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Phenomenon of Confucius in Modern Economics of Japan

Nikolas is interested in the history of science and its application in studying foreign cultures. Economics is a bright example of it.

The Protestant Interpretation of Labor

In contrast to the theory of Karl Marx, the German sociologist Max Weber (1864-1920) considered that modern capitalism wasn't only the result of progress in science and technique. Its appearance is bound to the emergence of rational thinking at those who were the driving force of the historical development. He concluded that in western countries certain religious factors for it were existing while in others they were being absent.

The protestant interpretation of the Bible gives birth to the concept of labor as predestining of God. That's why the terrestrial life with economical activities is the performance of God's Will. Labor became an obligation. This statement at a certain historical stage is the necessary condition for the establishment of the capitalist order. Protestantism with its schism spread austerity, intrinsic for monks, for all secular world.

The Oldest Portrait of Confucius



Capitalism in Japan

The Main Aim of Japanese Economics

Economic growth, the ground of liberal management, as a result of liberal competitiveness doesn't compose the main aim or essential function of Japanese economics. In Japanese society, competitiveness doesn't affect grown-ups as much as youth. This is because young persons are spread to different firms depending on their success during studies. Moreover, if they enter some firm, then it will be difficult for them to pass to the other, especially, larger one. To cap, it's necessary to say that in Japan there are dramatic disparities between a great business and small subcontractors. Japanese great business is extremely bureaucratic. Unlike Western analog where the decision-making is made by the director entirely, it functions according to the system Ringa, i.e. bottom-up, when there is the presentation of proposals bottom, and their consideration up. The success of economics provides penetration in foreign markets, the interior demand for economic growth doesn't play a role. Thus, the impossibility of democratization didn't become an obstacle to the economic development of this country. Due to Japan, capitalism doesn't remain monochromatic and new variants of it appeared nowadays.

Meiji Emperor






Umaya Bridge, 1874



The Role of Many National Factors

There are common roots in the development of main Eastern economics. The Japanese model gives a start to the four eastern dragons. There are South Korea, Taiwan, Gong Kong, and Singapore. Nowadays, China, after deliberating from the communist Marxist ideology, continues its original way. It confirms that stability in the economics of any country depends on many national factors, including cultural ones, especially those of religion.

Class Struggle Is Blurred

Just thanks to the national form of Confucianism, Japan with its class and regional contradictions unified in one nation in a comparatively short period, only 20 years. In addition, there were favorable conditions, such as the location of the island, understanding of foreign danger. The second condition of capitalism, the proclamation of a democratic society, was very difficult to be provided in Japan.

Unlike Christianity, where all are equal before God, Confucianism defends the ethics of groups and division of obligations, supporting and strengthening the hierarchic character of society. That's why in the epoch of Meiji It doesn't say anything about democracy and the Western variant of capitalism doesn't suit Japan. The nation created another type of productive relations which, however, was included in a broad category of capitalism.

Here, the “invisible hand” became more visible, because the government was always taking initiative and was directed the development of economics. Effectiveness of production was encouraged by common aims, and not by competitiveness. That's why the idea of class struggle is blurred.

The Present of Confucius Teachings

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What is the destiny of Confucius teachings?
    • They remain without changing
    • Some of them, nowadays, may be more spiritual than the original ones
  2. How many students did Confucius have approximately?
    • The range between 50-100
    • 70-300 students
    • 300 and more
  3. Why do modern Asian countries support the teachings of Confucius?
    • They consider the Western concept of democracy as not universal.
    • They fight for the truly indigenous political and economic system.

Answer Key

  1. They remain without changing
  2. 70-300 students
  3. They fight for the truly indigenous political and economic system.

The Multiple Confucius

Quotes From Confucius

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