Saturday, July 12, 2014


CONTEMPORARY GOVERNANCE, CONFUCIAN RENAISSANCE, AND CHINA DREAM BY FRANCIS C.W. FUNG, PH.D. ABSTRACT The contemporary renaissance of Confucianism has triumphantly rediscovered the kingly way or Humane Authority Way (named after Jiang Qing) of governance based on the three legitimacy requirements of perfect governance: the will of heaven, the will of the earth, and the will of the people. This contemporary Confucian Renaissance is a result of deep debate based on the traditional concept of Confucian ideal governance by contemporary Confucian scholars worldwide and may prove to be of more universal significance for future ways of governance than the rediscovery of Greek democracy that led to European Renaissance. Both the Western Liberal Democracy and the Middle Eastern Theocracy, by definition and implementation, are each grounded in only one of these traditional legitimacies. Therefore, they are less ideal and lacking in legitimacy compared to the three legitimacy requirements of the Humane Authority Way. They will be proved not as enduring as the Humane Authority Way in the long history of mankind. The three pillars of legitimate governance have been named by the present author as the House of Morality (HOM), the House of Tradition and Culture (HTC), and the House of Constituent Democracy (HCD) in a previous paper titled “Order of the Humane Authority Endowed with Spirit of China Dream and Harmony Renaissance”. An in-depth and objective study of contemporary Chinese governance reveals that present-day China is already operating under these three Confucian principles based on the importance of the legitimacy of socialist core value, legitimacy of the most important Chinese historical tradition upheld by the Communist Party of China, and the legitimacy of constituent democracy. These three principles are manifested by the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) upholding of the socialist core value, its important historical role in liberating and modernizing China, and the role played by the People’s Consultative Conference within the Chinese government. Most of all, the CPC is the only governing party in China today that has the successful track record, resources, and the will power to carry on these three principles to the fruition of an ideal modern government that will serve as a universal legitimate governance model for the world. Going forward, there is every reason to believe that China will formalize these three principles into a Humane Authority Way (the Kingly Way) in the Confucian tradition, as a grand tradition continuing the ancient Chinese tradition to the modern legitimate government under CPC leadership. This evolution of the Chinese government has been heralded in China and will be implemented in the coming years. The 18th National Congress of the CPC laid out a strategy for building a culturally strong nation on the basis of ideals that, while having their roots in Chinese civilization, are different from those of the West and of ancient China, and project a new China with a new spirit of global significance. This is CPC’s call for the way of modifying the Confucian constitution as part of the China dream to rejuvenate the Chinese nation and contribute to world culture through Confucian and Harmony Renaissance. INTRODUCTION In a paper titled “The Chinese Dream Can Enrich World Civilization”, the well-known academic Yue Dai Yuan from Peking University posted the following questions to the Chinese nation: “First, what kind of ideological and conceptual schemes do we need to effectively tackle the world’s problems? Without fundamental conceptual capabilities, no great ideals can be created nor can a strong culture and society be built. Second, what kind of social system can make a virtuous man willing to live in a society? Our future social designs must surpass both those of the ancients and those of the West. Only in this way will we benefit the people and make a contribution to world civilization. Third, what way of life can make people feel that their lives are meaningful? This requires society to cultivate spiritual values. No society can sustain a sense of purpose merely by achieving ever-higher living standards. It is only by developing a spiritual dimension that life can be enriched”. She answered her questions by looking into ancient Chinese civilization. There are reasons why the Chinese civilization continued 5000 years uninterrupted, despite foreign invasions and unlike all other ancient civilizations of the world that have ended. There are reasons why the Chinese civilization influenced the whole world without hegemony or outright occupation. No other ancient or modern civilization has influenced the Far East as much as China did. According to Yue Dai Yuan, “The history of world civilization has demonstrated that Chinese civilization is a cultural system with powerful resonance. Since ancient times, Chinese culture has put the pursuit of a spiritual and moral life at the center of its concerns. Its harmony principles stand for reconciliation between man and nature, for healing the rift between logic and spirituality, between the pursuit of material wealth and the good life, between natural science and humanism. “If these intrinsically Chinese cultural genes can be brought up to date and fused with our modern, culturally diverse world, a new Chinese dream that represents a new historical epoch will emerge and benefit all of humanity”. The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) laid out a strategy for building a culturally strong nation on the basis