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March 03, 2018

Marx or Confucius? [KT]


Isn't this cultural appropriation or something?

While our political class has been focused on Russia, there has been some activity in China. The Economist put up a piece titied, How the West got China wrong. "It bet that China would head towards democracy and the market economy. The gamble has failed." The piece is behind a paywall for me, but maybe you would like to read it. It starts:

LAST weekend China stepped from autocracy into dictatorship.

The Confucius Institutes

About the time this happened, Paul Mirengoll wrote at Powerline about the Confucius Institutes on American college campuses. The photo above is from the one at the Miami Dade College. How many students in China do you think dress up like that?

In the modern world, ideological warfare goes hand-in-hand with military threats. Thus, though few Americans know about it, we shouldn't be surprised that China is waging ideological warfare on American college and university campuses. What's surprising, perhaps, is the complicity of our colleges and universities.

China fights its ideological battle on American campuses through Confucius Institutes. Since 2004, the Chinese government has planted "Institutes" that offer Chinese language and culture courses at colleges and universities around the world, including more than 100 in the United States.

The National Association of Scholars produced a report on the Confucius Institutes last year.

Outsourced to China, a new report by the National Association of Scholars, is a study of the 12 Confucius Institutes in New York and New Jersey. It examines China's soft power influence through American higher education, and reveals new data on Confucius Institutes' funding, hiring, and academic freedom policies.

Based on their findings, the NAS suggested that universities either shut down the institutes or take other steps to mitigate their danger. Mirengoff has made additional suggestions, based partly on a report by Rachelle Peterson, suggesting that China is "giving the Confucius Institutes a makeover in order to sustain and enhance their efficacy as a propaganda tool."

Marx vs. Confucius

In the meantime, if you know a young person who might be interested in attending classes at one of the Confucius Institutes, I recommend sharing this piece from Dissident about the recent internal consolidation of power in China:

The two-term limit was established by Deng Xiaoping after the disastrous and bloody Cultural Revolution that dictator Mao Zedong unleashed between 1966 and 1976. Deng, who had been ostracized by Mao, recognized that "it is not good to have an over-concentration of power." His establishment of a more consensus-based style of governance, paired with the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, was viewed by many as a great accomplishment--perhaps even the first step on the path to democratization. Now all that is reversed.

Among the other changes to the constitution proposed by the Central Committee is the addition of this sentence: "The leadership of the Communist Party of China is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics." The fact that the Communist Party can easily amend the constitution to write its own power into the body of the text vividly illustrates the yawning gap between the real law-based constitutional governance found in democracies, and the communist version. . . .

I wonder how much the prospective American student at a Confucius Institute knows about Confucius? He didn't believe in democracy or rule by the masses, of course. But he did promote a system of ethics not found in Marxism. He did believe in "soft power". From the comments to the Powerline piece:

The boundless duplicity of Socialists is revealed in the fact that they will use a man whose influence they ruthlessly persecuted out of Chinese life to further their ruthless persecution of whatever makes humanity human.

Meanwhile, on Karl Marx's 200th birthday, the President of the European Commission plans to unveil a bronze statue of the Father of Communism in Trier, Germany. The statue is a gift from #China.

China, Marxism. Out and proud. Fortunately Juncker is starting to get some pushback.

EU critics have pointed out that the EU's lack of democratic accountability and desire to centralise power in an unelected Commission has already been compared to the old Soviet Union by its former leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

. . . Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski, who as a seven-year-old boy fled to Britain with his family from the brutal Communist regime in Poland, demanded that Mr Juncker rejects the invitation and does not attend the commemorative events.

Jetsam - Related news items from Victims of Communism:

Apple is moving the icloud to a Chinese data center.

China snatched a Swedish bookseller off a train.

Under pressure from China's Communist Party, most of Hong Kong's independent book shops have closed down in the past two years.

Don't name food after mass murderers.

Mercedes Benz has apologized to the Chinese people for quoting the Dalai Lama. If Confucius falls out of favor again, will they have to apologize for quoting him?

Note: this is the Thread before the Gardening Thread.

Serving your mid-day open thread needs

Hope you have a great weekend.

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posted by Open Blogger at 11:19 AM

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