JPRI Occasional Paper No. 10 January 1998
Machiavellian Politics and Japanese Ideals: The Enigma of Japanese Power Eight Years Later
by Michael Mosher

The publication of Karel van Wolferen's The Enigma of Japanese Power in 1989 and its subsequent translation into Japanese were occasions for a vast crescendo of outraged commentary. Japanese critics momentarily lost their cool forbearance at the funny things foreigners say and write about them. At the time, official Japan was engaged in a war of words about how official America perceived the character of Japan's political and economic order. If the Americans thought Japan was not a kind of mirror image of America, in the midst of trade "frictions," they would see more reasons to treat it as a rival and not an ally. Thus van Wolferen's book and writing by other so-called "revisionists" came at an awkward moment. Worse still, van Wolferen's account had been given a respectful preview article (and possibly an imprimatur) in the establishmentarian Foreign Affairs.1 There was also the matter of Japan's seemingly unstoppable economic growth, a premise that, ironically, the revisionists accepted fully as much as official Japan did.

What a difference eight years make. China, not Japan, is today the designated successor kingdom for Asia firsters, and even China's progress is far from certain. The Japanese economic juggernaut proved to be stoppable. The smart bureaucrats of the smart state have not yet figured out a way to restart the economic engines. The supposedly invincible ruling party was driven into parliamentary opposition for several years. Most surprising perhaps, van Wolferen himself, a man accused of writing a "homesick colonialist" book and of despising the Japanese, today has a large Japanese following.2 Thanks to the electoral revolution of 1993, van Wolferen's attack on the Japanese "System" (his term of preference) fits right into the new agenda of reform-minded Japanese.

In light of these changes, perhaps it is time to reassess van Wolferen's book and his role in Japanese intellectual life. Let me first, however, defend The Enigma of Japanese Power against some of its critics.

The Particulars of the Indictment

However angry a Japanese reader may become, it is hard to deny the existence of many of the incidents and events dealt with in van Wolferen's book. For example, van Wolferen asserts that the Japan Medical Association "can stop the import of particular medical equipment, if this threatens to eliminate the need for lucrative cures" (p. 54), a line that hauntingly anticipates the Health and Welfare Ministry's HIV-tainted blood scandal several years later.

Nor did van Wolferen invent the horrors of the Minamata mercury poisoning case and the facts that the "corporation responsible . . . hired gangsters to manhandle petitioning victims and their families," while collusive authorities tried to suppress evidence and discredit concerned doctors (p. 55). His claim that abusive teachers actively contribute to the atmosphere of intimidation, violence, and bullying in schools is taken from the pages of the Asahi shimbun (p. 91). The role of construction firms in funding Diet members and of the Construction Ministry in transferring funds to rural areas by means of ill-conceived pork barrel projects that deface the natural beauty of Japan was surely not unknown in 1989, and since then has become even better documented.

Surely no one in Japan needs to be told that votes are bought, that doctors and dentists (big political contributors) engage in massive health insurance fraud, or that in the guise of safety, the costly mandatory biennial car safety checks serve primarily the interests of car dealers and auto mechanics. Nor should Japanese readers be surprised to discover the politicians opposed to reform of these car check-ups had close ties to the Ministry of Transport and the Japan Federation for the Promotion of Car Mechanics; they could turn not just to van Wolferen but to his source in this instance, Itakagi Hidenori, "Zoku no Kenkyu," Keizaikai, 1987. The remarkable thing about Enigma is the extent to which it relies upon Japanese sources as well as the most varied English-language sources (pp. 134, 136).

At this point, however, the critic of van Wolferen is likely to invoke the old cliché that in contrast to any Western country, the Japanese police (and citizens) have made the streets safe. This defense is not unlike praising Mussolini because he made the trains run on time. We agree that public order is nice, but we still want to know if more important values are also being upheld. Japan's low crime statistics are "an admirable achievement" and make it "the envy of the world," van Wolferen says (pp. 221, 194). But do those who celebrate Japanese safe streets recognize that the source of this safety lies not just with the police and law-abiding citizens, but also in carefully nurtured, cartel-like ties between the police and the gangsters, a relationship that ultimately includes connections with right-wing extremist groups and sympathetic although more moderate rightists in the Diet?

As the recent sokaiya scandals indicate, corporate boardrooms are gangster playgrounds. One of Japan's great cultural treasures, the film director Itami Juzo, got his face carved up by gangsters for portraying their shadowy activities in Minbo, or the Gentle Art of Japanese Extortion. The inability of the Finance Ministry to liquidate bankrupt property firms has much to do with the fact that many of these firms have been bought by yakuza, who use intimidation to hold onto them and continue to receive loans. Similarly, in the recent spat with the United States over port access for U.S. ships, the Japanese companies being fined by the Americans were actually glad to have American support because neither they nor the government were strong enough to dislodge the gangsters from their control over the Harbor Association.

What many Japanese critics resent about van Wolferen is that his account dwells entirely on the negative aspects of Japanese society and not its ideals. His account of Japan is as one-dimensional as a discussion of the role of law in American life that dwelt exclusively on L.A. Confidential or similar narratives of police corruption and racial violence. Van Wolferen counters this criticism in three ways. As a literalist he wonders how he could talk about Japanese ideals, when his complaint is precisely the absence in Japan of anything like the rule of law. For van Wolferen, "law's empire" should stretch around the globe. Indeed, Japanese institutions pay court to the idea of just such a law, but van Wolferen has a real case to make about the peculiarities of the law in Japan. However, his grumpy complaints that Japanese practices do not work in the way the law works in Holland, or the "West," are seriously incomplete arguments about how legal ideals are differently (and imperfectly) realized in Holland, France, Germany, the U.S. and Japan.

But van Wolferen makes an even more interesting claim. Enigma, he argues, does describe a certain genre of Japanese ideals, but they all have serious defects. They are "Japanist" ideologies extolling the virtues and habits of a collectivist society (pp. 245-54). There is no hint in the text that these "defective" Japanese ideals have any serious or defensible analogues in Western societies, but here van Wolferen is simply mistaken. While Western societies are roughly "liberal democracies," there is no consensus, as he imagines there is, about the superior value of "individualism" in them. Simply put, individualism is both an admired and contested ideal, even in the West. The alternative to liberal "individualism" is "communitarianism," a strategy by which, not unlike similar maneuvers in Japan, the indigenous particulars of a people's way of life are apotheosized as the source of worth, ideals, and pragmatic success. Van Wolferen seems wholly unaware of this prototypical Western debate pitting the communitarians against the liberal individualists.3

It is possible to be on van Wolferen's side in praising "individualism" and criticizing the effects of too much "community." But individualistic theories do not win hands down. True, Western communitarians who deplore individualist cultures might consider a visit to Japan in order to confront some of the negative aspects of their ideals. Van Wolferen is a good guide here. But reactions are hard to predict. They might instead discover in the Japanese case many of the advantages that drew them to communitarianism. In any event, a book that regards Western ideals as the indispensable talisman is simply irresponsible for not acknowledging the disagreement at the heart of Western political thought about what the good life is. This only encourages Asian nationalists to make the false distinction between Western "individualism" and Asian communitarian values.

