What Confucius tells us to focus on first is not how to bring stability to the world, but how to be the best possible version of ourselves. To "cultivate one's moral character" is the first step towards taking responsibility for the nation, and for society. Confucius and his disciples struggled hard to be "the best version" of themselves, but their aim in this was to better carry out their responsibilities to the society in which they lived.
The armature of economic neo-liberalism... cannot concede any space to the idea of counter-conduct; counter-conduct becomes inconceivable, since conduct as such is a concept fully integrated into a scientific-epistemological field. Regime of veridiction, homo oeconomicus, rational behavior, ethical and political neutralization – such is the scheme, for instance, of American neo-liberalism. In this setting, counter-conduct is nothing more than a form of irrationality, just as in the history of psychiatry, it is but a form of abnormality.
Vulgar libertarian apologists for capitalism use the term "free market" in an equivocal sense: they seem to have trouble remembering, from one moment to the next, whether they're defending actually existing capitalism or free market principles.... When prodded, they'll grudgingly admit that the present system is not a free market, and that it includes a lot of state intervention on behalf of the rich. But as soon as they think they can get away with it, they go right back to defending the wealth of existing corporations.
It's hard to know how to deal with liberalization in cultures that have been repressed for a long time, that don't have strong civil societies. But for the United States, of all countries, to be talking about human rights just rings very, very hollow in light of all the objections to our policy in Israel — the perception that we're hard on one side and not on the other, and that we don't contest the settlements or human-rights abuses committed by Israeli soldiers, and so on. Plus the fact that we have turned our back on international treaties and not been a global citizen, I think, makes people, even democrats, the leading lights in these repressed societies, very squeamish about being associated with the United States.
The money economy thus leaves a large ecological footprint, defined as the amount of land and resources required to meet a typical consumer's needs. For example, with only about 4% of the world's population, the United States, the largest money economy, consumes in excess of one-quarter of the world's energy and materials and generates in excess of 25 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.