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aries1988 : west   28

Fire of Notre-Dame: An elegy of Western decline - CGTN
if the collapse of the Twin Towers of New York City in 911 represented a deep wound of American capitalism, the fall of Notre-Dame spire is at least a sign of decay of Christendom in France and perhaps even a deny of the state's political order.
opinion  2019  chinese  intelligentsia  west  civ  christianity  france  crisis 
8 weeks ago by aries1988
When Asia Ruled the World
Nonfiction The Pudong skyline, Shanghai. Credit Lauryn Ishak for The New York Times Amazon Local Booksellers Barnes and Noble When you purchase an independently…
contrarian  west  empire  conflict  world  war  success  europe  fail  qing  ottoman  book  opinion  history  prediction  theory 
10 weeks ago by aries1988
为什么刀叉没有像筷子那样在中国古代社会广泛普及?
中国人早在战国时期就发明了筷子。如此简单的两根小细棍,却高妙绝伦地应用了物理学上的杠杆原理。筷子是人类手指的延伸。手指能做的事,筷子也能做,且不怕高温,不怕寒冻,真是高明极了。
cuisine  history  asia  west 
11 weeks ago by aries1988
Aditi Shrivastava's answer to What's the difference between Gothic and Romanesque architectures? - Quora
Aditi Shrivastava , pursued B.E. (Hons.) Civil Engineering from BITS Pilani Updated Oct 10, 2015 1. Gothic architecture had pointed arches in roof while…
architecture  europe  church  west  primer 
march 2019 by aries1988
葛兆光:十八世纪中国的盛世危机

徐中约《中国近代史》曾经把大清帝国“国运逆转,由盛到衰”,归咎于“行政无能”、“腐败普遍”和“财政窘迫”,这当然有一定道理。但我想和大家讨论的是另外三点:第一,帝国庞大疆域和复杂族群,造成控制成本过大;第二,思想文化与意识形态无法面向世界,越来越凝固和僵化;第三,归根结底,是皇权或国家权力过于集中,封杀了变革的可能性。

在二十世纪上半叶之后,“训政”与“党国”成为主流的时代,更是变本加厉。那么,在皇权笼罩一切的专制政治制度底下,说得好,唯有“得君行道”的路径和“作帝王师”的理想,说不好就只能“著书都为稻粱谋”。知识分子怎么能轻易挣脱专制皇权、政治制度对文化思想的钳制?而在专制皇权、政治制度的控制之下,自由思想空间越来越窄仄,我们又怎么能相信凭着这种传统,中国能给世界带来惠及全球的价值,发展出保证现代科学、技术和经济自由发展的制度?

当四库全书的编纂,鼓励了学者们把精力和智慧都用在古典的注释和发挥上的时候,可是,欧洲的实用知识却在发展和整合。

在中国,皇帝就是政治权力、神圣象征和文化真理三合一的,以前史华兹(Benjamin Schwartz)就说中国是“普遍王权”(Universal Kingship),皇权或者国家的权力太大,始终是“普天之下莫非王土”。

在我们有关历史的印象中,华盛顿好像比乾隆皇帝晚得多,好像华盛顿是现代的事情,乾隆皇帝好遥好远,其实,他们是同时代人,他们两人同样在1799年,也就是漫长的十八世纪最后一年去世,不是华盛顿近乾隆远,只是从制度上看,确实一个太古代,一个很现代。
qing  talk  opinion  comparison  west  question  king  politics  government  19C  china  book 
february 2019 by aries1988
郑永年:亚洲的困局_爱思想

第二个阶段即二战之后的“主动”的思想殖民阶段。在这阶段,通过亚洲各国的反殖民运动,物质意义上的殖民地消失了,但思想上的殖民地主义根深蒂固,不仅无意识地存在下来,而且变本加厉。在“被动殖民”阶段还存在着各种形式的抵抗,但在“主动殖民”阶段,不仅毫无抵抗的迹象,更有自我“摧残”现象的发生。

