Saturday, February 13, 2010

Confucianism, Nationalism, Modernity

The Useless Tree's Sam Crane has an enlightening post — Why Modernity Challenges Confucianism — and a follow-up — More on Confucianism and Modernity.

Among the interesting ideas, "that nationalism is a product of modernization, especially industrialization and that the 'nation' (by which we can presume he also means national identity) is a product of nationalism," that "Confucianism might have a hard time gaining intellectual traction under conditions of modernity" and "a modernized Confucianism, if it is to preserve the basic elements of the ancient philosophy, would have to reject the idea that the 'old stability' of social roles is somehow so incompatible with modern industrial and post-industrial life that they, the roles, can some be disregarded."

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Steven P. Cornett said...

Since Modernism, with its inherent denial of absolute truth in morals or spirituality, and postmodernism that takes it to a nihilistic disbelief in anything not self-invented, both are systems of lies. Since lies are incompatible with truth, perhaps we should follow the logical conclusions as to what really needs be rejected.

Like Nationalism, globalism, and materialism for starters?

2:38 AM  
Blogger MadMonarchist said...

I am reminded how the early "Enlightenment" types so admired Confucianism as a sort of deistic religion of meritocracy -far superior to their own Christian tradition in their point of view. Yet, the triumph of their sort of "enlightenment" seems to be at odds with Confucianism. It reminds me of how so many modern leftists like to pay lip service to Buddhism as a sort of godless religion all about self-improvement. Both views were built on an arrogant sort of ignorance and both did or would ultimately reject that which they once so admired when confronted with the actual truth of the matter.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

An off topic question: from reading your blog for awhile it appears that you are a Jeffersonian. I was wondering if you could provide a list of three or four of the best books about Jefferson or Jeffersonianism that you are familiar with. Thanks!

6:56 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Steven, agreed. Nationalism, globalism, and materialism are to be rejected outright.

MadMonarchist, excellent observation. I have a leftist friend who is at least honest enough to call himself a Western Buddhist, like Hermann Hesse. If he were smarter, he'd call himself a stoic.

Mark, yes, I'd call myself a Jeffersonian, although Jefferson as president and human being violated the philosophy which carries his name. Thus, I'd advise reading those who were more Jeffersonian than Jefferson, like the Anti-Federalists or Nock's Our Enemy, the State.

8:58 PM  

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