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I disagree.
送交者: ibelieu 2009月10月14日12:29:37 于 [教育学术] 发送悄悄话
回  答: Interesting point 言真轻 于 2009-10-14 10:53:12

I don’t think we can blame China's lack of democracy on its language.  Don't those living in Taiwan use the same language? 

China's lack of democratic tradition has one of its major roots in its philosophy of collectivism, which was burn from an agrarian society emphasizing flood control and public irrigation systems and has been promoted by two thousand years of dictatorial governance.  It is extremely stable, and tends to resist any change.  Interestingly, this was recognized very early on by Marx and Engles.  They predicted that the only thing that would destabilize such a system would be a whole-sale infusion of western culture. 

In the west, the seed of democracy was found in feudalism.  In Great Britain, for example, Magna Carta signaled what was to come out of a power struggle between the feudal lords and their king.  While the Chinese official literature says China had a feudal history of two thousand years, this myth was concocted by people like Guo Moruo just so the development of Chinese social history would fit the Marxist/Leninist doctrine.  The truth is that China either never had a feudal society or the Chinese feudal system was destroyed either by the rising of the Zhou Dynasty, or, at the latest, by the end of the period of the Warring States.  Without a seed, it's a little hard to grow a tree.  And as predicted by Marx and Engles, whatever democratic practice the Chinese society now has, it has its source in western cultural influence.  I hope you now really understand why there was the movement for wholesale westernization of China.  

As to Chomsky, you should at least know that he doesn't believe any natural language is inferior than any other in terms of its expressive power: if there is a need in communication, a language invariably meets that need, usually in the form of new words/phrases.  These may be created with indigenous materials, or they may be borrowed from another language.

He does not believe one can fundamentally affect the syntactic system of a language.  He believes that man is born with a universal grammar and exposure to specific languages after birth only helps to set certain parameters to certain values.  He had a famous debate with the great psychologist Piaget regarding language development in children, and his theory did much better than Piaget's in explaining why young children can acquire their mother tongue so quickly and with such ease.

There is really so much to learn out there.  We all should try to sit down and do some solid reading rather than wasting our time here debating things that we don't know much about.  Before we can stand on the shoulders of giants, we first of all have to climb up there.

I've said all I care to say.  I don't come here usually, and I doubt I will be here again.  Bye!

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  Does Taiwan has domocrasy? - 言真轻 10/14/09 (121)
  Correction:which was born from /无内容 - ibelieu 10/14/09 (102)
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