教育系统的独立性也是有限的。更多的国家则是主动接受了西方的教育系统。
这种情况的存在不仅仅在于西方教育系统在客观上较亚洲先进(无论是自然科学还是社会科学),更在于亚洲国家没有自己的信心和能力,把自己的发展经验提升成为以亚洲为经验基础的社会科学。尽管亚洲国家的学者也提出了“东方主义”的命题,并且也一度盛行,但无论是“东方主义”还是后来的“后殖民主义”“后现代主义”等理论都是解构型的,而非建设型的。

尽管印度到目前为止,仍然被西方视为最大的民主,但随着其发展,印度和西方的冲突也只是时间问题,而非可能性问题。如同中国,一个庞大的印度也很难“伪装”自己。
colonialism  intelligentsia  education  west  asia  history 
january 2019 by aries1988
战争重塑中国(南北战争三百年)书评

这仍然未能回答东西方为何选择不同的道路,在我看来,这个问题的答案必须回到不同政治文化传统中去寻找:如果说在欧洲,在罗马帝国的废墟上能有效应对战争挑战的是封建军事传统,那么在中国北方,战争所激活的却是一个强国家传统,最终再次证明只有政治力量能有效整合各种资源转化为战斗力。
west  war  state  history  origin  comparison  question  book  review 
january 2019 by aries1988
The Seductive Enthusiasm of Kenneth Clark’s “Civilisation”
it raised an important question in his mind: how to fuse his erudite tastes in art and culture with the reach and power of broadcast television? In some respects, that remains a quixotic project. And yet Clark managed to pull it off, in ways that still seem surprising and even a little mysterious.

Clark is outrageously committed to the “great man” approach to history and to the concept of genius. “Above all, I believe in the God-given genius of certain individuals, and I value a society that makes their existence possible,” he says.

lets the camera have a leisurely look at whatever he’s been talking about. This is the use of television as a contemplative tool, something rarely attempted and, when done well, still remarkable.

He broke down with emotion on many other occasions during the filming of the series. This predilection for weeping comes through in the final product, in a good way: Clark’s just-under-the-surface emotion, his obvious feeling that the great art we’re being shown matters, gives the series a rare and subtle power.
bio  history  tv  art  civ  west  1960s  classic 
december 2018 by aries1988
黄宇和:21世纪初西方鸦片战争研究反映的重大问题-中国社会科学网
根深蒂固的西方偏见之一,是英国人坚称其发动鸦片战争是正义的,所持理由是扫除广东十三行强加于外国商人的种种极度苛刻的通商条件与限制,近乎于种族歧视。

盖尔伯把其研究第一次鸦片战争的心得,归纳如下:
从英国的政治角度看,1840—1842那场与中国的战争,并非一场鸦片战争,而只是区区一些地方性的小摩擦。英国坚决反抗那腐朽透顶,却高高在上而又狂妄无知的中国,坚决维护英王的尊严,坚决保护英国男女的性命安全,坚决追偿被中国政府抢夺了的财物。没有任何一个伦敦人,也没有任何一个带兵攻打中国的军官,会认为该场战争与鸦片有任何关系。若中国人有本领堵塞鸦片走私,就让他们大显身手吧,英军则绝对不会代劳。那场战争,打起来不费吹灰之力;却后患无穷,盖数十年后,传教士目睹中国的苦难,悲天悯人,错误地怪罪英国把鸦片强加于中国,才改变了英美舆论。

