A reader requested that I write about Asian values.
I don't like "Asian values". It usually implies dishonesty. Most of the time, when someone is using that term, he's actually pushing his own secret agenda.
That someone could be an authority figure using "Asian values" to tell you why you should respect his authority.
He could be a suppressor of free speech, using "Asian values" to tell you why he should have the power to suppress your speech.
Or he could simply be wanting to impose on you his views on how you should eat, dress, work or have sex. And he's using "Asian values" to argue why you should conform to his views.
In all these cases, it's just a con job. And I have to say that people who do fall for the "Asian values" argument are either very stupid, or very ignorant about Asia.
Okay, folks - here are some basic facts. Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent. Asian countries include China, India, Japan, Afghanistan, Turkey, Indonesia, Myanmar, North Korea and Singapore.
Now, tell me what values you share with the average person in all these countries.
You'll quickly see that "Asian values" is a largely meaningless term. Simply because Asia is such a large, diverse continent. It has all sorts of different countries, cultures, traditions and religions.
The world's biggest democracy is an Asian country. The world's largest communist state is also an Asian country. The word's largest Muslim nation is an Asian country. The world's largest Buddhist nation is an Asian country. The world's largest Hindu population is also an Asian country.
So what can the term "Asian values" possibly mean? Approximately nothing. Asia is much too vast and varied for us to be able to speak meaningfully of its "values".