The Spirit of the Chinese People (1915) by Gu Hongming, who was a British Malaya born Chinese scholar, is a collection of essays considered to be by many one of the first books to introduce modern China, Chinese philosophy, and the Chinese people to the Western nations.
Gu Hongming used many names and pen names which included “Koh Hong Beng,” “Ku Hung-ming,” and “Amoy Ku.” Gu Hongming was born in British Malaya (now known as Malaysia) in 1857 and died in Beijing, China in 1928.
Gu Hongming was the second son of a Chinese man, who worked as a superintendent at a rubber plantation, and a Portuguese woman. At age ten, at the behest of the British plantation owner, Gu Hongming was awarded with a trip to Scotland to be educated in the West, where he began studying Literature at the University of Edinburgh in 1873 and earned an M.A. in 1877. Gu Hongming would later study law in Paris, befriend Leo Tolstoy, and work as an advisor in China for over twenty years.
The main essays (written using British English & which read like spoken lectures, akin to Emerson) in this collection are named and organized thus:
The Spirit of the Chinese People (pgs 40-125)
The Chinese Woman (pgs 126-159)
The Chinese Language (pgs 160-173)
John Smith in China (pgs 174-185)
A Great Sinologue (pgs 186-197)
Chinese Scholarship, Part I (pgs 198-209)
Chinese Scholarship, Part II (pgs 210-219)
The Religion of Mob-worship or the War and the Way Out (pgs 220-245)
Civilisation and Anarchy or the Moral Problem of the Far Eastern Question (pgs 246-271)
A few quick terms to discuss include the following:
“Sinology” is the study of the Chinese language, history, customs, and politics.
A “sinologue” is a specialist (or a student) in the language and civilization of China.
To begin, before diving into this mammoth collection of thoughts and philosophy concerning Sinology, and also the diverse human/mind/spirit that was Gu Hongming, there are a few quotes by George Orwell which come to mind, and these the reader should also keep in the back or sides of the mind while reading this book of essays or the following contents of this essay or Book Reaction.
George Orwell writes in his seminal dystopian work Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), “In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act” and, also, “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
“Thought Control” — which is discussed heavily in Orwell’s works — is defined as “the attempt to restrict ideas and impose opinions through censorship and the control of curricula in schools.”
There is no question that Thought Control is currently happening in the United States of America and around the world through blatant social media censorship and the re-designing and re-purposing of the country’s educational systems and educational content.
Thought Control (if it comes, and it has come) will come from the Left and not the Right.
Now, one might think (or assume too quickly) that the above comments reflect thoughts pertaining to China. They do not. These comments of Thought Control, strictly speaking in the above sense, pertains primarily to the Liberal Left of America and how the modern Liberals butchered the noble ideals of Liberalism, inspired and taken heavily from the Chinese mind and Chinese spirit, as will be discussed throughout this essay of sorts.
Gu Hongming does, in fact, discuss the notions and differences between Liberalism and False Liberalism by the end of his book, and, in time, we’ll get there, too.
So, perhaps, let’s be clearer with the above line and rewrite it to help the reader better understand the context and the specific meaning:
Thought Control (if it comes, and it has come) will come to America not from China or the Chinese people or from Communism, but Thought Control will come to America from the Liberal Left, found among most modern Liberals & Democrats in the Democratic Party, who are now practicing a twisted nature and deformed sense of False Liberalism.
This is the exact same Democratic Party that founded the KKK, defended slavery, started the Civil War (again to protect slavery), and later imposed segregation upon the backs of American blacks (historical facts, not opinion).
In contrast (again, historical facts), the Republican Party was founded in America in 1854 as a primarily “anti-slavery party” with a strict and pure mission to stop the spread of the Democratic Party’s mission to spread slavery to the rest of the new western territories springing up in the relatively new United States.
The Republican Party, with Abraham Lincoln as its President, aimed to abolish slavery in its entirety, and the Democratic Party killed Lincoln because of his mission to free the black slaves.
The Republican President Abraham Lincoln once said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
And, now in current times, this exact same Democratic Party has been proven with no doubt to have conspired and acted to censor Conservatives & Republicans (recently revealed by Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk) on social media and in a multitude of publications, including the mainstream media and other primary publishers, to further impose through draconian measures the Democratic Party’s political opinions and ideologies by restricting opposing ideas via censorship and the open refusal of publication, such as in books or interviews or other such key mediums.
There is now no current dispute that the Liberal Left & the Democratic Party has used the Federal Government & the Leftist Mobs (in USA & in Canada, to name just two countries) to sway and coerce and force social media companies, such as Facebook and Twitter, and countless other companies to censor, to cancel, and to excommunicate Conservatives in a way that speaks directly to George Orwell’s Thought Control.
Gu Hongming writes plainly on his thoughts regarding the Mob:
“For it is the selfishness and cowardice in all of us, I want to say here, selfishness which makes us think of interests, of expediency, of what will pay, instead of right, and cowardice which makes us afraid to stand up alone against the crowd, against the mob, — it is this selfishness and cowardice in all of us which has given rise to and created the mob and the worship of the mob in the world today” (p 20).
The Soul of a Civilization
It is with these thoughts of the Mob and Thought Control — not from the Chinese but from Liberal Americans and Liberal Canadians (among other places, primarily among the European monarchies) — that we dive into The Spirit of the Chinese People (1915) by Gu Hongming, and how he uses in the Preface a French saying to perfectly express what the above paragraphs and above section has lightly and briefly touched upon: “Le style, c’est l’homme” (p 2).
This modern idea of Gu Hongming’s Mob or George Orwell’s Thought Control was recently covered in a recent interview found in The Guardian called “‘I believe literature is in peril’: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie comes out fighting for freedom of speech” (by Zoe Williams — November 28, 2022).
The Nigerian Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaks specifically on the freedoms of speech, social-and-self censorship, the mob, and thought control:
“To anyone who thinks, ‘Well, some people who have said terrible things, deserve it,’ no. Nobody deserves it. It is unconscionable barbarism. It is a virtual vigilante action whose aim is not just to silence the person who has spoken but to create a vengeful atmosphere that deters others from speaking. There is something honest about an authoritarianism that recognises itself to be what it is. Such a system is easier to challenge because the battle lines are clear. But this new social censure demands consensus while being wilfully blind to its own tyranny. I think it portends the death of curiosity, the death of learning and the death of creativity.”
This one specific line speaks directly to the Liberal Left and its blind mob seeking to cancel and censor those who disagree with them:
“But this new social censure demands consensus while being wilfully blind to its own tyranny.”
At the heart of what Gu Hongming is seeking to express with his book of essays are the complex desires of what “the soul of a civilization” means and how a civilization is supposed to figure out how to achieve such a meaning through purposeful direction and action.
