Le retour des valeurs « asiatiques »

Un livre provocateur écrit par un mathématicien japonais a ravivé le débat sur l’existence de valeurs typiquement « asiatiques ». Encore non traduit dans d’autres langues, La dignité d’une nation de Masahiko Fujiwara est un appel émotionnel à une « voie spéciale » japonaise. L’auteur soutient notamment que la démocratie libérale est une invention de l’Occident ne cadrant pas vraiment avec la nature asiatique ou japonaise.

Ce raisonnement est singulier et semble réveiller la critique du dix-neuvième siècle, généralement associée à Nietzsche, voulant que le Christianisme (et l’Islam) engendre la soumission, voire la servilité, en contraste avec les vertus héroïques de l’antiquité classique ou des sociétés guerrières, comme celles des samouraïs. De la même manière, selon Fujiwara, la démocratie accorde trop d’importance à la raison – autre concept occidental. « Mais nous, Japonais », écrit-il, « nous n’avons pas de religion comme le christianisme ou l’islam, nous avons donc besoin d’autres chose : l’émotion profonde ».

Bon nombre d’Asiatiques non japonais n’apprécieront pas tout ou partie du message de Fujiwara, car ils y entendront des échos historiques déplaisants. Après tout, il n’y a pas de raison de croire que les Asiatiques ont en commun une aspiration particulière à l’autoritarisme, ou disons, que les mouvements chinois pro-démocratiques sont des faire-valoir trompeurs des intérêts occidentaux.

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