24. Why Must Individualistic Culture Go with System Culture?
Chinese traditional culture is system-based, while Western culture is individualism-based. The success of Chinese feudal society lies in the system-based culture while the prosperity of the Western world today depends on its individualism-based culture. Present socialist system in China is the combination of system-based culture and vague individualism-based culture.
It was the outbreak of weaknesses of system-based culture when China was attacked by the Eight-Power Allied Forces, so the world needs everlasting peace and system-based culture to unite the universe, eliminate differences among people, as well as maintain equality.
However, the greatest drawback of system-based culture is the content with temporary ease and comfort. It is actually a decadent idea like Lao-Tzu’s recovery to one’s original simplicity, making no attempt to make progress as well as destruction of productivity.
It is competition that makes human society progress, and horror and threat of wars that forces men to advance. Therefore, if human society is unified, there would be no war or threat. As a result, men will have no opponent and become content with village life, eating their head off, seeking temporary peace, and unproductive as advocated by Lao-Tzu. In this regard, competition among countries is meaningful, which should not be eliminated or abolished.
With the existence of differences among countries, people feel angry towards backward countries that are regarded as a dog in the manger. It is the anger from the strong to the weak. The earth belongs to earthmen, not the locals. If the locals hinder the earth from development, backward nations will be attacked by civilisation.
That is the demand of civilisation for land and living space as the demand of rutting beast for spouse. As a matter of fact, men are animals, but men’s demands can be packaged by consciousness and covered and ornamented before shown to the public.
However, men are animals in essence, and they strive for objectives simply out of animal instinct. People of backward civilisation are rutting beast and land resources are their mates. They start war to seize resources. It is reasonable to launch a war out of anger. It is the law of nature to attack benighted and backward countries or dogs in the manger, which is a justice and necessary path for human society development.
Likewise, China was attacked by the Eight-Power Allied Forces due to its backwardness, which was an unjust shame and invasion for the Chinese. From the perspective of the development of human history, however, it was just.
As people say, every progress of human history must be made by their own. God won’t help you. Every progress of human society must be treated with immeasurable blood and life.
Some obvious truth must be understood by means of bayonet and head. As an ancient Chinese saying says, refuse to be convinced until faced with grim reality. It is exactly correct.
Men always think they are right and they never make mistakes. Their ancestors have lived like this, and it is must be correct if they live life this way, for which they even would like to pay their life. Men may not be aware that this seemingly correct conduct has hindered the development of others and stood in the way and became a stumbling block to others without their knowing. The earth belongs to all earthmen just as the American continent does not belong to the Indians. By far people have accepted this fact. Based on this logic, if one country someday can defeat the Americans as the Americans defeated and drove the Indians like herds, can we say the American continent no longer belongs to the Americans but another nation? As a Chinese saying says, history does take interesting turns.
Strong enough as it had been to rule the world, China was still invaded by the Eight-Power Allied Forces. If it had happened to China, it would happen to any nation.
Ancient Chinese had remarked things are constantly changing and no dynasty is immortal. No nation can be always strong, so temporary strength is regarded as civilisation and truth. Nations of temporary strength all feel good about themselves with national vanity, believing they are the boss.
The Chinese had long had such feeling, but most of us suffer from inadequate knowledge on history or refuse subconsciously to accept the fact that they had been the boss before.
For this reason, such a feeling is nothing fresh or novel for the Chinese. There is nothing to be proud of. Temporary superiority will, like morning dew, vanish as the sun rises.
Therefore, it is of no significance for men in this competitive game. Now we come around back to the start, it’s the supreme truth to recover one’s original simplicity. For men, especially ordinary people and common people, what do they want? It is physical things like life, money, wife, children, house, and car. As for all kinds of ideas, doctrines, power, fame, status, nationality, liberty, fraternity, and equality are simply means with which we realise our objectives.
It is the objective rather than means that separates winners from losers, combined with GDP, people’s living standard, money, and power. Such superiority is temporary and provisional that can last for decades or a much shorter period of time.
As a matter of fact, human society is temporarily kept from large-scale war with the presence of balance of terror. No one can be sure how long such balance will retain. As long as there are differences among countries and estrangement among people, it is just a matter of time as to invade and be invaded, rule and be ruled, as well as destroy and be destroyed because the root of conflicts or the devil is deeply rooted in our mind.
This is what death instinct in human consciousness discovered by Freud. If such instinct is released, it is to kill. We can often see the news of serial killing. Killers kill people who have no interesting relationship with them or for reasons that are inexplicable and eccentric to us. These people are usually quite normal and even have seemingly perfect family.
I think these people can be generally divided into two categories. One is born defect that makes his subconscious primitive impulse different from normal people. The other kind may have suffered from stimulus before and such stimulus is kept in his subconsciousness and completely changes his impulsive. Their desires are expressed differently from that of normal people in structure.
Such impulse and desire can be found on everyone. They are not absent on normal people, but normal people can have them controlled within a certain range while there are people who can’t control such impulse and desire.
In a sense, this kind of hatred and death instinct to eliminate people is out of men’s self-protection.
