Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Is China Going Neoconservative?

This will give the paranoid left a new thing to obsess over: I just caught up with the New York Times Magazine story from Sunday describing the reading habits of Chinese philosophy students, where this nugget jumped off the page:

"Translated works were widely accessible in China when Lei Bo was an undergraduate. Habermas, Heidegger, Arendt, Popper, Foucault, and Derrida were all popular then, and now Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss have been added to the list." (Emphasis added. As if any were necessary. Heh.)

Discussions - 3 Comments

I heard Stanley Rosen say that more of Strauss' works are being translated into Chinese than any other language. Does this mean that the theo-political problem is more palpable there than elsewhere? Or maybe the subject of esotericism resonates more in a society that still experiences real vs imagined persecution?

Ivan makes good points regarding Strauss in China. This I can't speak to, but I have a colleague from Shanghai who teaches economics and she is as "neo-classical" as they come. She speaks of learning nothing but Marx in school. Things were so intense that she knew people who "disappeared" during the cultural revolution. Nonetheless, she speaks of Hayek and von Mises as being a blessed secret for her and her friends. I don't know if these writers present any serious challenge to China's present mode of melding one party government and free market economics, but they surely present a liberalism that is still sorely lacking there--depite all the consumer choices. I don't know if Habermas or Derrida offer any balance in this regard. I tend to think not. Schmitt is somewhat worriesome in this regard.

Yes, everything is going according to the plan . . .

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