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Democracy Culture in Asia

suttichart.denpruektham
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4/6/2014 5:13:52 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I am starting a new project to study a cultural aspect of the nation in Asia, East Asia in particular to better my understanding of how democracy work in this part of the world.

As you may know, democracy is in a sharp contrast to many of the culture in Asia that value tradition, social hierarchy, collectivism, and face saving. Yet many nations in Asia such as Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan (and Hongkong, if you count it as a country) have successfully used democratic process in their day-to-day politic which undoubtedly required certain degree of cultural integration of democratic values.

Without such integration, I believe that a democratic rule can be difficult to implement, in my country (Thailand) for example, I believe that democracy, for most of the people is "the thing that the west like that allow us to trade with them" - and not a preference for liberty and freedom.

So I would like to ask a people from Japan, Korea, or democratic Chinese (or have been living in such nations) to give me some information about democratic culture in these nations. How do you guy see democracy working in a collectivist culture and why?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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4/6/2014 11:51:58 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/6/2014 5:13:52 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
I am starting a new project to study a cultural aspect of the nation in Asia, East Asia in particular to better my understanding of how democracy work in this part of the world.

As you may know, democracy is in a sharp contrast to many of the culture in Asia that value tradition, social hierarchy, collectivism, and face saving. Yet many nations in Asia such as Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan (and Hongkong, if you count it as a country) have successfully used democratic process in their day-to-day politic which undoubtedly required certain degree of cultural integration of democratic values.

Personally, I've seen all of these qualities in America. Americans value tradition ("freedom" and religion), there is a clear social hierarchy here (one based on money, mainly), the way people mindlessly vote for political parties regardless of conflicts in ideology is a form of collectivism (video), and the US practices face-saving as much if not more so than Asian nations.

In the not-so-recent team debate we did on SEA, we noted that Obama's "pivot to Asia" was not really a measure to strengthen our position in Asia as much as it was to provide cover for withdrawing in the Middle East. This is "face-saving".

Without such integration, I believe that a democratic rule can be difficult to implement, in my country (Thailand) for example, I believe that democracy, for most of the people is "the thing that the west like that allow us to trade with them" - and not a preference for liberty and freedom.

So I would like to ask a people from Japan, Korea, or democratic Chinese (or have been living in such nations) to give me some information about democratic culture in these nations. How do you guy see democracy working in a collectivist culture and why?

https://www.youtube.com...
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
monty1
Posts: 1,084
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4/6/2014 12:49:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/6/2014 11:51:58 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/6/2014 5:13:52 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
I am starting a new project to study a cultural aspect of the nation in Asia, East Asia in particular to better my understanding of how democracy work in this part of the world.

As you may know, democracy is in a sharp contrast to many of the culture in Asia that value tradition, social hierarchy, collectivism, and face saving. Yet many nations in Asia such as Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan (and Hongkong, if you count it as a country) have successfully used democratic process in their day-to-day politic which undoubtedly required certain degree of cultural integration of democratic values.

Personally, I've seen all of these qualities in America. Americans value tradition ("freedom" and religion), there is a clear social hierarchy here (one based on money, mainly), the way people mindlessly vote for political parties regardless of conflicts in ideology is a form of collectivism (video), and the US practices face-saving as much if not more so than Asian nations.

In the not-so-recent team debate we did on SEA, we noted that Obama's "pivot to Asia" was not really a measure to strengthen our position in Asia as much as it was to provide cover for withdrawing in the Middle East. This is "face-saving".

Without such integration, I believe that a democratic rule can be difficult to implement, in my country (Thailand) for example, I believe that democracy, for most of the people is "the thing that the west like that allow us to trade with them" - and not a preference for liberty and freedom.

So I would like to ask a people from Japan, Korea, or democratic Chinese (or have been living in such nations) to give me some information about democratic culture in these nations. How do you guy see democracy working in a collectivist culture and why?

https://www.youtube.com...

You seem to be getting it with Obama! You may even understand that his 'red line' on Syria was intended to defuse the situation that the warhawks were building for war against the Assad regime.

That, for one instance, is an understanding that the right are incapable of grasping because of their ideological stand against Obama and everything he attempts to do. It's as perfect a con game as we can imagine in politics. Maybe we shouldn't even be talking about it? But alas, no harm because they will have to deny it anyway.