“The question we must ask, in order to estimate the value of a civilisation,” writes Gu Hongming, “is, what type of humanity, what kind of men and women, it has been able to produce. In fact, the man and woman, — the type of human beings — which a civilisation produces, it is this which shows the essence, the personality, so to speak, the soul of that civilisation” (p 2).
The Two Powers
Using a quote by Goethe (as he often does), Gu Hongming goes on to classify the two powers which govern over civilizations: Right and Tact.
Goethe says: “Es gibt zwei friedliche Gewalten auf der Welt: das Recht und die Schicklichkeit” — “There are two peaceful powers in this world: Right and Tact” (p 18).
Before getting into a long passage by Gu Hongming which helps explain Right and Tact according to (his) Sinology, the reader might like to consider that — in terms of the West (especially in the United States) — “Right” pertains (as it is rightly and appropriately called) to Conservatives, who are on the Right of the political spectrum, while “Tact” pertains to modern-day Liberals and Democrats on the Left of the political spectrum.
Gu Hongming — after returning to his father’s homeland, his native homeland — explains Right & Tact and how it directly relates to China and the Chinese people:
“Now this Right and Tact, das Recht und die Schicklichkeit, is the essence of the Religion of good citizenship which Confucius gave to us Chinese here in China; this Tact, this Schicklichkeit, especially, is the essence of the Chinese civilisation. The Religion in the civilisation of the Hebrew people taught the people of Europe the knowledge of Right, but it did not teach Tact. The civilisation of Greece taught the people of Europe the knowledge of Tact, but it did not teach Right. But the religion in the civilisation of China teaches us Chinese both Right and Tact — das Recht und die Schicklichkeit” (p 18).
The European monarchies (i.e., the Educated Elite) would have studied Tact from the ancient Greeks while the plain simple masses would not have done so. The plain simple masses, highly religious people struggling through poverty and disease, would have learned through the Bible and the Hebrews the knowledge of Right, and thus goes the divergence in Western cultures and societies until it grows-blooms-reaches the modern-day United States where you now have the academic-secular Liberal Left representing Tact and the religious Conservative Right representing Right.
A prime and more recent example of how the Liberal Left inside the Democratic Party is improperly imbalanced with far more Tact (attempting to atone for the Democratic Party’s sins of the past no doubt) is none other than, one of many, a celebrity by the name of Alyssa Milano, who provides us with an example of too much Tact and not an ounce of logical-critical thinking — and it’s this logical-critical thinking that is often found among those who exhibit Right.
Alyssa Milano, a Democrat and one filled with too much Tact and not enough logical-critical thinking, wrote on Twitter:
“I gave back my Tesla. I bought the VW ev [meaning the Volkswagen electric vehicle]. I love it. I’m not sure how advertisers can buy space on Twitter. Publicly traded company’s products being pushed in alignment with hate and white supremacy doesn’t seem to be a winning business model” (@Alyssa_Milano Twitter on November 26, 2022).
Alyssa’s woke messaging is full of all Tact and absolutely no Right. More than likely, she was guided or implicitly told by her Public Relations Agency via a widely distributed memo to directly attack Elon Musk, since he has now revealed Twitter’s blatant political bias, uncensored Conservatives, and opened the doors of Free Speech to all Americans.
If Alyssa had a tiny shred of Right and a whole lot more logical-critical thinking (rather than attempting to incite a mob to pressure advertisers to censor or ban Twitter in order to hurt and attack Elon Musk, who is a refugee from South Africa), she would’ve known that — according to records at the Encyclopedia Britannica — along with just plain common knowledge and common sense — the Volkswagen company she now says she “loves” was founded as a state-run enterprise in Nazi Germany in 1937. Volkswagen’s complicated history doesn’t stop there, because during World War II the company produced weapons and war vehicles for the Nazi dictatorship which enacted the Holocaust upon the Jews.
To clarify more abundantly, Alyssa loves a company that was founded by Hitler and the Nazis. She hates Elon Musk, a refugee, and Tesla simply because Elon Musk has allowed peaceful and fair Free Speech and related discourse to exist and spread among Americans and the rest of the world.
This is a perfect example of a celebrity having Tact but no Right. Alyssa thinks and feels and believes she is doing the correct cultural behavior, but her words prove and reveal her true inner thoughts and feelings: She states she is against “hate and white supremacy” while openly promoting a company founded by a regime fighting for and promoting “hate and white supremacy.”
Here’s what the Christian Bible says about Fools:
“The wise inherit honor, but fools get only shame” (NIV Proverbs 3:35).
“Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips” (NIV Proverbs 14:7).
“Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions” (NIV Proverbs 18:2).
“The mouths of fools are their undoing, and their lips are a snare to their very lives” (NIV Proverbs 18:7).
“Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words” (NIV Proverbs 23:9).
Meanwhile, over the course of thousands of years, China equally and wisely cultivated & internalized both Right & Tact, hand-in-hand, more a unified thought-structure in China and the Chinese People than the dichotomy found among Americans and Canadians.
Gu Hongming continues: “The Hebrew Bible, the plan of civilisation according to which the people of Europe have built their present modern civilisation, teaches the people of Europe to love righteousness, to be righteous men, to do right…
“But the Chinese Bible — the Five Cannons and Four Books in China, the plan of civilisation which Confucius saved for us the Chinese nation, teaches us Chinese also to love righteousness; to be righteous men; to do right, but it adds: ‘Love righteousness, be righteous men, do right — but with good taste.’ In short, Religion in Europe says: ‘Be a good man.’ But the Religion in China says: ‘Be a good man with good taste.’ Christianity says: ‘Love Mankind.’ But Confucius says: ‘Love Mankind with good taste’” (pgs 18-19).
Earlier, Gu Hongming mentioned his strict but clear thoughts and feelings on the notion of the Mob. This the exact same radicalized Mob which is often employed and empowered by the Liberal Left and Democrats to sway public discourse and to even burn down neighborhoods and local communities.
The Mob is one such force described by Gu Hongming — which in its modern understanding would be a physical mob in the streets or a virtual mob on Twitter.
Gu Hongming details a few Moral Forces which include (1) Physical Force, (2) Moral Obligation, and (3) Moral Force.
A mob in the streets would pertain to “physical force” while a mob on social media would, one might entertain, pertain to “moral force” since “physical force” is mostly absent on the World Wide Web.
One example of the Mob using “moral force” on social media or face-to-face is by using “shaming tactics” — such as, “You should wear a medical mask and get the vaccination jab because you won’t spread the virus if you do” [which turns out to be Scientifically False] — or, “You should wear a medical mask and get the vaccination jab because if you don’t, you’re going to kill others” [which turns out that, according to Science & Facts, those who got the jab are the ones who are dying by greater numbers than those who chose a higher path than following sheep over a cliff].
