Ancient Chinese Culture Clashes
Response # 2
The fact that American Rhetoric requires proof and a case does not mean that other forms of rhetoric are not acceptable. So what, some cultures rely on flattery, imitation and tradition as the basis for their rhetorical devices. Who are we to judge other cultures when we do not have any idea of where other systems have come from in a traditional sense. Liu Yameng is a contemporary scholar of rhetoric who has written about the interaction and clashes between Western and Eastern rhetorical traditions. American rhetoric looks at Ancient Chinese texts as unorganized, leading to the conclusion that China does not have a structured tradition of rhetoric, pointing to a culture clash that the Chinese are not logical.
This misunderstanding over Chinese processes leads to over generalizations about China, Chinese culture and Chinese rhetoric. The work of Carolyn Matalene in the article written by Yameng Lu bears no credit just for the fact that Matalene’s claim that Chinese thought does not value the new and suffers from faulty logical skills is based on the essay of a student. Lui understands the difficulty of coming to understand ideas in another culture. There are examples of Chinese traditionalists condemning the progress of the ensuing generation. This is very similar to the invention of writing in the western philosophies in Ancient Greece. They older citizens thought that writing would dull the senses of the younger because the system was based on memory. Well…in Chinese tradition…much of the rhetorical beliefs are based on memory much like the west of old.
The fact that miscommunication is the focal point of discussions, and discussion leads to misunderstanding, and in turn, miscommunication moves the competing systems toward war, is a sad state of affairs. In comparing the east to the west, one must take a huge step back and realize that the tradition of the east is to remember where you have been. If the history was bad, then avoid going there again. While in the west, the way to move forward is to beg, borrow, and steal from every other culture that can offer something of value. In consideration of all of these differences it is a wonder that we ever open dialogues at all. Necessity facilitates the need to effectively communicate cross culturally. As we speak the world is shrinking…See!