I think that most politicians on the right know it very well. Obama is hoodwinking the people right under the noses of the politicians on the right. But they can't express it truthfully and so they have to manufacture all the mistruths against Obama. That's the explanation for it seeming to be so strange and illogical.

Obama's successes are becoming huge now. The ACA is obviously a done deal. Equal pay for women is also a landmark accomplishment. Preventing a new war in the ME is also landmark. There's more big ones to come in his remaining time in office. And they will be irreversible!
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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4/6/2014 1:58:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/6/2014 12:49:43 PM, monty1 wrote:
At 4/6/2014 11:51:58 AM, wrichcirw wrote:

You seem to be getting it with Obama! You may even understand that his 'red line' on Syria was intended to defuse the situation that the warhawks were building for war against the Assad regime.

His line on Syria was due to reaction against his strong-arming in Libya, not to "diffuse" the right. Obama's foreign policy is more aggressive than most conservatives', many of whom have been bitten by the libertarian bug of noninterventionalism. On foreign policy specifically, the GOP has struggled to stay relevant. It's Obama's game to lose (although Putin is making it difficult for Obama).

That, for one instance, is an understanding that the right are incapable of grasping because of their ideological stand against Obama and everything he attempts to do. It's as perfect a con game as we can imagine in politics. Maybe we shouldn't even be talking about it? But alas, no harm because they will have to deny it anyway.

I think that most politicians on the right know it very well. Obama is hoodwinking the people right under the noses of the politicians on the right. But they can't express it truthfully and so they have to manufacture all the mistruths against Obama. That's the explanation for it seeming to be so strange and illogical.

Obama's successes are becoming huge now. The ACA is obviously a done deal. Equal pay for women is also a landmark accomplishment. Preventing a new war in the ME is also landmark. There's more big ones to come in his remaining time in office. And they will be irreversible!
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
monty1
Posts: 1,084
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4/6/2014 3:58:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/6/2014 1:58:56 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/6/2014 12:49:43 PM, monty1 wrote:
At 4/6/2014 11:51:58 AM, wrichcirw wrote:



His line on Syria was due to reaction against his strong-arming in Libya, not to "diffuse" the right. Obama's foreign policy is more aggressive than most conservatives', many of whom have been bitten by the libertarian bug of noninterventionalism. On foreign policy specifically, the GOP has struggled to stay relevant. It's Obama's game to lose (although Putin is making it difficult for Obama).

The libertarian bite is not a real consideration. The reason why is because libertarianism is not a real consideration for 90% of them. They are teabaggers whose whole agenda is racist hate for Obama. Don't believe them when they try to say it's something else. After Obama the baggers will disintegrate for lack of an object of hate and the libertarians will shrink back to a 10% fringe as it was with Ron Paul.

Syria 'red line' because of Libya? You're not talking to the teenagers now. Syria is exactly how Obama planned it. Wlith Putin's eagerness to help to avoid a war where Russia's interests would have been compromised.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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4/6/2014 6:00:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/6/2014 3:58:51 PM, monty1 wrote:
At 4/6/2014 1:58:56 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/6/2014 12:49:43 PM, monty1 wrote:
At 4/6/2014 11:51:58 AM, wrichcirw wrote:



His line on Syria was due to reaction against his strong-arming in Libya, not to "diffuse" the right. Obama's foreign policy is more aggressive than most conservatives', many of whom have been bitten by the libertarian bug of noninterventionalism. On foreign policy specifically, the GOP has struggled to stay relevant. It's Obama's game to lose (although Putin is making it difficult for Obama).

The libertarian bite is not a real consideration. The reason why is because libertarianism is not a real consideration for 90% of them. They are teabaggers whose whole agenda is racist hate for Obama. Don't believe them when they try to say it's something else. After Obama the baggers will disintegrate for lack of an object of hate and the libertarians will shrink back to a 10% fringe as it was with Ron Paul.

Syria 'red line' because of Libya? You're not talking to the teenagers now. Syria is exactly how Obama planned it. Wlith Putin's eagerness to help to avoid a war where Russia's interests would have been compromised.

