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Mulan: Western Vs Eastern Philosophy

Cognisant

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The new Mulan movie sucks for the same reason the new Star Wars trilogy sucked and what I love about this is that Hollywood were trying to appeal to the Chinese government and people and in doing so they did EXACTLY what would tick them off the most and this isn't the first time, every time they include a token Chinese character more or less the same thing happens.

I think there's an inherent divide between eastern collectivism (the brotherhood of the original movie) and western individualism exemplified by "flawless" superheros, which can work and has worked in the past and the reason it worked then and not now isn't that the superhero is female, it's that when you have a flawless Superman or Batman (you see them in comics, cartoons and animated movies) the story isn't about them.

The new Batman movie that's coming out might actually be a return to the traditional Batman story formula, there's a crime, he investigates, he finds clues, he follows the clues, the story delves into who the antagonist is, what they're about, where they came from, what motivates them, etc, there's a final death defying confrontation and in the end Batman wins and the bad guy gets sent to Arkham while swearing vengeance or whatever, it's just like an Inspector Gadget cartoon episode but with darker themes.

This formula works because Batman may be the protagonist of the story but the story isn't about the protagonist, it's a tragedy, it's a story about the villain and their descent into madness and Batman is just along for the ride and the audience is riding along with him. This is why people say Batman is nothing without his rogues gallery because it's true, he's an implacable flawless stoic who powers through every obstacle in his path in the same relentless way Superman does, the best you can do is temporarily slow him down.

The same formula would work for this new Mulan, right from the first scene it can be established that she's this fearsome magical warrior, a goddess among mortals, a character with a "flat arch" just as Goku has a flat character arch, Mulan is Mulan and will be the same Mulan tomorrow as she is today and that's fine because the story isn't about her, it's about the villain. Accordingly you'll need an interesting villain to carry the story, consider the sort of villains superhero movies usually have: Loki, Ultron, Thanos, The Joker, Bane, Orm Marius, they're all larger than life characters and the movie revolves around their motivations, except Age of Ultron which sucked because his motivations weren't clear which makes it the exception that proves my point.

Anyway forget superheroes what's really interesting about all this is how the west has this rabid individualism which shows through in superheroes and mary sue characters whereas the original Mulan movie was well received in China because it was about being a part of something bigger than oneself without losing oneself to it but rather using one's individual strengths to the betterment of everyone, an ideology that Chinese (communism influenced) audiences can identify with and a motif that is lost on individualistic western audiences. This goes beyond movies and could be an explanation for China's rising influence on the global stage while the west in particular the USA is waning, against the USSR which was bureaucratic and rife with corruption the USA's unbridled capitalism surged ahead and born of that is this idea that communists don't understand money, that being competitive is more important to success than cooperation.

China's success is proving the old theories wrong, these so-called communists do understand money and their willingness to cooperate is taking the world by storm.

 

ZenRaiden

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By the time Western world figures out whether wearing a mask is a good thing or not, the Chinese will have a fucking spaceship on mars and a giant ass spacelab on the orbit. They work harder, have more discipline and more IQ than west. Simple as that. They know what it means to be poor which makes them less susceptible to overthink first world problems and focus on real priorities in life.

Collectivism is seen as wrong, because the Western civilization is build on ID rather than superego.

The Chinese do not have superpowers. They just know what is best for them and they know that the best things do not come cheap, but with hard work.
 

Cognisant

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Where the USSR failed is that their collectivism impeded innovation, their system relied entirely upon the competence of the people in government whereas venture capitalism encourages everyone to look for opportunities and present them to the venture capitalists who have the means to make it happen, it's little surprise that the USA enjoyed such explosive growth after WWII.

But the US economic system relies upon that growth, they need a frontier to rape and pillage in much the same way pyramid scheme always needs more people to sell to, the competitive/exploitative way the US and the west in general does business runs into the problem that we're shitting where we eat. China is doing capitalism but with governmental oversight, they're setting up corporations but keeping them on a leash so that the actions of those corporations don't upset China's grand plans.

They're forging trade routs, alliances, building infrastructure, building up their partners, they're nation building on a global scale which is something the West in our rape and pillage mindset (competing rather than cooperating) is currently incapable of doing.
 

scorpiomover

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Anyway forget superheroes what's really interesting about all this is how the west has this rabid individualism which shows through in superheroes and mary sue characters whereas the original Mulan movie was well received in China because it was about being a part of something bigger than oneself without losing oneself to it but rather using one's individual strengths to the betterment of everyone, an ideology that Chinese (communism influenced) audiences can identify with and a motif that is lost on individualistic western audiences. This goes beyond movies and could be an explanation for China's rising influence on the global stage while the west in particular the USA is waning, against the USSR which was bureaucratic and rife with corruption the USA's unbridled capitalism surged ahead and born of that is this idea that communists don't understand money, that being competitive is more important to success than cooperation.

China's success is proving the old theories wrong, these so-called communists do understand money and their willingness to cooperate is taking the world by storm.
The Chinese have clearly become far more individualist and far more capitalist (they have far more millionaires than ever before, despite millions still living in abject poverty).

But they are very patriotic, and work together with other Chinese for the mutual betterment of their people.

They have also massively benefitted from being given freedom to access Western technology to improve China and the lot of Chinese people, which is clear, when you compare China today to how it was before Nixon's deal in the 1970s.

Old American superheroes were very flawed, and extremely individualistic. But they had good characters and were intensely patriotic. The supervillains would give them impossible challenges, like when Lex Luthor shot TWO nuclear missiles at opposite ends of the USA, when Superman would only have enough time to stop one of them.

More importantly, no matter how many people Lex Luthor and the Joker have killed, and no matter how many times they escape prison or Arkham Asylum and kill again and again, Superman and Batman never kill them and only make a citizen's arrest, because that's the most they can do under American law. America comes first.

Modern American superheroes are rather multi-dimensional characters who have immense power, but have deeply flawed characters, like Iron Man, who makes AIs without any thought of the danger. Modern supervillains are ridiculously unbeatable and rather 1-D. Thanos doesn't even seem to care when Thor punches him. Thanos' great plan is to cull the population, which is about as trite and Malthusian as you can get. There's no nuance to it.

More importantly, modern American superheroes are usually following their values, and either ignoring the government's rules and laws, or even sometimes go to war with their own government.

American patriotic individualism has changed into anti-patriotic collectivism. Nowadays, you hear about collectivist movements that hold protests and demonstrations on behalf of minorities, that usually blame the government or the people, or sections of the people, for the problems of minorities.

So you've got lots of different groups in the USA, who are all fighting for their own causes, or causes of groups they have alliances with. But they're fighting for their own people, against the government, the country, and the American people as a whole.

So each time they win, subsets of America benefit. But Americans as a collective, are worse off.

In America, individualism has given way to collectivism. But in the process, the commitment to the collective is considered completely satisfied. So there's no desire to tweak movements to accommodate the needs of Americans as a whole.

In China, the reverse has happened. Collectivism has given way to individualism. But in the process, the commitment to the collective is considered completely unsatisfied by itself. So there's a huge desire to tweak movements to accommodate the needs of the Chinese people as a whole.

What China has proved, was the old American way, the one that existed in the 1950s, that the West has turned its back on, was not so bad after all, and actually seems to work, for Americans, Westerners, and Chinese alike.
 

sushi

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most collectivist culture is japan, korea comes close second, china is collectivist in appearance, but individualistic in inside.
 
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