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中国文化的精髓初探

         中国文化的精髓初探
Preliminary Study on the Essence of Chinese Culture

这篇是 天赋他责和天赋人权http://fengyi.blog.caixin.com/archives/date/2015/06的重要补充,当然也可看作独立的一篇。如有兴趣详情的讨论,请参看该文。文化应包括思想,讲话,文章,文字,教育,美术,表演,音乐,工艺等。我们这里主要是讨论思想和文章并提出我们的想法。看多了两边文化,加以自己的比较,以交流,以抛砖引玉。

 

     中国的文化首先是人类的和世界的文化。它璀璨博深,伟人辈出。这无所谓谁主宰谁,世界先进的思想,更好的真理,总要不断的推进。中国的文化作为世界文化的一个分支,经历千年的磨练,提炼,好在哪里?让世界都能接受,接受它的主要观点和语言当然要有事实证明。这也不是容易的题目。但这几千年的文化反映了圣贤们在人类战争和残杀的痛苦中缜密思考。

 

     人类已由石器时代,铁器时代,跨越机器时代电器时代,步入电脑时代,数字时代。但我们不得不说,人类的思想现在还停留在石器铁器时代的野蛮阶段。什么事都以一国为界。我们说,国家的划分在保护这一地区人们的自身利益,在经济建设竞争方面还起到一定的作用,但,这些都以保护自身利益为限,不能随意扩大保护的含义,而侵犯他国的利益,人们不能凡是本民族的人或事都赞成。那些以为本民族的利益安全为理由,在外国杀人放火,杀害外国外民族等野蛮行动都赞成,都对其顶礼膜拜,这不是反映思想的野蛮,又是什么?不是放大了的野蛮部落思想又是什么?不是占山为王的山寨思想又是什么?。当然各国的国民还是有差别的。那些掌握权力的人,他们在煽动纯粹而狭隘的民族感情而使本国国民为了自身的利益往往支持他们,他们将那些深思熟虑的思考,丢弃一旁,而代之的是人类之间的战争或恶斗,相互间的残杀。我们不去说秦始皇的焚书坑儒,凯撒大帝争战高卢(法国)及埃及时对生命的残酷,因为那算是人类还没有开化,没有自称到文明阶段。但七十多年前,人类应算是文明了许多,出现过卢梭,伏尔泰,杰弗逊,提出了自由平等博爱的普世观等,但这都阻挡不住德意日法西斯的崛起,对外发动侵略和对他国他民族的人类大规模的屠杀,并把这个人的人权和对他人生命的罔顾推向极端。就是在近二三十几年,一部人,用大规模杀伤武器,对另一部分民族的生命还在进行残杀。人类的历史充满了这种杀戮。这些杀戮有的是在民族之间,有的是为了他国的自然资源,为了征服世界,根据一派胡言而自认为本民族比别的民族优越,有的为了欺压他人而杀戮等等不一而足。这些侵略与残杀在为本民族更幸福更安全的名义下,而往往得到本国民众的支持,从而说明了人类的思想水平。这些只能说明,人类的思想还停留在野蛮未开化的阶段,一部分人习惯以杀害他人为达到目的或解决问题的手段,而另一部分人却会赞同。这些都说明没有限制而追求自我,本民族的幸福是多么的危险,误导总是以误判和思想的不成熟为基础。尽管有解释说个人的人权不得伤害他人,但解释总是苍白无力的,必须要在主要口号中明确这个个人的权力必须受到他人的利益的制约,即不得侵犯他人的利益这也是在各国(主要国内)所证实了的。这人权思想在保留一定的合理内核下必须加以抛弃,而代之以“他责”,即人类应以对他人的基本责任为前提下而生存。我们每一个人都是他人的他人,如果每一个人,都对他人负责,不侵犯他人的利益,个人自我的利益和人权也就能合理地得到保障。如果不遵守这一责任,那多数人,其它国家,其它民族的利益就得不到保障。大多数人的本性是善良的,只要教育宣传得当,没有错误的引导,善良的本性会成为主导。                

 

      春秋战国时的诸子的观点经过千年的磨练,我们抽去不同的时间地点及背景,取其精髓,我们认为,这些圣贤们几千年以来的主要观点贯穿的一根红线,集多数诸子的中心观点,就是对他人的责任,这也是对我们最有现实的根本的意义的。从孔子的“仁”,老子的“道德”,孟子的“义”,墨子的对他人的“兼爱”,荀子的“术礼义而情爱人”,现代毛泽东的“为人民服务”都体现了这对他人的责任。这些圣贤大都生活在兵荒马乱的年代里,也因此这些圣贤们首先想到的是人与人的关系,看到的是混乱的社会,想到是一个人应不得对他人侵犯的责任,理想的是一个新秩序。我们每一个人都至少不能侵犯他人,他国,他民族的利益,这些观点和有关精辟论述对我们,对整个人类有着重大的现实意义。关系到整个人类是否由野蛮而走向真正文明的关键。只有按照这些圣贤们的思想去做,人类才会步入真正的文明。

