The Confucian Ideal of Great Harmony (Datong 大同), the Daoist Account of Change, and the Theory of Socialism in the Work of Li Dazhao
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Asian Philosophy 21 (2):171 - 192 (2011)
This paper discusses the theory of socialism endorsed by Li Dazhao, China's first Marxist, as an effort to integrate western ideas into the traditional Chinese thinking during the chaotic years of the 1920s. There are two aspects of Li's theory of socialism which, while related, are distinct: (1) a theory about the nature of socialist society, and (2) a theory about how a socialist society can be achieved in China. Li's development of (1) is influenced by his acceptance of the classical Confucian notion of the Great Harmony while his account of (2) draws upon both his acceptance of the Daoist account of historical change and on classic Confucianism. Understanding his theory of socialism thus requires locating it within these two doctrines of classical Chinese philosophy
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