of ideals that, while having their roots in Chinese civilization, are different from both of those of the West and of ancient China, and project a new China with a new spirit of global significance. This CPC call opens the way for modifying a Confucian-inspired constitution for the China dream and rejuvenation of world culture. CALL FOR CONFUCIAN AND HARMONY RENAISSANCE Along the above line of call by the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and his own outstanding research, the Confucian and Marxist scholar Jiang Qing, the most original, provocative Confucian political thinker, has single handedly led the contemporary debate on Confucian and Harmony Renaissance. It is this debate that led to the discovery of ancient Confucian teaching of the Humane Authority governance system or the Royal Way of governance (known by the ancients as the Kingly way). This ancient paradigm of superior governance explained why the Chinese ancient civilization outlasted all other ancient world civilizations and satisfied Prof. Yue Dai Yuan’s above three questions most expertly. The Humane Authority Governance System upholds that the legitimacy of governance follows the tradition of the Gongyang school of Confucius politics, according to the contemporary Confucian and Harmony Renaissance debate. And this new contemporary Confucian teaching encompasses religion, philosophy, and political thought — all three parts are integral to Confucius Renaissance. The key feature of the Way of the Humane Authority lays down the theoretical basis for Confucian Constitutionalism and a Tricameral Parliament according to Jiang Qing’s book A Confucian Constitutional Order, How China’s Ancient Culture Can Shape Its Political Future. In this book and other contemporary Confucian and Harmony Renaissance debates one can find more details on Humane Authority governance tradition and discovery. According to this current worldwide debate, the multifaceted tricameral nature of Humane Authority governance system offers the promise of a future solution for a world with diverse culture surpassing the Western liberal Democracy and Middle Eastern Theocracy. This is because the Humane Authority Tricameral Parliament has three legitimacy requirements for good governance, defined as the will of heaven, spirituality; the will of the earth, tradition and harmony; and the will of the people. In the Western liberal democracy, the legitimacy of government (e.g., in the U.S.) is entirely grounded in the will of the people, lacking the legitimacy of the will of tradition and harmony and the will of heaven or spiritual qualities. On the other side of the world, the Middle East governance is strongly grounded in religion but is lacking in the will of the people. The promise of the Humane Authority Governance for the future diverse world forecasts that the importance of Confucian and Harmony Renaissance will far surpass the discovery of democracy during the European Renaissance. It is more universal and puts China in a higher moral high ground than liberal democracy, as we shall see. The rediscovery of the Humane Authority political thinking will in time totally repudiate Margaret Thatcher’s triumphant statement that “China is unlikely to become a superpower because it lacks an independent ideology with global clout”, which the U.S. media often echo in chorus that China will never catch up with the U.S. because it has no original ideas of importance to offer to the rest of the word. WESTERN LIBERAL DEMOCRACY WITHOUT CONCURRENT SUPORT OF HUMANE AUTHORITY WILL NOT WORK IN CHINA The deficiencies of Western liberal democracy without the concurrent support of Humane Authority are many, despite the famous tunnel vision statement by Churchill and the prediction by Professor Francis Fukuyama of Stanford University; in his book The End of History and the Last Man, Fukuyama concluded that Western liberal democracy is the answer-all political solution for the world. But, in a New York Times article, titled “A Confucian Constitution for China” by Jiang Qing and Daniel Bell in response to Hillary Clinton’s criticism of China, the authors sum up the deficiency of Western liberal democracy as “Democracy is also flawed in practice. Political choices come down to the desires and interests of the electorate. This leads to two problems. First, the will of the majority may not be moral: it may favor racism, imperialism, or fascism. Second, when there is a clash between the short-term interests of the populace and the long-term interests of mankind, as is the case with global warming, the people’s short-term interests become the political priority. As a result, democratically elected governments in America and elsewhere are finding it nearly impossible to implement policies that curb energy usage in the interests of humanity and of future generations.” Of late, news of the U.S. government’s shortcomings seems to flood the West’s own media. Outstanding examples are these: the U.S. 2008 financial crises that dragged down the world economy due to corrupt creation of toxic mortgage investments (to this day none of the U.S. culprits that caused the multi-trillion dollar loss has been sentenced); the U.S. government’s gridlock that led to government shut down in 2013; the U.S. skyrocketing deficit spending; years of PEW surveys that leave no doubt about the alarmingly low confidence of U.S. public towards the direction the U.S. is heading. The loss of public confidence has a lot to do with the U.S.