Monday, September 11, 2006

Communism and the Chinese Mind

Not much time today, must dash off to an appointment, but I came across a minute of Legislative Council sessions in Hong Kong from 1926 that would not wait. During that meeting on 15th October 1926, the Governor Sir Cecil Clementi had cause to comment on the disturbances in Canton at that time, that were also affecting Hong Kong due to a widespread labor strike that had enveloped the territory.

He had this to same about Communist philosophy and the Chinese ethos:
...above all else, the Colony of Hong Kong desires to see in Kuang-tung and Kuang-hsi a strong, stable and enlightened Government. Of such a Government we should gladly be close friends and staunch supporters.

Another matter which is near our hearts is to see the curse of Bolshevism removed from China. The ideas permeating Bolshevism are wholly alien to the Chinese mind: and a moment's thought should suffice to convince the Cantonese authorities that in the development of the Liang Kuang provinces by the peaceful and orderly processes of trade and commerce Great Britain and the British Colony of Hong Kong can give more effective and lasting assistance than the Russian Soviet. We uphold ideals which are dear to the Chinese mind, - peace, good government, commercial enterprise, learning and literature, loyalty to the honoured traditions of the past and an orderly advance towards all that the future promises. But the Bolshevik record is at present a bloodstained page of revolution, terrorism, anarchy and intestine war. The civilized mind recoils with horror from its contemplation; and throughout China, I am thankful to say, there is now a growing abomination of all that Bolshevism means. It is our earnest hope that the Chinese people may pluck out this evil by the roots and cast it from their country.
Well, it was certainly true of the Chinese in Hong Kong at that time, but was perhaps not so accurate of the country as a whole. But it also goes to show that if you wait long enough, anything one predicts will come true (hence the everpresent popularity of Nostradamus). Too bad China had to learn such a bitter lesson for the truth of it to sink in!

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