In the past, due to the historical limitations of the development of civilization, people could not overcome the limitations of the geographical environment on their own activity areas and could not understand the world outside themselves. Nature was an unconquerable object in people’s minds. With the rapid development of science and technology and the rapid development of modern communication tools, the distance between people living on earth is gradually shortening. The emergence of the “Earth Family” brings together cultural phenomena from different regions. The differences of different cultural types formed by the influence of nature have aroused the research interest of people who love world peace and development. Natural selection and influence on human culture.
1. Selection and characteristics of Chinese and Western cultures
Early humans, limited by their own level of civilization, could only let nature choose humans, or let humans adapt to nature. No matter which country or nation lives and grows in which paradise, it is not their ancestors who choose according to their own intentions, but the natural environment that chooses human beings according to its objective requirements for human survival. In a word: it is natural selection that feeds human beings and enables them to survive and develop.
There is a Chinese proverb: “One side of the water and soil feeds the other side”, which means that nature chooses to feed human beings according to its own environmental conditions, and these environmental conditions become the basis of human survival. For example, the ancestors of the Chinese living in the ancient Yellow River Basin lived on agricultural production; the ancestors of the Greeks living in the ancient Greek peninsula, because of the mountains and the sea, made a living by hunting, sailing and doing business. In terms of culture, a Chinese culture with farming culture as its mainstay and a Western culture with marine and commercial culture as its mainstay have been formed.
The growth of Chinese culture originated from the long history of the Yellow River. The abundant water resources of the Yellow River and the fertile Yellow River Basin provided extremely convenient material conditions for early agricultural production; at the same time, China was located in a special environment (the long-frozen Siberian wasteland in the north, and the desert desert sands from west to south). and the Himalayas, with the ocean to the east) provide natural security for land possession necessary for agricultural production and for a good harvest in all seasons. The ancient Chinese ancestors, relying on their unique natural advantages, did not have to worry about foreign aggression and interference and worked calmly. It was natural choice for the Chinese to engage in agricultural production in this paradise of China. The Chinese culture developed on this basis has a strong “yellow earth” color, which is characterized by its dependence on land. Looking back on China’s 5,000-year cultural history, whether it was the slave war between clans and tribes, the class war between landlords and peasants, or the friction and conflict between the Chinese nation and foreign nations, all of them put land at the core of the problem. Even today in the revolution and construction of modern civilization, the most intractable and intractable problems are still rural, peasant and agricultural problems, which is also one of the themes to be solved during the “Eleventh Five-Year Plan”.
Compared with Chinese culture, in addition to the influence of ancient Hebrew culture and Egyptian culture, western culture is mainly influenced by the surrounding geographical environment where it has grown and grown. Ancient Greece was located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, at the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, with the Aegean Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea in the west, and many harbors in the east of the peninsula. This geographical location facilitated the development of the maritime industry by the ancient Greeks. In addition, the Greek peninsula is mountainous and the land is not very fertile. At the same time, affected by the Mediterranean climate, the weather is sunny, the climate is hot and dry, and there is little rainfall, which is not conducive to the development of agricultural culture. This “favorable” and “unfavorable” natural environment has contributed to the maritime and commercial nature of Western culture.
The differences in content between two different cultures cannot be determined by the power of which country, nation or emperor. Whether it is in the face of the “omnipotent” God in the West, or in the face of the Chinese emperor, who is sovereign, arrogant, self-righteous, and number one in the world, the result of natural selection cannot be changed. Their power can only be to unscrupulously display their own violence and realize their own wishes under the conditions that they do not violate the laws of natural environment development on which their respective cultures depend for their survival and growth, otherwise there is only one result – being eliminated by nature .
2. Comparison and Development of Chinese and Western Cultures
After Chinese and Western cultures were selected by the natural environment, they gradually formed national cultures with their own characteristics. Influenced by agricultural production, China has formed a unified and closed continental culture. Influenced by commercial activities, the West has formed a diversified and open marine culture.
Chinese culture is built on the walled geographical location and the convenient water resources of the Yellow River. The stable natural resources are the premise for the survival of Chinese ancestors. Only by adapting to nature can people develop the small-scale peasant economy; only by keeping in line with the four seasons and adjusting measures to local conditions can we have a good harvest. This concept of harmony with nature expands and penetrates into the cultural field, forming the philosophical concept of “harmony between man and nature”. In the face of powerful natural forces, if people want to obtain a good harvest, there is only one way, and that is to occupy more land. As a result, at the end of the primitive society, several powerful and well-organized clan and tribal alliances appeared on the land of China. They fought each other for land, and the power of the patriarch expanded with the increase of land. In this way, a series of systems established in the early days to maintain social stability necessary for agricultural production were further strengthened after the war, and the concept of slave patriarchal law was formed. In the feudal society, the emerging landlord class inherited and reformed the patriarchal system of its ancestors, thus further consolidating and improving the patriarchal system, gradually forming a cultural feature based on the family and the state, affecting the entire Chinese history and culture. process.
Western culture is formed by the convergence of various national cultures. In the exchange of commodities, the cultures of various Western nations have been widely contacted, trade exchanges in competition, and cultures merge in conflicts, gradually forming a diversified and open business culture. Let’s take a look at the formation and development of Western culture by comparing the characteristics of Chinese and Western cultures.