You're not making any sense. How Obama handled Syria was an embarrassment to the US. Russia scored a victory there, and you're saying that's how Obama intended it?
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
monty1
Posts: 1,084
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4/6/2014 6:49:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/6/2014 6:00:11 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/6/2014 3:58:51 PM, monty1 wrote:
At 4/6/2014 1:58:56 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/6/2014 12:49:43 PM, monty1 wrote:
At 4/6/2014 11:51:58 AM, wrichcirw wrote:



His line on Syria was due to reaction against his strong-arming in Libya, not to "diffuse" the right. Obama's foreign policy is more aggressive than most conservatives', many of whom have been bitten by the libertarian bug of noninterventionalism. On foreign policy specifically, the GOP has struggled to stay relevant. It's Obama's game to lose (although Putin is making it difficult for Obama).

The libertarian bite is not a real consideration. The reason why is because libertarianism is not a real consideration for 90% of them. They are teabaggers whose whole agenda is racist hate for Obama. Don't believe them when they try to say it's something else. After Obama the baggers will disintegrate for lack of an object of hate and the libertarians will shrink back to a 10% fringe as it was with Ron Paul.

Syria 'red line' because of Libya? You're not talking to the teenagers now. Syria is exactly how Obama planned it. Wlith Putin's eagerness to help to avoid a war where Russia's interests would have been compromised.

You're not making any sense. How Obama handled Syria was an embarrassment to the US. Russia scored a victory there, and you're saying that's how Obama intended it?

That's a great reply! You consider his handling of the problem an embarrassment while it's undoubtedly true that the rest of the world viewed it as a measure taken to prevent war. Both Obama and Putin are being commended for it and Putin could be in line for a Nobel Peace Prize.

When cooperation is found between the US and Russia it's an outdated attitude that finds a flaw in it. More logical thinking people will see it as hope for the future of the world. I'm not surprised in the least that you didn't get the message, considering that you are supposedly ex-military.

For the coming Iran problem that will be resolved peacefully, you'll have to at least come to understand that Obama is going to be credited once again with a solution. And you better fukking well hope it's not left to his successor. Therein lies the biggest threat to nuclear war the world is going to see for a long time. Simply put, if the jews move on Iran then they are going to be toast in return. That's not preventable in time. And if the US interferes with nukes then all bets are off for what China and Russia will do. You armchair warrriors are going to have to sit up and pay attention on that one!
suttichart.denpruektham
Posts: 1,115
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4/9/2014 11:21:09 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/6/2014 11:51:58 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/6/2014 5:13:52 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
I am starting a new project to study a cultural aspect of the nation in Asia, East Asia in particular to better my understanding of how democracy work in this part of the world.

As you may know, democracy is in a sharp contrast to many of the culture in Asia that value tradition, social hierarchy, collectivism, and face saving. Yet many nations in Asia such as Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan (and Hongkong, if you count it as a country) have successfully used democratic process in their day-to-day politic which undoubtedly required certain degree of cultural integration of democratic values.

Personally, I've seen all of these qualities in America. Americans value tradition ("freedom" and religion), there is a clear social hierarchy here (one based on money, mainly), the way people mindlessly vote for political parties regardless of conflicts in ideology is a form of collectivism (video), and the US practices face-saving as much if not more so than Asian nations.

In the not-so-recent team debate we did on SEA, we noted that Obama's "pivot to Asia" was not really a measure to strengthen our position in Asia as much as it was to provide cover for withdrawing in the Middle East. This is "face-saving".

Without such integration, I believe that a democratic rule can be difficult to implement, in my country (Thailand) for example, I believe that democracy, for most of the people is "the thing that the west like that allow us to trade with them" - and not a preference for liberty and freedom.

So I would like to ask a people from Japan, Korea, or democratic Chinese (or have been living in such nations) to give me some information about democratic culture in these nations. How do you guy see democracy working in a collectivist culture and why?

https://www.youtube.com...

hey sorry for the late reply, but I don't really see hoe this video actually show anything about democracy in East Asia.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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4/9/2014 8:31:02 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/9/2014 11:21:09 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 4/6/2014 11:51:58 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/6/2014 5:13:52 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
I am starting a new project to study a cultural aspect of the nation in Asia, East Asia in particular to better my understanding of how democracy work in this part of the world.

As you may know, democracy is in a sharp contrast to many of the culture in Asia that value tradition, social hierarchy, collectivism, and face saving. Yet many nations in Asia such as Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan (and Hongkong, if you count it as a country) have successfully used democratic process in their day-to-day politic which undoubtedly required certain degree of cultural integration of democratic values.