Van Wolferen's third argument is by far his most interesting, and this is that the Japanese reject ideals because their culture has no way of distinguishing between everyday reality and ideals "transcendent" to the everyday. There is a blatant contradiction between van Wolferen's earlier argument that the Japanese have uninteresting or defective ideals and this new claim that they are incapable of having any ideals. Be that as it may, for van Wolferen transcendent ideals are a major part of Western experience, deeply connected to the shared Jewish and Christian (and let us not forget, Muslim) belief in a God transcendent to and governing human practices.

The absence of transcendent ideals in Japan lies at the heart of van Wolferen's whole critique of the society. Enigma may claim to be a book about "power" in the tradition of institutionalist political science, but its core argument is a philosophical one about culture. The absence of transcendence in Japanese life carries with it the implication that the Japanese are incapable of benefiting from Western experience understood as fundamentally shaped by the possibility of imagining transcendent, universal standards.

In presenting the reader with this big issue, van Wolferen seems to remove himself from the task of spelling out practical institutional reforms. His real subject is the "soul" and spirit of a people who, if the thesis is taken at all seriously, are simply incapable of reforming themselves or of exercising any autonomy whatsoever. What then are we to make of them? One can feel sympathy for a people stuck with irrational institutions or bad historical memories. But can one feel any connection with a people about whom it is alleged that their very character, sunken in its own particularity, denies the possibility of transcendent connections between them and others?

Even though van Wolferen has always denied this, his book often seems to lack human sympathy for its subject. Part of the problem lies in an overused metaphor. His claim to be sympathetic to the Japanese victims of "informal" and "irresponsible" power is eminently believable until he extends his analysis of the "system" from an institutional analysis of stalemate and paralysis to the murkier area of culture. Too deterministic, the term "system" then becomes a totalistic metaphor for, and indictment of, a people whose deep-seated mental paralysis leaves them no room to maneuver. The culture van Wolferen invokes comes crashing down a little too resoundingly on Japanese heads. In this respect his book shares a lineage with the "mass culture" theories of the 1940's and 1950's.4

However important it may be to think about critical issues in Japan, it is useful to remember that we are all in the unacknowledged grip of culture. By "culture" here I mean simply those deeply rooted mental habits about which it is difficult to achieve distance or balance. Why some habits leave people with less room to maneuver while others are more open-ended, and which "maneuvers" constitute the good life are important questions, but a discussion about them should not begin with the old saw that the West is free and Japan (or Asia) is not.

Is There Something that Westerners Uniquely Value?

For van Wolferen Japanese cultural attitudes represent a reversal of Western culture. But what exactly is being reversed? The West is said to be universalist and individualist, but oddly enough this tells us little about what these universalizing individualists value, except perhaps that whatever their goals, they are somehow (and often merely by definitional fiat) self-chosen. But is there something that Westerners time and again choose because they uniquely value it? Perhaps there is no conclusive answer, but let us at least note some writers who have tried to answer this question. Matthew Arnold, for example, argued in Culture and Anarchy that two distinct cultures or sources of authority resonate through the Western tradition: Hellenism and Hebraism: "The governing idea of Hellenism is spontaneity of consciousness, Hebraism strictness of conscience." Both are perfectionist ideals. Hellenic freedom, inventiveness, innovation, and love of spontaneity are balanced by Hebraic (i.e., Christian) duty, respect for judgment, conscience, and the restraint of higher morality.

If we use these terms, van Wolferen can be interpreted as making the following claim: that, guided by their indigenous culture, the Japanese will feel the force of neither the ideal of spontaneity nor the ideal of strict conscience in their lives. The Japanese are not autonomous enough to be spontaneous, and without a sky-hook-i.e., a transcendental ideal-they will lack "civic courage" (p. 211).

Van Wolferen notes, as does Maruyama Masao, that Japanese Marxists almost introduced transcendent ideals into Japan. Van Wolferen neglects the Japanese Christians who, although small in numbers, are a more important influence than he thinks. But there may be other ways to give Arnold's ideals a Japanese accent. Van Wolferen seems to miss the resemblance between his own notions of conscientiousness and that of both the dutiful company loyalists and traditionalist devotees of makoto, or sincerity. Japan also has its Hellenic element-spontaneity and lightness of touch-although these are more often night maneuvers, the stuff of floating world humor and the saké-lubricated public. Perhaps Japan is Hellenic at night and Hebraic by day.

If like Adorno, Horkheimer, and the theorists of mass culture, we always invoke metaphors that imply a people are inevitably in the grip of alien forces, we may miss the sources of "spontaneity" in their lives. If a people do not act in ways that conform to our "strict conscience" or sense of "civic courage," this may mean they are moral cowards, or it may mean that we have not yet discovered that which moves them to bravery and conscientiousness.

Japan and the Reinvention of Machiavellian Political Science

Despite their complaints about the absence of methodological rigor in Enigma, many academic political scientists share with van Wolferen crucial assumptions about the character of a political science whose aim is, as van Wolferen says repeatedly, to explain power. This "power" is unshareable, zero-sum, unstable, portending rise or decline, and evokes a military vocabulary of mobilization, concentration, rapid response, and sacrifice. This Machiavellian science was reborn in the crises of the early twentieth century. "Japan" today is both a defining object domain within the optic of this science and a survivor of the historical crises that re-established it. Here van Wolferen wants it both ways. He is both a Machiavellian and a liberal, and he fails to choose between them. Van Wolferen simultaneously regards Japan as a successful response to a Machiavellian universe and then invokes liberal ideals to condemn Japan. But liberalism reflects an Enlightenment confidence in a potential harmonizability of interests that is simply rendered irrelevant by the Machiavellian analysis of power.

