Love Your Country to the Point of Going Wacky
Author: Ran Yunfei
Translated by @Dissenter2020, proofread by @krizcpec
Since the Sanlu tainted milk scandal broke out, Chinese citizens that had some degree of conscience were furious when they learnt that hundreds of thousands of babies had developed kidney stones. Melamine levels in twenty-two milk brands far exceeded the national standard, for a while people rejecting domestic milk products became a widespread trend. In view of this, Niu Gensheng, the CEO of Mengniu, a major company which milk products contained excessive levels of Melamine, used the same method Liu Bei had employed to win the hearts and minds of the people – he shed tears, and in his own defense he stressed his company's status as a national brand, as a means of gaining consumers' sympathy, thereby making people forget that they did not change fundamentally; [questions like] how to monitor product quality, by whom; how to disclose information without falsification; how to prevent deceptive advertising, and so on [all tossed to the wind]. With these means used Niu and others got an early "Acquittal" and could continue making lots of money unscrupulously; they did so in exactly the same way as the government got away with it by mixing up the party and the state (by treating the party's private interests as though it were national interests); and blurring the line between the government and the country (by labeling criticism of the government as "anti-China", so as to stir up anger in "people who have no knowledge of the truth"). These people didn't just get away with it – they didn't forget to pocket huge amount of money as they dodged punishment.
The issue of milk with excessive levels of melamine is not yet over, many families with children having developed kidney stones are suffering great pain. And now Mengniu has again started getting us to know something new in food chemistry. Excessive levels of OMP have been found in Mengniu milk deluxe (Mr Fang Zhouzi had proved this material to be of the same bio-chemical structure as IGF-1), [this] will jeopardize people' health and lead to an increased risk of contracting many types of cancer. According to a report from the China Economic Net, "Mr Fang wrote that there was also IGF-1 in other milk [brands], but was at a low level, its concentration was roughly at about 4ng/ml, ultrahigh temperature sterilization could not render it completely inactive. However, according to Mengniu's patented formula, the levels of of IGF-1 per 100g of Mengniu milk deluxe was as high as 5.65~16.8mg100g, making its IGF-1 levels tens of thousands fold higher than other milk brands. If that was true, then the consumers should worry about the increased risk of contracting many types of cancer. However, in a self-defense response, Mengniu claimed OMP to be different from IGF-1, and not only that, they stated they had got approval from some kind of authority, which credibility begged consumers’ questions. Because the integrity of Chinese companies like Mengniu have been under big tests; and because of what these companies had done in the past, we have to be on high guard and vigilant against their bragging.
A government and a political party that is so corrupt that people find it hard to like them; an enterprise that is so evil that it harms people; yet they both tend to employ patriotism tricks and national identity to dishonestly earn people's trust, a trick that have long been in use by our party state which is inundated with 'patriotic sentiment', as well as enterprises. Laughably, such fooling tricks, which can be easily seen through by those with discerning eyes, actually have quite a few people who buy them. These people certainly include beneficiaries—fifty-centers hired by the authorities; concerned parties bribed with money by enterprises —who sway public opinions, formulate a false public will which they then use to launch a masses campaign to numb the general public who have been fooled and fooled due to information asymmetry. In so doing [the beneficiaries] accomplish the purpose of re-exploiting the general public. This way of using patriotism to form an illusion of masses unity, making consumers feel there are safety in numbers when they follow the crowd, and result in their purchasing low quality goods. Such is the masses psychological basis of "buying patriotic flat”, “drinking patriotic milk". There are people who at times have put too much faith in the notion of safety in numbers, believing that if the number of people deceived increase, their bargaining and negotiation power would too increase. Sadly, this is only wishful thinking. [It makes no difference] however large the group you are in, if you are not allowed to defend your rights in groups or by forming organization; if you cannot receive judicial assistance; or if the courts dismiss your cases; you are just as small, isolated and helpless. And the enterprises would bribe related government departments with money, reducing you to a lone atom that have no ability to fight back, leaving you with no choice but to unilaterally accept their compensation which you are not happy with. This approach seems to work well every time, so do not believe the illusion easily that they will not deceive groups. They break down groups by effective use of power and money, and ultimately it is you that get hurt. In view of this, the biggest advantage you have when facing bad enterprises is to [boycott them].
Put it this way, if you really love your country, if you really hope Chinese enterprises to [survive] market risks, what you should do most is to be strict with them, to exhaust every means permitted by the laws to make them improve; this is the way that can really save you as well as them. Only in this way is it possible to achieve a win-win situation that is probable. And this way is also applicable to our government, if you really love China, you should not let the government ruin it. Be strict with the government; supervise it in multi-channels until government rivals emerge, thereby forming a check-and-balance system on the government. Only this can bring about a win-win situation between the government and the people; and only this can be called patriotic. Be docile and obedient to an evil government; accommodate in every possible way to bad enterprises; you will end up committing slow suicide because of loving your country this way. By the time you feel your life is really in harm’s way, it will be too late to criticize and fight back. Loving your country in improper ways is effectively harming yourself. Just like we should not love a rope that tightens our throat, we should not love an evil government, or bad enterprises. It is okay to be patriotic, but we should not be patriotic to the point of committing suicide; otherwise, it should indeed be described as "loving your country to the point of going wacky".
Written at 9:08 am on February 12, 2009 in Chengdu