Personally, I've seen all of these qualities in America. Americans value tradition ("freedom" and religion), there is a clear social hierarchy here (one based on money, mainly), the way people mindlessly vote for political parties regardless of conflicts in ideology is a form of collectivism (video), and the US practices face-saving as much if not more so than Asian nations.

In the not-so-recent team debate we did on SEA, we noted that Obama's "pivot to Asia" was not really a measure to strengthen our position in Asia as much as it was to provide cover for withdrawing in the Middle East. This is "face-saving".

Without such integration, I believe that a democratic rule can be difficult to implement, in my country (Thailand) for example, I believe that democracy, for most of the people is "the thing that the west like that allow us to trade with them" - and not a preference for liberty and freedom.

So I would like to ask a people from Japan, Korea, or democratic Chinese (or have been living in such nations) to give me some information about democratic culture in these nations. How do you guy see democracy working in a collectivist culture and why?

https://www.youtube.com...

hey sorry for the late reply, but I don't really see hoe this video actually show anything about democracy in East Asia.

When people talk about "collectivism", there's the implication that it describes some sort of brainwashing, typically through state coercion (i.e. any sort of authoritarian system, i.e. monarchy, emperors, etc). The video shows that much of America is "brainwashed" into supporting whatever political party they support, in the video's case, Democrats blindly supporting Obama regardless of his actual policies.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
suttichart.denpruektham
Posts: 1,115
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4/10/2014 1:49:10 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
When people talk about "collectivism", there's the implication that it describes some sort of brainwashing, typically through state coercion (i.e. any sort of authoritarian system, i.e. monarchy, emperors, etc). The video shows that much of America is "brainwashed" into supporting whatever political party they support, in the video's case, Democrats blindly supporting Obama regardless of his actual policies.

You're getting it wrong in this case, I am referring to cultural collectivism and not a political one in this case.

Cultural collectivism is an aspect of culture when people prefer to do thing in group. They do share a lot of feature with political collectivism but is more on a personal level, like the rigid organization of society and following the chain of command.. but it's not the same as if we choose to we can always legally break away from the system unlike when it is done in the political level.

And that's precisely why I found democracy in country like Japan or Korea or Taiwan so fascinating, they are basically people who prefer to be brainwashed, obedient, and social dependent - almost to the point of socialism, yet democracy work with them (comparatively speaking). That's why I think there must be some kind of cultural bridges that bring them closer to the system originally decided and implement by the western civilization.

Say, You were in Korea right? Have you ever ask the Korean people what is democracy to them?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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4/10/2014 2:49:52 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/10/2014 1:49:10 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
When people talk about "collectivism", there's the implication that it describes some sort of brainwashing, typically through state coercion (i.e. any sort of authoritarian system, i.e. monarchy, emperors, etc). The video shows that much of America is "brainwashed" into supporting whatever political party they support, in the video's case, Democrats blindly supporting Obama regardless of his actual policies.

You're getting it wrong in this case, I am referring to cultural collectivism and not a political one in this case.

Cultural collectivism is an aspect of culture when people prefer to do thing in group. They do share a lot of feature with political collectivism but is more on a personal level, like the rigid organization of society and following the chain of command.. but it's not the same as if we choose to we can always legally break away from the system unlike when it is done in the political level.

I wouldn't call what you're describing as "collectivism" though...I'd call it "social rigidity", which does indeed lead to the characteristics you describe here. In Korea, their society is very, very rigid, and much of it is based upon seniority. It's built into the language...the way you reference anyone typically denotes a power relationship as well based on this social structure. There are entire grammatical structures that are used to address people of a higher social rank (something I always got wrong and was thus treated as "oh that funny foreigner", lol). This social structure is (literally) beaten into them throughout childhood (corporal punishment is still allowable in schools there and is practiced often).

And that's precisely why I found democracy in country like Japan or Korea or Taiwan so fascinating, they are basically people who prefer to be brainwashed, obedient, and social dependent - almost to the point of socialism, yet democracy work with them (comparatively speaking). That's why I think there must be some kind of cultural bridges that bring them closer to the system originally decided and implement by the western civilization.

I think your characterization is completely and totally off. Many elections in Taiwan and South Korea have been very close. If there was "brainwashing" to any extent, there would be accusations of vote-rigging and corruption by the dominant party concomitant with such, something along the lines of what the Nazis did (legally) when they came to power.

