Author: Pan Wei, a professor of international relations at Peking University

1. Similar events shape different historical paths

  Recently, I read Comrade Pan Yue’s strange articles, comparing the 300 years when the Wuhu entered China with the 300 years when the Germanic ministries entered Western Rome.

The article explains that these two similar major historical events shaped the different historical paths and different political results of China and the West. One is the scattered feudalism of ethnic groups, so far there is no Roman unification; the other is that Hu and Han merged into a family and swept away the Han. The decadence from the end of the Three Kingdoms to the Southern Dynasties restored the vitality of the unification of counties and counties.

  This article carries a "xianqi".

First, that 300-year bloody history of China has turned into an exciting romantic history in his writings, and "chaotic China" has become "entry into China" in which the Hu-Han culture blends.

Second, Hua Oona’s 300-year history is crisscrossed and very chaotic, but his condensed and poem-style writing has turned into a brief history with clear clues, using only 27,000 words. .

Thirdly, he used carefully selected touching stories to connect those thrilling melees, and also connected comments on important academic views of Chinese and Western historians, and constructed a very Chinese "national" historical view that can be compared with Western historical views.

  In Pan Yue's view, as far as the formation of a political community is concerned, the "universal church" of Christianity does not work, and it is not against the scattered cultural genes of the Germanic tribe.

The genes of the Germanic system that emphasized dispersed ethnicity have shaped the long historical path of Europe and the West, and there has been no Roman unity ever since.

  However, what Pan Yue wants to say is obviously more than the historical "path dependence" of "Rome abandoning Rome" and "China chooses China."

Pan Yue's article aims to promote a historical view: the "legitimacy" of the Chinese regime comes from the integration of ethnic groups and the inheritance of the unified system of Qin and Han Dynasties.

In contrast, the West did not think of "reviving" the Romanesque political community until the Renaissance, and it still regards the "freedom of division" as "legitimate" and does not recognize the "legitimacy" of the political community itself.

2. Large-scale political community

  I have a question that has lingered in my mind for a long time: Why did China form a huge political community three thousand years ago, but it was not until more than three hundred years ago that such a political community just began to form outside of China?

  Pan Yue's article explores the different historical paths formed by alien invasions in the two places. It is not written to answer the above questions, but it is not unrelated.

His answer seems to be: special historical culture has shaped special systems; Germanic cultural genes have obvious tension with the cohesion of large-scale political communities.

  King Wu passed away two years after succeeding in defeating Zhou.

His youngest son, King Zhou Cheng, founded the Chinese Feudal Unity with the assistance of Zhou Gongdan.

Cheng Wang died in 1021 BC, so far in 3042.

It is not a legend to say that the unification of China has a history of three thousand years, but a letter of history.

2240 years ago, Emperor Qin pioneered the unification of counties and counties in China that continues to this day, and it is even more known to the world.

  "Political community" refers to the organic community of "land, nation, and national power", or "Trinity" in the Christian concept.

Because there is a unified government that monopolizes violence and taxation to manage the citizens of the country, it is called a "political" community.

Great unification is a huge political community.

"Big" refers to the vast land and the people; "unification" refers to the government that manages the land and the people in a unified manner.

  "Political community" and "cultural community" are completely different concepts.

Chinese translates the Western word "nation" into both "nation" and "nation", and the superfluous "nation-state", and the addition of "minority" instead of "minority" has led to conceptual confusion and Years of chaos in the Chinese academic circle.

The "cultural community" within the Western "country" refers to the "ethnicity" or "ethnic group", and is not juxtaposed with the political community "nation".

We talk about "multiple integration" or chaos.

"Yuan" refers to "cultural community", but "one body" refers to "political community".

Multiculturalism exists in all "countries", that is, in all political communities.

As small as Singapore and as large as the United States, there has never been a political community of a single cultural community in the world, even Japan and South Korea contain multiple cultural communities.