Digressing, here are Gu Hongming’s thoughts on specifically Physical Force, Moral Obligation, and Moral Force:
“In the first early and rude stage of society, mankind had to use physical force to subdue and subjugate human passions. Thus hordes of savages had to be subjugated by sheer physical force. But as civilisation advances, mankind discovers a force more potent and more effective for subduing and controlling human passions than physical force and this force is called moral force…
“The moral force which in the past has been effective in subduing and controlling the human passions in the population of Europe, is Christianity. But now this war [he means World War I, 1914-1918] with the armament preceding it, seems to show that Christianity has become ineffective as a moral force. Without an effective moral force to control and restrain human passions, the people of Europe have had again to employ physical force to keep civil order…
“The use of physical force to maintain civil order leads to militarism. In fact militarism is necessary in Europe today because of the want of an effective moral force. But militarism leads to war and war means destruction and waste. Thus the people of Europe are on the horns of a dilemma. If they do away with militarism, anarchy will destroy their civilisation, but if they keep up militarism, their civilisation will collapse through the waste and destruction of war… Thus there seems to be no way of escape out of this vicious circle” (pgs 26-28).
“But then what are the People of Europe to do? I see Professor Lowes Dickinson of Cambridge in an article in the Atlantic Monthly, entitled ‘The War and the Way Out,’ says: ‘Call in the mob’” (p 36).
Professor Goldsworthy “Goldie” Lowes Dickinson (1862-1932) spent much of his life at Cambridge, by the way, and he was a British political scientist, philosopher, scholar of the Greek, and a homosexual — a prime example of the Liberal Left & those with Tact among those academic-secular type found in the West. His book The International Anarchy, 1904–1914 was published in 1926.
Writing specifically of Goldie Lowes Dickinson, G.K. Chesterton wrote in Heretics (1905), in Chapter 12 “Paganism and Mr. Lowes Dickinson”:
“Mr. Lowes Dickinson knows a great deal of philosophy, and also a great deal of Greek, and his error, if error he has, is not that of the crude hedonist. But the contrast which he offers between Christianity and Paganism in the matter of moral ideals… does, I think, contain an error of a deeper kind.”
It is this “matter of moral ideals” and Moral Culture which is heavily discussed in this collection of essays by Gu Hongming, and we’ll get into more of this in a minute.
The True Chinese
Gu Hongming details what he thinks and believes to be characteristics of “the true Chinese” individual.
He explains, “There is in the true Chinese type of humanity an air, so to speak, of a quiet, sober, chastened mellowness, such as you find in a piece of well-tempered metal. Indeed the very physical and moral imperfections of a real Chinaman are, if not redeemed, at least softened by this quality of gentleness in him” (p 42).
Perhaps there is a perfect balance of Right & Tact within the individual which help shape this “well-tempered” and “chastened mellowness” and “gentleness” in the Chinese.
“The longer a foreigner lives in China the more he likes the Chinese,” writes Gu Hongming, about something he read once, “I think, all of you, who have lived in China will agree with me that what is here said of the Chinese is true. It is a well-known fact that the liking — you may call it the taste for the Chinese — grows upon the foreigner the longer he lives in this country [in China]…
“There is an indescribable something in the Chinese people which, in spite of their want of habits of cleanliness and refinement, in spite of their many defects of mind and character, makes foreigners like them as foreigners like no other people. This indescribable something which I have defined as gentleness, softens and mitigates, if it does not redeem, the physical and moral defects of the Chinese in the hearts of foreigners” (p 44).
As a foreigner who has lived in mainland China for over three straight years (with more years to come) and has lived abroad in South Korea and Vietnam for a combined eight years, and has also traveled to dozens of countries around the world, Gu Hongming is absolutely right — “The longer a foreigner lives in China the more he likes the Chinese.”
“This gentleness again is, as I have tried to show you,” writes Gu Hongming, “the product of what I call sympathetic or true human intelligences — an intelligence which comes not from reasoning nor from instinct, but from sympathy — from the power of sympathy…
“The Chinese people have this power, this strong power of sympathy, because they live wholly, or almost wholly, a life of the heart. The whole life of the Chinaman is a life of feeling — not feeling in the sense of sensation which comes from the bodily organs, nor feeling in the sense of passions which flow, as you would say, from the nervous system, but feeling in the sense of emotion or human affection which comes from the deepest part of our nature — the heart or soul” (pgs 44-46).
Divine Duty of Loyalty
One of the things that Gu Hongming makes abundantly clear is that the immortality of the Chinese has little to do with not only a nation state but far more to do with the “immortality of the race.”
It is the race that must survive, and will do so by any means necessary. For it is the race of the Chinese which carry the attributes and characteristics found in Right & Tact (as combined as a whole within the singular individual) that is going to help the human species, humanity, to survive in the centuries to come through a more internal, more coherent, and more structured social order built and governed on submission. The individual who contains “Right and not Tact” and the individual who contains “Tact and not Right” will always be in a state of conflict and war with the other individual and, by default, there can be no peace between the two individuals, let alone any thought given to obtaining World Peace.
The Western approach to the understanding of “submission” as a means to controlling populations has to do with either spiritual means found and practiced through Religions or via means of physical force through Militarism and the like.
The Chinese approach to the understanding of “submission” as a means to controlling populations has to do with Right & Tact and the adoption of the Chinese understanding of how the Nation State is allowed to govern the peaceful masses because of the Family.
“This belief in the absolute, supreme, transcendent, almighty power of the Emperor,” explains Gu Hongming, “it is which gives to the Chinese people, to the mass of the population in China, the same sense of security which the belief in God in religion gives to the mass of mankind in other countries. The belief in the absolute, supreme, transcendent, almighty power of the Emperor also secures in the minds of the Chinese population the absolute stability and permanence of the State. This absolute stability and permanence of the State again secures the infinite continuance and lastingness of society. This infinite continuance and lastingness of society finally secures in the minds of the Chinese population the immortality of the race. Thus it is this belief in the immortality of the race… which gives to the Chinese people… the same sense of permanence in their existence which the belief in a future life of religion gives to the mass of mankind in other countries” (pgs 89-90).
The belief in the immortality of the Chinese race is what creates the submission necessary to produce the stability necessary for Chinese society and civilization to thrive and survive.