 

这对他人的基本责任,因为是天生的,用自然的爱表现的,我们套用称之为“天赋他责”。这“天赋他责”和强调个人权利的“天赋人权”不同。“天赋他责”由于强调的是不能侵犯他人利益的基本责任,并进一步强调自我对他人负责的精神,因而可将人类团结一致,从而避免相互争斗厮杀。这是中国的理想,也是世界的梦。它简单明确,避免了长套说辞。东西方和阿拉伯的文化是有差异的,但人类基本生存的本能是相同的。这对他人的责任既是天生的,是本能的,又是基本的,因此是人类共通的。对他人的责任融合了世界的语言,是人类共同的有决定意义的崭新而又古老的价值观,架起了人们精神的桥梁,超越了人类对物质简单的要求。如果能自觉这样做而且付出自我的利益,这将升华为人类思想的最高情操。这不得侵犯他人的利益也是对人们的最基本的要求。这是中华文化精髓的精髓。也是整个人类的思想精华。各国英雄们的共同点即为他人牺牲个人利益,很好的体现着实践着这种精神,我们为之感动。
    

统一的中国,有利于人民的生计,群雄争霸的春秋战国时期有利于思想观点的发展。中国思想最活跃的时期莫过于春秋战国时期。那时出现了诸子百家,创立儒家道家等十几个流派。他们看春秋战国时期分裂的中国的视野大致和我们现在看世界各国的视野差不多。但我们信息比那时的人接受要多的多,科学技术要发达得多,各种物质生产要富足的多,所以是时候摆脱习惯以各种借口杀人特别是他国人的野蛮状态了。现在的世界已不能像那时靠武力来统一,得靠思想来统一,来归一。这为世界统一的思想,我们认为就是中国贯穿几千年的共同的主流思想 就是要尊重和爱护他人,是对他人的责任。因为对他人的爱即意味着对他人的责任。

 

 孔子的核心思想是“仁”,就是关爱他人---“爱人”,是“己所不欲,勿施于人”,自己所不愿意的事,不要加于他人,是“仁以为己任,不亦重乎?死而后已,不亦远乎?”,仁爱之心,为一生的重任;就是“克己复礼为仁”。 这里的“礼”,我们不必拘泥于孔子具体讲的“礼”包括哪些内容,当然不同的年代有不同的“礼”。我们现在可理解这“礼”为一个集体的秩序和与人相处的尊重,它维护着公众的利益,要克制自己,尊重集体的利益,也是他人的共同利益。

 

老子在“道德经”里所述:“上善若水,水利万物,而不争,处众人所恶,故几于道。”  与,善仁….., 夫唯不争,故无尤”这和孔子的思想一脉相通。老子这里讲的全是和他人怎么打交道。要像水一样,做有利他人的事,与别人相处,要做到心慈关爱,而不争抢他人的利益。只有这样做,才符合道德,才没有可担忧的事。

 

荀子说过:“体恭敬而心忠信,术礼义而情爱人;…….劳苦之事则争先,饶乐之事则能让。对人要恭敬和忠诚并讲信誉,行为要有礼貌讲公德,真情爱护他人;吃苦在前,享乐在后。这一思想照耀千年,而由我们实施。

 

       孟子继承了孔子的思想,其中一个中心思想是“义”。这个“义”绝非是简单的公共事业和与人相处的准则,而是准备牺牲自我利益甚至生命而为此奋斗的壮举和与人相处的善良举动。孟子说:“羞恶之心,义也”。这羞恶什么?用现在的话来说,就是说不遵守公共道德,就羞之恶之。反过来说,遵守这些公共道德,为了这些公正的事业,集体(即公众的他人)的利益而牺牲自己的利益,就荣之耀之。公共道德即是不侵犯他人利益的道德,高尚一些,为他人而牺牲个人利益的道德。伏尔泰说过:“在任何地点,在任何时代,为公益做出最大牺牲的人,都是人们称为最道德的人。”当然对恶人,坏人要先剥脱他为害或损害他人利益的能力。

 

墨子详细论述了对他人的兼爱:“圣人以治天下为事者也,不可不察乱之所自起。  当察乱何自起?起不相爱”,“若使天下兼相爱,爱人若爱其身”“视人家若其家,谁乱?视人国若其国,谁攻?”。这里墨子告诉人们,世界的乱象起自互不相爱,要爱别人如同爱自己,视别的国家若自己的国家,就会没有侵略战争。我们说爱别人,是对别人责任的外在表现。爱别人,就是对别人有保护关心教育抚育的责任。但这里,不是简单地提博爱,而是特别提到对别人的爱,这是有巨大的差别的,明确了爱别人的责任。虽然博爱也指爱别人,但没有明确指出要爱别人,因而目的不够明确,力量不足。