  What is China?

From the bitter cold north to the sweltering southern Xinjiang, from the coastal plains to the roof of the earth, residents from all corners of the world produce, live, communicate, and blend under the unified regime, and even Kyushu has the same wind and six harmony, forming the world's largest "home and country". The political community is China, which is called "Chinese Nation" by Westerners.

Today, the Chinese Political Community has a population of 1.4 billion and covers an area of ​​nearly 10 million square kilometers.

  South Asia is less than half the size of China (4.3 million square kilometers) and has a population of nearly 1.9 billion.

There may have been a great unification of South Asia during the "Ashoka" period about the same time as Qin Shihuang, but it disappeared without a trace after only a few decades. It was not until the British colonial rule that the political community consciousness was born, and several were constructed in the middle of the 20th century. Independent political community.

India, with a population of 1.35 billion, is a large-scale political community in the contemporary world, but it has only 3 million square kilometers of land.

  The Roman Empire lasted for more than 400 years and lived almost at the same time as the Han Dynasty. At its peak, it governed 5 million square kilometers of land.

But the Roman Empire was not so much a solid political community as a confederation of autonomous provinces supported by military power.

The once glorious Persian empire and Arab empire only lasted in name only, and the inside was the fragility of chaotic feudalism and the ravages of ethnic groups.

  The consciousness of the Russian political community was created by the 240-year rule of the Mongolian Golden Horde.

The Principality of Moscow was established by defeating Mongol at the end of the 15th century (1480), and it took 240 years to transform from a small landlocked country into a three-ocean power in the Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans.

But Russia has vast land but no people.

Today, Russia covers an area of ​​more than 17 million square kilometers, but only has a population of more than 140 million.

Japan achieved unification during the Tokugawa shogunate period in the early 17th century, but this political community has an area of ​​less than 400,000 square kilometers, and its population today is less than 130 million.

  Westerners themselves believe that the European political community "nation" (the basic meaning is "national", not a trinity of nationals/land/regimes, and there is no collective term for these three in Western languages), which can only be traced back to the middle of the 17th century. "The Peace of Westphalia" (1648).

Before that, there was only the "kingdom" of the princes, who often gifted each other the land as a dowry, and the people who were vassalized on the land were given together.

  As the predecessor of the German political community, the "Holy Roman Empire" lasted for about 900 years, but it was not a political community, but a vague collective term for hundreds of princely territories.

Today the largest political community in Europe is Germany, which was established more than 20 years after Marx and Engels published the "Communist Manifesto" in 1848.

Marx believed that "the working class has no motherland" and called for "the proletarians of the world to unite."

He did not expect that the working classes of advanced Europe were actually closely united in their respective political communities and fought against each other.

Only 30 years after the death of Marx, European countries have fought two "world wars" around this newly born country, and they have been fought to death.

Since the founding of Germany, the "German problem" has become a world problem, which has lasted for a century.

  Europe is roughly the same size as China, with a population of more than 700 million, but "the United States of Europe" (the United States of Europe), or "Europa Stan", is still a dream.

  The largest political community in the West today is the United States.

The United States, like Russia, is a large Sanyo country, but its land area is the same as that of China.

The United States has a population of 330 million mainly European immigrants, which is less than a quarter of China.

The largest political community in the West appeared at the end of the 18th century and only stabilized after the Great Civil War in the middle of the 19th century (1864).

  Since the Western Zhou Dynasty, the "great unification" itself has been the source of the "legitimacy" of the Chinese regime.

During the Kangxi period, more than two hundred pieces of good essays passed down for more than two thousand years were selected and compiled into "Guwen Guan Zhi".

Including the pre-Qin political essay "Chunwang Zhengyue".

That was the first excellent article describing the legitimacy of the regime from "great unification," and it has been passed down through the ages.

  In the West, the political community itself is not the source of the "legitimacy" of the regime.

