Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

China’s Confucian Soft Power

 by Bennett Gordon

Tags: Spirituality, Politics, Confucianism, China, New Internationalist,

ConfuciusConfucius is helping China spread its new-found influence throughout the world, according Nick Young in the New Internationalist. The ancient philosophy can be interpreted as a justification for China’s authoritarian government control that “emphasizes social stability through rule of virtue rather than rule of law.” The Communist Party once reviled the philosophy, but is now promoting it through Confucian slogans and the more than 300 Confucius Institutes that have been set up throughout the world.

It would be a mistake to think that the Confucian revival is purely a Government conspiracy, however. “China’s government and society reflect each other far more closely than most outsiders believe,” Young writes. But, as with any major religion, not everyone interprets Confucianism the same way. According to Young, “There have always been shifting interpretations and many who see themselves as Confucians today are decidedly anti-Communist.”

Source: New Internationalist