Confucianism: Affecting Political Communications in China for Millennia

For over two thousand years, Chinese history has been filled with bloodshed, wars, and some inhuman violence. Chinese Dynasties have been changed from one to another, as emperors tried to outlast each other in order to get the power that they desire. But behind all these negatives, it can still be said that the Chinese political system has remained stable and enduring throughout the years.

A logical reason for this as accepted by many is the idea of Confucianism that political leaders in China continuously embrace up to now. In simple context, Confucianism has been the dominant source of Chinese political thinking.

Confucius

Confucius

Confucianism is the way of life that was propagated by the legendary Confucius. This ideology has been followed by the Chinese for over two millennia already and has transformed over time. The influence of Confucianism was not limited to China; actually, its influence has been extended to other Asian countries such as Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Unfortunately in Korea, the idea of Confucianism has not been maintained as evident in the issue of Korean Comfort Women.

The idea of Confucianism has truly affected the peaceful political system and communication in China. Ideas of Confucianism such as social hierarchy, family authority, and emphasis on public rituals and morality of individuals have become operative principles of Chinese political practices, causing success for thousands of years.

Although the idea of Confucianism is considered to be traditional and rhetorical, no one can deny that it is still practiced until now.

The ultimate political goal of Confucius was to achieve moral idealism of the rulers and individuals, which in turn would contribute to an orderly and civilized society. For Confucius, an orderly and harmonious society can be achieved and maintained by two important values and practices- ren and li. Ren consists of values such as humaneness, goodness, kindness, benevolence, virtue, and love for fellow men. On the other hand, Li focuses on rites, customs, ceremony, ritual, rules of propriety, decorum.

Perhaps the best way to prove that Confucianism is indeed practiced up to this day is the mere fact that current President Xi Jinping endorsed the promotion of Confucius and Confucianism.

President Xi Jinping

President Xi Jinping

Images from SCMP and Confucius Institute