Leopold Kohr and Process Philosophy in China

New European, London  – Autumn/Winter 2009/10

China, Process Philosophy and Leopold Kohr


by Michael Breisky



“For many centuries, the Silk Road saw exchanges between the East and the West: Chinese silk, porcelain and jade travelled westwards, while precious stones, spices and political philosophies were brought the other way.“ (Display at the National HistoricMuseum of Xian, the ancient capital of China and starting-pointof the Silk Road)


First, a Word of caution: I am not a China-expert, not even by diplomatic standards. These lines are speculations, based on impressions I gained during a brief lecturing tour to China in spring 2008. There I tried to introduce the philosophy of Leopold Kohr, the Austrian born preacher of Human Scale (1909 -1993), to five top universities and other institutions [1]. During these lectures, discussions and interviews I was in contact with some 600 students and 20 professors; furthermore, I had the chance to speak to 40 journalists and teachers at the leading Chinese institution for environmental education „Beijing Global Village“; where I also had a long interview with its founder/director Sheri Liao (more about her to be found by Google). In the most populous country on earth all these contacts may have been insignificant for matters of quantity, but the high level ofconsistency and spontaneity I found in their various reactions gave me a base firm enough to develop these speculations. And the baseis the many parallels and equations between the teachings of Kohr at one hand and Laotse and Taoism at the other. This, I think, merits a follow-up, to which the following reflections might be useful:


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