See history from the inside and return to Levenson

The historian is like a detective who always comes to the scene after the incident. He knew the ending well, knew many clues unknown to the parties, but it was easy for him to get into private opinions, and to explain the occurrence and development of history itself using foreign and later rules. In order to prevent such hindsight, Mizoguchi, a Japanese scholar who specializes in the history of modern Chinese thought, urges researchers to “enter into China’s history with bare hands” and avoid “world”-in fact, “modern Europe”-for The standard is to “consider” China and “tailor” China. In the book China as a Method, he proposed three principles: “History should be viewed from the inside”, “History should be viewed from the past”, and “Modern China should be grasped from the relationship between modern and pre-modern times.” “. He criticized that previous studies of Chinese modern history were “backtracking” from the modern to the past, “there was no perspective from the late Ming Dynasty to the early Qing Dynasty or the middle of the Qing Dynasty, that is, from the pre-modern to the modern,” so he only focused on “relevant to the revolution and modern Part, but lack the perspective of the past, that is, the perspective of people who actually live in that era. This will inevitably collapse the many possibilities inherent in history into a straight line, distort the historical picture, and mislead readers’ perception of the origin of the status quo.

From Mizoguchi’s point of view, modern China is a natural extension of the “pre-modern” China’s own context, not a passive response to external shocks, nor has it been taken away from the original track by the latter. He concluded: “China has never moved in the direction of European modernity.” (The key line is the original). Western shocks have not destroyed the original “structure” of Chinese thought, but “have promoted the degeneration of the former modern times” and “Some deformation caused by excess power.” For example, “civil rights thought” is “a new development and maturity process of selfish, equal, fair, and public thoughts” since the middle of the Ming Dynasty. As for “Rousseau thought introduced in the late Qing Dynasty, it was just a spring for a more rapid leap forward (spring ) “. The socialist system of the second half of the twentieth century also came from the same tradition: “In China, socialism is easy to combine with traditional ideas, or it can even be said that the tradition of the public in China is originally socialism because it contains the integrity of the world. of.”

However, these bright and powerful assertions can also cause people to doubt: if the Western shock only pushed modern China towards its inherent direction of movement, why would the scholars in the late Qing Dynasty still exclaim that China has encountered a 3,000-year, four-year The “great change” that has not existed in the past millennium, five thousand years, or even ancient times? Is it just because they are in Lushan that they don’t know the truth; or is their heart so fragile that they exaggerate the strength of their opponents? However, looking at history from the “internal” and “past” does not mean that we must take seriously these personal feelings of the late Qing people themselves?

China since the nineteenth century has indeed not been cut off from “pre-modern times”. Its transformation was carried out under the “traditional” grip and was unconsciously regulated by it. What it chooses from Western culture and system, how much it chooses, and how to transform and adapt it are all related to its own historical experience. Of course, China after the transition is still “China”, not “Europe.” However, deliberately diluting the impact of European shocks in order to oppose Western centralism has also distorted history. I believe that the evolution of modern China is just an adjustment of speed, and there is no turning in direction. As if it encountered any kind of situation, it is only going forward along the old track, and there is no risk of closing China or even essence.

Mizoguchi’s view is inherently scientifically considered, or it is inseparable from his practical concern. Like many post-war Japanese leftists, Mizoguchi has a guilty mentality towards China. In his opinion, one of the ideological roots of the war of aggression against China was that the Japanese accepted the European-centered linear view of history, and thus beautified the act of aggression into the barbaric transformation of civilization. However, Mizoguchi emphasized that China itself is a “traditional world” and is equal to “Christian orthodox world”. On the other hand, as a left-wing scholar, the establishment of the Chinese socialist system also made him feel the need to reassess Chinese history and cultural traditions. To this end, he invested a lot of effort into the concept of “public” in the Confucian tradition, hoping to use this to understand China’s choices towards socialism. He wanted to answer a question: Why did China rush to the front of Japan from “behind-the-scenes” modern laggards? He noticed that both Fukuzawa Yukichi and Chen Tianhua used companies to compare the relationship between the government and the people. Zhongjiang Zhaomin and Zheng Guanying also used the metaphor of ship and water when describing the relationship between the emperor and the people. However, Fukuzawa and Zhongjiang both concluded that abiding by national laws and the absoluteness of the emperor, while Chen Tianhua and Zheng Guanying paid more attention to the people’s right to correct and dismiss the government. Mizoguchi believes that this reflects the essential differences in the ideological traditions of the two countries and helps explain why they have taken different paths in modern times.

