In China's Vanguard Civilization: Is there Shelter for the Third World?
This paper looks at China’s civilizational and modernization heritages. Its ancient civilization is described as the first phase of China’s civilization. In the first phase, China’s Civilization was stellar, and creative, possessing well–structured bureaucratic institutions with phenomenal capacities for artistic production and the advancement of high sciences. The second phase of China’s civilization reflects its current modernization, one inspired and operationalized by Marxism and Maoism. The earlier phase of China’s Civilization was aloof, benign, self-sufficient, reticent and reluctant to attract untoward global attention. This ancient civilization, rooted in the organic soil of China itself, was holistic, robust on its own merit.
China's civilization was inspired by its ancient religions and social formations. From such fountainheads, China’s institutional framework at the village, community, district, and regional levels responded to bureaucratic authority to produce creative and organically legitimate governance for centuries.
The ancient civilization of China represented a multidimensional grandeur. At its height, it combined scientific rationalizations with productive outputs in material science. There was a seamless integration of ancient technical and scientific differentiation. These were ancient, but their scientific characteristics were rather modern. If we average and standardize variation to account for epochal setbacks and institutional aberrations, such as misguided actions by the emperors, it is not farfetched to say that the level of scientific maturity that Great Britain reached in its industrial revolution by the 16th and 17th centuries matched China’s scientific output of two thousand years before.
China’s scientific output in ancient days represented functionally relevant and exquisitely adaptive features in their effects and utility. Pre-modern China showed to the world mastery of the hard sciences. Its engineering excellence testified to China’s mastery of metallurgy, chemical sciences, physics, astronomy, medicine, and structural engineering. Its socio-cultural development were the foundations of ancient China’s highly matured political development. Political maturity of ancient China valued human freedom with hierarchical order, revealing one of the oldest and most creative civilizations in the world.
China’s coming status as a superpower is unmistakable. As China’s superpower status consolidates in the next few decades, Third World states are asking, naturally: “Is China going to introduce celebratory developmental alternatives to the neocolonial structures of the West?”
Isaac, T. (2019). In China's Vanguard Civilization: Is there Shelter for the Third World?. Comparative Civilizations Review, 80, pp. 71-91. International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations (ISCSC).
History and Political Science
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01 Apr 2019