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Study On Huang Zongxi's Thought That The People Are The Foundation Of Country

Posted on:2009-06-03Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:C X YunFull Text:PDF
GTID:1116360245464527Subject:Political Theory
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
The period from the end of the Ming Dynasty to the beginning of the Qing Dynasty was a violent change period in Chinese history. In this period, there was a violent social transformation which was reflected from the highly strengthening of autocratic centralization, as well as the annexation of land which was more and more serious day by day. Therefore, the people lived in a deep distress situation. The Manchu entered the Central Plains through Shanhaiguan, and obtained the reign power of the Central Plains of China then. This event fiercely blew the thinkers who always differentiated and discriminated the minority nationalities from Huaxia Nationality. On one hand, the thinkers witnessed the autocracy of Ming Dynasty, and looked forward to the appearance of ideal politics. On the other hand, they never wanted to see the minority nationalities to replace the sovereign of Han Nationality. In this thinking embarrassment, they had to reconsider the political tradition of ancient China systematically and deeply, and tried to pose the structure of ideal society. In this situation, the thinkers represented by Huang Zongxi surpassed the lament for one-family-dynasty, promoted the issue up to the height of the falling of a state and the world , and reconsidered the system of monarch autocracy. They took the masses'happiness and worries as the measure to judge a country dominated well or confusedly. The benefit of the people was put up to the most important status. Therefore, the thought that the people are the foundation of country was developed to a new state, and the thinking culture of ancient China reached to a highest level in the history. Ancient China had the people-based tradition to value and love the people. The thinkers realized very early the importance of the people in politics. They hoped the monarch could inform benevolent domination by a benevolent heart. All above thoughts provided the direct thinking resources for Huang Zongxi. As the student of the Master Liu Zongzhou, Lu-Wang-Heart-Theory which advocates the individual subject had a great influence to him. Facing the meditation of Post-Wang-Theory and the blame of the Heart-Theory suffered in the period from the end of the Ming Dynasty to the beginning of the Qing Dynasty, Huang Zhongxi believed that the Lu-Wang-Heart-Theory itself was right, but the post studies led it to a wrong way. Therefore, on one side, he must maintain the status of the Heart-Theory, on the other side, he had to revise the meditation and the prattle of the Post-Wang-Theory. All those provided him plenty of proposition resources. Huang Zunsu, Huang Zongxi's father, was a member of Donglin Party whose members advocated the study for governing and benefiting the society, and tried to restrict the monarch power. They posed the proposition that measure the correctness by the people's thought. All those became important sources of people-based-theory of Huang Zongxi's.The development of any thought needs some theories as its support. Huang Zongxi's thought that the people are the foundation of country was based on the new development of the thought that"the world is for all". The thought that"The world is for all"was not raised by Huang Zongxi first, but there were few thinkers quoted this thought into the political field, instead, they used this thought just to stay in the moral anticipation to the sage monarchy. Huang Zongxi introduced this thought to the politics field: first, he differentiated the world and the monarchy, and definitely advanced that the world was master and the emperor was guest, and the world was not private property of the emperor's. Compared with the world, the emperors were objects, not the representative of the world. Huang Zongxi demonstrated definitely that everyone was selfish and self-benefit, confirmed the mankind's nature of selfish, as well as that everyone had his personal interest, so that to assure the rationality for the people to pursue the private interests. Therefore, the ideal benevolent emperor must govern the country from the people's livelihood. According this thought, he criticized and reconsidered the legal system of the three generation descending, and advocated that the family law legislated for the emperor's family should be substituted by the world law which goes effect to the whole world. Huang Zongxi's thought that"the world is for all"surpassed the level of ancient thinkers. He took this thought as the standard to reconsider the politics, and lifted the thinking culture of ancient China to a new state.In the ideological realm of"the world is for all", Huang Zongxi gave a profound reflection to the emperor's responsibility and the liegeman's principle. Huang Zongxi started his theory from the origin of monarchical power, he believed that the monarchy was not endowed by the god, but it appeared to meet the need to improve the interest and restraint the harm for the world. The emperors following the three generation disused this duty, instead, they took the world as their own; all these emperors should be abolished. Since the power of emperor was not divine, the ministers no longer needed to respect the emperor unconditionally; the relation between emperor and minister was no longer similar to the relation between father and son. Only when the minister made myriad people as the purpose, he would become an official of the emperor's, otherwise the minister and emperor would be passerby. Compared with the emperor and the ministers, the people were at the priority status in the politics life, the people's happy