and a new society, entirely from scratch. And let's begin that process with ourselves, with each and everyone of us, with each individual's inescapable "self" and responsibility. One at a time, slowly but surely, we will build a new foundation for a "freedom house" from which generations of people will benefit and live in joy and peace.