Saturday, October 29, 2005

Telegraph | News | Best-seller urges Chinese to release their inner wolf

Telegraph | News | Best-seller urges Chinese to release their inner wolf:

"But these are not the only reasons why the book has prompted debate in newspapers and the internet. Littered through the text are numerous psychological and political commentaries, culminating in a 50,000-character appendix.

Jiang's theory is that China's farming culture created a desire for peace secured by a strong ruler. As a result, Confucianism and an authoritarian education system created a nation of sheep, weak in the face of aggression.

Among the predators were wolf-like nations such as the Mongolians, which subjugated China under Genghis Khan.

Now, he says, the danger is reversed as the sheep take over, crushing the free spirits of its own minorities, like the Chinese Mongolians with whom he once lived, and destroying the environment.

Individualism, a way of looking at life that many Chinese insist is western and alien to their culture, has been exercising the country a lot this summer.

The biggest television sensation of the year was an all-female version of Pop Idol. It attracted the usual would-be pop stars: china-doll beauties singing syrupy love songs.

But the winner, Li Yuchun, had spiky hair and an androgynous figure and sang songs written for men - and she took China by storm.

'The result was a good symbol for Chinese society,' Jiang said. 'Young people are longing for freedom, to speak and to experiment.'

In private, Jiang warns that the rise of China without democracy risks becoming like Nazi Germany, an analogy that infuriates the Chinese leadership whenever it is made.

The book itself, however, is subtle enough to have won favourable reviews in the state media, an irony not lost on the author.

In fact, he says, his great fear is that the readers have simply not grasped his meaning. 'I think in the West they may understand it more fully,' he said."

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