老美看美国: 对制度进行质疑的重要性

作者:丹奇  于 2012-1-29 02:24 发表于 最热闹的华人社交网络--贝壳村

作者分类:美国人看美国|通用分类:热点杂谈|已有76评论

老美看美国:对制度进行质疑的重要性

/他爹 翻译/他娘

2012/1/27

 

我一般不容忍愚蠢,否则很快就没耐心。我最近再次注意到,这里有少数读者,要么看不懂我的文章,要么就是不把全文看完,就断章取义,导致错误百出的结论。

你要清楚---我不是“反美”。我可以确定地说自己是个“爱国者”。事实上,三十年前,我就是美国海军陆战队军官团“PLATON “ 领导培训班项目的成员。

现在,让我们来谈谈本文的要点乃至我前期写过的那些文章,有些人质疑我的写作动机。我写东西不是为了讨太太的欢心。真是可笑之极,孩子气十足。所以,长大吧,像个爷们吧!

我不是“左派”,也不是“极端保守派 我认为如此给人贴标签,把自己的信仰纳入如此狭隘的观点,不仅对于那些被你帖标签的人不利,也把自己变成心胸狭隘之人,好像整个世界就只有这么一个小小的分类。如果是这样的话,这个世界将会是多么苍白无聊的地方。我认为,人,社会,文化,经济乃至政治体系比那标签要复杂的多。

那些不相信制度是复杂的,认为制度是简单的人,他们才更是所属体制的问题,因为他们认为事情太简单了。

中国历史上就有一个很好的例子。二十世纪五十年代,许多农民抱怨他们的庄稼还没到收成,鸟就吃掉了。所以,最“简单”的办法就是消灭鸟。因此开展了一场运动,奖励大家去灭杀鸟。那些有杀鸟机智的人获得奖励,常常是一块奖牌。

问题解决了。再也没有鸟了。错了!

下一个季节,农民们播种了,再不受成群的鸟儿阻碍生长了。

然而,随着作物的生长,引来了成群的蝗虫,吞噬着庄稼,这时却再也没有鸟来吃掉这些害虫了。

所以,质疑制度对一个社会或者制度的进步来说是非常重要的。把问题简单化往往会失败---通常败得很惨。

似乎有两组截然不同的人在读我的文章---亲美派认为质疑我们的国家就是不爱美国,宁愿去指责中国的种种不是,而不是指责美国的不是。另一组亲中派对中国的成长欢欣鼓舞,一定程度上很开心美国也不是乌托邦,也有自己的问题。

对于亲美派,我为你的爱国情操鼓掌,但是,我敦促你把你的言行和你的信念好好思量一番---那就是言论自由。很久以前就有人说过,“我虽然不同意你所说的,但是我誓死捍卫你说话的权利”。

对于亲中派,我也为中国过去30年取得经济成就,把上亿人民从贫穷中解放而鼓掌。中国在世界经济上扮演的角色与东方权利的平衡是很关键的。

对这两组人,我要指出的是,每个制度都有其自身独特的问题。

然后,老实讲,我对美国的问题更加关心,因为我生活在这里,我的选票可以影响并改变我生活在其中的这个制度。

但是,对于亲美派来说,我也要告诉你们如果不是60年前的一群人对当时的制度的缺失进行质疑的话,这个国家的许多地方就会仍然奉行一个制度,那就是在当时,我娶一个中国妇女为妻便是违法的。对于亲美派,我要指出的是,如果不是有人质疑这个制度,有人愿意为了改变而牺牲,黑人就会仍然是奴隶。如果由于某些原因你认为那些现象应该继续存在,那么我与你之间的问题就严重了,这里的篇幅也不够我写的。

而且,关于中国的问题或制度失败与否并不是我要考虑的。因为不管我怎么用否定的态度来写中国的种种问题,对中国要做什么或不要做什么绝对不会有任何的影响。

我更愿意,当写到中国的时候,指出他们制度中许多好的地方,对于我们生活的地方,美国可以有借鉴作用。这个进程可以引领进步和成功。我生活和投票的地方是我要改善的地方。不是中国。

但是,在这里围绕中国和美国争吵不休,看上去很有干劲实践“一报还一报”的方式互相指责对方的两派,我想引用如下的句子:

以眼还眼的斗争很快就会令世界陷入失明----圣雄甘地

当双方正不断奋力捍卫各自的信念和行为时,他们永远不会找到对话的机会以寻求共同的立场(共识)。这种失败,通过过去 5000 年的人类文明,导致战争、不 容忍、 种族主义、仇恨和巨大的人性缺失,导致人类不能够继续前进。

