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Old 12-06-2018, 06:16 PM
 
4,665 posts, read 2,645,995 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettafish View Post
All traditional societies emphasize the respect to authority to some extent. Confucius does not stand out in that aspect,
In traditional western world, people were also expected to obey the religious doctrines as well as people with power. We all know there were scientists burnt to death by authority, and so on. Not to mention Islam and the caste system of India.

In fact, traditional Chinese culture more or less endorses the idea that humans are born equal. The rebellion at the end of Qin Dynasty, for example, started with the slogan "Are kings and nobles born to be superior"? Often times in Chinese history, some poor peasants started a revolution (most failed). Western culture is very different.
Modern Chinese cultural may endorse that idea more, but Chinese history has been full of classes of nobility. Many Chinese dynasties were feudal systems with local lords who were part of larger kingdoms. The average person was more or less a serf to their lord, when wars came they got called up, they didn't have a choice.

During Imperial China, local lords were mostly gotten rid of and governors become in charge of local regions, China became much more centralised, but the concept of classism didn't go away.

It's a little known historical concept, but many now believe that some European government ideas, like empires and the feudal systems came from the East, they did not originate in Europe. Concepts like Democracy and Republicanism did come from Europe.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fengjian

They really only go into the Zhou dynasty being "feudal like", but also the Han and Qing dynasties were as well. Thats a pretty significant amount of time of Chinese history, including some fairly recent times.
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Old 12-07-2018, 04:05 PM
 
6,726 posts, read 6,615,943 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattks View Post
Modern Chinese cultural may endorse that idea more, but Chinese history has been full of classes of nobility. Many Chinese dynasties were feudal systems with local lords who were part of larger kingdoms. The average person was more or less a serf to their lord, when wars came they got called up, they didn't have a choice.

During Imperial China, local lords were mostly gotten rid of and governors become in charge of local regions, China became much more centralised, but the concept of classism didn't go away.

It's a little known historical concept, but many now believe that some European government ideas, like empires and the feudal systems came from the East, they did not originate in Europe. Concepts like Democracy and Republicanism did come from Europe.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fengjian

They really only go into the Zhou dynasty being "feudal like", but also the Han and Qing dynasties were as well. Thats a pretty significant amount of time of Chinese history, including some fairly recent times.
Yeah China pretty much ended the "feudal system" by Qin dynasty, which was over 2000 years ago. After that, there was always a strong central government, and below that there were provincial and local governments.

Except using bribery, rich people (landlords and businessmen) in China did not have political power, which is very different from the west now and past. Theoretically, a poor peasant could serve in the government if he scored high in the national exam conducted by the government, which is also something not known in other parts of the world. Usually in ancient societies, the only way to promote social status is to join the military (and win wars) or marry up, not passing some exams.
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Old 12-10-2018, 11:19 AM
 
1,183 posts, read 346,414 times
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Originally Posted by Urban Peasant View Post
It's like a flip has switched and the U.S. traded places with China. It wasn't too long ago that China was a lot more backwards and outdated than the U.S. From Emperor Qian Long's reign at the end of 18th century to pretty much the 1990's, China was an economic backwater. I studied Chinese history in college and we read a book by historian Jonathan Spence titled The Search for Modern China in which the emperor (I forgot whom) scoffed at Western inventions such as the compass or the telegraph machine saying China existed for thousands of years without the need for such stupid things. China at the time was a proud, arrogant, imbecilic and at the same time economically declining kingdom. People had nothing to eat and government officials squandered away public taxpayer money on opium and other vices. Meanwhile the U.S. during the same time was building railroads, canals, industrial mills, and paved roadways and much of the work was done by hardworking immigrants including you guessed it, ethnic Chinese! Trains and railroads were so new and unheard of to most Chinese during that period that the word they ascribed to it, huoche or "fire vehicle" still applies nowadays even when most trains are now powered by electricity in China.

But as the Chinese idiom goes "Blue extracts from indigo", the pioneers who first built these things (i.e. the Americans) have become too lazy and complacent to improve their inventions and are being surpassed by the knowledge and money hungry pupils (i.e. the Chinese) who learned from the masters but are now the new innovators.

Back to the original topic, no I don't think China could have been any better if a foreign power fully colonized it. The unequal treaties were the closest thing to colonizing China and they were bad enough. There are still vestiges of that past in China today. And I can't see how Japan as a foreign power could have improved China nor do I believe Chinese scholars actually saying this. Japan would probably have wiped out half the Chinese population and repopulated the land with ethnic Japanese had they not been stopped during the Second World War.
Not really. The Chinese are still improvers, but not so much innovators. Although they can be fantastic improvers of extant inventions, they will really only become better innovators as more creativity (and non-conformity) is permitted. The Chinese still engage in huge industrial espionage (in addition to the usual Military espionage) due to their lack of homegrown innovation. And while patent filings are up, these are still largely derivative inventions or improvement inventions. There's a big difference between improving a current invention and being an actual innovator. On another thread here you are boasting about how great Chinese trains are. A 200 yr old invention.


You seem to be regurgitating propaganda-speak, not actuality.
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Old 12-10-2018, 11:46 AM
 
Location: US
17,937 posts, read 17,866,484 times
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Visit Shanghai and then start talking about China. I was amazed by how nice the city is. If that is China's future for the rest of the country, wow. Watch out Western World.
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