Guest Editor's Introduction
>i>Gongxi facai, hongbao zailai>/i>â"money"-"money"-"money"-"money" makes the world go around, and the Chinese people, Rachel Yang argues in this third and last segment of "Chinese Renaissance," love it. More than any society on earth, China is enthralled with the almighty buck, so much so that it pervades every nook and cranny of everyday life and even its cultural traditions. Offer a product with the number "8" in it and Chinese will rush to the stores in droves to buy it. Why? Because "8" is pronounced >i>ba>/i> in Chinese, which rhymes with >i>fa>/i>, meaning to make a fortune. Own anything with this magical number and great wealth is right around the corner. The venerable sages of Chinese traditional philosophy and historyâConfucius and Menciusâmay have preached "benevolence and morality" as life's ultimate ideals, but they, too, loved money and saw august service to the state as merely a route to riches. Indeed, all the major social groups throughout Chinese historyâfrom the imperial family and religious groups to vagabonds and the general populaceâhave pursued wealth with a vengeance. The anti-capitalist ethos of "socialist" China under Mao Zedong was a sham. Since the introduction of the reforms in 1978, the >i>real>/i> China has emerged: Avaricious and rapacious, China's millions are now engaged in a headlong rush to become wealthy, and nothingâneither the CCP nor the Westâis about to stop them.
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Volume (Year): 31 (1998)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
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