The Individualistic Roots of Virtue

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In *Against Political Equality: The Confucian Case*, BAI Tongdong says that his main target is democracy, but he focuses much of his critiques on liberalism, rejecting its foundational value of autonomy in favor of Confucian grounds for governance. Given the extent of his concurrence with liberalism, however, it would be more consistent with Bai’s stated aim (of tempering the democratic part and shoring up the liberal side of liberal democracy) to make common cause with liberalism against populism. Mencian compassion and humaneness have much to add to liberal conversation about virtue, and a Mencian-liberal theory of governance, instead, could yield the Confucian ideal of ‘harmony without uniformity,’
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Archival date: 2022-02-07
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