I’ve been busy busy busy quite exhausted but weekend gives me a chance to wind down a bit. So I went over the VPN to read again some quotes of ChinaSuperpower on Reddit.
I’m from a technical background but unlike many especially from the Chinese diaspora STEM community in US, I’m not exactly entirely apolitical and I do not try to pretend that national and racial boundaries can be traversed unlike many an idiotic Western or Westernized liberal. Segregation per race is natural for humans and miscegenation, hybrid vigor notwithstanding, I see as for the most part quite corrosive if not socially and culturally destructive. As the Chinese saying goes, 人以群分物以类聚. I was and still is a quantitative nerd and used to hang out with mostly those types naturally but many of them are just 书呆子 with pretty low political awareness and then again naturally I don’t want to be exposed too much towards that aspect of them. Like, I will respect a high IQ banana for his technical prowess but I will disdain him somewhat socially and treat him with some degree of suspicion.
On the other hand, ChinaSuperpower is a lawyer as he has written on Reddit. He doesn’t care all that much about pure technical ability and puts the political side before the professional side. He doesn’t want to hear more about cases of highly successful Chinese STEM diaspora and he has a very high standard when it comes to ethnic/tribal affiliation. Being a lawyer he’s obviously had to deal with much more cutthroat behavior than people in technical fields. A political big fish in the latter is merely average in the former so the standard is very different.
I’ll say that with direct exposure and experience I can better understand where he’s coming from with his words.
Like he wrote
You are thinking like a diaspora, mate. Race only matters when you have the same citizenship. In Asia, where different ethnicities have different citizenships, the only thing that matters is your citizenship.
So a Chinese national will naturally discriminate against nationals of other countries that are unfriendly to China. A Chinese American will be categorized as “American” and disliked. Now a white American may be disliked as well but a native Chinese will expect the white guy to have some status within America, so he gets respect. They know a Chinese American has no status either so they will dislike the Chinese American for his citizenship and look down on him for his lack of status.
Again, this is the shitty situation created by the huge wave of white worshipping emigration from 1980 to 2015. They exploit their children as “anchors” in the adopted country for the parents’ convenience and then cut off their children’s escape route back to the homeland.
In China, without citizenship there is too much one cannot do. One cannot buy train tickets online and one can only live in hotels for foreigners that are overpriced. China is not an immigrant nation like America, China does not even pretend that non-Chinese can become Chinese, unlike America with its melting pot bullshit. A non Chinese without citizenship can only work on the fringes of mainstream society in foreign-based organizations there. Really it’s similar for Chinese in America even those with US citizenship. They tend to be in academia and tech companies full of immigrants or in Chinese restaurants. They have no place in the media or in the legal sector or in mainstream finance or politics. Their kids are subject to higher standards in college admissions because their career prospects and social influence are limited in America.
On this I shall quote a comment on Reddit.
This is somewhat true. Many are just as blind as they were when they first arrived to the US. Many stay here, buy into the story and never want to acknowledge the problems that exist in the West (US) and how this affects them and their communities.
I think the problem is the clustering of immigrants which gives them a sense of false reality. Back home in Vancouver, the majority of Asians tend to stay within their own communities. These communities live in their own bubble, but are also deeply affected by westernization in all aspects.
They get fooled that they maintain their own social dynamic and that things are good, but essentially the same rot occurs due to the way society works in the West. I have seen Chinese folks talk all proud about being Chinese and doing some superficial Chinese things, but besides these few things, they have become almost fully westernized and they would difficulty move away from this.
The reason why the diversity meme is spread is precisely because it helps spread westernization among the immigrant population. They want Asians, but they want a specific type of Asians to be represented. They want people that LOOK Asian and do some superficially Asian things, but they essentially want these people to behave in the exact same way and have the exact same political/social positions as the mainstream whites.
Given it is a slow process, most people don’t realize it. It is like the frog in the boiling water.
To this ChinaSuperpower responded with
Your post hit the nail on the head. Never underestimate the resolve and solidarity of the mainstream society in excluding Asians from real corridors of power. Instead, they cleverly peddle a superficial Asian (or Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino, etc.) community to numb the first generation emigrants into thinking they are in control.
Actually, the first generation emigrants are in control of nothing. The government remains in control of the mainstream. The police remains in control of the mainstream. The banks and big businesses remain in control of the mainstream. The unions remain in control of the mainstream. The media remain in control of the mainstream.
But you let the first generation emigrants gather together in some Asian mega church or whatever and they feel as if they are “at home.” The moment they realize they are not at home is when they change from consumers to producers.
When they have to actually make a living they realize there are no jobs. When they try to open a business their property rights are not protected. When they wonder what is going on by then it is too late: their sons have wasted years and years getting an education without real job prospects. Their daughters have spent years and years watching white savior Hollywood movies.
