Notes July 1, 2008

July 1, 2008 § Leave a comment

From ancient china, a template?


During the transitional period 01 social metamorphosis, not only did strife and disorder persist, making the livelihood of the people ever more precarious, but also all of the customs and institutions that previously had united people’s minds and preserved social order were shaken to the point of collapse, their former effectiveness dissipated. Men of profound thought and far vision inevitably were moved to make critical inquiries into the causes and influences of these great changes, and quite naturally voiced opposition or offered constructive proposals. In consequence, political thought suddenly flowered. All of the factors mentioned above were already incipient in the Spring and Autumn Period, and by the Warring States Period they had intensified.” Consequently, the development of thought also reached its most intense stage only in the Warring States Period.

Ku Yen-wu [1613—1682]: Jih-ckM-tu, ck. IS, under the heading “Chou-mo feng-su” states: “In the Spring and Autumn Period, protocol and good faith were still respected, but among the Seven States [of the Warring States Period] protocol and good faith were definitely no longer observed. In the Spring and Autumn Period the Chou King still commanded respect, but among the Seven States the King definitely was not even mentioned. In the Spring and Autumn Period the sacrifices were still rigorously performed, and importance was attached to ceremonial etiquette and rites, but among the Seven States such things no longer existed. in the Spring and Autumn Period they still attached importance to clan and family relationships, but among the Seven States there is no single reference to such matters, In the Spring and Autumn Period at banquets of state the Odes were still recited, but we hear nothing of this among the Seven States. In the Spring and Autumn Period announcements of celebrations and mournings still were properly made, but there were none among the Seven States. States had no stable diplomatic ties, and men had no constant overlord. All of these changes occurred during the one hundred thirty-three year period for which historical records are lacking, but about which men of later ages can make their own deduction.” This sets forth with great clarity the transformation from the Spring and Autumn Period to that of the Warring States.
Liu Hsiang [first century B.C.] also states in his preface to the Chan.kua Ts’e ‘After Chung-ni [i.e., Confucius] died, the T’ien family seized the State of Ch’i, and the six chief minister divided up the State of Chin. Morality largely fell into decline; superior and inferior lost their status. Duke Hsiao of Ch’io abandoned comity and prized warfare, he discarded benevolence and righteousness and employed trickery and deceit—solely in the quest for power. Usurpers came to be ranked with princes and nobles, treacherous and deceitful states waxed to the status of great powers. Then this came to be imitated, and those who followed took Ch’in as their model. Thereafter [the States] all undertook to swallow and annihilate one another, annexing large and small, engaging in violent war year after year, shedding blood through all the countryside. Fathers and sons failed to observe family bonds, brother could not trust brother, husbands and wives were separated, and no one could guarantee his own life. In chaos and confusion, morality was extinguished.” Here we see the main features of late Chou society-

These are from the text in A History of Chinese Political Thought vol1. Kung-chuan Hsiao  Princeton.


New Book to read The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace:a history of space from Dante to the Internet, Margaret Wertheim Norton. 1999



January 3, 2008 § Leave a comment

Jan 3 2008

David Harvey

Solid and broad perspective.

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