For van Wolferen, postwar Japan was only superficially made over in the likeness of a Western democracy. It is still very much a product of the "social control" bureaucratic ideologies and policies of the 1930's. Several versions of this thesis are also available from Japanese authors. Professor Noguchi Yukio, a former Finance Ministry official, argues that Japan's postwar government should be called the "1940 System" and not the "1955 System." The latter term, referring to the consolidation of conservative parliamentary parties, makes Japan out to be an essentially parliamentary democracy albeit one with a long-lasting form of one-party rule. Noguchi's label concentrates attention on the manner in which Japanese institutions are continuous with those designed during the fascist era to serve a war economy. Another plausible source for van Wolferen's views is Maruyama Masao, the famous Tokyo University law professor. Maruyama argued that a debilitating Tokugawa heritage and ultranationalist sentiment still held postwar Japan in its grip, views echoed in Enigma. Van Wolferen is not far from the sotto voce opinion of many on the Japanese left who fear Japan's bureaucratic institutions, combined with the traditional docility of its citizens, leave it open to authoritarianism. At the same time, the Japanese right fears the sympathies on the left for totalitarian solutions.

In fact, the origins of "social control" ideology drew from both left and right. In the crisis of the 1930's, left and right seemed not only to collide but occasionally to merge. Often the sympathies of the 1930's social control bureaucrats, right-wing though they were in terms of authoritarianism and ethnic nationalism, were also pro-Marxist, filled with concern for the victims of capitalism, and inclined toward state solutions to these problems. It is possible to regard Japan as the last surviving collectivist solution dating from the 1930's to the alleged "problem" of capitalism. Such solutions were experimented with everywhere during these crisis years. They corresponded to a long-building ideological shift in the study of politics away from Enlightenment assumptions about a potential harmony of interests among self-regulating citizens and organizations and toward a Machiavellian, social Darwinist, and Leninist science of zero-sum competition.

According to Robert Skidelsky, the biographer of John Maynard Keynes, even the United States tried such solutions. Franklin Roosevelt's National Recovery Administration was, until it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, a "corporatist" answer to the problems of the Great Depression that exactly paralleled Hitler's: "the social experiment which seemed at the time closest in spirit to Hitler's recovery program was Roosevelt's New Deal."5

Citing the historian John Garraty, Skidelsky seizes upon the rise of the social control bureaucrat in both Germany and the United States. "Production controls to prevent gluts, limitation of entry of new companies to lessen competition, and price and wage manipulation were characteristics of industrial policy in both countries" (pp. 60-61). Both Roosevelt and Hitler were pro-worker without being pro-union. Roosevelt initially resisted the Wagner Labor Relations Act of 1935. Both developed big public works programs, were sentimentally solicitous of rural interests, and invoked a rhetoric of economic war. The difference was that Hitler was preparing for a real war. Constitutional checks inhibited and then eliminated the American corporatist experiment but did not so inhibit the Germans.

Japan is not then aberrant. It is the only case, however, whose institutions (Noguchi's "1940 System") survived defeat in war and occupation. This system was in its origins as much Western as Asian, but it was also illiberal and authoritarian, an approach the West has now (for the moment) rejected.

The political philosopher, Judith Shklar (herself an emigre from Nazi persecution) notes that the teaching of the "Western tradition" at Harvard in the 1950's was supposed to "immunize the young against fascism." But Shklar thought that something more was at work: "I would guess that in the prewar Depression years some of the young [Harvard] men who devised this pedagogic ideology may have been tempted by attitudes that eventually coalesced into fascism, and now recoiled at what they had wrought." She adds a line that will please van Wolferen's critics who think he idealizes the West: "they [now] wanted a different past, a 'good' West, a 'real' West, not the actual one that had marched into the First World War and onwards."6

An unlikely precursor of illiberal projects, Frederick Jackson Turner, the romantic American historian of the Western frontier, effectively announced a central theme in the global renewal of Machiavellian political science. His optimistic account belied an underlying pessimism. The frontier was closing down, ending a world order of cheap, abundant resources, including the advantage of space (i.e., distance from neighbors) all of which had underwritten the possibilities of democratic self-regulation and individual autonomy. The disappearance of these resources and the increasing irrelevance of these virtues were exactly the premises that illiberal thinkers seized upon in signaling a renewed international war of all against all. The fear of closing frontiers was another element contributing to the decline of Enlightenment political science and its belief in a harmony of interests. The disappearance of the frontier becomes the paranoid image behind Hitler's desire for lebensraum, Mussolini's attack on Abyssinia, and the Japanese seizure of Manchuria.

Democracy requires some faith in the capacities of a people spontaneously to regulate themselves (a notion van Wolferen fears is almost wholly absent in the consciousness of Japan's bureaucrats). The closing of the frontier raises doubts about the ability of people to cope with the consequences: the rise of dense urban conglomerations, larger and larger organizations (companies, political parties, unions) seeking oligarchic advantage, and the rise of great power competition for ever more limited resources. Such competition brought one face to face with the stark facts of power inequality in the international hierarchy of states. Social Darwinist and Machiavellian themes, "buried in the sub-conscious of late nineteenth century Europe," fed into Hitler's thinking. These were merely ideas until the onset of the Great Depression, when the mercantilist foreign economic policies of the great powers confirmed them by repudiating visions of cooperation (Skidelsky, pp. 33, 60).

Lenin's transformation of Marxism supplied another key element in the promiscuous commingling of right and left political currents. Marx had denied that capitalist exchange was beneficial to workers, but owing to technical innovation and increases in productivity, factors ignored by Marx, wages rose anyway, thus threatening the validity of his indictment. In Imperialism, Lenin met this challenge by transforming the internal class conflict into an international conflict between have and have-not nations. This doctrine leapt over barriers between the right and left to become a pervasive theme among discontented nations as well as aggrieved classes.

Lenin thus contributed to Hitler's arguments in Mein Kampf that the "welfare of the people could only be secured by foreign policy" which suitably mobilized and organized the nation. These ideas were a staple theme found in a wide diversity of regimes in the 1930's. Trade policy was a mirror for the new politics: "every country . . . tried to break or control the link between national welfare and international trade by means of tariffs, quotas, competitive adjustments, capital and foreign exchange controls, competitive devaluations, international cartels, and bilateral clearing and payments systems" (Skidelsky, pp. 58-59).

This history has an inescapable relevance to a consideration of Japanese bureaucratic attitudes, for the Machiavellian assumptions whose renewal the crisis years fostered are still part of mainstream economic ideology in Japan. One can sanitize these policies by presenting them as merely technical maneuvers of those pursuing normal foreign economic policy, but their history reveals cynical origins in a desperate world where it seemed apparent that only a few could win, and where the idea of harmony among nations and interests was a fairy tale for the gullible.

