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The East Is A Promotion

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The East is a Promotion

 

by Thorsten Pattberg

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"The East is a career," reads the quote by Benjamin Disraeli in the preamble of Edward Said's 1978 masterpiece ' Orientalism ' . Since Deng Xiaoping's opening-up policy, millions of European entrepreneurs, scholars and adventurers have swarmed eastward and flocked into China. We got our careers, now we want a promotion. Here's how.

 

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A Lofty pragmatism

 

Few people realize the great impact of Chinese thought in today's Europe. Germany for example is de facto undergoing a transformation away from sheer philosophical idealism and violent Christian doctrine towards a lofty ( Confucian ) pragmatism.

Although Germany is conservative about its deep affection for the Far East (the ruling Christian Democratic Union under Chancellor Angela Merkel still doesn't officially recognize "multiculturalism"), it will adapt to China eventually, and I'm not just referring to its 28,000 Chinese students, the impact of the Confucius Institutes in all of Germany's cultural centers, and Germany's economic dependency on China.

No, I base my argument about the Confucian revolution on four recent developments in Europe: in religion, education , philosophy, and intellectual culture.

 

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In European societies, we witness an ongoing secularization, far more evolved than that in the very radical and religious United States. Confucianism or Ruxue was never a religion (neither is Buddhism, by the way) but rather a code of conduct to create a harmonious society; the very kind of peaceful and tranquil society that socialist New Europe now aspires to become. The European parliament in Brussels, unlike Europe's national governments, resembles a council of sages -- pragmatic technocrats, not charismatic seducers.

 

The Love for learning

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Dr. Thorsten J. Pattberg (裴德思 Pei Desi) is a German philosopher and cultural critic.

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