Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mencian Resistance

The Useless Tree's Sam Crane on "whether [it] implies a generalized popular 'right of rebellion,' in which the 'people' can and should rise up against a tyrant, or if Mencius simply means that a more restricted sector of society - the leading families, the aristocracy, the royal ministers, etc. - are the only ones who can and should rightfully act against a despot" — How Mencius Undermines Tyrants.

Prof. Crane writes, "I tend to accept the latter, more restricted interpretation of Mencius." Indeed. This may help explain why Democracy, in which the "leading families" and "the aristocracy" are silenced (if not eradicated) and the "royal ministers" co-opted, is so successfully tyrannical.

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Blogger Pints in NYC said...

What would be the best English translations?

11:25 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Penguin, I think, has the best English translations of Eastern texts from the Koran, to the Bhagavad Gita, to the Confucian Classics. And they're cheap, too.

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard that reading Mencius in universities during the Military dictatorships of Korea.

1:00 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

... was banned?

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops. Was discouraged.

3:34 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

I can see how in Confucian Korea, even under military regimes, reading Mencius would have been "discouraged" and not not "banned."

Banning things draws unnecessary attention. And by banning Mencius outright, "the leading families, the aristocracy, the royal ministers, etc" would have been more on guard.

3:48 PM  

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