I will post a few excerpts from a book entitled "Letters from a Chinese Official being an Eastern View of Western Civilization" that I have published in London in 1903.
"Now, to us of the East all this is the mark of a barbarous society. We measure the degree of civilization not by accumulation of the means of living, but by the character and value of the life lived. Where there are no humane and stable relations, no reverance for the past, no respect even for the present, but only a cupidinous ravishment of the future, there, we think, there is no true society. And we would not if we could rival you in your wealth, your sciences, and your arts, if we must do so at the cost of imitating your institutions.... We prefer our own moral to your material advantages, and we are determined to cling to the institutions which, we believe, insure us the former, even at the risk of excluding ourselves from the latter."
Wonder what he would think of the girls in my office in Beijing who say that BMW means "Be My Wife"