他进一步阐明其理论说:“鸦片在中国以外的地方,包括英国和印度,都是合法的,单单在中国不合法。结果在中国,不但成千上万的中国商人与黑帮,疯狂地走私鸦片;就连最上层的高官,也染指其中。”
opinion  qing  uk  war  west  narrative 
october 2018 by aries1988
Professor Michael Puett in Conversation Julia Lovell - YouTube
33:52 censorship
37:30 Cambridge University Press
48:16 Utopia of getting rid of the Chinese Department. Hegel
https://youtu.be/edysgDkIKcU?t=5044 The most important question
Lovell: no soft power
china  history  historian  translation  world  university  west  today  softpower 
october 2018 by aries1988
政见访谈|刘擎:如何观察西方知识界 | 政见 CNPolitics.org
采访:政见团队成员 王菁 整理:邓哲远,黄文钰,彭肖茜,王春晖, Weiru,温心怡,一根路,云阳,张阳 【精彩观点集锦】 ◆人类正处在新的技术文明大突破的前夜,可能会改变我们的世界图景,改变自我理解的方式和存在方式。这对我们传统的社会、文化和政治安排,都有难以估量的影响。 ◆在今天全球化的时代,没有一桩纯粹的…
intelligentsia  west  china  humanities 
october 2018 by aries1988
专访余英时:中国现代学术“典范”的建立

在《余英时作品系列总序》中,余英时先生自陈:“我的专业是十九世纪以前的中国史,就已发表的专题论述而言,大致上起春秋、战国,下迄清代中期,所涉及的方面也很宽广:包括社会史、文化史、思想史、政治史、中外关系史汉代等。”但诚如其所言,他涉猎广泛的研究也不是无的放矢,“我自早年进入史学领域之后,便有一个构想,即在西方(主要是西欧)文化系统对照之下,怎样去认识中国文化传统的特色。”

微观相当于考证,即对于具体历史事实做最彻底的考察和阐释,但这样的工作往往只见个树木而不见森林。因此在历史研究中,宏观绝不可少。宏观相当于孟子所谓“观其大”,其涵义比宋学所谓“义理”要丰富得多,这是“见森林”的必经之路。但“见森林”又不能不看清楚林中一颗颗的树,否则便不免如傅斯年的名言所说,可能将天际浮云当作森林了。

有关我研究中国史的构想所在,简略概括:在西方现代文化及其发展出来的普世价值挑战之下,我们怎样才能认识中国传统文化的特色?我认为只有抓住了它的特色,我们才能够认识中、西文化的异同,并进一步追问,中国文化中有哪些成分和现代普世价值是互相冲突的?哪些是可以互相呼应的?

我研究中国史特别选择变革时代的独特动态。因为这种独特动态最能显示出精神价值的流变。

已故陈荣捷先生毕生在美国介绍中国哲学和思想。他曾说,如果用一个词字来概括全部中国哲学史的话,那个字便是“人文主义”。这句话在西方已被普遍地接受了。陈先生的人文主义当然是指中国文化对“人”的尊重,尤以儒家为最显著。孔子的“仁”便是“人道”,孟子强调人性善,又特别提醒“人之异于禽兽”,更是把人的尊严提升到最高的地位。所以“天地之性人为贵”成为中国人的共同信仰。稍稍认识西方近代文化史的人都知道,“人文主义”兴起于文艺复兴时期的意大利,当时人文主义者特别倡导人的尊严和人在宇宙中的独特地位。这种人文主义的精神稍后进入西方教育界,塑造了西方现代的独立人格,其影响一直延续到十九世纪。西方自由和民主的成长得力于人文主义教育,无人不知,就不用再说了。

中古时期,由于种种原因,希腊文学传统已在意大利地区消失无踪,既无人讲授,也无人研究。直到十三四世纪以后,意大利人文学者才逐渐从法国图书馆中发现希腊文稿,包括荷马史诗的原稿之类,终于酿成了“文艺复兴”运动。这是文化价值失而复得的一个最伟大的史证。中国经史子集的典籍俱在,何况,当年在传统精神价值中成长起来的先一辈人,早就在有意无意之间把他们的价值意识传到下一代身上。所以“守先待后”决不是一种幻想。

1949年以后的大错误,不在其为“进步史观”,而在其“定于一尊”。

西方的思想界是开放的,种种不同的史观都出现过,其中还有反“进步”的史观大行其道的,如斯宾格勒(Oswald Spengler 1880-1936)的《西方的没落》(The Decline of the West)和汤因比(Arnold J Toynbee 1889-1975)的《历史研究》(A Study of History)

