An ideology that had seen its birth in the 19th century began to take hold of Chinese society in 1948. The revolution of 1948 brought about dramatic changes in China, however, these changes did not occur in a cultural vacuum. Even before the Chinese Marxist began their campaign against Confucian practices, economist Max Weber argued that Confucianism would be an obstacle to China’s progress to capitalism. (http://profam.org/pub/fia/fia.2106.htm ) This resulted in many Chinese abandoning Confucian ideals in an attempt to modernize itself. Though the Marxist may have been given credit for attempting to eradicate Confucian ideals, they in fact were weakened by Western intellectuals decades before.
The weakening of Confucian ideals was set in motion by a combination of events that began with the fall of the Qing dynast in 1911. (Molloy) The Qing dynasty ruled China from 1644 to 1912 and was the last government to sponsor the ideals of Master Kung. This event left Confucianism highly vulnerable and it was the beginning of decades of attacks from both capitalist and Marxist intellectuals. (Molloy) Chinese intellectuals, some who had been educated in the West, began The New Culture movement of the early 20th century, which further eroded Confucian influence on Chinese culture. By the time the Marxists took over, Confucianism’s influence on Chinese culture was a shadow of its former self.
The Cultural Revolution
Any remaining influence Confucianism had on China took a major blow particularly under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party. Their ideal view of society was to eliminate social classes and build an egalitarian society at the expense of Confucian rituals. (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/IJ03Ad02.html ) In an effort to discredit Master Kung’s remaining influence, Mao Zedong launched an anti-Confucianism campaign in the middle of the Cultural Revolution. The Cultural Revolution, which was officially from 1966 to 1969, is generally...