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BML

Bertrand Russell'S Problems of China. Critiques.

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BML

When I read Bertrand Russell’s Problems of China many years ago I'm certain that I came across some Criticisms of the book by Chinese readers on the grounds that Russell generalised and applied national stereotype’s to the Chinese.  Does any reader of this comment have any information on such criticism?

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roddy

Here's the book if anyone wants to go hunting... written in the 1920s.

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BML

I have the book but I don't have the source of its criticism that Russell generalised and applied national stereotype’s to the Chinese and its most frustrating.

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roddy

Have you see this? Not from a Chinese perspective though (or at least in the brief skim of the abstract I gave it)

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BML

Fascinating and I have not seen, "this" before.  I would be very interested in the background of the study. 

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Luxi

Amazing insight considering Russell's book was published in 1922:

 

Quote

China, by her resources and her population, is capable of being the greatest Power in the world after the United States. It is much to be feared that, in the process of becoming strong enough to preserve their independence, the Chinese may become strong enough to embark upon a career of imperialism. 

p.254

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mouse

I don't mean to do down Russell, but China getting its act together was a perennial fear among Europeans, especially in the 19th century.

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BML

My interest in China goes back to being a part of a family with left wing tendencies who welcomed the independence of China after years of torment from western powers that colonised parts of it reducing the Chinese people to servants.  The exploitation of China was exacerbated by the Japanese invasion which was not only ignored by the west but actually assisted by the west so my family was happy to see the first of October 1949 when the People's Republic of China was established.

My interest was reawakened when it became obvious that China had moved from Marxism to gangsterism. 

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imron
15 minutes ago, BML said:

The exploitation of China was exacerbated by the Japanese invasion which was not only ignored by the west

By everyone except Hergé

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vellocet

Well, you're getting the leftist dream: a China unfettered by foreign countries, that can take actions that are in its own interest and set up a separate world order and in the process, proving that the world doesn't need capitalism.  Somehow I doubt you'll be happy with it, though.  

 

Quote

 the Japanese invasion which was not only ignored by the west

 

Here are Chinese picketing scrap metal exports from USA to China.  The metal was used to create weapons that killed Chinese.  The USA responded by ceasing the export of scrap metal to Japan.  Japan declared war on America in part due to this action.  The sign held by the man on the left is chilling in its accuracy.

chinese-picketing-scrap-metal-exports-to-japan.thumb.jpg.5aafbbfffb5055b3c8cbedf17c387376.jpg

 

Here is a Chinese wall decoration celebrating the American contribution to China's war against Japan.  

door3.thumb.jpg.2d3c672893904c127a26b882827fbb1d.jpg

 

Here is a poster commemorating United China Relief, a popular cause before Japan declared war.  My grandfather was involved and saw Madame Chiang Kai-Shek when she visited New York.  

china-relief.thumb.jpg.9457e377a3371202f81141a0523e60f3.jpg

 

Of course, none of these mention the Communist Party of China, which is I'm sure what you meant by "ignored".  American aid to China against Japan has largely been forgotten today by all sides.  Nobody I ever meet has ever heard of the Flying Tigers, the most famous aid to China.  The other campaigns have been sent to the memory hole.  Obviously the Communists don't want this sort of thing floating around because it belies the postwar narrative that the CPC beat the Japanese singlehandedly, without any help.

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Jim
8 minutes ago, vellocet said:

Well, you're getting the leftist dream: a China unfettered by foreign countries, that can take actions that are in its own interest and set up a separate world order and in the process, proving that the world doesn't need capitalism. 

 

Why do you think the current Chinese regime has no part of capitalism?

 

10 minutes ago, vellocet said:

Nobody I ever meet has ever heard of the Flying Tigers, the most famous aid to China. 

They were mentioned all the time by people I knew in Sichuan, survivors got state awards and IIRC they've appeared in telly dramas too. They've opened a memorial park in Guilin too: https://baike.baidu.com/item/飞虎队遗址公园/3114546

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BML

Quora, "The US government was secretly behind the plan, the pilots (and their ground crews) had resigned from the US military when war was obviously expected, and traveled halfway around the world for the princely sum of $600–800 a month (more than a 3-star general, about $10,000 a month in today’s dollars), plus bonuses for enemy kills." 

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vellocet

Getting back on topic, Pearl S. Buck had similar criticisms back during the US period of aid to China against Japanese aggression.  Her novel, The Good Earth is an excellent book which everyone should read [link to free download in many e-book formats] was harshly criticized. She was born in China, grew up there and spoke Chinese at a native level.  She had this to say about her critics:

 

Quote

 

One of the isolating factors of my own experience has been that some of the morbidly sensitive modern Chinese, especially those abroad in foreign countries, have not liked it that I have written of the everyday life of their people. In all justice to them I must say that this attitude has changed in the last two years very much, so that I have ardent friends among these, but certainly The Good Earth at first displeased many Chinese in the United States. In China itself it was accepted without dislike except that it was a foreigner who wrote it. It was often said there, "It is a book which a Chinese should have written." But among the Chinese in my own country, who felt they had the honour of their country to uphold, it made distress. They had to deny it, to criticize it, to struggle against it. This also was as astonishing to me as the letter from the Fundamentalist board member. Apparently with the simplest purpose in the world, namely, merely to write novels, surely a harmless necessity for a novelist, and without any sense of wrongdoing, I was able to infuriate an astonishingly large number of people.

 


-- Pearl S. Buck, "Advice to a Novelist About to Be Born" (1935)
 

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Bibu
19 hours ago, vellocet said:

Nobody I ever meet has ever heard of the Flying Tigers, the most famous aid to China. 

 That is not true. USA aid China when japan is in middle school class, I am not sure flying tiger story is in the text book, but I believe there is quite a lot Chinese know the story and his wife.

 

Check  again with elders, or at least finished high school.

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Bibu
12 hours ago, vellocet said:

Her novel, The Good Earth

thanks, this one is on my book list for quite a while

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Bibu
12 hours ago, vellocet said:

One of the isolating factors of my own experience has been that some of the morbidly sensitive modern Chinese, especially those abroad in foreign countries, have not liked it that I have written of the everyday life of their people.

 

Keep in mind of this USA acts: https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/美国排华法案

 

Think how the life it was for a Chinese.

 

Also in the global politics, colony is a bit outdated, but China is still the main target to be colonized , either the Japanese way or the USA's way. Obviously, old Euro had reached its peak already with 2 wars.

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