Alt Left: A Chinese View of Time

Rambo said: Deng Xiao Peng said he could see democracy happening in China in a relatively short period of time. He was asked, ” what do you think, another 25 or 50 years maybe?” To which he replied, ” I could see it happening in maybe a thousand years.” To the Chinese, 1,000 years is looked upon as a short time. You’re talking about a nearly 5,000 year old country that has never known freedom and democracy. That’s why when countries like the U.S. negotiate with them, that has to be kept in mind.

Nixon asked Chou En-Lai in 1971 what he thought about the French Revolution in 1790. His reply?

It’s too soon to tell.

Which is pretty similar to what Deng said. The Chinese always take the long view, unlike us dumb Americans. And that’s smart of them and dumb of us.

This is literally how the Chinese think. All stages of the past are completely blurred together, and all are together with the present. I’m not aware they talk much about the future. I know this because I did a lot of research on their forums. Absolutely fascinating people. People would be talking about their family lineage, as their ancestors are very important to them. In fact, their basic religion is probably some form of ancestor worship.

They would be talking about their family lineages and drift back and forth between the present day, the 20th Century and then back to the 16th-19th Centuries, making historical references all along the way. And of course there were all sorts of references to the old dynasties like the Shang Dynasty (probably the very first Chinese dynasty) and many others. And now we are going all the way back to Old Chinese thousands of years ago.

I don’t understand Chinese history so I can’t make sense of these dynasties, but the Chinese’ view of time was fascinating. The year 400 was yesterday, today is 1600, and tomorrow is the 19th Century. It’s as if the past, present, and future were all happening at the same time, which is actually an interesting philosophical way to look at time. This is in fact how I view Time.

 

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