In most cases, when people think someone or some people have caused us serious damage, people typically have two reflections in view of the condition of the other side. When the opponent is very strong and we feel powerless to or cannot resist, we tend to fear, panic, and run away. The most common comment is becoming terror-stricken at the news or turning pale at the mention of a tiger. Who had no fear faced with SARS and bird flu? Even the medical staff fell down, not to mention our ordinary people who are unable to resist. That is why all were scared and felt threatened.
When we suffer from serious damage caused by things weaker than us or they threaten our survival, we will generate the death instinct to destroy them. Of course, such weak is not absolute but relative and conditional, such as weak at that time. When we find help to make us strong, we will also generate the death instinct to eliminate the other side. This is what is usually seen revenge or vengeance.
Revenge is the common theme in movies and novels as well as an eternal theme for mankind. It often happens in our daily life. Hatred can be big and small. It can be as small as bursting people’s bicycle tyre secretly or stealing a chicken and as big as world war, genocide, and terrorist attack. They have no difference in essence in view of psychoanalysis, a release of human death instinct.
War is the abreaction and manifestation of human death instinct in the form of military combat for victory or loss.
Genocide is the abreaction and manifestation of human death instinct in the form of troops massacring civilians.
Terrorist attack is the abreaction and manifestation of human death instinct in the form of a few armed attacks on civilians.
Despite the different forms, they are abreaction of death instinct in essence.
There is, of course, difference between chicken stealing, bursting bicycle tyre, war, genocide, and terrorist attack. People stealing chickens and bursting bicycle tyre only have to convince themselves, while terrorist attacks require planners to arouse the death instinct of more people. War and genocide require planners to arouse the death instinct of the vast majority of people of a country before they can use the state machinery to slaughter.
People hate those who steal chickens, burst bicycle tyre, terrorist attacks, genocide, and war.
But I have to remind people that these people are just like you and me. They are not different from us in essence. The only difference is that their death instinct is aroused by some people or some things, which have controlled their will and action. Objectively speaking, these people have caused injury and harm to us, the world, and the social environment and natural environment indispensable to us. We have full reasons to hate them.
In other words, there will be a lot of people against me. You may say you have high moralities and will not steal chicken, burst tyre, not to mention engage in terrorist attacks or genocide.
There is a Buddhist tenet as a man sows, so let him reap. I don’t believe in retribution, but I believe that everything in the world exists for a reason and there are causes and effects. People’s death instinct cannot be aroused or released for no reason. As an old saying in China says, the miserable man must have his defect that causes the misery.
I don’t know those who have been revenged for death instinct ever thought of why people’s death instinct targets at you instead of others. Is this accidental or certain?
Stolen chicken may be carried off by animals and burst bicycle tyre may run on a nail, which can belong to accidents. War and genocide, however, are organised in a planned way. They can never be an accident.
For this reason, the promotion of system-based culture, establishment of system, and suppression of individualism can make a country strong, stable, orderly, harmonious, and unified. But too much stability will lead to the loss of vigour and momentum to strive forward. As a result, all people will recover one’s original simplicity.
Advocating individualism-based culture can spur the creativity and vitality of all social members, but it will also lead to social disorder and disharmony in the meanwhile.
It challenges us as how to make a combination and flexible use of the two. To put it simple, the country carries out state capitalism in some realm while encourages individual capitalism in other fields. State capitalism is conducted in the grand framework while individual capitalism is advocated in micro areas. State capitalism can be found in passive work while individual capitalism in active work. State capitalism is applied to fields that can make money while individual capitalism is applied to areas that do not make money.
Because the society needs harmony, maximum-range adjustment of the interest, political and economic relationship among people is required. Such adjustment requires power and capital guarantee. Due to nature selfishness and hopelessness of human nature, no one is willing to give up their vested interests without power suppression and benefit induction. No one is willing to help others selflessly. Individualism-based culture and individualism cannot overcome this. Individuals with vested interests in individualism-based culture can always distort justice with money.
Small government and big capitalists that are advocated by some economists can perfectly illustrate this point. The government requires money in all businesses while small governments have no resource in their hands at all. They have to watch big capitalists look in everything and wait for their discussions. How could you make me believe the government would make big capitalists sacrifice their own interests for the purpose of justice and fairness? Can the government adjust the interests of big capitalists whenever they want? With no power and capital guarantee, how can you say you can safeguard the rights and interests of the vulnerable groups, justice, and fairness?
In society of sate capitalism, the state machine is not fed by individual support nor threatened by any individual threat. In addition, it can mobilise a large number of state-owned capitals to do anything justified to maintain fairness and justice.
When maintaining state grand capital framework and structure, we can maximise the implementation of individualism-based culture, protect individual interests, and inspire individuals to active creativity. This is the right way.
The combination of individual culture and collective culture constitutes the current Chinese pattern.
Public ownership shall be developed in the resource-based field and the field dominant with state-owned capital, providing maximum financial support for the state with the public capital and achieving effective and scientific governance of state and maximum fair and justice.
The private ownership and individual culture shall be widely applied in the non-resource-based field and the field not appropriate for the state-owned capital.
Either the public ownership or the private ownership, and either the individual culture or the collective culture is used to serve and maximise the interests of the people.
Regime and the state machine can really serve the interests of the people, which is the manifestation of the ancient Chinese saying, ‘harmony between heaven and people’ and ‘social harmony’.