For centuries, family life in the Middle Kingdom of China rested securely on a philosophical foundation laid by the great ethical thinker Kung Fu-tzu, popularly known in the West as Confucius. Preserved in the Lun Yu or The Analects, the teachings of this profound Chinese sage strongly reinforced the Chinese family. The Master Kung identified “filial piety”—that is, the duty children owe to their parents—as one of “the roots of humaneness” (1:2), and he taught that those who were “dutiful towards [their] parents” were upholding the civic order as surely as were those who held public office (2:21). Modern commentators thus see in Confucianism an abiding belief that “harmony begins in the family and spreads to the state as a whole.” Schooled in Confucian doctrine, the Chinese long regarded “the family [as]...the natural basis for all moral and political behavior and the most biologically rooted of all human institutions.” But for a thousand years Chinese Confucianists recognized the family as more than a merely natural and biological unit. They saw in the family the embodiment of “eternal moral principles” that uniquely qualified this basic social unit to function as “the foundation of the state.”
Family-centered Confucianism, however, did not reach the 20th century intact and healthy. Indeed, by the late 20th century, many observers viewed it as a moribund philosophy doomed to extinction. Strangely, however, just as social anthropologists were putting the finishing touches on its obituary, Confucianism reasserted itself with astonishing vigor. Writing in 2004, one well-informed observer characterized “the contemporary resurgence of Confucianism...as the ‘Confucian comeback.’” What has brought this venerable family-centered philosophy back from the brink of oblivion? Of course, the Confucian renascence would seem to suggest that the Chinese have recovered a new appreciation for their own heritage. A closer look at the renascence of Confucianism in China—and throughout Eastern Asia—also reveals that many of those now turning toward the family-minded Master Kung are doing so because they are deliberately and decisively turning away from family-subverting American thinkers. In the new world of global trade, many Asians are rediscovering the Lun Yu as part of a determined attempt to keep American-style family disintegration from becoming a destructive import to their lands.
Yes indeed. In my conversations with Japanese, Taiwanese, and Korean people, both men and women, the subject always comes back to the American people and their great disrespect for family and ancestors. It never ceases to amaze me how important these ideals are to the vast majority of East Asian people.
In addition, Asian men especially see how the women of America disrespect both themselves and others. Usually the man ends up telling me that only his "countrywoman" would be acceptable to his parents with respect to marriage.
Getting back to the piece:
To appreciate fully, however, the recent resurrection of Confucius, it is perhaps necessary to turn the clock back a few decades to a time when political ideologues and economic rationalists were busy sealing his tomb. “To struggle against Confucius, the feudal mummy, and thoroughly eradicate...reactionary Confucianism is one of our important tasks in the Great Proletarian Revolution.” So declared the Mao Zedong Red Guards of Beijing University in January of 1967. In some ways it is surprising that Chinese communists turned against Confucianism during the Cultural Revolution of the late Sixties. After all, the great Sun Yat-sen—hailed by Mao Zedung and other Communist leaders as an important “precursor” to their movement—explicitly and repeatedly said that he had been inspired by “the ancient doctrines of Confucius.” But by the time of the Cultural Revolution, Mao Zedong had decided that the teachings of Confucius—like those of later Confucian interpreters Chu Hsi and Wang Yang-ming—were essentially feudal in character and therefore incompatible with the doctrines of Engels, Marx, Lenin, and Stalin. Because the teachings of Confucius fostered “harmony, collaboration, compromise, and accommodation,” they were dramatically at odds with “the Marxist philosophy of struggle” and class warfare. Chinese Communists consequently turned against Confucius in a savage, comprehensive, and unrelenting way...
Looks like those nutty Communists strike again!! We look a brief look at the cultural devastation of China under Communist rule here and here.
