太湖世界文化论坛

《The Second Annual Conference》

Ye Xiaowen: Construction of Ecological Civilization and Transformation of Modern Civilization

 

Ye Xiaowen, Vice President of the Academy of Chinese Culture

 

Abstract: World civilization awaits a new and more profound transformation. The model of human development must be self-aware and self-reliant, for which a new path of inclusive growth must be embarked on.

 

Building ecological civilization urgently demands international cooperation. The aspiration for global cooperation has been there, but the practice is inadequate. It calls for an international awareness of the transformation of modern civilization, and the Forum should make new efforts to form an international consensus.

 

Today, global modernization is based on the profound civilizational transformation hundreds of years ago, which is also known as the Renaissance. The Renaissance, people-oriented movement, liberated man from the bondage of God, which in other words, liberated the productive forces from the bondage of feudalism. This liberation undoubtedly created a glorious achievement for mankind. But now it seems that this liberation has gone a bit too far. This civilizational transformation can no longer be turned because two major problems are before us.

 

First, the development of the great nations since the Renaissance has mostly surrounded the models of industrialization and urbanization, which inevitably involved a massive demand for non-renewable resources such as ores and oil, as well as the need for ever-expanding markets and exploitation of natural resources. To meet these demands, people resorted to force, land enclosure, and enslavement of others, which not only brought prosperity to many countries but also created hatred in others.

 

Second, modern industrial civilization has completely broken the harmony between man and nature. Humanity has become the master and the enemy of nature. The natural elements claimed by mankind, namely sky, earth, water, and air, have all been destroyed. The greenhouse effect, water destruction and air pollution pose serious problems, and many plagues and diseases have begun to threaten human health.

 

World civilization awaits a new and more profound transformation. The model of human development must be self-aware and self-reliant, for which a new path of inclusive growth must be embarked on. This requires us to establish new modes of production, lifestyles, and values. We should restore the satiated humans to ones seeking harmony and establish a new world and a new civilization in which humanity is in harmony with nature, with society, and with each other!

 

The construction of ecological civilization is the momentous trend public aspiration. Let's pay attention to it and join hands to achieve it. I hope that the declaration of the Forum will carry forward this idea.

 

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