“As the absolute Divine duty of loyalty taught by Confucius secures the immortality of the race in the nation,” explains Gu Hongming, “so the cult of ancestor-worship taught in Confucianism secures the immortality of the race in the family… A Chinese, when he dies, is not consoled by the belief that he will live a life hereafter, but by the belief that his children, grandchildren, great-grand-children, all those dearest to him, will remember him, think of him, love him, to the end of time, and in that way, in his imagination, dying, to a Chinese, is like going on a long, long journey, if not with the hope, at least with a great ‘perhaps’ of meeting again” (p 90).
It is this notion among the Chinese, according to Gu Hongming, that Family and one’s offspring will provide the spiritual satisfaction, the spiritual salvation, and the spiritual immortality that is equivalent to the West’s desire and understanding to be saved by God through Jesus Christ in hopes of entering into a heavenly Eternal Life. It is the immortality not of the spirit but of the race through family.
For the West, these spiritual and religious notions compel the individual into a more docile and submissive nature which can be easily controlled by the government in order to maintain and propel peaceful civilization. For the Chinese, these notions of ancestor-worship and family compel the individual into a more docile and submissive nature which can be easily controlled by the government in order to maintain and propel peaceful civilization.
“In fact, the three Articles of Faith, called in Chinese the san kang,” explains Gu Hongming, “three cardinal duties in Confucianism or the State religion of China, are, in their order of importance — first, absolute duty of loyalty to the Emperor; second, filial piety and ancestor-worship; third, inviolability of marriage and absolute submission of the wife to the husband” (p 91).
To help explain these Articles of Faith and its hierarchy a bit better to help better understand how China and the Chinese maintain a peaceful society and civilization — compared against those warring and divided civilizations found across the globe — one can simply reverse the order.
The Chinese rarely think or discuss the “Emperor” or President-for-Life in China. The Chinese, however, often completely dedicate and focus their time and energies not on politics but on the family first, which then allows for the rest to follow in natural order.
So, the order which provides more clarity on what individuals spend focusing their time and energy upon is as follows: 1) Marriage & Children; 2) Parents & Family; 3) State & Leader.
By focusing first and primarily on the immediate and secondary levels of Family (i.e., the husband or wife or children, and then the parents or the grandparents, etc.), the individual becomes a good and model citizen which orders and sustains a peaceful society and civilization.
A more accurate and detailed hierarchy would be thus (in ascending order):
(1) Individual (Self)
(2) Family (husband, wife, children, parents, grandparents, etc.)
(3) Local Community (neighborhood, small town, etc.)
(4) State (large city, province, etc.)
(5) Nation (country or homeland of allegiance & brotherhood)
(6) Supreme Leader (Emperor or Dictator or President-for-Life, etc.)
In addition to the above hierarchy, the average peaceful individual in China rarely considers Religion or God, which is a huge contrast to the individuals in the West.
Now there must be a bit more clarification to better understand how “Family in China” and “Religion in the West” are being defined and used in their understandings of submission and control over the masses.
“The first Article of Faith — absolute duty of loyalty to the Emperor — in Confucianism,” explains Gu Hongming, “takes the place and is the equivalent of the First Article of Faith in all religions — the belief in God. It is because Confucianism has this equivalent for the belief in God of religion that Confucianism, as I have shown you, can take the place of religion, and the Chinese people, even the mass population in China, do not feel the need of religion” (p 92).
Some might argue that Confucianism is far more a philosophy than a religion, but others could easily argue that religion is simply philosophy being practiced with extreme devotion. Either way, Confucianism acts as a kind of religion for the Chinese but certainly not in the Western notions of what “religion” means but, instead, of how “religion” functions upon and within the masses.
In other words, the Chinese do not need the figurehead of God to maintain an internal peace within the individual (because Family does this), but the Chinese also do not deny the figurehead of God as being in existence. As a crude example for clarification: the faithful religious Westerner will say he does “good” because of God whereas the faithful religious Chinese will say he does “good” because of Family.
“All great men, all men with great intellect,” further explains Gu Hongming, “have all always believed in God. Confucius also believed in God, although he seldom spoke of it. Even Napoleon with his great, practical intellect believed in God. As the Psalmist says: ‘Only the fool — the man with a vulgar and shallow intellect — has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’’ But the belief in God of man of great intellect is different from the belief in God of the mass of mankind. The belief in God of men of great intellect is that of Spinoza: a belief in the Divine Order of the Universe. Confucius said, ‘At fifty I knew the Ordinance of God’” (pgs 93-94).
It will be the English poet Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) — as often as he does in this book of essays — which provides clarity to Gu Hongming’s ideas and notions of Family, Religion, and God (which all provide moral rules and moral forces needed for individual and societal governance) as means to create a more submissive and subservient society and civilization.
“Thus, although the belief in God is not necessary to make men obey the rules of moral conduct, yet the belief in God is necessary to make men see the absolute necessity of obeying these rules…
“Matthew Arnold says: ‘Moral rules, apprehended as ideas first, and then rigorously followed as laws are and must be for the sage only. The mass of mankind have neither force of intellect enough to apprehend them clearly as ideas, nor force of character enough to follow them strictly as laws.’ It is for this reason that the philosophy and morality taught by Plato, Aristotle and Herbert Spencer have a value only for scholars… The one and sole authority which makes men really obey moral laws or rules of moral conduct is the moral sense, the Law of the Gentleman in them… In other words, the belief in God taught by religion, by giving men a sense of security and a sense of permanence in their existence, calms them, gives them the necessary calmness of mind and temper to feel the Law of the Gentleman or moral sense in them, which, I say again, is the one and sole authority to make men really obey the rules of moral conduct or moral laws” (pgs 94-96).
The Law of the Gentleman
“The moral law of the philosopher and moralist tells us we must obey the law of our being called by the philosopher, Reason, and by the moralist, Conscience. But, like Religion, the Law of the Gentleman of Confucius tells us we must obey the true law of our being, not the law of being of the average man in the street or of the vulgar and impure person, but the law of being of what Emerson calls ‘the simplest and purest minds’ in the world. In fact, in order to know what the law of being of the gentleman is, we must first be a gentleman and have, in the words of Emerson, the simple and pure mind of the gentleman developed in him. For this reason Confucius says: ‘It is the man that can raise the standard of the moral law, and not the moral law that can raise the standard of the man’” (p 102).
The issue at hand is how can governments and government officials peacefully control the masses with as little force as humanly possible, because the rules of Physics & Karma hold true that with the greater use of physical force such physical force will be returned with an equal or greater force. So, governments and government officials must resolve in their limited capacities how to quell the masses from revolting and rioting and destroying society and civilization. In the end, however, it always comes to bloodshed and militarism.
The Law of the Gentleman, either in the British or the Chinese sense, provides one peaceful answer to create a society and civilization not hell bent on destroying itself.
