Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

China: from pragmatism to ideology?

American ideological wars have confused non-Western countries, like China and Russia. America (and Europe) look weak and vulnerable in their perspective. This may explain Putin’s “historical blunder” by invading Ukraine. As Aristotle already stated: “A common danger unites even the bitterest enemies”.

I am confused by the apparent transformation of successful Chinese pragmatism (eg, BRILL, CGTN, JSTOR) back to ideology. Clearly, their 20th century ideologies, as promoted by Mao and others, were failing.

My confusion about China is based on:

Hence, my examples suggest a paradigm shift from pragmatism towards ideology but Why?

In my 2018 blogs, I have predicted the (future) irrelevance of Politics and Religion as Belief systems (see my 2015 original concept). At the same time, two new Belief systems would emerge: Data-Info and Technology (see my 2019 update). In my 2018 view, China showed us our future.

In those 2018 blogs, I already expressed my surprise about the (future) strength of the Power domain of the 7 Belief systems, and the relative weakness of its Knowledge domain (eg, my 2018 blog).

I suppose that China came to a similar conclusion. Hence, China decided to limit the power of its Big Tech sector, and to increase political power. That decision required a shift from pragmatism to ideology.

Remarkably, the Chinese view on Western ideological wars does not prevent them from making this shift. In my view, Western ideological wars will (eventually) result in a return to pragmatism (eg, Ukraine).

The (apparent) Chinese choice for ideology, following its updated priorities, has serious consequences: “Foreign cash flees China as investors shun autocracies” (eg, Nikkei, 10 April 2022, Bloomberg, 28 March 2022). Moreover, more people seem to be starving from hunger than dying from Covid (eg, CNN).

Ultimately, ideology and pragmatism are two points on a cycle. The rest of the cycle reflects Change.

See my updated diagram at the left.

A quote on pragmatism by Karl Popper (1902-1994), “one of the 20th century’s most influential philosophers of science“:

“Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve.”
― Karl Popper

Wishful Thinking (1983) by China Crisis
artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-band, Wiki-album, Wiki-song

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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  1. ana

    Interesting conclusions.
    China remains rooted in communist ideology. China has the largest communist party in the world (over 70 million members), the CCP, which celebrated a century of life last year !! There, the big local companies are favored by the CCP (the New Wall of China), and foreign companies are leaving China. China is looking to buy from Russia, with which it has much in common (communism, poverty, dictatorship, lying, etc.).

    • Leon Oudejans

      70 million CCCP members or 95,148,000 (Wiki) is not much compared to its total population ……… there are more Christians in China ……..


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