Culture is like religion.When you ask me if Catholic religion today is the same as the time of Christ
I would say no but if you ask me is the religion the same I would say yes
Because the basic tenet of the catholic church is still the same the believe in holy trinity, Resurrection and redemption
I would say the same with the Chinese culture which is basically based on Confucianism
But Confucius merely compile,assembled and codified what was already there. The common wisdom of Chinese people and that has not change over millenia
Adaption is not the same as change You need periodically adapt to the modern world. But the basic tenet of Chinese culture is the same The belief in the goodness of human being, the believe that by cultivation one can bring the best in human being . The teaching of Confucius emphasize this righteousness(doing the right thing) integrity.loyalty compassion.
Politic and culture is not the same. I think the 4th may movement is reaction of inability China to resist the colonial invasion and blame the failure to the Confucius teaching which is completely wrong. Japan follow more or less Confucian ethic and yet she is able to resist the west encroachment. Instead they should blame the Qing government refusal to modernize
I would say that the 4th may is the beginning of the cultural revolution because both of them are based on self hate. About time China recover from this disastrous self hate and start to "own" their culture as lucretius so finely said
Mao destroyed Chinese culture Deng Xiaoping rebuild it ! when he let Chinese people to take control back to their life. Xi will own the traditional Chinese value system as symbolically when his first act of presidency is bringing the whole cabinet to the National museum of China and talk about rejuvenation of Chinese nation
I like specially this passage
The Chinese way of looking at life was not primarily through religion, or philosophy, or science, but through art. Instead of religion, the Chinese preferred the art of living in the world; instead of rationalization, they indulged in poetic and imaginative thinking; and instead of science, they pursued the fantasies of astrology, alchemy, geomancy and fortune-telling.
In traditional China, not everything had to be logical as long as it worked beautifully. Tradition may have been obscured by modernization, but the roots have not been forgotten. A mere 70 years of communism is a blip in its 5,000-year-old culture. Expect to see the rebirth of the Chinese Dragon in a high-tech jacket.
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.