by Frank Li
My position has evolved over the past 23 years as follows:
- View 1: 23 years ago, I was with the students, totally.
- View 2: I started moving in the opposite direction in 2005 and published my view in 2009. In fact, I just re-read my two articles mentioned above. Not a single word needs to be changed.
- View 3: The rest of the article reflects my view today, which is a further advancement to View 2.
In my last article (My 30-Year College Graduation Reunion), I stated that my generation is “perhaps the luckiest generation in Chinese history.” The students at Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989 were about 10 years younger than I (i.e. the same generation). So I hope they feel as lucky as I do today. How, then, “unlucky” should they have felt at that time? Moreover, how much did they really know about democracy before demanding it in such a radical fashion? Now, imagine: had the students succeeded in changing China the way they wanted at that time, what would China look like today (America: What is China, Anyway?)?
History is the best judge for social changes, particularly for an event like this. While we may need more time to draw a firmer conclusion on this, Nancy Pelosi might have already done it for us, as shown by the two photos below.
What a huge difference 18 years made for Ms. Pelosi, as well as for China!
Winston Churchill once said:
“If you are not a Liberal at 20, you have no heart. If you are not a Conservative at 40, you have no brain.”
What did he mean?
- For China, he meant: the students at Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989 were too young to understand what they were doing!
- For America (What Did Winston Churchill Mean?), he meant: “in addition to raising the minimum age of the American Presidency to 55, raise the voting age to a minimum of 21 so that voting is at least as important as drinking, or perhaps even to 40 when you are wise enough to do so.” Now, what about Nancy Pelosi in 1991? Apparently, at age 51 at the time, she did not understand what she was doing at Tiananmen Square, either! She had not reached the “brain” part of her life!
More broadly, given the world’s reality today (i.e. How the west was lost), isn’t it time for all of us to profoundly question democracy in the same way as we questioned communism? For more, read: Ideology: Yet Another Similarity between Communism and Democracy.
While we seek to find an ideal form of government, China will continue to thrive (thanks to state capitalism), while the West will continue to decline (thanks to democracy, as we know it today) …
About the Author
Frank Li is the Founder and President of W.E.I. (West-East International), a Chicago-based import & export company. Frank received his B.E. from Zhejiang University (China) in 1982, M.E. from the University of Tokyo in 1985, and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1988, all in Electrical Engineering. He worked for several companies until 2004, when he founded his own company W.E.I. Today, W.E.I. is a leader in the weighing industry not only in products & services, but also in thought and action.