29 September 2016

A very happy 2,567th birthday to Confucius!

Celebration of the birth of Confucius in Qufu, Shandong

It is supremely important for China to remember, with fondness and with sober reflection, her Uncrowned King, her Sage, her Great Teacher, as she forges her bold way forward. A classical educator who hailed back to the wisdom of the Zhou in his own time, Confucius taught us that we should not forget nor despise the past. He taught that sovereigns should be obeyed, but also that they should exercise humane government and cultivate the personal, family virtues. He taught that sovereigns should not seek to expand their own kingdoms by force, but instead through the power of virtuous persuasion. He taught that relationships within a family – between husbands and wives, between parents and children, between elder and younger siblings – should be warm, caring and harmonious, even if not egalitarian. His egalitarianism, however, showed up in other ways: he counselled against small-minded cupidity and excoriated greed. He taught that poor people and even barbarians are capable of knowing the Way. He thought it more important that students understand the Odes than that they be skilled in reciting them. He chided his own wealthier and more powerful countrymen that they preferred flattery and conceit to the truth.

It is necessary – indeed, of vital importance – for China to regain and find a footing for the unique, radical public witness of the followers of Confucius, from Dong Zhongshu and Ban Zhao to Kang Youwei, Kang Xiaoguang and Jiang Qing. And so much the better if this discourse runs against the coarse, crass, greedy and depersonalising demands of globalist liberal capitalism!

Let it be known that even 2,567 years after the birth of China’s Great Sage, his words and works still hold great moral power and inspire great love in the Chinese people. Ten thousand years to the Uncrowned King!

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