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The End of the World as I See It

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Ziyao “Ryan” Li FWIS 194, Final Paper Dr. Ben Wright

The End Of The World As I See It
When I started to form tiny fractions of memories, China’s booming economy, its

open-door policy, and big social reforms began taking places as it leaped into the 2000 millennial. All these changes lead to a more vivid and intermixing culture where novel lifestyle, alternative thoughts, and "non-traditional" religions like Christianity can thrive. I was lucky to be standing at the crossroad where China started to embrace different cultures and various religions. Thanks to the opened-up culture atmosphere, I was exposed to the clash of cultures between western ideology and traditional Confucianism thoughts. The word “apocalypse” was not even in my dictionary previously until Hollywood introduced it to me in the most dramatic ways I could possibly imagine, and ever since my speculation of the Apocalypse never stopped evolving. From more unrealistic predictions involving in zombies, Godzilla, and DNA-modified prehistoric killer dinosaurs, to more practical speculations like nuclear war and ozone depletion, I was constantly updating my Apocalypse view. With my increasing understanding of the mechanism of how the world functions as a whole, I realized that a global hot war is imminently possible since politics can exert a strong influence on the global situation. In a sense, the transformation China experienced was a direct result from the power of politics. In this essay, I will establish the following hypothesis: The world is going to end with a global political meltdown

resulting from a dramatic chain reaction initiated by a single country’s misplay. I would like to start my augment with pointing out that politics can also serve a powerful tool of massive brainwashing, and a hypnotized county is able to unleash the most dreadful power. Here, I will support my point using Nazi Germany and Nazi Japan as examples. Adolf Hitler came into power as a Chancellor of Germany in January 1933, through the appointment from President Paul Von Hindenburg. On the night of 27 February 1933, the Reichstag building was set on fire, and a Dutch communist was found guilty of this arson. Hitler intentionally steered the public opinions towards Communism, which allowed him to launch a nationwide campaign targeting at Communism. With President Paul Von Hindenburg’s death in 1934, Hitler gained total control over Germany, thus initiating series of propagandas that promised Germany a “Marxist-free country without the constraints of the Versailles Treaty”.1 The power of politics as a powerful brainwashing tool revealed itself completely. The establishment of Nazi concentration camp, the public hostility against the Jews, and the invasion of Poland, were all direct products from the perfect mind-controlling machine that politics created. The concentration of power made it possible to create the perfect brainwashing machine. By implementing tight control over the median and public thoughts, Nazi Germany could rule without having to worry about the public voice attacking the government decision. By publicizing Nazi philosophy, Hitler was able to assimilate the whole nation with one

1

Kershaw, Ian (2001) [1987]. The "Hitler Myth": Image and Reality in the Third Reich. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.

central idea. By recruiting like-minded young man, Hitler was able to finish his ambition of expansion with the most unified and well-trained soldiers. Similar to the situation happened in Nazi Germany, Nazi Japan had an unusual obsession with its Emperor (Tennō). The Nazi Japan soldiers mystified their Emperor, considering him a God. Not until Japan surrendered did the soldiers realize that he was just a normal human being in his 80s, dying. Political campaign caused the blindness, sacrificing the soldiers for nothing but a mirage. A nation, so centralized and so polarized in thoughts, would undoubtedly create the most hideous crime in human history: massive murder, human experimentation, use of chemical weapons, and etc. 2 As it clearly shows, a brainwashed country caused by political propaganda is able to deliver the world with the worst torment. It was fascinating to see how different countries document WWII. History is subject to errors and some deliberate “tweaks”. China, for example, overemphasized its efforts in Asian Pacific by depicting the victory as a “heroic defeat by the courageous Chinese people.” However, my own research led me to believe, most subjectively, that the defeat of Japan in Pacific is largely credited to Americans, punctuated by Fat Man and Little Boy. Surprisingly, I did not find these disparities within history books before I came to America. Through further conversations with the diverse student body at Rice, I realized that documented history is essentially shaped by those in power. Japanese wrote

2 A more

specific list is listed here: attacks on Pearl Harbor, Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong; Mass killings; Human experimentation; use of chemical weapons torture of prisoners of war; execution and killing of captured Allied airmen; Cannibalism; Forced labor; Comfort women; looting; perfidy. Information was gathered from The International Military Tribunal for the Far East and other historical documentations and video tapes.

