Dreams of De-Westernization – Pattberg on Key Concepts in Chinese Thought

Pattberg: "For men and women of letters, racism seems but a trifle compared to the ongoing prejudices against foreign words."

“For men and women of letters, racism seems but a trifle compared to the ongoing prejudices against foreign words.”

“We cannot act as if China didn’t matter, as if the East-Asians for the last 3000 years invented nothing worth of naming and branding. The liberation of Chinese culture – its words and concepts – has only just begun.”

Thorsten J. Pattberg (裴德) explains Xi Jinping’s Dreams of De-Westernization, the Zhongguo Meng (“Chinese dream”), the marketplace for Chinese words, the competition for terminologies, and in particular the liberalization of Chinese key concepts in global writings.

Despite understandable anxiety and resistance from Western politicians, professors, and journalists, and attempts by Western publishers, news desks, and editorials to keep the English language “pure” and “unpolluted,” the Chinese people (just everyone else) must stand up and assert themselves, their names, brands and ideas.


Pattberg: Beijing the “Center of a Linguistic Revolution” (Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture)

BEIJING – A revolution is underway in China, and it is unstoppable. While The New York Times, The Economist, BBC, CNN, and all Western media and scholarship still practice Orwellian rules of writing and avoid Chinese words in their China reports, a new generation of writers, scholars, and artists are not having any of it:

Whether it is shengren or junzi, baijiu or baozi, dama or taizidang –Chinese words are fashionable. There are tens of thousands of “untranslatable” Chinese key concepts out there that deserve their proper place in world history. The usual suspects like kungfu, qi, and wushu aren’t just enough for young writers. They want more.

In the past, when black people were not allowed to ride public buses in the United States, and when Asian words were shunned and censored in all writings, Western men (and few women) of letters had to improvise and “invent” translations for foreign ideas. Hence ruxue became “Confucianism”, following the Western understanding of religion: locate a messiah figure (Kong Zi) and add –ism.

Today, this form of reckless language segregation and intellectual property theft is crumbling. If we can liberate the races, we can also free their cultures. We must protect their names, words, and concepts.

China is not alone. In Japan, Shinzo Abe is promoting ‘Cool Japan’, boosting Japanese culture from genki to kawaii. Likewise, India’s Narendra Modi is supporting a revival of Hindu/Sanskrit terms around the globe.

Now Xi Jinping has discovered the secret to China’s soft power: It is Zhongguo Meng, not “Chinese Dream”. We in Beijing are at the center of this small but significant change of how people will write in the future. We are entering the post-translational society.

Thorsten J. Pattberg (PhD) is a German philosopher and cultural critic, and the author of The East-West Dichotomy and many other works on East-West relations. He can be reached at pattberg’at’pku.edu.cn.

Further reading:

  1. 《怎么翻译中华文明的核心词》 http://www.infzm.com/content/91278
  2. 《官方出品 中国传统词汇英语翻译权威版本发布》 http://edu.sina.com.cn/en/2014-12-25/111886104.shtml
  3. Knowledge is a Polyglot: The Future of Global Language, Big Think, http://bigthink.com/big-think-tv/knowledge-is-a-polyglot-the-future-of-global-language

Western media is full of shit

Western media is full of shit

The idea that only soldiers fought wars must be rigorously refuted. Scholarship, in fact, the history of the world, is not a string of truths, but the chronicle of survivors. Scholars and journalists are believed to be a benign force of the good. They are not. They are full of shit.

Watch the video HERE (or click on the image above).

Western media is full of shit

…but you can always count on Western scholarship trailing not far behind. China in particular has been the target of ‘Western values’ propaganda and misinformation for centuries, with no end in sight. The NY Times, Economist magazine, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg all practice ‘Orwellian rules of writing’ and suppress non-Western words, ideas, and concepts. Thorsten Pattberg is the author of ‘The rising cult of China experts’ and ‘Free Asian Pacific from Western hold’.


I stumbled into a nest so-called ‘China Experts’ coincidentally while studying the history of Confucianism (the correct name is ‘ru’ or ‘ruxue’). I discovered that most Western accounts were of ruxue are deliberately fake or outright distortions. Those Western philosophers, missionaries, scholars, and journalists never wanted to understand. It was always about life and death of cultures, “us versus them”. The idea that only soldiers fought wars must be rigorously refuted. Scholarship, in fact, the history of the world, is not a string of truths, but the chronicle of survivors. Scholars and journalists are believed to be a benign force of the good. They are not. They are full of shit.

