The Letter “N” Was Banned in China
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
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What is happening to the 21st century governments? I found it incredulous when U.S.-CDC came up with a list of forbidden words such as “vulnerable“, “entitlement“, “diversity“, “fetus“, “science-based“, “evidence-based“, “transgender“, now China has topped that by banning the letter “N“. This is more severe than the censorship in George Orwell’s 1984! Since the announcement on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, that Beijing will drop presidential term limits (Chinese Communist Party proposed removing a clause in the constitution that limits presidencies to two five-year terms), meaning Xi Jinping may potentially be able to rule for the rest of his life, dissent have been spotted on Chinese social media. According to China Digital Times, there has been crackdowns on the use of certain words, phrases, and letters on Chinese social-media searches including the letter N. Some speculate that ‘N’=’n terms in office‘ or n>2. Even though letter N has since been restored, Weibo is still searching for and banning words such as “shameless“, “I oppose“. and “incapable ruler” , etc.
Xi Jinping is the most powerful man in China. If you don’t know who Xi Jinping is, it is time to learn, below:
I just found out that in China, George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm are now also banned, in addition to list of words such as “disagree“, “immortality“, “emigrate“, and “Winnie The Pooh” being banned.
Xi Jinping has proven to be an effective Chinese leader since 2012, but history has taught us that dictatorship would be risky business for any country. Case in point, Pax Romana was a long period of relative peacefulness and minimal expansion by the Roman military force during Roman Empire after the end of the Final War of the Roman Republic and therefore the beginning of the Crisis of the Third Century. During Pax Romana, the Roman empire reached its peak land mass area and its population grew to 70 million people. The last five emperors of the Pax Romana were considered the “five Good Emperors“.
The rulers commonly known as the “Five Good Emperors” were Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. The term was coined based on what the political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli said in 1503:
From the study of this history we may also learn how a good government is to be established; for while all the emperors who succeeded to the throne by birth, except Titus, were bad, all were good who succeeded by adoption, as in the case of the five from Nerva to Marcus. But as soon as the empire fell once more to the heirs by birth, its ruin recommenced.
Machiavelli argued that these adopted emperors, through good rule, earned the respect of those around them:
Titus, Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus, and Marcus had no need of praetorian cohorts, or of countless legions to guard them, but were defended by their own good lives, the good-will of their subjects, and the attachment of the senate.
The 18th-century historian Edward Gibbon, in his work The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, opined that their rule was a time when “the Roman Empire was governed by absolute power, under the guidance of wisdom and virtue”. Gibbon believed these benevolent dictators and their moderate policies were unusual and contrasted with their more tyrannical and oppressive successors.
Gibbon went so far as to state:
If a man were called to fix the period in the history of the world during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name that which elapsed from the death of Domitian to the accession of Commodus. The vast extent of the Roman Empire was governed by absolute power, under the guidance of virtue and wisdom. The armies were restrained by the firm but gentle hand of four successive emperors, whose characters and authority commanded respect. The forms of the civil administration were carefully preserved by Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian and the Antonines, who delighted in the image of liberty, and were pleased with considering themselves as the accountable ministers of the laws. Such princes deserved the honour of restoring the republic, had the Romans of their days been capable of enjoying a rational freedom.
At the time when the above was written, the idea of enlightened absolutism was widely accepted in various European countries.
(Source, wikipedia, in italics above, on Pax Romana and Nerva-Antonine dynasty)
We have learned much from our history that dictatorship may be efficient and appealing at times, but will eventually fail. Democracy may be noisy and inefficient at times, but it is less likely to introduce extreme chaos (such as that resulted from a leader such as Hitler). Governing is a risky business, therefore some element of safety factors would be welcomed cushions.
Commentary from PBS, “China might make Xi Jinping president for life. What does that mean for the U.S.?”, below:
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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