Authority and Welfare in China: Modern Debates in Historical by Michael Twohey (auth.)

By Michael Twohey (auth.)

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The Lzmyu is not only vague in its philosophical renderings but vague on issues which later became so important to leaders in Asia who used Confucius's name to characterize their approaches to development. 14 It cannot be said with accuracy that Confucius is a contributing factor to state-centred economic growth in Singapore, for example, when he frequently shunned the quest for profit. 15 A clearer understanding of the political, economic and social dimensions of Confucianism, and the Xzmzi and Ancient Chinese Authority 19 way in which these prefigured modem Chinese political authority, can be found in the writings of the Confucian philosopher Xunzi, as the remainder of this chapter illustrates.

He was not against republicanism in principle, but he believed that it must be arrived at gradually through a step-by-step process. Nowhere did this seem more true than in the China of 1911. The revolutionaries had not only toppled the Qing rulers but had ended 2000 years of dynastic rule. In a political environment where Kang Youwei 39 the power base was not only new but vulnerable to the regional power bases of competing warlords, Kang questioned how it could be possible to transfer sovereignty to the people without catastrophic repercussions (Chi, 1992, p.

204). Whenever food and goods were in scarce supply, Xunzi contended, man was at his evil worst and rebellions were usual (Xunzi, Vol. 3, pp. 17 Xunzi also argued that ti's emphasis on the harmonious development of social organization removed man from his isolation by teaching him to serve other men, as they serve him. He said this would assist the goal of a well-ordered state (Xunzi, Vol. 2, p. 121). Xzmzi and Ancient Chinese Authority 21 This view has been compared to Hobbes's legitimation of a strong state (Roetz, 1993, pp.

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