Confucianism Essay, the philosophical system based on the teaching of Confucius
(551-479 BC), dominated Chinese sociopolitical life for most of Chinese history
and largely influenced the cultures of Korea, Japan, and Indochina. The
Confucian school functioned as a recruiting ground for government positions,
which were filled by those scoring highest on examinations in the Confucian
classics. It also blended with popular and imported religions and became the
vehicle for articulating Chinese mores to the peasants. The school’s doctrines
supported political authority using the theory of the mandate of Heaven. It
sought to help the rulers maintain domestic order, preserve tradition, and
uphold a constant standard of living for the taxpaying peasants.
It trained its
adherents in benevolence, traditional rituals, filial piety, loyalty, respect
for superiors and for the aged, and principled flexibility in advising rulers.
“Whilst thy father and mother live, do not wander afar. If you must travel,
hold a set course.” Confucius 19 Chinese Adoption of the Philosophy The
Chinese social culture has since adoption of Confucianism been very family
related. In order to understand the thoughts better, imagine your self at that
time. People were farmers and the ordinary way of life was to cultivate, which
means work hard, and to “produce” as many children as possible,
preferable of male sex.
The parents were responsible for their children for as
long as they could work, and thereafter the roles were overturned as the
children had from there on to provide for the family. This shows how important
the family relation was at that time (stressed by Confucius in his philosophy)
and still is in China. Let me repeat myself, the strongest link in the chain of
the family was and is mutual “take care of” your beloved ones, because
no one else would. This system has deep roots in the Chinese culture and it
would be easy to think that it’s not going to change in a very long time, but
nonetheless I claim that a few years would suffice and I’m even convinced that
it will very soon. There are several reasons to that and my essay is intended to
prove them. Developing a modern society China has one astonishing major problem:
its population growth.
The answer to the question “Why do the Chinese bear
so many children ?”, was partially given above; they need children as a
guarantee for the future and more children mean more workers in the households
and on the land. Some nationwide campaigns were launched in the last decades
whose aim was to restrict the number of children to one per couple through
various incentives and threatened penalties. This worked quite well in the urban
areas, but in the country sides the one-child policy reportedly had an
unexpected and terrible result: the number of female infanticides increased, due
to the fact that male children were more desirable as they worked harder.
Experience from today’s “modern” societies shows that once wealth is
established in a country, the population growth decreases. As an example can be
mentioned Europe: during the time before industrialization, and before the state
had a crucial social role, the growth rate was extremely high. Now when child
labor is prohibited and when there is a common wealth, the population growth
rate is in some cases even negative.
China is undoubtedly looking into the light
of having a better economy, following the traditional path of a country moving
from being agricultural to highly industrialized. If China will follow this
evolution, people’s mentality will change, just as it has changed in all the
countries where there has been a radical economical evolution. Once the state
will be able, through pensions and transfers, to take care of people who cannot
work, family relations will no longer be indispensable. I am not saying that
family bonds will be less important but the relation child-parent will be solely
based on love and attachment, not love, attachment and need. Being more
effective, using fertilizers and modern machines will also reduce the need for
having such a big share of the population working in the agricultural sector.
More and more people will move to the industrial centers, and moving means in
some way breaking family relations and rebelling to the ancient thoughts that
built a whole way of life for countless generations.
The role of the state The
government is becoming more and more important in the life of the Chinese people
and unconsciously substituting the role of religion. The state is responsible
for the elder, not the children like Confucianism states. This is very crucial,
because if .