 

时过境迁,但文化精髓永存。中国历史上合多分少,以后就再也没有出现过像孔子老子那样有影响的思想大家,直到一千多年后,到现代,毛泽东的出现。毛主席提出“为人民服务”的思想,毛主席说:“我们这个队伍完全是为着解放人民的,是彻底地为人民的利益工作的。”人民就是一切以不损害,不伤害,不侵犯他人利益为主观目的的人。毛主席这里提出为人民即他人的利益完全彻底的服务,这服务就是为他人利益着想,也是为他人负责的原则,并为此建立了人民共和国。在宪法中明确规定:“中华人民共和国是全国各族人民共同缔造的统一的多民族国家”和“中华人民共和国的一切权力属于人民”。在国家,军队和钱币等的名字上加进了“人民”二字。这是毛主席留给我们最宝贵的取之不尽用之不竭的思想财富,从思想道德讲,它造就了中国现代主流意识的优越。我们要特别珍惜这一宝贵财富。

 

中国,这一年轻的人民共和国带着千年古老的人类优秀思想,又把这一优秀思想在现代主流意识中发扬光大,创造了初步的成功,这还不夠证明这一原则吗?比起有几百年历史的资本主义国家,人民共和国才走完他66年历史。作为一个国家,它历史悠久,但作为一个人民共和国它还年轻。他肯定有许多缺点,但我们应抱着什么样的态度对这个朝气蓬勃的但基本还是个孩子?他沉重的担负着让这个国家不能乱的责任,因为谁也承担不起任何可能引起乱的实验的责任,何况现在还是基本取得巨大的成功。这个年轻的共和国,它主流意识上上下下提倡为人民服务,即为他人着想,为他人负责,使这个民族在浴火中不断的甩打,经历烈火的洗礼和考验,磕磕碰碰地走过来,又走过去,延着历史时光的遂道艰难但坚定的大步前行。

 

在各国,在人们的天生的因而也是朴素的意识中,都存有这种或那种对他人的责任和对他人生命以至对一切生灵的责任。它是中华文化几千年的传统和文化精髓,也是人类的宝贵精神财富。这种对他人负责不侵犯他人利益的思想会成为统治思想。这不仅是在中国而在世界各国都是应该成为举国推崇的优良品德和必须做的。对他人的责任也是个人自由平等权力的真实基础,前提和限制。它也充分体现了但高于博爱的精神。“为人民服务”和“对他人负责”是人类史上一个有决定意义的人与人相处的原则和道德,我们值得为此高歌。凡是符合这一方向的努力和行动,无论是个人还是国家,我们就赞成它,鼓励它;凡是不符合这一方向的行动,我们就不赞成,就反对它。不仅对本国是这样的,对其它民族,其他国家也应是这样的。不能让二战的德意日法西斯侵犯他人他国残杀他人的极端的例子以各种形式再现。动物还可以关心宽容理解,为什么对他人,对另一个民族就做不到?不这样做,人民应群起而反对,有选举制度的,不要投给那些准备侵占他国利益的人,哪怕是以为本民族利益。不要到最后,在反向危害自己,或在面临毁灭的压力下才去接受。

 

 现代化的民主与法治也是建立在这对他人负责的基础上的。有了这对他人或集体(共同的他人)的负责精神才在决定一个集体的大事情上听取大家的意见,并以大家共同的利益-互相不伤害大家的利益,为考虑为出发点,于是就有了民主的方法。但这民主的方法一开始是为了达成维护大多数人利益的一种手段。手段可以是多种多样的,由于历史背景不同,使用民主的方法深浅不同,但都是为了一个目的,即维护多数人的利益。不能要求民主一步到位,只要能基本维护和代表多数人利益的基础上保持社会的稳定,这样有利于民生。但这民主要有一个开端,并要稳步推进。多数人或全体人民的民主总比一个人或少数人能更好地维护和代表多数人的意见和利益。只有当全体人们都自觉的不会侵犯他人的利益时,那时物质对每一个人来说都极大的丰富,每一个人教育程度都极高,民主才会成为人类的目的,高尚的奢侈品供人们享用。当然民主作为手段或目的也非截然分开的。

 