因此,对于亲美派,我保证我还会继续就我认为需要改变或变得更好的的事情而写作,如果你在等着我挑中国的刺儿,你可能要等很久。不写中国并不是说中国没毛病,而是因为我就是捶胸跺脚,高喊我们与世界其他地方相比最伟大,也是无济于事的,那只能让我自己感觉好受一点点。

在我的这些文章里说中国坏话丝毫不能让美国变得更好。反而体现出我对中国过去30年取得的成就的视而不见。中国完美吗?不完美。美国完美吗?不完美!两国都有许多问题,都可以得到改善,以变成更适合生活的地方。但是,如果不进行质疑,事情就会原地不动,进步就会停止。

只要想想 如果第一架飞机飞行后,没人想要做得更好呢?如果发明了第一台电脑和软件,每个人都感到满意呢?如果美国善良的人们很久以前未能质疑为什么某些权利不给予所有公民,那么种族仍将隔离、 白人一个区域,黑人在另一个地区亚洲人在一个区,西班牙裔在另一个区。

如果不质疑为何事情会这样,我们在美国生活的这个世界就会是一成不变的。我也永远不可能娶我的妻子。也就不会有老虎伍兹,或迈克尔乔丹,或利亚纳。质疑“为何”可以引发改变。并不是说美国是一个不好的地方。或曾经是一个不好的地方。

既然我生活在美国,我会说,这里是我和我的孩子和我未来的孙辈们生活的最好的地方。但是,我也相信通过质疑仍然存在的错误,我可以坚信我的子孙们在我走了很久以后也会继承我的遗志。

愤怒和不容忍是正确理解的敌人--圣雄甘地

很巧,我读到了下面这篇文章,可以支持我今天和前面的文章观点。

http://shine.yahoo.com/love-sex/tender-photos-unearthed-turbulent-time-235100316.html

 

(原文)

THE IMPORTANCE

OF

QUESTIONING THE SYSTEM

 

 

I don’t suffer fools easily and when I do I tire easily. It has been brought to my attention, again, that there are those readers here who either fail to understand the point or fail to actually read the entire piece which leads them to erroneous conclusions.

To be clear – I am not “anti American”. To be sure I think of myself as a Patriot. In fact, going back over 3 decades I was part of a program then called PLC – Platoon Leaders Class – for U.S. Military Officers in the United States Marines.

But, on to the point of this article and some of the comments on prior articles questioning the motives of my writing.

I do not write for the pleasure or acceptance of my wife. That’s ridiculous at best and childish at worst. So, grow up.

I am not a “leftie” or a “neo con”. I find such labels of people and their beliefs into such a narrow view point that it not only does a disservice to those you label but to yourself for being so narrow minded – as if the entire world can be put into such small neat little categories. If it were so the world would indeed be a very boring place.  I think people, societies, cultures, economies and political systems are more complicated than that.

The people who don’t believe they are complicated but instead simple systems are more often than not problematic to the systems they belong to because they believe things are too simple.

A GREAT case in point is from China history, recent history.  In the 1950’s many of the farmers complained that the birds were eating the seeds they planted before they could grow into plants and be harvested. So, the “simple” thought was to get rid of the birds. So, programs were instituted that rewarded people for how many birds they could kill. Those who were talented at “killing”received praise and often a medal for their efforts.

Problem solved. No more birds. WRONG !!

The next season the farmers planted their seeds and they grew unimpeded by the flocks of birds that before would eat some ( not many ) of the seeds.

However, as the plants grew they now invited swarms of locusts that devoured the crops. There were no more birds left to eat the insects.

So, questioning systems is important for a society or system to progress. Simple answers to complex problems fail – often miserably so.

There seems to be 2 distinct groups that read my writings – a pro USA group that finds it unpatriotic to question things in our own country and prefers to point out the failings of China versus the USA. Then, the other group is a pro China that wants to exult the growth of China and is somewhat contented that the USA is not a utopia but also has problems.

To the pro USA groups I say I applaud your patriotism but I also urge you to gauge your words and actions with what you say is your belief – that being the freedom of speech. It was said long ago that “ while I may not agree with what you say I am committed to defend your right to say to the death”.

To the pro China group – I, too, applaud what China has done the past 30 years – the growth of its economy, lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty, the vital role that China plays in world economics as well as a new balance of power in the east.

To both groups I also point out that each system has its own set of unique problems and issues.

However, to be honest, I am much more concerned with the issues of the USA because I live here and my vote can effect change within the system I live in.

But, to be fair – the pro USA group I say this to you – without questioning the failings of system by groups of people 60 years ago a system would still exist in this country in many parts where it would have been illegal for me to marry my wife, a Chinese woman. To the pro USA group I point this out to you – if it wasn’t for people questioning a system and willing to die for change blacks would still be slaves.  If for some reason you think those would be good things to still exist then I have a much more serious problem with you than can ever be written in the space provided here.

