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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Yellow Peril: 2010 and 1920

After watching this commercial, read the excerpt below from The Rising Tide Of Color, a 1920 bestseller (publisher: Charles Scribner) by Lothrop Stoddard (Harvard College class of 1905, Harvard PhD in History 1914).





From The Rising Tide Of Color (Amazon: "Stoddard's arguments were once taken seriously by the American establishment and President Warren G. Harding publicly praised this book at a public speech on 26 October 1922. The introduction to this book was written by Madison Grant, Chairman of the New York Zoological Society, and Trustee of the American Museum of Natural History."). Web version.

[Chapter 2]

... And another French observer, RenÈ Pinon, as far back as 1905, found the primary school children of Kiang-Su province chanting the following lines: "I pray that the frontiers of my country become hard as bronze; that it surpass Europe and America; that it subjugate Japan; that its land and sea armies cover themselves with resplendent glory: that over the whole earth float the Dragon Standard; that the universal mastery of the empire extend and progress. May our empire, like a sleeping tiger suddenly awakened, spring roaring into the arena of combats." (RenÈ Pinon, "La Lutte pour le Pacifique," p. 152 (Paris, 1906).)

... Nor are the Chinese themselves blind to the advantages of Chino-Japanese co-operation. They have an instinctive assurance in their own capacities, they know how they have ultimately digested all their conquerors, and many Chinese to-day think that from a Chino-Japanese partnership, no matter how framed, the inscrutable "Sons of Han" would eventually get the lion's share. Certainly no one has ever denied the Chinaman's extraordinary economic efficiency. Winnowed by ages of grim elimination in a land populated to the uttermost limits of subsistence, the Chinese race is selected as no other for survival under the fiercest conditions of economic stress. At home the average Chinese lives his whole life literally within a hand's breadth of starvation. Accordingly, when removed to the easier environment of other lands, the Chinaman brings with him a working capacity which simply appalls his competitors. That urbane Celestial, Doctor Wu-Ting-Fang, well says of his own people: "Experience proves that the Chinese as all-round laborers can easily outdistance all competitors. They are industrious, intelligent, and orderly. They can work under conditions that would kill a man of less hardy race; in heat that would kill a salamander, or in cold that would please a polar bear, sustaining their energies, through long hours of unremitting toil with only a few bowls of rice." (Quoted by Alleyne Ireland, "Commercial Aspects of the Yellow Peril," North American Review, September, 1900.)

This Chinese estimate is echoed by the most competent foreign observers. The Australian thinker, Charles E. Pearson, wrote of the Chinese a generation ago in his epoch-making book, "National Life and Character": "Flexible as Jews, they can thrive on the mountain plateaux of Thibet and under the sun of Singapore; more versatile even than Jews, they are excellent laborers, and not without merit as soldiers and sailors; while they have a capacity for trade which no other nation of the East possesses. They do not need even the accident of a man of genius to develop their magnificent future." (Charles H. Pearson, "National Life and Character," p. 118 (2nd edition).)

And Lafcadio Hearn says: "A people of hundreds of millions disciplined for thousands of years to the most untiring industry and the most self-denying thrift, under conditions which would mean worse than death for our working masses -- a people, in short, quite content to strive to the uttermost in exchange for the simple privilege of life." (Quoted by Ireland, supra.)

This economic superiority of the Chinaman shows not only with other races, but with his yellow kindred as well. As regards the Japanese, John Chinaman has proved it to the hilt. Wherever the two have met in economic competition, John has won hands down. Even in Japanese colonies like Korea and Formosa, the Japanese, with all the backing of their government behind them, have been worsted. ...

[Chapter 11]

... Thirty years ago, Professor Pearson forecast China's imminent industrial transformation. "Does any one doubt," he asks, "that the day is at hand when China will have cheap fuel from her coal-mines, cheap transport by railways and steamers, and will have founded technical schools to develop her industries? Whenever that day comes, she may wrest the control of the world's markets, especially throughout Asia, from England and Germany." (Pearson, p. 133.)

... Of course there is another side to the story. Low wages alone do not insure cheap production. As Professor Ross remarks: "For all his native capacity, the coolie will need a long course of schooling, industrial training, and factory atmosphere before he inches up abreast of the German or American working man." (Ross, p. 119.) In the technical and directing staffs there is the same absence of the modern industrial spirit, resulting in chronic mismanagement, while Chinese industry is further handicapped by traditional evils like "squeeze," nepotism, lust for quick profits, and incapacity for sustained business team-play. These failings are not peculiar to China; they hamper the industrial development of other Asiatic countries, notably India. Still, the way in which Japanese industry, with all its faults, is perfecting both its technic and its methods shows that these failings will be gradually overcome ...

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