The upper class had the requisite time to cultivate

This preview shows page 6 - 8 out of 9 pages.

The upper class had the requisite time to cultivate virtue and knowledge while the lower class seemed solely concerned with money and sensual pleasures (p. 222). It is evident and Fukuzawa had said as much before that for him only the lower samurai have real virtue and vision. After all this, the fi nal chapter is no surprise. Although there is general talk about progress, and the occasional utopian remark, American Journal of Sociology 1218
Image of page 6

Subscribe to view the full document.

When it comes to relations between one country and another only two things count: in times of peace exchange goods and compete with one another for pro fi t; in times of war, take up arms and kill each other. To put it another way, the present world is a world of commerce and warfare . . . . War is the art of extending the rights of independent governments, and trade is a sign that one country radiates its light to another. (Pp. 234 35) The book that began as a hymn of enlightenment ends in realpolitik. Fukuzawa s analysis of Japan s economic and political situation is an un- sparing portrait of Western colonialism. But the conclusion he draws is that one must imitate the imperialist reality rather than the idealistic protesta- tions of the West. Japan must avoid the fate of India. It must, for exam- ple, escape the imposition of indemnities by the British. (Fukuzawa mentions celebrated incidents in the early 1860s that had cost the bakufu millions, but ignores an event of the previous year, in which the Japanese had themselves extorted a similar indemnity from China over some shipwrecked Ryukuans massacred on Taiwan.) Fukuzawa tells us There is only one thing, namely to establish our goal and advance toward civilization, but concludes that the fi rst order of the day is to have the country of Japan and the people of Japan exist, and then and only then speak about civilization (p. 254). In the present, that is civilization means whatever produces national indepen- dence. It is of course all too easy to read Fukuzawa in moralistic hindsight, knowing that ahead lie the Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese Wars, the takeovers of Korea, Manchuria, and eventually China, and the culminat- ing holocaust of the Second World War. Yet one could read Guizot and Buckle the same way; 19th-century Western liberalism was itself followed by similar imperialistic squabbles and the twin nemesis of the two world wars. And the anachronism is wrong in both cases. It took much more than Guizot, Buckle, and Fukuzawa to make the horrors of the early 20th century. More interesting are the problems of what Fukuzawa s sources them- selves really meant, whether he misread them, and, indeed, whether he was really as militantly nationalistic as the reading here makes him seem. On an enlightenment reading, his sources were in fact devoted to positive civilization, he read them correctly, and Outline is a work of genuine en- lightenment. Its apparent nationalism is mainly a reaction to the intense imperialistic pressure placed on Japan by the West. On an antienlighten-
Image of page 7
Image of page 8
  • '17
  • Fukuzawa

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Get FREE access by uploading your study materials

Upload your study materials now and get free access to over 25 million documents.

Upload now for FREE access Or pay now for instant access
Christopher Reinemann
"Before using Course Hero my grade was at 78%. By the end of the semester my grade was at 90%. I could not have done it without all the class material I found."
— Christopher R., University of Rhode Island '15, Course Hero Intern

Ask a question for free

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern