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November 25, 2005
In Wells' "Outline of History",
he engages in the usual rap
about how the nature of the
Chinese written language makes
it difficult to be literate,
and hence held back that
But there is a
The writer's friend, Mr. L.Y. Chen,
thinks that this is only partially
true. He thinks that the emperors
insisted upon a minute and rigorous
study of the set classics in order
to check intellectual innovation.
This was especially the case with
the Ming emperors, the first of
whom, when reorganizing the
examination system on a narrower
basis, said definitely, "This will
bring all the intellectuals of the
world into my trap." The Five
Classics and the Four Books have
imprisoned the mind of China.
And what other traps have
been imposed on us?
What traps have we chosen?
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