两种文化民族主义——评“文化民族主义论纲”及“甲申文化宣言” (Two Types of Cultural Nationalism)

Sylvia Chan


Abstract

This article analyses the social and political background of the rise of cultural nationalism in China since the end of the last century. It discusses two schools of cultural nationalism that are most influential today. It argues that the school promoting Confucianism as a state religion has an explicit political agenda of rallying the nation around the goal of building a rich and powerful China to ensure its national security in a competitive and hostile international environment. The article doubts that Confucianism can be easily reconstructed into a popular religion, and suggests that it is not an appropriate cultural symbol to advance the political goal these people pursue. The other school advocates the promotion of Chinese national culture in general, believing that its ‘oriental characteristics’, such as its emphasis on morality, altruism, and quietude, are powerful antidotes to the social and moral ills of modernity and post-modernity. Although it also aims at countering what it perceives to be the hegemony of Western culture, its main concern seems to be the spiritual health of the nation and its emphasis is on the cultivation of civic virtue among the people. The article concludes that the latter kind of cultural nationalism is not incompatible with the democratisation of China, nor is it necessarily anti-West.

Keywords

nationalism, intellectual discourses, cultural trends

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