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« September 11th | Main | An Ersatz Chinese Proverb »

September 12, 2005

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I disagree. These are rather categorical statements which deny the inevitable Chinese reality that all human beings exist in relationship to one other. To embrace moderity -- aka Disney -- is Chinese, just as it is to survive it. Apocalytic end-of-culture proclamations are naturally of Western origin, as no authentic (or shall we say Confucian) Chinese would be caught dead saying there will be an end to anything. You present a rather Daoist image, how much further from the truth could that be?

Thanks for the comment. My post was a reflection of my frustration at the combination of the authoritarian state and the marketing imageers taking over the definition of Chinese culture. You are right, of course, there will always be a "Chinese" culture, as long as there are Chinese people doing things. But I would like to resist the production of "Chinese" culture for so overtly political or economic interests. As to whether my outburst is not in keeping with Daoism, I would beg to differ with you. Daoism would, I believe, shy away from any sort of nationalistic or commercially produced culture. "Let nations grow smaller and smaller and people few and fewer." Concern with what a culture is or is not would be seen as just another diversion - a "twisty path" - taking people away from Way. So, on one level, yes, a Daoist would reject the idea of Chinese culture "ending;" but, at another level, I think he or she would also reject the idea that there was, or ought to be, any meaningful construction of "culture" to begin with. Maybe the Daoist position would be: "There is no Chinese culture now; and there was no Chinese culture then." So, while my response was perhaps more of Confucian, I don't think it is entirely contradictory with Daoism.

To progress is wrong and not to progress and remain isolated is also wrong (a bit of Hamlet, perhaps). Therefore what is actually right?

The Chinese whether they live in China or form part of the Diaspora still falls back on their entire culture and ancient thoughts when dealing with family ties, friends, elders, government, and trade. Obviously it also depends on their upbringing by their parents and their parents’ parents and whether the Chinese youth of today (in China or overseas) will return in search of their roots.

In returning to ancient thoughts, the Chinese government could have been influenced by Singapore which has provided a modern guide as to how to serve and rule her people based on Confucian thoughts, which has been in the main to first enrich the people then educate them. However successful the Singaporean Confucian model is or has been over the past few decades, there are still ongoing fine tuning problems with firm and/or flexible rule. If the rule is too firm the people rebels, and if the rule is too flexible, the people become lax and wanton. This goes to show that it is not easy to model a rule based on Confucian thoughts alone, for they have to apply Daoist thoughts (on firmness and flexibility) too to bring harmony to the country and the people.

Perhaps, by combining these two thoughts it returns the rulers and the ruled to the entire Chinese culture?

A very important point: the one-child policy in China, with the side effect of forced sterilization and abortion is completely against the traditional Chinese culture. It is one more attack to raze the ancestor’s worship. Its brutality help to destroy all kind of empathy and love.Few days ago close where I live in China a nine month pregnant women was forced to abort by the birth control brigade

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