Say, You were in Korea right? Have you ever ask the Korean people what is democracy to them?

No, I never saw any reason to. I've heard all kinds of opinions...for example, some think that it's great that NK has nukes, because that means that when they unify SK will have them too. Others think that treating NK as anything other than the planet Mars is inappropriate.

To call such "collectivist" is quite a misnomer...unless you call democracy itself to be a collectivist system. In fact, I would say that any government is necessarily "collectivist", at least in the political sense, to include democracy.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
suttichart.denpruektham
Posts: 1,115
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4/10/2014 11:57:12 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/10/2014 2:49:52 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/10/2014 1:49:10 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
When people talk about "collectivism", there's the implication that it describes some sort of brainwashing, typically through state coercion (i.e. any sort of authoritarian system, i.e. monarchy, emperors, etc). The video shows that much of America is "brainwashed" into supporting whatever political party they support, in the video's case, Democrats blindly supporting Obama regardless of his actual policies.

You're getting it wrong in this case, I am referring to cultural collectivism and not a political one in this case.

Cultural collectivism is an aspect of culture when people prefer to do thing in group. They do share a lot of feature with political collectivism but is more on a personal level, like the rigid organization of society and following the chain of command.. but it's not the same as if we choose to we can always legally break away from the system unlike when it is done in the political level.

I wouldn't call what you're describing as "collectivism" though...I'd call it "social rigidity", which does indeed lead to the characteristics you describe here. In Korea, their society is very, very rigid, and much of it is based upon seniority. It's built into the language...the way you reference anyone typically denotes a power relationship as well based on this social structure. There are entire grammatical structures that are used to address people of a higher social rank (something I always got wrong and was thus treated as "oh that funny foreigner", lol). This social structure is (literally) beaten into them throughout childhood (corporal punishment is still allowable in schools there and is practiced often).

And that's precisely why I found democracy in country like Japan or Korea or Taiwan so fascinating, they are basically people who prefer to be brainwashed, obedient, and social dependent - almost to the point of socialism, yet democracy work with them (comparatively speaking). That's why I think there must be some kind of cultural bridges that bring them closer to the system originally decided and implement by the western civilization.

I think your characterization is completely and totally off. Many elections in Taiwan and South Korea have been very close. If there was "brainwashing" to any extent, there would be accusations of vote-rigging and corruption by the dominant party concomitant with such, something along the lines of what the Nazis did (legally) when they came to power.

It's a poor choices of word, the one you point out is correct, social rigidity. In a sense I found it to be authoritative in nature, when I was in a grade school corporal punishment was still legal here too - and never cease to be use even when it was made illegal (although a hit or two is hardly anything and even I don't see it as a problem). Punishments and rewards are often made in group rather than in individual and obedient to authority (in this case, a teacher) is highly prized. When you grow up under this kind of system, authoritarian government seem to be something very close to the culture and value that we in Asia are very familiar with to the point that sometime I rather believe that perhaps democracy is not something for us.

Yet, many have proved that it is feasible and compatible to their daily life. Too bad you never have asked the Korean this question, I will be very interesting to know how they can except democracy the way they lived in their society.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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4/10/2014 2:00:02 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/10/2014 11:57:12 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 4/10/2014 2:49:52 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 4/10/2014 1:49:10 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
When people talk about "collectivism", there's the implication that it describes some sort of brainwashing, typically through state coercion (i.e. any sort of authoritarian system, i.e. monarchy, emperors, etc). The video shows that much of America is "brainwashed" into supporting whatever political party they support, in the video's case, Democrats blindly supporting Obama regardless of his actual policies.

You're getting it wrong in this case, I am referring to cultural collectivism and not a political one in this case.

Cultural collectivism is an aspect of culture when people prefer to do thing in group. They do share a lot of feature with political collectivism but is more on a personal level, like the rigid organization of society and following the chain of command.. but it's not the same as if we choose to we can always legally break away from the system unlike when it is done in the political level.

