e 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.
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 .