or not was the measure to evaluate the political benefit or not. According to this, Huang Zongxi discussed to improve the people's living level. He reconsidered the land of the feudal society, and made thought-provoking introspection on the tax. He put forward the concept that industry and commerce are all roots of a country to give the men who engaged in the industry and commerce safeguard to pursue their material interests. The ideal emperor was worth looking forward to, but he saw the realization of abusing the sovereign power by the emperors of three generations later. Therefore, he proposed the restriction to the monarchy. Trying to restrict the monarchy power through the system was the main point that the theory of this period surpassed the traditional theory. Ancient thinkers generally affirmed the power's positive function, they valued the nature of mankind optimistically, and hoped the emperors to strengthen their own moral cultivation and make effort to reduce mistakes. They educated the emperors by removing the wrongs from the emperors'mind, or persuaded by mysterious warning of the god's punishment. However, in the feudal society in which monarchial power was supreme, the thinker's exceptions could only be fantastic at last. Huang Zongxi tried to restrict the emperor's power through exterior institutional measure. He put forward that good law is before Man of God, and emphasized the importance of good law. In order to restrict the emperor's power, he protested to set prime minister, and promote the status of the minister, so as to decentralize the monarchical power to rule the world together. He proposed the establishment of schools. The emperor should be assessed by the public, discussed in the schools. At the same time, he proposed to resume the square-guard, and create a deterrent to the monarchy by large members of troops. Although the systems he made have existed in the history, he used the principle that the world is for all, and based on myriad people's worries and happiness, all these gave these systems epochal significance.Since Huang Zongxi's thought proposed, it had been in an ignorable position for 200 years. Only after the Opium War, when the Western culture attacked the Chinese tradition society, how to adjust China's political systems to realize the direct aim of enriching the country and strengthening its military power became one of Chinese modern time's primary missions. The thinkers realized gradually that the West's formidability was not only because they had steady warships and strong firecrackers, but they had deep cultural details deposits. However, they could not depart from the tradition thoroughly, because they were also influenced by the traditional culture deeply. They had to seek resources in Chinese tradition, so the thinkers in the period of Wuxu Reform and Xinhai Revolution annotated the theory of Huang Zongxi's repeatedly, and took it as the tool to disseminate democracy and revolutionary. China's modern thinkers interpreted Huang Zongxi's thought again and again. This is because, on one hand, they did not understand the west democracy accurately so that they could only explain west culture in the traditional culture. On the other hand, under the nationalism influence, the thinkers also intended to compare Huang Zongxi's thought to democracy ideals. Modern thinkers'annotations to Huang Zongxi is a kind of"over-interpretation", that is, Huang Zongxi's original thought and modern thinkers'interpretations to Huang Zongxi are not entirely the one thing. The over-interpretation caused that some negative thinking contained in the thought that people are the foundation of country impacted on the understanding of democracy. It had hindered the modern thinkers to assurance democratic idea well and truly, and had the negative influence to the Chinese modernizing advancement to a certain extent.Huang Zongxi's thought that people are the foundation of country marked a new level of ancient China's ideology and culture. Whether the system he designed could realize a good social life or not, his initial exploration to the political system realized the transformation from emperor-based to the people-based, and reached the acme of ancient people-based theory. Moreover, there were some sprouts of diverging politics from ethics, so he had been a forerunner of the transformation of ethical politics. He thought that the regality should be restricted by system, and this was the first time in history of Chinese thought that the thinker tried to discuss systemically restricting emperor's power through systems, which has an important academic significance. However, his thought exposed the negative aspects of the theory in ancient China. He did not deny the exist of monarch, he just wanted to look for the model of the ideal emperor, instead of denying the monarchy system. What he pursued was that the emperor should focus on the masses'interests, and the emperor should make interest for the people. But he had not demonstrated the people's political right, and the people still were the object of power. Therefore, he did not endow the true power to the masses, he could not realize the effective restrict to the monarchy either. His thought was lack of the people-govern on besides people-own and people-enjoyment. This caused his ideal was still the government of three generation, but unable to stride into modern threshold. Although we did not advocate, only on the Chinese tradition's ashes, can grow the modern democracy's seed, but we must face up that the high-point of Chinese ancient thought was also unable to start out flower of the democracy.
Keywords/Search Tags:Huang Zongxi, the period from the end of the Ming Dynasty to the beginning of the Qing Dynasty, the thought that the people are the foundation of country, the world is for all
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