Several high-profile intellectuals clashed at the south entrance of Chaoyang Park in Beijing on Friday at noon after agreeing to meet online, humiliating all Chinese cyber intellectuals. There was no winner in this farce.
Physical fighting over conflicting political thoughts is the most vulgar behavior yet carried out by a few online intellectuals, also tainting democratic movements on the microblog. Neither challenger nor defender could be labeled as brave, and they have forsaken the virtues of tolerance and decency in this incident.
It is especially disappointing that some famed people were part of that scenario or applauded the result.
We call on the police to punish those who beat others, so as to prevent this practice from seeming legitimate.
Differences are prevalent in interests and political ideas, as a result of a diverse society. These differences are usually irresolvable, and people must learn how to get along with others who hold conflicting views.
Weibo has become the most active platform of communication, and organizing fighting affects the public, which takes it beyond a personal decision.
This is particularly so when the two parties to the fight are viewed by the public as representing the "rightist" and the "leftist" camps of political thoughts, so their fight takes on the color of typical value debates. As a result, such a fight becomes a way of revealing cracks in the social fabric and promoting violence as a way of resolving political disputes and winning public approval by physically beating down opponents.
Resolving political disputes should be done in a civilized manner, a fact that all Chinese intellectuals should stick to. However, this has proved very tenuous in China both historically and day, and many people focus more on the results of political pursuits than the methods used to achieve them.
Some of the logic that fomented the violence that battered Chinese society during the Cultural Revolution have sneakily returned and won some applause, including slander, accusing opponents of false crimes and forcing people to take sides. They are again commonly visible now online.
This is not an aim that China should allow to continue, focusing instead on forging political diversity.
Violence, curses and abuse should have no place today. The Internet population, especially Weibo users, is deemed as a vanguard social group in China. Therefore, they should take the lead in showing the right way to behave for the budding Chinese civil society. We should never initiate or aggravate a fight but stick to the basic principles of civilized debate.