"A Making Process of Civil Thought in the Postwar Era and the Fault: Matsuda Michio and Social Movements"
last update: 20151224
A Making Process of Civil Thought in the Postwar Era and the Fault: Matsuda Michio and Social Movements
This paper focuses on Matsuda Michio (1908-1998) as a civil thinker and on the social movements in which
Matsuda participated, revealing a side of civil thought in the postwar era. In Matsuda's early days, his thought
was strongly influenced by Marxism and the Japanese Communist Party. But in the postwar era, he gradually
became critical of these formative influences and formulated a unique public thought.
Matsuda's civil thought was characterized by his observation that citizens are weak against power. Thus he
advocated first creating social change at the micro level, the context of an individual citizen, and then working
towards change at the macro level, the context of society. He developed a mode of the thought in the 1970's.
But Matsuda was out of touch with his responsibilities as an intellectual and torchbearer. That is to say he
was strong in a social sense, but because he identified himself with his ideal citizens, he could not investigate
the weakness of citizens adequately. This, therefore, made his attitude against power inadequate. It is
important to comprehend a uniqueness of Matsuda's civil thought. The transition of Matsuda's thought would
give us significant suggestions for today's civil thought and movements.
Keywords: civil thought, Matsuda Michio, postwar era, social movements