Kong Qui alias K’ung Fu-tzu was a Chinese philosopher, teacher, and political stature. Confucius played a significant role in shaping not only the social, economic, and political life of China, but as well as of the world. The teachings of Confucius are preserved in the Analects and promote social cohesion amid people whilst creating ethical grounds for humanity. Notably, during his lifetime, the teachings of Confucius had little attention paid to them as opposed to how they are valued after his death. Equally important, Confucius became a great philosopher in China during the dynasties of Tang, Han, and Song. Through his aphorism, Confucius is now adopted as a worldview in politics, ethics, and education thus the term Confucianism referring to followers of Confucius in the fifth and sixth centuries B.C . As such, the arguments presented herein seek to analyze the assessment of Confucius on the legacy of Mao Zedong in Chinese history whilst posing a commentary on the turmoil of China as she struggles to become a modern nation.
The turmoil of China as she struggles to become a modern nation. Several books on world history explain how China has struggled to become a modern nation. Moreover, analysis of China during the 20th century indicates that the nation had challenges during the Mao years. However, insight into the case after the Mao regime elucidates information that shows China’s quest to develop with emphasis on three aspects namely social and economic change, freedom from foreign interference, and national unity. Therefore, one source of Chinese history is the analects of Confucius explaining how China has struggled to attain its level of development . The brief therefore has almost eight sections with seven focusing on explaining the turmoil of China’s struggle. Furthermore, the article has a vivid description on what would be Confucius assessment on the legacy of Mao. Finally, the paper offers a succinct summary in relation to the thesis statement as shown below.
The turmoil for China’s reform began in 1800s with a debate on how they could use western and Japanese ideologies to improve their economy and industrialization without losing their traditional beliefs. The nineteenth century plays a significant role in the history of China. This is because during the period, China suffered defeat from western powers. The defeat troubled China and made her confused on which direction to go. The trouble was further catalyzed by their rapid population growth, internal rebellions promoted by figures such as Mao, and impulsive economic swings. Therefore, the reform revolution had differing opinion with some Confucius scholars being of the opinion that the western influence would affect the Chinese culture and render it obsolete. On the other hand, some Confucius cohorts were in support of the western influence with the aim to help improve China’s technology whilst retaining the native traditions.
May fourth movement is also called the New Culture Movement: a period in Beijing during 4th May 1919. According to the analects of Confucius, the period is rendered important since it saw many social and political leaders emerging. The leaders emerged because students protested against the government’s compromised response to the treaty of Versailles thus allowing Japan to grab territories in Shandong. The protest grew to a national level forcing the government to adopt a populist base model and shifting away from a model dominated by few intellectual elites as sole decision makers. Confucius notes that May fourth movement is important as it marked the establishment of Chinese nationalism.
The end of road of the Opium War in 1840 marks the inception of the nationalist rule. Several forms of nationalism co-exist proving significant to Chinese quest to attain a level of a modern nation. The communist nationalism exists and strives to maintain its political monopoly. In addition to this, a “primitive” nationalism is also evident as racist who are few Chinese elites propels it. Notably, a “pragmatic nationalism” exist while it derives its authority from the social and economic realities of China. The analects indicate that the national rule is characterized by Chinese quest to attain a level of democratic nationalism: concerned with defending not only the interest of the nation, but also of its citizens. However, research indicates that it is difficult to attain such a level due to previous scenarios such as the Anti-American demonstrations and the Anti-Japanese violence .
In 1895, Japan defeated China over dominance in Korea hence discrediting programs of the “self-strengtheners” as fears of China’s survival escalated . As such, the Chinese nationalism came into existence through immediate appeals from the Qing court for further radical reform. The reform program had a succinct trial in a phase called the “Hundreds Days of Reform” of 1898. However, its implementation in economics, military, education, and government were done in 1900 after the Boxer rebellion defeat. Therefore, from the Confucius it can be argued that the Japanese invasion helped China in attaining a stated of a modern nation through reform in the education system scrapping off examination systems in schools.
The period marks a social and economic campaign by Communist Party of China from 1958-1962 . Chairman Mao Zedong led the campaign with an aim to transform China into a socialist state through industrialization and collectivization. The movement goes against the writing of Confucius who encourages human cohesion and respect for people’s space: it was made mandatory, characterized by forced labor, and sanctions imposed on those who engaged in private farming.
This revolutionary movement proceeds after Mao failure to implement his Great Leap Forward initiative. The cultural revolution by Mao spanned form 1966-1976 with an aim to preserve the ‘true’ communalist state of China . Mao’s thought paralyzed the country’s economy and politics as he was the sole decision maker. Mao used violence to gain not only fame, but also resources by reclaiming capitalist state. In so doing, Mao goes against the writings in the Analects as he kills and forcefully takes people’s property. Confucius is against such behavior when he says, “do to others what you wish to be done to you.”
Confucius assessment of the legacy of Mao Zedong in Chinese history. The Analects depicts a picture painting how Confucius was determined to changing China’s perception of life. He recognized the need to reinforce societal values during the sixth century B.C.: after Chinese state undermined the authority of Chuo Empire that lasted for more than 500 years . Therefore, after the traditional Chinese principles started deteriorating teachings on the golden rule emphasized the need to love others whilst exercising self-discipline. However, this is not the case with Mao Zedong, who through his dealings and leadership Chinese people suffered a great deal. Mao had several moves such as Great Leap Forward where Chinese people experienced bad leadership through the implementation of a socialist and industrialized state. Later on, Mao came up with the Cultural Revolution movement paralyzing the country’s economy and politics.
Therefore, according to Confucius writings, the legacy of Mao Zedong is described as a regime of vices dominated by selfishness and degradation of Chinese traditional practices.
To that end, the brief sums up the ideas having assessed the turmoil of Chinese quest to becoming a modern nation. Further, the assessment of Mao Zedong legacy is one that is criticized by the writings of Confucius as he failed in promoting human cohesion. Through introduction of classes and harming the less fortunate, Mao also failed to respect peoples’ free will to worship and work. Confucius clearly notes that it is important to do to others that you wish should be done to you, but Mao went ahead, used his position to gain wealth, frustrated, and paralyze the economy of the country. Notably, the struggles outlined herein are important, as they have shaped China into the powerful and admirable country it is today: it is evident that China comes second to none in business as it records increased level of creativity and production.