clips of fabricated history in their textbooks, denying their war crimes; some chauvinistic Americans said that the victory WWII was solely an American effort; etc. I believe that these thoughts are all remnants of their past education and the version of the history they were exposed to, two of the most powerful tools to shape a nation’s peoples’ perspectives on past events, just like I thought that China was primarily credited for the defeat of Japan. Deep inside our subconscious, we were injected with our own nation’s interpretation of history, reinforced over and over again by reading assigned history books, school exams, and television shows. We are all, in a sense, brainwashed, and as I discussed above, the consequences can be dreadful if we were to be bonded by its power. Moreover, politics can interfere with scientific research as well as its outcome. Continuing my discussion above on WWII, the Manhattan Project can best exemplify my point of view. Essentially, the development of the nuclear bomb was a political decision. After the discovery of the famous Mass-Energy Equivalence by Albert Einstein, the arms race between The Axis and The Allies started immediately. The development in science forced politics to react, especially when nations were at war. The start of the Manhattan Project on the Allies side amassed the most renowned physicists including Julius Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, Aage Bohr, John von Neumann, ordering them to work on the development of the "biggest bomb" under the highest secrecy. On the other side, The Axis was also determined to exploit the power of massive destruction. Werner Heisenberg, the founder of Quantum Physics, was appointed as the leader of the nuclear bomb project in Nazi Germany. It was either because of Werner Heisenberg's "incompetence" or his suspicion of the Hitler realm that caused the failure of constructing

the nuclear bomb on The Axis side; the Allies successfully engineered the nuclear bomb and promptly applied it on the battle field. The detonation of Little Boy and Fat Man in Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought the world with the its worst nightmare. Suppose Nazi Germany created nuclear bomb before the Americans, it would be reasonable to deduce that we would be living in a world similar to that described in George Orwell’s 1984. I vividly remember my feelings when I finished reading it. Shock of Wiston’s conversion, followed by anger of his surrender, and then the despair of finding out that the only person who could have a chance failed, flooded over me. It made me shiver, picturing a dystopia that is ruled under total suppression where there is nothing but darkness and ignorance. Rather than the complete annihilation of human beings on earth, I tend to consider the dominance over culture and mind the mark of the end of one civilization, in another word, the Apocalypse. The world that I used to know would cease to exist: Nazi flags towering our heads, tight surveillance, spying, groundless prosecution, and so on. This is the worst end of day scenario that I could imagine. The very creation of the nuclear bomb as a product of politics bothers me. It made me lament how little we can do facing The Political Machine. The process of developing the nuclear bomb can be easily duplicated given the right condition: a scientific breakthrough and a nod from the President. It strengthens my idea on how the world would end eventually: politics. Viewed in a relatively contemporary settings, politics can interfere with the economy, which is essential to a country’s wellbeing, and it is not surprise that devastating sanction on a country’s economy may trigger a global hot war. To begin with,

I would like to discuss the 1972 Oil Crisis. In October 1973, the OPEC decided to proclaim an embargo, which raised the oil price from $3 to $12 within in 5 months. The cause of the embargo was a result from historical grudges between Arab Nations and Israel3 that was largely political. When UN assigned Israel the territory out of Arab, Arab rooted its hatred for Israel, and when America assisted Israel, the suppressed dissatisfaction towards the western powers exploded, leading to the global oil crisis. Seeking vengeance to the international mistreat and in a response to the America’s aid to Israel, OPEC first raised the posted oil price, and administered the embargo the following day. According to the short-term inelasticity of oil demand, the sellers had to increase the price to relieve the supply shortage. In the long term, it affected the Soviet reaction to the Middle East, which ultimately lead to a local hot war – Soviet invasion to Afghanistan. If without the invention of America, the fire of death could’ve spread to a global scale, which will inescapably cause a global meltdown that wiped out most of the population similar to my logic in the previous cases. Even more recently, the trade wars on Rare-earth metal between China and other global superpowers were also potential causes for WWIII. Rare-earth metals, curtail to the development and construction of advanced weaponry, were the skeleton key to unlock the myriad of military advantages. Five years ago, 95% of world's production of rareearth metal was from China. China's control over the rare-metal essentially meant China could take total charge of global production of weapons and cutting-edge science.
3

Starting from the wild expansion of Ottoman empire, Ottomans sided with Germany during WWI. However, British supported an Arab revolt against the Ottoman and also promised the Jews a homeland in Palestine. The arguments on this issue were mostly territorial. A summary can be fount at http:// www.theguardian.com/flash/0,,720353,00.html

