George Bush and the "Mandate of Heaven"
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Jonathan Dresner - 10/4/2004
The circularity of Mandate logic is so neat and tidy, but it contains the seeds of revolution in an Imperial system, and that was extraordinary. A double-edged sword, as the cliche goes, showing that with power comes responsibility.
You almost, but not quite, made the traditional Chinese connection between the loss of the Mandate and the natural and social disasters which are portents of political change. You almost, but not quite, made the traditional connection between the morality and character of the ruler and the disorder in the land.
And there's nothing about the Mandate which is particularly "neo-Confucian"; it is, in fact, Confucian (or pre-Confucian), embedded in the first history of a dynastic change.
But I do love it when these ideas get a good airing. Now, on to the Rectification of Names....