Influenced by the Mandate of Heaven

October 13, 2010

Although I wrote on the Mandate of Heaven in April, I didn’t see how deeply that belief was influencing China’s Communist Party.

The epiphany took place soon after reading page 235 in Living With Evolution.

At the same time, I realized that America’s judgment of China’s Communist Party was in part due to half a century of entitlement programs for minorities and the disadvantaged in the U.S. — often rewarding those who were less qualified and punishing those who were successful through merit by holding him or her back.

However, in China after Mao was gone and Deng Xiaoping opened the country to world trade, meritocracy was back with a vengeance.

Meritocracy is a system in which the talented succeed and move ahead based on his or her achievement.

The Chinese for almost four thousand years believed that humans were responsible for how events unfolded on earth with human actions subject to the approval or disapproval of heaven.

Successful actions were held to be those that heaven approved of and unsuccessful actions were held to be those heaven did not approve of.

What this means is that anyone, regardless of his or her social status could challenge the elite and rise to the top on the claim that it was legitimate according to the Mandate of Heaven — a concept that was also quintessentially meritocratic.

This explains why China’s central government treats political and/or religious activists, who challenge the status quo, so harshly. 

If the Communist Party allows the Falun Gong, Tibetan and Islamic separatists or Western style human rights activists to have the kind of freedom of expression that is allowed in the West, most Chinese, including the Communist Party, may see this as a sign of weakness.

In fact, the Dalai Lama’s popularity in the West is seen as a challenge to the Party’s mandate to rule. The same could be said about the rival government in Taiwan.

To have a better understanding of what this mean, you may want to start reading the Living With Evolution Blog

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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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