  在维护人们的公共利益时,为了限制和防止个人在争取个人的利益时主观上或客观上伤害他人的利益或公共的利益的做法,于是就制定了法制,用比较强制的手段来维持公共的和他人的合法利益,能起到中国古代管子所说的“定分止争”的作用。即 第一,由法律颁布的所有权益的界限和规定,能决定分歧,并停止争议,以及第二,由于权益的归属权不明确和故意侵犯他人的权益而引发的纠纷和官司,能“定纷”止争,人们停止纠纷就会和谐。为区分,第一种叫“定法止争”比较好,第二种叫“定纷止争”。第一种是由权威机构公布,是第二种的基础和依据,平常大量接触的是第二种。管子说的应包括这两种。所以法治思想不仅对于维持社会的稳定和治理是必要的,而且在现阶段对于维护人与人的和谐关系异常重要。

 

公共道德的底线应是不损害他人他民族他国的利益,高尚的道德也是为了他人或公众(集体的他人)的利益做出自我牺牲直至自己的生命,即“克己复礼”。低于公德的底线,侵占他人的利益,就要法律介入,执行法律保护他人。这样看,治理国家应以公共的道德为基础,为最终依据,但人们还不能都自觉地遵守公德,对公德也会有看法不一致的地方,这就需要法律,来定法止争,或法律来定纷止争。

 

荀子集合儒家的仁与德,法家的奖与罚为一体,他说过:礼者,人道之极也。然而不法礼,不足礼,谓之无方之民;法礼,足礼,谓之有方之士。(见《礼论》),他又说过:人无师法,则偏险而不正;无礼义,则悖乱而不治,古者圣王以人性恶,以为偏险而不正,悖乱而不治,是以为之起礼义,制法度, 以矫饰人之情性而正之,以扰化人之情性而导之也,始皆出于治,合于道者也(见《性恶》)。 荀子讲:“起礼义,制法度”就是建立起秩序和道德,并制定法律,德法兼用,而治乱和侵犯他人的行为。这里,我们不必太拘泥于荀子的“礼”具体讲得是什么。重点是探讨荀子讲如何治国。“礼”这里我们可以理解为公共秩序,一个有利于大家的秩序。当然荀子讲“人性恶”,这在物质生产还相当匮乏的当时是现实。即使是在现在,在物质生产相对富足的社会里,由于一部人受以前的影响而贪婪,不平等在最终结果上还现实的存在,社会生产只是相对富裕,还不是极大富裕等原因,这“人性恶”还在一部分人中表现出来。这会随着物质生产的大幅度提高,超过人本身的需求,教育程度的提高,人们认识到对他人的基本责任,以及对现实的认识,经过几代人而逐步改变。人生而善良会逐步体现,最终“人性善”即为他人负责会成为全社会的意识。

 

以德治国是方向,是根本;依法治国是保证,是现实。随着人们的公德意识的不断提高,这法治会慢慢消退。这荀子两千年的话,就提出我们现在治国的总方针,可见圣人的伟大,见识的深远,也是春秋战国时期思想的开放和活跃所致。

 

   人类早期因无力生产足够的生活必需品,而使一部份人依靠压迫剥夺大多数人,而使自己享用较丰富的物质,而使多数人维持生存水平或在低水平上的生活。因此圣贤的“爱人”“仁政”的思想只能是理想。也因为反抗人对人的压迫,使个人主义的人权思想有了广阔的发展空间。但无论是孔子及圣贤们“仁”与“爱人或“人权思想”,都随人类生产能力大幅度的提高和对他人的责任认识的提高而向不同方向发展,人们现在还沿着以前的惯性走着。孔子,老子和圣贤们以及毛泽东的思想能逐步得以实现,而人权思想由于它的不合理之处,而逐渐消退。。毋庸赘述,这不侵犯他人的利益,为他人着想,为他人负责的思想,远远超越了个人的人权思想。这“天赋他责”已金光闪闪的越然千年历史,新的思想正在各国发展壮大,它必将像早晨的太阳成为主宰,它是中国文化的精髓,必将成为整个人类最灿烂的公共准则和公共道德。

 

 

Preliminary Study on the Essence of Chinese Culture

This is an important supplement ofNatural Responsibilities for Others and Natural Rights of Men”

(http://fengyi.blog.caixin.com/archives/date/2015/06). . It can be read as an independent article. But if interested, please refer to the article for the detailed discussion. Culture should include thoughts, speeches, articles, characters, educations, music, arts, performances and handicrafts etc. We hereby mainly discuss the thoughts and the articles and put forward our views. I exposed to the more the cultures and the experiences at the both sides, and would like to compare them to start a discussion.

 

First of all, Chinese culture is a culture of human being and the world. It is bright and broad, great men have been born continually. It doesn't talk about who is dominant. World's most advanced thoughts, the better truths have always been push forward. As a branch of world culture, Chinese culture has experienced and been refined through thousands of year. Which point is it good one and can be accepted by the whole world, which can accept its main ideas and its language. Surely it must be proved by the facts. This is not an easy topic. But the culture of thousands of year is reflecting the deliberate thinking of the sages in the pains of human’s wars and killings.

