Cultural Politics and Asian Values: The Tepid War by Michael D. Barr

By Michael D. Barr

Cultural Politics and Asian Values appears to be like on the political, cultural and spiritual history of East and Southeast Asian societies and people of 'the West', as a way to seeing how they're affecting modern nationwide and foreign politics: democratization, the overseas human rights discourse, NGOs and globalisation.
The booklet surveys the political historical past and pre-history of the 'Asian values' debate, taking it as much as the period of Megawati Sukarnoputri, Chen Shui-bian and Kim Dae-jung. In chapters on Confucianism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and liberalism, Barr explores the histories and conceptual essences of the realm religions focused on or suffering from the talk.

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But to expect Americans who are accustomed to thinking of their nation as number one, to acknowledge that in many areas its supremacy has been lost to an Asian nation and then learn from that nation is to ask a good deal. 45 Herman Kahn made two major contributions to this discourse in the same year. The first was his collaborative work with Thomas Pepper, The Japanese Challenge: The Success and Failure of Economic Success,46 and the second was his World Economic Development: 1979 and Beyond.

This reaction was not confined to Asia: many in the West also feared that the libertarian culture of protest, free love and drugs was a threat to order in their own societies. Indeed, Deputy Prime Minister Goh Keng Swee of Singapore later went on record as identifying his own concerns with those of Western intellectuals who had come to be appalled by the counter culture. 22 Contemporary versions of this reaction are still shared today between advocates of ‘Asian values’ and many Western conservatives, who cite family breakdown, drugs, teenage pregnancy, and other social problems as evidence of a collapse of values.

The General came in and smashed it all. He was not interested in being popular, he was interested in making sense. He ordered the troops out, cleaned up the streets, knocked the houses down, made new roads where they had been planned. When he came in this second time, there was no resistance. . 30 This passage is taken from an interview Lee gave in the 1990s, but the lesson was not drawn with the benefit of hindsight. 31 Yet despite his scepticism about democracy, Lee has never been reluctant to justify his mandate by reference to his electoral majorities.

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