These “moral laws” are supposed to be what the individual can follow internally, because the abstract and external laws created and imposed by governments, not often on the side of the People, are more complicated for the masses because the masses of humanity “have neither force of intellect enough to apprehend them clearly as ideas, nor force of character enough to follow them strictly as laws” (p 94).
Religion is one way to instill “moral laws” into humanity because it has an “inspiration or living emotion” that Matthew Arnold says “lights up those rules and makes it easy for men to obey them” (p 106).
Gu Hongming states it more clearly: “The true function of the Church, therefore, is not to teach morality, but to inspire morality, to inspire men to be moral; in fact, to inspire and fire men with a living emotion which makes them moral” (p 110).
Literature also offers another way to instill humanity with a deeper, more inspirational and living emotion that turns moral laws from abstract concepts into concrete actions. The primary problem with this particular method of using literature to reach the masses, however, is that many are not educated enough, or interested or enlightened enough, to read the literature of great men and women.
Most people are simply too busy to read and study books of the past which still hold extremely useful ideas and concepts still very much applicable in the modern world.
“The words of great men in literature, unfortunately, cannot reach the mass of mankind because all great men in literature speak the language of educated men, which the mass of mankind cannot understand. The founders of all the great religions in the world have this advantage, that they were mostly uneducated men, and, speaking the simple language of uneducated men, can make the mass of mankind understand them. The real value, therefore, of religion, the real value of all the great religions in the world, is that it can convey the inspiration or living emotion which it contains even to the mass of mankind” (pgs 106-107).
This is the fundamental basis of Rhetoric 101. The best and most convincing speakers use the language of the audience to compel them into belief and into action. As Gu Hongming puts it, “uneducated men… speaking the simple language of uneducated men” (p 106). Now, with public speaking and rhetoric courses in universities having taught such valuable and informative lessons, modern society has educated men speaking the simple language of the uneducated men, and this creates purposeful problems of inauthenticity, corruption, deception, and manipulation.
With Religion being sidelined and now all but absent in mainland China, there must be another structured organization, which Gu Hongming has already made clear, to “inspire morality… to inspire and fire men with a living emotion which makes them moral” (p 110).
The replacement for Religion in China is the School, and it is the School (as in a structured organization which provides education) which inspires morality to the masses. School in China translates better to “a place to teach Chinese culture, Chinese education, and the Chinese religion of good citizenship.” Now you know why mainland China instituted many changes to laws in Hong Kong specifically dealing with the School, which is going to impact the next and future generations.
Now you also know why some of the early and primary changes Liberal Leftists and Democrats made to laws in the United States had specifically to do with the School (i.e., the systems and content taught in Public Schools), which is going to impact the next and future generations.
“This organization in the State religion of Confucianism in China is — the school. The school is the Church of the State religion of Confucius in China. As you know, the same word ‘chiao’ in Chinese for religion is also the word for education. In fact, as the Church in China is the school, religion to the Chinese means education, culture. The aim and object of the school in China is not, as in modern Europe and America today, to teach men how to earn a living, how to make money, but, like the aim and object of the Church religion, to teach men to understand what Mr. Froude calls the primitive commandment, ‘Thou shalt not lie’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’; in fact, to teach men to be good” (pgs 112-113).
To put matters more simply, for China — and for the Liberal Left among the Democrats in America — the notion and context of the Religious Church — found in the culture and practice of Catholicism, as one quick example — is replaced and transformed into the School. And it is this Secular School, not the Religious Church, which inspires morality.
As to “morality” and what “morality” means can be left open for debate, because cultures and peoples have very different meanings and understandings as to the term and related concepts of “morality.”
But for governments and government officials “morality” can be easily translated into specifically meaning “practiced and willful obedience” — as to what “morality” literally means doesn’t matter to governments and government officials so long as they are receiving willful obedience from the masses.
“Morality” can be defined, quickly and universally here, as “principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good or bad behavior” and “the extent to which an action is right or wrong.”
This is one of the Big Hot Spots where those of Tact and those of Right in America clash and argue most and are clearly split. The reason why? Because no one can agree on Morality. No one can agree on which behaviors are to be Right or Wrong, or which behaviors are to be Good or Bad.
And this creates the important question: Who is to be the one to define Morality? To define Right and Wrong? To define Good and Bad Behavior?
“In all matters in the conduct of life,” Gu Hongming explains, “he makes the rule not of authority from without but of reason and conscience from within his one rule to follow. He can live without rulers, but he does not live without laws. Therefore, the Chinese call an educated gentleman a Koen tzu… a little king of men” (pgs 266-267).
The Religion of Mob-Worship
Writing in answer to why World War I was started, Gu Hongming blames the “plain men and women in every country” because when these plain people are congregated in a crowd, they “always become selfish and cowardly” and it is this Mob Mentality which pressured and persuaded the kings, politicians, and businessmen into the Great World War (p 228).
“But Professor Dickinson will repudiate and say: We plain men and women did not want this war. But then, who wanted this war? I answer: Nobody wanted this war. Well then, what brought on this war? I answer: It was panic which brought on this war; the panic of the mob, — the panic which seized and took possession of the crowd of plain men and women in all European countries when last August that monstrous modern machine in Russia which the plain men and women had helped to create, began to move. In short, it was panic, I say, — the panic of the mob, panic of the crowd of the plain men and women communicating itself to and seizing and paralysing the brains of the rulers, soldiers and diplomats of the countries now at war and making them helpless which has brought on this terrible war” (p 228).
This is where it becomes clear that the sincere and reflective principles and thoughts of Gu Hongming have been adopted, bastardized, and applied (likely directly after World War II) among nefarious individuals directly influencing the Western Powers (i.e., the European Union mostly governed by monarchs, the United States of America, and the Dominion of Canada).
“If there is to be peace in Europe, the first thing to be done, it seems to me, is to protect the rulers, soldiers and diplomats from the plain men and women; to protect them from the mob, — the panic of the crowd of plain men and women which makes them helpless… I say therefore, the first thing to be done is to rescue the rulers, soldiers and diplomats from their present helplessness and find some means to give them power, — power to find a way to make peace. That, I think, can be done only in one way and that is for the people of Europe, — for the people of the countries now at war, to tear up their present Constitutions and Magna Cartas of Liberty, and make a new Magna Carta — a Magna Carta of Loyalty — such as we Chinese have in our Religion of good citizenship here in China.
“But this new Magna Carta of Loyalty, the people of the countries now at war must swear: first, not to discuss, meddle or interfere in any way with the politics of the present war; second, absolutely to accept, submit to and abide by whatever terms of peace their actual rulers may decide upon themselves…
“Everybody is helpless and cannot see that this war [World War I], wanted by nobody and brought on only by the panic of the mob has seized and paralysed the brains of everybody” (pgs 230-232).
