"In the era of Mao, China was known as a virtually crime-free society," says Steven F. Messner, a University of Albany sociology professor who studies criminality. "Evidence abounds, however, that the Communist Party leadership's ideal of a "harmonious society" remains a target, not the reality" -- The actual issue is: yes, crime still exists (at lower rates), but how the government chooses to disseminate the information (and the reasons for it) is disturbing. Here's a "tossup": A freer society with higher crime rates, or the other way around?
On today's article by James T. Areddy on the Wall Street Journal, he writes:
Last June, hours after her students went home, Sunny Shi, the principal at a kindergarten in Shanghai's Pudong district, was bludgeoned to death in her office. The suspect was another school employee.
Officially, it was as if the murder never happened. Not a word was reported publicly by Shanghai police or local media. As talk circulated among parents, the school's administrators offered trauma counseling but requested their silence. "Now the case is under police investigation," the chief administrator
said by email, and "we regret that we cannot provide any details."
No matter how richer the Chinese society has become, or how "Americanized" their way of living, it continues to function "undercover". A society with a government that falters on the basis of plain and simple communication, is a society that could never become a world leader, no matter how big their GDP or how much American debt they hold. Plain and simple. They could never hold a candle to the U.S.
The last two paragraphs of the article state the following:
Pi Yijun, a professor of criminal justice at China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, says that he sees crime rising and getting more violent, which he attributes to anger and frustration among society's have-nots.
"The accepted mindset seems, 'fists are more powerful than reason,'" he said.
But in a rare 2004 survey of crime victimization, centered on the northern city Tianjin, the University of Albany's Mr. Messner found that few people were touched personally by crimes worse than a stolen bicycle. He credits traditional features of Chinese society. "You still have a much more communitarian
orientation than the extreme individualism you see in the U.S.," he said.
Extreme individualism? Of course this shouldn't surprise me coming from an individual with a somewhat repressed mind set who is living under a communist regime. Let's expand a little on the "individualism" that he is inferring here with a bit of a negative connotation:
America has become the greatest nation in the world because of its "individualistic" attitude. As a woman, a mother and a simple American, I always tell my kids, "take care of yourself as an individual first" -- and that is not selfish or greedy, for if you are fulfilled as a person, you are then capable of giving to others by acting and performing with no envy for the "have-nots". Pursue your "haves" by going after your passion, for it will allow you to mentally have the freedom to give and share with no limit. The sky is the limit, but where? In a country like the U.S. -- where freedom still abounds.
As Harry S. Truman once said, "Being an American is more than a matter of where you or your parents came from. It is a belief that all men are created free and equal." And with this premise in mind, America has demonstrated to the world that it posseses one of the most "communitarian orientations" due to the individual freedom that its people have, live by, and have fought so hard for. What Mr. Yijun inferred above is utterly wrong. By thinking and acting individually, it has allowed America as a country to liberate others. Do I need to go back in history and outline how and when America has shed its blood for others? When has China ever, EVER, has done the same for others around the globe to the extent that America has?
America is an exceptional nation, and as The Heritage Foundation stated on Why Is America Exceptional, it is "not because of what it has achieved or accomplished. America is exceptional because, unlike any other nation, it is dedicated to the principles of human liberty, grounded on the truths that all men are created equal and endowed with equal rights. These permanent truths are 'applicable to all men and all times,' as Abraham Lincoln once said."
Back to China -- It is because of its individual principles, and not despite them, that America has achieved greatness, and it is because of these principles that China will never be able to reach America's standing in the world. As long as its gubernatorial system remains the same, China will continue to be a nation of hard working people, full of great intentions for its neighbors (within its boundaries), but putting down America's individualism -- due to the envy for our freedom. Unfortunately, as long as China's system remains the same, its restrained society with limited freedom will continue to wonder what really goes on on their streets. Again, they could never hold a candle to America the Great.