World on Fire by Amy Chua


Thus, in his famous tract The Jews of the East, King Vajiravudh compared his country’s Chinese minority to the European Jews. His main arguments, summarized by historian Victor Purcell, are as follows:

In Siam… there exists a situation analogous to the Jewish question in countries of the West. This is “The Yellow Peril.” The danger arises solely from the chinese from whom the Siamese are even more different than Europeans are from the Jews. The first similarity between the Chinese and the Jews is in the matter of “racial loyalty.” No matter where they live, what nationality they assume, Chinese remain esentially Chinese. But theirs is race loyalty, not love of country…

It is argued that Chinese intermarry with the people of the country: so do the Jews. But when a Chinese man marries a Thai woman, the woman becomes a Chinese and adopts Chinese customs in every detail. Their children become Chinese also. But if a Thai man marries a Chinese woman she continues to be Chinese. The man finds himself adopting Chinese ways and conforming to the Chinese pattern of life. As for the children, even though they are Thai in name they are psychologically Chinese…

The second characteristic of the Jews is found developed in the Chinese also. That is, the Chinese, like the Jews, are an ancient race, whose high civilization was developed at a time when our ancestors had not emerged from savagery. They divide the world into two classes – the Chinese and the barbarians… They are likely to think that we exist only to be robbed or cheated…

Chinese are willing to undergo any sort of privation for the sake of money. Anyone who has watched Chinese coolies eat cannot help but feel a sense of revulsion, since it seems that the food they eat would hardly attract the curs which roam the streets. And if one speaks of the places where they lie, it is amazing that so many persons can squeeze themselves into a space so small that no other race on earth could manage to breathe in it. This being the case, it is not surprising that the Chinese can manage to corner all the available work for themselves. (p. 181)


On the other hand, we have to be realistic. The truth is that the underlying causes of market dominance are poorly understood, difficult to reduce to tangible factors, and in any event highly intractable. Research, for example, suggests that additional educational spending, if not accompanied by major socioeconomic reforms, produces depressingly few benefits. (p. 265)


About Therese

28 years old | Chinese-Filipina | University of the Philippines Diliman - BA European Languages (Spanish major, Speech Communication minor) 2011 | National Chengchi University - MA International Development | Working in the freight forwarding/logistics industry Learning to believe in myself more and not being afraid to seize opportunities ♥

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