However, the trade was greatly limited when Chinese Communist Party (CCP) realized that it was imperative to conserve the production of rare metal as a "strategic plan". 4 Not surprisingly, the sudden decision of monopolistic supply shortage would irritate three of the most technology-dependent political entities - America, Japan, and EU. They co-filed an accusation to WTO demanding the investigation into the Policy. 5 WTO surrendered to the immense pressure from the America with complete ignorance of The Wassenaar Arrangement6, dictating that China should immediately terminate the Policy and continue exporting rare-earth metal like before. The failure of this trade war ultimately lead to the tension between China and America, two global superpowers. Trade war was the closest alternative for a hot war in contemporary world, and it would only take a small spark to ignite a real global warfare, which I presume will conduct in a fashion similar to the Cold War. Because of the possession of nuclear bombs on both sides, I think that China and America would not hesitate to use nuclear bombs to take initiatives in the war. The outcome of the war would eventually settle a new world order or rather an end of a civilized human history, and neither of the participants would be the winner. The power of politics manifested itself by being able to affect the course of normal economic behaviors, which could potentially cause an apocalyptical war that ends the human race.

4China 5

Rare-Earth Metal, 環球網, http://mil.huanqiu.com/mlitaryvision/2014-04/2731670.html

China Rare Earth, The Star Business, http://www.thestar.com/business/2012/03/13/ china_rare_earth_us_eu_japan_accuse_china_of_hoarding_minerals_needed_for_technology_parts.html
6

Referring to The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Good and Technologies. The Arrangement was meant to control the possession of sensitive materials, intelligence, and technologies.

My mother, being a Chinese History/Language professor, always urges me to read extensively. From world history to current news, from science fiction to Chinese literature, I spent my whole weekend afternoons in my mother’s reading room browsing over her entire collection. Among her collections, history books took a dominant portion. I believe it is through the examination of history that puts me in the mindset of the political pessimism. History tends to repeat itself: wars; the rise and falls of dynasties; uprisings, riots, demonstrations; etc. There is one common theme surroundings all the my listings above - politics. My closest near-Apocalypse event would be the SARS7 epidemic happened during 2002 to 2003. Originated in China, SARS caused 8,273 cases and 775 total death globally. In China solely, there were 5327 cases and 349 deaths.8 Accompanied with flulike symptoms, patients would usually suffer from high fever9, cough, and possible shortness of breath.10 Easily misidentified as common flu, SARS was not taken seriously even after the first death case in First People's Hospital of Foshan. The Chinese Government, failed to realize the gravity of the situation, did not inform WTO of a possible outbreak. Politics, unsuccessful at the job of protecting its people, backfired. The lack of information transparency in the first place indirectly caused the spread of the deadly disease. The flawed decision within the CCP of not initiating immediate import/
7Severe Acute 8Summary

Respiratory Syndrome

of probable SARS cases with onset of illness from 1 November 2002 to 31 July 2003, WTO, http://www.who.int/csr/sars/country/table2004_04_21/en/
9

Usually more than 38°C (100°F). SARS Basic fact sheet, CDC, http://www.cdc.gov/sars/about/fs-SARS.html

10

export and immigration lockdown allowed SARS to further infect people around the globe. Chinese professor and the doctor treating the first patient traveling to Hong Kong, infecting 108 people, and the infected vectors traveled to Vietnam and Canada, infecting more patient. The number of people infected exploded in an exponential model, but fortunately the death rate was only around 10%, and an effective containment measure as well as cure was found. The epidemic was contained without repeating the tragedy of Spanish Flu.11 It all happened when I was only 8 years old, so the amount of details that I can recollect from SARS was sparse, but there were few incidences that I can clearly tell - I would sit next to my mother when she was taking her usual afternoon nap, worrying if anything would suddenly happen to her and I was not around. The rumor of a "Terminator Virus" circled around us. My grandma and grandpa tried to combated the virus, rather an "evilness" as they thought of it, by chanting scriptures, hanging amulet in the middle of the room, and scenting incenses. After they found out that Hsuan Hua, a highly respected monk, prophesied the advent of a deadly virus, their belief in Buddhism strengthened. Not surprisingly, the amount of people converting to Christianity also surged. One way to represent this sudden increment would be finding websites published at that period of time preaching Christianity. The following script was translated from a website: “… God controls our lives… SARS is a Pestilence, one of the omen of the

11

Spanish Flu, also known as the 1981 Flu Pandemic, infected 500 million globally, and killed 50 to 100 million of people, which was 20% to 40% of the world population.

