The text this week referenced a quote made by Jackie Chan regarding the supposed nonessential nature of freedom. This statement seems rather strange considering the fact that Chan’s family hails from Hong Kong, where many Mainland Chinese immigrate to in order to pursue freedom. The text attributed this statement to three characteristics of “Contemporary Confucianism,” which I can definitely understand, but disagree with. These attributes include an intuitive group morality, the moral critique of youth, and freedom with Confucian characteristics.
While these views may seem normal from a Chinese perspective, I believe that these supposed characteristics may be a bit hypocritical, at least from a Western perspective. This romanticization of the past happens all throughout history, and I believe that this case is yet another example of that. While proponents support a return to “Confucian values,” these individuals fail to realize that China was not nearly as developed in the past, and closing itself off from the world once again would just result in a repetition of the events of the late Qing Dynasty.
With the widespread availability of the Internet in China, legally questionable content (from the CCP’s point of view) is often exposed to the public before government censors are able to react, which results in situations similar to those of Yang Jia and Deng Yujia and mentioned in the text (115). Perhaps this romanticization of the past is just a reactionary response to a modernizing world and the cynicism associated with it, a contrast to globalization. While “Contemporary Confucianism” may appeal to the public, I believe that it’s definitely a step in the wrong direction as it severely limits individuality, a trait that is often lacking in Eastern traditions.