The Rise and Fall of Sima Nan

I can no longer remember the first time I heard someone called a "two-faced hypocrite," or in what context the hypocrisy occured. Maybe we use the term "hypocrite" so often, it has lost gravitas as a
personal stigma. In Christian circles, you hear that "Death has lost its sting." For whatever reason, hypocrisy has lost its sting, too. We need to dust off the old sins once in a while, to bring the sting back, to hold our leaders and fellow citizens to a stadard of behavior.

Rather oftten, the hypocrisy involves a glaring gap between what someone says and how they live. Hypocrisy involving wealth usually falls on the heads of left-wing Americans because of their silly egalitarian ethos. Wealth doesn't usually bother right-wing Americans, who celebrate empowerment through wealth as a peculiar American success-perk.

Egalitarians can decry personal weatlth, proclaim daily the impending democratic revolution, spout anti-capitalist slogans, and trash the banking industry; but if you want to know who a person really is, find out where he lives. We always get a thrill when we find that their standard of living doesn't match their rhetoric.

America's voters can't really make up their minds whether to jump on the egalitarian band-wagon as official policy, or to allow people to become wealthy if they want, by letting them participate in the fruits of Free Enterprise, of allowing people with capital to join up with people who have dynamic commericial ideas, and to create new corporations that make a lot of money. So what do egalitarians have against that? The answer is jealousy. Equality is just jealousy spelled backwards.

Mainland China presents egalitarians with a few problems. The Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, dictates equality as official policy, as the status quo, and few Western egalitarians want anything to do with it. Of course, officials of the Communist Party live better lives than the majority of China's  population. Human creatures are all the same. Ambition in America is mostly a private-sector thing.  In Mainland China, ambitious people join the CCP and get a government job.

One such person, Yu Li, uses the on-line moniker "Sima Nan." Sima emerged in the early 2000s as  a government-sponsored blogger for Chinese social media and racked up subscribers in the tens of millions, as a loyal communist and anti-capitalist. From his influential position, Sima railed daily at American greed, indifference to the world's problems, and pernicious influence.

It made him a wealthy man. He also had patronage from his superiors. This allowed Sima to move his wife and children to the U.S. and buy a million-dollar house for them near Palo Alto. His wife started work in a real estate firm, which led to him buying two more houses. Dissident bloggers in China broke the news of this glaring case of hypocrisy in August of this year, and Sima has been on the decline ever since. Soon after, he even tried to leave the country, but border officers turned him back and closed his social media accounts.

My American reader may exclaim "Wow! That's no different from what happens here." We need to listen to left-wing professors and commentators rail about the wealthy 1%, then follow them home to find out where they live. Four-bedroom homes in leafy suburbs? Ritzy apartments in Manhattan? Leafy streets in wealthiest Cambridge and Georgetown? Let's find out.


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Lloyd Bowers

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