 

From the stone and iron ages, mankind has gone through the machine age and electricity age into the computer age and the digital age. But we have to say, the human thinking now still got stuck in the brutal phase of the stone and iron ages. Everything being good or bad is determined by the bound of a country. The country divisions have a certain good functions now in protections of the interests of the people in the areas, in competitions of the economic developments. But these divisions are limited to protect their own interests only. It should not expand the meaning of the protection at will, so as to infringe the interests of the other countries. People should not be in favor of the all persons or the everything only because they belong to their own country, not be in favor of those who are burning and killing in the outside of the country in execute of the interests and the security for their own country, not be in favor of the barbaric activities to kill the people of the other countries. And their people even give a worship to the killers as their national heroes. If this does not show the savage thoughts of these peoples, what else? If this does not reflect the amplifying thinking of savage tribes, what else? If not be the covered selfish thinking, what else ? Of course, peoples in different countries are different. Those in powers incited by the pure and narrow national feelings and therefore often won the supports from the citizens of their own countries owning to the more interests. They abandoned and put the deliberate thought a side. Instead, they started wars or battles between human, killed each other. We do not talk about Qin Shi Huang who buried scholars a live and burning books, and Julius Caesar’s cruelty to lives in million in the battles against Gaul (France) and Egypt, because at that period, human have not been civilized. But more than 70 years, human should be much civilized. We had Rousseau, Voltaire, Thomas Jefferson so on, the universal value and thought of the human rights of freedom, equality and philanthropism. But these could not stop the rise of fascist German, Italy and Japan, and their aggressions against others countries, and the mass of massacre of the other nations, and push this personal human rights and total disregard of others’ lives to the extreme end. In the last 20-30 years, a part of people still killed another people by weapons of mass destruction. It is full of such bloodshed in Human history. Some of these killings have been among the ethnic groups and nations, and some for other natural resources, some in order to conquer the world, some for the thought that one’s own nation was superior to the other nations just according to the nonsense, some for the oppression of their own people and so on. These aggressions and killings were said be for the sake of happiness and more safe for their own nations, and often obtained the supports from their own citizens. Thereby it illustrated the level of human thought. This demonstrated that the human mind remains at the stage of barbaric savages of the stone and the iron age. Some men used to kill some others as means to achieve the purpose or to solve the problems. And some others agreed with it. All these show the pursuit of self happiness without limits is very dangerous. Despite the explanation attached to the human rights is not to hurt others, but it is always fragile and forceless. It must be clearly spelled out in the title that the personal rights must be restricted with others’ interests. This is also confirmed by the practices of all countries, mainly insides. Keeping its reasonable core, this

selfish human rights must be abandoned, and replaced by the “Responsibilities for Others”. The human survival should be preconditioned of the basic responsibility for others. The every one of us is others’ of the other people. If everyone is responsible to others and does not infringe upon the interests of others, our personal interests and human rights can be reasonably safeguarded. If some part of people fail to comply with this responsibility, then the most of the people and other countries, other peoples ' interests are not protected. The natures of most of us are good, if you do right educations, the right leads, the good natures will be dominant

 

After the thoughts of the China’s Sages have been polished and refined in thousands of year, we further took off their different times, their different places and their different backgrounds, and so abstracted the essences of these thoughts. In our view, a red line which goes through the essences of these sages’ thoughts of thousands of year in common is the responsibilities for the others, which is most meaningful for us as well. From the “Ren” (Benevolence) of Confucius, Laozi's views of “Morality”, “Yi” (Righteousness) of Mencius, “Simultaneous Love ” of Mozi, “Follow the Etiquette and Righteousness and Hearted by Loving Others” of Xunzi till to “Serve the People” of Mao Zedong in modern time. All of these thoughts reflects the responsibilities to others. Most of these Sages lived during the years of wars, and therefore they first thought the relationship between peoples, and saw the chaos of the societies, thought that one should not infringe the others, idealized were the new societies with new orders, all of us should have responsibilities not to infringe the other countries and other nations at least. These ideas and the relative brilliant expositions reflected and emphasized the responsibility, which is the most basic requirement. This is the essence of Chinese culture, and the essence of the whole human thoughts. These views and the brilliant ideas have the great practical significance on us and whole humankind because it concerns the only key that the level of human thoughts can develop from barbarism toward the true civilization. Only to fulfill these sages’ ideas, the mankind’s thought can step into the real civilization.

