Laura Hein

in Reasonable Men, Powerful Words

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780520243477
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520931572 | DOI:

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When the memory of Ōuchi Hyōe and his fellow economists is invoked, it is usually embedded in claims for the proper relationship between citizenship and the state in twentieth-century Japan — the problem central to political life itself. It is important to recall that the economists' reentry into the elite in 1945 and their post-war influence on policy and political culture were possible only because Japan was defeated. In the last years of the twentieth century, a new strand of remembrance focused on the economists' non-dogmatic and internationalist interpretation of socialism as a potential alternative model. Rather than seeing democracy as intimately intertwined with capitalism, they saw it as the political expression of a fair society. Much of the Ōuchi group's vision for politics and the economy remains appealing today. Yet, in an abiding irony, the most fundamental of their assumptions turned out to be the least resilient. Although social science was for them a lifelong inspiration, it did not prove as omniscient a political guide as they had imagined.

Keywords: Japan; Ōuchi Hyōe; citizenship; economy; political culture; socialism; capitalism; democracy; politics; social science

Chapter.  5105 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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