If these Asian enclaves never formed and all these Asian families were scattered in redneck hick towns maybe they would have figured things out much faster and retreated back to the homeland. The Asian enclaves serve to paralyze the first generation emigrants while the Western toxin works its way into the bodies of the second generation sons and daughters to change their lives forever for the worse.
I having grown up there and worked there am aware of all this. I much disliked it obviously and did what I could to keep that toxin out of my system. Nonetheless I still feel at times a little PTSD from that experience. But once well settled in China what happens in America will largely be irrelevant to me; I will have basically little reason to care. I hardly even go on English media now and as an example I never even cared to read any English media articles on the recent Huawei detainment incident aside from the one on Unz Review by Unz himself. Unz Review is out of the mainstream though. There are many Russians on there and I encourage them as hard as it may be to go home instead of being an unwelcome contrarian in America. Social position and belonging means much more than the extra money and material standard of living you’re getting in America.
Even a guy with top credentials with even stronger anti Western liberalism views than I do superficially speaking I laugh at at times to myself as merely a “Chinese nationalist wannabe banana” as his Chinese is very limited and he basically acts American in terms of many of his natural habits. I do think he can be redeemable though but with a lot of work. I encourage second generation Chinese in America with a desire to become a true Chinese to contact me and I’ll do what I can to help. At the very least I can supply some connections on 微信. It’s a very small base population though so you are probably used to your social and psychological needs not really being catered to growing up. Having gone through that experience I definitely will help in my spare time. I am aware that those who grew up in America by default would regard returning as basically not an option and I am happily challenging that default with my own writings and more importantly actual actions. I encourage more Chinese to actively challenge existing norms in ways advantageous to both the individual and the group whenever one is capable of doing so.
My blog does not get that much readership (certainly less than Steve Hsu’s) but it’s also far from negligible. People have contacted me and I have become good friends with at least one. I’m glad to have influenced some people. Those who like my blog are of course very welcome to share it. In the reverse direction, I’ll say that my contacting a Chinese in China blogger I stumbled upon through Baidu search helped me with my return to China which while not that difficult due to my relatively privileged circumstances was not exactly easy either. At the very least it brought me some connections and made me feel less alone. So maybe I can do the same for others.
I want to say to my readers that though this blog might in many ways reek of elitism, there’s no reason to feel intimidated or embarrassed. I’m actually a pretty chill person for the most part. I don’t think I am all that great either. I want my blog to provide some valuable information and encouragement to my readers and hopefully meet some interesting and helpful people through it as well. I want to write honestly too, about how the world really works socially based on my personal experience in school and in the real world, across both the Chinese and American cultures. I’ll be honest to say that in that regard I do have quite a rare combination, though that has more to do with my rather unusual background than with any terribly exceptional ability or talent, though certainly, I’m also far from a dimwit.
At the same time, I want to write more clearly and simply about my experience learning various technical topics in math and computer science and provide some suggestions on how to go about understanding them, though surely, the audience for that is smaller than for the political matters I write about. I don’t think it’s very good to try to make this stuff seem super difficult and perhaps more complex than it needs to be. I realize that many expositions present just the formality and don’t say anything about the motivation or intuition, with the appropriate analogies or context.
It’s also not my intention to show off or name drop or status signal. I have been guilty of doing that before, just as I’ve been guilty of intellectual intimidation, and all that I find increasingly tasteless. I must say that Steve Hsu’s is full of that, and it threw me off quite a bit when I first encountered it (when I was about to graduate from high school I believe). He hasn’t really changed. Not that he isn’t extremely talented and impressive, but every once in a while, he will write about how hard theoretical physics is, his contacts/connections with theoretical physicists and also mathematicians (recently Noam Elkies), and alongside that random blog posts about his sporting prowess, and also geopolitics (mostly in the form of links to videos) and then advertise these random Chinese (to clarify, mostly Chinese-Americans, not real Chinese) people and Chinese companies, and then go on about how they’re discriminated against in college admissions in a white country (with the whole controlling for all other variables, being Asian means less likely to be admitted argument that most people don’t really want to listen to). Also, his cognitive genomics and AI and Silicon Valley startup experience among other things. It’s mostly in the form of advertisement, often with links and just brief commentary, with at times some elitism in the form of name dropping and personal associations. Clearly, our formats differ greatly, with my posts being longer and in more essay format, with some actual elaborations on my thoughts and reflections coupled with some personal experiences.
I’m getting a bit tired of Steve Hsu’s blog by the way, but I certainly acknowledge the impact it’s had. It’s a pretty successful blog with many commenters, unlike mine, which has very few comments. This I’m sure also at least subconsciously has to do with the fact that I don’t really consider Steve Hsu a real Chinese, especially now that I am in China; he’s not at all culturally Chinese as far as I can tell. So as much as he advocates for China and Chinese, especially in America, it’s hard to take him that seriously in this different context. Of course, this is all a product of his having been born and raised in America. I was raised in America since first grade too, but I have more actual exposure and connection to the real China and real Chinese such that I still can be one of them.