 

Because this basic responsibility to the others is born with in the form of natural love, by using the same method, we call it as “Natural Responsibilities for Others”, which is different with “Natural Rights of Men” that emphasizes on the importance of individual rights. Because the “Natural Responsibilities for Others” emphasizes the basic responsibility of not infringing upon others' interests, thus it can unite the whole people as the one in the world, and therefore can avoid fighting with each others. This is the ideal of China, and also the world’s dreams. It is simple and clear and avoids the long preach. Cultures of the Eastern, the Western and the Arab are different, but the basic instinct of human survival is the same. This responsibility for others is natural, instinctive and basic, so it is common to all mankind. The term of the responsibility for others melts the languages of all countries in the world. This is human’s common, significant and new but old value, which builds a spiritual bridge for all people of the world, beyond the simple matter requirements of the human beings. If we can consciously fulfill this responsibility and even pay our self’s interests, it will sublimate as the highest form of human virtues. It forbids violating the interests of the others as the most basic requirement for mankind. This is the essence of Chinese culture and the essence of the entire human thought. The common activities for all heroes of each country are to sacrifice their personal interests for others. They are well performing and practicing this spirit, we are deeply moved.

 

Unified China is beneficial to the livelihood of people, but the period for Hegemony of the Spring and Autumn and Warring States is conducive to the flourishing ideas. The most flourishing period for Chinese thoughts is the Spring and Autumn and Warring States. At that time, there were Confucius, Laozi, Mencius, Mozi and so on. Confucianism, Taoism and more than 10 other schools were created. Their visions over then China separated in the period of Spring and Autumn and Warring States” is about same as the one we now have over all countries in the world. But the information we receive is much more than that period. Sciences and technologies have been much more advanced, all kinds of material productions are much richer, so it's time to get rid of the savage habit to kill others especially in the other countries in any excuses. The world cannot be unified with the army forces now days, but only with the thought and turns to the “One”. The thought to unify the whole world is the thought as we think as the red line is going through the most mainstream of the ideas the sages had in common in thousands of year. That is the responsibility for the others and the respect and love for others. Love means responsibility.

 

The core of Confucius’ idea is "Ren (Benevolence)". That is to “love others” ---, is “for the things I do not want, I should not impose them on others”, is “the Benevolence is my own responsibility, is it heavy? Do it till the death, is it too far away? ", is the" Self-control for the Etiquette is the benevolence”. We are not necessarily constrained to what the exact content of the “etiquette” was talked about by Confucius here. Of course it means differently according to the time. We can understand “ the Etiquette" here as a collective order and the respects each other. It safeguards the public interests. It requires to control one’s own, to respect the collective interests, i.e. the interests of others.

 

Laozi said in his "Morality ": "The best virtue is like water. Water benefits everything but never contends with its own contributions, stay in places all others do not want, that’s near to Dao ", " To deal with others, it is best to use the benevolence, you only do not contend with others, therefore you are never worried.". This thought is interlinked with Confucius. Here Laozi talked all about how to deal with the others. Like water, you are doing good things for the others, to get along with others with benevolence and love, rather than fighting for the interests of others. Only by doing so, you meet the best virtues and are never worried.

 

Xunzi said: "To Others, be respectful and faithful, follow the etiquette and righteousness, hearted by love of others. …... Take the hard labor before anyone else, but, give way of the pleasure to anyone else ". This thought has been shining in thousands of year, and will be implemented by us.

 

Mencius inherited the thinking of Confucius. The one of his central ideas is "Righteousness". This "Righteousness" does not simply mean the basic public morality accepted and the guidelines for getting along with people, but is the heroic acts ready to sacrifice the personal interests even one’s own lives for the public causes, collective interests and the good actions for others. Mencius said: "Feelings to shame and to hate are the righteousness ". What to shame and to hate? In today's words, it means that if someone does not comply with public morals, it should be shamed and hated. Conversely, if someone complies with these public morals for just cause, to sacrifice their own interests for the benefit of others, it is worth of glory and honor. We are deeply moved for these actions. Public morality is the virtues which do not infringe interests of the others. Voltaire said, "At any place, at any time, people who made the ultimate sacrifice for the common good, is known as the most moral person."

Of course the wicked and bad men need first to be deprived of their possibilities to infringe the interests of others.

 

Mozi discussed the “Simultaneous love others” in more details and said: " For ruling the world, the sages have to find out the reason of chaos of the world, it derives from not to love each other”. “If we can let the people of the world love each other simultaneously, loving others just like to love one’s own, seeing other’s family just like one’s own family, who would make any chaos?  If we can see other country just like our own country, who would attack? To “love” others is the outside feeling of the responsibility for the others. The love of others is instincts responsibilities to protect, to care, to educate and to nourish the others etc. Here, however, it does not simply refer to the Philanthropism, but specially to love others. It has a huge difference, and specifies clearly the others to be loved. Although philanthropism also refers to love others, but that does not specify the responsibility to love others and therefore the purpose is not clear enough, the language power is insufficient.

