Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Quote on China and Governance- Is this True Today…

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 1, 2011


Here is a qquote from around 1880. After reading this, would you say it still holds true, even today?

The Civilization of China (Herbert Allen Giles)

The nominal form of government, speaking without reference to the new constitution which will be dealt with later on, is an irresponsible autocracy; its institutions are likewise autocratic in form, but democratic in operation. The philosopher, Mencius (372-289 B.C.), placed the people first, the gods second, and the sovereign third, in the scale of national importance; and this classification has sunk deep into the minds of the Chinese during more than two thousand years past. What the people in China will not stand is injustice; at the same time they will live contentedly under harsh laws which they have at one time or another imposed upon themselves.”

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