Wei Jingsheng Foundation News and Article Release Issue: A748-W474

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A748-W474


Release Date: February 2, 2013



Topic: The Way Out for China (Part LXIX): The Origin and Fundamentals of the Human Social System (3) -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:《中国的出路》之六十九:人类制度的起源和根本(三)-- 魏京生


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



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The Way Out for China (Part LXIX): The Origin and Fundamentals of the Human Social System (3)

-- Wei Jingsheng



Starting around the first millennium BC, both Europe and China had entered into a stage when countries were rapidly expanding, and the population of non-citizens surpassed citizens.  Therefore, slaves or serfs became a great obstacle to social stability or effectiveness in foreign combat.  In the two thousand years that followed, Europe and China went on two different paths.


Europe is relatively smaller than China, thus making it relatively easier to make a unified Greek and Rome Empire.  Soon its fledgling democracy was replaced by the imperial system.  Authority came from the emperor who had a lot of slaves and mercenaries.  The legal system also tended to be perfect.  Democracy within a clan society gradually retreated to appendage status.  Great emperors and generals were the people and history to focus on.


These vast empires lacked enlightenment systems and sources of authority.  There were fierce internal struggles, while their capacities in dealing with outside gradually degraded.  Division and slave rebellions continuously occurred.  Christianity was timely introduced into Europe, which played a strong role of enlightening people with education, as well as solving the problems of internal strife and slave uprisings.  Afterwards, Europe was split into a number of small countries still under the authority of the Pope.


Although there were many small-scale mergers during the Middle Ages, the power of religion made Europe lose its momentum to change slavery.  So-called serfdom, which has slightly more human rights than slavery, was maintained up to the recent religious Reformation and the Renaissance.  Equality for everyone before God was the imagination within the religion, instead of the equality for everyone in the social and legal identity for all.  The result was that the unequal social system of these smaller countries was maintained for more than one thousand years, and they lagged far behind China in the development of science, technology and economy.


The reason for China advancing ahead of the West in technological and economic development during these two thousand years, was exactly that, after the violent wars during the Spring and Autumn period, China developed a social system that was more advanced, had more respect for human rights, with equality for everyone before the law.  At the period when the agricultural age started to develop, in addition to stimulating more personal ingenuity and labor enthusiasm, it was easier to regulate social conflicts with more judicial authority than in the European slavery system.


Starting around eight hundred years BC in the Spring and Autumn period, the social system in China changed rapidly, with a lot of competition and frequent wars between countries.  In that land of vast territory and large population, the speeds of mergers were much faster than in the relatively smaller Europe.  The huge ratio between the population of the rulers and the ordinary people who were merged made it impossible to maintain slavery.  China had to develop an imperial system that was different from slavery; that retained the existing system of rights in the original countries.


Under this system, both the sovereign state and merged countries had their own master class and the slave class, while the merged countries had lower identity and status than the sovereign state.  That resulted in three different levels of classes, with different classes having different levels of rights and freedom.  Naturally, regarding the stimulation of ingenuity and enthusiasm to fight, there were great differences.  All of these were important reasons that affected the strength of the states.


Because of the vast land and excellent natural conditions, as well as the frequent wars between small countries and the absence of a religion to resolve social conflicts, using legal means to resolve the internal conflicts within the society became a major and critical condition in the competition between countries.  In other words, improving their own national identities and the enthusiasm of the people in their own countries was a prerequisite for the survival of these countries.  The emergence and success of a variety of schools during that time represented the need for the reform of the political system.


After more than two hundred years of exploration, a legal system of equality for everyone that originated in the Central Plain of China and was achieved in the state of Qin was able to motivate people's work enthusiasm and sense of identity better than the legal systems that had insufficient human rights.  This reform, which was called "Political Reform" in Chinese history, enabled the Qin country to be superior in its economic development and military power compared to other countries in the Central Plain of China.  This social system with equality for every one under the law, overcame the various social systems that were lacking human rights, and thus quickly unified all the countries within the Chinese territory.


However, the people in the occupied countries could not agree to rely solely on the punishment of the legal system.  Relying solely on a legal system executing violence, while lacking authority to do so, resulted in a mood of opposition in the occupied land that soon developed into rebel actions.  The Qin country perished after only two generations of emperors because it relied solely on the law and punishment.


The Han Dynasty after that inherited the legal system of equality of the Qin Dynasty.  However, due to the lack of a morally enlightened people with education, instability prevailed for the early years of the Han Dynasty despite it being much more tolerant than the Qin Dynasty.  It was in that environment that the Confucian enlightenment of people with education rose with the support of the emperors and their officials, taking the same function as the European religion.  Confucianism is the main reason that the Chinese political system rarely changed in more than two thousand years.


It was not enough just to give people general freedom and rights.  Lack of an administrative and legislative power that was separated from the judicial system was an important reason for the lack of authority.  Although enlightenment can make people accept the theory that authority is granted by fate or God, such authority will never be completely and heartfully recognized.  Even in China with equal legal rights for all, indifference to politics was also the inherent reason for disunity of the society.  The right to participate in power is the main reason why the modern West has surpassed China.


After several hundreds years of strife, the Westerners finally established a political system of the separation of powers, based on the legal base of equality.  This is not just the restoration of the ancient democracy, but also the establishment of a modern democracy that is based on a new cultural and economic basis.  It has more content than ancient democracies, in order to adapt to the difficulty of information exchange due to the large population.


The first is the protection of freedom of speech.  Developed beyond the ancient freedom of speech in the forum, the modern freedom enables information to communicate to every member of the society through use of the media.  It developed a system of voting, which overcame the difficulty to vote in a broad range during the Middle Ages.  Most importantly, it created a system of political parties, thus enabling political competition to be the important method for selecting preferred decision-making and limiting corruption, in order to ensure the competitiveness and healthy internal politics of the country.  This is the reason that the West exceeded China.


Unfortunately, in China, the culture of the Chinese Communist Party represented by the May Fourth Movement, precisely did not learn the strengths of the West, but instead learned the shortages of the Middle Ages, while losing a lot of the advantages of our own Chinese culture.  This is the real reason that ignorant literati have scourged China in the past hundred years.



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: A748-W474

魏京生基金会新闻与文章发布号: A748-W474


Release Date: February 2, 2013



Topic: The Way Out for China (Part LXIX): The Origin and Fundamentals of the Human Social System (3) -- Wei Jingsheng

标题:《中国的出路》之六十九:人类制度的起源和根本(三)-- 魏京生


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









-- 魏京生












































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