Short Answer [Essay] on Confucianism

Paul Fischer
May 9, 2006
Short Answer on Confucianism
In 550 BC, China had ancient traditions that dictated a citizen’s whole curriculum in life. By 600 BC a philosopher named Confucius had numerous philosophies and principles that were spreading across the Middle Kingdom. His philosophies affect domestic Chinese life, often simple ways of increased efficiency and occasionally a revolutionary idea that changed the way Chinese administration worked: division of labor. Confucianism is now one of the most important and popular philosophies because of the practical and intelligent approach with which Confucianism resolves many contemporary imperfections of ancient Chinese traditions and laws. Thus Confucius was extremely influential in creating the setting prior to China’s golden age during Rome’s dominance in Europe and the Middle East. During this time period China was much cleaner, technologically advanced, and developed than its European counter parts.
Confucianism is directly responsible for this flowering of economy and wealth because of the enlightened economic ideals that Confucius recognized and dictated to his scribes. These doctrines were then employed (and still are employed) for centuries following Confucius’s death. Unfortunately, economic power and superiority does not equal military power. Subsequent to the uniform adoption of Confucianism, China began a golden age that encouraged vast trade routes (notably the Silk Trading Road) with many ancient civilizations including Rome. During this period China’s economy, population, and military might multiplied. By 100 AD China was among Rome’s most influential trading partners and possessed one of the largest and most productive populations in the world. Because of China’s incredible expansion, one of the great wonders of the world was constructed: The Great Wall. Unfortunately for over a million peasants in northern China who perished constructing the Great Wall, the Emperor didn’t adopt the Confucius principles of humanity to laborers during the wall’s construction. Despite this failure of administration, the building of the Great Wall would never have been possible without the fluid unity of government and administration that Confucianism offered China.
A key reason for the feasibility of the Great Wall is China’s development of professional and specialized labor that allowed architects, brick makers, and thousands of other jobs that are necessary in the construction of a wonder such as the Great Wall. The professional artisan sector is where Confucius made his most important changes by streamlining the job market and realizing the importance of a national and eventually global market. According to ancient Chinese laws children would assume a profession according to their stature in being or their father’s profession. Confucius encouraged respect in a learning environment where pupils would study the profession that best suited their own exceptional skills. This resulted in a more competitive job market and allowed for more productive citizens. The development of these productive citizens would be impossible without the crucial portion of information whose absence had strangled the artisans’ development: that someone else is always willing to purchase a good. The same concept that spurred eBay’s fantastic growth originated with Confucius when he encouraged the dynamic trade roads and exchange of goods through the administrative government. The division of labor that Adam Smith mentions in the “Wealth of Nations” was pioneered in China by Confucius.

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