One of the reasons, I think, for the fascination mercantilist Japan exerts on political science is that a sizable body of Western scholars is still convinced these Machiavellian assumptions are absolutely correct. Japan is a much-transformed country from the crisis years, but its officials still harbor attitudes to power that offer a beautiful confirming model for those drawn to a Machiavellian zero-sum political science. Even the Japanese sense of national vulnerability is simply the flip side of the social control ideologies. When you don't have the upper hand in a world that you are convinced is dog-eat-dog, you tend to nourish a victim consciousness.

Van Wolferen claims that indigenous Japanese ideologies reinforce the bureaucratic obsession with control and the nation's overall sense of being always and forever in a fragile position. He may be right, but since there were always competing indigenous traditions-e.g., Fukuzawa Yukichi's Enlightenment liberalism, the issue is why did these paranoid nationalist themes survive and not others?

I believe there are two reasons, and neither has much to do with ancient Tokugawa origins. They are instead largely the unintended effects of the Machiavellian assumptions of the "social control" bureaucrats themselves. The first is a spill-over effect. If cooperation is zero-sum in the international arena, what prevents it from being zero-sum within the nation? Understandings of external events contaminates the relations of Japanese state officials with each other. The excessively faction-ridden character of the fragmented Japanese state may be traced to the effects of this Machiavellian paranoia about the absence of stable cooperation.

The second reason is that, as Friedrich Hayek and Robert Skidelsky suggest, a little control is never enough: "partial planning creates problems which, to the planner, appear soluble only by more extensive planning." Apart from wartime, there is never enough "voluntary consent for the goals of the central plan." Thus, planners must find ways to discount or circumvent "consumer" refusal to consent to the planners' "producer" economy (Skidelsky, p. 81). Officials concerned to preserve market mechanisms cannot give in, however, to the pressure to plan everything, as the traditionally authoritarian state might. But given the logic of planning, Japanese state officials must be left with a deeply frustrating sense of the fragility of all that they do.

In Japan we see a new version of the security dilemma: an institutional search for a security that can never successfully be achieved because (1) the ideological premises about outsiders spill over to contaminate the views of insiders, and (2) the defects of planning inevitably lead planners toward excessive controls which harm the economy. This may explain the pervasiveness of cultural notions about how uniquely "cooperative" the Japanese are. This is a largely unsuccessful attempt to immunize officials and citizens from applying Machiavellian assumptions about foreigners to themselves, while giving officials a weapon of verbal abuse to use against those who, because they are reluctant to give their assent to the "producer" economy, require the planners endlessly to make new plans.

But suppose the reader objects, "Hasn't the Japanese political economic model been a great success?" Certainly van Wolferen, in common with all the revisionists, thought so a few years ago. Today one can maintain the thesis of successful bureaucratic control of the economy only if one wishes to argue that the trillions of yen lost in the last six years were somehow an intentional administrative masquerade to lull foreign economic competitors into complacency. Van Wolferen might still claim that the bureaucrats and their business allies have not lost control, as he did in Enigma (pp. 394-95). But he would have to beg the question: control over what? As is suggested by the relative failure of the Administrative Reform Council in the summer of 1997 to do more than reaffirm the power of MITI and the Finance Ministry against their bureaucratic competitors, there is no doubt that these officials are putting up a fierce battle to maintain control over their own turf. The real question for Japan is, however, whether the continued strength of these agencies, and their resistance to transforming themselves into "regulatory" mechanisms, will result in control or loss of mastery over the Japanese economy? It is now easier to bet on the latter.

Three "Empty Center" Theories

Several of van Wolferen's arguments about the system have been shown up by recent events. The flourishing of Aum Shinrikyo points to a far from efficient police surveillance of system opponents. The collapse of the bubble economy, and the government's futile efforts to manage an economic recovery suggest the gang who couldn't shoot straight. But these very events and others confirm brilliantly van Wolferen's most important insight: that Japan's institutional problems stem not from the strength of the state, but from the weakness of central authority. Paralysis at the center and mutually contending clusters of power outside this "empty," unoccupiable center make coordination and management exceptionally difficult.

One discerns three reasons for this. Two are institutional, one cultural. The first is the most obvious, though for some reason van Wolferen resists saying it. In the technical vocabulary of comparative government, Japan has a weak parliamentary regime. The second reason is that the Japanese government lacks the fundamental prerequisite successful liberal states require to administer systems of rights: an enforceable law.

The third and most controversial argument is a cultural claim that, oddly enough, has only been adequately discussed by the Japanese writer, Maruyama Masao. The first two theories posit an emptiness at the center of both political relations and social relations. The third posits a cultural emptiness: the absence in everyday life of the means to encourage the development of an autonomous personal identity equipped with the discursive instruments (the give and take of principled argument) necessary for preserving and transforming that identity. Far from encouraging such focus, personal identity in Japan shimmers in multiplicity, ever responsive to the pressure of others. Unable to achieve an integrated perspective upon the wider environment, Japanese seek their comfort zone in loyalty to a single narrowly defined group.

Personal identity in every country is always and everywhere subject to the same forces of inconsistent accommodation to others, but only with the advent of a self-consciously oppositional "post-modernist" movement is this valorized as an ideal. Up to then it had always been deplored as leading to moral inconsistency or conformity, as Tocqueville declared when he discovered similar psychological mechanisms penetrating the soul of democratic citizens in majoritarian democracies, such as the United States and France.

Tocqueville lamented: "I know no country in which, speaking generally, there is less independence of mind and true freedom of thought than in America," a judgment echoed today by many commentators on Japan. However, by laying the problem solely at the feet of Confucian disciples, van Wolferen does not seem especially alert to the manner in which classical liberals like Tocqueville and Mill were wary of the conformity-inducing effects of Western democratic societies.

Whatever the special sources of docility in Asia, Western liberal solutions to the democratic pressure of others (as well as to the despotic pressure of rulers) makes three demands. One is the construction of an autonomous personality with a strong, but not unbending sense of self. Another is a system of human relations that stabilizes as it rises above the shifting opinions that otherwise constitute the glue of group life. This system is constituted by a sovereign legal authority capable of enforcing contracts and human rights. The third element is an accountable parliament with the authority and capacity to manage its own internal quarrels as well as those of its unruly servants in the civil service.

This linked agenda restates the requirements of liberalism. I do not believe, as van Wolferen seems to, that in adhering to these elements of liberalism, one must opt for "individualism" over "communitarianism." If one opts for the latter, however, it must be consistent with the development of these three linked elements of "responsible" self rule. Of course, one might find the fundamental post-modernist alternative more attractive, but this would be opting, as Maruyama Masao always thought, for a "system of irresponsibility."7 In the following three sections, I explore further the three missing elements of self-rule in Japan.

A Weak Parliamentary Regime

Who rules Japan? For my money, Japan is a classically "weak" parliamentary regime. Van Wolferen surveys the likely Western types of government, but finds them all flawed as models for Japan. At one level he appears to be rehashing an old debate about how America is governed, with C. Wright Mills and the "elite model" theorists on one side confronting Robert Dahl and the "pluralists" on the other. Enigma 's ubiquitously dominating "system" of elites and a passive, dominated citizenry suggests the elite model. But van Wolferen also claims that the multiple elites who make up the "system" either cannot cooperate or refuse to do so. This suggests the pluralist model, albeit a dysfunctional pluralism. Van Wolferen rejects this notion on the grounds that contending plural groups should have significant political discussions and he detects none in, say, parliamentary factional conflict. In addition, the voters have no influence over conflicts in the Diet.

Yet this corresponds almost exactly to what happens in weak parliamentary regimes locked in unwinnable end games. Examples include present day Italy, Fourth Republic France, Third Republic France, and Weimar Germany. The perennial governing party in the Third Republic was the centrist Radical Party which no majority of voters wanted, but which positioned itself as the balance wheel in what has long been identified as a "stalemate" or "blocked" politics.8 "Immobilist" has been the corresponding term for Japan.

Stanley Hoffmann's classic account of Third Republic France (1870-1940) could well describe contemporary Japan. The basis of the French system, he wrote, was "a peculiarly complex . . . stalemate society." Behind the "facade" of self-rule, "the bureaucracy made decisions . . . The regime had plenty of brakes and not much of a motor. Democratic . . . government, which requires that the executive be both reasonably strong and the expression of popular will, did not emerge. Representative government was never reconciled with effective executive leadership. [The] game [of] politics meant the triumph of representation over leadership." As has often been claimed about Japan, the "stalemate society" bore "the marks of France's old feudal order." The Fifth Republic (1958-) may have "discarded" one of "two layers of paralysis," that of the weak parliament, "but the deeper causes were in the country itself, that is, in the reactions of the various groups when hit by processes of modernization" (Hoffmann, pp. 2, 17, 61, 93). Similarly Japan in 1997, though not paralyzed by modernization, seems to be immobilized by the effort to transform itself for competition in a neoliberal world order.

Van Wolferen mentions France as a candidate for comparison because it has a rather similar "administrative state," i.e., higher civil service, not because of its parliamentary politics. He thinks the two states are not comparable because "the French bureaucracy serves a highly centralized state," while the Japanese state is not centralized (pp. 155-57). This is true as far as it goes, but van Wolferen forgets that despite this centralized state, France in its Third and Fourth Republics went through periods of absolute policy paralysis. Public discourse in the parliament was mere noise. As in Japan, behind the scenes the permanent civil service continued to operate the government.

Unlike van Wolferen, I believe Japan has a wider range of political opinions than the U.S., which lacks both a communist party and a hard nationalist right. We might agree, however, on the immobility and lack of fluidity in these opinions. Van Wolferen's real complaint about Japan is that it doesn't have a public life. Its institutions don't encourage it, and evidently the education and the mentality of its citizens don't either. Is this because of corporatism? Whether in its fascist form, in Mussolini's Italy, or "democratic" form, in the small postwar European democracies such as Austria and the Netherlands, the corporatist state co-opts nominally "private" groups by giving them privileged roles in decision making. Whatever its other advantages, this system has the effect of undermining public debate and public life by circumventing the "talking spaces," beginning with parliament (the word comes from the French, "parler," to talk). It renders decisions less visible to public scrutiny, and discriminates against new groups who are not yet included in the "privatized" relationship between the state and group life.

Unenforceable Law and Informal Power

Van Wolferen is right to suspect that the problems of law and ineffective enforcement are keys to understanding Japan. Japan is not only a weak parliamentary system guided, as many such regimes are, by a permanent civil service, it is a country where the law is largely a facade.

It is possible, however, to defend this model on quasi-communitarian grounds as John Haley seems to in Authority Without Power. For Haley, Japan's largely symbolic law provides standards of moral judgment and highlights abuses, even though it often has very weak coercive or enforcement power. This means conciliation and mediation are preferred over confrontational courtroom dramas. Protection against abuses is offered not by the legal system but by the informal power of groups.

To assure continued balance (and, alas, stalemate), leaders must constantly call for meetings in order to fend off challenges from other groups as well as internal challenges. Such a system of protection works against innovation, so much so that one must introduce supplementary hypotheses about the presence of "innovators" able to override the constellations of informal powers that everywhere define and defend group privilege. There are obviously self-reinforcing benefits for the participants in these structures of informal power, but their activities require so many face to face encounters that one wonders at the vast wasted energy and time they require.

One of Haley's reviewers, Carl Steenstrup, argues that Authority Without Power holds the key to how Japan is governed:

Haley has spotted the basic forces that hold Japanese society together:
hierarchically organized, competing power groups, rather than objective
morals, law, and predictable enforcement. Power is held by millions of such
groups, and within each group, by senior members. Those who come out on
top are party politicians, business captains, power brokers, and some media

Steenstrup concludes that "Haley basically approves Karel van Wolferen's model of Japanese society, but improves the model through localizing the power holders."9

One of the potentially attractive arguments for Haley's positive Japanese model (the mirror image of van Wolferen's negative model) is that as a consequence of replacing rights-oriented adjudication with community-oriented negotiation and conciliation, the system is more "egalitarian" than a system of formally "equal" rights could be. In order to assure that harmony prevails and conflict is avoided, while needed innovations are permitted to go forward, this system of informal power relations compensates losers in ways that don't occur in the U.S. One can be skeptical of this proposition. More likely only the politically powerful or already rich "losers" get compensated this way. But let us assume, nonetheless, that this process of "compensation" does roughly result in effectively egalitarian, redistributionist policies. Japan has, in this view, a kind of socialism that works even if guided by conservative elites.

But this process of compensation is now one of Japan's biggest problems. If losers who are relatively unproductive are always compensated and subsidized from the earnings of the productive, the net result in Japan will be a stalemated system in which all the productivity advantages are lost by being dissipated over groups that have neither the ability nor the will to use them to create new productivity. The very "benevolence" of this patriarchal and quietly authoritarian model is slowly articulating a path of economic decline for the once formidable competitor.

Japanese Identity and the Maruyama-Van Wolferen Alliance

The key issue raised by van Wolferen's book concerns Japanese ideals and what they reveal about human identity in Japan. Some have criticized van Wolferen for constantly invoking Western public ideals as a club to bash the Japanese while ignoring both Western failures and Japanese ideals. But is this fair or accurate? In reading van Wolferen one cannot help being impressed by the parallels with Professor Maruyama Masao, the respected post-war critic who could almost be called a Japanese van Wolferen.

If anything Maruyama was even more abusive about Japanese practices. The people were "vegetative," inert, and docile in the face of the emperor system. In his remarkable essay, "From Carnal Literature to Carnal Politics," Maruyama maintains that Japanese progress to modernity was arrested by the people's incapacity to achieve "autonomy" and "subjectivity" (i.e., van Wolferen's "individualism"). This is revealed in the "carnal" person whose pornographic sensuality is a kind of sign of his (or her) inability to achieve transcendence. The result is a life "cluttered up with all sorts of human relationships" which are not integrated one with the other. The whole is often blatantly and ethically inconsistent. One behaves well in situationally "established" relationships but "disgracefully towards strangers." Political factions make no pretense of principled discussion. Their activities are wholly given over to "personal connections." Maruyama concludes:

We've always had a vast arena in Japan where social coordination takes place
without ever going through the channel of organizations. The things that go on
in this arena are everything from naked violence, terror, and intimidation, down
to the subtler pressures exerted by oyabun and other kinds of bosses. I suppose
that we can say that these are methods of solving the problem by means of direct
[i.e., carnal] human relations.10

This quite effectively covers almost everything van Wolferen says in The Enigma of Japanese Power. The absence of a transcendental ideal or competency results in moral relativism and practical confusion.

There is more than a hint of puritanism lurking in the demands of both authors for moral consistency. Given that humans are simply incapable of living up to the ideal of consistency, the puritan conscience tends toward misanthropy. This should not be mistaken for "Japan bashing." Genuine misanthropy is aimed at everyone in or out of Japan. On the one hand, Japan leaves much for the puritan to complain about; on the other hand, the culture seems to disarm him (or her) in advance. In Japan the distinction between tatemae and honne (surface appearance versus the underlying reality) is a ubiquitous excuse. It is difficult therefore to invoke the vice of hypocrisy in a country where people often frankly admit they live inconsistent lives on different moral planes. Hypocrisy, as Judith Shklar recognized, is more typically the abiding vice of puritan critics themselves who are almost invariably incapable of living up to their own demanding ideals for consistent behavior.11 To this the puritan might respond, better to be caught failing to live up to ideals than to pursue none or only complacent ones.

Maruyama, like van Wolferen, was accused of idealizing the West and denigrating Japan. Maruyama's response was simply to admit it.12 For him European transcendental ideals were a universal legacy for all mankind. If European ideals work for America, why shouldn't they work for Asia or Africa? There is nothing illogical in maintaining this. Maruyama had many Meiji era liberal predecessors-for example Fukuzawa Yukichi-in thinking Western ideals were applicable to Japan. Even though Maruyama thought that Japan had missed out on a universalistic politics, he did not think it impossible in the future to create an alternative to the ethnic particularism that then prevailed in the so called "overcoming modernity movement," and that now seems to flourish in newer forms, for example in the idealization (of Murakami Yasusuke et al.) of the Ie household as the particularist element that permitted Japan to leap into capitalist post-modernity.

Maruyama and van Wolferen share a common insistence upon the significance of living under the tutelage of cultural universalism. This requires the skill and capacity to "transcend" the pressure of an immediate environment in search of a more comprehensive integration. Unlike Maruyama, however, van Wolferen seems committed to a religious interpretation of Western universalism. Although Christianity is one of the great examples of universalistic ethics (and may even, if the Weberians are right, account for the rise of capitalism), this view falsifies the origins and multiple sources of sustenance of the idea of universalism in the West. Van Wolferen's view leads to the formula: without Christianity, no culture of transcendence and no universalizable human rights. But not only are the historical premises wrong, Christianity has often been regarded as the enemy of efforts and achievements now widely identified with Western modernity, such as science and republican self-rule.

One must remember that Plato and Greek rationalism preceded Christianity, and that the universalist theology called Christianity owes a great deal to the fact that before they were converted, Augustine and other Church fathers were trained in classical Greek rationalism. Plato teaches us to begin with the opinion of an oral community-the pressures of Socrates' almost accidental encounters in dusty Athenian streets-but never to end there. Plato's Republic best describes this route to "transcendence" by offering a hauntingly poetic image of human existence in a cave to which the "true" world of sun-lit nature is alien. It was not merely incidental that Plato suggested those who had achieved the autonomous mobility to get out of the cave nevertheless had a duty to return, to face up to the prejudices of those still enchained, and to introduce them to the procedures of rational self scrutiny.

This was the first model of transcendental universalism. Philosophy, not theology stood at the center of Western culture. The Church, and later the schismatic Protestant sects were merely other roads taken by this Greek conceptual invention. As Alfred North Whitehead once said, Christianity was Platonism for the masses. Note here a singular irony. The sun is both the central symbol of rational aspiration in the West's first philosophical characterization of the possibilities of a people living with transcendental ideals and the central symbol of an allegedly nontranscendental culture whose rising sun emblem still graces its flag.

Not all Western universalisms were universally regarded as praiseworthy. The failed god called communism is a modern example. Another was the Church itself during the Italian Renaissance. Renaissance rationalism, as evinced in scientists like Galileo, had to invent an alterative, secretly secular universalism to counter the Church's wrong path into empire and obscurantism.

The Church universal was not only a barrier to science; it was a barrier to self-government. The leaders of Renaissance Italian city states faced the problem of how their polities could recover a sense of their own autonomy. Scholars could invoke Aristotle on civic republicanism or urge an imitation of their ancient predecessors in pagan Rome. But how could they get out from under domination by a corrupt Church that legitimated itself on universalistic grounds? The civic humanist traditions of Florence and other self-absorbed polities were arguably not constructed as a competing "universalism," but as "particularist" alternatives to a failed universalism. As Machiavelli put it, he preferred the salvation of his city (Florence) to the salvation of his soul. With the Protestant schism we see a more pious and less secular rejection of the transcendental universal truths of the Roman Church, but only at the cost of demonstrating, through the eternal splits among Protestant Churches, that the ability to universalize solves no human problem if only because there is never any single way to do so.

