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The Historical Difference between China and the West

Xiaoming Guo 郭晓明


The historical logic and ideals are different between China and the West. The history of China began with the merging of tribes, not by conquest.

When Yellow Emperor defeated Yan Emperor at the Battle of Zhuolu, the tribe of the Yellow Emperor made harmonic unification with the tribe of the Yan Emperor, Chinese are the descendants of the Yellow Emperor and Yan Emperor or YanhuangYellow Emperor did not enslave the Yan Emperor in the sense of Western conquest. They view each other as equal and learn to form each other. Chinese civilization is a humanitarian civilization. The winner of the war does not enslave and exploit the loser, not to eliminate the rival. When Qin Shi Huang united the other six states, it was a unification, not a conquest. Qin Shi Huang’s cabinet had officers from all seven former states. Qin Shi Huang did not let his sons rule different duchies, he uses civil officers to rule different counties. That’s why China had a civil bureaucracy two thousand years ahead of Europe.

In the AnalectsConfucius said: “Restore states that had been ruined, revive lines that had died away, elevate those who had kept away from public office,…” (Lun Yu — English). When a state triumphed, the winner is supposed to treat the defeated virals as equals and enroll them in public office. This is the ideal of Confucianism.

The philosophy of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and that of Laozi are very similar: they are all dialectical idealism. Hegel’s ontology is that Being and Nothing becoming the universe, and Being is the origin. Laozi’s ontology is that Nothing and Being produce the universe, and Nothing is the origin. Hegel emphasizes Being and Laozi emphasizes on Nothing. But the structure of the two ontologies is much the same.

As for the motion or process, Hegel uses the Being and Nothing as the elements that motion is the struggle between Being and Nothing. Being and Nothing are opposite and exclusive. Western sociologists used the motion philosophy of Hegel, to consider social evolution as a result of conflicts. Karl Marx and Max Weber all adopted the Hegel philosophy. Marx considers social evolution as a result of class struggle. Weber analyzes society from the point of view of conflicts of interest. The Western political system is established on the idea of conflict, so it has a balance of powers, check and balance, etc.

Laozi, on the other hand, does not use Being and Nothing as the elements of motion. Laozi uses Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang are opposite and inclusive, opposite, and complementary. Yan and Huang fought each other in the Bettle of Zhoulu, they are opposite. However, they become one of Yanhuang, just as sperm attacks and egg resists, and they become a fetus.

Western civilization is following the Hegelian philosophy. Ancient Egypt died, and Ancient Greek replaced it. Ancient Greek died and Ancient Roma replaced it. When Romon Empire crashed, the Empire was no more. Chinese civilization is following Daoism philosophy, the Yin-Yan motion process. A dynasty died, and China continued. Mongolian conquered China and Mongolia became part of China. Manchurian conquered China, and Manchuria became part of China. China will never fall.

Samuel P. Huntington speculates on the Clash of Civilizations, in the stereotype of the Western historical logic. Xi’ suggests the exchange and learning from each other among civilizations, according to Chinese historical logic. Trump promotes American First, Being or Nothing, a zero-sum game. Xi has a vision of a Shared Future for Mankind, a win-win solution, Yin and Yang are within each other.

Xi is not an orthodox Marxism. He promotes the harmonic society, domestically and internationally, not the class struggle.

Quantum mechanics has a concept of Wave-particle duality. This concept is out of our recognition of common sense. How can a matter be a wave and a particle at the same time? Many physicists had difficulty accepting the concept of Quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics finally be accepted by mainstream physics thanks to the Copenhagen Interpretation. The key figure for the Copenhagen interpretation is Niels Bohr who is one of the funding physicists of Quantum mechanics and he loves Daoism philosophy. When a matter is created, annihilated, or interacting with other matter, it is best described as a particle, such as a photon. When a matter is propagating, or in motion, it is best described as a wave. Wave is the Yin-Yang motion, the peak of the wave is Yang, and the valley of the wave is Yin.

Thucydides’s Trap is Western historical logic, not Chinese historical logic. In the last five thousand years, China has had its own historical trajectory different from the West and its own historical logic different from the West.

Western sinologists cannot understand China and Chinese history, because they use Western logic to frame Chinese history, and they never make sense. When some Western sinologists understand China and tell the truth, they are labeled as communist infiltration and suppressed.