Another Benefit of China


China – Already been there, done that – in the Cultural Revolution

As reported in the Washington Post, campuses in the US are hotbeds of factionalism and political correctness. The US is going through its own version of that China went through in the late 1960s: a “Cultural Revolution” to force everyone to conform to some new standard.

Here is a quote:

“Academics and scholars must be mindful about using research done by only straight, white men, according to two scientists who argued that it oppresses diverse voices and bolsters the status of already privileged and established white male scholars.”

“Geographers Carrie Mott and Daniel Cockayne argued in a recent paper that doing so also perpetuates what they call “white heteromasculinism,” which they defined as a “system of oppression” that benefits only those who are “white, male, able-bodied, economically privileged, heterosexual, and cisgendered.” (Cisgendered describes people whose gender identity matches their birth sex.)”

I happened to be born in 1962 to a certain kind of parents. As a result, I am white, middle aged, American, and hetero. Should I apologize for something that I did not control? Should I stop doing any academic research, or editing the work of others, because of my standpoint?

I usually have less than a grand in my bank account. I have no real power over anyone, and even my kids, despite liking me, never heed my advice. I have been unemployed on and off in my life. Funny, I don’t feel like I belong to any patriarchy or power structure. But I would not be allowed into a campus safe space because I represent a system of oppression.

One nice thing about campuses in China is that they are absent of all this PC groupthink. People here just go to work to get ahead. Striding purposefully into the future. Fighting spirit.

True, there is less protest, and less freedom of speech, on Chinese campuses. But then again, except for a small portion of students grumbling about Internet restrictions, there are very few complaints about the overall system.

Another benefit is that, as I’ve mentioned before, there is less distance between the genders in China than in the West. This is the legacy of a particular kind of rice growing culture where everyone worked at once. The revolution also pretty much eliminated the old Confucian ideas about gender.

No campus is paradise. Every country has its issues, its particular workplace struggles. But at least in China, one does not have to deal with politically correct bullshit.

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