Re: The paradox of Chinese support for Confucianism



Albert K. Fung wrote:
Perhaps good examples, may shed some lights ....

shazi:

yet at core, are there not strong parallels
between the beliefs of Jefferson and Kongzi?

Is not the answer to America's current issues
a return to the *values* Jefferson cherished,
perhaps updated a bit (as in he was a patrician
who owned slaves: hardly a role model for the
modern junzi)?

“.... 禮不下庶人,刑不上大夫,刑人不在君側。”
(禮記•曲禮上)

The values embodied that most salient of Confician canons, Book
of Rites is indeed on par with those of a slave owning patriarch of
Colonial America. It is unlikely, however, the gentleman from Vir-
ginia, a free spirit who cherished freedom, would share the values
embodied in the Confucian order: "君君,臣臣,父父,子子".

you are correct, the liji reflects a mindset that
if taken literally or in the way it was probably meant,
would not be viable today, nor should it be.

but if we interpret 君 jun/lord and 臣 chen/minister as
leader/follower, boss/worker, or indeed any *situational*
heirarchy, then it can truly be said, the leader leads,
the follower follows, the parent (父) parents, and the child (子),
well, acts like a child. the natural flow of things is that
these roles, when one is placed in them, should be done
according to the dao of that particular role.

in the military, command and discipline are imperative.
likewise, in any successful organisation, being true
to the role is imperative, within certain limits.
All organisations likewise employ heirarchy to
achieve the goals necessary: leaders lead, and
followers follow. one is not better than the other,
just different in role. well-functioning organisations
collaborate and listen to staff, then leaders make
decisions, and the entire staff owns the decisions.
This combination of properly listening to the staff
may be what kongzi said was propriety/li, and the
faithful following of the collaborative decisions is
the loyalty/zhong ministers give their lord and
staff give their leader.

the difference here is that i'm speaking of temporary
and situational roles that may change, but i suspect
that original rujia interpreted roles as permanently
instituted by class and station.

Nor "惟女子與小人為難養也", "三綱五常"....

of course. the role of women in rujia was less
than ideal, as it was to Jefferson. but the cultural
treatment of women as an artifact of its time is not
a core value of rujia. take out the cultural artifacts,
and the core values still are relevant and vibrant.


Regards,

Albert K. Fung

a pleasure to talk with you!

-shazi

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