Written and Published by Han Institute, January 12, 2013
Bridging Social media functions to Government Institutions
This article has been written during my combating flu, so it is only a starter in comparing governmental institutions from ancient China to current U.S. More muses and research pointers will be added later.
Confucius on Running State Affairs: Battle between Ideal and Reality
Confucius, a Lu country's official, after attending a candle-burning ancestral ceremony of Lu country, climbed up the city fortress to lament that he was not able to see the True Way era in practice, the Three Kings' utopian big way. But he asked for a secondary system to run the country with rule of law and grace, relatively moderate prosperity for a rationalized social order.
A quote from book Li Ji states that the highest form of the big way is to be an egalitarian idealistic state. Li Ji is a Digest of Social Order and Etiquettes, articles and views written by Confucius' students and scholars.
So Confucius admitted that the big way once was achieved, but he wasn't lucky enough to be born yet, so we can pursue the second best to make the world run better with the ideal of being utopian and egalitarian.
Social Media is a-governmental but not anti-government; it does not negate the government or supersede the government.
Social media can be an excellent tool in a country which controls the media such as the PRC. With all the state services and power, the state-sponsored media gets the voice and ˇ®uniform views' to chant in collective unison. This is the trademark of a state engine media as opposed to social media where egalitarianism is the essence. Social media's best function is providing a platform for an egalitarian voice. Twitter allows different people to release news headlines, and different voices can sound out.
Having said that, what is the Government function in a non-utopian world?
Comparison of Chinese governmental structure from ancient to current
Once upon a time, China had a utopian world based on meritocracy. This was undone, since the pre-historic Xia Dynasty founder Da Yu passed down his throne to his son.
We examine how China carried on for thousands of years with a government structure. I noticed the Nationalist government's function as foster parents during the resistance wartime. This is because of the upheaval and relocation; so many young people had no one but the government educational institutions to count on.
My great uncle got the words to relocate from Nanjing Central University to ChongKing from his university president. A footnote to remind you that many times the education minister serves in Central University president position like Dr. Zhu Jiahua. So the roles of education and government are complimentary in the nationalist government.
Nationalist government's fostering function
Modern China government's fostering the Young function based on own culture, not socialist government
Republic of China current President Ma Yinjiu was a recipient of a Dr. Sun Yat-sen scholarship, and my grandfather was a Boxer Rebellion War Redemption Scholarship recipient. They were the best students with high scores.
For a country beset with invasions by powerful countries, many times the government has had to function to foster the young, so the country would be helped to forge her freedom by educated intellectuals, not as blind extremist movement.
The way for a country with fewer resources is to leverage human resources to compete on an international level with bigger countries.
However, this model of the government function can be said for most of Chinese culture, but is not applicable to the current Chinese communist mentality.
Great Tang dynasty Era's Price Control for Social Stability
The government's function in Tang Dynasty was to modulate prices on grain to prevent shortages and price gouging, and to provide charity when there were actual shortages.
The Tang Dynasty government's other function was to modulate product pricing. The central government had a good way to purchase grain and keep track of updated information in order to keep prices stable.
Liu Yan was an economic reformer in grain price control mechanisms, with a business information intelligence network to know within 4 days at all different geographical points and districts, the pricing fluctuation. In a short period of time, the government grain collected over 3 million hu units, and supplies were allocated by the government so that food was spread evenly.
Monopoly vs. Government Function
Government control of grain is not to profit, but to give grain to the poor during a famine as a philanthropic measure. This was done during the 1942 Henan Province famine, when the nationalist provincial government released grain from the reserve.
Prior to WWII, 80% of Hungarian banking was monopolized by those of Jewish descent. The role of the government is to help those who do not have the power.
Currently in the PRC, practically 99% of wealth is controlled by state government.
US Government Function: Breeding the next State of the Art
A US government employee told me during my interview that Digital Research's Dr. Gary Kildall thought he won a big contract from IBM and went on a 2 week vacation.
Meanwhile, IBM cinched a contract with Bill Gates and Microsoft. Hence, Gates' products prevailed.
But the Digital Research operating system still was used by different agencies before more choices arrived on the horizon. The projects with a variety of tools were needed to run for governmental testing and experimentation. This allowed a free hotbed to use current available tools, and breed the next state of art systems.
Like Confucius, we can't ask for an egalitarian ideal system that once was possible, but the reality can still be reformed to help most to have the means and chance to excel, not as master or slave, haves and have-nots, colonial and conquered.
Although the government is to ease off the monopoly, it doesn't have to repress talent from being own success story.
We need all levels of workers, not great prosperity for a few like doctors, insurance agents, and moguls of all kinds, but a rationalized social economical order without capitulating in name of prosperity.
If you happen to have the aptitude and skill to make a lot of money, don't think the world needs to serve you, but others deserve to live and to have the chance to have different aspirations in life.
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