Chapter 4 - Queen of the New Law
To judge by the way our two Chinese ladies interacted with Steve, it was plain to see that they had a great respect for Steve and for Ushi. They called him Doctor Steve. Also, their perception of him being German had opened their Chinese hearts, especially since he and Ushi had worked for many years in the background with the Chinese government, even when still living in Germany, to advance Chinese trade relationships with Germany in a partnership for China's technological infrastructure development. Our ladies were proud of Steve's work in support of China. This admiration didn't seem to extend to the rest of us, who had just arrived from America. America was looked upon with ever growing disdain by the Chinese people, as by the people of the world at large, for its political arrogance towards the whole world, but especially so towards China that had been officially placed onto America's nuclear weapons target list. The only element that stood in our favor with the ladies was our status as refugees from America and our friendship with Steve. They looked upon us as being victims of a system that had also victimized their own country. They looked upon us with compassion rather than respect, a kind of passive tolerance, rather than an active affection. My hope was that they would respect us some day for our commitment to free America from its imperial entrapment that had destroyed America's beautiful heart and replaced it with a fascist stone. Oh, if they could only see that this was an essential prerequisite for their own country to have a future, which would have no future in a dying world!
In order to address the tensions, Steve arranged for us an open confrontation meeting with the students and faculty of the university in Wuhan, which our Chinese ladies had 'grown up' in. This daring exercise also became our Chinese ladies' first official engagement in the public arena are our interpreters.
I expected a firestorm of emotional insanity to break out, at such a confrontation, filled with hatred of American policies. Steve just laughed when I told him about my fears.
"It's your task to make sure that doesn't happen. You're the diplomat, and an experienced scientist with a discipline in thinking that they know nothing about," he said. "I told you in Leipzig, that love alone fills your glass, and it must be running over and flood the world. Now is the time."
The meeting was convened on a Wednesday evening at the main auditorium. All of us were put on the panel. Steve opened the meeting by introducing me as a victim of American political persecution. He called me a very dangerous man, to the West, that is.
There I stood, facing a Chinese audience, unable to speak Chinese, much less fluently. Apparently, this was not a barrier for them. I heard shouts of terrorism from some people in the front row, "military terrorism, financial terrorism, etc."
"I don't blame you for being angry at me," I called back. "But, my friends, you are falling into the same trap that America fell into, by attacking me with hateful words. You cannot solve hate with hate, or terrorism with terrorism, as half of the world intends to do," I said to the hecklers in as calm a manner as I was able. "The governments of the world can't end the killing of human beings with more killing, no matter how deeply they believe this to be possible. They have become trapped into a cycle of violence which is contradictory to their very own nature, but which they lack the mental resources to escape from."
Someone shouted back that I didn't really believe this. He insisted that our western culture was totally centered on revenge. The man stood up while he spoke and explained that the "eye for an eye" mentality is fundamental to western culture, as it is rooted in its very foundation, the Mosaic Decalogue. "You are not just caught in a trap. Violence is a part of your culture," he shouted angrily.
When it became quiet enough again for me to speak, I explained that the "eye for an eye" policy was not a part of the Decalogue at all. It became a part of the perversion of it. I suggested that the perversion is useful when it is seen as an after-statement. In that context it serves as a warning of what will inevitably unfold if the underlying principles of the Decalogue are not recognized or not understood. I described the Decalogue as a statement of principles without which civilization cannot exist.
I explained that the Decalogue presents a series of demands that relate to fundamental principle that are uniquely ordered in the sequence of our difficulty in understanding them. I suggested that the first demand, not to kill one another is actually the easiest of them all. It reflects the active principle that defines every human being as a worthy member of society, as a human being with the capacity to create, to produce, and thereby to enrich our human world. This makes killing undesirable. The recognition of this principle then sets the stage for the second demand, that one does not break the honorable bonds that unfold between human beings. The active principle, here, is the universality of love. I said that this principle is not easily acknowledged, but needs to be acknowledged. In other words, love cannot be limited or else it would violate the first principle of the universality of human worth. I said that the next demand, which is not to steal, has an underlying active principle that is even more difficult to implement. This principle demands one to actively enrich one another's existence. I suggested that if this isn't done, people do literally steal from one another as they destroy the vital element that makes our human world a rich place in an otherwise empty and cold world. In political terms, this principle is reflected in the general welfare principle that should be enshrined in the constitution of every nation to guide its policies.
The fourth demand is that one does not lie to one another, or more fundamentally, that one does not lie to oneself in denying ones innermost nature as a human being. The active principle in this case demands that one acknowledge the riches of the human being in terms of its potential scientific, technological, and cultural development, even ones own potential for developing oneself individually and for uplifting the world. This principle is not easily applied in an imperial and competitive environment where the incentive is put forward for tearing one another down. Nevertheless, this principle is imperative. This principle, in turn, sets the stage for the final demand, the demand not to covet property. The active principle, in this case, is universal sovereignty and freedom - freedom to develop and freedom to love. Unfortunately this is also the hardest principle to implement. The clamor for property underlies all imperial issues and motives. It underlies all of its apparent glitter and its apparent riches, but also all wars; all genocide; all slavery; violence; deprivations; fascism; and terrorism.
I suggested that the students search through the background of their own cultural history for a parallel to these five principles. I suggested that they appear to be reflected in the teachings of Confucius. I told the students that the modern western degenerative, so-called Christian doctrines, such as the "eye for an eye" doctrine, and all the other murderous penalties found in Hebrew law, are actually imperial creations enshrined as law by a powerful, religiously centered oligarchy that had created these laws for its own interests in its quest for dominance and power. "This doctrinal imposition still rules in our modern time," I warned the students, "whenever imperial doctrines are enshrined as law. This imperial imposition governs more and more of the policies of humanity today," I added.
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