Sunday, May 8, 2016

447. China in the Eyes of the Founders

In Search for a New Humanity: A Dialogue Between Josef Derbolav and Daisaku Ikeda (ed. and tr. by Richard L. Gage (New York and Tokyo: Weatherhill, 1992), the authors tell his readers that there are two courses for the European intellectual regarding Chinese civilization, the first one is that " He may reject his own tradition and attempt to assimilate with the alien culture. " And the second one is "he may reject the alien culture and close himself up in the traditions of the West." According to the book, it is the one of the major tasks facing the contemporary Western intellectual to find "a middle road among these complexities is ."

Clearly when they fabricated the book the authors didn't read Dr. Dave Wang's papers on the founders efforts to borrow from Chinese civilization in order to build a new civilization in North America. Some argue that American civilization is the extensions of European civilization. In a sense, yes. However, for Professor Frederic Jackson Turner, American civilization was a new civilization remade by the western movement.  Turner argued that "the moving western frontier shaped American democracy and the American character from the colonial era until 1890."

The founders created the third road already during the founding era of the United States. It was to incorporate positive elements from Chinese civilization to create a new nation in North America. It is clear now the United States would be different without the founders efforts to learn from Chinese civilization. In the eyes of Benjamin Franklin, China was resources for various industrial technologies that badly needed in North American colonies. For Thomas Jefferson, Confucian classics provided him an ideal example of how to be a great leader to be remembered by the people. For Thomas Paine, Confucius was a great moral teacher in the same rank as Jesus.

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