What is sacred is the right of "individual" freedom, that is, "human rights."

The social right of freedom of association was constructed on the basis of individual freedom rights, and the political right to contend for power was constructed on the basis of freedom of party formation.

State is nothing but a tool of the ruling group, or "necessary evil".

  Pan Yue's article is about the very bloody history of China and Europe, but its essence is the hymn of "Great Unification".

3. The life of a large political community

  Great unification is China, and China is great unification.

Why is the Chinese political community formed so early, and its resilience is so strong that it lasts three thousand years to the present?

Pan Yue's article stimulated the author to conclude a rough answer, which is composed of the following four reasons.

  The first is social equality.

The more ambiguous and unstable the social stratification, the easier it is for large-scale political communities to form and stabilize.

The clearer and more stable the social stratification, the harder it is to form and stabilize a large-scale political community.

  Five thousand years ago, the Aryan nomadic tribes spent thousands of years leaving the core area of ​​Eurasia one after another, and most of them settled in the farming areas on the edge of Eurasia.

Herdsmen with lighter skin and strong belief in gods conquered peasants with darker skin and pragmatism, forming a caste system and slavery.

Slavery is closely related to the capture of the war of conquest; and the Aryans who settled in non-agricultural areas have basically no slaves available and no custom of using slaves.

The Indian farming society in South America never took slaves as its main body; it was not slaves who built the earliest Egyptian pyramids.

After the Germanic conquest of Rome, slavery became a serfdom and a hierarchical system, and it became a class system in the era of commerce and subsequent manufacturing.

However, the Aryans in the farming regions of East Asia encountered a vast strategic depth in geography and a large population of farming tribes and large tribal alliances in the Xia-Shang era.

Without Aryan conquest, there would be no castes, slaves, ranks, and classes.

China has the "four people divided by industry," but the equality of the "people" constitutes the basic condition for "organizing the households and the people," and it is also the basic condition for "great unification."

Since the "people" are equal, and Qimin is named as the householder, there is no European-style "class culture".

Regardless of Chinese architecture, literature, or art, there is no such thing as exclusive to "nobles".

The "Five Hus" in the early years were attracted to this social equality, and finally the Manchu nobles came to dominate the Central Plains and were also attracted to this social equality.

Nalan Xingde entered the customs with his father Nalan Mingzhu. He was a nobleman of the royal family. He died early in his youth, and he was actually famous for his "Nalan Ci".

The freedom of self-cultivation and shepherd boy piccolo is certainly stronger than the hierarchical military culture.

Soon after entering the gate, the Manchu nobles and the people in the capital were fighting crickets in the alley with their buttocks. The skill of hawk hunting also became the habit of the people of the capital and the Han people in carrying cages and birds.

Equal social life is very attractive. It is the reason why “China has no outside” or even “the world has no outside”, and it is the basis for the cohesion of a large-scale political community.

  The second is the interdependence of officials and citizens.

The "people" is no longer divided, and it is even possible to "organize the households together with the people", leaving only the "government and the people" in the political community.

If the government and the people are interdependent, the political community is stable and prosperous, which can firmly support a larger scale.

Officials only "represent" a certain part of the people, and it is difficult for a large-scale political community to form and stabilize.

Small-scale "feudalism" rejects "great unification" because it has the power to suppress "freedom" to deal with the clearly divided and contradictory "people".

  Focusing on the major question of "Why is the government needed, and why the government rises and falls", political science forms a "meta-theory".

The answer in modern times in the West is "contract". The "authorization contract" between the people and the people derives the "authorization contract" between the people and the official.

The concept of contract comes from the description of the "Bible", and one of its key points is the description of the "ten commandments" covenant between God and the leader of the Jewish tribe Moses on Mount Sinai in Egypt.

The sacredness of individual rights comes from the concept of "authorization" given to people by God.

The so-called "legitimacy" of political power comes from the concept of contract.

