Winning minds and influencing people

Tanner Greer has an excellent post on what cultural exports China needs to promote if it is to engender China-friendly attitudes internationally.

He concludes that Chinese engagement with the West is what is most likely to work.

He cites palpable excitment in young conservative American circles created by Chinese interest in Leo Strauss and Carl Schmitt.

I think this is exactly right.

Peking opera and bound feet, Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought and opium is not going to do it.

But Chinese takes on tired Western thinking (in my case, not conservative thinking) ARE interesting.

Two points
  1. The Chinese government should give David Ownby a medal for his English translations of essays by Chinese public intellectuals at

Of course, it is not going to do that because most of them are subtly, or not so subtly, critical of the government.

Because of his skill as a translator, they don’t read as if they were originally in Chinese. And the thinking of the writers is Western, but with a twist.

I can’t put my finger on what makes them interesting.

  1. Did the Reforms and Opening-up program make an unholy bargain trading the minds of the Chinese people for Chinese prosperity?

With commerce for China having the same role militarism had in Japan modernizing/Westerning the Japanese mind?

中体西用? 和魂洋才? 東道西器?

I don’t think it means what you think it means.