Gu Hongming provides here a reasonable request but it is a request made in the Language of Slaves, and such language is bound tightly within a history Westerners know deep in their spirit and blood because of their ancestors’ tribulations throughout the thousands of years humanity has methodically known and cruelly enacted slavery upon the backs of others.
Often now found in modern America relating to censorship, social media, politics, and election integrity, the Language of Slaves includes: first, do not discuss or meddle or interfere in any way with politics; second, submit and abide by whatever terms your rulers may decide.
Sounding less like a true scholar and more like a dictator, even Gu Hongming, however, unintentionally admits that his plan to tear up old Constitutions and establish a new Magna Carta of Loyalty, which will grant unlimited and unchecked powers to monarchs and presidents, can only work if all are willing to see that such powers are meant for the “peace of the masses” and not for the “domination of the masses.”
But Gu Hongming doesn’t tread long enough on his thoughts to know the meanings of his words or the implications as to what he’s actually writing.
“I said, a Magna Carta of Loyalty, — absolute power to order and command the war to be stopped at once. As soon as everybody sees that the war can be stopped, everybody in the countries now at war, everybody except perhaps a few absolute incurable lunatics, will be able to see that this war wanted by nobody and brought on only by the panic of the mob, — is really nothing but an infernal madness; that this war, if continued, will be ruinous even to the countries which will emerge victorious from it… I say it will be easy then for a man like President Wilson to make a successful appeal for peace because, I believe, in order to make peace, the only important thing the rulers of the countries now at war will have to do is, to build a special lunatic asylum and arrest and clap into it the few absolute incurable lunatics, — men like Professor Dickinson who have the panic of the mob in the brain” (pgs 234-235).
World War I would rage for another three years after Gu Hongming’s statements, and granted Hitler and the Nazis would not come to power for another two decades.
But Gu Hongming explains it all when he briefly but twice writes about the “absolute incurable lunatics” because as he says it will be these “absolute incurable lunatics” which once they have been given unlimited and unchecked power, they are not going to seek out world peace but are going to seek out world domination, and this came true with Hitler in the 1930s and during World War II.
“As soon as everybody sees that the war can be stopped, everybody in the countries now at war, everybody except perhaps a few absolute incurable lunatics” will want World War I to be stopped, everyone except the “few absolute incurable lunatics” who will wish to continue the Great War in order to continue to seek out power and control over the masses in all nations, to be, as many rulers had also sought in the ages now gone (such as Napoleon, Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, or Xerxes I), to be the Great Supreme Leader of the Whole World.
Sadly, and most unfortunately, Gu Hongming, there are always going to be a “few absolute incurable lunatics” and this is exactly why nations need Constitutions of the People, by the People, for the People.
The Republican President Abraham Lincoln once said, “He who would be no slave, must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it” — “Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally” — “You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence.”
You can read more quotes by Abraham Lincoln in the posthumously published book Of the People, By the People, For the People and Other Quotations from Abraham Lincoln (1996).
Gu Hongming, however, continues to delight in the notion of slavery and subordination upon the masses, upon the backs of the plain men and women, who might one day possibly invoke the mob and anarchy — much like what Americans saw the Democrats do by inciting the Mob to riot throughout the Summer of 2020, despite Covid-19 lockdowns and public restrictions in place — infernal madness and absolute incurable lunatics, indeed.
Gu Hongming breaks down the power struggle into two categories: the Worship of the Mob vs the Worship of Might.
“The Bible in our Chinese Religion of good citizenship says: ‘Do not go against what is right to get the praise of the people. Do not trample upon the wishes of the people to follow your own desires’” (pgs 244-245).
In modern China, since 2020, this dichotomy of “good citizenship” poses a major problem, however. China believes that “what is right” is to protect the Chinese people from themselves and from Covid-19 by enacting severe lockdowns, quarantines, mass testing, and travel restrictions, and these draconian actions have not garnered “the praise of the people” in the slightest. Conversely, by enacting severe lockdowns, quarantines, mass testing, and travel restrictions, these draconian actions have undoubtedly trampled upon the “wishes of the people” to follow the desires of a select few in power. With mass protests erupting recently out of Shanghai and in other cities across China, the world is witnessing the collision of these two notions and principles of “good citizenship” (and good leadership): Do not go against what is right and do not trample upon the wishes of the people.
Gu Hongming elaborates on this battle of Subordination (free souls) versus Independence (free peoples):
“The French Joubert who had lived through the French Revolution in answer to the modern cry for liberty said, ‘Let your cry be for free souls rather than for free men. Moral liberty is the one vitally important liberty, the liberty which is indispensable; the other liberty is good and salutary only so far as it favours this. Subordination is in itself a better thing than independence. The one implies order and arrangement; the other implies only self–sufficiency with isolation. The one means harmony, the other a single tone; the one, is the whole, the other is but the part.’ This then, I say, is the one and only way for the people… to save the civilisation of the world, and that is for them now to tear up their present Magna Cartas of Liberty and Constitutions, and make a new Magna Carta, — a Magna Carta not of Liberty, but a Magna Carta of Loyalty; in fact to adopt the Religion of good citizenship with its Magna Carta of Loyalty such as we Chinese have here in China. AB INTEGRO SAECLORUM NASCITUR ORDO” (pgs 244-245)!
That last part is in Latin and states: “The Great Order of the Ages is born afresh!”
“The Great Order” sounds a whole lot like the “Great Reset” and the “New World Order” presented by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and, especially, Klaus Schwab, who idealizes China as the prime economic and citizenship model for the modern world. It was the WEF and its controversial article (published on the WEF website on November 12, 2016) by Ceri Parker which wrote and detailed “8 predictions for the world in 2030” that are as follows:
- All products will have become services.
- There is a global price on carbon.
- US dominance is over. We have a handful of global powers.
- Farewell hospital, hello home-spital.
- We are eating much less meat.
- Today’s Syrian refugees, 2030’s CEOs.
- The values that built the West will have been tested to breaking point.
- “By the 2030s, we’ll be ready to move humans toward the Red Planet.”
The first, third, and seventh predictions are primarily applicable here to Gu Hongming and his collection of essays.
In the first prediction, “All products will have become services,” Danish MP Ida Auken writes of 2030, “I don’t own anything. I don’t own a car. I don’t own a house. I don’t own any appliances or any clothes.” The section continues with: “It sounds utopian, until she mentions that her every move is tracked and outside the city live swathes of discontents, the ultimate depiction of a society split in two.” In a video attached to the article on this WEF site (the video can also be found on various YouTube channels) is where the internet meme originated from with the now famous and infamous quote: “You’ll own nothing. And you’ll be happy.” Another important quote to remember is “Whatever you want you’ll rent. And it’ll be delivered by drone.”
