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There are a number of Chinese members here who repeatedly warn about the dangers of Western ideas, and warn Chinese that they should adhere to their own culture and traditions, not listen to others.|
So I'd like to address that particular notion.
The fact is, China today is almost ENTIRELY a result of non-Chinese thinking and culture. Why do I say this? Because modern China is, in many ways, a result of the efforts of the Chinese Commu-nist Party, and the changes that that party has made in building China up.
Now, the question is, what are the origins of Commu-nism? Did a Chinese man invent Commu-nism? No. Did the principles of Commu-nism come from Chinese culture or history? No.
Commu-nism is a result of WESTERN culture. It was invented by foreigners. It was first implemented by foreigners. Chinese leaders COPIED a system already DEVELOPED by foreigners. When Chinese students study about Commu-nism in school, they study about KARL MARX -- who most certainly was not Chinese, and who knew nothing about Chinese culture. Quite the opposite, he attended Western universities, and lived his life in Western countries.
Now, look at China today.
Men can only have one wife. That is NOT traditional Chinese culture -- for almost 100% of Chinese history, men could have many wives. It was COMMU-NISM that made it illegal to have more than one wife. And that idea came from WESTERN culture, not from Chinese culture.
Chinese women are not forced to wear tiny shoes that destroy their feet. Again, for much of Chinese history, Chinese women were terribly abused in this manner, but it was a TRADITIONAL Chinese practice. It was COMMU-NISM that made it illegal to bind womens' feet. And that idea came from WESTERN culture, not from Chinese culture.
Men and women in China are considered legally equal. Again, for most of Chinese history, women were not equal with men, and were often treated as possessions rather than as people. They were barred from receiving the same education as men; they were barred from holding many of the same jobs as men; etc. Yes, there were a FEW Chinese women who managed to overcome those restrictions...but most did not. It was COMMU-NISM that created legal equality of men and women. And that idea came from WESTERN culture, not from Chinese culture.
Look at how many parts of "traditional Chinese culture" were changed because of Commu-nism. And then remember that MANY of those changes did NOT come from Chinese culture (which never had some of those ideas in its own history/tradition); it came from the writings of Karl Marx (and others like him) who were foreigners.
Some of those teachings resulted in damage for China (like the "Great Leap Forward", or the Cultural Revolution); but in other ways, they have benefitted China. Creating greater equality, and removing many of the abuses of the old, "traditional" Chinese cultural system. In other words, TODAY'S CHINA is the result of the ideas and beliefs of a FOREIGNER.
If you want to argue that accepting Western ideas MUST be wrong, and that the ONLY way for China to grow strong is to strictly maintain Chinese culture in an unchanging manner, then you must be willing to throw away all of the equality, throw away the women's rights, throw away MANY of the things that have made China what it is today. Because ALL of those ideas came from WESTERN culture, not Chinese.
There are some fools here who point to things that they call "Chinese culture" and "Chinese tradition"...yet they blindly ignore the fact that the very ideas they DEFEND came from a foreigner.
There is a saying that "no man is an island"...and the same is true of countries. China has ALREADY tried to close itself to the outside world, to get rid of all foreign influences. The result was a long period of stagnation and suffering for the Chinese people. North Korea today is STILL practicing the same policy, and its people are STILL suffering for that.
Mao Zedong -- and the leaders that succeeded him -- didn't ignore Western ideas. Quite the opposite. Mao Zedong took the ideas of a FOREIGNER, and adapted them in a manner that he felt was more suitable for China. Sadly, later, he changed from being open-minded and accepting other ideas, to being closed-minded and shutting out any other ideas.
Deng Xiaoping took it a step farther by acknowledging that China could not grow and prosper by itself...that it needed to be a part of the rest of the world, and to welcome foreign ideas.
So, for those people who CONTINUE to condemn everything "western", keep in mind the following points:
1) By condemning all Western ideas, you are condemning modern China, since modern China is based on many Western ideas.
2) By condemning any Chinese who accepts foreign ideas, you are condemning men like Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, who both accepted AND INTEGRATED Western ideas into Chinese culture.
Yes, there ARE some aspects of foreign culture that may not be good for China. I agree with that, and I do NOT think that China should become just like other countries. But that doesn't mean to throw away ALL Western ideas.
If "traditional Chinese culture" was the "only right way" for Chinese people, then today Chinese women would still be wearing tiny shoes, with many women married to the same man, treated as animals/possessions, with little or no chance for improvement or success in their lives.
How many "traditional Chinese" here REALLY believe that those "traditional Chinese beliefs" are superior to the WESTERN beliefs, introduced by Commu-nism, that men should have one wife, that women should NOT have to wear tiny shoes, and men and women should be equal under the law?
Please, DO speak up.