For a Kinder, Gentler Society
America the Great and Its Self-Destruction
Viewing the Superpower through the Lenses of Ancient Confucianism and Chaos Theory
  • Wei-Bin Zhang
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America the Great and Its Self-Destruction. Viewing the Superpower through the Lenses of Ancient Confucianism and Chaos Theory
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The accelerating self-destruction of the United States cannot be hidden when the loss of productivity, loss of faith in government, enflamed identity politics and social fragmentation are constant and are clearly documented. 

Any national assessment should be grounded in facts, and Prof. Zhang provides a plethora of economic data as a baseline for discussion. The figures and graphs reveal many sides of America that we may generally miss. 

In addition, Chinese and other Asians familiar with ancient Confucianism have their own sources of wisdom and commentary to guide them in assessing how they and their neighbors think and behave. Here, a Chinese academic familiar with both worlds shares his impressions and his conclusions. Prof. Zhang juxtaposes the political, economic and cultural behavior of America with sparkling quotes from Confucius, Mencius, Xun Zi, as well as Western classical thinkers from Plato to Quesnay and Weber. The book gives us a new perspective on our country — with insights as well from Chaos Theory.


About the Author

Wei-Bin Zhang is a Chinese-born professor of economics at Japan's prestigious Ritsumeikan Asia-Pacific University. He was a visiting scholar at universities in Sweden and Australia for 12 years, and frequently visits the US, Singapore and other countries.

Prof. Zhang is the author of over a dozen published books in English on topics including economic growth and development in the Asia-Pacific region. His more recent titles include The Butterfly Effect in China’s Economic Growth - From Socialist Penury towards Marx’s Progressive Capitalism, The Rise and Fall of China’s Last Dynasty: The Deepening of the Chinese Servility and New China’s Long March from Servility to Freedom.

Given his education as a technical economist, his broad knowledge of classical Chinese thought, and his experience in the West, Zhang is deeply intrigued by the ways in which ancient Oriental thought appears to surface amidst the most Occidental of social phenomena.

About the Book

In this book we explore how the basic concepts of the yin-yang vision, and socioeconomic chaos theory, can help us understand American civilization, what it represents, and the natural cycles it is going through. The author presents data on...

In this book we explore how the basic concepts of the yin-yang vision, and socioeconomic chaos theory, can help us understand American civilization, what it represents, and the natural cycles it is going through. The author presents data on American economic and social trends, and systematically compares the basic ideas of Confucius and Adam Smith. These are interwoven with hundreds of pithy observations on America from a wide spectrum of commentators, from intellectual luminaries to Hollywood stars.

The first Chinese classic, the Yi Jing, posits that everything is — consciously or unconsciously, objectively or subjectively, and directly or indirectly — related to everything else over time and space. Constructiveness incites destructiveness, and vice versa. Confucianism is more rationalist and sober, in the sense of the absence and the rejection of all non-utilitarian yardsticks, than any other ethical system, with the possible exception of J. Bentham’s.

The aim of studying the history of human societies, the author says, is to find the equations, i.e., mechanisms, of historical evolution; by stepping back to view events from different perspectives he seeks to present America as an organic whole, going beyond a partial, one-sided view of history — neither the patrician perspective nor that of the workers and the poor.

The book is basically an application of the author’s general theory on socioeconomic evolution to provide some insights into America’s evolution by viewing it under an alternative ethical system (ancient Confucianism), with insights from chaos theory.

Confucianism is more rationalist and sober, in the sense of the absence and the rejection of all non-utilitarian yardsticks, than any other ethical system with the possible exception of J. Bentham’s. The author systematically compares the basic ideas related to, for instance, virtue and non-government intervention between Confucius and Adam Smith.

The aim of studying the history of human societies, Zhang says, is to find the equations, i.e., mechanisms, of historical evolution; by stepping back to view events from different perspectives he seeks to present America as an organic whole, going beyond a partial, one-sided view of history — neither the patrician perspective nor that of the workers and the poor.

The book is basically an application of the author’s general theory on socioeconomic evolution to provide some insights into America’s evolution by viewing it under an alternative ethical system (ancient Confucianism) and more modern theoretical concepts from Chaos Theory.



Pages 272
Year: 2021
BISAC: HIS036070 HISTORY / United States / 21st Century
Soft
ISBN: 978-1-62894-476-1
Price: USD 21.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-1-62894-477-8
Price: USD 31.95
eBook
ISBN: 978-1-62894-478-5
Price: USD 21.95
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