May the Fourth…

On May 4, 1919, a student protest against the ceding of Chinese territory to Japan by the Versailles Treaty initiated a reassessment of China’s attitude to its own past in the face of Western modernity and domination. The May Fourth Movement, as this ongoing reassessment came to be called, rejected the early liberal emphasis on piecemeal reform and constitutionally limited, elite-led government, but its own brand of liberalism remained indebted to the categories and concerns of late Imperial and early Republican liberal debates.

This is from the amazing Leigh Jenco, and it’s titled “Chinese Liberalism.” Read the whole thing (pdf).

2 thoughts on “May the Fourth…

    • Japan, Taiwan, South Korea.

      Now, all three states have had a ton of contact with Christianity, and in Japan Christianity may have become the dominant religion if it were not for the brutal persecutions and rebellions of the 17th century. In South Korea, 28% of the population is Christian, while in Taiwan only 4% of the population is Christian.

      And, of course, all three societies are so dependent upon American military protection that it could be argued that they are just “states” within the American union, and thus not very good examples of flourishing liberalism outside of Judeo-Christian realms.

      However, I think all three examples are great for showing that liberalism can indeed flourish anywhere.

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