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An Analysis of the Seven Nodes in the Evolution and Context of Chinese Historical and Cultural National Characters DATE:2020-08-26CLICK:560

  History and culture have a profound impact on the behavioral consciousness and social system path of a nation and even a country. To hold the ancient way, to protect the present, to know the beginning of the ancient times, is called Dao Ji. The historian Mr. Quan Honggang believes that in the course of history, there is the ideological control system of the ruling class and the ideology of the ancients. Extract these excellent ideas from the long and glorious historical corridor, examine the history that has taken place with practical and rigorous eyes, and then compare modern society, take the essence and discard the dross, so as to promote the development of human civilization.



  True insights are often based on a lot of reading. Through research and investigation, the historian Quan Honggang and scholars proposed that the evolution of Chinese historical and cultural national character can be roughly divided into seven nodes. Around the following seven nodes, he used easy-to-understand and concise words Language stringed up the process of Chinese historical and cultural transformation before the Republic of China, expounding the reasons for the changes in the system and culture of each dynasty. The unique perspective makes us think about history. The interesting explanations are particularly impressive. Talk about it.


  1. Tribal culture

   Quan Honggang scholars believe that the most primitive culture in China is tribal culture, which originated from the two emperors of Yan and Huang, passed through the Yao, Shun and Yu period, and ended up in the Xia Yu dynasty. The most popular system in tribal culture is the meditation system, which is to allow more capable people to lead the tribe to lead everyone to resist external invasions or natural disasters, produce labor and distribute food evenly. The tribal leader is the master of everyone in name. According to historical investigation and data, there was no labor and corvette in the tribal culture period. When there are public affairs to be done, the leader leads everyone in the division of labor.

It is said that when the leader of the tribal alliance, Yao, was old, he convened a meeting of the tribal alliance and elected the talented Shun as his successor. After a long period of investigation on Shun, Yao gave the leader of the alliance to Shun. This democratic system of electing the leader , History called the "concession" system. Later, Shun became old and determined to inherit Yao's practice of "appointing people on their merits." At that time, the country was flooded, and Dayu stepped forward and led the people to fight the flood, and finally won. Facing the surging flood, Dayu learned from his father Gun’s failure to control the water, changed the method of "blocking" and channeled the flood. Dayu has managed the water for many years, "three times without entering the house", it can be said to be exhausted. With effort and physical strength, Shun surrendered the emperor's throne to Dayu because of his power in water control.

   The system of concession continued until the time of Xia Yu. At the time of Xia Yu, the world was harmonious and the people were fine.

   2. Noble culture

From Dayu's control of the waters, the extermination of the Three Miaos, to the enthronement of Qi, the end of the meditation system was declared. "Gongtianxia" became "jiatianxia". Later, the king of Wu defeated Zhou and ended the inheritance of the seventeenth Shang Dynasty. More and more Gonghou and Bozinan, namely the aristocratic class, were sealed, and a set of strict systems and rituals were established to restrain the people and princes. On the big stage of the Spring and Autumn Period, the aristocratic class appeared on the stage, and aristocratic culture came into being.

   Since the beginning of the Western Zhou Dynasty, China has entered a stage of rational civilization marked by ritual and music. The social system advocates patriarchal clan system, and the spirit of the times has changed from fearing ghosts and gods to respecting ethics. Zhou Dynasty literature pays more attention to history, society, and life. The Spring and Autumn Period was a transitional society where "rituals collapsed and music was broken". At that time, Emperor Zhou lost his political authority. Many princes gradually embarked on the road of fighting for hegemony based on their strength by being unconstrained by "the emperor is far away from the sky". This environment of competition between vassal states made the Spring and Autumn Period far more free, more vibrant and colorful than the Western Zhou period. Aristocratic culture reached its peak during the Spring and Autumn Period and Warring States Period. That period was also known as the concentrated flash point of Chinese civilization. The famous thinkers Confucius, Mozi, and Laozi were all from this period. The time of thinkers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle was about a hundred years later than China. The aristocratic culture of this period not only refers to people with titles, but also refers to the philosophers, thinkers, and civilians of this period. The aristocratic spirit in China is more than 1,700 years earlier than the aristocratic spirit in Western countries.

  Aristocratic culture is as bright and bright as stars in our history, colorful, and blooming! Even the words and sentences we use now, the etiquette inherited, the spirit of legal Confucianism and Taoism philosophy are all closely linked. Of course, China is called the "state of etiquette" and it is worthy of the name.

   3. Gentlemen culture

   In 221 BC, Emperor Qin Shihuang calmed down the Six Kingdoms and established the Kingdom of Qin. He realized that the aristocracy was the biggest obstacle to imperial rule. If the aristocracy could not be eliminated, the power of the ruler would be greatly weakened. So he gradually took measures to suppress and weaken the aristocratic class. Shang Yang's reform stipulated that all members of the ranks, regardless of their background, would receive rewards according to their military merits, even in the clan of Qin. Those who have not made military merits in the clan are not allowed to be included in the clan's books, and must not have titles. This is the oldest military rank system in China-the twentieth-level military merit nobility system in the Qin Dynasty.

