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The Ancient Silk Road And The Rise Of Chinese Spirit Of Capitalism (Term Paper Sample)


Ancient Silk Road 


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September 2, 2017
Ancient Silk Road and the rise of the Chinese Protestant Ethic
When people speak of Chinese these days, one of the first words that would come to one's mind is “business-orientedness”. This is due to the fact that in almost any part of the world, Chinese people have established their own markets and provided tireless manpower, in order to produce and cater to almost every commodity that the world needs. Although this trait of the Chinese has existed centuries before, with some of their mercantilist principles bounded to their oldest teachings, when viewed through a Western perspective, one could argue that this China is where The Protestant Work Ethic exist today. In fact, some thinkers have even discussed that these days – when the value of Protestant Work Ethic is in decline around the world – one could find it “Alive and Well… In China”. However, one of the most common misconceptions among people was that the rise of The Spirit of Capitalism in mainland China only started after the fall of communism and the rule of Mao Zedong, scholars knew that the evolution of “Chinese's mercantilist” pursuits has existed and developed centuries ahead. More particularly scholars believe while having its beginnings rooted with the teachings of Confucianism and Taoism, Chinese Protestant Work Ethic has been shaped by the with the existence of the Ancient Silk Road which provided avenues of practice for Chinese.[Weber, Max. The Protestant ethic and the" spirit" of capitalism and other writings. Penguin, 2002.]
Following from what has stated above, the author would like to focus on the effects of the Ancient Silk Road in cementing together Chinese mercantilist culture as we know of today. He believes that because of this once popular trade route – which extended across continents – as well as the teachings of Confucianism and Taoism China, Ancestors of Modern day Chinese were able to establish a culture defined by intense work ethic, that was then passed down through generations until today. This culture, in turn, relieved the spirit of Capitalism and allowed China to become one of the major superpowers in terms of economy and growth today. In the latter section of this article, the author would expound on the importance of the Ancient Silk Road as well as the practices of Taoism and Confucianism in the development of the Chinese culture and philosophy. In the succeeding sections, particular importance would also be given to how an “eastern culture” like that of China, could be placed into comparison with a western concept of the Protestant Work Ethic.
Trade Routes as Lifeline of Civilizations
Throughout the history of mankind, plenty of infrastructures have been noted as ‘milestones', which denoted mankind's progress and its natural affinity towards growth. Some of these infrastructures that the world knows are the Cave dwellings in Spain, the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the Great Wall in China, The Big Ben in London, and even the towering Burj Khalifa in Dubai. While all of this represents the achievements of humanity across different time periods, most of them would not exist without the growth of civilizations. Nevertheless, even great civilizations would not grow without access to ‘tangible' vital resources (waterways and intensive agricultural lands), such as the Mesopotamia, which is deemed as the ‘Cradle of Civilization'. These natural resources were indeed required in order to support a growing capacity for bigger and bigger populations which is an inevitable characteristic for any civilization that existed. Aside f...

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