China does not have the concept of "sacred contract", so it uses the "legitimacy" of the regime instead of the "legitimacy".

"Contract theory" is full of mysteries that secular farmers cannot understand: who gives to whom, when and where, how to "authorize", and what "rights" are granted?

Contract theory is obviously not the logic of a large political community, nor the logic of the trinity of land, people, and political power.

In sharp contrast to the "contract theory" created by the modern West, the unchanging causal answer for three thousand years in China is "people-oriented": political power comes from the needs of the people's overall well-being; those who win the hearts of the people gain the world, those who lose the hearts of the people lose the world.

"Popular sentiment" is not the "popular opinion" based on polls based on the moment, but the general "trust" of the people in the regime.

The people's heart is the "legitimacy" of the regime, so "the people are the foundation of the country, and the foundation is solid."

The imperial examination is an official selection system, and the content of the examination is "Four Books and Five Classics".

The first book, the first page, and the first sentence of the Mingyi, Four Books and Five Classics are "The way of a university lies in Ming and Mingde, in being close to the people, and ending in the best".

To be an official, one must practice the Chinese family ethics and morals with heart and soul, and treat the people as their family members until they serve the people wholeheartedly.

Therefore, the private business is private, the official is serving the public; the people pass on the son, the official passes on the good.

Therefore, the great unity of China is a concentric political community. As long as the officials are centered on the people, the people are centered on the officials.

Once the government operates privately, the "people-based" becomes the "official-based", and the "people who lose the minds of the people lose the world."

Concentric circles control chaos in a cycle of rise and fall. "A long time must be divided, and a long time must be combined". It depends on the quality of the center of the circle, and the quality of the "official" rather than the quality of the "people". This is the view of Chinese history.

  The third is the naturalness of the bond.

The more the political community relies on man-made ideological cohesion, the more fragile it is; the more it relies on the natural cohesion of the people, the more stable and durable it is.

  People can create ideologies, and of course they will create contradictory ideologies, leading to the formation of religions and sects.

Emphasis on religion and ism, unity is temporary and fragile, and the political community tends to split or even fight each other.

"Natural bond" refers to the reproduction of human beings who raise children for the elderly.

The family is to raise the young for the elderly, and the natural nature of the political community is mutual assistance in raising the young for the elderly.

Regardless of ancient and modern times, at home and abroad, all political communities have organized mutual assistance in raising the young for the elderly, that is, supporting the elderly and the young, helping the poor, helping the poor, and watching and helping each other.

However, most of the world’s political communities put particular emphasis on certain religions and ideologies, so they generally have the problem of fragility and durability.

In contrast, Chinese dynasties have claimed that "this dynasty ruled the world with filial piety".

Family ethics "filial piety" derives social ethics "loyalty", and social ethics "loyalty" derives political ethics "ethics, justice, integrity and shame".

Chinese farmers yearn for the "Great Unity" in the distant future, but in reality they suffer from both widowhood and inequality, and they are down-to-earth in pursuing the "well-off" of all citizens.

Inheriting the Chinese Orthodoxy, the Communist Party of China now expresses its historical outlook: The party’s century of struggle is the history of leading the Chinese nation to “stand up, get rich, and become strong”; the party’s goal is the good life of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation’s Great Rejuvenation.

This is obviously emphasizing the natural responsibility of the political community to organize mutual assistance for the young and old, and it has inherited and continued the historical view of the rise and fall of the governance of chaos in China.

  The fourth is the advanced nature of production methods.

Since modern times, there has also been the fourth major factor that affects the size of the political community, that is, the change in the form of wealth caused by the progress of production methods.

  Humans began to have an "industry" about 7,000 years ago, completing the domestication of wild cattle, sheep and pigs and the cultivation of wild plants into wheat, barley, millet and rice, as well as corn and potatoes in Central and South America.

Planting and breeding wealth is the "first industry".

