Don’t Miss! Will China Change or Improve the Current World Order?


There were many prominent philosophers and strategists that their insights shape the Chinese concept of world and domestic order. The Chinese concepts of order are based on the philosophies of Confucius, Mozi, the Art of War by Sun Tzu, and the legalism. These concepts are based on the high morality and the responsibility, the economic growth, the enforcement of the law, and the power of military.

Confucius believes that in order to develop the society we have to develop human conscience, morality, and knowledge first. He said “when the leaders are being the leaders, the ministers are being minister, and father is being the father, the sons are being the sons, the society and world will be in harmony and order”. His principle of five relationships is the center of peace, order, harmony and prosperity. They are: leader and ministers, the parents and children, the husband and wife, the elder brother and younger brother, and the friendship.

Confucius believed that the leader is the superior man that sent by the heaven to create the harmony on earth. Therefore, the leader must be a virtuous, wise and faithful. The leader sets the good example for his ministers and people. The people will benefit from the wisdom and the virtue of the leader. For the ministers, they are in the middle of the leader and the people. So, they have to be honest to both the leader and people. They have to be honest to their obligations and perform their duties well. For the people, Confucius focused on the proper behavior and good heart. This is what China now called “Humane Authority”.

Contrast to Confucianism who focuses on the morality and the willingness of the leader and the people, the legalism believes on the tough punishment and the enforcement of the law. This school of thought believes that the nature of human are cruel, deceptive, untruthful, selfish, and disordered.  In order to suppress these natures and put the people back to the order, the punishment and the law enforcement are needed. This school of thought attained its preeminence at the time of Warring States. This school of thought criticized the Confucianism whom believes in the virtue of the leader and morality of the people. The philosophers in this school were Shang Yang, Hanfeizi, and Li Si. They believed that “if the evil minister enjoy safety and profit, it is the begging of downfall. The tough law enforcement make the strong country”. The law is superior to all the people.

The philosopher whose ideas were similar to Confucius’, was Mozi. Mozi believed in three ways of the order. The First, the virtuous and learned ministers. He said “if the scholars are not protected and used, that state will be in declination. Therefore, the plan for the country has to be shared only with the scholars”. The second, he believed that the world order is based on the universal love and compassion. He said “If everyone in the world will love universally; states not attacking one another; houses not disturbing one another; thieves and robbers becoming extinct; emperor and ministers, fathers and sons, all being affectionate and filial — if all this comes to pass the world will be orderly. Therefore, how can the wise man who has charge of governing the empire fail to restrain hate and encourage love? So, when there is universal love in the world it will be orderly, and when there is mutual hate in the world it will be disorderly”. Third, he believed that “the poverty is the root of chaos and disorder”. Deng Xiaoping also said that “to be rich is glorious”. And the modern China is being built on the concept that “as long as the economic growth continuously, the people will tolerate with many things”. Deng Xiaoping once said “the military can end the unrest, but the economy can prevent it in the future”.

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