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Cover Rethinking Political Thinkers

20. Zhang Taiyan  

Patrizia Longo

This chapter looks at Zhang Taiyan’s political theory, revolving around revolution and nationalism. It describes how Zhang tried to build a new politics based on a new universality that does not extinguish particularity. Buddhism influenced most of Zhang’s anti-Manchu propaganda and political theory. The chapter then explains how the ideas of Zhang’s Buddhist political theory are picked up by the post-war Japanese intellectual Takeuchi Yoshimi. It explores the goal of pan-Asianism to negate the West and take Western values to a higher level. Takeuchi and Zhang tried to create a new universality by confronting the West through an anti-imperialist nationalist struggle.