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Society & Culture

Egypt’s ‘Peaceful Evolution’ vs China’s Indigenous Development Path

Feb 28, 2011

After Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak was toppled on February 11th by domestic protest waves and international pressure led by the United States, Thomas L. Friedman, a renowned New York Times columnist, noted that “there must be quite some kings and autocrats in North Africa, Myanmar and even Beijing who would grow antsy tonight” because young Egyptians toppled their president’s 30-year rule simply through online calls for their countrymen to a protest on Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Many journalists also flocked to the square from all over the world. Some were veterans who witnessed the protest on Tian’anmen Square in 1989. There were also some green hands who, although without any personal experience of the latter, still loved to compare the two events. They revelled in writing about “autocracy” and “democracy”. Historians, however, would never examine the events in such a na?ve, simple-minded way. On this planet of ours that keeps rotating all the time, the wheels of times have ushered in various trends, whose traces can only be tracked with thorough analysis of complicated situations.

Formation of Modern Trends and Revival of Ancient Civilizations

The origin of the modern trends can be traced back to Europe over three centuries ago, when the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation and the global expedition (as well as capitalism) created two driving forces after their births there. The first force gave rise to the modern trends in two aspects: the observance of scientific laws and the favorable conditions for technological development in traditional social life, as well as the emphasis on objective facts and rational logics in social ideology.

The second force originating Europe helped the West (which basically consisted of four major elements: Caucasian, Christianity, capitalism and nation-states) conquer and rule the world. This process started with the colonization of Asia, Africa and US by Britain, France, Germany, Spain and other European countries. By the second half of the 20th century, this force met with strong resistance and finally surrendered to the force in emerging countries that sought for their own development. China and India were the leaders of these emerging countries.


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