First of all, there are obvious differences in the relationship between rural and urban areas in China and the West. Influenced by agricultural culture in China, the countryside mainly exists as an economic unit, while the emergence of the city was formed due to the requirements of agricultural management and production, and its function and nature mainly lie in politics and education. In the primitive period, in order for agricultural production to develop steadily and healthily, it was necessary to establish a unified organization to lead production, so cities appeared. In order to develop smoothly in Western commerce, there must first be a suitable exchange place. Therefore, merchants appeared in the thoroughfares and markets with more developed traffic conditions. As merchants gradually increased and were recognized by the world, cities appeared. But the founders of these cities were not feudal manor lords with vast wealth, but serfs who were only freed from their shackles yesterday. The city became the economic cradle of commercial development, while the countryside became the stubborn bastion of the feudal economy. It can be said that in the early days of urban culture, the political center of Western society was not in the city but in the countryside.
Second, in terms of the legal system, China is influenced by the homogeneous social form of the country and the country, and the law is heavy on criminal law and mediation.
In China, because the ruling class pursues the policy of emphasizing agriculture and ignoring business, the commodity economy has not been able to develop normally, and thus lacks the political and economic foundation for the formation of civil law. Civil law cannot grow, but it makes room for the abnormal development of criminal law in China. Under the control of the patriarchal and monarchical family-state system, disputes can only be resolved by only the father, the monarch, and only violent means, so the law is equivalent to the criminal law. In the West, people gradually formed their own democratic consciousness in order to maintain a certain transaction order. In the (“Bible”, the ancestors of Israel only obeyed God according to the contract signed with him. This concept and the democratic consciousness of businessmen It is unconsciously combined in the hearts of Westerners, thus laying an economic and ideological foundation for the formation of civil law in the West. Influenced by commercial development, litigation is more important than mediation for disputes in the West, which not only effectively guarantees commodity trading in Western society. It also ensures the normal operation and development of economy and politics.
Third, influenced by the specific form of social and historical life development, Westerners are more aware of “grief and anger” in aesthetic concepts. The development of commercial culture stimulated the full development of private ownership in the West, which to a certain extent destroyed the blood ties of primitive clans, making the establishment of Western European countries at the expense of losing their families. While Western citizens enjoy freedom, they are lonely and the competition is cruel. Reflected in psychology, it constitutes a very uneasy sense of life and an unpredictable concept of destiny for Westerners. People are always in a melancholy atmosphere. After a long period of time, this melancholy reaches the extreme, which produces a “grief and anger” mentality. For example, the popular “Carnival” still exists in the West.
It is specially set up for the liberation of “grief and anger”.
In a word, it is the commercial culture created by the mountainous and watery natural environment that influences and restricts the growth, development and expansion of Western culture.
3. The collision and future development of Chinese and Western cultures The
early Chinese and Western cultures were limited by natural conditions and the low level of productivity, and could only be limited to a certain area and could not communicate with each other. In the later period, with the improvement of human’s ability to understand and conquer nature, the scope of cultural activities has also been continuously expanded, and the mutual exchange of the two cultural types has become possible.
According to Chinese historical records, Emperor Wu of the Western Han Dynasty dispatched Zhang Qian to the Western Regions three times in 138 BC, 122 BC and 119 BC in order to contact the nomadic peoples in the Western Regions to jointly deal with the invasion of the Huns. Although this move did not complete the mission of the Han Dynasty well, it integrated the northern and southern regions of the Tianshan Mountains with the mainland, opened up a road to the Western Regions, and opened the door for the “Chinese” to the outside world for the first time. The natural environment was gradually overcome by the “Chinese”, and Indian Buddhist art also began to be introduced to China, realizing the collision of the two major branches of oriental culture.
During the Yongping years of Emperor Ming of the Eastern Han Dynasty, in order to defeat the Xiongnu, Sima Banchao began to lobby the countries in the southern regions of the Western Regions in AD 74, and his general Gan Ying sent an ambassador to Da Qin in AD 97, which not only advanced the westward route opened in the Western Han Dynasty. It is a long distance, and it has further deepened the mutual understanding and exchanges between the inland countries and the various ethnic groups in the Western Regions.
However, due to differences in cultural types and languages between China and the West, this kind of communication is active and serious in the West, but passive and unconscious in China. For a long time, the rulers of all dynasties in China believed that China was the center of the world. This kind of self-enclosed and self-respecting thinking made Chinese culture lose good opportunities to learn from the West again and again. Therefore, the result of the collision can only be the result of Western culture. Catching up and lingering in Chinese culture.
When the Chinese people began to realize that the exchanges were unfair, the ships of history had already sailed into the harbour in the 16th century. Before that, Westerners had taken full advantage of the injustice of history, catching up from behind and starting to lead China.
The outbreak of the Opium War opened the prelude to the conflict between Chinese and Western cultures. Two different types of cultures exchanged skills and complemented each other in the struggle. Only at this time did the Chinese and Western cultures have a fair exchange. During the conflict, the Chinese people saw the advancement of Western culture, and they also made the Westerners see clearly the tenacity of Chinese culture. In order to conquer China and China to save the crisis, they constantly sum up their fighting experience and absorb the advanced culture of the other side to develop and strengthen themselves. The conflict between the two cultures started from injustice to fairness, and the result of the struggle was that no one could conquer anyone, and no one could rule anyone. Not only did the two cultures not isolate and weaken each other because of the war, but instead absorbed and merged with each other in the struggle. The weakening of natural binding allows them to improve together in one big family – world culture.