Today I read an extraordinary article. It is written by two Chinese scholars, Xue Ping and Gao Wenxing, and was published in the Inner Mongolia Normal Uiversity Journal (Philosophy and Social Sciences Edition) in 2010. Ten years ago, it already expressed what we are seeing today with the sunset of the West. Here is a translation of the passage that struck me:
From a global perspective, Western capitalist modernisation has achieved successes, and Western culture is therefore in a strong position. Some Westerners have tried to promote Western ideological values as ‘universal values’ to the rest of the world. However, we have found that humanism, rationalism, subjectivism, and individualism – modern Western ideological values – have not only achieved the development of Western modernisation, but also have their own insurmountable contradictions. Humanism’s promotion of an anti-divine human nature degenerates into the deification of human nature; rationalism’s promotion of rational critique degenerates into rational autocracy; individualism’s promotion of individual liberation degenerates into the loss of human nature; subjectivism’s promotion of subjectivity degenerates into a lonely absolute subject. These contradictions and paradoxes lead to catastrophic ‘problems of modernity’ – the intoxication of developmental supremism, the origin of consumerist hedonism, the vanity of scientific and technological optimism, the paranoia of anthropocentrism, and the absence of a ‘home’ to which modern people can return.