Confucianism Produced a Civil China

I must confess that I am unable to appreciate the merits of Confucius. His writings are largely occupied with trivial points of etiquette, and his main concern is to teach people how to behave correctly on various occasions. When one compares him, however, with the traditional religious teachers of some other ages and races, one must admit that he has great merits, even if they are mainly negative. His system, as developed by his followers, is one of pure ethics, without religious dogma; it has not given rise to a powerful priesthood, and it has not led to persecution. It certainly has succeeded in producing a whole nation possessed of exquisite manners and perfect courtesy. Nor is Chinese courtesy merely conventional; it is quite as reliable in situations for which no precedent has been provided. And it is not confined to one class; it exists even in the humblest coolie. It is humiliating to watch the brutal insolence of white men received by the Chinese with a quiet dignity which cannot demean itself to answer rudeness with rudeness. Europeans often regard this as weakness, but it is really strength, the strength by which the Chinese have hitherto conquered all their conquerors.


The Europeans think the Chinese weak because of their quiet dignity, but Bertrand Russel sees it as a strength with which they conquer.

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 The Problem of China
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Russell , Bertrand (2007-12-01), The Problem of China, Cosimo, Inc., Retrieved on 2013-10-11
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: history


    07 AUG 2012


    Studies in Chinese classical literature and philosophy.