• BillMcEnaney
    59
    Hi, Everyone,

    Confucianism is new to me, so I hope you'll explain it to me. Since I admire Confucius, I study his Analects and watch documentaries about him and his philosophy. Please feel free to suggest books, articles, videos, and podcasts.

    By the way, though I'm a native-born Irish American, I believe in North American High Toryism instead of American conservatism. That's partly why Confucianism interests me. I suggest "American conservatism" may be an oxymoron because it seems to be Locke's classical liberalism.
  • Keith
    2
    Confucianism as a philosophy is a big umbrella, so there are a lot of different paths. One path would be to start with Mencius and Xunzi. They are considered elaborator of Confucius’ teachings. Of course, they added a lot of their own ideas. Another path is to read Doctrine of the Mean and the Great Learning. These are texts that were used in later forms of Confucianism as a well to draw metaphysical concepts to compete with Buddhism. Lastly, you could re-read the Analects with commentaries from Zhu Xi. Zhu Xi set the standard understanding of the Analects for about 700 years.
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    I believe in North American High Toryism instead of American conservatism.BillMcEnaney

    I don't follow politics. What is American high toryism and what is American conservatism and how do they differ?
  • Gnomon
    3.6k
    By the way, though I'm a native-born Irish American, I believe in North American High Toryism instead of American conservatism. That's partly why Confucianism interests me. I suggest "American conservatism" may be an oxymoron because it seems to be Locke's classical liberalism.BillMcEnaney
    Disclaimer : not an expert on any of these socio-political concepts. But for clarification of terms :

    High Toryism has been described by Andrew Heywood as neo-feudalist in its preference for a traditional hierarchical and patriarchal society over modern freedom and equality,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Tory

    How close are Confucian ideas to the American conservatism of our day?
    One thing, too, that I should point out is that conservatism in the West is often confused with libertarianism, because both tend to look very skeptically at the state. One could never confuse a Confucian with a libertarian, because Confucianism is about holding office, being a bureaucrat, managing the evolution of the social organism. It had no place for liberty or the individual or the rule of law.
    https://theimaginativeconservative.org/2021/08/confucianism-conservatism-east-jonathan-chaves.html

    Classical liberalism :
    Considered the Father of Liberalism, John Locke wrote two treatises on government attacking absolute monarchy and supporting a more limited view of government. While his conception of liberalism is explicitly based on a theology many people would dispute, his reasoning has been applied in secular conditions to great success.
    https://bigthink.com/thinking/classical-liberalism-explained/
  • Tom Storm
    8.6k
    Sure. But I was interested in how the OP was using these terms.

    Terms like conservative and libertarian and right wing seem almost meaningless these days. And we can be sure that almost any Western government's chief allegiance is not to the people but to corporations and banks. What was Gore Vidal's salient quote? "There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings."
  • Gnomon
    3.6k
    ↪Gnomon
    Sure. But I was interested in how the OP was using these terms.

    Terms like conservative and libertarian and right wing seem almost meaningless these days. And we can be sure that almost any Western government's chief allegiance is not to the people but to corporations and banks. What was Gore Vidal's salient quote? "There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings."
    Tom Storm
    Me too. Being apolitical by nature, I wasn't familiar with the notion of American "High Toryism" or Western "Confucianism. So, I looked-up those terms.

    In any case, the "fake news" media seem to be reporting a rebound trend away from chaotic Democracy toward orderly Autocracy. They envision a popular swing in favor of strong-man Right-wing leaders in US and Europe. I get the impression that modern politics historically oscillates between Right & Left extremes. But generally, the overall effect has been somewhere in the middle. Now though, Fascism has had almost four generations to shed its "evil" connotations, and to look "heroic" in hindsight.

    In practice, the "Property Party" seems to support whichever candidate best serves their interest as Feudal Lords. I guess that us landless serfs in the hinterlands are best advised to keep our heads down as the sword-wielding landlords duke it out in the Capitalist capitals. May the best Oligarch win. :wink:
  • Keith
    2
    One thing, I would note. From my reading of Confucius, it would be a mistake to read him as just a political philosopher. He is teaching a life-philosophy (a way to create meaning) that centers around being human/social, which has a political aspect. However, it also has an ethical and customary aspect, too.
  • kazan
    40
    Keith,
    Good. Keep the thread on topic. encouraging smile
  • Wayfarer
    21.1k
    Although I wish the author or one of the mods would correct the spulling in the title.
  • Paine
    2.1k

    Thanks for that.
  • alan1000
    192
    native-born Irish AmericanBillMcEnaney

    Ain't no such thing. Choose one or the other.
  • BillMcEnaney
    59
    North American High Toryism is Canadian conservatism. You should read the Manifesto in Prof. Ron Dart's book The North American High Tory Tradition to learn more about it. North American High Tories believe morality matters more than economics does. They think a country should adopt an official religion, too. They also support a strong, possibly big government when it would promote and sustain the common good. Some North American High Tories believe in socialism, too, but I reject it and communism. Those Tories treasure history, tradition, the traditional family, customs, and other such things.

