Friday, May 15, 2009

'Though Unreachable, My Heart Longs'

If this bears fruit, it is very, very welcome:

I recently attended a conference near Qufu, the birthplace of Confucius, hosted by local officials who spoke with pride about their efforts to revive Confucianism under the banner of “Chinese culture.”

It’s easy to forget that the 74-million-strong Chinese Communist Party is a large and diverse organization. Elderly cadres, still influenced by Maoist antipathy to tradition, often condemn any efforts to promote ideologies outside of a rigid Marxist framework. But the younger cadres in their 40s and 50s tend to support such efforts, and time is on their side. Part of the political debate is the effort to revive Confucianism.

Daniel Bell, the author, has tended to be very much on the optimistic side of this, though, so time will tell how things move. It's always possible that nothing major will come of it; and it is always possible that the movement will go wrong in some way. Bell has another article from last September on the same general subject.

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