In the third and seventh predictions, “US dominance is over. We have a handful of global powers” & “The values that built the West will have been tested to breaking point,” deal primarily with the WEF’s concern with “unfettered majoritarianism.”
Majoritarianism can be defined as “majority rule” where “a majority class rules over a minority class.” In other words, the Elites (the minority class) is concerned about being governed and ruled over by the Common People (the majority class).
Notice the use of the word “class” which means “a system of ordering society whereby people are divided into sets based on perceived social or economic status.”
The minority class (i.e., the Elites at the WEF and elsewhere) wish to maintain control over the majority class (i.e., the Commoners, the plain men and women) well into the future.
But this is nothing new in humanity. What is new is that the minority class is shrinking and the majority class is ever expanding, and the majority class poses a true and present danger to the minority class, and the minority class is desperately afraid of losing their power and control over the majority class.
These predictions and principles presented by the World Economic Forum and its experts from the Global Future Councils are specific to Gu Hongming and his thoughts on good citizenship, China, and the moral culture of China and the moral culture of the West, specifically the United States.
The New Moral Culture & Modern Liberalism
“Any one who has given any attention to the study of the spirit of modern institutions in Europe,” writes Gu Hongming, “cannot have failed to observe that for the last hundred years there has been growing up in Europe under the general name of what called Liberalism, the consciousness of a new moral culture and notions of a new social order quite distinct from what may be called the old mediaeval culture and social order… Du Clos said, ‘Il y a un germe de raison qui commence à se developer en France’” (pgs 252-253).
The French can be translated as thus: “There is a germ of reason which is beginning to develop in France.”
And this is one of the biggest points Gu Hongming wishes to make: the point of how this new Liberalism growing within the minority class (i.e., the Elites attempting to establish a “new moral culture” through a “a new social order”), and how this could be the final solution to the Western problem with its warring races and classes in Western civilizations.
“I have been a long way — but now we have come to the subject of my essay,” writes Gu Hongming, “This conflict of civilisation, or rather the conflict of modern Liberalism and ancient Mediaevalism is the Moral Problem of the Far Eastern question. It is not a conflict of the white race with the yellow race, but it is rather a struggle on the part of the people of Europe to free themselves completely from their ancient mediaeval civilisation. It is, in one word, what the Germans call the Kulturkampf of the present day. The source of the mediaeval moral culture of Europe is the Christian Bible” (p 254).
Kulturkampf might be quickly defined as thus: “culture struggle.”
The origins come to us from Germany: from 1871 to 1887, the government of Prussia, led by German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, challenged the Roman Catholic Church, led by Pope Pius IX, for political control over the state, education, rights, and ecclesiastical appointments, and probably dozens of other culturally related topics and subjects.
Likewise, the United States has been and is currently in a state of Kulturkampf (Culture Struggle) between those of Tact and those of Right — the Liberal Left and Conservatives — Democrats and Republicans.
What Gu Hongming has just written, in case you missed it or are simply too tired from too much difficult reading, let’s make it simpler:
Liberalism is the modern solution and modern replacement for Christianity and the substitute for the moral culture historically derived primarily from the Bible.
Don’t believe it. Let’s read what Gu Hongming has to say about this:
“We believe the true moral culture of modern Liberalism, if not so strict, perhaps, is a much broader one than the mediaeval culture of Europe derived from the Christian Bible” (p 256).
But Gu Hongming — likely unknowingly — did confess the weakness of modern Liberal Leftists when he writes of Liberalism being a disaster if it’s taken too seriously: “if not so strict” (p 256).
But modern Liberalism is extremely strict because it threatens and forces censorship, ostracism, cancelation, and the blind mob mentality over any person who disagrees, challenges, or opposes this narrow-minded ideology coming from the Liberal Left who have adopted False Liberalism as their salvation and religion.
But let’s let Gu Hongming continue his breakdown of the moral differences between Liberalism and the Christian Bible:
“The one [being the Christian Bible] appeals chiefly to the passions of hope and fear in man. The new moral culture on the other hand appeals to the whole intelligent powers of man’s nature: to his reason as well as to his feelings” (p 256).
And it is this germe de raison Du Clos and Gu Hongming are writing about concerning this “new moral culture.”
The Christian civilization and the Confucian civilization, explains Gu Hongming, are both concerned with the “moral well-being of man and the keeping of civil order in the world” (p 258). The former, argues Gu Hongming, uses hope and fear to create a “stricter” civilization while the latter “appeals to the calm reason of man” (p 258).
In today’s America, however, it’s actually the reverse. Conservatives appeal to the “calm reason of man” while the Liberal Left prefer to use fear to create a “stricter civilization.”
One could easily argue that the moral culture from the Christian Bible is also appealing to the calm reason found in people and not simply just hope and fear.
As Gu Hongming himself cites, “The method of the old culture began with ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom’” (p 256). Wisdom, one can argue, is the foundation that establishes “calm reason” in anyone.
Without Wisdom one cannot have calm reason. The absence of Wisdom is thoughtlessness, irrationality, imprudence, and folly. No, what Gu Hongming is arguing is to replace the origins of the current moral culture within a human individual by removing Religion as the origin and foundation to a person’s wisdom and calm reason, and to replace Religion with Liberalism as the origin for a person’s “moral well-being” which will keep “civil order in the world.” Both Religion and Liberalism both use hope, fear, reason, and the like to “produce moral well-being and social order in the world” (p 256).
But Gu Hongming is correct when he writes of the Europeans and “foreigners” and the people living in the West when he uses a quote from Prince Bismarck: “Nach Canossa gehen wir nicht” (p 260) — “We’re not going back to Canossa” — which literally means, “We’re not going back to a place or occasion of submission, humiliation, or penance.”
And therein lies the major and specific difference between Gu Hongming’s West and the Free West. Gu Hongming’s West invites a new moral culture to establish Liberalism in order to place the common men and women within a state and occasion of submission, humiliation, sorrow, and self-punishment. The common men and women in the Free West, however, constantly and daily choose to live free within a state and occasion of defiance, honor, joy, and self-satisfaction. If you’re a government or a government official or monarch, you would most certainly wish to have Liberalism as the foundation for moral culture in your civilization.
Gu Hongming uses this “Canossa” quote twice; the first time is far more poignant to this view of two different civilizations: one governed by modern Liberalism through submission and humiliation; the other governed by the old moral culture of Religion through defiance and honor. The full quote reads: “‘We will never go back to Canossa.’ (We will not go to Canossa — neither in body nor in spirit)” (pgs 32-33)!
