Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Confucius for Modern Times

"Confucius did not give us faith; but he gives us hope," said Roger Scruton in Modern Culture, which ends, according to reader Peter Paik, with "something of a paean to Confucius, as the most productive thinker for creating spiritual order in an atheistic and materialistic age."

Traditionalist conservative James Kalb's excellent article, Confucius Today, comes to mind, in which he says, quoted on this blog's sidebar:
    Confucius has had distinguished individual admirers in America but otherwise no perceptible influence on our political thought. We have lost by our failure to attend to him. He sets forth a way of drawing a workable and highly ethical way of life out of things of a kind found in every society: myth and tradition, natural human impulses, and the practicalities of daily life. Since his method relies on moral leadership rather than political power, in times of fundamental political conflict it may be useful more for the ideals it maintains than its immediate practical efficacy. However, it is simple, flexible, and consistent with a reasonable interpretation of our own fundamental traditions. In confused times like our own we would do well to consider it; even if it does no more immediately than add to our stock of ideals, we should remember that ideals are eventually decisive.

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.