Although Westerners are apt to say, without much on-the-ground knowledge of China, that China's population is irredeemably conformist, in fact both Chinese and American societies have a strong inclination to conformism, which is why great American thinkers have, again and again, through the life of the Republic, condemned that propensity to submit to government authority and the opinion of the majority. The Chinese praise the rebel against authority in a way that would shock foreigners who think only in stereotypes. The problem at the present time in the world, and especially in the United States and China, is that the bureaucrat and the authoritarian have a tendency to dominate their societies, and the system thus squashes the individual. Waters suggests we need a new theory of fascism to analyze how insidiously authoritarianism is creeping into power worldwide. Against the demands of the group, Waters sees the individual as a countervailing force.
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Lindsay Waters; Confucianism, Humanism, and Human Rights. boundary 2 1 May 2009; 36 (2): 217–228. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-2009-013
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