“Meritocracy” is among the political phenomena and political orientations found in modern Western democratic systems. Daniel A. Bell, however, imposes it on ancient Confucianism and contemporary China and refers to it in Chinese using loaded terms such as xianneng zhengzhi 賢能政治 and shangxian zhi 尚賢制. Bell’s “political meritocracy” not only consists of an anti-democratic political program but also is full of logical contradictions: at times, it is the antithesis of democracy, and, at other times, it is a supplement to democracy; sometimes it resolutely rejects democracy, and sometimes it desperately needs democratic mechanisms as the ultimate guarantee of its legitimacy. Bell’s criticism of democracy consists of untenable platitudes, and his defense of “political meritocracy” comprises a series of specious arguments. Ultimately, the main issue with “political meritocracy” is its blatant negation of popular sovereignty as well as the fact that it inherently represents a road leading directly to totalitarianism.
BellDaniel [Bei Danning 貝淡寧]. “Cong ‘yazhou jiazhiguan’ dao ‘xianneng zhengzhi’ 從‘亞洲價值觀’ 到 ‘賢能政治’ [From ‘Asian Values’ to ‘Political Meritocracy’].”Wen shi zhe 文史哲 [Journal of Literature History and Philosophy]no. 3 (2013): 5-11.
BellDaniel. Xianneng zhengzhi: weishenme shangxianzhi bi xuanju minzhuzhi geng shihe Zhongguo 賢能政治: 為什麼尚賢制比選舉民主制更適合中國 [The China Model: Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy]. Translated by WuWanwei. Beijing: CITIC Publishing Group2016.
Del CoronaMarco. “Zai yi ge xifang xuezhe yanzhong, zhongguo moshi meili hezai 在一個西方學者眼中, 中國模式魅力何在 [According to a Western Scholar, the China Model Is Full of Promises].” Translated by LiuXushuang 劉旭爽. Guancha zheJuly212015. http://www.guancha.cn/BeiDanNing/2015_07_21_327510.shtml.
HuangYushun黃玉順. “Guomin zhengzhi ruxue-rujia zhengzhi zhexue de xiandai zhuanxing 國民政治儒學—儒家政治哲學的現代轉型 [Confucianism’s Civic Politics: The Modern Transformation of Confucian Political Philosophy],”Dongyue luncongno. 11 (2015): 33-41.
HuangYushun. “‘Yishen weiben’ yu ‘datong zhuyi’- ‘jiaguo tianxia’ huayu fansi yu ‘tianxia zhuyi’ guannian pipan ‘以身為本’ 與 ‘大同主義’—‘家國天下’ 話語反思與 ‘天下主義’ 觀念批判 [A Rethinking of the Discourse of the Nation under Heaven and a Critique of the Notion of the Heavenly Doctrine].”Tansuo yu zhengmingno. 1 (2016) 30-35.
HuangYushun. Zhongguo zhengyilun de chongjian-rujia zhidu lunlixue de dangdai chanshi 中國正義論的重建—儒家制度倫理學的當代闡釋 [The Re-Establishment of the Chinese Theory of Justice: A Contemporary Interpretation of Confucian Ethics]. Hefei: Anhui People’s Publishing House2013. Translated into English as Voice from the East: The Chinese Theory of Justice. Translated by HouPingping and WangKeyou. Reading UK: Paths International 2016.
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