AMPONTAN

Japan from the inside out

Ichigen koji (106)

Posted by ampontan on Monday, May 28, 2012

一言居士

– A person who has something to say about everything

In particular, Europeans need to recognize the immense cohesive power of a society which elevates harmony and mutual obligation as its principles, as against confrontation and unbridled individualism.

European political thinkers do not understand this at all. For them, the opposite of individual responsibility is dependency and collectivism. Their ideas are still shaped by Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, and Karl Marx. They may come to violently different conclusions about the role of the state, but all share the same diagnostic alliance about the state versus the individual.

The notions of family loyalty and harmony of local association and a network of duties and obligations within the group hardly come into European political philosophers’ writings.

– David Howell on Japan.  Baron Howell of Guildford is the deputy leader of the House of Lords and a Minister of State in the Foreign Office. He previously served as Secretary of State for Energy and later for Transport.

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