今天很少人还相信有什么普遍规律为各民族或文化所共有;更不相信西方是先走上“现代”阶段,其他各民族落后了一步,但最后也会赶上来。换句话说,现在不存在什么“进步史观”足以构成“挑战”的对象了。
confucianism  chinese  tradition  culture  crisis  evolution  west  book  leader  intelligentsia  taiwan  dissident  instapaper_favs 
october 2018 by aries1988
The Western Elite from a Chinese Perspective - American Affairs Journal
T he Evangelical Christians I have met in the United States often talk about how reading the Bible changed their lives. They talk about being born again. I am…
west  education  money  success  business  chinese 
august 2018 by aries1988
刘瑜:纵向的文明比较更有意义
所有文化都是流变的,尤其是在经济快速发展的全球化时代。西方的过去和现在有巨大差异,中国的过去和现在也有很大差异。当我们谈论“中西差异”的时候,我们是在谈论什么时候的西方?什么时候的中国?抱着一种固化的观点看待地区性文明,很可能妨碍我们理解这个世界的走向。
comparison  metier  research  politologue  china  west 
august 2018 by aries1988
The End of ‘Civilisation’
The new program is best understood as a kind of delayed rebuttal, sometimes quite explicit, to Clark and his view of history.

An example of his method was a book the gallery published called 100 Details from Pictures in the National Gallery. Clark wanted to draw the attention of untutored viewers to specific elements in each work and place them alongside similar details from other works, with the aim of building up knowledge and interest piece by piece, element by element.

There was no stinting on travel either. By the time they were through Clark and crew had visited 118 museums and 117 other locations in 11 countries.

It was television of an intensified kind, meant to seduce a mass audience.

An act or piece of art that is life-enhancing—that allows us to have life, and to have it more abundantly—is civilized; one that isn’t isn’t.

The Greco-Roman ideal, he says, was “without doubt the most extraordinary creation in the whole of history.” It was nearly lost with the sacking of Rome—by barbarians, did he mention?—in the 5th century and then barely survived the advance of Islam in the 8th. It lay dormant, tended by monks, until the millennium, when it began to manifest itself in a variety of ways in Europe.
civ  art  politics  debate  west  documentary  2018  1969  bbc  uk 
august 2018 by aries1988
Evolution of the English Alphabet (Matt Baker @usefulcharts)
RT : Ok, for those who would prefer the title to read "Latin Alphabet", here you go...
alphabet  history  infographics  comparison  west  writing  system 
april 2018 by aries1988
The Myth of a Kinder, Gentler Xi Jinping - The Atlantic
In 2004, the day before the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre, Kristof wrote that Chinese leaders “knew that after the Chinese could watch Eddie Murphy, wear tight pink dresses and struggle over what to order at Starbucks, the revolution was finished. No middle class is content with more choices of coffees than of candidates on a ballot.” Mann called this idea the “Starbucks Fallacy.” Indeed, in December, Starbucks opened its largest store in the world in Shanghai – a 29,000 feet emporium with 400 staff. The company’s CEO said he expects China to be the company’s biggest market. Chinese political polling data is terrible, and it’s impossible to say if China’s middle class is “content” with their choice of coffee over candidates. But for Xi, it’s certainly working.   
thinking  west  china  future  democracy 
march 2018 by aries1988
Thinking about Chinese student experience
At the outset of my classes I explain and exemplify how there are usually two sides to any story,
anecdote  chinese  student  young  behavior  conflict  university  teaching  west 
january 2018 by aries1988
大象公会讲座文字稿
丝绸之路在经历了敦煌、吐鲁番文献发现之后,就有一个像唐代的转向,大家都更关注唐代的时候,《大唐西域记》里面记载的,当时丝绸之路的情况,以及当时丝绸之路上生活的各种各样的人。

