China’s Middle Class Defined

I finished reading “China’s New Middle Class: Constants and Variables” by Tom Doctoroff in the Huffington Post, and I agreed with most of what he wrote.

Doctoroff said that in Confucian society the burden on men to be the providers is very absolute and very heavy…, as a man, you are responsible for the overall wellbeing of your clan/family.

I agreed when Doctoroff wrote that the Chinese middle class would never become Westernized. They are becoming modern, they are becoming internationalized, but they are not becoming Westernized.

Shopping in China

There is one underlying truth in Chinese society that says the only absolute evil is chaos and the only absolute good is stability and order and this is a prerequisite for progress on a national and individual level…

Every strand of Chinese thinking reinforces the supremacy of stability and order, and this is learned from a young age, which comes from Confucianism. Doctoroff wrote that in Japan, this conflict is not nearly as severe, but in China, this conflict defines the topography of the Chinese heart. The Chinese see the central government as there for them to advance and to make order from chaos. They would never trade in the Chinese system for a Western style democracy.

One thing that wasn’t mentioned by Doctoroff was the earning power of the clan/family and how that collective earning and savings allows families to buy into the Chinese middle-class lifestyle.  When the mother of a friend of my wife wanted a better Shanghai flat, both children—a son and a daughter—came up with the cash. Most Chinese work hard and avoid squandering money.

Learn more about China’s Middle Class Expanding


Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning novels My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart. He also Blogs at The Soulful Veteran and Crazy Normal.

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