Confucianism for the Modern World by Daniel A. Bell, Hahm Chaibong

By Daniel A. Bell, Hahm Chaibong

Whereas Confucian beliefs proceed to motivate thinkers and political actors, discussions of Confucian practices and associations acceptable for the trendy period were conspicuously absent. This quantity discloses in meticulous aspect the relevance of Confucianism to the modern international. Contributions by means of the world over well known philosophers, attorneys, historians, and social scientists argue for possible and fascinating Confucian guidelines and associations, as they draw out the political, monetary, and criminal implications of Confucianism for the fashionable international.

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There is a sense in which the development of democratic rights and the affirmation of the positive role of the market are not only the requirements of globalization, but quite necessary for securing the good life. The rule of law continues to be the minimum standard necessary for any human flourishing. What then is the sense in which we are questioning these essential features of modernity? Is it not the case that Confucian East Asia needs more of these rather than less? Indeed, East Asians have been actively working to overthrow Confucianism for the better part of the past century.

31 32 hahm chaihark from the normal political process. The idea of constitutionalism can also be implemented through institutions designed to protect the rights of the minority. Viewed in this light, constitutional democracy is a form of politics that tries to combine two distinct values which are somewhat at odds with each other. One is based on an implicit trust in the people’s capacity for governance, while the other is related to an attitude of distrust toward governments, be they democratic or not.

Throughout its long and illustrious history, Confucianism was able to survive as a coherent system of thought, a world view, because it was able to engage its philosophical opponents in creative debates through which it was constantly reformulated and reinvented. Confucius and Mencius were themselves able to articulate the visions and ideals of what we have come to call Confucianism by actively engaging in debate the Legalists, Mohists, and innumerable others who made up the “Hundred Schools of Thought” (zhuzibaijia ) during the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods.

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