Confucian China and Its Modern Fate, Volume 2: The Problem by Joseph R. Levenson

By Joseph R. Levenson

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Extra resources for Confucian China and Its Modern Fate, Volume 2: The Problem of Monarchial Decay

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Paradigm shifts occur when the Party and the government says so, and most Chinese scholars would follow in droves by adding their voices of applause to the official line. 28 Mao Zedong was reported to have used the idea as far back as in 1958, just before the Great Leap Forward. 29 In China, 'Marxism' is equated with science and 'Marxist' with scientific, and dialectical materialism and historical materialism are regarded as scientific methods. 'Dialectics' refer to the process of conflict between a thesis and an antithesis, resulting in a synthesis, which will become a new thesis.

24 By extension, it does not 20 Theoretical Assumptions matter whether the subjects offered are capitalist in nature or not, so long as their dissemination can serve China's modernisation goals. Obviously China has moved away from its original socialist path and has embarked on a road of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It can be argued that China has changed its ideological beliefs, but China would vehemently deny this, saying that it is still adhering to socialism. It has not changed its principles, only its tactics to deal with changing circumstances.

The Party's predicament can be likened to the Ideological Assumptions 23 situation of riding on a tiger's back, as the Chinese saying goes, in which it is very difficult to dismount (in other words, to change drastically the established way of doing things). Most Chinese scholars are working within a Kuhnian paradigm of 'normal science': sharing similar basic assumptions, posing similar kinds of questions, using similar research methods, and eventually arriving at similar conclusions. Any strange research findings are regarded by the community of established scholars as anomalies and are often discarded or ignored.

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