Download PDF by Robert Paul Weller: Alternate Civilities: Democracy and Culture in China and

By Robert Paul Weller

ISBN-10: 0813339316

ISBN-13: 9780813339313

ISBN-10: 1429489286

ISBN-13: 9781429489287

A few Asian political leaders and Western lecturers have lately claimed that China is not going to supply an open political method. This declare rests at the concept that “Confucian tradition” offers a substitute for Western civil values, and that China lacked the democratic traditions or even the horizontal associations of belief which could construct a civil society. An hostile college of notion is much extra positive approximately democracy, since it sees marketplace economies of the type China has began to foster as pushing inexorably opposed to authoritarian political keep an eye on and reproducing Western styles of change.Alternate Civilities argues for a unique set of political percentages. by way of evaluating China with Taiwan’s new and colourful democracy, it exhibits how democracy can develop out of chinese language cultural roots and authoritarian associations. The enterprise firms, non secular teams, environmental routine, and women’s networks it examines don't easily reproduce Western values and associations. those circumstances aspect to the potential for another civility, neither the obdurate remnant of an old authoritarian tradition, nor a reflex of marketplace economics. they're as a substitute the energetic production of recent ideas to the issues of recent existence.

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This chapter draws on their data, but moves outside the misleading concentration of this debate on civil society in the European sense. h more fmithl question is what kinds of social capital existed in late imperial China, and what kinds of possibilities did it create for political change. In contrast to the pessimistic ""totalitarian political culture'"view of China, I will show that there were many kinds of horizontal ties that connected people into associations between family and state. The wide range of these horizontal institutions shows the cultrural diversity that formed a pool of potential change in China.

Yet this kind of quick summary generalizes too far. Mast characterizations of Confucianism ignore, for example, Confucius's fifth relationship, the tie between friends (yuu). Of the five this is the only one between equals, and the only one that relies on neither politics nor kinship. Friendship ties were often cemented as fictive kinship. Friends used kinship terms for each other, as did students of the same teacher. These borrowed kinship terms retain h e hierarchy of older and younger, but they clearly also extend social ties beyond the literal family.

Elites, or factions of them, controlled most important temples. They took on quasi-political responsibilities, not just in the accoutrements of imperial authority that dressed the f~ctdsand their rituals, but in the fiscal authority to collect funds and sometimes the military authority to organize local defense. In the area of Taiwan where I first worked, the local temple had organized people to fight the Japanese in 1895. 17 There was very little central control over temples like these, either from the government or horn any higher religious authoriy*Even when temples worshipped deities of national significance (which was by no means always the case), their local significance tended to overwhelm other layers of meaning.

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Alternate Civilities: Democracy and Culture in China and Taiwan by Robert Paul Weller

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