    From what I can tell, American conservatism is Locke's classical liberalism. American conservatives prefer small government, capitalism, and the Republican, constitutional kind of government. They also believe firmly in the U.S. Constitution and religious liberty.

    An article from the Mises Institute
  • Fooloso4
    5.7k
    From what I can tell, American conservatism is Locke's classical liberalism.BillMcEnaney

    Not anymore. The roots of both liberal and conservative ideologies can be found in the works of classical liberalism but today's Republican Party is not conservative as the term was generally understood in the pre-Trumpian era.

    With its emphasis familial piety, ritual, and ren (virtue) Confucianism is conservative in a way that differs from Liberalism with its emphasis on the individual.
  • BillMcEnaney
    59
    I descended from Irish people and was born in the United States. I haven't emigrated to or from any country.

    Consider "African Americans." That phrase usually denotes dark-skinned Americans of African descent, but some naturalized Americans are South African whites. That makes "African American" vague and ambiguous. Why not call dark-skinned Africans "Afro-Americans" to distinguish them from caucasian African Americans?
  • BillMcEnaney
    59
    Tom, I believe in North American High Toryism, a Canadian. North American High Tories are monarchists who treasure history, tradition, wisdom from the past, and morality. They also believe a government should preserve and protect the common good. Those people want close relationships between families, friends, and neighbors. So, they disagree with extreme individualism in America. Colleges and universities should transmit a cultural inheritance, not mere job-related skills.

    Some North American High Tories support socialism, but I reject it. I want to live in a highly decentralized, stratified kingdom where the sovereign rules for life. Thirteenth-century monarchs worked directly with their courts.

    They also applied the principle of subsidiarity, which states that problems should be solved as locally as possible. Say you need help with something. Ask a family member for help. If he can't give it, go to a friend, a neighbor, a charity, and so on until your problem gets solved. It's immoral for a government to do what people ought to do instead. Now you know why I disagree with American leftists who want socialism, socialized medicine, and public schools. People like that hope the government will take care of everyone.

    American conservatives, i.e., classical liberals, love the U.S. Constitution. They love small government, free market capitalism, liberal democratic elections, and more. They also talk endlessly about that constitution.
  • BillMcEnaney
    59
    Maybe feudalism has some good points. For example, a feudal lord lived with people in a community and could explain their needs and concerns to the king. The lord wasn't some politician who held an occasional town meeting to listen to constituents. He knew them because his mom was in their neighborhood. So, he wasn't a power-hungry politician.

    I'm not sure what the Wikipedia article means by "patriarchy." However, a sovereign should be an apolitical, nonpartisan father or mother to his or her subjects. If I'm right, I have no problem with patriarchy and matriarchy of that kind.

    Can you name an American politician who ran for the Presidency because he felt obligated to promote and preserve the common good? I don't know of one. Like Sir Charles Coulombe, I want a Godly sovereign who strives to rule well partly because he knows God will judge him for how he ruled.

    Pope St. Pius X, my favorite pope, wrote: "In addressing you for the first time from the Chair of the supreme apostolate to which We have, by the inscrutable disposition of God, been elevated, it is not necessary to remind you with what tears and warm instance We exerted Ourselves to ward off this formidable burden of the Pontificate. Unequal in merit though We be with St. Anselm, it seems to us that We may with truth make Our own the words in which he lamented when he was constrained against his will and in spite of his struggles to receive the honor of the episcopate. For to show with what dispositions of mind and will We subjected Ourselves to the most serious charge of feeding the flock of Christ, We can well adduce those same proofs of grief which he invokes in his own behalf. "My tears are witnesses," he wrote, "and the sounds and moanings issuing from the anguish of my heart, such as I never remember before to have come from me for any sorrow, before that day on which there seemed to fall upon me that great misfortune of the archbishop of Canterbury. And those who fixed their gaze on my face that day could not fail to see it . . . I, in color more like a dead than a living man, was pale for amazement and alarm. Hitherto I have resisted as far as I could, speaking the truth, my election or rather the violence done me. But now I am constrained to confess, whether I will or no, that the judgments of God oppose greater and greater resistance to my efforts, so that I see no way of escaping them. Wherefore vanquished as I am by the violence not so much of men as of God, against which there is no providing, I realize that nothing is left for me, after having prayed as much as I could and striven that this chalice should if possible pass from me without my drinking it, but to set aside my feeling and my will and resign myself entirely to the design and the will of God."

    "https://www.vatican.va/content/pius-x/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-x_enc_04101903_e-supremi.html

    What about liberty? Moral liberty is the ability to do what you should do. It's not a legal right to do anything I want to do that won't harm other people.
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