NOBILITY AND CIVILITY
Harvard University Press, 2004 - 272 pages
Globalization has become an inescapable fact of contemporary life. Some leaders, in both the East and the West, believe that human rights are culture-bound and that liberal democracy is essentially Western, inapplicable to the non-Western world. How can civilized life be preserved and issues of human rights and civil society be addressed if the material forces dominating world affairs are allowed to run blindly, uncontrolled by any cross-cultural consensus on how human values can be given effective expression and direction?
In a thoughtful meditation ranging widely over several civilizations and historical eras, Wm. Theodore de Bary argues that the concepts of leadership and public morality in the major Asian traditions offer a valuable perspective on humanizing the globalization process. Turning to the classic ideals of the Buddhist, Hindu, Confucian, and Japanese traditions, he investigates the nature of true leadership and its relation to learning, virtue, and education in human governance; the role in society of the public intellectual; and the responsibilities of those in power in creating and maintaining civil society.
De Bary recognizes that throughout history ideals have always come up against messy human complications. Still, he finds in the exploration and affirmation of common values a worthy attempt to grapple with persistent human dilemmas across the globe.
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Although some of his main goals were achieved in the 1920s, a period which is
usually identified with party politics, democratic movements (most specifically the
achievement of universal manhood suffrage), and international foreign policy, ...
At all times and on all questions, a Communist Party member should take into
account the interests of the Party as a whole, and place the Party's interests
above his personal problems and interests. It is the highest principle of our Party
The "body-politic" is just the Communist Party and its members; everyone else is
free to make a living or better, make a fortune (as Deng legitimized the business
of becoming rich). Simply to participate in economic success is the idea, not to ...
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