How are we to understand the history of a nonmodern civilization without refracting and distorting what we see through the prism of the ostensibly individualistic and egalitarian modern culture in which most of us live and which we tend to take as normative? In this article I invite other modern-minded readers to turn our worldview upside down and look at Chinese society over the long term from the perspective of its official ideology and not from the perspective of a universalized modern worldview in which economic relations are privileged above all others.

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