BEYOND NOBEL PEACE PRIZE, WILL HARMONY RENAISSANCE PRIZE BE FAR BEHIND?
By Francis C W Fung, Ph.D.
Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese felon convicted for agitation aimed at subverting the Chinese government, was once quoted saying “China needs to be colonized for 300 years”. This may be the real reason that the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu. Perhaps the Committee once again could not resist the temptation of using the prize as a political tool. This award to Liu disregards the original testament of Alfred Nobel, the founder of the century old Nobel Peace prize. According to Nobel’s wishes the peace prize should be awarded to person(s) who “shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congress.”
In 1989 the Committee awarded the peace prize to Dalai Lama, who took the advice of the Tibetan elite priest class that he should be the absolute ruler of all Lama Buddhist believers in China. In such undertaking he has single handedly disrupted Chinese ethnic harmony for over 50 years. The 2010 decision of the peace award to Liu again shows that a few Westerners desire to interfere in Chinese domestic affairs. It was a pity that the Nobel peace prize was used as a political tool by the Western power unsuccessfully bent on slowing China’s growth. Again, Liu is a very convenient tool this time. By his own statement “China needs to be colonized for 300 years” Liu made no attempt to disguise his true intention of abiding by the Western bidding.
As to how far the Norwegian Committee has departed from the spirit of the Nobel Peace Prize one need only to read the soul searching book “The Nobel Peace Prize: What Nobel Really Wanted” by Fredrik S. Heffemehl. According to Heffemehl, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has come under increasing political, geopolitical and commercial pressures to make inappropriate awards. Heffemehl called it a wrong decision and illegal to award the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo, according to the website of the Swedish Newspaper Dagens Nyheter. On Oct 10, Heffemehl further criticized that the 2010 selection of the peace prize winner has violated Nobel’s intended purpose in a posting published on the website of the World Association of International Studies (WAIS), founded in 1965 at Stanford University. Nobel’s hope of breaking the vicious circle of arms races and military power games appears to be dashed in the recent years by the Committee. This particularly inappropriate 2010 award is certainly a setback of East and West Harmony and so will fraternity between nations as Nobel hoped. Nobel’s hope of redeeming his own misdeed of dynamite invention is far from fulfilled by this type of awards decision which incites differences among East and West culture. Heffemehl concluded “With all due respect to Liu Xiabo, this is yet another example that this is no longer Nobel’s Prize, it is the “Political” prize of the Norwegian Storting (The Supreme Legislature in Norway)”.
Human yearning for peace is an intuitive desire over a troubled world, whether the trouble is caused by armed or ideological confrontations such as the Cold War of the 20th Century that still has not ended in the minds of some nations. Because peace will not take hold without Harmony among nations, that is a dynamic balance of cultural influence of a multi-cultural world. In a harmonious world respect and tolerance of other cultures is a prerequisite. With the ushering in of fast growing developing countries in the 21st century, the world cannot wait for the revival of the universal common value that is Harmony. For peace to take hold harmony among nations must flourish. Peace is a static state arising from the dynamic harmony balance of the cultures of a multi-polar world that will come.
To increase world understanding and tolerance for all major cultures East and West, the world must bring back the universal value of harmony that worked in many regions for centuries. Not to undermine the Nobel peace prize, a new “Harmony Renaissance” prize can be initiated to reward those who worked hard to establish long term peace and world mutual understanding and not divisive judgments. This trend of Harmony Renaissance has gathered momentum recently as witnessed by many world harmony organizations and websites sprouting all over the world. This inevitable growth of world harmony organizations is a clear indication of the world desire for Harmony Renaissance.
At the 2004 U.N. General Assembly meeting, Hu Jintao, President of China made a speech urging the gathered nations to work for world harmony through mutual win-win development. The speech was warmly received. He called for the world to be tolerant, accepting and respecting other nation’s cultures big or small, weak or powerful. The days for Western culture to dominate the world by awarding Western standard “peace prizes” are numbered. A more universal “Harmony Renaissance” prize to work for world cultural diversity and unity in diversity will be welcomed. For the first ever 2010 “Harmony Renaissance” prize, President Hu Jintao is most deserving for the first to set the priority for world harmony at United Nations. Any other nominations?
Francis C W Fung, Ph.D.
World Harmony Organization