Strong realistic care provided Mizoguchi with unique and inspiring ideas, but it also made it unavoidable to repeat the mistakes of using history to serve reality. He proposed that the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Movement could be regarded as the beginning of modern China:

Since this period, the old equality and equality in the sense of “fen” has begun to transform into modern equality in terms of its historical essence. I think that in modern China, political and economic thought was led by Sun Wen ’s bourgeois-type republican thoughts, which is unique to China, which includes livelihood, which gradually nurtured the buds, and eventually made the people ’s livelihood better. The revolution has matured and blossomed, and China’s modern times have therefore crossed a stage and have begun to enter the modern era. The reason why the above ending is regarded as “blooming” is because I believe that only the proletarian revolution in the countryside, that is, the land revolution, is the mainstream of the Chinese revolution. In fact, modern China is dominated by salvation. Various trends of thought (including equality,

The introduction, collision, and competition of the Republic (including the Republic and the Revolution) were all driven by this goal and can only be understood from this context. The Chinese revolution is of course influenced by its own cultural traditions. However, leaving the theme of salvation and development, and just treating the revolution as a modern extension of the concepts of “equal”, “flat” and “public”, will undoubtedly blur the focus of historical cognition.

Being attached to the “relationship between modern and pre-modern”, Mizoguchi will choose what he calls “natural” events from various historical phenomena. He noted that Mao Zedong was a local self-government theorist in 1920, and the “Second National Congress” of the Communist Party of China opposed the provincial autonomy in 1922. “This sharp contrast, which appeared almost at the same time, originated from the perspective of each other. “But to say which side is more natural, I think that Mao ’s movement is more spontaneous, at least it can be seen as a further development of the local self-government movement since the late Qing Dynasty.” In its discourse, local autonomy is a modern extension of the ideal of “feudalism” in ancient China, just as the motive force of socialist public ownership was contained in the “Jingtian” discourse; and “feudalism” and “Jingtian” are two of traditional Chinese political thought Big “spindle problem”. Therefore, the so-called “natural” person is what he believes is the “original” evolution of Chinese history.

From this observation, modern China has at least partially lost its “naturalness”: “Just as’ feudalism has been unknowingly transformed from the theory of system to the theory of production relations and from vilified to derogatory, so is the local self-government movement. Juezhong was replaced by the unified movement of anti-imperialists and anti-warlords, and lost its hope of natural development. “In the end,” the modernization of Jingtian “has been successful, and” the modernization of feudalism “has” failed “. However, unless we base ourselves on history in advance, what is the basis for measuring whether a fait accompli is “natural”? In fact, whether it was Mao Zedong in 1920 or the “Second Congress of the Communist Party of China” in 1922, their views on this issue were inseparable from their judgments on the evolution of China’s political situation in a particular period. Departing from these specific contexts, following along a certain “main axis” selected by the historian, without looking away, it is difficult to ensure that he will not fall into the historical teleology trap that Mizoguchi himself also opposes again.

Concern over the continuity of modern and pre-modern China also makes Miguchi pay special attention to similar items in ancient and modern history (such as “feudal” and local autonomy, “wells” and public land, etc.), and treat them as a simple extension relationship. However, if we start with differences, we can also think that there is no complete similar item in history. Traditions can be interpreted, transformed, and transformed, but all of them are not traditions themselves; in the process, the development of traditions also faces various possibilities, and sometimes runs counter to its original direction. Mizoguchi found that, as the Chinese who “understand European thoughts at the time”, Yan Fu “translated ‘evolution into’ a heavenly performance, and did not take Huxley’s victory, but Spencer’s” rentian “, let us Seeing the continuity of Chinese history, the optimistic attitude towards “sky” is exactly the “ideal orientation of China”. This is of course a keen insight, but it should not be overlooked that the meaning of the roots of the moral and ethical order of the traditional Chinese “sky” does not exist in what Yan Fu calls “sky”. Grasping the relevance of history cannot be done at the expense of its differences.