But the "second industry" emerged only 300 years ago, and the wealth created became the main body of wealth.

Then, in recent decades, the "tertiary industry" has emerged, and the intangible wealth created has become the main body of wealth.

The main body of wealth is intangible wealth and is likely to remain unchanged for a long time, because there is no "fourth industry" anymore.

These three hundred years of technological progress, from planting and breeding wealth to creating wealth to creating intangible wealth, have given us a new historical outlook in modern times—adding the historical outlook of progress to the cyclical historical outlook on the rise and fall of the governance of chaos.

Because of the backward production methods, the unification of China has been squeezed into a backward China that is "beaten, starved, and scolded".

  Today, wealth is mainly "created" by the brain.

Generally speaking, great unification is subject to "officials", and innovations are rarely seen everywhere.

Officials tend to "wear hats" on innovators and innovative institutions to show their official achievements.

However, a small number of hats suppressed the rule of "heroes come out from young people", and there is no "talents come out in large numbers."

Passionate about official projects and appraisal of "hat talents" and "ratings" of educational and scientific research institutions. There will be fewer and fewer innovative talents and institutions. There will be no "heroes everywhere" and no innovative Chinese nation. .

Feudalism is not as good as great unity, but for solid unity, the optimal logic for building an "innovative country" is "incorporating the meaning of feudalism in prefectures and counties."

Fourth, reveries about historical views

  Pan Yue's article praised the integration of Han and Hu, and expressed his clear historical standpoint on Chinese unification and Western feudalism.

In order to clarify where I am, I am here to summarize the five types of historical views in the world.

  First, history is the masterpiece of a single god.

The majority of the world’s population are Christians and Muslims.

Except for the dominant ethnic group in China, religious destiny is the profound cultural background of other human groups in the world.

Monotheism is also the source of the "end of history" theory.

  Second, history is circular.

The main body of the "cycle" is the rise and fall of the human political community.

The West began to have this view of history since ancient Greek city-states, because city-states have a short lifespan.

Since ancient times, China has also had a cyclical historical view of the rise and fall of freshman rule: "If we divide for a long time, we must unite, and if we keep together, we must divide.

  Third, history is evolutionary.

In the past seven thousand years, only the primary industry has existed. The concept that technology promotes historical progress is a matter of the manufacturing era, and the historical concept of progress was born in modern times.

  Fourth, history is the result of the struggle and reorganization of castes, ranks, classes, and upper, middle and lower interest groups within a group.

This progressive view of history is also unique in modern times. It came with the progress of production methods, but it is now the mainstream view of history in the West.

  Fifth, history is the result of the cohesion of the political community from small to large.

From many tribes to city-states, from many city-states to countries, from many small and medium-sized countries to superpowers, and perhaps from superpowers to the future world unity, it is reflected in the survival of the fittest among political communities and exchanges and blending.

This view of history is very Chinese, and it was born during the Qin and Han dynasties.

  The above five historical viewpoints can be merged and simplified into the two major historical viewpoints today.

  First, human history is mainly driven by technological progress and the struggle of interest groups within the group.

Such historical views have given birth to the following values ​​of "freedom": from "individual freedom" for independent emancipation from groups, to "social freedom" for interest struggles between groups, to "political freedom" for groups to fight for control of government power.

This historical view emphasizes the social value of "divide", and emphasizes that the victory or defeat of a social group is the basic unit of political analysis.

  Second, human history is mainly driven by technological progress and the rise and fall of the political community, which competes against the cohesion of the political community and an environment suitable for the development of advanced technological innovation.

This historical view gave birth to the values ​​of the "big family": supporting the old and the young, helping the poor and helping the poor, watching and helping each other, and one family in the world.

This historical view emphasizes the social value of "combination", and emphasizes that the political community that can unite the internal society is itself the basic unit of political analysis.

  It is on the basis of the second historical view that the author has a strong resonance with Pan Yue's article.