End… Please convert to Christianity immediately because only Jesus can save you.”12 This epitomized the raw fear that the public had on this previously unknown yet deadly disease. At this very moment, CCP decided to publish a headline in People’s Daily, urging the mass not to believe in “unorthodox” religions13, which are said to have “unstabilizing” effects on the society. Politics once again made itself relevant in the play by trying to interfere with people’s free will. Instead of passively receiving the idea from CCP, people in China decided to fight back in a new way – Internet. Netizens in China started a huge criticism against the behaviors of CCP, which in a sense triggered the culture revitalization in China. The demand of information transparence, free will, and a loose news scrutinizing system gained more support day by day. CCP realized that it would be more and more impossible to prevent the public from digging the “classified and sensitive” information. A possible social uprising was avoided because CCP responded to the pressure in the Internet by promising a “transparent” outlook for the society, and implemented several measures to ensure openness. The apocalypses for China almost went down with a deadly infectious disease out there killing people and 13 billion angry citizens without the right to own guns marching towards Zhongnanhai.14 Politics enabled the spread of SARS, and later tries to contain the epidemic by banning religion. The ridiculousness politics caused could easily trigger a riot similar to

12

中山醫科大學56屆同學聯誼會, Dr. C. H. Laws , http://matthew.hitechemall.com/sums56/article/ sars.htm
13

I apologize for not being able to find the original newspaper, but I can clearly remember this discussion within my family about this topic, even I was 8 years old.
14 The

location of CCP central headquarters, similar to The Pentagon.

Taiping Rebellion, tempting to overthrow the current realm. China would end up in a turmoil, or even worse, an apocalypse. From my analysis of the role of politics it can play in the End Day scenario, we can see that even politics seems far away from our everyday life, it is capable of exerting huge impacts to all aspects of our lives. By influencing the economy, unwise political decisions can light the barrel; by subconsciously infusing thoughts to the public, politics is capable of training the best killing machine; by intervening with the course of science, politics can either throttle the a breakthrough or encourage the development of the sharpest weapon. In conclusion, I believe that it is safe to say that politics will lead the human beings to our own doomsday in the future, if not soon.

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...Christ the Coming King Steven Collier Crown College Abstract In this paper I will discuss the different views on the second coming of Christ, the rapture of the church, how the second coming of Christ affects missions, and I give an exegesis of Revelation 20:1-6. I will also discuss why I believe the pre-millennial view is the correct view concerning the return of Christ. There are three schools of thought in the area of the thousand year reign of Christ. They are the amillennial view, postmillennial view, and the premillennial view. Those who believe in a amillennial view do not believe in a literal or an actual future kingdom of peace and prosperity here on earth that will last one thousand years. Those who hold this view tend to view Scripture in a more figurative way than a literal way. They believe the thousand year reign of Christ is symbolic of the church age between the resurrection of Christ and His return. Most amillennialists believe that a spiritual form of the Kingdom of God is present now. Amillennialism reject the idea of a rapture. They believe good and evil will increase in the world as God’s Kingdom parallels the kingdom of Satan. They believe Satan is bound but yet evil increases. They believe when Christ returns the end of the world will occur with a general resurrection and a judgment of all people. They believe Christ will never reign on earth in a literal way but the Kingdom of God exists on earth in......

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...Response Paper H. J. McCloskey Article Shawna Upchurch Liberty University Summer 2015 PHIL 201-D18 H.J. McCloskey had written an article called On Being an Atheist that was publish on February, 1968. In this article he speaks about if God is real. Even though we cannot see God in person does that mean he is not real? There are some that does not have a belief in God even those there is no proof stating there is not a God. This does not mean that one should not listen to others then they try to tell you that there is not a God. But the best thing to do is listen to them and see what proof that they can show to state as to why they think that way. Then there are some that believes that there is a God but does not believe in all that is said that he had done. McCloskey stated in page 62 that, “Philosopher colleagues attribute to much importance to the role of the proofs of the existence of God as a basis for religious belief, that most theists does not come to believe in God as a result of reflecting on the proofs, but come to religion as a result of other reasons and factors.” (McCloskey, 1968) McCloskey used three arguments to support his claims; these three arguments are cosmological argument, teleological argument, and Argument from design. McCloskey had went on speaking about the cosmological argument and about the universe. McCloskey was more into the idea of a big bang. This can be broken down into three ideas from Evans and Manis on their non-temporal form of......

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