The author continues:
... For a time, Confucius and his philosophy did appear to have been crushed, pulverized by the communist juggernaut. But by the 1980s, informed observers began to acknowledge “a Confucian revival” within China. That revival has now continued for more than 20 years and shows no signs of abating. Writing in 1995, Columbia scholar William Theodore de Bary marveled at “the stunning reversal of [Communist] party policy,” a reversal evident in the way the Beijing regime was actually “claim[ing] for itself the right to speak for China’s Confucian heritage.” Because of this reversal in official policy, public schools in China have now been teaching Confucianism for over a decade—with the Communist government’s full blessing and support.
Western China-watchers report that “an enormous effort is now underway to make Communist Party officials ponder Confucian classics in party schools.” And these officials do seem to be learning their lessons: the official communist press is now full of articles “quoting tirelessly from the Confucian classics.” President Jiang Zemin himself quotes liberally from The Analects, The Book of Odes, and other Confucian classics in his speeches. The same Communist Party which once ordered its cadres to destroy Confucian shrines has spent millions in recent years to restore those shrines, while spending additional millions to make and distribute municipal banners carrying edifying quotations from the Master Kung...
Now isn't that strange? Why would the Chinese Empire, oops, I mean the Chinese Communist Party, do a complete 360 like that?
Well dear reader, the writer has a possible explanation:
...What many Western observers seem reluctant to admit is that Asians are rediscovering Confucius not because they want what they see in Western economies and political regimes, but rather because they do not want what they see in the Western society and cultures. To a very significant degree, the Asian turn toward Confucius reflects a turn away from the West and a Western culture perceived as morally corrupt and degenerate. Thus, it is not attraction for what the West has to offer, but rather fear of what the West might be spreading that is most evident in Communist China’s new embrace of Confucianism. In explaining that embrace in 1995, Xinhua expressed deep concerns about “the disappearance of social norms, the death of morals, and the disintegration of traditional values,” serious problems that Xinhua regarded as epidemic in the West and as a looming threat to China unless the Chinese accepted the “good medicine” offered by Confucianism.
The tone is very much the same when Japanese scholar Katsuta Kichitaro declares that “by following the insights of Confucianism, [he and his fellow Asians] can avoid the social catastrophe befalling the West, the result of centuries of individualism and egotism.” Western observer Alfred M. Boll consequently interprets the resurgence of Confucianism as an attempt “to protect [Asian] tradition against perceived detrimental Western influence.” Thus, when Singapore made its turn toward Confucius in the late 1970s, government officials explained that they were doing so “as a means of countering the Western ‘cultural onslaught’ on the young.”
The reaction against the Western “cultural onslaught” and toward Confucianism has often been most pronounced among Asians repulsed by what they see in American culture. Certainly, it is American culture which makes the need for Confucianism particularly clear to Singaporean diplomat Kishore Mahbubani. Writing in 1995, Mahbubani painted a very dark picture of American society:
In most Asian eyes [Mahbubani wrote] evidence of real social decay in the United States is clear and palpable. Since 1960, the U.S. population has grown by 41 percent. In the same period, there has been a 560 percent increase in violent crimes, a 419 percent increase in illegitimate births, a 400 percent increase in divorce rates, a 300 percent increase in children living in single-parent homes, a more than 200 percent increase in teenage suicide rates, and a drop of almost 80 points in Scholastic Aptitude scores.
Nor have American cultural trends since 1995 been such as would soften Mahbubani’s judgment. No, for many Asians in and outside of China, Confucianism looks like a much-needed protection against the cultural ills plaguing a modern America where families fall apart—or never form in the first place—and where rootless adolescents spend their nights committing street crimes rather than studying. Hence, many Asians view Confucianism not as a help in developing a capitalist society of the sort they see in the United States, but rather as “a cure for capitalism” (emphasis added) as they see it operating in a socially and culturally ailing America.
As much as I would like to defend my native culture against these harsh accusations... there's really not a whole lot I can do to rebut the charges. We in the West are guilty as sin.
What's interesting is that leaders in Asia recognize the threat that "Americanization" brings, and aren't ready to surrender without a fight. I would say that these rulers don't necessarily support the globalist scheme of world domination and are prepared to resist, more than likely by simply outlasting the danger until the decadent West collapses upon herself.