-style election, the lack of economic performance, and that U.S. politicians, in order to win re-election, tend to be short sighted and engage in negative campaign strategies. The U.S. Supreme Court, which has the ultimate say in law making, is concerned only with matters of legality without moral guidance, resulting in rulings such as “money is free speech” in U.S. political campaigns, thus allowing voting to be disproportionately dominated by the rich. Liberal democracy tends to favor community self-interest and a narrow vision, as opposed to measures that are more holistic and may benefit the world and the nation as a whole. The fact that the U.S. is the only major developed nation that did not sign the Kyoto Ecology Accord is a good example. The U.S. elections for president are more about popularity as opposed to meritocracy, the proven value system in the Far East. The uninformed public often is emotional and whimsical. The election of an alcoholic president who led us to the disastrous Iraq nation-building war under false pretenses is unlikely to happen in a constituent representative democracy as practiced in Hong Kong and the Bahá’í faith. For more discussions of the inadequacy of the U.S. liberal democracy and why it will not work in a country as large, complex and with 5000 years of history as China, please read the revealing book The Fourth Revolution by the chief editors of “The Economist” magazine, John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge. The conclusion of the book is that Western Liberal Democracy has a lot to learn from East Asia’s political system of selection by meritocracy combined with constituent representative democracy. Their brave and pointed warning is that without East–West exchange and mutual learning to improve Western liberal democracy, the U.S. is heading to the forth-coming political Fourth Revolution. According to the Fourth Revolution, Western liberal democracy will not work in China, the longest civilization state in history. For detail analysis of China as a Civilization State please refer to the books When China Rules the World by Martin Jacques, the seasoned China observer, and China Wave by Zhang Weiwei, who maintains that China needs its own Confucian constitution brand for long-term reform and lasting contribution to world civilization and political rejuvenation. CORRECT WAY IN CHINA AND RELEVANT NAME FOR THE THREE PARLIAMENT HOUSES OF HUMANE AUTHORITY The names of the three Parliament Houses in China adopted by the contemporary debate must be revised to fit their functionality in China. Confucius himself advised “before one acts one must have correct names.” I propose the following reasons for changing the three Humane Authority Way parliament house names. 1) The name “House of Heaven” is not appropriate for China because it is not necessary to install a state religion for the Humane Authority Way to work, although in China ancestor worship is traditional and widespread. Ancestor worship is an important element of Confucius religion to remember and respect our common origin and continuity of Chinese civilization. We only need the system of Confucian moral teaching as a noble guide for China. This moral teaching can be modified by the Chinese social core value or can be substituted by other nations’ cultural values deemed as more appropriate for each different country. This makes the Humane Authority Way more universal compared to the U.S. worldwide vigorous enforcement of its Bill of Rights and system of values, which may or may not be universal in other cultures that have to deal with other higher priority rights, such as the rights of livelihood, medical health, and education. I propose that in China the “House of Heaven” be revised to “House of Morality”, as suggested by my wife Julia Devendorf, the consummate teacher. The spiritual, moral quality of Confucian teaching is highly recommended by Professor Yue Dai Yuan, another renowned and dedicated teacher, in the previously cited essay, “The Chinese Dream Can Enrich World Civilization.” I draw upon her inspiration of the China dream to rename the House of Heaven as House of Morality (HOM), although in some Islamic or Christian cultures they may want to use the names “House of Allah” or ”House of God” to be appropriate for their culture and tradition. 2) The name of “House of Earth” should be revised to “House of Tradition and Culture” (HTC) because the Humane Authority Way deals with good governance for a nation. The organic growth of any nation cannot be broken from its tradition and culture, as witnessed by the immense chaos and tragedy created by U.S. nation building in Iraq that disrupts Iraqi ongoing tradition and political stability. In all nations, political change must be continuous; otherwise, we are inviting chaos and revolution that can be very costly. Most of all, a nation that denies its tradition and culture has lost its soul. As a priority, I strongly advise that China must not look away from its 5000 years of continuous culture but must engage actively in Confucian and harmony renaissance because they are the essence of Chinese ancient culture. I strongly support the CPC dedication to rejuvenate China with Chinese characteristics, because the continuation of a nation depends on tradition and culture. 