The Corner

The Quality of Patriotism

With your forbearance, one more note related to my Impromptus of today. I’ve read an article about Egypt that sort of harmonizes with the column. I talk, in that column, about the Chinese government’s view of patriotism: If you’re with the party — the CCP — you’re patriotic. If you’re not, you’re not. The dictatorship and its fellow travelers refer to citizens loyal to the CCP as “patriotic Chinese.” The “patriotic Chinese,” for example, were thrilled with Lang Lang’s musico-political performance at the White House. The unthrilled were — well, anti-patriots, in the CCP view.

Lang Lang is a vice-chairman of the All China Youth Federation, one of the main party bodies. Oh, he is patriotic! “Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, and Jiang Zemin’s Three Represents” — that’s what the federation is pledged to uphold and instill. Can’t get more patriotic than that!

In my view, as regular readers know, the real patriotic Chinese are those who love their country enough to wish it free of dictatorship. I’m talking about Gao Zhisheng, Liu Xiaobo, Wei Jingsheng, Wang Dan, Jianli Yang, and many others who have paid dearly in order to bring about a better life for their fellow Chinese.

Here is an article about a Google executive who was detained in Egypt. An excerpt therefrom:

“This is the revolution of the youth of the Internet and now the revolution of all Egyptians,” [Wael Ghonim] said, adding that he was taken aback when the security forces holding him branded him a traitor.

“Anyone with good intentions is the traitor because being evil is the norm,” he said. “If I was a traitor, I would have stayed in my villa in the Emirates and made good money and said like others, ‘Let this country go to hell.’ But we are not traitors.”

Exactly.

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