Essay Sample on Confucius and the Internet: What? How? Why?

Published: 2023-03-21
Essay Sample on Confucius and the Internet: What? How? Why?
Type of paper:  Term paper
Categories:  Philosophy Internet Asia Ethical dilemma
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1730 words
15 min read

Early in the year 2000, people online in China 9 million (Bockover, 2003). The numbers steadily are rising and notably, the increase is on internet users in China. Today, China's population is nearly one and a half billion persons. However, most Chinese not living in well-developed urban areas lack phones, televisions, computers, and also internet access. Despite the stumbling changes toward modernization that have happened, mainly within the last two decades. China remains ranked a third-world nation since its state toward capitalism slackened and cooperation with the world economy increased.

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In particular, the impacts of modernization on China are extensively unpredictable. The point is that, for the major part of its history, China has attempted to keep foreign products and ideas they generate at bay. The approach has been protective, for example on the Opium War. We see Britain has greatly benefited from the addiction of the Chinese to opium which they were so fast to supply. From the example, it is an indication that certainly the internet is not a drug, but it is likely a harmful foreign good, that recently gained access to China, particularly, by American universities and enterprises. The internet probably has a profound negative impact on the way of life of the Chinese, and principally, also over two thousand years have affected Confucian ethics (Bockover, 2003). The term paper will focus on giving insights into Confucius and the internet, exploring, how it has impacted Confucian values, and why it could have unforeseen consequences for China.

Confucius and the Internet

Philosophically internet is less a technical experience, but a social one (Rao, 2019). Confucius believes the internet exceedingly shapes the human state, and philosophy explains it better. Therefore, looking back at many philosophical traditions, we discover more common points exploring to find future remedies in the issue of internet governance. For instance, Churchill quotes, "No longer can we look back, then the farther we can look forward, we can start the journey from many points of history, go back to the basis of our digital civilization or the basis of science and technology" (Bockover, 2003). The reason behind that was the internet use in China tends to extremely affect negatively the way of life of Chinese. In China, Confucianism was the central ethical system. Similarly, like every other population, the China people were deeply conditioned to embracing basic ethical assumptions of their values. The traditions were nonetheless self-consciously dismissed on philosophy grounds, and that it did not require a reflective affirmation for the Chinese to take a cultural root. The moral presumption was for the values to be founded on philosophies and religions, and govern cultural beliefs, even when not explicitly known. The internet, on the contrary, is what brought harm to the Chinese lifestyle, mainly to the one and half billion people (Bockover, 2003).

Confucianism features prominently that the vital tool for improving human existence is good governance. With good governance on the use of the internet by the Chinese, then we would be discussing how positively their values have been impacted. Although, from the lack of regulation the society is not just or equitable, for example, Confucianism thinks taxation essentially achieves an equitable community (Bockover, 2003). The same applies to the internet, Confucius belief good governance can be attained through meritocracy.

According to Confucius, State officials were to be recruited depending on their merits. In the State holder system, comprehension of reality and facts were of significance (Shin, 2013). Also, in today's' internet not much information is known, but there are known guesses concerning the measure of internet traffic worldwide. Sensationalist coverage of cybercrime is more, unlike the real facts on the level of the problem or risks. The illustration is not the extreme aspect of e-commerce, specifically on fiscal challenges. On the contrary, it is that for Confucius to attain good governance, good historical knowledge concerning the significance of evidence-based making of policies is important.

How the Internet has impacted Confucian values

The internet is an excellent means of communication in China that promotes the first world's worth of autonomy. According to Confucius, China was led by ideas of free expression, consumerism, equal opportunities, and free trade following the use of the internet. It was in contrast with the Confucian system of way of life. The reason was modernization had taken over in the major Chinese cities. Consequently, the prosperity was not to attach to increased involvement in the economy of the world. It also indicated the consumerism mentality that a country like America exemplifies, thus in a situation that modernization is in China, it is unrestricted (Bockover, 2003). It is most likely people will greatly alienate themselves from their traditional life-sustaining practices and cultural roots. It would impact the Chinese cultural stability as well as the identity that was already in shambles following communism disasters like the Cultural Revolution.

Despite such challenges, the traditional Confucian way of life and rituals remained strong, moreover, of the many Chinese who did not devour the life of the city. For China, their real social stability came from having an ethical policy that puts social well-being, and harmony above everything else. Harmonious inter-dependence has always been China's moral objective, and so far the internet is a great threat to ethnic identity and stability (Bockover, 2003). Therefore, as per the democratic values holds, it is the China government to rightfully protect Chinese from the internet turmoil.

