Communism and Confucianism Essay
According to the definition of Communism on Dictionary. com online it states; “ a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state” and the definition of Confucianism states; “the system of ethics, education, and statesmanship taught by Confucius and his disciples, stressing love for humanity, ancestor worship, reverence for parents, and harmony in thought and conduct. Confucianism and Communism has been a long term clash throughout history.
However, Confucianism and Communism do share some common ground with the beliefs of respecting their elders/ancestors. The government of the People’s Republic of China is divided into three sections, the Communist Party, the Central’s People Government and the People’s Liberation Army. The Communist Party is controlled by the Politburo Standing Committee, which is a group of 4 to 9 people, usually all older men, who make all the decisions of national significance.
To understand further about Communism, some differences among China’s government and our own are the following; the United States practices democracy, China practices authoritarian/totalitarian system. The United States have rules of law, China rules their men and lastly the United States protects the rights of people unlike China infringes on the rights of people (Starr, 54). Both Confucianism and Daoism disfavor a harsh government. Thus, this has put a strain on the people in China by testing their beliefs and faith through many, many years.
Confucius, born Kong Qui was born in 551 B. C. E, “founded” what is known as Confucianism, to which is not considered a world religion (not organized) (Pollock, p. 145) rather a “system of ethics…stressing love for humanity and ancestor worship” as stated above. Confucius was believed to be an unsuccessful politician but tried to infiltrate the government. Confucius urged to lead people with virtue and rituals as opposed to government policies and punishments. He believed that the ruler should gain respect through his deeds rather than achieving it through his status and authority.
Similarly, Daoism disliked the emphasis of status being displayed in the political empire. It asked for a light government and asked for a ruler that portrayed a serving attitude. Both systems disliked governments that employed killing and wished for a non aggressive rule. Both beliefs also agree that individuals should foster compassion, humility and moderation for a successful society. Confucius’ efforts towards the government was an unsuccessful attempt, after the governments rulings and restrictions went against the grain of what Confucianist believed, testing their values.
However, he succeeded in winning over a handful of devote followers who continued his legacy and Confucianism later went on to become one of the most influential thought systems of Chinese history. Confucianism is very different from any other religion/faith. This is due to the fact that the Chinese see religion as a form of education. The purpose of Confucianism was mainly to instill moral values in a person. There is no organized church or structure, no priests, no sects, and no creed for any follow.
Confucius emphasized five virtues, which are the ideals of Confucianism. The Confucian virtues are something that should reflect sincerity and inner spirit. The most important one was ren which means “humanity” he thought that should be the ideal for everyone to follow. Yi, meaning “honesty”, zhi, “knowledge” xin faithfulness and li; “correct behavior. ” Confucianism also refers to basic texts which are called the five classics. The Chinese always believed that the universe has always been influenced by two opposing forces the Yin and the Yang.
The two forces are always changing in power but each is necessary in order to maintain a balance. Related to this concept also comes the idea that all things are made up of five elements; wood, metal, fire, water and earth, like the yin and yang this elements are always influencing each other in the balance of nature. Using this foundation Confucius came to determine how things work together. Later believing that this was the key for living, and maintaining harmony. This way anyone would be able to correct imbalances or disharmony.
This idea was used in medicine, nutrition, agriculture, art and literature, becoming part of Confucianism. Although Confucianism has evolved and changed, most of its social and governmental ideals have prevailed to remain. They have been useful, and have become the building blocks that have helped the Chinese civilization be such a stable force. However, Communism gained a rotten reputation according to the ruthless rule of the First Emperor. Confucianism thus became the official Philosophy, gaining wide acceptance in China.