Confucianism And Its Implications In Modern China

.. sense, America already has this, the process of impeachment. It is this way that China should look at this. The idea of rebelling is wrong, but making sure that the government is benevolent towards the people is excellent. What the previous quote in essence is saying is that the people, if ethical and moral, will love the government; if it is not, then it will be despised.

The Confucian idea is that its people will love a government that loves and takes care of its people. One that does not, will not. These values are still prevalent today, though they need to be expanded upon in China. China needs to expand on the ideas of human rights. Confucianism is not simply the advocacy of obedience to government but also the accountability of government.

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If they really want to learn from Confucian humanism, they have to open up to more enlightened values, such as freedom of expression, the dignity of the individual and other human rights. If China does this, then the people will not be able to claim that they have no human rights and the Tiananmen Square incident of 1989 and others that could rise like it would not happen. In order to cause this to happen, the Chinese must have a good system for electing politicians. The Confucian system, being the examination test, is not the best way. Nonetheless, it does present a good consideration: China should make sure that those running for politics know about the history of China’s politics and governmental procedures in order to govern well by implementing the examination system. However, this is not the examination system of Confucianism, but rather an examination system that would involve knowledge that all interested in politics should know about the nation.

Then, they should bring in the idea of voting. In this, they would use the democratic form of voting. Den Xiaoping states: On how Confucianism could reconcile with democracy, he said it gave an underlying moral framework to the one-man-one-vote system and the market. This would encourage the voter to calculate not only in his self-interest, but also that of his community. Using this philosophy, the people would have to choose from those who knew the background of their nation and whom they feel would benefit the community, not just their own desires. This would be beneficial to America as well; rather than voting for particular party candidates, vote for the person who will benefit the society the most. Instead, most people feel that their particular party will benefit people the most and therefore vote for their party.

Different forms of government have governed China over the course of its history. It has had imperial rulers, Communist, dictatorships, and socialism. Presently, China has socialism as its basis, but with the incorporation of Confucianism, it would “provide a much stronger foundation for Chinese and Vietnamese society in the next century than class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat.” This might be a good idea especially since “Confucianism could add a humanism lacking in the old socialism.” Some feel that even the unification of democracy and Confucian values would be good for China; however, this would not work due to its culture. Democracy is, in a way, the same as Confucianism in the aspect of electing a leader by the fact that “The ruler is to provide the conditions for the people to live a happy life. It is not difficult to see that the genuine purpose of democratic voting is to elect such a Confucian leader.” In any sense, Confucianism would unquestionably bring values and ethics that could be the bases of the entire political structure as well as social structure making for a strong, people oriented nation. To go along with the idea of politics, what would ultimately develop is a strong economy.

Many people claim that there is no relevance between a philosophy (or way of life) and economics. They dispute the lack of connection between a nations (or a persons in the sense of business) virtues and the economic progress that it makes or lacks. Confronted with the success of countries with economic policies as diverse as those of Taiwan and South Korea, some academics have looked to culture for an explanation and concluded that “Confucian ethics”, stressing the claims of the community over the individual, are the key. This idea of the community over the individual is an idea that Confucius strongly promoted. In any economy, the way to grow and prosper is to put the community over that of the individual.

However, people say that this idea is holding China back, or that it gives them a backwards movement. Max Weber was a strong advocate of this idea stating that, ” .. Confucianism was largely responsible for the economic backwardness of China.” If the community is put over the individual in this sense, then there is no evidence that would lead towards backwardness; rather, all the evidence leads forward. This leads to the idea of Confucian ethics. The Confucian ethics that apply here would include work ethic, knowledge or learning, and putting the well-being of others in front of that of oneself (this could also be taken as benevolence or jen). The work ethic that is expressed in Confucianism and desire for knowledge and learning are prevalent in some of China’s bordering nations, who largely, have a strong Confucian background.

These countries have shown rapid economic growth and have Confucian values deeply submerged in their culture. Along with these values, the idea of filial piety flows over into the economic portion. The way that filial piety coincides with economics is through business. In order to have a strong business, it must have the relationships between boss and employee and other relevant relationships. This allow for a strong business and strong atmosphere to work in.

Thus, the family structure underlies the business, governmental, societal structures of the Chinese. When looking at Confucianism we must realize that in its original form, it is foolhardy to think that it can be applied in its original form as it was in Confucius’ day. We must look at it with an open-mind in order to bring it in to light of modernization and the modern world in general. While looking at in the perspective of modern China, it is evident that these values are still present. In addition, when you take in to account Confucianism’s values and presence in every society, in every part of the world, it is impossible to think that Confucianism holds back or will hold back China or any other nation.

.. it is simple, flexible, and consistent with a reasonable interpretation of our own fundamental traditions. In confused times like our own we would do well to consider it; even if it does no more immediately than add to our stock of ideals, we should remember that ideals are eventually decisive. It is through the adaptation and re-institution of these Confucian ideas and philosophies to that of the modern era that will develop China and create a better society, government, and economy allowing it to grow and prosper. It is only through this re-institution and interpretation that we will fully be able to appreciate Confucianism’s affects on a nation. Bibliography Chaibong, Hahm. “The Cultural Challenge to Individualism.” Journal of Democracy 11:1. wysiwyg://403/ of democracy/v011/11.1hahm.html December 2, 2000. “Confucianism.” ss.html December 2, 2000.

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