Self-Interest, Communalism, Welfarism

  • Gary B. Madison
Conference paper
Part of the Publications of the Egon-Sohmen-Foundation book series (EGON-SOHMEN)


Only a few years ago, consequent upon the collapse of that form of cpmmunalism known as Communism, the definitive triumph of liberal democracy was being widely heralded.1 Today, people are not nearly so confident that liberal values are destined to win out on the world scene. Talk abounds of impending “culture wars” and “intercivilizational conflict” (see Huntington, 1996). The traditional liberal values of freedom and individuality, it is said, are not truly universal values, as liberals have always proclaimed; not only are they strictly Western in origin (“culturally relative”), they are also, or so it is claimed, irrelevant to, and perhaps even incompatible with, the traditional values of non-Western cultures (see Madison, 1995a). This new attack on liberalism is as widespread in the West as it is in other parts of the world, most notably East Asia. In the West the attack on liberal values is associated with what has come to be known as “communitarianism,” while in the East it is advanced under the banner of “Asian values.” Let us focus on the latter for a moment.


Public Good Civil Society Market Economy Welfare State Chinese Communist Party 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

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  • Gary B. Madison

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