Die Rückkehr „asiatischer“ Werte

Ein von einem japanischen Mathematiker verfasstes provozierendes Buch hat die Debatte, ob es spezielle „asiatische“ Werte gibt, neu angeheizt. Das bisher noch nicht in andere Sprachen übersetzte Kokka no Hinkaku (Die Würde des Staates) von Masahiko Fujiwara ist ein emotionales Plädoyer für den japanischen „Sonderweg“. Insbesondere wird darin argumentiert, dass die freiheitliche Demokratie eine westliche Erfindung sei, die nicht zum Wesen der Japaner bzw. Asiaten passe.

Die Argumentation ist eigentümlich und scheint die normalerweise mit Nietzsche verknüpfte Kritik des 19. Jahrhunderts neu zu beleben, wonach das Christentum (wie auch der Islam) eine lenkbare oder sogar unterwürfige Mentalität hervorbringe, die im Widerspruch zu den heroischen Tugenden des Altertums oder der Kriegergesellschaften, wie etwa der Welt der japanischen Samurai, stünde. Ebenso werde, so Fujiwara, in der Demokratie die Vernunft, ein weiteres westliches Konstrukt, überbetont. „Wir Japaner jedoch,“ so schreibt er, „haben keine Religion wie das Christentum oder den Islam; darum brauchen wir etwas anderes: tiefe Gefühle.“

Viele nichtjapanische Asiaten werden Fujiwaras Botschaft größtenteils oder in Gänze ablehnen, da sie aus ihr ein unangenehmes historisches Echo heraushören. Schließlich gibt es keinen Grund zu der Annahme, dass die Asiaten miteinander eine besondere Sehnsucht nach einem autoritären Staat teilen oder dass es sich etwa bei der chinesischen Demokratiebewegung um unaufrichtige Handlanger westlicher Interessen handelt.

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