When Japanese or other Asian nationalists reject the universal ideals of the Western tradition, it is too hasty to conclude that they are incapable of "transcendent" thinking. Instead, they may simply be incapable of acceding to an ideal they regard as corrupt, just as Florentine republicans refused to accede to the universal authority of the Church. In my view, it would be a mistake to regard Maruyama's and van Wolferen's Western ideals as corrupt. But it is true that the attractiveness of ideals must always be persuasively argued, and not simply asserted.

Hegelian Japan

Have we really exhausted the terrain of Japanese transcendent ideals by saying it must either be Maruyama or the deification of Japanese ethnic particularism? Perhaps not. Hegel's Philosophy of Right is an even more distinguished predecessor of van Wolferen's critique than Maruyama. This might not surprise us if we recall the enormous prestige Meiji era reformers conferred upon German law and institutions.

Hegel argued that "in modern times we expect to have our own views, our own volition, and our own conscience." He invoked the now familiar phrase, civil society, to describe the sphere where these rights of "subjective freedom" were active, but he did not hesitate to identify the activities of men and women in civil society as also being "selfish."13 However necessary civil society was to the development of freedom, it was represented in Hegel's text as "the ethical . . . split into its extremes and lost" (Paragraph 184 Addition, p. 221). Selfish individuals may pursue their own ends, but they must also accept "universality" into their calculations. First, each individual was expected to recognize a role in a universal system of duties. (The consciousness for accomplishing this is missing in Japan, both Maruyama and van Wolferen insist.) Second, isolated individuals were buttressed in their sense of dignity and duty by belonging to a "corporation."

More like the Japanese than the American model, Hegel's "corporation" was a "second family." It served not merely economic and instrumental ends, but ethical and expressive purposes, conferring upon "work" a public, "universal" character. But ultimately, this consciousness of serving universal purposes was insufficient without the state or the efforts of a certain class, called-what else-the "universal class," which "has the universal interests of society as its business." This class was quite evidently the national civil service, and Hegel believed that in showing deference to the thoughts of these officials, a people would secure public freedom. "The corporation," for instance, "must come under the supervisions of the state," for otherwise, Hegel averred in an eery anticipation of the keiretsu impasse in Japan today, "it would . . . become ossified and set in its ways, and decline into a miserable guild system," whose members' emotional affiliations restrict any wider integration of feelings or commitments (Paragraph 205, 255 Addition, pp. 237, 273).

Hegel expected civil society to produce "individuals," but he also thought they would not be too demonstrative about their distinctness. In Hegel's civil society, well educated people are not given to John Stuart Mill type celebrations of "individuality." "By educated people we may understand," Hegel insisted, "those who do everything as others do it and do not flaunt their particular characteristics" (Paragraph 187 Addition, p. 226). If Hegel expected that quiet non-ostentatiousness would characterize the educated members of "civil society," we might want to ask why van Wolferen regards the forbearance, modesty, and circumspection of Japanese public life as a repudiation of the ideals of civil society.

Van Wolferen exaggerates his stark contrast between a quasi-authoritarian, quasi-benevolent bureaucracy on one side and a docile, passive mass of subjects on the other. Japan's national civil service has always had its popular constituencies starting with the middle and upper class parents who want their sons (and now daughters) to succeed in one of the ministries. In addition, as Sheldon Garon has recently argued, all sorts of progressive middle class pressure groups have pitched their tents on the expansive terrain provided by bureaucratic authority. The distant Japanese state-in the form of the Naimusho, the old Home Ministry-was more or less captured by the same kinds of middle class groups that made up the American progressive coalition, including women's groups and Christians-despite the fact that the latter are a tiny minority in Japan. The difference is that these middle class allies of the Japanese state are far from being interested in fostering individualism or laissez-faire policies and instead constantly endeavor to enlist the state in its projects of social control and a sense of national mission.14

The success of these groups may be one reason that the public bureaucracy of Japan enjoys the prestige it does. But this success may also account for the relative invisibility of a civil society that has in effect buried itself in the state. This effect seems to me dangerous and unserviceable for all the reasons that Maruyama cites, but there is no denying that in the protean diversity of Western cases, Hegelianism was a prominent alternative. It was the proximate origin for all developmental philosophies and a predecessor of Chalmers Johnson's "developmental state" thesis. Hegel predates and lends a conceptual framework to Friedrich List (although Hegel does not predate List's actual instructor in mercantilism, the American nationalist, Alexander Hamilton). Insofar as Hegel adequately takes into account the subjective rights of individuals, his political philosophy also ranks among the liberal alternatives.

While not to my mind a wholly satisfactory liberalism, Hegel's, as muse to the Japanese "system," has the additional attraction of seeming to address van Wolferen's concern about the absence of transcendence. For Hegel was a harsh critic of transcendental ideals that were split off from the "particulars" of a people's existence, arguing that ideals must not only guide but show congruence with the concrete particulars of a culture.

Proponents of a Hegelian Japan might want to run with this theme, but they will have the cautionary tale of Maruyama Masao to consider. For Maruyama was also a thoroughgoing Hegelian who discovered that when he tried to work out a Hegelian account of his people, he was forced to conclude that they lacked the cultural equipment to transform cultural particularity into universality. That equipment he identified as "modernity," itself the achievement of a history of self-overcoming. He further specified it as a capacity for "autonomy," "subjectivity," and a "system of responsibility." Without this, one is stuck in "immediate" relations with one's environment, as Hegel put it, or in "carnality," as Maruyama expressed it. In addition, Hegel regarded institutional sovereignty as a prerequisite for an accountable government and a system of rights, and this is scarcely consistent with a weak parliamentary regime or with an under-enforced legal system.

If Hegelianism doesn't work as a form of ideological defense for the Japanese system, that leaves only two possible approaches to ward off criticism. The first is (some version of) postmodernism which flatly rejects the idealism embodied in a transcendental culture. Interestingly, both modernists and postmodernists agree upon what it is that the latter rejected: namely, force. Why do modernists support force? Think of that transcendental sojourner from Star Wars, Luke Sky Walker urged on by the injunction, "may the force be with you." Self-summoned "force" lies behind the modernist system of responsibilities: in the state, an accountable parliament; in society, an enforceable law; and in the person, a self-mastered will responsive and accountable to others. In "force-less" post-modern scripts, we are more likely to hear "go with the flow," addressed to kindred spirits, and to critics, a muttered "whatever," in Japanese, shikata ga nai. In giving up on "force" (i.e., inner discipline, focused responsibility), the postmodernists abandon politics and history to "power."

