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Christian Teaching is Forbidden in China

Christianity has been tolerated in China until now. It all began when the European Jesuits expressed some admiration for Chinese Confucius philosophy. This has opened up the Jesuits to criticism in Europe. The Pope decided to put a stop to this toleration of pagan philosophy by sending the Monsignor of Tournon to China to whip the Chinese Christians into shape. Confucianism and Buddhism are to be utterly rejected by Christians. This confrontational attitude has resulted in the number of conversions to Christianity to drop like a stone, probably because most converts still have a mother and father who maintain their Buddhism and/or Confucianism. The Christians have become so irritating that the Chinese Emperor has banned all Christian teaching. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
When a disagreement breaks down to "My way or the highway," a fellow often finds himself on the highway thumbing for a ride. Christianity was at the peak of its popularity in China. Several Manchu princes were Christians, but Lamaism (Tibetan Buddhism) was on the rise and a few years after banning Christianity, the Emperor turned his palace into a Lamaist Temple. The Jesuits admired the scientific advances of the Chinese and they attributed these advances to an entirely different way of thinking as if the Chinese came from a different planet. I think the Pope purposefully made the Chinese angry in order to create a barrier between these two very different cultures. What is important to note is that when it came to a turning point, it was a battle of ideas instead of a physical battle. Obviously the Catholics were worried so they put up a firewall but this was a change in how religion reacted to a competing philosophy. [3]

Getting Good Government from a Self-Indulgent Rich Man

France has suffered from terrible government corruption. With the death of King Louis the 14th, it is on the verge of financial collapse. The new King is less than 7 years old, all his close relatives are dead and the long knives are out. The man who can save it all is Philippe the 2nd, Duke of Orleans. He is not a particularly nice man. In fact, he is a self-indulgent, drunken prick (excuse my French), but when he sees his cushy life about to go down the drain along with France, he promises to bring back financial stability and good government. The Parliament names him Regent and he goes on a cost-cutting rampage. He discharges most of the military and grants them 6 years of tax-free living. Taxes in general are REDUCED. Thousands upon thousands of useless government bureaucrats are summarily shown the door. Military contractors are brought before a special court called the Chamber of Justice. Since putting everyone in prison would result in no one left to guard the prison, the Court offers leniency for those who confess and a percentage of the money recovered if they will rat out their fellow contractors. (There is no honor amongst thieves.) The Regent also puts John Law, the Scottish economist, in charge of the economy. He believes that money is not wealth but instead, it represents trade. He establishes the Banque générale and uses government funds for the majority of its deposits. (It will become the Bank of France under Napoleon.) France's economy gets an immediate boost... otherwise known as a bubble. In a few years that bubble will burst but for now, it is the Roaring 20s... in 1716. [4] [5] [6] [7]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Well... I'm going to make a political statement and as always, my comments are optional. Your chance to turn away is NOW, NOW, NOW. Still here? OK.

I'm not a big Trump supporter but neither am I a Trump trasher. What I'm worried about is the recent show of support for Donald Trump by the GOP establishment. I know the establishment GOP thinks that Donald Trump cannot win, so that means the GOP wants to throw the election. I also note that Democrat support for Hillary is unenthusiastic. Do they see something bad on the horizon? Is it a collapsing economy? Is it possible that neither political party wants to take the blame if their candidate becomes President and it all comes apart? Donald Trump says that he could shoot someone in the street and he wouldn't lose any voters. He is exaggerating, but he is not far off. People are afraid just as they were in France in 1716. Those people were willing to place everything in the hands of a man whose only virtues seemed to be that he was reasonably smart and he didn't drink during business hours. They got lucky, for a little while, but then it all came crashing down. [8]

