Thursday, August 14, 2008
It turned out that the opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympics was not all it seemed to be. The young girl who sang the national anthem was later revealed to have been miming: the actual singer, another young girl, was deemed at the last minute not be pretty enough. It also later came out that parts of the footage of the opening ceremony fireworks were pre-produced.
Yang Peiyi (L) had the perfect voice, but Lin Miaoke had the perfect face
In both cases, the Chinese defended the fakery on the grounds of improved theatre, and I suspect they genuinely think this is OK. In the West we don’t see it like this, we see it as fakery and manipulation.
I don’t think this is just a culture clash of equally valid value systems. I think it is that China has been authoritarian for so long, and so ideological, that it has got used to manipulating people as a matter of course. You tell people what to think, and that will be good for both them and the country. You tell them how to behave. The people need to feel their country is successful, so you lie in order to achieve that. It’s very 1984, very Pluto in Capricorn.
So a bit of manipulation at the Olympics is nothing in comparison to all this. Because they are so used to it, the Chinese authorities may not have realised that westerners would see it as fakery and deception.
The Chinese have spent $40bn dollars on their Olympics, more than all the other Olympics combined. The buildings they have put up are futuristic and imaginative and iconic. But the sheer money put into it all makes me feel that this nation wants to be number one, and sooner or later they will be. And they want us to know this.
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There are 2 charts for modern China: 21 Sept 1949, when the People’s Republic was proclaimed by Mao; and 1st Oct 1949, when the central government was proclaimed. I had a look at these in a previous post. And the charts seem to each work quite well for the people and the government respectively.
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In the 2nd chart, for the government, we see Sun in Libra square Uranus and Moon in Aquarius. So the flavour of this chart is revolutionary political ideas and ideology, which is an accurate description. Contrasting with this you have the chart for the people which has Sun and Moon in Virgo, describing a nation that is practical and hard-working, and again this is accurate. The Moon-Saturn conjunction describes the control (Saturn) of the people (Moon) by the government (Saturn).
The big question is whether China’s embrace of a modern economy will lead to a more open and democratic society. This is where the West in turn becomes ideological. Because we have experienced a long period of both economic growth and democratic government in the west, it has become part of our ideology that the 2 go together, and that China must inevitably become more democratic as its economy grows. There is little sign of that yet, and this may in the long term take some of the absolutism and evangelism out of the West’s belief in its own political system.
At the same time, it is hard to see what ideology remains to fuel the Chinese system of government. It can hardly be communism anymore. Yet the governmental chart, with Sun in Libra square Uranus, and Aquarius Moon, has a strong need for an ideology. Perhaps when Pluto and Uranus hard aspect the Chinese Libran Sun in a few years there will be some sort of crisis around its ideology. The last time Pluto hard aspected the Sun – the conjunction of around 1976 – Mao died, and the gradual transition to a western style economy began. This was certainly an ideological shift. So I think it is reasonable to expect another momentous shift, given the circumstances, though given the nature of Pluto, we may not fully know about it till years afterwards.