Nepal’s hybrid system and China’s Golden Mean

The Nepalese government, under a hybrid system, is trying to adhere to the principles of the Golden Mean, which is attributed to the Chinese philosopher Confucius. This article examines the main ideas of the ancient thinker and their application to Nepal’s development policy.

Confucius’s Ideas

Confucius set forth the ideal of the perfect man, viewing the individual as self-valuable. He created a program of human perfection: in order to achieve a spiritually developed individual contact with the Cosmos. The noble man is the source of the ideal of morality for the whole society. He alone has a sense of harmony. And an organic gift to live in the rhythm of nature. He manifests the unity of the inner workings of the heart and outer behavior.

The sage acts in a natural way, since he is born with the rules of the “golden mean. His purpose is to transform society according to the laws of harmony reigning in the cosmos, to order and protect its living. For Confucius, the five “constants” are important: ritual, humanity, duty – justice, knowledge and trust. He sees in ritual a means of acting as a “foundation and utopus” between heaven and earth, enabling every individual, society and state to fit into the infinite hierarchy of the living cosmic community. At the same time, Confucius transferred the rules of family ethics to the sphere of the state. 

He based the hierarchy on the principle of knowledge, perfection and the degree of culture. The sense of proportion, embedded in the inner essence of ritual through external ceremonies and rituals, conveyed the values of harmonious communication at an accessible level to everyone, introducing them to the virtues.

As a politician, Confucius recognized the value of ritual in governing a country. The inclusion of everyone in the observance of the measure ensured the preservation of moral values in society, preventing, in particular, the development of consumerism to the detriment of spirituality. The resilience of the Chinese society and state, which nourished the vitality of Chinese culture, owed much to ritual.

Confucianism is not a coherent doctrine. Its individual elements are closely related to the development of ancient and medieval Chinese society, which it itself helped to form and preserve, creating a despotic centralized state. As a particular theory of social organization, Confucianism focuses on ethical rules, social norms, and the regulation of governance, in the formation of which it was very conservative.

Confucius focuses on educating the individual in a spirit of respect and deference to others, to society. In his social ethics the individual is an individual not “for himself,” but for society. Confucian ethics understands man in relation to his social function, and education is the bringing up of man to the proper fulfillment of that function. This approach was important for the ordering of life in agrarian China, but it led to a reduction of individual life, to a certain social position and activity. The individual was a function in the social organism of society.

The fulfillment of functions on the basis of order necessarily leads to the manifestation of humanity. Humanity is the basic of all human requirements. Human existence is so social that it cannot do without the following regulators: a) help others to achieve what you yourself would like to achieve; b) what you do not wish for yourself, do not do for others. People differ according to family and then social status. 

From family patriarchal relations Confucius derived the principle of sons and brotherly virtue. Social relations are a parallel of family relations. The relationship of subject and ruler, subordinate and superior is the same as that of son to father and younger brother to elder.

To maintain subordination and order Confucius develops the principle of justice and propriety. Justice and propriety are not connected with an ontological understanding of truth, which Confucius did not specifically do. One must act as the order and one’s position dictate. Righteous conduct is conduct with order and humanity.

Confucius offers people not so much a political or spiritual doctrine as a purely ethical system. It is important first to correct people, to purify them, to return them to the norms of behavior, and everything else – including the state – will gradually come into balance itself. One should be more interested not in politics or economics, but in the state of a person’s soul. Thus, Confucius looks at the solution of state problems through the prism of the individual.

Defending Human Rights in Nepal

The Blue Diamond Society, a human rights organization founded in 2001 in Nepal, fights for political and social rights. On December 21, 2007, the Supreme Court of Nepal ruled that the new democratic government must create laws that protect LGBT rights and change existing laws that amount to discrimination. In September 2015, after much debate, parliament approved several articles mentioning the rights of women and sexual minorities in the country’s new constitution. Among them:

  • Article 12 states that people have the right to identity documents that reflect their gender.
  • Article 18 covers equality rights and states that the state will not “discriminate against any citizen on the basis of origin, religion, race, caste, tribe, gender, language, or ideological beliefs or any other status.
  • Article 18 also lists “minorities, the marginalized, youth, children, the elderly, gender and sexual minorities, persons with disabilities” as disadvantaged groups recognized in the Constitution.

The constitution came into force on September 20, 2015. These changes mean that Nepal is probably the most progressive country in South Asia with regard to LGBT rights. Nevertheless, intersex people in Nepal report numerous difficulties, including the right to gender reassignment, the right to bodily integrity, and health.

In February 2018, Asian intersex activists released the Intersex Asia and Asian Intersex Forum Statement outlining local demands.

Conclusion

Current human rights issues include poverty (especially in rural areas), inequality in education, gender inequality, health problems, and child rights violations. The government of Nepal is doing its best to alleviate the living conditions of the people. New laws are being introduced, social programs are being developed, and sectors of the economy are being financed to bring the country to a new level of existence. Much of the success depends on a “golden mean” policy.