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« When did Jiang Zemin Die? | Main | Mozi and the denial of politics »

July 07, 2011


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So would it be correct to say that even though Laozi and Mengzi didn't elaborate on individual rights, that they did have some idea of collective rights?
Also this idea of that "Marxism is German" or "Budhism is Indian" is very interesting given that the Party says that this form of Socialism IS Chinese, and could only exist in this specific context.

What about Yang Zhu? He certainly emphasized the primacy of the individual with his "not one hair on my head to save the universe".

Thanks for the comments...

It is hard to say, for me at least, whether a notion of "collective rights," is to be found in the old texts. My initial sense is: no, it's not there. Not, at least, in the sense that certain specific groups require a certain political recognition and treatment based on the their definition as a group. I'm thinking of Canadian multiculturalism here. Confucianism seems to move between more universal guidelines for moral action (respect you elders) and more particularistic situational contexts within which those general guidelines are variously enacted. Not much room for groups there...

The party's assertion of "socialism with Chinese characteristics" essentially makes Liu's point for him: they have to make this kind of explicit point precisely because "socialism" is not particularly "Chinese." They are attempting to invoke nationalism to distract attention away from their selective adoption of certain "Western" political and economic practices...

On Yang Zhu - great point. But, like the Mohists, that line of thought really doesn't have much influence after the Qin...

Wuwei would correlate far better with libertarianism than liberalism (under the American understanding of these terms).

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