   Then the Qin Dynasty was overthrown by Liu Bang and the Han Dynasty was established. Liu Bang continued to follow the military rank system of the Qin Dynasty. At this time, a new class appeared at the right time. It was called the gentry. Historian Quan Honggang believes that it fills the void left by the nobility, but it can also be regarded as a continuation of the noble culture. The difference between the noble culture and the noble culture is that it no longer has blood relatives to the royal family, but is formed by family studies and legislation, which is different from other surnames. This so-called big family, big family and noble family, they are related to The institutions are interoperable, and they have held important official positions for generations. In this way, the gentry class has taken shape and has become more and more prosperous. At that time, the centralization system was implemented throughout the country. In the Han Dynasty, there were internal and external dynasties, and the emperor's power was greatly enhanced.

   At the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty, the political affairs were chaotic, which accelerated the development of the gentry class, prompting the gentry class to rise to power and monopolize official careers. There is a well-known poem "In the past, Wang Xie Tang, swallows before the swallows, flew into the homes of ordinary people", this is the comparison between the glory of the two great families of the royal family and the Xie family in the Eastern Jin Dynasty and the decline of today.

  Four, Mendi Culture

   The earliest family in China can be traced back to the Spring and Autumn Period, such as the Han family, Zhao family, Wei family, Zhi family, Fan family, Zhongxing family, etc. Family culture is a product of feudal thought, and rights are the fundamental reason for the production of family culture. It can be said that it spans more than half of the entire Chinese feudal society. For example, the reason why Cao Cao, the hero of the Three Kingdoms period, failed to unify the world, the fatal injury was that although he possessed strong military power, his political foundation was not strong. Although Cao Cao claimed to be a descendant of Cao Shen, the founding father of the Han Dynasty, he was actually far less prestigious than the Yuan family of the "fourth generation and three gongs", and even less prestigious than the Yang family of the fourth emperor. At the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty, when the Mendi family culture was very strong, it was difficult for him to get the full support of scholar-officials and aristocratic families.

Mendi culture is also deeply reflected in the Guangkai imperial examinations in the Sui and Tang Dynasties. Although this allowed Confucian culture to be popularized throughout the country, it actually allowed Confucian scholars to monopolize the country’s official positions, and ostensibly provided ordinary people with opportunities to become officials. In fact, the ranks are strict and unfair. Poetry fairy Li Bai was unable to take the imperial examinations because of his low status, so he uttered the self-deprecating and self-reliant "Looking up to the sky, laughing and going out, how am I a Penghao people"... This period of China's ruling culture fell into an unprecedented serious ecology. crisis. The influence of the ancient Mendi culture is far-reaching and ubiquitous. Among them, the most common and representative is the "right of the family" when choosing a mate.

   5. Civilian culture

  Popular culture originated in the Song Dynasty, and the people at the grassroots level had the opportunity to participate in the supreme center of power and become power holders during this period. By the Song Dynasty, only the habits of civilians were left, and then the so-called civilian culture was realized. Civilian culture-imperial power, civil freedom, civil culture, the Song Dynasty is the most free and open era in China. The foundation of Chinese traditional civilian culture is peasant culture. On this basis, scholar-official culture is formed, which is an elegant form of civilian culture. Chinese culture developed to the Song Dynasty and completely entered the era of "civilian culture".

  According to records, there were more than 100 prime ministers in the Southern and Northern Song Dynasties, among which more than 60 were civilians. This situation is unprecedented. As long as individuals have talents and work hard, they will have the opportunity to change their destiny as officials. The typical inspirational representative is Lv Mengzheng, a famous official in the early Song Dynasty, who can be described as the idol of the poor family. In the Song Dynasty, Lu Meng was the first prime minister to step out of the common people, as well as the first scholar prime minister and champion prime minister. It is said that the emperor wrote a poem to give a banquet for the champion, and the golden house in the book also started here. After he became the champion, Song Taizong considered his poor family background and gave him 20 money. Wan, this kind of benevolence to scholars has become a basic system of the Song Dynasty that can last forever. It can be seen that the emergence of civilian culture is quite outstanding, and the "bad" students in the school are also expected to change their fate. There are two particularly famous sentences, "Chao Wei Tian Shelang, Mu Deng Tian Zi Tang", which tells the story of a farmer who changed his destiny overnight through imperial examinations. And this kind of thing was very common at the time.

  6. Rogue culture

The Yuan Dynasty was founded by Kublai Khan in 1271. Its predecessor was the Great Mongolian State established by Genghis Khan. At that time, the Mongolians were sturdy and arrogant, from the Mongolian nobles to the Mongolian officials. They sneered at the culture and etiquette of the Han people. I do nothing all day, whispering to each other, and I don’t really do anything. Therefore, every city literati, scholar, kills, and leaves carpenters, blacksmiths, tailors and other craftsmen who think that these people are practical and modify policies at will. There are four kinds of Mongolians, Semu, Han, and Southern (this needs further confirmation). But what is certain is that this division is reflected in some policies and regulations. For example, Han people need to pay for their lives when they kill Mongols, while Mongols only need to punish them for military action and burn all the silver. Hans are not allowed to serve as guards if they are soldiers, and they often can only serve as deputies if they are officials. There is also a saying that Hans marry wives and Mongols come first (to be verified) and strictly restrict the production and life of Hans. There is no justice at all. Quan Honggang scholars call this way of behavior a hooligan culture. The rulers of the Yuan Dynasty established a new regime. In order to strengthen the management of the Han people, they persecuted the intellectuals. In the end of the Yuan Dynasty, the scholars were almost slaughtered. Therefore, the Chinese culture was forced to continue its downward trend and move towards modernity. The "rogue culture" of culture. The Yuan Dynasty gave the beginning of the rogue culture.

