Joseph Chan on Confucianism and Democracy

In IS210 today, we viewed a short clip from this interesting lecture by Professor Joseph Chan given at Cornell University. Professor Chan of the University of Hong Kong talks about the shared moral basis of contemporary Chinese society. With Leninism/Marxism/Maoism being discredited amongst most Chinese, the search begins for a new moral basis/foundation for society.

As Professor Dick Miller says in his introductory remarks:

In China, as in the United States, people feel a great need for an adequate, shared, ethical basis for public life. There, as here, people don’t think that freedom to get as rich as you can is an adequate basis.

So, what is that basis, if the official ruling ideology of the political regime no longer seems legitimate. Liberal democracy? Confucianism. There are adherents in China of both of these as the proper ethical foundation. What does Professor Chan have to say about the compatibility of Confucian ideals with democracy? Watch and find out. It’s a very informative lecture.

One thought on “Joseph Chan on Confucianism and Democracy”

  1. As a Chinese, I sincerely hope that China can finally go on the road of democracy, even if China follows back the Confucius idea which shows the politeness, intelligent and peaceful China, personally it will be way better than what China has right now. Although on average, Chinese people are living relatively better than before, but still there is a huge gap between the rural and urban, also as everyone know, China does only advance economically but politically, it is still very authoritarian in my opinion and all these Confucius idea that we had in history are long gone now, hopefully one day it will return and bring an even better live for both urban and rural citizens.

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