Thursday, May 14, 2009

Confucius Say, "Go John Galt"?

A PhD student in philosophy has an interesting application! These days I've been reading more Ayn Rand and Jane Austen than Confucius, but maybe I should crack open the Analects:
The Master said, “When a prince’s personal conduct is correct, his government is effective without the issuing of orders. If his personal conduct is not correct, he may issue orders, but they will not be followed.” -- Analects book 13
Going Galt, are we, Confucius?

Or it could be as simple as: hey, why should we pay taxes if Geithner and other DC fat cats didn't? It's called leading by example, folks.


lumpy said...

'Good men make good government.'

I'm hip with that, but I think Confucius was a bit off on his gender relations theory. No wait, I'm a guy ... ;-)

Meh. Let's be honest: Submissive women are boring, and gradually become irritating. Confucius obviously didn't get that. Then again, he wasn't concerned with how to live an exciting life, but rather an ordered one.

I'm sorry, what was the question?

Mad Minerva said...

Hmmm, methinks "orderly" can too often mean "boring," no? The whole "harmony" thing bothers me because it's so tied to the whole "hierarchy" thing -- I'm not too jazzed on hierarchy. Submission? What's that? ;-)

lumpy said...

Exactly. I would be much happier with "harmony" if it wasn't tied to obeying authority.

And if there was more conflict in it; that would help, too. ;-)

Mad Minerva said...

I think so. Besides, as a friend of mine said, in any healthy, honest relationship between free equals, sooner or later there will be conflict and difference of opinion. I think that's one reason why people who don't understand a liberal democracy decry it as "chaotic."

Old-school "harmony" seems to me to be too heavily predicated on obedience, which is not the same thing as cooperation or collaboration. Notice how the CCP in Beijing is bringing Confucius back (after decades of squashing him) as an attempt to bolster social order. Oh, the irony.