Today, the US media (which is mirrored in its satellite states) promotes a cult of ‘Western values’ and employs ‘press soldiers’ in strategic places all over the world with the profitable mission to distort, defame, and destabilize foreign nations, their governments, and their people. Back in the West, Eastern thought and cultures are censored. This is possible because of brutal segregation of thought and cultures, for example by rampant language imperialism. All Western journalists, especially those at the NYT, WSJ, Economist, Bloomberg etc., practice ‘Orwellian rules of writing’ and are obliged to write pure and clean English, and to avoid foreign words.

There is, in my view, nothing that those foreign nations, governments, and their people can do about those Western methods; although, of course, most are still trying to please. The reality is, it never was about what they did or do; their mere presence (or “existence”) as non-Western nations, governments, and people was (and always will be) the single most important factor for why they were patronized, coerced, and –if need be- viciously attacked. If Asia should ever recover from those brutal Western attacks, most Western scholars must fear for their legacy when it is found they were a bunch of racists and imperialists who were constantly making up realities. It’s like the ultimate revelation that the Western version of history was complete forgery. That’s why those so-called ‘China Experts’, be they professors or journalists, are up in their arms to prevent China from rising. They know very well that if new elites rise, the old ones may get punished and pushed out of business.

This atmosphere of Western fear and negativity gets worse by the year, because this ‘Cult of China Experts’, empowered by the US media monopoly, now reigns supremely from Beijing over Shanghai to Hong Kong. Voices for moderation, neutrality, and calls for humanity are largely marginalized and censored in the West. But what we can humbly do is to record these unruly times so that following generations of investigators might get a better picture of how this branch of Western ‘press soldiery’ was able to drag us all into darkness, silenced its critics, caused misery and distrust, and profited immensely from their militant methods and reckless ambitions.

The rising cult of China experts:


Free Asia-Pacific from Western hold:


About the author:


Noam Chomsky and George Yancy drop the bomb on US racism (Commentary)

Noam Chomsky and George Yance drop bomb on US racism

Noam Chomsky and George Yance drop bomb on US racism

Well said, sirs. But it’s in the NY Times (!). You must publish this outside the US (in China, Germany, France or Japan for example) in order to show your activism. No one can help the American people from inside the system; it is too tight and too dangerous. The NY Times is the one flagship paper that enabled it all: US imperialism, terror, and racism for over a century and a half. It still brutally censors 95% of the rest of the world, and practices Orwellian rules of writing in order to keep its language pure and clean of foreign pollution. If the (politically connected) editors allow critics such as Noam Chomsky and George Yancy, that’s because they don’t take you two “beneficiaries” of the system very serious. Did you sell more books after the show? Good for you. Even the most authoritarian rulers tolerated a form of self-criticism from time to time. And invented the court jesters.

“The colonists at once created the Great Seal of the Colony, which depicts an Indian holding a spear pointing downward in a sign of peace, with a scroll coming from his mouth pleading with the colonists to “Come over and help us.” This may have been the first case of “humanitarian intervention” — and, curiously, it turned out like so many others.” –Noam Chomsky

Read full article: Noam Chomsky on the Roots of American Racism

When journalists ARE the story: Angela Köckritz

Angela Kockritz becomes her own story - Extreme journalism

Angela Kockritz IS the story about HER taking on China – Journalism extreme; Source: ZAPP / NDR / ARD “Es war ein Riesenschock”

Great show China Uncensored (hosted by Chris Chappell) on the the case of Angela Köckritz: Satire and sarcasm is nice. However, I am not so sure about Angela Köckritz. We only have what she herself wrote and said in interviews. Therein, she admits that she and Zhang Miao participated in anti-Government demonstrations in Hong Kong, that Zhang Miao turned into a full-blown activist, and that Köckritz even foresaw the trouble Zhang would get herself into when heading back to Beijing.

