Volume 28, 2011

China's Modenization I

Thorsten Botz-Bornstein
Pages 153-172

Confucianism, Puritanism, and the Transcendental
China and America

Max Weber examined Chinese society and European Puritanism at the beginning of the Twentieth Century in order to find out why capitalism did not develop in China. He found that Confucianism and Puritanism are mutually exclusive, which enabled him to oppose both in the form of two different kinds of rationalism. I attempt neither to refute nor to confirm the Weberian thought model. Instead I show that a similar model applies to Jean Baudrillard’s vision of American culture, a culture that he determined in terms of hyperreality. Instead of rejecting Weber’s thoughts right away, I give Weber’s model a further push and show that through a further twist that “Western culture” has received within particular American constellations, Weber’s understanding of Confucianism and Baudrillard’s understanding of American civilization manifest amazing similarities.