Times have been passing by, but the essence of the culture will live forever. In history, China has more time to be integrated and less time to be apart, has never appeared the influential sages like the Confucius and Laozi until the emergence of Mao Zedong in the modern times after more than 1000 years. Chairman Mao put forward the ideas of "serve the people" and said: "our army is entirely for the liberation of the people, works entirely in the interests of the people." People are the all ones who do not injure, not hurt, and not infringe interests of the others as the objective purpose. Hereby, Chairman Mao taught us to work for the benefits of the others completely and entirely. This service is for the sake of others, is the principle of responsibilities for others. And he together with all Chinese people established the People's Republic. The Constitution of China specifies: " The People’s Republic of China is a unitary multinational state created jointly by the people of all its nationalities”, and “All power in the People’s Republic of China belongs to the people”. In the names of the country, the army and the money were added the word of "people's". It was the most precious and inexhaustible wealth that Chairman Mao left to us. We need particularly value this precious wealth. This is the essence of Chinese culture and tradition of thousands of year, is the valuable spiritual wealth of all mankind in the world.

 

China, the young People's Republic with a human distinguished thought older than thousand years , and being giving the thoughts a full play to the modern mainstream of the consciousness, has created the initial success. Can it be regarded as a proof of the ideas? Compared with capital countries of a few hundred years, this People’s Republic has been undergoing its 66 years. As a country, it has a long history, but as a people’s republic, it is still young. He certainly has many shortcomings, but what attitude we should hold to the vibrant but basically still a young child? He shoulders the heavy responsibility not let the country be in disorder, because anyone can't afford any experimental responsibility that may cause the disorder, let alone the preliminary great success according to the current policies. The main ideology of this young people’s Republic is to promote to serve the people from up to down of the country. That is to considerate for the others, to take responsibilities for others. In point of ideological and moral views, it has been contributing a superior virtue to China's modern mainstream of consciousness. It has constantly been struck by many difficulties and been experiencing the tests of various kinds in the strong fires. With bumps, it came over and is going forward into the future along the historical time tunnel with difficult but firm strides.

 

 

In the native and natural consciousness of people of all countries, there are various responsibilities to the others and responsibilities for the others’ lives as well as to all creatures. This” responsibility to the others” and “not infringe upon the interests of the others” will become the dominant thought sooner or later. It should become the good character not only in all of China but in all of countries in the world. Responsibility for othersis also the real basis, preconditions and limits for individual freedom, equality. It also fully represents philanthropism, but higher than that. "Serve the people" and "Responsibility for others" are the historical and decisive principles and the ethics of mankind for getting along with others, it is worth to praise. For all those efforts and activities that comply with the direction of the principle, whether by an individual or by a country, we will be in favored of them and endorse and encourage them; for all activities that do not conform to the direction of the principle, we are not in favor of and against them. This does not only apply in their own countries, but to the other nations and other countries as well. People of the all countries make a joint efforts not let the old dreams of fascist Germany, Italy and Japan in the World War II to repeat in various forms. Not to do so, the people should all rise and is against it. In the countries with the electoral system, people should not vote for those who are ready to encroach on the interests of other countries, even if it is said to be for the self national interests. Since animals can be taken care of, tolerated and understood, why not do the same to the others, to the other nations? Otherwise, in the end, it reverses to harm one’s own, or is under pressure of destruction, then people can accept the principle.

 

Modern democracy and the rule of law are built on the basis of responsibility for others. With the responsibilities for other or the collectives (other’s common interests), the everyone's views on the bigger issues are listened to, so that everyone’s common interests or collective interests are not hurt as considerations and starting points, so the democratic approaches are created. But at the beginning, this democratic way is a means to achieve the common opinions to safeguard the interests of the majority. The means may vary. Due to the different historical backgrounds, democratic methods used are different from country to country, but it's all for the one purpose, namely, to safeguard the interests of the majority. The entire democracy cannot be built at one step. A social stability need to be maintained if it can represent the interests of the majority, it will be good to the livelihood of people. But the democracy should have a beginning and steady progress. Democracy of the most or all the people can better protect and represent the views and interests of the majority than an individual or a minority. Only when all people are conscious of not violating the interests of others, at that time, the material necessities for livelihood will be greatly enriched for everyone, the education level for everyone will be very high, then the democracy will become a human’s purpose, noble and luxury one for people to enjoy. Of course, democracy as a means or a purpose is not completely separated.

