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Liang Shuming (Liang Shu-ming) by Guy ALITTO

Liang Shuming (Liang Shu-ming, Huanding; 1893-1988) was one of the founders of “new Confucianism” (Xin Rujia). He was perhaps unique among twentieth-century Chinese philosophers because he was a man of action whose philosophical thought was the basis for his own social and political programs. He was a leading figure in the nationwide rural reconstruction movement and its only philosopher. Early in the war with Japan, Liang founded the liberal democratic “third force” in Chinese politics. He is generally regarded as someone who exemplified the ideals of Confucianism in his life as well as in his writings, and who maintained his own integrity in the face of all odds. In the early 1950s, alone among the intellectuals in China, he defied Mao Zedong publicly.