Early China: History, Legends, and Myths

Discussion in 'Military History' started by solarz, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. solarz
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    solarz Colonel

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    Again, I would have to disagree with this.

    First, culture is not like religion. Religion is identifiable through a dogma and an organization. Religion can be a part of a culture, but culture is not comparable to religion. You can say the Catholic religion is still the same because there's still a Pope making decrees from the Vatican. On the other hand, can you say Protestantism is still the same religion as Catholicism? A lot of Protestants would disagree vehemently.

    Second, it doesn't matter what how you define "adapt" vs "change", the fact of the matter is, Chinese culture evolved throughout the millenia. If the Tang and Song cultures, as different as they are, are still considered the same Chinese culture, then why should you consider the culture of the PRC to be non-Chinese just because it differs in certain aspects with ROC or Qing culture?

    Third, Chinese culture is NOT "basically based on Confucianism", and Confucius did NOT just compile and codify what was already there. Please don't take this the wrong way, but I feel that you need to improve your knowledge of Chinese history. The story of Confucianism, of the Hundred Schools of Thought, of the struggle between Confucianism and Legalism (Legalism won), is well documented. I would highly recommend you do some reading on this subject. Xi Jinping, by the way, is very much a Legalist.

    Fourth, as the German philosopher Thomas Mann noted, "Everything is Political". Culture is inseparable from politics. Tang had a liberal and diverse culture because it was strong and powerful, dominating the Asian continent. Song had an insular and conservative culture because it was vulnerable and pressed on all sides by adversarial states. Song had a strong distrust of its generals (a culture that ultimately led to its downfall) because its founding emperor was a general who betrayed his liege lord. You cannot get any more political than that!

    The May 4th movement was not a movement against Confucianism. It was a movement against Feudalism and Imperialism. It was not self-hate, but a desire for self-renewal. Again, I recommend you read up on Chinese history, preferably from Chinese sources. The May 4th movement and the Cultural Revolution are two completely different events, separated by a half century.

    Finally, the quote you like so much is typical of foreigners who ascribe to Orientalism. Richard Nixon, during his visit to China, referred to China as "mysterious". Zhou Enlai promptly corrected him: "China is not mysterious to us". The author of your quote thinks the pinnacle of Chinese achievement is "astrology, alchemy, geomancy and fortune-telling".

    No, Hendrik, the Chinese way of looking at life is not through art, it is through Li (礼). Often imperfectly translated to English as "etiquette", Li encompasses so much more than just etiquette. Every Chinese way of thinking, from the Zhou dynasty to modern PRC, boils down to Li. If there is something that defines Chinese culture uniquely, it is this adherence to Li. During the Warring States era, the difference between "barbarians" and "Chinese" (华夏), was whether they followed Li or not.
     
    #41 solarz, Dec 7, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  2. Hendrik_2000
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    Hendrik_2000 Colonel

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    Religion has dogma Culture has value they are the same thing with different name Both culture and religion are part what is called culture
    We are talking about the definition of culture here Even protestant believe in holy trinity the only difference is they don't recognize the authority of pope and does not believe that bible should be interpreted by the church other than that it is still the same religion and dogma
    So yeah it does not change

    Confucianism along with Buddhism and Tao are part and parcel of Chinese culture I can't imagine Chinese culture without Confucianism It is like hamburger without patties

    And I know all about legalism and Confucianism but legalism has not left imprint in the Chinese history except the brief Qin dynasty with disastrous result that it was repudiated forever in the anal of Chinese civilization.Effort underway to resurrect it once in a while but never take traction.

    Tang and Song maybe different in clothing, political style, or any other outward appearance of culture But the basic value is still the same thing

    You don't have to lecture me on the Chinese history and civilization I live in it I don't read Chinese history thru the lens of CCP

    May 4th movement strart with protest against league of nation handed German possession Shandong to Japan even though China is the winner in WWI. It is gross injustice

    What I am saying by beginning is that may 4th and cultural revolution is kindred spirit basically they are repudiating existing order including culture

    I include the article to give it perspective but I don't wrote the article
     
    #42 Hendrik_2000, Dec 7, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  3. solarz
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    solarz Colonel

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    No, Legalism is the basis of all Chinese dynasties since Han. Confucianism was repackaged by Legalists as a means to control the population. In fact, I suspect this is the purpose Xi Jinping has in mind when he started to promote Confucianism again.

    https://baike.baidu.com/item/法家思想#4_1
     
  4. solarz
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    solarz Colonel

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    That is the point. Chinese culture is still Chinese culture, but it adapts, changes, evolves, according to historical circumstances.

    You insist on an artificial break between the pre-Mao and post-Mao Chinese culture. No such distinction exists in reality. Mao may have launched his own ideology, but Chinese culture has always had ideological clashes: from the Hundred Schools of Thought, to the Xinhai revolution. China has always taken foreign ideas and made them its own. Communism is no different: Mao Zedong took Soviet Communism and turned it into Chinese Communism. Soviet Communism was a disaster. Chinese Communism rejuvenated the nation.
     
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