CCCH9003 Modernity and Traditional Chinese Thought 2012-2013 Term Essay
‘Confucianism is of little value in today’s Hong Kong.’
Name: Cheng Ho Kwan UID: 3035068752
Historically, traditional Confucian philosophy fell out of use in China as modernity swept across Asia at beginning of the twentieth century. Since China was defeated by invaded of western countries and the increase industrial power and economic of Europe and United States forced Chinese people to consider China’s future. Some intellectual advocating modernisation when the new culture movement in China occurred. There were two ideological extremes formed in China, one rejected the Confucianism as it caused China’s weakness while the other believed Confucianism did not offer science and democracy which lead west to become powerful.1 Confucianism was neglected and not in need started from the new cultural movement.
Nowadays, Hong Kong is modern and global metropolis of China. It has a bureaucracy which is greatly autonomous from society and it also exercises minimum power and control over its citizenry and export-oriented economy. Meanwhile, it remains essentially Chinese. Hong Kong was changed into metropolis from industrialized region caused by the rapid economic growth. Some Scholars credited Confucianism as the impetus when the stellar economic performance of the Asia-Pacific region occurred in the 90s.2 It is because Confucianism provided the cultural background for entrepreneurs to excel. However, people loosely refer to Confucianism when analysing factors related to the social and economy matters due to same region triggered a global economic crisis in 1997. Moreover, studies on Chinese values especially the traditional values are certainly insufficient if not misconstrued by intellectuals with no Chinese background. Therefore, Do Chinese values still exist in Hong Kong or even the modern Chinese societies? Is Confucianism of little value in today’s Hong Kong? This essay will investigate if Confucianism still played an important role in developing the attitude and mind of modern Chinese in Hong Kong. What is Confucianism?
Confucianism is the one of major believe of Chinese. The core of Confucianism is humanism and it as an ideology is non-theistic and humanistic. The goal of Confucianism is to establish peaceful(安) and rule in the state. Confucianism focuses on the maintenance of ethics and the cultivation of virtue, the greatest basic of which are ren(benevolence), yi(righteousness), li(rites), zhi(wisdom) and xin(faithfulness).3 Achieving the goal is through Ren(仁), which is the most crucial concept of Confucius’ humanism.4 Ren expresses the extension from the self to others in terms of zhong(忠) ‘doing one’s best’ and shu(恕) ‘be considerate’. Zhong can be interpreted as to cultivate one’s moral character. This is equivalent to what we commonly regard as the Golden Rule, ‘Do to others what you would like others to do to you.’ Shu means that ‘Do not impose on others what you yourself do nor desire.’
The important of Confucianism
After the Opium Wars occurred, China was under the effect of westernization. Scholars started to doubt the traditional Confucianism and think that it is useless where compare to the western thought. However, there are some problems when applying the western thought. Thus，If we apply the Confucianism to different relationships and areas, it may solute or release some social problems. The following are how Confucianism plays the important role in different aspects such as political, economic, morality and education.
The main problem of now political environment is the distortions of individualism. In the system of democracy, people demands for freedom in society, however, people became selfish which only concerned about themselves and ignore the others. The individualism changed into egoism due to the people lack cultivates their moral character. As people don’t like the isolation...
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