Idealism and the Abuse of Power : Lessons from China's Cultural Revolution book cover
1st Edition

Idealism and the Abuse of Power
Lessons from China's Cultural Revolution

ISBN 9780367602673
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
178 Pages

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Book Description

This book analyses the abuse of idealism with particular reference to China's Cultural Revolution. The work examines abuse at two levels: the state leaders' metaphysical vision as the interpretation of idealism at the top with state power; and the psychological state of the masses at the bottom of society. The concept of abuse itself is discussed with the author arguing that idealism is often used to justify abuse while many are all too willing to accept this as idealism itself. On the other hand, many dismiss the idealist vision because of the horrible consequences of the abuse. For these reasons, the book holds that abuse of idealism should not be confused with the original intent of idealism. It is further argued that the masses often complement dictatorship due to a basic weakness of human nature. Finally, the book proposes that the concepts of human dignity and equal access to truth are prerequisites for the effective rule of law within China.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction; Identify the problem; How power was justified; Law as part of the solution; How law checks power; Postscript; Appendices; References; Index.

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Zhuang Hui-yun was born and raised in Beijing, China. She emigrated to Japan before settling in Australia. She holds graduate qualifications in History, Languages and International Law. She is a member of the Australian China Study Association, the Australian Asian Studies Association, and the Australian Legal Philosophy Association. Her research interests are in the areas of philosophy of law, public ethics, contemporary China, Australia-China relations, migration and language education.