China, the most populous country on earth, a country so large and powerful it can never be ignored, is always in the news. This time, China captures our attention because of the long-simmering dispute with the United States over trade issues.
What makes this huge nation tick? What are the driving forces of Chinese culture?
We've heard a great deal over the past two decades about changes in China, about economic reforms, an ongoing process of rethinking the structures of Chinese society. But what are the basic ideas underlying the reforms?
|China serves as a reminder that, despite the failure of Communism in most of the countries once ruled by that set of doctrines, the ideas of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels are not yet dead -- not quite. To read those ideas in some of the original writings of Marx and Engels, Communism's founding fathers, visit Marx and Engels' Writings, a Web site rated 4 stars in the McKinley Internet Yellow Pages.|
In China, to be sure, Marxism blended long ago with the ideas of Mao Ze-dong. Marxism/Maoism has always been in a love-hate relationship with many traditional Chinese beliefs. Many scholars of Chinese Marxism point out elements of Confucianism and Taoism that have crept into the official ideology. And now, it appears that the ideological system that forms the basis of Chinese authority has also borrowed certain concepts from capitalism. All of this just goes to demonstrate what a complicated culture the "Middle Kingdom" is today.
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