当年亚历山大东征在中亚,娶了一个大夏(????)——就是今天阿富汗北部一个小王国的一个公主,就叫roshanna, 这个人的名字现在也进入英语了,你看有些美国人或者伊朗人就会叫Roshanna, 她们其实就是安禄山的阴性形式。所以安禄山在现在还有一些表亲。

这是两轮马车,这是马,商代的马人很多中国人不愿承认它是从西方传来的,好像有民族自豪感的问题,其实没有别的解释,因为它一出现就非常成熟了。

所以我们看到文字一步一步从黎巴嫩一直到了中国的满洲,就是东北,这也是非常生动的丝绸之路上技术交流的一个证据,例子。

刚才的例子大家都耳熟能详,可能有些例子大家没有想到,这个是印度字母,印度字母的排列非常符合语音规则的,非常规则按照发音位置和发音方式来排列的。这种排列方式其实启发了藏语,大家都知道藏族文字是从印度文字来的,但日文实际上也是按照梵文字母的排列方式,受它启发,创制出了五十音图,五十音图字母的形状有可能来自汉字的草书,但字母排列的方式,这个想法是按照发音规律排列的想法是来自梵文,(a,i,u,e, o, ka, ki, ku, ke, ko),不像abcd它是完全没有规律的。

犍陀罗艺术也传到了中国,像龙门石窟,在犍陀罗这些工匠后来来到了新疆,到了新疆又被抓到凉州,就是今天的甘肃武威,又从甘肃武威被抓到山西大同去,建了云冈石窟,你看它的衣服就有点像希腊人那种,贴在身上的那种衣服,所以希腊的影响我们在中国也能看到。中国还有(希腊神话)大力士赫拉克勒斯的雕像。

这个是青花瓷,这个大家都知道是蒙元时期,受西方影响,远销土耳其。

前几年得了诺贝尔文学奖的帕慕克写的《我的名字叫红》,那个就讲的在土耳其奥斯曼帝国的宫廷细密画画家,他们的传统就是从中国传来的细密画的方法受到了欧洲画派的冲击,然后新老画派间的一些谋杀啊,一些非常紧张的情景。这个也和丝绸之路上的交流有关系。
xinjiang  west  trade  archaeology  culture  history  presentation  podcast 
january 2018 by aries1988
There is no such thing as western civilisation | Kwame Anthony Appiah | World news | The Guardian
culture was the “pursuit of our total perfection by means of getting to know, on all the matters which most concern us, the best which has been thought and said in the world”.

Often, in recent years, “the west” means the north Atlantic: Europe and her former colonies in North America.

here’s the important point: it would not have occurred to Herodotus to think that these three names corresponded to three kinds of people: Europeans, Asians, and Africans. He was born at Halicarnasus – Bodrum in modern Turkey. Yet being born in Asia Minor didn’t make him an Asian; it left him a Greek. And the Celts, in the far west of Europe, were much stranger to him than the Persians or the Egyptians, about whom he knew rather a lot. Herodotus only uses the word “European” as an adjective, never as a noun. For a millennium after his day, no one else spoke of Europeans as a people, either.

The natural contrast was not between Islam and the west, but between Christendom and Dar al‑Islam, each of which regarded the other as infidels, defined by their unbelief.

Only in 1529, with the defeat of Suleiman the Magnificent’s army at Vienna, did the reconquest of eastern Europe begin. It was a slow process. It wasn’t until 1699 that the Ottomans finally lost their Hungarian possessions; Greece became independent only in the early 19th century, Bulgaria even later.

modern concept of western culture largely took its present shape during the cold war. In the chill of battle, we forged a grand narrative about Athenian democracy, the Magna Carta, Copernican revolution, and so on. Plato to Nato. Western culture was, at its core, individualistic and democratic and liberty-minded and tolerant and progressive and rational and scientific.

So how have we bridged the chasm here? How have we managed to tell ourselves that we are rightful inheritors of Plato, Aquinas, and Kant, when the stuff of our existence is more Beyoncé and Burger King?

