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读陈申申《中西方的社会结构与政治制度》有感(英文) 
作者:[Hi, Alex,] 来源:[] 2009-05-13

Hi, Zhai,
 
Thanks for sending me the following article.  I found it interesting.  I have posted it to my forum as well as some other forums.
 
I don't quite agree with some of what Chen had written. While it is obviously true that the Chinese government is based on the family, yet this has not meant that it was a harmonious one.  In reality the Chinese imperial families had been violent and deadly. It is sibling rivalries carried to the most horrible extremes.
 
"煮豆燃豆萁,豆在釜中泣。本是同根生,相煎何太急." This brief poem shows the tip of the iceberg of the deadly rivalries amongst the many children and other family members for the imperial throne and the power that goes with it. Of course, in the West the rivalries are just the same. Anybody who had studied the history of England or read Shakespeare's historical plays such as Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V, and Richard III know that murder is routinely used to gain the throne. In other words, there is no difference between China and the West.
 
It has been often said that China's philosophy of government has been Confucianism overtly and Legalism covertly. So while the emperors tried to pacify and gain the support of the people by invoking their love for their parents and shift that loyalty to themselves, the truth is the emperors never really cared too much for the welfare of the people. In this, China and the West are identical. 
 
In the end, even though the Chinese government is modeled on the family, it did not really make the emperors care for the people like doting parents would have done. And the people never really cared for the emperors because they were of course not their blood parents. Therefore, the people always were leery of the emperors.  And when the emperors imposed excessive taxes or corvee labor, the people rebelled.  Again, this is just the same as in the West such as when the French executed Louis XVI and Cromwell executed Charles I. And, of course, the Americans revolted against England.
 
In the West, the divine rights of kings were also based partly on the theory that kings are like fathers to their subjects. "The conception of ordination brought with it largely unspoken parallels with the Anglican and Catholic priesthood, but the overriding metaphor in James' handbook was that of a father's relation to his children. "Just as no misconduct on the part of a father can free his children from obedience to the fifth commandment, so no misgovernment on the part of a King can release his subjects from their allegiance." 
 
Ultimately, the nation is not a family. Therefore, it is unrealistic that the people should love and obey their kings and emperors like their fathers. The Western peoples are quicker to realize this and got rid of their kings and emperors and instituted democracy which is the only realistic way to make their governments to cater to the welfare of the people exclusively. The democratic system generally allow the people the opportunities periodically to get rid of the corrupt and incompetent leaders.  There are two levels of logic.  The first level is that of nature.  Those people who are by nature less envious and corrupt and more cooperative and honest will have a more orderly and richer society. The second level of logic is that of organization. A well organized government that divides the power rationally and with built in safeguards against corruption will have greater transparency of government and allow the people to exert more control over the government to keep it efficient and honest.
 
As far as I'm concerned, there is very little difference between the peoples of China and the West.  Obviously the cultures and philosophies of the two are different.  But the underlying minds and psychologies are the same because the human genomes are the same with minor difference such as sickle shape blood cells, etc.  Since the brains are the same, the minds and psychologies are the same.  And, of course, the logic is exactly the same not only on Earth but across the universe.  And logic would dictate that democracy is the only way to go for the greater betterment of the people no matter where they are or what color skin or color eye they have.
 
Liang


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