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DoesthisremainaConfuciansociet

发布时间:2020-08-13  浏览量:823  点赞:624

    <>An ideal Confucian society is one where everybody does what he is expected to do and harmony prevails. China is still a Confucian society, though unlike the one the Great Sage hopes it to be. Mao Zedong tried to de-Confucianize China by unleashing his Red Guards during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Their slogans were: “We don't love our fathers and mothers!” and “Rebellion is justified!” But China has survived Mao's de-Confucianization, because, like it or not, the Chinese, including Mao himself, are Confucians.

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    <>In Chinese society, filial piety is the first virtue. The “Classic of Filial Piety” , an apocrypha whose authorship some Confucian scholars attribute to Confucius himself, defines filial piety as one's duty to be good to one's father and mother, take care of them, engage in good conduct not just to them but outside the house so as to bring a good name to them, perform one's job well so as to obtain the material means to support them, not to be rebellious, display courtesy to them and show love, respect and support to them. And in our patrilineal and declining patriarchal society, fathers are still the ones who deserve our utmost filial devotion.

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    <>According to our Confucian extended family system, one has five fathers: birth father, adopted father, stepfather, godfather and teacher/coach/master . One's teachers, therefore, deserve the same filial devotion as any of the other four fathers. That's the reason why one of my American professors, Father Joseph Sebes at Georgetown University, insisted that we call him laoshi , probably because he was so Confucianized or Sinicized as to like to accept filial devotion to him as our teacher father. We did as part of our filial devotion to him.

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    <>That isn't the way many young men and women, college students in particular, act nowadays. One of them is Chen Wei-ting, a graduate student at Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu who was asked by Democratic Progressive Party legislators to take part as an observer in an interpellation session of the Education and Culture Committee of the Legislative Yuan, where he berated Minister of Education Chiang Wei-ning, including calling him names. Not knowing he wasn't allowed to speak, the young graduate student called Chiang a liar and a hypocrite. That's bad enough, but his colleagues did much worse.

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    <>After the university had issued a statement apologizing to the education minister and the public on Chen's behalf, his like-minded fellow students held funeral rites for the late Dr. Mei Yi-chi, a Tsing Hua president, to stress the “death of freedom of speech,” and last Friday 100 of them staged a sit-in protest on campus demanding their President Chen Li-chun apologize for extending an apology on his student's behalf. The student in question was at the sit-in, offering an apology for the attitude he had shown to the education minister but insisting the president apologize to him for apologizing on his behalf without his consent. Moreover, at least 1,000 Young Turk professors and instructors at Tsing Hua signed their names in a campaign in support of the students, demanding the university authorities to apologize for issuing the apology statement.

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    <>It's a farce. And a sad one at that. Let's find out how the row started.

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    <>A group of students, apparently including Chen the graduate student and his buddies, braved the rain to stage a marathon sit-in protest in Taipei against the bid by Want Want, a media conglomerate which owns the China Times, to take over Next Media, which owns the tabloid Apple Daily. Chiang sent a letter to their schools expressing his concern over the protesting students.

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    <>The letter has been interpreted by many students as the minister demanding the school authorities rein them in. So, the Tsing Hua graduate student attended the Legislative Yuan committee session to blast the education minister, who said he was misunderstood and we have more than enough reason to believe he is telling the truth. The Tsing Hua president knew full well Chiang didn't want to resurrect the “White Terror” and what his student did at the interpellation session was wrong. As a consequence, the president of the university apologized on his student's behalf. No disciplinary action has been taken against any of the students. There is no breach of freedom of speech whatsoever.

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    <>As a matter of fact, freedom of speech of the students was more than enough upheld when they protested against Want Want, suspected of connection with a China that is trying to gobble up Taiwan. On the other hand, they want their teacher fathers to apologize for the right thing he did for misbehaving students who in our traditional Chinese culture are considered his children.

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    <>These students and their instructors probably do not know that in a Confucian society like ours everyone is expected to do what he is expected to do. What are students expected to do? They are to study. What's the role teachers are expected play? To teach to the best of their capability what they know and set a good example for their students to follow. And according to the first virtue of the Confucian Chinese, both students and teachers have to honor, respect and love their teachers just as they do unto their own birth fathers.

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    <>Please, do not try to emulate Mao Zedong's Red Guards. They acted in the un-Chinese way. Ask those Red Guards who are now in their 50s and 60s, if you will. They would tell you they were wrong. All of us wish to live in our good old Confucian society, where our first virtue seems to be scoffed at.

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    <>〈本文仅供参考,不代表本会立场〉