I think that’s true and true for many reasons. Senator Fulbright, who was the former chairman of the foreign relations committee, and I worked in publishing in many areas besides China, and he was in my office in later years. He had a line that I very much thought with, he said, “Americans tend never to remember what other people don’t tend to forget.” And what he meant by that is Americans have very little sense of history. It’s a very wealthy country, when mistakes are made, they wipe them out, they had not been victimized by war; they’ve not been invaded. But people who have been on the receiving end of other powers or have been poor countries, or have been victimized, they remember the deeds that have been done, they have that kind of sense of history.
And it’s an important thing, when one looks at the knowledge the Chinese have, of what has happened in their own history, that provides an insight into certain ways which the world actually works, into certain injustices that are there. Americans, yes we have our injustices, to anybody who looks, racial and others, but there’s a certain kind of historical amnesia in the US. You can forget the past, and that’s a very dangerous thing to do because if you forget the past, you probably cannot control power.
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