Also, I am not concerned here to point out the failings or problems in China. All the things that I could ever write here about China in a negative manner would have absolutely no effect on what China does or does not do.

I much prefer, when writing about China, to point out the good things that could be useful in the system that I live in here, in the USA, that could be utilized for the benefit of the USA.  That process can lead to progress and more success. Where I live and vote is the place I want to make better.

But, the 2 main groups here that fight about USA and China and keep poking each other and seem motivated to practice “an eye for an eye” method I say to you the following:

“practicing an eye for an eye will soon leave the world blind”- Mahatma Gandhi

When two sides are continually fighting to defend who or what they are they will never find the opportunity to open a dialogue to begin to find a common ground. That failure, through the past 5000 years of human civilization has led to wars, intolerance, racism, hate and vast losses in humanity to be able to move ahead.

So, to the pro USA group I promise to keep writing about things I think need to be changed here or could be made better. If you are waiting for me to pick on China you will have a long wait. It’s not that there arent’ things I could write to pick on China but I don’t see what the benefit would be other than to beat my chest, scream how great we are compared to the rest of the world and make myself feel good.

Talking bad about China in these writings will not make my place in the USA better but it could show my ignorance of the good things China has accomplished the past 30 years. Is China perfect? No. Is the USA perfect? No. Both have numerous things they can do to make them better places to leave. But, failing to question will leave things as they are and progress will stop.

Just think – what if after the first airplane flew nobody wanted to make it better? What if after the first computers were made and the software with them that everybody was satisfied? What if good people in the USA long ago failed to question why certain rights weren’t given to all citizens then races would still be segregated, white in one area and blacks in another, Asians in one area and Hispanics to another. 

Without questioning why things are the world we know here in the USA could still look like that. I could never have married my wife. There would never have been a Tiger Woods or a Michael Jordan or a Rhianna. Questioning the “why” effects change. It’s not the USA is a bad place or ever was a bad place – it’s that we can make it better. That’s the ideal.

Since I live in the USA I will say that to my knowledge it is the best place in the world for me and my children and the descendants of mine yet to be born to live. But, I also believe that by questioning the wrongs that still exist I ensure that the children of my children will be able to say the same thing long after I am gone.

Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.--Mahatma Gandhi

Accidential, I read this article which supports my articles today and previously:

http://shine.yahoo.com/love-sex/tender-photos-unearthed-turbulent-time-235100316.html

 

 

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刚表态过的朋友 (33 人)

发表评论 评论 (76 个评论)

4 回复 卉樱果 2012-1-29 02:46
沙发,这个老美很会思想,很多思想~
4 回复 天涯看客 2012-1-29 03:53
卉樱果: 沙发,这个老美很会思想,很多思想~
否则,丹奇能嫁给他?!
7 回复 天涯看客 2012-1-29 04:36
Something must be lost in the translation, so it was all your wife's fault   

Enjoy reading your blog and would like to share a few points. I feel categorizing your readers into two groups over simplifies the problem here. Most readers, like myself, born and grew up in China, but educated and live here afterwords,  they hope all the best to both countries. I totally agree with you that questing is a nice way to improve the system. However, in China, you simply have no right to question. Otherwise, you could simply "disappear from this world", as what happened to Ai Weiwei.

I agree that the States is one of the best places to live in the planet. However, it has never been the #1 on the list, according to the the UN, because of too many problems here, like Detroit and some areas in Chicago and New York. Most politicians don't even want to talk about these problems. On the other side, Canada had been listed as #1 Best Place to Live by UN for 8 years, consecutively. As a Canadian who had lived there for 17 years and here in the US for 5 years, I know most differences between these two.

I would like to share a joke with you about Canadian and American: One day, an American met a Canadian and asked, "You are from Canada?! I know a guy named John, and he lives on Queen's st. Do you know him?"  

I found most American do not know the facts: (1) US's biggest trade partner is Canada, (2) US imports more oil and gas from Canada than any other.   

Have a great day!
4 回复 yuxin_9605 2012-1-29 04:37
很喜欢看他爹写的~ 当然要感谢他娘~
6 回复 城市达人 2012-1-29 04:39
理性的、忠诚的美国人!
值得关心中国的人深思。
这篇文章肿么没有很多人来顶?
6 回复 丹奇 2012-1-29 04:41
天涯看客: Something must be lost in the translation, so it was all your wife's fault   

Enjoy reading your blog and would like to share a few points. I  ...
真希望都用英语评论呢。这样,我就肯定不会翻译错了。哈哈哈哈。这就让他爹看看你的评论。非常好!

