Saturday, October 9, 2010

News from Oslo

With little surprise have I read that Liu Xiaobo has been awarded the Nobel prize. Reactions to that decision in China and the West could not be more contrary.
In my opinion, rewarding the prize to Liu Xiaobo symbolises the belief of many Westerners in the superiority of their democratic systems. That being said, I do not think that democracy is a bad system, but has it worked well lately?
It is doubtless that the Chinese system is not perfect, but if you look what the U.S. did when they invaded Iraq, or at their camps in Guantanamo, I don't really see why the West would have the moral upper ground (you could also look at different examples, such as the voting system in the UK, which has been due for reform for ages).
What I think is more important are social values. It may sound dated, but happiness, social etiquette, honesty and law-abidingness, are things that are a lot more important to me than disputes about political ideologies, because these things affect my daily life.
It may sound strange, but ask yourself: Would you dare tell a youngster to take his shoes from a bus seat (in China vs a Western country), or would you enjoy having a walk with your wife/girlfriend late in the evening (in a Chinese vs a Western city). One could certainly argue that this is a different topic, but it is my belief that politics and social values are very closely linked.

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