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Confucianism Vs. Communism: Differences And Similarities

1042 words - 5 pages

"By nature men are pretty much alike, it is learning and practice that set them apart." This quote by Confucius has been entrenched in the people of China's minds. Chinese lives revolved around Confucian teachings and beliefs. Confucian ideas and beliefs would come to shape the Chinese government. In addition, Confucian ideas would dominate Chinese society, and governed the Chinese's way of life. Then in 1949, the Communists swept into Beijing, and took power. The leader of the Communists, Mao Zedong, announced the birth of the People's Republic of China. After gaining power, the Communists tried to change the value system that had been entrenched in China for three thousand years.Without a ...view middle of the document...

To him, young people had to respect their elders; women were inferior to men; scholars held the highest positions in society; and peasants who worked the land were more valuable that merchants and soldiers.On the other hand, Communism was a new, revolutionary philosophy that was very different from that of Confucianism. Communism was a so-called, "dictatorship of people". Chairman Mao had a role very similar to Confucius. Children and adults were taught that Mao Zedong had all the answers to China's problems. Quotations From Chairman Mao, also known as the Little Red Book, was a book that people had to memorize sayings from. Although they had similar roles, they had different beliefs. Mao believed that instead of filial piety, he called for loyalty and service to China. Through the vast country, posters and loudspeakers declared, "Serve the People". By doing so, the Communists tried to promote national unity. In addition, Mao believed in a classless society, where everyone was equal. "Learn from the peasants," was a saying by Mao. Furthermore, the Communists tried to reverse Confucian teachings of respect for elders and put their faith in young people. Mao encouraged children to criticize their parents for staying with the old ways. During the Cultural Revolution, children often took blame and responsibility of their parents' actions and backgrounds unlike in Confucianism where the father takes credit and blame of his children's actions. Finally, however different were Confucius and Mao's beliefs, they had some common goals. Both wanted the country to benefit. In addition, they both focused on education. However a difference is that Mao wanted people to learn correct Communist beliefs, while Confucius taught Confucian beliefs.No matter how hard Mao tried, he was not very successful in trying to change the value system in China. The Communists tried to change a value system that had been in effect for three thousand years in less than a hundred years. For example, the Communists tried to destroy the traditional reverence for ancestors. They forbade families to hold...

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