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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2007 9:18 am
 


BartSimpson BartSimpson:
China had severe cultural problems that prevented it from developing to the same level as the European countries. Their amazing love of bureacracy at every level of life hamstrung them because boys who were born to farmers had to themselves become farmers no matter if their talents as artists or generals were unmatched. Likewise, the nation has an enduring habit of being ruled by utter incompetent fools as a direct result of the Confucian model of the social classes.

The next thing that poses an issue to the Chinese is imagination. They are amazing imitators but they are lousy innovators. Innovation of a Chinese product or process is considered an insult to the person (usually an older person) who originally developed it and is rude to the point of being a deep offence. This creates a social structure that avoids innovation to prevent personal shame for being rude.

After that is the Chinese concept of 'shen'. Shen is a kind of natural force that fills something to make it real.

For instance, a horse must be filled with the shen of a horse to be a horse.

The problem this presents is that many Chinese have had difficulties with models or representations of things they might want to develop.

A model of a ship that we would test before building the entire ship would not happen in China as recently as twenty years ago because to the Chinese mind a model of a ship is not a ship because it does not have the shen of a ship. Only a ship can be a ship. A model of a ship to this mindset is foolishness.

I know this is a very alien idea to many people, and the Chinese are typically obtuse in getting to the point so I often point out that Chinese children do have have toy airplanes or toy trucks and then I ask why: the answer is that a toy airplane is not an airplane so what is the point of it if it cannot fly?

They're really fun to deal with. Not.

The concept of shen is far less present in Taiwan or Hong Kong than in mainland China.

Blaming the West for exploiting China is not precisely accurate, either. The Chinese sold out their own country to the foreigners (or gwai) for the sake of cheap manufactured goods and shoddy drugs.

Ever the able imitators, the Chinese now sell cheap manufactured goods and shoddy drugs to the West. Where one of the PLA Generals a couple years ago announced that China intends to establish trading zones in foreign countries the same way the West once had Macau, Hong Kong, and etc.

I wonder if they'll force us to buy opium from them?


Sorry, but the Chinese WERE great inventors, which is what I said in my post. Arguably three of history's great inventions were created by them (the compass, paper and gunpowder). Things like the computer and airplane have since surpassed them, but until very recently, all three were still as relevant as they were when they were invented hundreds of years before the Europeans ever saw them. Until the Renaissance, the vast majority of inventions were of Chinese origin. It was after the Ming Dynasty became isolationist and withdrawn, while the West started inventing things.

Thye fact is that the Chinese CHOSE to be isolationist (much like the USA in 1930s) and it led them to downfall and occupation by foreign powers. Japan narrowly avoided that fate until the end of WW2.

I agree that the Chinese have a long history of bureaucracy, but that history allowed them to maintain a country of unimaginable size and wealth for thousands of years, while most Europeans 'empires' (at least until the 16th century) could be crossed in a day or three of marching. The only western empire to match the Chinese was the Roman Empire, and they too had a huge bureaucracy to keep things running smoothly.

If the US didn't have the bureaucracy it does today, how would it maintain its vast military/political divisions (states/territories/etc)? Without bureaucracy, what you get is a county, not a country.


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