Gu Hongming, however, was born in British Malay; meaning he grew up as a small child influenced and trained in the understandings of a state and culture determined by colonization — the British Empire controlling the Malay Kingdoms through a state of submission and humiliation — that is until Malaysia won their freedom (much like India did in 1947) and the Malaysians became a free people in 1957 — twenty-nine years after Gu Hongming’s death.
In the end, Evil has one major objective, and that is too rid the world of Religion, and the minor objectives are to place all peoples in all places into a constant state of submission, humiliation, sorrow, contrition, shame, regret, and self-punishment — just like the Fallen Angel Lucifer who suffers just such a fate in Hell. This is the never-ending duality of Evil vs Good.
To slowly conclude this dialogue with Gu Hongming, we return back Liberalism and False Liberalism and to another one of his own self-admissions (though he doesn’t realize it at the time) — his thoughts on False Liberalism are a clear warning of what would happen 100 years after the publication of his book of essays (though he couldn’t possibly have known it at the time, but we do now) and the following is a statement on the present dangers of modern Liberalism, the Liberal Leftists, and Democrats — establishing again a stark reminder that we are doomed as a species to repeat the past if we choose to forget the lessons which came before:
“The only possible way, therefore, for the people of Europe to escape from the ruin resulting from the burden of their Militarism, is to struggle for the attainment of what we have called the new moral culture, which now lies under the general name of Liberalism. How long it will take for the people of Europe to attain this, it is impossible to say. Indeed, it seems to me that the Liberalism of Europe at the end of this century has retrograded.
“Lord Beaconsfield, speaking of the Liberalism of the England of his time, said that he was astonished to find that it had become an oligarchy. The Liberalism of Europe today, it seems to me, has become also an oligarchy: an oligarchy of ‘pampered units.’ The Liberalism of Europe of the last century had culture, but the Liberalism of today has lost its culture. The Liberalism of the past read books and understood ideas. Modern Liberalism reads only newspapers and makes use of the great liberal phrases of the past only as catch-words and cant phrases for its selfish interests” (p 264).
“Cant” — as used above in “cant phrases”— in case you’re wondering — specifically means that the Liberals were using “hypocritical and sanctimonious talk, typically of a moral, religious, or political nature.”
Eerily — much like a ghost coming back from the pits of death to warn us — it sounds like Gu Hongming is specifically describing today’s modern Liberalism in how the Liberal Leftists and Democrats are currently “pampered units” who have lost their true culture and can now only read the headlines of the biased mainstream media and use “hypocritical and sanctimonious talk” in their catch phrases — sounds like not much has changed in the last 100 years.
The American novelist CG FEWSTON has been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome (Italy), a Visiting Fellow at Hong Kong’s CityU, & he’s a been member of the Hemingway Society, Americans for the Arts, PEN America, Club Med, & the Royal Society of Literature. He’s also a been Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) based in London.
He’s the author of several short stories and novels. His works include A Father’s Son (2005), The New America: A Collection (2007), The Mystic’s Smile ~ A Play in 3 Acts (2007), Vanity of Vanities (2011), A Time to Love in Tehran (2015), Little Hometown, America (2020); A Time to Forget in East Berlin (2022), and Conquergood & the Center of the Intelligible Mystery of Being (2023).
He has a B.A. in English, an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership (honors), an M.A. in Literature (honors), and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Fiction. He was born in Texas in 1979.
“A spellbinding tale of love and espionage set under the looming shadow of the Berlin Wall in 1975… A mesmerising read full of charged eroticism.”
“An engrossing story of clandestine espionage… a testament to the lifestyle encountered in East Berlin at the height of the Cold War.”
“There is no better way for readers interested in Germany’s history and the dilemma and cultures of the two Berlins to absorb this information than in a novel such as this, which captures the microcosm of two individuals’ love, relationship, and options and expands them against the blossoming dilemmas of a nation divided.”
~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
“A Time to Forget in East Berlin is a dream-like interlude of love and passion in the paranoid and violent life of a Cold War spy. The meticulous research is evident on every page, and Fewston’s elegant prose, reminiscent of novels from a bygone era, enhances the sensation that this is a book firmly rooted in another time.”
“Vivid, nuanced, and poetic…”
“Fewston avoids familiar plot elements of espionage fiction, and he is excellent when it comes to emotional precision and form while crafting his varied cast of characters.”
“There’s a lot to absorb in this book of hefty psychological and philosophical observations and insights, but the reader who stays committed will be greatly rewarded.”
“Readers of The Catcher in the Rye and similar stories will relish the astute, critical inspection of life that makes Little Hometown, America a compelling snapshot of contemporary American life and culture.”
“Fewston employs a literary device called a ‘frame narrative’ which may be less familiar to some, but allows for a picture-in-picture result (to use a photographic term). Snapshots of stories appear as parts of other stories, with the introductory story serving as a backdrop for a series of shorter stories that lead readers into each, dovetailing and connecting in intricate ways.”
“The American novelist CG FEWSTON tells a satisfying tale, bolstered by psychology and far-ranging philosophy, calling upon Joseph Campbell, J. D. Salinger, the King James Bible, and Othello.”
“In this way, the author lends intellectual heft to a family story, exploring the ‘purity’ of art, the ‘corrupting’ influences of publishing, the solitary artist, and the messy interconnectedness of human relationships.”
GOLD Winner in the 2020 Human Relations Indie Book Awards for Contemporary Realistic Fiction
FINALIST in the SOUTHWEST REGIONAL FICTION category of the 14th Annual National Indie Excellence 2020 Awards (NIEA)
“Fewston’s lyrical, nostalgia-steeped story is told from the perspective of a 40-year-old man gazing back on events from his 1980s Texas childhood…. the narrator movingly conveys and interprets the greater meanings behind childhood memories.”
“The novel’s focus on formative childhood moments is familiar… the narrator’s lived experiences come across as wholly personal, deeply felt, and visceral.”
American Novelist CG FEWSTON
This is my good friend, Nicolasa (Nico) Murillo, CRC, who is a professional chef & a wellness mentor. I’ve known her since childhood & I’m honored to share her story with you. In life, we all have ups & downs, some far more extreme than others. Much like in Canada, in America, the legalization of marijuana has become a national movement, which includes safe & legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use & research for all.
“This is a wellness movement,” Nico explains. The wellness movement is focused on three specific areas: information, encouragement, & accountability.
In these stressful & unprecedented times, it makes good sense to promote & encourage the state or condition of being in good physical & mental health.
The mission of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research.
TEXANS FOR SAFE ACCESS ~ share the mission of their national organization, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), which is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research, for all Texans.
Stay safe & stay happy. God bless.
Nico Murillo Bio ~ Americans & Texans for Safe Access ~ Medical Cannabis