Like China, Russia now proclaiming that it too is a civilizational state

There is some interesting material here. Like China, Russia now proclaiming that it too is a civilizational state 這裡有一些有趣的材料。與中國一樣,俄羅斯現在也宣稱自己也是一個文明國家 🇨🇳 🇷🇺

Traditional conservatism in Russia is anti-imperialist. (Same in the US in point of fact.) Russia defines itself as a civilizational state which is taken as a conservative belief. A civilizational state has as a goal the preservation of its tradition and culture BUT not the export of it.

It is interesting that China is seen by many as a civilizational state and therefore seeks to protect its socialist system with its “Chinese characteristics.” But not to export it.

The US is more like the Vatican. It represents not just itself but “universal human values” (“the one true faith for all humankind”) and therefore it is justified in ruling the planet to bring it universal human values. Basically imperialist.

The conservative aspect of China’s society and outlook might have some appeal to US conservatives and perhaps can be used to counter their anti-Communism. And it certainly will help to allay fear of China.

Russia now proclaiming that it too is a civilizational state. From this angle, Russians may justify their invasion of Ukraine as claiming population and territory that used to be part of Russia. But before I start discussing civilizational states, I need to first digress.

Western thinking heavily influenced by Christianity seems to view the world as dichotomies: God versus devil, heaven versus hell, good versus evil. This easily leads to a zero-sum mentality and policies: “if you are not with us, you must be against us.” Life consists of struggles between good and evil forces, and this struggle will cause a convergence to a single governance model that is the best for the world. This is the thinking behind the so-called “end of history” dynamics leading ultimately to the demise of all other forms of governance, leaving only liberal democracies in the whole world. This “end of history” model was celebrated in the west when the USSR collapsed.

Wikipedia defines dichotomy “as a partition of a whole into two parts. In other words, this couple of parts must be jointly exhaustive: everything must belong to one part or the other, and mutually exclusive: nothing can belong simultaneously to both parts.” Thus, “end of history” liberal democracy is dichotomous.

It looks to me that the concept of a civilizational state is quite different from the above western dichotomous model. Instead of every country with different cultures ultimately looking the same, the world will consist instead of states, each with their own governance models based on their own history, culture and natural environmental conditions.

China apparently views itself as a civilizational state. Perhaps this is why China is now returning in some respects to its Confucian roots of “修身齐家治国平天下,” meaning that before one is qualified to become a ruler, one must first cultivate oneself to become a good person. We are seeing how China is controlling its media to provide healthy content, the amount of time young kids should spend on video games, curbing excesses and unhealthy celebrity styles in movie cycles and reviving traditional Chinese culture.

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