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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A note on Confucianism and China

Chez Joshua in Korea aka 西儒 aka The Western Confucian we find:

The Western Standard's Kalim Kassam sends along a post by the Secular Right's Razib Khan reminding us, among other things, that "much of human history is Chinese history" and "that China has always been characterized by export surpluses over its history" — The Confucian conservatives. Mr. Khan concludes:

    Today we in a world dominated by Whiggish technocratic sensibilities are wont to denigrate the achievements of Imperial China, and characterize it as a regime of reflexive adherence to blind protocols and exhibiting a cultural torpor. And yet what would we say if Rome and arisen multiple times and revived its ancient forms for thousands of years? One might wonder if Roman ways were robust and congenial to human flourishing. The Confucian idolatry of antiquity seems backward looking to us today, but in a Malthusian world they made the best of it, and rested their philosophy upon concrete realities of family, custom and tradition. Lived human existence and not abstractions. I suspect there is much we could learn from their long record of success, and I believe, and yes hope, that China might learn something from its own cultural past as it surges toward material affluence.

Posted by Kalim Kassam on January 20, 2010 | Permalink


"and yes hope, that China might learn something from its own cultural past as it surges toward material affluence."
Posted by Kalim Kassam on January 20, 2010

With 1.4 billion people, chinas problems will be immense. All through history china has looked for ways to keep foreigners out and now it is becoming dependant on lowering all barriers to accomodate the dreams and demands of its urban population. The rural majority has seen little benefit to this vast growth in wealth and unless they can share in the dream , it will be difficult to stop a growing discontent from turning into class warfare. China still has more than 150 million people earning less than a dollar a day and inflation could easily launch instability unless the wealth trickles down to the working poor.
The culture is changing fast and Rome was destroyed by rot from within. As long as China understands that it has a fighting chance to become the next super power. If greed overtakes comprehensive reform, they are doomed to failure. Either way, they can not turn back and the culture is changed forever. Communist rule and capitalist reality will clash sooner or later.

Posted by: peterj | 2010-01-27 10:43:05 PM

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