The Peace Prize – Confucius versus Nobel

Michael Martina of Reuters reported on a Chinese option to the Nobel Peace Prize — the Confucius Peace Prize.

The headline read, China stood up by winner of ‘Confucius peace prize’

The headline used for this Reuters news made mockery of what a few Chinese citizens attempted.

The lead paragraph goes, “It was meant to be China’s answer to the Nobel Peace Prize…”

At first, it sounds as if China’s Communist Party was behind this alternative to the Nobel Peace Prize.

After reading the rest of Martina’s piece, you learn that the Confucius Peace Prize had no link to China’s central government. Since news of it wasn’t reported in China’s state media, few in China probably even heard of it.

A spokesperson for the Confucius Peace Prize said, “This prize is from the people of China, who love and support peace.”

Yet, the people of China had nothing to do with it either.

However, using Confucius’s name for a peace prize makes more sense than using Alfred Bernhard Nobel’s name.

If you compare The Life of Confucius and/or watch the recent Confucius movie starring Chow Yun Fat you might understand why Confucius deserves the honor more.

After all, Nobel built his fortune on death. He was a Swedish chemist, engineer, innovator and armaments manufacturer. He invented dynamite and manufactured cannons and other weapons.

He also waited until after his death to make amends for the suffering and destruction his products  had caused.

In his last will, Nobel directed that his enormous fortune be used to institute the Nobel Prizes and made sure to name these prizes after himself so he wouldn’t be remembered as the “Merchant of Death” or the “Lord of War”.

To understand better who Alfred Nobel was, I suggest you watch Nicolas Cage in the Lord of War, a movie released in 2005. Although the movie was not about Nobel, it is about a “Merchant of Death”.

In fact, it may not have been Nobel’s idea to include the Peace Prize.

Although Nobel never married, his first love, a Russian girl named Alexandra corresponded with him until his death in 1896. Many believe she was a major influence in Nobel’s decision to include the Peace Prize among the other prizes provided for in his will.

Is this “hypocrisy” time ten?


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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