 

In the safeguard of people’s common interests, in order to limit and prevent one person from hurting others’ interests or public interests subjectively or objectively when he pursues his personal interests, the laws are created in order to safeguard the public and individuals legal interests by a proper forces, to function like “settle the disputes and stop arguments ” as said by Guanzi in ancient China. First, the laws are issued to determine the boundaries and the provisions of ownerships of the all interests and are able to settle disputes and stop the arguments. And the second, all lawsuits due to the unclear ownership of interests or deliberate violations of the others’ interest can be settled. For distinction of two circumstances of the terms used in Chinese, the first is better called “determine the laws and stop the arguments”; the second is better called “settle disputes and stop the arguments”. The first one talks about all laws to be issued by the authorities, is the basis and substratum for the second one. Ordinarily, most exposed are the second. Guanzi meant both as I think. So the rule of law is not only necessary for the maintenance of social stability and governance and for the maintenance of the harmonious relation between man and man as well. It is very important.

The bottom lines for Public moral should be the responsibility to not harm the interests of others and other countries. The highest virtue is also the responsibility for the others or the public interests (collective others) at the expenses of the self-sacrifice even one’s own life, namely "self-control for the etiquette". Below the bottom line of public moral and violations of the others, relative laws will apply and be enforced, so determine laws and stop the arguments, or settle disputes and stop the arguments.

 

Xuanzi integrated Confucian’s ideas as the benevolence and the virtue, and legalist’s ideas as the rewards and the punishments as a whole, he said: "the etiquette is the highest virtues for humane. However, if people do not follow the etiquette or not satisfy the etiquette requirements, then the people are called the persons with no discipline; if people follow the laws and satisfy the etiquette requirements, then the people are called the scholars with discipline." (see "On the Etiquette"), he also said: "a man does not learn the laws, he tends to the risks and is not the integrity man. No etiquette and righteousness, and the chaos will occur and therefore, the ancient kings thought owing to the natures of human are bad, owing to this likelihood to tend to the risks and being not integrity and the chaos therefore occur and that cannot be governed, and so they will set up the etiquette and righteousness and make the laws for it, and correct the thinks and the natures of human beings by the educations and leading them. All of these are from the point of views of the governance. These comply with the morality" (see "the Bad Nature"). "To Establish the Etiquette and Righteousness and to Make the Laws” said by Xuanzi is to set up the orders and moralities and make all laws, the both are used to govern the chaos and violations of others’ interests. Here, we need not be too constrained by the exact contents of "Etiquette" Xuanzi spoke. The focus is to discuss the Xuanzi’s ideas on how to govern a country. We can understand "The Etiquette" here as a public order, an order for everyone' s benefits. Of course, when Xuanzi said "bad human nature", the material production were fairly insufficient, the bad nature was the reality at that time. Even now, the material production has been relatively rich, some ones are still greed due to the previous influences, the inequality on the end result really exists, social production is relatively rich, but not greatly rich, "bad human nature" is still shown in a part of people. As the material production will be increased significantly, more than the people's daily needs, the education levels for everyone will be greatly increased, people can be conscious to abide by the basic responsibility for others, as well as the understanding of the reality, this will be eventually and gradually changed after the efforts of a few generations. In the end, "human nature is good" - that is responsibility for others will become the consciousness of the whole society.

  

The rule of morality is the direction and fundamental, the rule of the laws is the guarantee and the reality. With the continuous improvement of people's morality in the consciousness, the rule of law will slowly fade. In Xuanzi’s speech in two thousand years, the general policy of governing the country we should do now was then put forward, From this, we can see how great the sages were, his views is so profound. That is also because of the period of the Spring and Autumn and the Warring States when the thought were so open and active.

 

Because the early men were unable to produce enough necessities for survival, therefore, a part of the people have taken advantages from the majorities by the oppression and these parts enjoyed the relative rich material at that time. It made the most of people live at the hardly living levels or at a low level. So Confucius’ ideas of "love others" and “benevolent” were but ideal. Also due to the resistances against the oppressions, the individual human rights have broad space for development. As the capacity of the production is greatly increasing, both of "benevolence" and “love others” of Confucius and the sages and increasing understanding of responsibility for others, and individual human rights will develop in different directions. The thoughts of Confucius and the sages as well as Mao Zedong can be realized step by step, and the thought of human rights gradually fade due to its unreasonable defects. People are now still follow the previous inertia. But the old and new thoughts of Confucian, Laozi and other sages as well as Mao Zedong will be realized in all countries. Needless to speak, this “not infringe on the others, this “Natural Responsibility for Others” have been specially shown with its lightening in thousands of year. The new thoughts are developing and growing. It is the essence of Chinese culture. It will be like the morning sun which will eventually dominate the thoughts of world and will become the brightest public morality and principle of human beings.



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