'Capability' Brown is Born

One of the greatest English Gardeners of all time is born to a yeoman farmer and his wife in Northumberland. Lancelot Brown will work the land but also engage in landscape design. He will see land as having "Capabilities", and thus he will forever be known as "Capability" Brown. He will be appreciated for his genius in his own time. Then his type of landscape design will go out of style. It will return in the 20th century and he will be remembered for the genius that he was. [9] [10] [11]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
He was called a landscape architect, but "Capability" Brown was not an architect in the sense that he built enclosures and fences. He made the landscape seem to go on seamlessly, organically, as if it was all one part, even though he was clearly creating separate spaces. Each flowed into the other and it all looked beautiful and naturally ordered (if that is possible). This is in contrast to the gardens in France that are also beautiful, but obviously contrived to impose rigid symmetry upon nature. (Like Disneyland.) Words cannot do justice to the beauty of a garden with "Capabilities." [12] [13]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1716, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 328-329. “Christian religious teaching prohibited in China” 
  2. Gernet, Jacques (1996). A History of Chinese Civilization, translated by Foster, J. R. and Hartman, Charles (in English), Cambridge University Press. “Two years later, in Nanking, Monsignor de Tournon anathematized the superstitious practices of the Chinese. The result of this great dogmatic rigidity was to ruin in large part the work accomplished at the cost of so much effort since the beginning of the seventeenth century.” 
  3. Confucianism - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 24 January 2016. “The works of Confucius were translated into European languages through the agency of Jesuit scholars stationed in China. Matteo Ricci was among the very earliest to report on the thoughts of Confucius, and father Prospero Intorcetta wrote about the life and works of Confucius in Latin in 1687.”
  4. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 328-329. “Scot. economist John Law (1671-1729) establishes the Banque générale in France” 
  5. John Law (economist) - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 24 January 2016. “In 1716 Law established the Banque Générale in France, a private bank, but three-quarters of the capital consisted of government bills and government-accepted notes, effectively making it the first central bank of the nation. He was responsible for the Mississippi Company bubble and a chaotic economic collapse in France, which has been compared to the early-17th century tulip mania in Holland.”
  6. (1966) Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time. Macmillan. Retrieved on 24 January 2016. 
  7. Philippe II, Duke of Orléans - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 25 January 2016. “At first, he decreased taxation and dismissed 25,000 soldiers. But the inquisitorial measures which he had begun against the financiers led to disturbances, notably in the province of Brittany where a rebellion known as the Pontcallec Conspiracy unfolded. He countenanced the risky operations of the banker John Law, whose bankruptcy led to the Mississippi bubble, a disastrous crisis for the public and private affairs of France. It was an early example of the bursting of an economic bubble.”
  8. Donald Trump: I could shoot someone and still win. WGN-TV (January 23, 2016). Retrieved on 25 January 2016. “'I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,' Trump said at a campaign rally here.”
  9. Capability Brown - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 25 January 2016. “His influence was so great that the contributions to the English garden made by his predecessors Charles Bridgeman and William Kent are often overlooked; even Kent's apologist Horace Walpole allowed that Kent had been followed by 'a very able master'.”
  10. Lancelot 'Capability' Brown (2016). Retrieved on 25 January 2016. “While his designs have great variety, they also appear seamless owing to his use of the sunk fence or 'ha-ha’ to confuse the eye into believing that different pieces of parkland, though managed and stocked quite differently, were one. His expansive lakes, at different levels and apparently unconnected, formed a single body of water as if a river through the landscape, that like the parkland itself, ran on indefinitely.”
  11. Lancelot Brown - English landscape architect. Britannica.com (2016). Retrieved on 25 January 2016. “English gentlemen did not maintain courts; they lived privately on their country estates and liked to see their domains from their windows and to ride about them. Brown’s nickname arose from his habit of saying that a place had 'capabilities.' By the time he died, he was rich and honoured and had 'improved' a greater acreage of ground than any landscape architect had done before.”
  12. Trentham Gardens. gardenvisit.com (2016). Retrieved on 25 January 2016. “A serpentine park, designed by Lancelot Brown in 1759, with a nineteenth century terrace garden. The house has been demolished and the Trentham Gardens is now a public park. Sir Charles Barry designed an Italian garden beside the lake in 1840. His design has been simplified, but survives. In 2004 the gardens were restored and re-opened under the name Trentham Leisure.”
  13. French formal garden - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 25 January 2016. “The French formal garden, also called the jardin à la française (literally, 'garden in the French manner' in French), is a style of garden based on symmetry and the principle of imposing order on nature.”

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