READER'S RESPONSE TO "WILL U.S. DEMOCRACY AND CHINESE HARMONY BE HARMONIOUS IN 21ST CENTURY"
BY MORGAN STEACY, YORK UNIVERSITY, ASIAN STUDIES.
Weapons are nothing but instruments of evil.
They are used only when there is no other choice.
Therefore, he who wins a battle is not praiseworthy.
If he thinks himself worthy,
He delights in the victory.
He who delights in the victory,
Delights in the slaughter of men.
Francis Fung has recently turned his sights to the trend in American thought that is decidedly unaware that people today may think as Lao Zi did 2500 years ago that any and all death for whatever purpose is bad. There is a simple equation that has faded into distant reminiscence that we need to get reacquainted with immediately. It goes as follows: if A kills B, B is going to want to kill A. This also works in the other direction. So, what winds up happening is that A kills B and then B kills A, and then A kills B and B kills A again and finally both B and A are so tired of fighting that they have forgotten exactly what it was that began the whole mess in the first place. Their economies have been destroyed and the people are miserable on both sides. But, not to worry about all of that because, at least, no one in the world thinks that they are a weak country. No one will dare say that they did not stand their ground. No one will claim that they do not stand by their principles even if it costs them thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of human lives.
If history holds any answers to future existence then I think it is high time that we start to examine what those keys may be. It is certain that up until this point there has never been an extended period of time of global peace and harmony. At no time did the peoples of the world unite to abandon all time-tested arguments and start fresh. The world, because it has never had the chance to wipe the slate clean, and because my equation from earlier holds true, is full of people who are constantly wandering the streets yearning for revenge. Much of that vengeful spirit has been focused directly at the U.S.A. because of their position of supreme power in the world today. This is the country that decides for the rest of the world and because of that they have more than the rest of the world and because of that they are envied by the rest of the world and because of that, there is strife.
The only way that the people of the world are going to begin to let go of some of that feeling of righteous hatred for the U.S.A. is if Americans stop flaunting their supremacy in the faces of those who desire it. This means two things to start with. First of all the spirit of harmony in business must be nurtured so that other countries feel that they have the respect of the U.S.A. Secondly, and more importantly, American foreign policy experts must embrace other countries’ rights to develop their own system of governance as they see fit. No country has the same history, culture, demographics, geography or political climate as the U.S.A. No country can make a carbon copy print of American democracy and set it in motion on their own terrain.
When China was the great superpower of Asia in ancient times, they were called the Middle Kingdom because their influence made them the centre of the world as people knew and understood it. New ideas erupted from China. Artistic endeavour flourished in the fertile grounds of Chinese thought. China simply had the most advanced thinking in various arenas and furthermore urged that thought forward. Despite the fact that they, like America today, had this stronghold, they did not venture out to impose their views on their neighbouring countries. They were thrilled to provide instruction to envoys that would come from far off with the desire for new light in thought. But it was up to those who returned to their home countries to do with that perspective what they would. It was for them to decide how this could help their country. The Chinese were not so arrogant to think that because something had worked for them that it would also work for another country in the same way.
Since the Cold War ended it has seemed that Might was Right. History has continually tried to persuade us that, while this option seems infallible, it is not going to have the lasting effects that those employing it had originally hoped. It will lead to more and more people trying to prove that Might is Right and then we have to look back to A and B again. The level of hostility that we wade through on a day to day basis must be damaging to our health. This constant fear that someone is going to explode something somewhere and the next World War will rear its ugly head with explosive force, destroying all we had worked for, can only be self-fulfilling unless we act now. The tide of harmony has begun to gain currency. People around the world are starting to see the value in trying to empathise with those, who, we are told are the enemy, because they realise that the problems are not generally the problems of the people that they affect, but the problems of those in power. Those with everything enter these frays for their own personal gain, while the people affected have nothing. Harmony brings positive qualities to everyone without having to sacrifice human life. This is not to say that there is no sacrifice in harmony, there is. The sacrifice of not maintaining rigid standards about exactly how one’s life is carried out on a day-to-day basis, without thinking about how those actions will impact on each and every person on the planet. That is the main sacrifice that needs to be made in order for there to be true harmony. Harmony begins with an all-encompassing global human awareness. It is in that awareness that there is potential for people of the world to advance to a new stage of living in the Harmony Renaissance.
 p 234 Lao Zi, trans. Wang Keping. The Classic of the Dao. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1998.