Treating certain phenomena in modern China as an extension of similar items in the modern era is the common orientation of many scholars who are committed to discovering history from within China. For example, Mo Zike saw the core values ​​of Confucianism from reformers and revolutionaries in the late Qing Dynasty, and determined that modern and premodern China were “continuous” in “ideology”. Zou Jun proposed that the two most important theoretical developments of Sinicization of Marxism, one is to emphasize the importance of ideology and superstructure, the other is to implement the “unification of theory and practice” in actual action, Traditional principles coincide. ” Finding the connection between the twentieth-century ideological transformation movement and the tradition of self-cultivation is a subject favored by many scholars. Of course, even so, there are still few scholars who despise the influence of the West like Mizoguchi.

Mizoguchi’s thinking is consistent with the orientation of American Sinology in “discovering history in China”. In stark contrast to their views are the views of the older historian Levenson. In the latter’s eyes, Chinese culture, represented by the Confucian tradition, has lost its initiative and creativity, and is inevitably going to perish. On the contrary, what Mizoguchi has to prove is that the Chinese tradition is still vigorous enough to guide China to the modern age without external guidance. In fact, the amazing performance of China’s economy and society over the past three decades, as well as a large number of research results in history, sociology, and anthropology, seem to be increasingly on the side of the gap; The influence of the ideological trend of his time, it is naturally too simple to regard traditional (Eastern) and modern (Western) poles as incompatible.

However, Mizoguchi’s and Levinson’s discourses contain several levels, and their arguments have different effects. We can distinguish them without endorsing one party as a whole. Specifically, first of all, affirming the traditional creative ability of China without negating the role of Western challenges in promoting China’s modern transformation. In fact, it is in the process of responding to these shocks (rather than simply “reacting”) that many of the deep-seated possibilities of Chinese culture that were originally sealed up are released and show new vitality. Secondly, in the process of accepting the influence of the West, the Chinese will undoubtedly instinctively accept those elements that are closer to their culture and therefore more affinity, but in turn, the Chinese “tradition” itself also gained in the process. Rewrite and even “invent”. In this regard, one of Derek’s evaluations is fair— “Levinson did point to an unusually important issue: intellectuals’ past struggles are constantly being mediated by external concepts and methods. This gives them a whole new meaning to their struggles. ”

The importance of deliberately diluting or even negating Western challenges makes it difficult to obtain a reasonable explanation for many historical events in modern Chinese history. This is recognized even by some Japanese scholars who are deeply affected by Mizoguchi. For example, Ito Takayuki has to admit: Chen Duxiu, Wu Yu, Lu Xun and other criticisms of “ceremony and ethics” “were not ultimately broken through and internalized”. The problem is that if major events such as critical ritual teaching are not entirely determined by the “internal” ministry, how can the Western power just cause “some deformation”?

In fact, human beings will never be suddenly renewed at a certain moment, and even in the most acute opposition, modernity cannot completely abandon tradition and walk alone. But the influence of tradition on modernity is not straightforward, and it needs to go through many turns and transformations. Mr. Zhang Huan pointed out that Western shocks have made certain “fundamental tensions” in the Chinese tradition prominently themes in the intellectual world. On the other hand, these “fundamental tensions” may exist as before without external challenges, and may not clearly emerge as a sense of the times. Therefore, recognizing tradition in modern times does not mean that we have found the answer. On the contrary, it only raises new questions. We also need to draw more detailed and patient outlines of their respective trajectories and negotiation methods. The conclusion is that modernity must be smoothly derived from tradition. In other words, to understand the relationship between the historical similar items correctly, we must first abandon the methodological linear assumptions.

The second is to distinguish between ideological order and its elements. An orderly ideological system is always composed of several elements, but the elements and order are not at the same level, and the roles they play are also very different. From elements to order, it does not depend on simple accumulation, but must undergo complex format conversion. The fact that the two ideological orders contain certain common elements does not indicate that there must be a certain derivative relationship between them. In this regard, one view recounted by American sociologist Liah Greenfeld deserves attention: a

The “characteristics” of the ideological tradition do not necessarily reflect that it has any unique “compositional elements”. In fact, many of its elements may be found in other ideological traditions, but once they are brought together, “form a unique pattern “, Which is given” special meaning that has no meaning in any other layout. ” In other words, what determines an ideological order is its “unique pattern”, not any individual element contained within it.

Even the upheaval revolution will have several factors following the old system. In some cases, they will give people the illusion that the scenery is different, and the train that has forgotten history has already changed course and entered a new course. “Although people sometimes use the same words and ideas, their meaning has changed, and people no longer think and organize them in the same way.” The same word can be written in different chapters, and the expression is very different or even the opposite. Meaning. Their meaning depends on the overall context and full-text layout in which they are located. We obviously can’t assert that two articles are just different versions of the same article because they use many of the same words.

