Friday, October 21, 2011

Hit-run incident in China leads to questioning of moral values in the "Peoples' Republic of Capitalism"

Keith Richburg has multiple stories on The Washington Post about an incident in China where bystanders refused to help a child after being struck by a hit-run driver, such as one on p A7 Thursday, here

The story suggests that atheistic values may contribute to apathy. But there are legal considerations. In the Chinese system, good Samaritans might be implicated, and the driver himself pays less in fines if the patient dies (I wondered, why doesn’t he go to jail?)

While materialism is discusses as a cause, I’m struck by reports of the collective moral instruction that circulated decades ago about the Cultural Revolution.  Today that period is seen as indicative of a lack of human rights in China.  But at the time, the far Left sometimes praised it as a way of making everyone “pay his dues” and “share a common vision”.  I recall a “People’s Party “ candidate for Congress in northern New Jersey in 1973 who actually praised the Chinese for their “morality” and decried the profit motive. Then he went along to set up the “Make Up Your Mind Bookstore” in Madison, NJ, which I visited once. 

Does anyone remember Ted Koppel's 2008 Discovery Channel report "The People's Republic of Capitalism", as written up by Felicia Lee in the NY Times here  (see TV blog, July 9, 2008).

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