But I digress.
Mr. Christensen continues:
Western-style feminists may fret that 21st-century advocates of “Asian values” are bringing back “Confucian patriarchy by idealizing traditional patriarchal family structure and values that rigidly and hierarchically distinguish between women’s and men’s places and their respective roles.” But such feminist worries count for little with Asians like Mahbubani as they recoil in dismay from American social trends that have dramatically multiplied the number of American single-mother households while pushing millions of American fathers into roles of irrelevance for all but the state bureaucrats who must collect child support payments from them. For such Asians, the typical fatherless American family—impoverished, demoralized, and vulnerable—serves as a potent reminder of the great value of “the Confucian family rest[ing]... on a structured hierarchy, with ancestors as the counterpart of Heaven and the father as the earthly ruler of the family.”
America’s feminists, sexual liberationists, and radical individualists may continue to regard the family as an oppressive institution. But contemplating the social evil wrought by these anti-family groups only gives Asian observers fresh reasons to appreciate a Confucianism within which “the family is enshrined as a sacred community.” Similarly, when Americans shatter family ties to assert their do-their-own-thing personal liberty, they only remind Asians of why wise Confucianists consistently stressed personal virtue (identified as the Heaven-sent de in The Analects) as the essential safeguard of “the solidity of the family [and] its honor and integrity.”
Not content with merely using Confucianism to prevent the contagion of Western sickness from infecting their own cultures, a significant number of Asians now wish “to export Asian values to the United States and Europe.” “Asians,” one Western journalist explains, “want to do for us—or, perhaps, to us—what, as Christian missionaries, we did to the nations of Asia through four centuries of evangelization.” Senior Japanese diplomat Ogura Kazuo has thus called on his fellow Asians to “reexamine [Asia’s] traditional spirit and transmit our worthy Asian values to the rest of the world,” and it is quite clear that Ogura has Confucian values in view when he specifies that Asians must particularly teach Westerners about “the maintenance of family relationships and the relationship between the group and the individual.”
Confucian scholar Kim Dae Jung—Nobel laureate and former president of South Korea—also wants to promote Confucian values in the United States, so helping a failing American society to change along Asian and Confucian lines. “Instead of making Western culture the scapegoat,” Kim has written, “it is more appropriate to look at how the traditional strengths of Asian society can provide for a better democracy” (emphasis added). One way that those traditional Asian values might come to the West is through a “reverse Peace Corps,” discussed in recent years in Malaysia as a way of sending Confucian-minded volunteers to American cities, there to instill in lawless youth the humanizing ren that will guide their energies into activities other than crime and mayhem.
This article is instructive for a number of reasons.
1) Men need to know, understand, and appreciate the positive and beneficial contributions of their ancestors. Take what is good, and run with it. Cultures the world over have seen their golden ages during periods when the family unit was strong, intact, and rightly guided by enlightened men. Know thyself.
2) Men must cultivate proper virtues and right behavior. Just as God, Blessed be He, held Adam accountable for listening to Eve, living in an age of ignorance and savagery is no excuse for educated men not to study the art of virtuous living. Atheism and nihilism are the roads to death, but proper understanding of the Universal Law brings life.
For those who are interested, you can find the Chinese Classics here. Or if you are looking for something a little more familiar, your Bible is a good place to start, or pick up some of the great philosophers.
3) Men must ignore, or reject, philosophies and doctrines that go against those ideas and cultural benchmarks that have clearly proven to be superior in the long term. Feminism and other leftist movements have offered no real improvement upon the morality of mankind, but have only given to its followers deluded thinking and unspeakable amounts of pain and suffering.
It has been my observation that Asian men have the uncanny ability to ignore the ideas of people, especially women, who push for changes that threaten harmony and the established social order. There is a line in the sand, beyond which the Asian man will not cross. I think this ability to ignore the wild delusions of a few mad-women is a trait that we Westerners should learn once again.
Free your mind from the Fematrix, and everything will take care of itself in time.