Friend of the blog Patrick O’Donnell suggested that Warp, Weft, and Way readers might enjoy this posting by Kenan Malik on the intertwining of Confucianism and Communism in the last hundren years in China. Malik writes that:
What had been a surreptitious nod towards Confucian ideology in Maoist China, became after Mao an open embrace, as China opened itself up to competition and the market, and hence also potentially to greater social dislocation and disorder. The quicker has been the pace of economic reform over the past three decades, the greater has been the desire of the Chinese government to proclaim its commitment to Confucianism…. Alongside the government’s new-found admiration for Kongzi, there has emerged a new cadre of Confucian academics. Many work independently of the state, and many have found themselves at times in conflict with the state. Nevertheless, the academic renovation of Confucianism and the state’s embrace of Kongzi have become closely intertwined.
Malik ends with some discussion of Jiang Qing, whom he calls “perhaps the most important of the new generation of Confucian philosophers.” I have just finished writing a review of Jiang Qing’s new book in English, A Confucian Constitutional Order, and plan on publishing an excerpt or two here soon. In the meantime, any comments on Malik’s ideas or on Jiang Qing would be welcome.