I often hear older and well-intentioned people tell me, earnestly and in good faith: “You really shouldn’t care about the government, you shouldn’t talk against the government, this won’t bring you any good.”
When I receive similar warnings, apart from politely thanking them, I always answer in the following way: “I’ve actually never cared about the government, and never said anything against the government. I only actually care about myself, I care about whether my body will inexorably be poisoned by food or air, I care about whether myself or those close to me will be treated unjunstly and therefore suffer. I’m just a selfish, self-centered person, my concerns are not that extended. However, a person so far from the world as I am myself can still feel these harmful things coming closer and closer. Even so, I have never said anything against the government, I have just expressed anger at these ‘mysterious factors’ that create social injustice and endanger the long-term stability of the country. Even so, this will inevitably be regarded as a source of discomfort, and labelled as “dissatisfaction with the government’ by some mysterious pampered old men, they seem to consciously or unconsciously associate all bad things with the government, and any discontent from the people about bad things will be interpreted as discontent with the government, so that anyone expressing their dissatisfaction will be deemed to be against the government. Alas! In the logic of these pampered minds, people who get beaten up cannot get sore, and they cannot blame the stick, but rather, they must sing hymns to that stick, for the sake of ‘harmony’. If they feel sore, it must be political, they must have ulterior motives, and will be suspected of destroying ‘harmony’. However, if someone has been assaulted, what can be the reason for them not to feel sore? 仆也不敏，还望尊驾教我喊疼而又不冒犯政府的法子”。
In fact, older people have reasons to be cautious. These days, the people of Shifang finally shouted out their concerns about the pollution of the copper-molybdenum project, but their shouts inevitably disturbed and offended the local government.And therefore, the local lords of government had such impressive anger, and with their sticks, added to the shouts of the common people. The shouts of the common people, for the lords who live like princes, sounded just like absurd pricks, like so much discord, and although the common people only resisted an industrial and commercial project, very far from the government itself, it was enough for these lords to take it as a direct opposition to the government’s control and hands. You must know, these lords who live like princes have a soft and tender sensitivity. The shouts of the people were like needles into their ears, and they determined to fight them back with their sticks.
Everyone is afraid of pain. How could the people of Shifang not fear the pain that the sticks of the rulers can inflict? However, the people of Shifang are more afraid of suffering the pains of cancer due to pollution, and therefore, the people of Shifang are not that afraid of the pain that sticks can inflict. And therefore, that’s why there have been scenes of crowd agitation on the streets of Shifang.
Most people in China, including myself, don’t oppose the government and love harmony. But if those pampered and “mysterious” things that bear the name of “government” very seriously destroy the harmony that people love, then, should we support the harmony that the government really needs, and oppose those who, under the name of government, are the most serious dangers to harmony, or should we support those who, wearing the name of government, destroy the harmony of things, and go against the harmony that the government really needs?
May some old and wise master teach me.