Köckritz also knew that her cover would blew if Zhang was investigated or stopped by any local police really, because her Chinese friend was not even properly registered as media assistant of DIE ZEIT in China. Köckritz confesses in her own writing that Zhang was never legally employed by DIE ZEIT in order to save money and insurance (you don’t want to pay Chinese people the same as you pay white Western expats, it’s the simple truth), and she never was registered as assistant to DIE ZEIT in China precisely because Angela Köckritz and her employer wanted to break the laws and regulations. You know, see what happens.

Mind you, even the The New York Times or Bloomberg have to register their Chinese assistants. As to Köckritz, it is difficult to categorize her activities in China in hindsight, and unbiased. The reason for that is mainly the history of Western colonialism and imperialism. Let me explain that briefly: Technically, there cannot exist white Western “spies” or “terrorists”; if they are white and Western they call each other “journalists” and “activists”.

What is more, ‘foreign agent’ is not a job description. They have no agent business cards. Even agents have proper jobs as journalists or cultural attachés in China. But they also have good working relations with their governments, and their activities are often (intentionally or not) a contribution to distort and disrupt a foreign government, or to intimidate its officials, say, by participating in anti-government demonstrations, so they are doing the work of foreign agents or disrupters or provocateurs after all.

Having said all that, German media doesn’t get to decide whether certain individuals are spies or not -a foreign government decides that. In this case China. Köckritz admits that she worked with German diplomats. Diplomats even brought her to the airport, and out of the country. We know today that the story that she “had to flee China” overnight was probably entirely fabricated. There was no arrest warrant, and her visa allowed for re-entry. Once the media bullshit is over, Köckritz will probably be back in Beijing (if she can overcome the shame).

At least she is brutally honest (which I think is healthy) that she and DIE ZEIT have political support, work hand in hand with politics, including the foreign ministry, to solve the Zhang Miao issue. She admits she and her employer and the diplomats tried to intimidate the local police to solve the Zhang Miao case outside the law, bypassing the formal ways, effectively threatening police work with the power of a full-blown Western anti-China campaign if the officers don’t comply.

The Germans precisely abuse their political connections, influence, and corrupt ways they otherwise accuse the Chinese elites of. The Chinese officials were not impressed and adviced the Germans, as paraphrased here in a Global Times article, to get “a competent lawyer” for Zhang Miao and proceed the legal way, instead of instigating a trial by media. What a thing to say to a group of white Western people. Don’t the Asians know that they’ll get a whipping for displeasing their Western colonial masters?

The entire story, I claim, tells more about German hypocrisy, white entitlement, institutionalized racism, and Western privilege in China than it tells about Chinese laws. In other words, a clear line between journalism and politics has clearly ceased to exist in this particular German case. And if a media fabricates a story in which that media itself IS the story, we should all run for cover.

裴德思:为什么中国梦的翻译是“Zhongguo Meng”,而不是“Chinese Dream”?

Zhongguo Meng or Chinese Dream历史是这样告诉我们的:(大多数)强大的国家对其他国家的影响也包括语言在内。所以,不要去翻译汉语的关键术语!功夫、武术、圣人、君子以及中国梦都是如此。为什么?因为一旦将汉语概念翻译成英语,就失掉了汉语的思维方式。

除非欧洲的课堂里也在教授中国梦,中国文化才真的得到解放。否则,西方读者看到“Chinese Dream”这两个词的时候,脑海里总是有美国梦做参考。斯洛文尼亚哲学家斯拉沃热·齐泽克曾经说过:“千万不要做不属于自己的梦。”




Legions of lesser, disposable China watchers

“Last, we have legions of lesser, disposable China watchers. Few of them enjoy fat expat packages, bigwig relatives in the media, or peddling political influence. Unable to find proper jobs and secure a future in China – apart from becoming activists, bloggers, or English teachers- they are recruited easily and radicalize quickly. Everyone has met those frustrated Westerners who once believed in their entitlement, got disillusioned, and found a way to spend their days: to patronize and correct the Chinese.”
Pattberg, Thorsten, ‘The rising cult of China experts’Asia Times, Oct 23, 2014
[Pattberg Quotes]

New Book: Corruption in China – Meditations on Salary, Mistresses, Confucianism, and Chinese Academia

Corruption in China: Meditations on Salary, Mistresses, Confucianism, and Chinese Academia (03/2015)

Corruption in China: Meditations on Salary, Mistresses, Confucianism, and Chinese Academia (03/2015)

