China Permeated with Fear
According to a recent report by The Epoch Times, a tragic incident occurred on Tuesday, October 25 at a primary school in Guangna Town, Tongjiang County, Sichuan Province. The lights suddenly went off as the students were leaving the classroom after the evening study period. The hall way turned pitch dark which touched off panic among the students. As they rushed down the stairs, some students fell down and a surge of others stumbled over them, unable to stop, as more students pushed from above, resulting in the tragedy. By 11:30 a.m, the stampede death toll had increased to 10. Those injured were still in a serious condition.
In the blaze at Kelamayi in 1996, the death of several hundred children was also primarily sparked by panic. On the night of the blaze, some local officials were watching the children’s performance. As the fire took hold the frightened public servants fled. The crowd was pushed, squeezed and crushed. Most of the children were trampled under foot before being burned to death. If everyone had remained calm and made an orderly exit, the tragedy could have been averted.
During the New Year holiday season several years ago, tragic incidents happened at two train stations in Anhuis Fuyang and Zhengzhou. Passengers rushed to get on the trains and trampled over one another. It resulted in several women being crushed to death at the scene.
Fear flows everywhere in China. The farmers are in fear of losing their livelihoods because of land scarcity or possible forced land acquisitions. The jobless laborers are in fear of inadequate social welfare. Government officials are in fear of losing their power. Corrupt officials are in fear of conflict from fellow officials or disciplinary action by law enforcement agencies. The fear pervades the entire society. Hardly anyone is content with poverty or cares about principles and they cannot calmly face the crisis.
The result of all of this fear is the degeneration of the situation in China, but the real cause of the fear is actually brought about by Chinese culture.
The primary Chinese culture is authoritarian. It has degenerated to the worst kind, the Party culture. This kind of culture indoctrinates people with philosophy of struggle, survival, and solipsism. Living in such an authoritarian environment, most people simply care for their own interests, pursue their personal desires and are very restless. Self-interest is of such importance that they would choose to sacrifice others lives in order to save themselves in times of danger. They are insensitive and their desires rampant. This culture of extreme selfishness has rarely existed in human society.
On the other hand, most people with religious belief can face their perils calmly. They believe in a true god or Buddha. They know how to restrain themselves. It is the welfare of humankind that is always in their minds, not their own self-interest. Most of them love their god dearly; they love other beings, and all sentient beings. That is the innate character of human beings. When this kind of religious culture matures, it nurtures a soul of less desire, with more love and which is self restraining while benefiting others. As their souls have an ultimate resting place, they will not panic at times of danger. They will not try to save themselves by any or all means
If those grade school students in Sichuan were nurtured by religious belief, not poisoned by the Party culture, they could be very calm in face of darkness. They would have waited for the god’s intervention because they would understand that god would have bestowed mercy on them. They would not be so frightened as to trample on one another.
Those familiar with life in China, and with a rational ability of observation and thinking, definitely notice the stampedes in the public transport system. That is typical of the collective behaviors and psychology in Chinese society today. No one is willing to fall behind. Every one risks his life to rush ahead. Every one would have an equal chance only if order is maintained. However, the chance is collectively destroyed by all. The result is the ugly stampede, wasting more time to get on a train or bus. People are filled with hatred because of fighting and competing with one another. Everyone becomes the victim of his own doing.
The psychology of fears and the resulting behaviors are more apparent among Chinese government officials and even more destructive to human nature. Many officials would bribe their superiors for fear of losing their positions. They become corrupt, take bribes, gang together for self-interest, abuse the law and practice favoritism. They will cast aside all moral standards and law, just to safeguard their own powers and interests. The worst among the bureaucrats are those of the old school. They try every way they can to suppress human and civil rights for fear of prosecution should they lose their power. The old school in Chinese society have been clamping down on democratic movements, arguing that the present national condition is not suited for democracy, that it takes more time to get ready for democratic system and that citizens lack the moral fiber for democracy. All these are just their excuses. What they really want is to suppress democracy. They wantonly suppress freedom and democracy because they are in fear of their future. They are just as stupid as those grade school students trampling on one another in the dark. They totally lack their own powers of judgment; they just blindly follow the behaviors of others nearby. Harm set, harm get.