A long time ago, maybe a year or so back, I published an excerpt from a little book I have titled
Letters from a Chinese Official published in 1903. I had intended to keep publishing excerpts now and then but then misplaced the book during the move back to the US and just now noticed it again.
This time out of curiosity I did a quick Google search on the title and have now learned that the book was a fake and was in fact the product of a British anarchist historian, not of a Chinese Official. So, while that is disappointing, the book is still kind of interesting but now in an opposite way. It now represents the viewpoint of a Western Sinophile who believes Chinese society and culture at the time to be much superior to the West.
Now remember, this Brit is writing at the turn of the 20th century, at the height of the industrial revolution in Britain. So the criticisms of the West that are supposedly the observations of a Chinese official are written in that context. What is striking is how well the descriptions / criticisms of the West at that time resemble China of today. Maybe the apologists are right after all and China just needs another 100 years of development. Of course by that time we will all have asphyxiated in the byproducts of that development....
Here's an excerpt for your reading pleasure:
...."You have dissolved all human and personal ties, and you endeavor, in vain, to replace them with the impersonal activity of the State. The salient characteristic of your civilization is its irresponsibility. You have liberated forces you cannot control; you are caught yourselves in your own cogs and levers. The making of dividends is the universal preoccupation; the well-being of the laborer is no one's concern... You produce, not because you will, but because you must; you consume, not what you choose but what is forced upon you."