我只是告诉他爹,俺们这里有人说他写文章是为了讨好我。他爹不干了。也告诉他网上的左右派斗争很激烈。不在贝壳村,在万维。所以,他就用两派来说话了。

welcome to share your points  here, appreciated!
6 回复 天涯看客 2012-1-29 04:43
城市达人: 理性的、忠诚的美国人!
值得关心中国的人深思。
这篇文章肿么没有很多人来顶?
是因为太深奥了,太严肃了。。
5 回复 天涯看客 2012-1-29 04:56
丹奇: 真希望都用英语评论呢。这样,我就肯定不会翻译错了。哈哈哈哈。这就让他爹看看你的评论。非常好!

我只是告诉他爹,俺们这里有人说他写文章是为了讨好我。他爹 ...
估计我们在这呆一辈子,英语也没汉语流,当然你除外

万维那地方俺都懒得去了,太极端了,还动不动地要送船票,没意思。。。咱这村里相对好点,虽也有送船票的事。。
3 回复 yuxiaoqiao 2012-1-29 05:10
整篇文章铿锵有力,观点阐述得清楚明了。中美的优劣、利弊都谈到,很中肯。

这个帖子顶的人少原因很简单,不符极左和极右者的胃口。但,这又何妨?!
3 回复 snakek 2012-1-29 05:31
I enjoy reading your series of articles.  They are rational and well written.   The problem in the world is that the majority are silent and a few loud minority (some extremist) gets to set the agenda.  As an overseas Chinese living in Australia for 61 years, I am fortunate to have a good life.  But what happens in China still concerns me.
I totally agree with you that we must not only talk about the bad things.  we must be objective and do not take an onesided view.  I was born in Shanghai and left China in
1950.  I had a formal Chinese style education in Singapore and western education in Australia.
4 回复 tanghan 2012-1-29 05:37
看来“他爹”对于歪曲自己文章的现象,不仅疑惑,而且愤怒。如果他了解中国人断章取义是常态的话,就会无奈。但千万不要以为这些中国人犯了愚蠢的错误,实际上他们是有意这样做的,这是中国式的狡诈。中国人做事,不推崇过程,只关心结果。所以各种派别,都从“他爹”文字中找寻对自己有利的字句,才不管“他爹”到底要说什末呢。
4 回复 丹奇 2012-1-29 06:25
yuxiaoqiao: 整篇文章铿锵有力,观点阐述得清楚明了。中美的优劣、利弊都谈到,很中肯。

这个帖子顶的人少原因很简单,不符极左和极右者的胃口。但,这又何妨?!
谢谢认同支持!
5 回复 丹奇 2012-1-29 06:26
snakek: I enjoy reading your series of articles.  They are rational and well written.   The problem in the world is that the majority are silent and a few lou ...
Thank you for spending time and comment on this article. I was hesitating to post it, knowing it will not be liked by both sides. However, he made the point. Worth to share it with all!
5 回复 丹奇 2012-1-29 06:27
tanghan: 看来“他爹”对于歪曲自己文章的现象,不仅疑惑,而且愤怒。如果他了解中国人断章取义是常态的话,就会无奈。但千万不要以为这些中国人犯了愚蠢的错误,实际上他 ...
一语中的,一针见血!
5 回复 丹奇 2012-1-29 06:31
卉樱果: 沙发,这个老美很会思想,很多思想~
呵呵,他想的太深了,累死我了。
6 回复 丹奇 2012-1-29 06:32
天涯看客: 否则,丹奇能嫁给他?!
还别说,正是他的思想比较像老中,世界观方法论都有些相似。
4 回复 丹奇 2012-1-29 06:32
天涯看客: 估计我们在这呆一辈子,英语也没汉语流,当然你除外

万维那地方俺都懒得去了,太极端了,还动不动地要送船票,没意思。。。咱这村里相对好点,虽也有送船 ...
你的英文那么好,就不要瞎谦虚了吧。
5 回复 丹奇 2012-1-29 06:33
yuxin_9605: 很喜欢看他爹写的~ 当然要感谢他娘~
谢谢于欣大哥!

估计有些人不爱看老美剖析自己人的思想呢。希望看到美国江山一片兰,结果有人说,还有红的地方。结果就不喜欢了。
4 回复 丹奇 2012-1-29 06:34
城市达人: 理性的、忠诚的美国人!
值得关心中国的人深思。
这篇文章肿么没有很多人来顶?
是的,他爹很理性。这点,也是我欣赏并愿意翻译他的文章分享给我同胞的重要原因。
6 回复 xyz000usa 2012-1-29 06:37
I really enjoyed reading this objective and rational article. China is still far from perfect, but the great changes of China during the past 30 years suggest a possible right path to success, although still many problems, difficulties, obstacles, and twists ahead.
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