The relationship between modern Chinese thought and the tradition contained in it is the relationship between “pattern” and “elements”, articles and “vocabulary”. Most of the “traditions” we see today are already empty. The political, social and value order on which they originally depended has been disintegrated, and now they can only live in the new order as fragments. Their connotation and role cannot be changed with the change of context and must be placed in a more integrated context. In order to make a correct interpretation and judgment on it. For example, Mr. Huang Jinxing pointed out according to some previous studies that although Confucian ethics may relatively inhibit the development of industry and commerce in traditional society, a considerable part of them can become a driving force for economic development under the conditions of capitalism. This example vividly demonstrates the decisive effect of ideological order on ideological factors: Although an order is constituted by specific elements, the key to forming an order is not so much the elements themselves as the way they are combined.

In the article “What is the Essence of” Trouble “-The Private Sector and the Rise of” ism “in Modern China, Mr. Wang Fansen, like many European and American sinologists, noticed the existence of Confucian factors in the Chinese revolutionary movement, but he Put it in a changed new structure to understand: “The new organization has replaced the structure stated in the University, and is no longer a grid, knowledge, sincerity, sincerity, self-cultivation, Qi family, governing the country, peace, Gradually expanding from a list to a state and world structure, but a comrade-like organization life under the guidance of doctrine. The work of ‘sincerity to peace’ should be carried out under the guidance of doctrine. ”

“Zhengxin” ruling the country in this way allows us to really see why the twentieth century revolution was “modern” and no longer just an automatic extension of the Confucian tradition in different circumstances.

The same reasoning helps to clarify the nature of the “modern” factors that exist in tradition. Mr. Li Bozhong once recounted the consensus of the California School, one of which said: “The events in the pre-industrial world are closely related to the emergence of industrialization, but there is no causality between them. Therefore we cannot assume that a place is in the pre-industrial age. There are some phenomena related to industrialization, and this region can spontaneously industrialize. “This is a very necessary reminder, even for California school scholars, it is also meaningful. Wang Guobin and Rosenthal discussed in “Beyond the Great Diversion” how Chinese people “before they came into contact with Western formal institutions” tried to “develop formal institutions”, saying that this “explains that their choice and adaptation to Western models is actually part of Based on their own past experience. ” Striking is the Mizoguchi-style inference: “The formal system introduced from a foreign country only accelerates those changes that should have occurred.” Here, the words “changes that should have occurred” are not unexpected. Mizoguchi’s so-called “nature” of history has not escaped the radiance of historical teleology.

In short, Chinese thought has formed a new order since the end of the nineteenth century. In addition to analyzing the new and old relations of the ideological factors contained in it, further discussion is needed. How is this order formed through the interaction of different elements? What is the motivation behind it? Is it the traditional “natural” development of China, or is it shaped by the response of external forces and modern Chinese to external forces? If the answer is the former, then another question must be faced: why “the changes that should have occurred” must be “accelerated” and become “mature” after the Western shock? And this will lead to this “classical problem”: Without the Western challenge, will China “spontaneously” enter the “modern”? If so, what “modern” is it? Since history cannot make assumptions, this “classical problem” will never be fruitful. It can only be said that the influence of foreign factors such as Western and Japan on the transformation of modern China is an established fact that cannot be ignored. Thinking outside the historical facts can only be a logical deduction, and history does not always follow logical rules.

A few years ago, William William said about “discovering history in China” and put forward a “re-amendment” case, the core of which was what Feifei said: “Bring the West back.” Of course, this does not mean that the West must be picked up again. Centralism. In fact, finding clues to Chinese history “inside” China is still a viable solution. But it should also be realized that the “internal” of China has never been exclusive and closed, and the “Western” is already part of the “internal” of modern China. It is impossible to “discover the history in China” (Luo Zhitian). Exclude it. In a sense, this also reminds us that, aside from Levinson’s death penalty for traditional Chinese culture, what he called the West’s metaphor that changed China’s “language” rather than “vocabulary” is still worth rethinking. In other words, after the baptism of “discovering history in China”, we still have to (partly) return to Levinson. Of course, we only do this in order to go in another direction and start again.

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