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Against Political EqualityThe Confucian Case$
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Tongdong Bai

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691195995

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691195995.001.0001

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Tian Xia: A Confucian Model of National Identity and International Relations

Tian Xia: A Confucian Model of National Identity and International Relations

Chapter:
(p.175) 7 Tian Xia: A Confucian Model of National Identity and International Relations
Source:
Against Political Equality
Author(s):

Tongdong Bai

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691195995.003.0007

This chapter concerns the issue of one's duties to one's own state and people versus the duties to other states and peoples. The same reasoning discussed in Chapter 6 can still be applied to this new situation. Indeed, the Confucian idea of compassion, along with a few other conceptual tools, can be used to address the two remaining key political issues against a “modern” background: how to bond together people of a large, populous, and well-connected state that does not have a feudal structure with intermediate and autonomous units, and how to deal with state–state (international) relations when there is no overlord above the states anymore. Therefore, following the Confucian reasoning and applying it to the issue of one's duties to one's own state versus to other states, one can argue that, given the hierarchical structure of expanding care, one should prioritize duties to one's own state over those to foreign states, thus justifying some form of patriotism. But given the all-embracing characteristic of expanding care, one should still try to take care of the interests of foreigners, thus rejecting a strong form of patriotism as embodied in nationalism, which takes one's homeland's interests as supreme and absolute.

Keywords:   national identity, nationalism, international relations, compassion, expanding care, patriotism, foreign states, international relations

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