Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

China’s Rise is an Illusion- Troy Parfitt

Posted by w_thames_the_d on September 1, 2013


Troy Parfitt wrote a book about China called “Why China Will Never Rule the World: Travels in the Two Chinas”

In it he describes his journey through China and glimpses of the people and ‘culture’ he found there. The book is extremely well written and spot on. The author has a beautiful way with words which makes the book a delight to read. He also has good insight into the people and culture of China.

Here are a few excerpts from the book.

Why China Will Never Rule the World: Travels in the Two Chinas (Parfitt, Troy)

“Never is it suggested that the Chinese ought to make a break with their past and invent a new future. Never is it asked why China has this “satanic” form of government. Never is it questioned how this form of government sprang from Chinese civilization, culture, or tradition. Never is a connection made between authoritarianism and Confucianism, or the teachings of Lao Tzu, or thousands of years of repressive and feudalistic dynastic rule. Never is the question raised why so many countries do not have such a repressive (government)

Traditional Chinese culture is a shackle, and Chinese history is a dungeon from which it is impossible to escape. Bo Yang says, “The pernicious influence of thousands of years of feudal and authoritarian government which has kept the Chinese people pickling away in the soy paste vat has crippled our thinking, hampered our judgment, perverted our world view, and kept us bottled up inside a thick set of walls. This influence has also impaired our ability to make moral judgments and deprived us of the courage to act on principle. As a result, we can only react to the world through

our emotions and our intuition. In sum, we have lost the ability to think straight.”

China’s great rise is a great illusion. Modernization in Chinese society is little more than window-dressing, the welding of superficial constructs – Pepsi signs, department stores, state-of-the-art production methods – onto an antique mindset. To say that China is rising is exceedingly vague. To say that it is already great or slated for greatness is a mindless mantra at best and a cheap marketing ploy at worst.”

2 Responses to “China’s Rise is an Illusion- Troy Parfitt”

  1. Chen said

    To those who are interested about Chinese communist party:
    I understand that China was criticised by westerns about everything. I am not saying thats wrong but if you do have some knowledge about the Chinese background, a lot of your ideas will be changed. China permanently changes and innovates new modern ways to progress our great society.

    Here is one example, there is one thing called “cultural revolution” happened between 1966 to 1976. For those ten years there was no education, no development, everything was totally screwed up, the whole economic was holding back. So Chinese people who are aged 50 to 65 were not educated very well, many of them didn’t even go to school. Just imagine how can the government ever give all the powers to those uneducated people?

    I am not gonna take any discussion with you guys, because there wont be a real answer. People always make judgements from their own perspectives, if you want find out more there is google. Don’t believe anything unless you really see it, don’t judge a country you don’t even know. China is an evil ? wait a minute, where is China…….

    • Tanks for the reply. Yur comment is interesting but follows the logical fallacy that China is better off now when compared to the past. Fr instance, you said that China cannot trust those from the cultural revolution, but those who are the ones leading China today, even though they are emotionally damaged.

      In addition, many say that China is better now than it was in the 60’s even though it was the communists who made it hell back then. It was also those same communists who made Chinese live in communes and share communal toilets.

      Using the same logic, it is odd to claim that China pulled so many out of poverty when it was the communists who put them in poverty in the first place.

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