Very few words carry the weight of “victim” in today’s world. Most of its power, however, comes from not being spoken directly. It is a term for a concept that must lurk in the shadows, a mugger ready to rob you or a secret that dare not be exposed, all in the name of social status.
It may seem strange for a middle-aged pale male of great privilege to write about the word victim. But that is actually the point in the end. Many people just like me have assumed the trappings of victimhood and attempt to use it as an armor in battle, Joan of Arc style. How did this come about, and how does it work?
More to the point, why on earth does this work?
Nothing causes anxiety in America quite like China. The rise of this nation is perceived as our greatest threat in many critical places the US is used to dominating – economic power, military might, and technological leadership. It’s not a question of where China is today as much where it might be if the growth keeps up.
Yet for all of this, Richard Nixon’s observation in 1972 remains true – “China is not a threat.” To understand why it’s best to turn not to the policies and pronouncements of politicians but to popular culture. This is ultimate gauge of the most important resource of China and every other nation, the people.
On the surface, the huge summer hit “Wolf Warrior 2” may seem like everything we have to fear. Yet it shows exactly how China’s self identity and culture are evolving as much as their economy.