Political Theory: Daniel A. Bell: “I don’t believe that democracy is the best way.”
HONG KONG/HAMBURG – This week’s Der Spiegel, Germany’s most influential weekly news magazine, features an article about Daniel A. Bell, the Canadian professor of political theory at Tsinghua University.
The magazine reports from a conference of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) in Hong Kong and describes how the financial crisis has unsettled the entire Western intellectual elite, including Nobel Prize winners and Western philosophers.
The article celebrates Daniel A. Bell as philosopher inspired by Confucian values, who advocates that, among others, politicians and top leaders shouldn’t be elected but instead should be selected according to their intellectual ability and moral character. And Bell sees in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), while not perfect, the closest form to a real meritocracy.
The magazine mentions, frankly, that in Germany, for his anti-Democratic position, Daniel A. Bell would probably earn a passage in the annual report of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, but the magazine also admits that Bell’s popularity in the West can’t be denied – with columns in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and the British Guardian.
Many China observers regard Daniel A. Bell’s ‘A Confucian Constitution for China‘ (an op-ed to the The New York Times) as his most thought-provoking piece yet. In it, Professor Bell argues that (Western) democracy is flawed in theory and in practice, and no option for China.