I wouldn't call what you're describing as "collectivism" though...I'd call it "social rigidity", which does indeed lead to the characteristics you describe here. In Korea, their society is very, very rigid, and much of it is based upon seniority. It's built into the language...the way you reference anyone typically denotes a power relationship as well based on this social structure. There are entire grammatical structures that are used to address people of a higher social rank (something I always got wrong and was thus treated as "oh that funny foreigner", lol). This social structure is (literally) beaten into them throughout childhood (corporal punishment is still allowable in schools there and is practiced often).

And that's precisely why I found democracy in country like Japan or Korea or Taiwan so fascinating, they are basically people who prefer to be brainwashed, obedient, and social dependent - almost to the point of socialism, yet democracy work with them (comparatively speaking). That's why I think there must be some kind of cultural bridges that bring them closer to the system originally decided and implement by the western civilization.

I think your characterization is completely and totally off. Many elections in Taiwan and South Korea have been very close. If there was "brainwashing" to any extent, there would be accusations of vote-rigging and corruption by the dominant party concomitant with such, something along the lines of what the Nazis did (legally) when they came to power.

It's a poor choices of word, the one you point out is correct, social rigidity. In a sense I found it to be authoritative in nature, when I was in a grade school corporal punishment was still legal here too - and never cease to be use even when it was made illegal (although a hit or two is hardly anything and even I don't see it as a problem). Punishments and rewards are often made in group rather than in individual and obedient to authority (in this case, a teacher) is highly prized. When you grow up under this kind of system, authoritarian government seem to be something very close to the culture and value that we in Asia are very familiar with to the point that sometime I rather believe that perhaps democracy is not something for us.

Yet, many have proved that it is feasible and compatible to their daily life. Too bad you never have asked the Korean this question, I will be very interesting to know how they can except democracy the way they lived in their society.

Well, the thing is, I typically don't engage in these political discussions in real life, lol, a lot of conversations I had was about life and living. I simply came to my own conclusions on politics based upon my own experiences. All of this societal rigidity, authoritarianism, even physical punishment to some extent, all of this mirrors military life to an exceptionally startling degree. This was a bit of an epiphany for me that I developed while overseas.

The military prizes rank above nearly all other considerations, has an exceptionally rigid social structure (more rigid than what you'd find overall in Asian/Korean society), and while I was in basic training at least, was "compelled"/ordered to continually drop and do push-ups for even the most trivial infractions. It's also no coincidence that places like Taiwan and SK also experienced a pronounced period of actual martial law. China is also presided over by the CCP, whose claim to power was a decades-long civil war and whose claim to fame amongst the Chinese people is that they were able to fight off foreign aggression (Japanese or Western). That's an exceptionally martial mentality, and it shows by the amount of importance Mao and the PLA has in that country and the respect for martial authority even in the face of something like the Tienanmen Square protests.

So, IMHO the only real difference that you're pointing out here between Asian and Western culture is the prevalence of martial authority in Asian societies. It's creeping up here in America as well ever since 9/11. Talk about a quality of "collectivism" is something that while I will readily agree is societally prevalent, is something I rarely if ever encountered academically. IMHO it's an inaccurate label placed upon the region...it only points to the degree of direct government control over a society, which is IMHO a result of the security situation that region faces. In east Asia, the security situation is...intense.

If you want a picture of American "collectivism", here's an interesting video for you (note that actual beatings are illegal now in the military...hell the drill instructors aren't even allowed to swear at people anymore):

https://www.youtube.com...

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On social rigidity specifically, yes America has relatively little of that. IMHO it's still here, but it's not formally expressed as it is in Asian cultures. You could make an argument about how it is best expressed in race relations here, because there is most certainly a "hierarchy of races" here in regards to social standing, and that's something that is also very difficult to escape no matter what an individual may do. I would simply counter the negativity inherent in this observation though by saying at least in America we actually attempt to address this problem...most other countries are racially homogeneous and thus don't even have such a problem to acknowledge.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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4/10/2014 3:07:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Just to add some more meat on my point about race relations and social rigidity here, Barack Obama gave a speech last year in regards to the effects of what turned into a race-related incident here in America, the George Zimmerman trial.

"You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African American community at least, there"s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it"s important to recognize that the African American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that doesn"t go away."

"There are very few African American men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me. There are very few African American men who haven't had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me -- at least before I was a senator. There are very few African Americans who haven't had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often."


http://www.whitehouse.gov...

So here, you have President of the United States speaking in an official capacity about how as he was growing up, he was treated like a common criminal simply because of his race. Social rigidity.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?