Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Hegemony of Humanity

Here I present some excerpts from a paper by Wang Jisi, by a prominent Chinese political/academic leader. (Hat tip Fjordman)

Mr. Jisi is attempting to think through the ways in which America is being destabilized by internal forces, so that those weaknesses in our system can be stoked and destabilized from without.

Jisi believes that a prime weakness in America is the influx of "ethnic minorities", who come to America bringing with them various ideologies. However, he also realizes that the ideology of freedom has a stabilizing effect on this weakness. He notes:

President Bush’s speech at the 2002 Independence Day ceremony states that in today’s United States, “there is no American race; there is only an American creed.” If America’s ideology based upon the core belief in liberty has provided American hegemony the spiritual foundation, democracy has provided the American hegemony institutional base, thus enabling the Americans to be united under the national flag.

It is obvious that the enlargement of America’s hegemonic ambition since World War II coincides with the gradual enlargement of the American democracy and the growth of diversity in the United States. The two trends in turn complement each other.

So much for that weakness, I guess. But at the same time, Mr. Jisi seems to think that this ideology of freedom is merely a rhetoric which we lay over the reality that other nations and powers have legitimate grievances against us:

After the 9/11 incident, the leaders of the United States have repeatedly emphasized that the terrorist attacks are not related to the Middle East policies of the United States, nor are they related to the “clash of civilizations.”

Their interpretation for the 9/11 terrorist attacks has been that because the United States represents liberty, democracy, human rights and tolerance, it is hated by international terrorist organizations and their sympathizers (the “evil states). The latter represents tyranny, prejudice and hatred, sneering at human dignity, liberty and life.

The Americans universally accept the proposition that the attacks on September 11 2001 are attacks on America’s democratic system and democratic ideals.

Ok, so other nations really are angry with us, because we overstep the bounds of their various systems. However, in the final analysis, there is a circularity to Wang Jisi's argument.

In the beginning, he seeks to find points of instability within the American system, but comes to the conclusion that these points are eventually stabilized by the ideology of freedom. Therefore, he decides that it is this facade of freedom which must be attacked:

It is unrealistic for now to drag the U.S. from the position of hegemony and to promote other power centers to a higher level, because it is beyond the ability of any nation or group of nations at the current stage. But the outside world can exert influence upon America’s hegemonic policies and actions, analyze and criticize America’s hegemonic thinking.

The 9/11 attacks have been strong shocks to the American hegemony, yet these shocks have not further divided the American society (the organizer of the attacks were not necessarily pre-disposed to have this goal in mind). On the contrary, the attacks have strengthened America’s domestic cohesiveness, further stimulated America’s conservatism, nationalism and xenophobia, thus in reality leading to the formation of a U.S.-led international anti-terror front, and further consolidated America’s hegemonic status.

It is thus clear now that to use terrorist acts to struggle against America’s hegemony can only reach the opposite goal. Meanwhile, it is not cost-effective and worthwhile to get into an arms race and military confrontation with the United States. To effectively impede America’s hegemonic behaviors, in addition to diplomatic dealings in the international arena, we must more deeply understand the politics, economics, society and culture of the United States, so that we can fully take advantage of those factors within the American society that serve to restrain America’s state hegemonic behaviors.

In this analysis, we can see that the domestic roots of America’s hegemonism are deep and solid.

Before the U.S. falls from its hegemonic height, in order to shake its hegemonic thinking, we must eradicate America’s unitary ideology of freedom, change America’s nationalism and conceptual framework, make them believe that there are social systems and life styles in the world that are more admirable than America’s.

When hearing foreigners’ criticism of America’s intervention everywhere, Americans often smugly quip, “of course, people all over the world are shouting ‘Yankees, Go home!’ but they always add, ‘bring me with you.’ This is the logic of the American hegemony!

We can therefore conclude that only when there are no more boisterous assemblies of immigration and visa applicants in front of various American embassies overseas, and only when an outgoing emigration occurs in the United States, will the American hegemonic mentality be extinguished, will the age of multipolarity arrive.

But, if our ideology of freedom is a facade, or an illusion, then why is it such a stabilizing force in America's internal politics? If people did not feel truly free within America, they would see it as a sham and instability would increase.

All I can say is, good luck, China. Ask anyone which country they would rather live in, one where they are free to speak their minds, and practice their religion, or one where they are arrested, tortured, and even killed for expressing their beliefs.

Freedom will always be a unifying force for mankind, because freedom is what man was born for. It is what humans requre in their very essence. Because we were created to be free and creative, freedom is the meaning of our lives.

You can't hold us back, China. It is like trying to push the ocean back into a smaller space. We are large. We contain multitudes of longing, bursting forth to give and receive, and to manifest our essential individualities.

No Jihadi Sharia-promoter, or Red Chinese totalitarian, will ever be able to stop the human yearning for freedom. Therefore, China, you find yourself confronted with an impossible task. You will never be able to eliminate American hegemony, because American hegemony is Human Hegemony.