Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A746-W472

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A746-W472


Release Date: January 20, 2013



Topic: The Way Out for China (Part LXVIII): The Origin and Fundamentals of the Human Social System (2) -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:《中国的出路》之六十八:人类制度的起源和根本(二)-- 魏京生


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)



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The Way Out for China (Part LXVIII): The Origin and Fundamentals of the Human Social System (2) -- Wei Jingsheng



In the previous few articles, I talked about how no legal system is unfounded, each having its own natural source.  The sources arise between individuals and groups, as well as between other individuals.  There are many things that need to be adjusted, and there are many rights and freedoms that need to be divided and normalized.  Freedom that is completely unrestricted can only be a fantasy.


For example, at home, can you enjoy complete freedom?  Obviously not.  In a family, parents, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, and so on have their own freedoms.  You have to divide spheres of influence with your loved ones.  We all abide by the rules to achieve family harmony, thus to fully enjoy the freedoms and rights each individual deserves.  If some people do not abide by the rules and come in conflict with others, the result is that we all are uncomfortable.


Rules within a family are simple.  Rules are slightly different among different families, but all families share a similar set of rules, rules that remain basically unchanged from generation to generation, commonly called morals.  Examples include care for the young, respect for the old, mutual support, togetherness in defending outside threats, and so on. These rules belong to the realm of ethics.  From generation to generation, they remain basically unchanged.


When it is expanded to a community-wide and/or national scale, this moral content is even more complex and rich.  But its characteristics are still passed on from generation to generation and remain essentially the same, mainly are rules consciously abided with by people.  Within both the family and society, the maintenance of morals is mainly by consciousness and education, but sometimes punishment is also necessary.


Take Western religion and Chinese Confucian culture as examples.  Although their formalities are quite different, the content and effect is exactly the same.  Through education they both create rules in each individual's mind, so that people will consciously comply with these rules.  Just like within a family, everyone consciously abides by the rules.  Thus everyone's granted freedom is maximized in principle.


As the saying goes, there are all kinds of birds in the woods.  Whether it is the society of lions, monkeys, or humans, there will be some that do not abide by the rules.  Tolerating these few would mean allowing the rules to be broken, which would affect the survival of all.  Thus, there will be punishment in an effort to enforce the rules.  This part is called the law.


Of course, people generally do not call the equivalent in the animal world "law."  Law is a concept that is only used in human society.  Commonly we Chinese say "the family has its rules, the country has its law."  In most cases, family rules are targeted for the children who have not gained full consciences to abide by the rules.  But the laws of the country are different.


The scope of human society far exceeds kinship when it is composed of a country with many people.  Even with local, fellow villager concepts, patriotism, and other sorts of imaginary and fictional kinships, people can no longer rely on blood kinship to sustain their relationships.  Actions that violate the rules cannot be punished through the natural authority of kinship.  How punishment could be fair is a root issue for its validity.


There is a fundamental difference between the punishment in a family and a legal penalty: their targets.  The target of domestic discipline is the individual who broke the rules, so as to create or restore the concept of rules in that individual.  The effect over the other family members is relatively small.  However, the target of the social law is mainly the community, to maintain compliance with the rules in the society.  It may have a relatively small effect on some individuals, or even none at all.


For example, for people facing the death penalty, what in them could be corrected if they are about to die?  Also another example, due to physiological reasons it could be very hard to make some rapists abide by the rules.  Family kinship determines that a punishment does not have to be very harsh within a family, such as smack and spanking for children; the most serious being eviction.  The punishment of the law has to be more serious.  Further more, because there is not the natural authority and fairness due to the kinship, the fairness of the judgment become a serious problem.


When human relationship went beyond kinship to form a clan society, there was a separation between legal and administrative actions.  At that time, the main administrative action was hunting, which needed a command placed under the administrative leaders.  More complex decision-making and implementation of laws needs all genetically related groups to decide together.  At this stage, the legislative and executive powers begin to separate, while the power of the legislative to enforce the law has not yet clearly separated.  The although far but still existing kinship is the source of the authority for the General Assembly.


When society further expands into the prototype of the tribal society and nation, relying on the General Assembly to decide the way of law enforcement becomes impossible.  The powers of legislation and law enforcement become separated.  Laws become relatively more fixed during this stage.  The General Assembly decides on the legislative and political decision-making.  Military leaders and law enforcement agencies obtain authority from the legislature, and enforce the law and decision-making.  Political systems having a separation of powers form in this time.


Social change before this stage is relatively slow.  After tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of years, we have moved on to the stage of the separation of powers.  Advancement in technology and progress in the political system enable a small number of human beings to be more powerful than others.  The growth in human numbers also has made a very intense competition for living space.


The evolution from tribe to tribal alliance to country occurred very quickly.  Because different groups evolve at different times, the gap between these different social groups in humans also has grown larger and larger.  Some advanced societies rapidly annexed more backward groups.  Slavery systems started and inequality among classes within the same society began, giving different groups different rights and freedom.


When the population of slaves and so-called serfs becomes far more than the population of the ruling society, new conflicts are born.  From the natural perspective, slaves are just as human as the nobles.  Of course they should have the same equal rights.  But in reality, they have unequal rights, so the psychological imbalance and even anger naturally threatens the order.  Thus the maintenance of the rules requires more specialized forces.


In the west, they were called police; in the Orient they were called "zao li" (government slaves), identified as slaves whose profession is law enforcement.  Meanwhile, brainwashing also took off, which in the Orient we call Confucian indoctrination, while in the West religious indoctrination.  However, the East and the West come out of a different path.



To hear Mr. Wei Jingsheng's related commentary, please visit:



(Written and recorded on August 16, 2012.  Broadcasted by Radio Free Asia.)



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Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A746-W472

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A746-W472


Release Date: January 20, 2013



Topic: The Way Out for China (Part LXVIII): The Origin and Fundamentals of the Human Social System (2) -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:《中国的出路》之六十八:人类制度的起源和根本(二)-- 魏京生


Original Language Version: Chinese (Chinese version at the end)









-- 魏京生














































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