刚才在quora看到一个搞笑的提问，What does the Chinese saying “看到祖国这么流氓，我就放心了” mean? – Quora
流氓 means hegemony in this context. The whole sentence really means “when I see my mother country is as hegemony as the United States, I no longer worry about that she would be bullied like she was in the century-long humiliation.”
There is a monument in Beijing called 人民英雄纪念碑，the monument of national heroes. On the back side Mao wrote (the inscription was drafted by Mao and Zhou): Eternal glory to the heroes of the people who laid down their lives in the people’s war of liberation and the people’s revolution in the past three years! Eternal glory to the heroes of the people who laid down their lives in the people’s war of liberation and the people’s revolution in the past thirty years! Eternal glory to the heroes of the people who from 1840 laid down their lives in the many struggles against domestic and foreign enemies and for national independence and the freedom and well-being of the people!” http://m.xmydyzs.com/79/24/p3336…
Century of humiliation – Wikipedia
1840 was the year that British navy and marine broke down China’s defence line and made Chinese government signed a treaty which allowed the British selling drugs on our land. It was called “the first opium war”. Yes there was a second. In China, the education of Chinese late modern history is mainly about this “century of humiliation”. The reason why you see so many Chinese nationalists on quora is basically because of this. On some level I’m a nationalist as well, so instead of looking down these people, I feel for them. After knowing all the unequal treaties which were made after foreign military forces invaded our mother country again and again, if you were a patriot, you pretty much couldn’t avoid becoming a nationalist. Among these humiliations, Japan played the worst part. It stopped China’s effort of modernization in the first sino-japan war and almost killed her in WWII. And China made her own mistakes too. From late Qing dynasty to recent decades, China’s public image on foreign affairs is “weak, timid, pathetic, always being bullied”. For these reasons, it’s hard to blame the people who are saying “看到祖国这么流氓我就放心了”. —— Eamon Dan
Different people may read it differently. My interpretation is that 流氓 means rogue. It’s usually a bad word which describes a bad person that is dishonest and takes advantage of others. For example if the police is not doing its job, and some one can just rob your money on the street in front of many others while no one can stop him because he has muscles, then this action is called 耍流氓. Many people in China believe that in international politics, there is no law and only interest of each country, therefore it is OK and actually preferable for a country to 耍流氓. When China can 耍流氓 and no one can stop it, that demonstrates that China is strong enough and can protect its interest with its own force.
I think it’s true that nations do not behave as nice as individuals—when a nation is seeking for its interest, it’s still common that it will put aside moral value considerations. (Otherwise why will US be allied with Saudi Arabia?) That’s why in Chinese, people often jokingly refer the five permanent members of the UN security council as 五大流氓 (five rogues), even if China is one of them.
That being said, I find that people who are proud of their country being 流氓 to be not very consistent: On one hand, they think this is how a country should act, and there is no need to hide their pride of being able to do this. On the other hand, it is often the same people (more or less nationalists) who think other countries owe their country a lot of respect. If you want to 耍流氓 and no one can stop you, that’s fine but don’t expect other people to really respect you from their heart. —— Phynics
I would simply translate it as:
I am only at peace when I see my motherland running roughshod over other countries. —— Jan M. Gronski
Let us just say it means “I feel real at ease seeing my country is such a jerk.”
So here we are, it has quite a blend of dumb statism and nationalism. The popularity of such a phrase quite signifies the rising of a generation, chiefly millennial, of young “patriots” who is either in favor of the Chinese state or the communist party or both. (As we got a party state here so we will probably never know which is more accurate.)
The thanks should be given to the propaganda efforts made by the communist party to attract the youngsters in the danger time when they might take these ideological nonsense as “lame.” It turned out to be quite effective, whether we agree with the effort or not. —— Jinrui Zhang