He obviously does not think people in
Well said. I must say Wuming's comment resonates with me on the personal level. I had been a sincere believer in communism during my childhood and youth – not much different than the way an American child from a devout Christian family becomes a sincere church goer. But my re-education in the countryside after high school changed all that. For a number of years after I abandoned communism, I felt a sort of spiritual barrenness, as if my soul no longer had a settling place. On the other hand the breach of a deep belief was like the most effective vaccination – nothing could make me a believer again. And after a while I got used to my incorrigible soul.
But, away from the personal, what about at the society level? Does a society need an ideology or not?
Recently, after my book was published, I found it interesting many interviewers took notice on the following passage, a question asked by a character in one of my stories:
And readers too. People asked me about this passage on various occasions. Evidently, this character's question touched on a common concern. Yet I don't think as the author I have a sure answer to it.
A novel I read years ago, The White Mandarin by Dan Sherman, made interesting observations on what had led to the defeat of the Chinese Nationalists (or KMT) by the Communists in 1949. Among other things, one reason identified was that the Communists provided Chinese intellectuals an ideology that was lacking in the Nationalist's appeal. I think this is a pertinent point. The experience of my parents and their friends who joined the eastern
On a related note, a few years ago in an on-line writing forum I posted a question, or a hypothesis: what if no one believed a religion? What would the world be like then? Some American writers took offense and accused me of wanting to suppress religions. But, I asked again, what if no one wanted to believe in a religion? Then a writer pointed me to a book of academic research – the title of it now escapes me – which I did find and read. Based on biologic research, the book concluded that the need for a religion exists in human genes, which effectively destroyed the basis of my hypothesis.
Perhaps people like Wuming, Demin and I don't need a belief or religion to live well. But we are probably a small minority; many others do. Without a dominant and "legal" (I find this word very ironical here but nonetheless necessary) ideology or religion to hold a society's spirit, many will either get lost or seek refuge in a foolish cult like FLG.
More thoughts from you wise people?