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TA T’UNG SHU: THE ONE-WORLD PHILOSOPHY OF K’ANG YU-WEI (1958) Translated by Lawrence G. Thompson


TA T’UNG SHU: THE ONE-WORLD PHILOSOPHY OF K’ANG YU-WEI (1958) Translated by Lawrence G. Thompson


THOMPSON, Lawrence G (Tranlsated and Introduced by)

Ta T’ung Shu: The One-World Philosophy of K’ang Yu-Wei

London: George Allen & Unwin, 1958. First Edition. Translated from the Chinese. Hardcover. Octavo. 300 pp. 

Tiny hint of edge wear to top of DJ spine. Fine in a near fine dust jacket.

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Long before Huxley and his Brave New World, there was K’ang Yu-Wei. The title of this book derives from the name of a utopian society imagined by Confucius, although it literally means "The Book of Great Unity." The ideas of this book appeared in his lecture notes from 1884, and encouraged by his students, he worked on this book for the next two decades, but it was not until his exile in India that he finished the first draft. The first two chapters of the book were published in Japan in the 1900s, however the book wasn't published in its entirety until 1935, about seven years after his death. In it K’ang proposed a utopian future world that would be free of political boundaries, ruled by one central government, but under democratic rule. In his scheme, the world would be split into rectangular administrative districts which would be self-governing under a direct democracy, although still loyal to a central world government. Concomitant with the abolition of political boundaries would also be the dissolution of racial boundaries. K’ang outlines an immensely ambitious eugenics program that would eliminate the "brown and black" racial phenotype after a millennia, leading to the emergence of a fair-skinned homogeneous human race whose members would "be the same color, the same appearance, the same size, and the same intelligence." Sounds frightening.