3) The “House of Tradition and Culture” (HTC) must be able to exercise its guidance on Humane Authority Way with authority. So, it shall be the only house given the veto power in the formation of national policy. The three houses are bound to work harmoniously by consensus, but all laws (including declaration of war), must pass with at least two houses to be adopted. The granting of veto power to the House of Tradition and Culture is so that as the executive arm of the government it can avoid gridlock and can stop social disturbance without calling upon the military. In the U.S., the president is granted the veto power. Unfortunately, giving one person the veto power will never win the hearts and minds of any nation. That is why Obama recently faced vigorous objections from the opposition party, the public, and even the Supreme Court on legal grounds (without needed moral judgment). On the other hand, veto power to the “House of Tradition and Culture”, HTC, collectively is very necessary in times of emergency to curb unnecessary and misguided violence. As an aside, the U.S. president is also given the power to wage war, to appoint Supreme Court judges and cabinet ministers. That makes the President effectively a dictator at times. It is most logical to grant those similar powers to the “House of Tradition and Culture”, HTC, to maintain national stability with no need to call on the military. That fulfills the teaching of the Humane Authority Way. 4) The “House of the People’s Will” should be more specific, because of the selfish and nearsighted shortcomings of U.S. liberal democracy. U.S. liberal democracy has infected China’s uninformed public to look away from its tradition and culture, and other developing nations’ stabilities are disturbed by the international media controlled by the U.S. and West. Not the least, let us not forget the warning of the forth-coming Western political Fourth Revolution conclusion in the book The Fourth Revolution (by John Micklewait and Adrian Wooldridge, on liberal democracy shortcomings). An appropriate name that exercises the people’s will but allows more universality without falling into the trap of Western liberal democracy shortcomings is “constituent democracy”. This form of democracy works to accommodate both election and selection by meritocracy. Constituent democracy has been proven in the success of Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Bahá’í Faith. The “House of the People’s Will” should be revised to the “House of Constituent Democracy”, HCD. China already has the equivalent of the HCD in the form of the People’s Consultative Congress that advices the present government. All China needs is to formalize it to become the HCD. THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CHINA HAS A PROVEN RECORD TO CONTINUE CHINA’S SUCCESS, CULTURE, AND TRADITION. The CPC has ample track records to prove that it is the most logical entity to head the “House of Tradition and Culture” (HTC) with a 51% vote in China. As much as the aforementioned three houses of parliament are bound by the principle of Humane Authority Way to work harmoniously, the power of veto by the “House of Tradition and Culture” is necessary to ensure smooth government function, so it is the most important house among the three pillars of the Humane Authority Way. HTC needs to be the strongest house so it can act as the executive branch of the three houses. The most credible and able of all political parties in China is the CPC, which can head the HTC for the following reasons: 1) CPC is the most natural, logical and able choice to continue the Chinese tradition to take charge of the HTC and to continue running all government functions to assure the most smooth transition to a Humane Authority Way nation and society. CPC’s current role is already the consensus leader of all the political parties and the 56 minorities of China. Its leadership style is one by constituent democracy in keeping with the Humane Authority Way as a shining example of how the House of Constituent Democracy (HCD) can work in China. 2) In 1949 under the leadership of Mao Zedong as the founder and Chairman, the CPC together with other minority political parties founded a unified Chinese People’s Republic that started the important tradition of the new China. Mao’s revolutionary theories not only liberated the whole China from under imperialist powers’ occupation but also for the first time in Chinese history liberated the masses and women as equal citizens. His famous saying on women rights that “Women hold up half of the sky” started and was put into action from the early Yan An revolutionary days. His love for the minorities won the hearts and minds of the Tibetan, Xinjiang, and Mongolia minorities. That is why the People’s Republic of China was able to unite Tibet, Xinjiang, and Mongolia under Mao but not under the previous Nationalist government. All these monumental achievements make an undeniable modern Chinese epic tradition that will be long lasting and must be preserved for all Chinese history. In recognition of CPC’s epic liberation legacy tradition under Chairman Mao’s leadership, CPC should be given 51% voting rights to head the HTC. Chairman Mao, because of the liberation legacy he left for China, will always be remembered as the father of modern China despite his mistakes of over enthusiasm for the future of China in his old age. Deng Xiaoping, the paramount leader that launched today’s reform and opening up era of modern China, summed up correctly that he gave Mao 80% for correct leadership and 40% for impatience at old age, resulting in a 60% overall score. The Western media’s constant malicious attack on Chairman Mao is very inconsiderate and insensitive to the majority of Chinese people’s feelings. 