Failures of Civility and Social Capital in China Now   no generalized trust means no loyalty and no moral authority

This is the eighth post in the series on civil society in China now

In the west, the lack of an active civil society is politically worrisome. Civil society is the home of organized disagreement with government but also a home of innovative ideas and the force for change. Without it, democracy is politically adrift.

Rulers can never be certain of the quality of information they get. People lose the sense of community that comes with civility and social capital. There are information and emotional holes in society.

What does a society look like without civility? China is a good example.

International Difficulties  forget civil society, we’ll take civility

This is the ninth post on civil society in China now

One view is that without civil society fundamentals like generalized trust and freedom to express one’s opinion, China is doomed to … well, I don’t know what.  Decline? Fail? Disappear? Go into economic decline?

Moral Freedom and Nihilism    What, me worry?

 This is the seventh post on civil society in China now

 When you make the rules and then act as judge and jury, its hard to do the wrong thing. So, for CCP - If CCP does it, it must be the right thing to do. A couple of my government students, and another good friend, were judges. I was impressed, but I found out later that until recently being a judge did not necessarily have much to do with attending law school, and still less with balancing of rights. Justice is not blind, and sometimes it doesn’t even squint very much. Judges only nominally work for the government. They work for CCP.

The Civilization State and Freedom   What do you mean, Chinese lack freedom?

Try reciting the Emma Lazarus poem when you are thousands of miles from home, in a group of friends who, in their deepest wish, would return to the US with you. Tomorrow you can get on the plane. For them it is forbidden.  “… Yearning to breathe free …”  Can you do it without a shudder and a tear? I couldn’t.

This section gets a little deep in political and moral psychology – not really my area. I’ve done quite a bit of reading, and I hope what follows will be sufficiently clear. The ideas are important. The usual warning - this is a bit long.

The work of Joseph Chan on moral autonomy and Ci Jiwei on moral freedom are necessary reading for anyone wishing to understand the why behind what they see in China. In particular, Chan’s book Confucian Perfectionism and article Moral Autonomy, Civil Liberties and Confucianism and Ci’s book Moral China in the Age of Reform are my sources here.


  • Housing Affordability ... and a bit more

    Housing Affordability ... and a bit more

    A recent chart on housing affordability in major cities compared with incomes -

    Read more ...  
  • Politically Correct Biblical Language

    Politically Correct Biblical Language

    Ya know, it gets harder and harder to distinguish right wing America from CCP. 

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  • Monkey See, Monkey Do

    Monkey See, Monkey Do

     History professor Heather Cox Richardson reporting a few days ago - "Not to be outdone, in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis today signed a law requiring that public colleges and universities survey students, faculty, and staff about their beliefs in order to make sure the institutions support “intellectual diversity” … Without citing any evidence, Republican lawmakers have warned that there are “socialism factories” in the state universities. The law permits students to record lectures without the consent of the professor or other students to be used in legal cases against the school."

    Read more ...  


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