No Muslim essence stops the inhabitants of Dar al-Islam from taking up anything from western civilisation, including Christianity or democracy. No western essence is there to stop a New Yorker of any ancestry taking up Islam.
culture  history  thinking  west  concept  islam 
september 2017 by aries1988
How castles became monuments to myth and whimsy

Here’s the romance: this church was dedicated to St Mary, then a patroness of militant types because her womb was deemed impregnable, except to God. Shown in medieval paintings and tapestries in a paradise garden, her symbolic hortus conclusus is very conclusive indeed, bound and defended by locked gates and crenellations. So whole castles like Santa Maria da Feira in Portugal took her name, along with chapels serving castles from Prague to Dover.

The psychologist Bruno Bettelheim suggests we all hold a psychological disposition toward castles, and as children conjure them to process our understanding of the world. He wrote: “ ‘Once in an old castle in the midst of a large and dense forest’ — such beginnings suggest that what follows does not pertain to the here and now that we know . . . The old castles, dark caves, locked rooms one is forbidden to enter . . . all suggest that something normally hidden will be revealed.”

Ryman went on to design the Cinderella Castle in Orlando, completed in 1971 at 183ft. This concrete and fibreglass construction looks more French, specifically the 15th-century Château de Saumur. There are now six Disney centrepiece castles, designed as variants of a theme, the latest in Shanghai completed in 2016, which Disney describes as “seven towers, two of which embody the guiding creative principle of Shanghai Disneyland”. And yes, it also has a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
romantic  caste  children  architecture  design  disney  disneyland  west  tale  history 
august 2017 by aries1988
His Kampf

Was Hitchens’s critique of Christianity, he said, not as wan and naive as Christianity itself? Christianity had bound together the civilizations of Europe, and now Hitchens wanted to replace it with—well, what exactly? American neoliberal internationalism? Why should anyone care if Christianity was irrational and illiberal, when rationality and liberalism had never been its purpose? Hitchens had missed the point.

In his view, the Bush administration had manipulated the country into war. “Spreading democracy” and “freedom” are, Spencer said, false ideals, distracting Americans from what really matters—namely, a consciousness of their identity as whites with a shared Christian heritage.

In December, the hipster-Marxist magazine Jacobin published an online essay, “The Elite Roots of Richard Spencer’s Racism,” that sought to understand his white supremacy. “He represents a common and longstanding (if overlooked) phenomenon: the well-educated and financially comfortable bigot,” the author, Michael Phillips, wrote. “His blend of racism and elitism represents only an extreme version of a worldview that has long prevailed among the affluent in Spencer’s hometown.”

Among the German ideas he adopted was a concept of race different from the one he and I had been taught in our multicultural workshops in the ’90s. In the modern era, American discussion of race has limited itself, by convention, to a few canonical categories: black, white, Asian, American Indian, Hispanic. “Race isn’t just color,” Spencer told an audience in December. “Color is, in a way, a minor aspect of race.”

For Spencer, race is more akin to the German Volksgeist, literally “the spirit of a people.” Volksgeist is associated, historically, with Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744–1803), and Germans became enchanted with it during the 19th century. Some would say the Second World War was the culmination of German devotion to their own Volksgeist. Herder’s followers proposed that each people has an essence that distinguishes it from others.

As one who knew Spencer when we were both hapless, overprivileged adolescents, sharing a desire to transcend our origins, what interests me the most about him is his self-reinvention, the intellectual costume changes (foppish actor, grad-school blowhard, opera-director manqué, and now architect of a white utopian dream of world-historical consequence) spanning three decades. After all, it is said that one of the great advantages of America is that its daughters and sons can escape the strictures of the world in which they were raised, be unlike their forefathers. Spencer has certainly done that.
portrait  altright  leader  university  idea  opinion  religion  usa  west  african  racism  Philosophy  intelligentsia  nazi 
june 2017 by aries1988

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