The dance of postmodern possibility may satisfy our anarchist moods, but it is too formless to fit a world that remains complexly structured, even when under the spell of chaotic power. In search of a more structured yet less Western-centered and "hegemonic" solution to the question of Japanese culture, the aesthetic philosopher, Yamazaki Masakazu, offers to split the difference between East and West, local and universal. Distinguishing between (local) culture and (two kinds of) civilization, he suggests that Japanese and other Asians live in a split level moral universe:

The peoples of East Asia today can be said to partake of modern Western
civilization at the topmost stratum of their world, to retain their national
civilizations and nation-states in the middle stratum, and to preserve their
traditional cultures in their day-to-day lives. In political affairs, human rights
and democratic principles belong to the first stratum, distinct bodies of law and
political institutions to the second, and political wheeling and dealing to the

This generous accommodation appears attractive until one raises the question of the moral schizophrenia of someone torn by the inevitable conflicts between the levels. "Political wheeling and dealing" of the kind Maruyama and van Wolferen complain about prevents "human rights and democratic principles" from being implemented, and law from being enforced. A third level core culture of resilient "wheeling and dealing" only reinforces the incentives maintaining Maruyama's "carnal" existence, which is incapable of sufficiently integrating its experience for the "civilizational" levels of democracy and law to have much impact.

Pressures of unintegrated third level core cultures are manifestly present in the West as well. Louis Hartz's old claim that America was a "Lockian" rights-oriented civilization has recently been challenged by radical critics like Rogers Smith, who is more impressed by the core "racism" of the local culture.16


Van Wolferen's book Enigma, like Maruyama's "Carnal Politics," raises the classic orientalizing theme of "why isn't Japan more like the West?" I have tried to demonstrate that there is an answer to the question of Japanese ideals, and that it is organized around Hegel's notion of a privileged civil service as a substitute for more rambunctious ways of organizing a society. Hegel may not be everyone's cup of tea, but he is ultimately less troubling than that other Western ghost, Machiavelli. Those preferring Machiavelli's assumptions about power will surely have a harder time integrating their approach with an Enlightenment harmony of interests. This is no doubt why economists are the natural enemies of Machiavellian political science, since they like to assert the existence of Enlightenment harmony, often well in advance of its actual appearance.

Japanese officials are today bedeviled at every turn by their inability to cope with issues of military security, so it may be odd to claim about them that they are in the grip of Machiavellian assumptions. But precisely such assumptions tell them that there are no stable alliances, and that the best a small power can do is to maintain its distance from larger powers. As Peter Katzenstein has suggested, Japanese officials have a preference for realpolitik assumptions in the external environment.17 The distrust of the world fostered by Japan's coming of age along with the rebirth of Machiavellianism in the West led Japan, after its defeat in war, to a parallel distrust in itself. This general absence of trust underscores an inertial reluctance of (some) Japanese officials fully to engage a liberal alliance formation, a liberal trade regime, or internal reforms, despite tentative initiatives (by others) in all three directions.


1. In the text, names of Japanese nationals are given in their proper Japanese order, family name first. Citations to Karel van Wolferen, The Enigma of Japanese Power: People and Politics in a Stateless Nation (1989) are from the paper edition, Vintage Books, 1990, which includes a new introduction and epilogue. Van Wolferen's views were first showcased in his "The Japan Problem," Foreign Affairs, Vol. 66 (Spring 1987).
2. Masao Miyoshi, Off Center: Power and Culture Relations Between Japan and the United States (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991), p. 86.
3. The center of this discussion between individualists and communitarians in the United States, at least among political philosophers, is a second generation debate over the adequacy of John Rawls's classic A Theory of Justice (1971). See my "Boundary Revisions: The Deconstruction of Moral Personality in Rawls, Nozick, Sandel, and Parfit," Political Studies, Vol. 39, No. 2 (June 1991).
4. See for instance the influential Frankfurt School text by Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, Dialectic and Enlightenment, trans. John Cumming (New York: Herder & Herder, 1972; orig. pub. 1944).
5. Robert Skidelsky, The Road From Serfdom: The Economic and Political Consequences of the End of Communism (New York: Penguin Books, 1996; orig. pub. London: MacMillan, 1995), p. 60.
6. Judith Shklar, "A Life of Learning," Liberalism Without Illusions, ed. Bernard Yack (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), p. 268, my emphasis.
7. Masao Maruyama, Thought and Behavior in Modern Japanese Politics, ed. Ivan Morris (London: Oxford University Press, 1963), pp. 113, 128.
8. Stanley Hoffmann, "Paradoxes of the French Political Community," in Stanley Hoffmann, et al., In Search of France: The Economy, Society, and Political System in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1963).
9. Carl Steenstrup, Review, The Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 19, No. 2 (Summer 1993), pp. 481-85. Citation at pp. 484-85.
10. "From Carnal Literature to Carnal Politics" was first published in 1949 in the magazine Tenbo. It is included in Thought and Behavior in Modern Japanese Politics, pp. 245-67.
11. See Judith Shklar's "Let Us Not Be Hypocritical," in her Ordinary Vices (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984), pp. 45-86.
12. Cited by Andrew Barshay, "Imagining Democracy in Postwar Japan: Reflections on Maruyama Masao and Modernism," The Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 18, No. 2 (Summer 1992), p. 384.
13. G. W. F. Hegel, Elements of the Philosophy of Right, ed. Allen W. Wood (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991; orig. pub. 1821), Paragraphs 183-84, 261 Addition, pp. 220-21, 285.
14. Sheldon Garon, Molding Japanese Minds: The State in Everyday Life (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997).
15. Masakazu Yamazaki, "Asia, A Civilization in the Making," Foreign Affairs, Vol. 75, No. 4 (July/August 1996), p. 116.
16. Rogers Smith, "Beyond Tocqueville, Myrdal, and Harz: The Multiple Traditions in America," American Political Science Review, Vol. 87 (September 1993), pp. 549-66.
17. Peter J. Katzenstein, Cultural Norms and National Security (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996), p. 154.

MICHAEL MOSHER is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Tulsa. A specialist in Western political theory, he also teaches European and Japanese politics. He was Fulbright Exchange Professor at Tohoku University in 1985-86 and at the University of Tokyo and Tsuda College in 1995-96, in addition to having been a Visiting Professor at Keio University.

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