The founder of Confucianism is Confucius. He was born to a poor family around the year 551 BC, in what is now the Shangdong Province. His ambition was to hold a high government office and to reorder society though the administrative apparatus. At most he seems to have had several insignificant government posts, a few followers, and a permanently blocked a career. And the age of 50 he perceived his divine mission, and for the next 13 years tramped from state to state offering unsolicited advice to rulers on how to improve their governing, while looking for an opportunity to put his own ideas into practice. That opportunity never came, and he returned to his own state teaching and editing classical literature. He died in 479 BC, aged 72.
Confucianism is often defined as conduct of obedience such as women obey and defer to men, younger brothers to elder brothers, and sons to fathers; respect flows upwards, from young to old, from subject to ruler.
Most people regarded that as the essence of Confucianism. For most westerners, it is seen as oppressive or no freedom. But, it was not religious part of Confucianism; it was just surface result, morality. While the god of Christianity is absolute god, there is no sole absolute god in Confucianism. It is just human that exist in Confucianism. Therefore, one's family must restrict human egoism. Man exists not as individual but as a collection.
In its early years, Confucianism was regarded as a radical philosophy and strongly denounced by the Communists as yet another incorrigible link to the bourgeois past. During the Cultural Revolution, Confucian temples, statues and Confucianist's themselves took quite a beating at the hands of rampaging Red Guards.
Mao Zedong had been establishing new socialism China, taking in new policy, thought and removing old thought. Confucianism was "old thought" as Mao Zedong saw it. Confucianism was beaten during the destruction of "four olds" in the Cultural Revolution. It was the fatal mistake of Mao because he didn't take the religious part of Confucianism into account. He couldn't notice the fact that Confucianism had been alive for more than two thousands years. Why has Confucianism remain so long time? The answer is simple. It's because the Chinese themselves has supported Confucianism. If Confucianism really suppressed and hurt the people, it should have been discarded a long time ago.
Despite its suppressive history, the Chinese government has softened its stance.
Confucian temples are now being restored. Confucianism is still living today. Although it was beaten during the CR, it remained steady because it was a "false figure" that had been beaten. The religious part of Confucianism cannot be deprived from the people.
Today, opening the door to the western world, China is often criticized for its policy on human rights, especially when Tiananmen Massacre occurred in 1989. But when the USA and the other west countries mention "human rights", it means individualism. But China negates individualism as its socialism policy. And it is not individualism but Confucianism that rooted among the Chinese. Of course a great amount of people seems to have joined the Tiananmen demonstration, but just take the structure of the peoples in China into consideration. The number of peasants or the people living in the countryside is much larger than those who feel they have been wronged. However, as foreign countries influence China in the next century, Confucianism might somehow be changed by the great influence. However, Confucianism remains an integral part of the Chinese world, and many people, including Westerner's, continue to embrace its teachings and ideologies.