   Guan Hanqing's drama "Dou E's Injustice" is well known to women and children. Literature is a mirror of reality. What kind of literary works will come out of life. In "Dou E's Injustice", gangsters are rampant, officials rush to kill people, the common people have nowhere to say, there is nowhere to complain, the officialdom is extremely corrupt, and the society is extremely dark. In the true Yuan Dynasty, the common people survived under the suppression of such a cruel hooligan culture. The hooligan culture brought unspeakable pain and shock to the entire society.

   This kind of rogue culture has a huge influence. During the Ming Dynasty, there were severe penalties, the raising of the royal family, further degrading the status of warriors, abolishing the prime ministerial system, abolishing the separation of powers in the bureaucracy, and further solidifying and utilitizing the imperial examination. One minister was killed by Zhu Di, and his daughter was killed by him. When it was sent to the brothel, a eunuch reported that the minister's daughter had given birth to a child as a girl. Zhu Di laughed and said, okay, sending it to the brothel in a few years can make money. An emperor, although Zhu Yuanzhang and Zhu Di are beasts of power, killing countless people, after all, you are the supreme ruler, look at all this! Rogue into sex!

   The good things of the Yuan Dynasty were not inherited by the Ming Dynasty. However, these rogue systems in the Ming Dynasty further deepened the wanton development of rogue culture through continuous strengthening and emphasis. When this kind of culture becomes the mainstream culture, hooliganism and consciousness will penetrate the whole Chinese society from top to bottom, and from bottom to top, covering the Chinese hooligan culture in all directions. Moreover, as the social environment changes, this kind of rogue culture penetrates into all levels of social life with pervasive corrosiveness, showing a trend of deterioration, generalization, and deepening, and even a certain collective unconsciousness. It undermines the construction of the rule of law, morality, and belief in Chinese society. Because the rule of law has been repeatedly broken, beliefs collapsed, and morality has been degraded, the democratic rule of law in Chinese society has been repeatedly blocked. It is difficult to form a civil society marked by democratic constitutionalism.

   Seven, slave culture

   Yuan, Ming and Qing, these three dynasties are a heritage country. Ming and Qing are the culmination of the development of China's authoritarian centralization system. The main manifestations are the power of the monarchy and the decline of civil rights. Regarding the former, Wei Zhongxian, known as "Nine Thousand Years Old," was wiped out by Emperor Chongzhen's two-inch paper order; Yuan Shikai, holding a heavy soldier in hand, was ordered to be disarmed and returned to the fields by the regent. Regarding the latter, the scholars in the Ming dynasty can no longer perform freely in the examination, and the freedom of the scholars in the Qing dynasty to connect to the society has also disappeared. The weakening of civil rights made the life of the people in Ming and Qing dynasties difficult and ignorant, and their lives were worse than those in the Tang and Song dynasties. The technology and culture lagging behind Western countries by a large margin, and caused many humiliations in modern history. The national character also changed from rascal to slave.

The culture of slavery was mainly concentrated in the Qing Dynasty. At this time, the Aixinjueluo family forcibly instilled the consciousness of slavery in the Han people in order to highly unify the Han people and imprison the Han people's ideology and culture. Dare to speak, even insensitive and servile. Even in the officialdom at that time, the word "minion" had a higher weight than "civil", and the customs of the officialdom were so profound that the whole society competed to learn and formed a serious culture of slavery. The other side of the minion culture is that we unknowingly follow the thinking of personality worship and surrender to think about problems, and make many people simple. Some ministers were rewarded by Yongzheng. Yongzheng said that you don't need to thank you, and you are not qualified to thank you. Just do your job well.

   This is because the slave system has been circulating within the Manchu itself, and the Manchu is used to it. Calling himself a slave to the emperor outside is not only to show that he is a royal person, but more importantly, to attack the status of Hanchen, and gradually distorted the loyalty thought of Han Confucian students into the culture of slave masters.

   The dross culture slowly loosened after the gunshots of the Republic of China, and it was not until the founding of New China that these dross were completely thrown out of the sky.

In short, we should understand a truth: politics can change people's thinking and behavior, excellent politics will produce excellent culture, and excellent culture will have lofty beliefs. In short, as long as there is a reasonable, compliant, and compliant system, The people have unlimited creativity. These excellent systems and cultures will play a pivotal role in building society and enhancing the cohesion of the nation-state. (The author is a historian  Quan Hong Gang)



Source: People's Daily