Dec. 9 (The Useless Tree blog): Beijing’s invocation of Confucius shows the bankruptcy of the neo-traditionalism that it has to turn to time and time again as it struggles to find a narrative to legitimate its authoritarian rule. They have already given us “Confucius Institutes,” which are obviously tied to the soft power political calculations of the Party leadership. That is, they are using Confucius and Confucianism instrumentally, as a means to enhance state power, without reference to the moral theory and practice (which would, in fact, allow peaceful dissidents like Liu Xiaobo to speak their mind) that under-girds Confucian thought.
Party leaders are not Confucians, but they invoke Confucianism because they have no other narrative at hand, since the old Marxist-Leninist-Mao Zedong Thought thing is a dead letter.
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