Its hard work being a thinker in China. I spoke with a young Chinese friend of mine the other day about the indoctrination of students and the amazement with which the West contemplates pro-government, hysterically patriotic young people. Something we have little or no experience in, since the end of WWII.
“It is very horrible for us, our own media wants us to be sheep and the rest of the world either won’t believe anything we say or considers us brainwashed. I am not stupid!”
Most people over 40 here are capable of thinking critically about their government and about life in general. They have seen all the bullshit, probably been on the receiving end of it as well. Most students are coddled from birth to age 24, whereupon they are inserted (hopefully) into the family-company sphere from which they will never break out. Young women become controlling mothers, young men become passive fathers. The values of a traditional society are: stability, security and providing for your children.
Most young women here are governed by their mothers. Mothers who focus all of their energy (now that dad has been subdued) onto the daughter’s future.
One more quick observation:
The majority of Chinese students abroad have little or nothing to do with the people of the country in which they are studying. They stay amongst Chinese and basically gain the skills and knowledge necessary to make money in China. This attitude is reinforced from home and from the community at large. “We Chinese, for China!”
The few who do slip into different cultures are often treated as quasi-traitors or possibly even (if they are female) as whores.
It is a scary mixture of the Asian ability to become the Borg and the Western ability to nationalize the individual.