Cultural Caviar

The Future of Chinese Is English

January 31, 2018

Like all things great, however, phonetic language is vulnerable. If a language can be created by the people, then it can be destroyed by the people. The minds that built a language flexible enough to articulate any crevice of reality eventually made the language too flexible. Analytic philosophy of the early 20th century gradually weakened Western thought by divorcing it from reality. It was rationalized as a social construct. Language was no longer a tool of cognition but of social convention, capable only of expressing the subjective prejudices of the user. Now words like sex, gender, freedom, and equality can be stretched to mean anything—as such, they mean nothing.

It’s been theorized that the recent influx of Christianity into China will lead to their Westernization, to their elevation of the individual above the collective. The suffering and joy of man’s son is the transcendence of the individual spirit on earth, explicitly in the face of a tyranny. The moral power of the West, however, also came from Aristotle, Aquinas, and Bacon. But without the proper thought bestowed on the People by the Republic, such philosophers are only mistranslated. With a picture for reason that merely means “what everyone else thinks,” Aristotle may as well be Heraclitus.

Therefore, China, to cultivate the spirit of the West, needs to learn English—and to have more resilience than the West, it needs to remember Chinese.

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