The most applicable discussion is that internet regulation is only on the local level. The review so far has no agreement to regulate content in another country's server. It even lacks a system that screens true data from the remarkable bounty of fraudulent material that position as true. In the process, it defrauds the intelligent and savvy users of the internet. The internet comprises insidious hate-mongering that lacks originality, making it even impossible for verification. Confucius thinks with the internet, it can say anything, hear, or believe; if the presentation is convinces enough. In turn, it impacts the Chinese moral and political systems that traditionally hinder free expression, especially if it happens at the expense of the society. The idea does not hypocritically depict the people of China and their administration but references the extreme cultural difference. The internet was initially a creation of the Americans, principally with U.S. military to universities, and then to capitalist private firms (Bockover, 2003). Currently, the internet has embodied and perpetuated our democratic rights and principles. China can no longer have freedom of speech or to trade freely and equally worldwide. People of China have their freedoms always guarded against.

Why Confucius and the internet could have Unforeseen Consequences for China

A great deal of China's imperial period, Confucius unwillingly served as a device of autocratic emperors. However, today through the internet, China has newly discovered emperors, who are the officials of the Communist Party. They turn to Confucius, to strengthen the support for their undemocratic rule. The issue at stake being the Communists cannot make certain their political future by depending on the state's philosophical past. It could be that the greatest disaster of Confucius's enduring impact on East Asian civilization is that, he was intimately linked to authoritarianism. Chinese philosophers noted a good government is based on kind-heartedness and authority (Yuen, 2012). Alternatively; governance should be earned through virtuous acts and not necessarily through coercion.

Confucius's teachings became the imperial government's orthodox principle, and unfortunately sidelined the lofty ideals. Confucius's ideas were reinterpreted by scholar-officials making them suitable for their royal masters. The ideals stressed on virtues like conceptualizing the community as a strict social order with an emperor. Confucius was then a sign that convinced the masses that emperors owned the ethical right to govern. The same imperial Confucius, the Communists had the notion that he could win the same right. For much of its actuality, the Communist Party had attacked the great sage as a social structure left over. Also; it was at the Mao Zedong years that they attempted to remove him from society. However, in the 1980s after the establishment of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the Communists had a change of heart. Capitalism made the regime to need a new ideology to sustain its rule (Yuen, 2012).

The perfect solution was Confucius. A political tradition that Communists thought could protect their totalitarian administration and fight off unwelcomed democratic opinions from the West. Confucianism would infuse family rituals in their governance, thus holding together the society (Yuen, 2012). An example is in the dynastic age, Chinese civilization faced no real issues from the outside. Mongols invaders were absorbed into the Confucian values.

Today, the Chinese are vulnerable to all kinds of influences from TV programs, foreign films, and the internet. The people of China anticipation regarding the government and beliefs on the functioning of the society have changed. Confucius should play the role in the culture globally, but does not signify leaders should have rights to the imposition of their version of the Confucian doctrine. The ideas of the rest of the world are important as well. Confucius's ideas can mix up with other ideals and bring out a political tumult. In having Confucius, the Chinese are encouraged to go over Confucius's teachings to know the high moral principles. Besides, also, know why Confucius and the internet can have unpredicted consequences on China.


According to philosophy, Confucius and the internet is less a technical situation, but a social one that shapes the condition of humans. Confucianism was the primary ethical system for China, but following the introduction of the internet, the Chinese lifestyle changed. The people's values were impacted becoming a threat to their identity and stability. The internet embodied and perpetuated the democratic rights and principles of the Chinese. Consequently, Confucius and the internet indicated it could have unpredicted repercussions to China. Today, the internet has influenced people's expectations of the government they anticipate or how society needs to function.


Bockover, M. I. (2003). Confucian Values and the Internet: A Potential Conflict. Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 30(2), 159-175. doi:10.1111/1540-6253.00112

Rao, Y. (2019). From Confucianism to psychology: Rebooting Internet addicts in China. History of Psychology, 22(4), 328-350. doi: 10.1037/hop0000111

Shin, D. C. (2013). Confucianism as a Government of Paternalistic Meritocracy. Confucianism and Democratization in East Asia, 106-140. doi:10.1017/cbo9781139084086.007

Yuen, M. Y. M. (2012). Freedom of Expression as Taboo in Building a Harmonious Society: Unintended Consequences of the Confucian Notion of Harmony in China. Retrieved from

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