1/20/2011

Bodyguards and Assassins

I like this movie. It was set at the dying days of the Qing Dynasty. Sun Yat Sen was a rebel, outcast by the Govt in Beijing. The movie was about his visit to Hongkong to organize a revolt against the corrupt and decadence Qing Govt. And HongKong was a British outpost occupied by foreigners and foreign talents. The Qing Govt was dead against the rebels challenging its authority to rule but closed an eye while the foreigners flourished in the country. The Qing Govt might not love the foreigners, but it was a case of not ruffling feathers. As long as the foreigners were doing their own business and not involved in the politics of the day, the Govt could live with it. Curbing the rebels and their cause was the main priority, to extend the rule of the Manchus. The Qing Govt sent a band of Imperial Guards to assassinate Sun Yat Sen in HongKong. The Imperial Guards were led by a devoted and loyal Commander called Yan XiaoGuo. His loyalty and conviction to the Govt of the day was unquestionable. He sincerely believed that exterminating the rebels was the right thing to do. His zeal was admirable if one does not make any subjective judgement on which side was right or wrong. Civil servants of such nature were exemplary and deserved every cent paid to them. And the Qing Dynasty was able to extend its corrupt ways for much longer than necessary at the detriment of the country and its people. The change and overthrow of a corrupt govt was made to take a much longer time with more bloodshed, misery and loss of life. Thanks to such loyal civil servants that pledged blind loyalty to the dynasty without question. In the case of Yan XiaoGuo, his loyalty was not blind loyalty but full of conviction that the Govt then was legitimate and good for China. Overthrowing the Govt was against the mandate of heaven. He died for his belief and in the execution of his duty as a loyal civil servant. But his zeal and devotion to his master nearly killed a patriot and prolonged the decadence of a bankrupt dynasty. And in the cause of following the ruthless order of his masters without questioning, many citizens were killed or maimed as a result.

3 comments:

Matilah_Singapura said...

Very hard to separate the historical and social culture from the political culture in China. They are intertwined.

"Obedience" to authority is socially cultural as well as politically cultural (Confucius and Mencius). You go against authority, you suffer the consequences -- although Mencius argues that the people had the right to overthrow the tyrant.

That's not going to change for awhile -- that's how it works in Chinese (China) society, and to any other political culture which is guided by Confucianism.

Wally Buffet said...

If I were one of the super rich, I sure would like to have this Yan Xiao Guo to be my bodyguard when I make my way to the bordello.

Unquestioningly loyal, that's the kind of guy you want to be by your side when the chips are down.

As to the debacle in Hong Kong, had Shifu Yan succeeded in his mission, history might have taken a different turn and that guy standing at the South Lawn of the White House with Obama today might be a Qing emissary but instead of the pride of a new China, there would be humiliation and subservience begging for a hand out instead of collecting a debt.

Man propose. God disposes.

Hehe. :o)

Anonymous said...

So, when is god going to save Sin?
Or,
at least show some apparition of potency to demi-gods and fake gods?