3) Chairman Mao also correctly predicted that China would catch up with the U.K. economy during the 1980s; this was during his rule, when China was so poor and behind it was inconceivable by the West that China could ever catch up with U.K. China’s economy eventually did catch up with U.K. in 2000 under Deng Xiaoping. Mao’s prediction was just a little early; however, it sets the goal for China to continue to surpass the imperialist powers as a laudable tradition. 4) The progress made by China during the last 30 or so years, starting with the reform and opening up movement launched by Deng Xiaoping, is nothing short of miraculous. Its modernization broke all kinds of world records. It accomplished the modernization achievements in 30 years that it took the West centuries to accomplish. Coming from its poor agriculture background, China today accounts for 90% of the world’s poverty reduction by moving 600 million people out of abject poverty. It has higher life expectancy and lower infant mortality rate than the U.S. It has more college graduates than the U.S. and soon will have more engineers and scientists working than the U.S. In 2012 its economy caught up with Japan to become the second largest economy in the world. Today it is the largest export country in goods, surpassing the U.S. — China came from mere millions in export in 1949 to today’s trillions. It is expected by World Bank and many experts that China’s economy will catch up with the U.S. in real terms by 2020, if not earlier. For more discussion of China’s ascendance please refer to the books China’s Mega Trends by John Nassbitts, China in 2020 by Hu Angang, The China Wave by Zhang Weiwei, and When China Rules the World by Martin Jacques. WHAT LIES AHEAD AFTER CHINA HAS IMPLEMENTED THE HUMANE AUTHORITY WAY? Since the Humane Authority Way originated in ancient China, it is natural for China to transition into it. As mentioned in the previous section, the CPC has also been in practice as China’s political party for the last 60 years for the role as the consensus leader of the HTC, the most important house of the Humane Authority Way. According to the eminent scholar Yue Dai Yuen, I quote again as in the Introduction, “The history of world civilization has demonstrated that Chinese civilization is a cultural system with powerful resonance. Since ancient times, Chinese culture has put the pursuit of a spiritual and moral life at the center of its concerns. Its harmony principles stand for reconciliation between man and nature, for healing the rift between logic and spirituality, between the pursuit of material wealth and the good life, between natural science and humanism.” Thus with the renaissance of Confucianism and harmony brought about by the China Dream and Humane Authority Way, China will further her modernization in the direction as called for by the 18th National Congress of CPC under the leadership of Xi Jinping. As a visionary new leader, Xi already has called for a China dream to rejuvenate the Chinese nation by rediscovery of what is best in the past to combine with what is best in the future. This will bring a better life for all China with an improved environment, better social and health services, and responsive governance according to the Humane Authority Way, to be a truly socialist nation with Chinese characteristics. By today’s news, China already is the country with the biggest production of renewable energy products, including solar energy products. Based on the conclusion of all cited references we can expect that China will be most exemplary in its undertakings entrusted by the Chinese people’s wisdom. The CPC is the largest political party with 75 million active members; it has 60 years of proven nation-building record, as mentioned in the last section; it has the most resources among all political parties in the world; and it is accustomed to managing large projects, as witnessed by the perfect hosting of the 2008 Beijing Olympic with the theme “One world, One dream” and the 2010 Shanghai World Expo with the theme “Better City, Better Life”. Both event themes accurately forecast China‘s dream and future action. All predictions expect China to become exemplary in political reform and modernization far exceeding its past achievements. China will become a good model to the multipolar world in all human endeavors beneficial to the world. No matter how strong China becomes, it will never become a hegemony power. It will always practice harmony and mutual development, as promised by President Xi Jinping in numerous world speeches. It is not in the Chinese gene to practice hegemony. China’s culture profoundly influenced the world, especially the East in the past, but it was always through resonance instead of hegemony, in contrast to the U.S. Ever since the end of the Second World War and the fall of the Soviet Union, as the world’s only superpower, the U.S. always has sought to extend its influence through wars, such as the Vietnam war and the Iraq war. In the future, the world will become more multipolar, more democratic, and more peaceful because the U.S. will have to share its power position with China and other nations. As liberal democracy comes under more world denial, beginning at the home front when challenged by the political fourth revolution predicted by the book The Fourth Revolution, the U.S. will involuntarily concede some of the moral high ground to China and thus become less aggressive and arrogant, for the better. The U.S. postured “shining light on the hill” will become less blinding to the world, thus allowing a more diverse world culture with a hundred flowers blooming in a verdant and beautiful world cultural garden. Francis C.W. Fung, Ph.D. Director General World Harmony Organization San Francisco, CA

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