The modern junzi or “gentleman” never asks for salary. It is considered bad sport. Once ‘in’, he will always find ways to triple or quadruple his income by other means. He is a sly entrepreneur and a well-connected connoisseur. Reluctantly, he married young his faithful wife (who is in love with another man). Casually he visits the whores. But tonight he is going to bang his mistress in some upscale Karaoke-bar in Zhongguancun. Indifferently, he attracts power and collects sinecures and perks, yet is never seen at work. He is a journeyman, a teacher of life, an exemplary personality, and, if he so lives long enough, will eventually attain some form of sagehood. At heart, he is a Confucianist. He cares for his family, he says. The junzi is highly morally creative and has a superior intellect. He is hopelessly in love only with wisdom and academia.

“In a typical Chinese environment where everyone lacks money but the mother lode is rich, the only way to get the money out of her register is by handing in a fapiao for exchange — an invoice for cash reimbursement. Experienced senior cadres will present fapiao for their business trips, stationary, electronics, watches, public transport, karaoke, dating, gifts and, most important, always lavish and excessive food for their business partners and friends.”

From the back cover:

Four thought-provoking essays by German writer and cultural critic Thorsten Pattberg on Chinese corruption during the Xi Jinping era, addressing the issues of full salary, mistress culture, new Confucianism, and rampant cronyism in China’s academia.

About the author:

Dr. Thorsten J. Pattberg (裴德思 Pei Desi) is a German philosopher and cultural critic.

He has written and published extensively about Global language, the Competition for terminologies, and the End of translation. He discovered the Shengren as a unique, untranslatable, non-European archetype of wisdom; is the founder of Language Imperialism; and is actively promoting Eastern thought, in particular Chinese terminologies, on a global scale.

Dr. Pattberg attended Edinburgh University, Fudan University, Tokyo University, and Harvard University, and earned his doctorate degree from The Institute of World Literature at Peking University. He studied under the guiding stars of Ji Xianlin, Gu Zhengkun, and Tu Weiming, whom he considers his spiritual masters.

He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo; and a former Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies (IAHS), Peking University. He is the author of several monographs, including The East-West dichotomyShengren – Above Philosophy and Beyond ReligionHoly ConfuciusInside Peking UniversityLanguage ImperialismDiary of a Mad Imperialist, etc., and some of his representative articles are ‘Language hegemony – It’s shengren, stupid!,’ ‘Long into the West’s dragon business,’ ‘China: Lost in Translation,’ and ‘The end of translation.’

He is a native of North Rhine-Westphalia, the City of Hamm -Read: ‘Der Konfuzius aus Bockum-Hövel‘.

  • Publisher: LoD Press, New York (March 4, 2015)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:0984209190
  • ISBN-13:978-0984209194


Pattberg: Western ‘social justice warriors’ take on China

“Favorite targets are: corrupt officials, suppressed minorities, Han chauvinism and misogyny, demonstrations, currency manipulation, and censorship. It makes China experts feel good about themselves. They feel like social justice warriors. The problem: this is not their country, and their negativity is poisoning everything.”

Pattberg, Thorsten, ‘The rising cult of China experts’Asia Times, Oct 23, 2014

Use Chinese key terms in China reports and stop language imperialism

Richard Javad Heydarian

Richard Javad Heydarian; Image source; LobeLog.com

Richard Javad Heydarian (see picture) is a “specialist in Asian affairs”, yet he practices outdated Orwellian rules of writing (5th Rule: Avoid foreign words!), for example in his recent: China’s ‘Likenomics’. We understand in some poets the aesthetic need for purity of language and the desire to keep their texts free from foreign pollution. But in foreign affairs? Mr Heydarian does not use a single Chinese key term in his China report. It is an article about China that is literally kept ‘Chinese-free’. There’s a name for this method: Language Imperialism. Fortunately, we all are living in the 21st Century, so no more cultural property theft, please: “Chinese Dream” should be zhongguomeng and the “Four Comprehensives” should be si ge quanmian, etc. We must protect more non-Western names, brands, inventions, and cultural key terminologies in global writings. The liberalization of non-Western words and concepts has only just begun.

Original comment: @Richeydarian Use Chinese key terms in your China reports. Stop language imperialism – China’s Likenomics’ http://fw.to/qzBIa4B #Pattberg