Early China: History, Legends, and Myths

Discussion in 'Military History' started by solarz, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. vesicles
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    vesicles Major

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    The distinction between Confucianism and Legalism has not been as clear as you would have thought. In virtually every dynasty, there has been a blend of both Confucianism and legalism. When the society becomes chaotic, the government tends to invoke Legalism policies. Then they shift to more calm Confucianism policies when the society becomes more harmonious and prosperous.

    For instance, Tang Dynasty has a prolonged period of Legalism when Wu Zetian was in power. She used the infamous “Ku Li” (or brutal officials) to purge anyone who dares to oppose her. When she felt that the society was more stable, she abolished the brutal tactics and implemented more calm policies. One of her most capable brutal officials was so proud of his own heinous work that he actually wrote a book on how to purge other officials. He especially emphasized how to frame those innocent officials, various ways to turn their family members against them, etc etc etc.

    The Martial Emperor of the Han dynasty also used “brutal officials” extensively to force everyone to follow his orders. Similarly, he went to more mild policies later on. Of course, the Martial Emperor became paranoid in his old age and started another around of Legalism harsh policies. He later wrote an article to publically apologize for his harsh treatment of his people.

    Ming dynasty’s Jin Yi Wei and the infamous East Factory were other excellent examples of the implementation of the Legalism, which emphasizes self-monitoring among co-workers, neighbors and family members.

    There is a famous Chinese saying: you must be heavy handed during chaotic times. This is exactly the Legalism belief. And the Chinese have followed this belief all this time, even though their central believe is the Confucianism. I view Mao’s period is an extension of the Legalism. Everything done during the Cultural revolution has been done by others in ancient China. Yes, the scale is so much bigger, but the nature of things has not been changed. If you read a little on the history of the brutal officials in Han, Tang and Ming dynasties, you will see that.
     
    #51 vesicles, Mar 17, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
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  2. taxiya
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    taxiya Major
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    Maybe you have not heard of "外儒内法"? Confucianism cloth over Legalism?

    Translation:
    Apparently, Chinese emperors have never relied on Confucianism alone in their rule from the very beginning. I have to say that "Chinese cultural = Confucianism" is an over simplicity in the a similar way as "in the western eyes all Chinese eat rice" or "All Chinese are short and thin" or "Chinese food are healthy".
     
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  3. taxiya
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    taxiya Major
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    No, Yin (殷) is the name of the capital city of the later half of Shang dynasty from around 1200BC. It is the modern day city of Anyang. The clan name of the royal house of Shang is Zi (子), which later developed to many family (branch of clan) names.

    Yin as a family name was only adopted by some decedents of the royal house after Shang dynasty was replaced by Zhou dynasty.

    Formally, the dynasty is always and only "Shang", informally it is called "Yin Shang", but never "Yin dynasty". Yin in "Yin Shang" is prefix/adjective to differentiate the later half of Shang after 1200BC after the relocation of the capital from the earlier half. It is the same practice of "Li Tang" to distinguish the Tang dynasty (618-907) from other "Tang dynasty" established by other houses such as the Turkic Shatuo's Later Tang dynasty (Shatuo adopted Li as their family name). Other examples include "Zhao Song" dynasty vs. earlier "Song" kingdom in the Zhou dynasty. When there is no ambiguity, there is never such prefix, such as Sui is not called "Yang Sui". There are times when Qing was referred by "Man(Manchu) Qing" by modern Han nationalists on the racial/ethnical ground, but that is a modern invention that is not based on historical purpose nor based on Chinese traditional political theory.
     
    #53 taxiya, Mar 17, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
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  4. Tam
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    Tam Senior Member
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    Searching for archaeological evidence of the Xia.

     
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