Thursday, January 28, 2016

Further thoughts on traditional acupuncture's legacy to the history of Chinese culture

I have recently written about the importance we should all give to the idea of a personal legacy which we pass on to others (see my blogs of 24 May 2015 The legacy we leave behind and of 27 August 2015 Transmission of a lineage).  I have been made particularly aware of this after reading a few books in the excellent series about China published by a very enterprising publishing house, Zed Books (, whose books I would recommend for those interested in understanding China's position in world history today, not only for people like me who visit China, but also for those concerned with world politics in general, as we all should be.   

For obvious reason I have concentrated my reading on steeping myself in things Chinese, and the Zed books I list below have given me much food for thought.  Each has changed my perspective on what my trips to China are teaching me (I am embarking on my 9th visit in April), and each has made me re-evaluate my own role in re-introducing five element acupuncture to China.  I see more clearly now how this fits into the general thrust of China’s renewed interest in connecting with its past, as well as helping me understand more how it wishes to extend its connections with the world outside its borders.

The books on China that I have recently read are:
Wade Shepard: Ghost Cities of China
Michael Barr: Who’s afraid of China?
Leta Hong-Fincher:  Leftover Women
Tom Miller:  China’s Urban Billions

And then there is a further book which is not solely related to China, but addresses the global financial world, and has taught me more than any other book I have read about the historical reasons which led to the 2008 financial collapse, and the possible trouble now looming over us yet again.  It has made me understand the sheer selfishness of politics now, which contrasts sadly with what I see was what could be viewed as a golden age in British life in which I grew up, the post-World War years before Margaret Thatcher’s arrival on the political scene.  In those years  there really was a feeling that the whole country was trying to work towards a more egalitarian country, and the state itself  looked after the weakest as a matter of course, and not, as now, stigmatizing them for being weak.

So my last recommendation is for another Zed Book is The Global Minotaur by Yanis Varoufakis.  He was the Greek Minister of Finance at a time when it looked possible that Greece might be able to defy the almighty power of the IMF and the German government and refuse to cripple its citizens with further austerity, a hope unfortunately not realized.






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