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The Way of Harmony in Public Life

Author: PengBin
Tutor: ZhouGuangHui
School: Jilin University
Course: Political Theory
Keywords: Republic Republic of Public power Harmonious society Political argumentation
CLC: D630
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2008
Downloads: 476
Quote: 1
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Abstract


In political life, the Republic is not one political symbol that has no practical significance. It is not only a form of organizing political power, but a political value system and a political life-style needs our serious treatment. Republican ideal is to realize a civilized, rational and harmonious social and public life, so that those social members who have public interests as well as compete with each other can live together, then not only the interest of their interdependence but also their respective free and comprehensive development can be promoted.Republican life is not a natural existence, at the same time it is impossible to achieve spontaneously. Republican basic premise lies in affirming that human life has social commonality as its essential feature and believing that any idea of attempting to pursuit the harmony and happiness in a society whose members are mutually exclusive is unrealistic. The Republicanism does not deny the existence of competitive interests and conflicts among interdependent members in a society. But it denies the way of resolving social conflicts through direct or indirect violence. It affirms that only based on compulsive public power can civilized, rational and harmonious social order be achieved. Therefore, republican idea opposes the idea of the anarchism. It believes that the anarchism ignores the importance of compulsive public power, so it is contrary to the experience of human social life.In political life, the Republicanism affirms the value of public power which is compulsive, but in a non-Republican society, compulsive public power often becomes a tool for dominating social members. Generally speaking, the power subject as dominator makes the being-dominated obey through force ,threat of force ,manipulation ,or even inducement and persuasion. In this sense, the dominative power will not usually treat the being-dominated by using direct violence; but if the one in a position of being dominated tries to resist the dominator, then, the dominator will necessarily treat the being-dominated by using violence and even killing. This shows that it is practically impossible to coexist a common world for social members who are in domination relationship to live. Instead, they are in a state of insoluble hostility, divided into inreconcilable oppositions and unable to extricate themselves from the oppositions. Facing various misery existing in a dominant society, the Utopian idea emerges because of demand. The Republicanism affirms the positive significance of the Utopian idea. But because the Utopia’s realizable condition does not naturally grow out of real life, it usually lacks effective mechanism to transform abstract value ideal into operable practice of political life, the Republicanism negates the unreality of the Utopia as well.In the history of political civilization’s development, the realization of the Republic can not be separated from political liberation. Political liberation is the recognition of human subjective position, meanwhile it is the realization of personal worth and dignity. It manifests in three aspects, including political authority, political power and the citizenship. Firstly, from the perspective of political authority, political liberation means that people no longer obey the sacred authority which is external to human society and provides legitimacy basis for human political life. Instead, political authority is“the people’s”authority which is established in human society, then, the legitimacy basis of political power is based on people’s grant. Secondly, from the perspective of political power, although political power has compulsory characteristic naturally and inevitably, it is no longer a tool with which some people dominate other people, instead, it is a form showing that social contacts among social members are public. Therefore, it negates the way of dealing with people’s internal contradiction by using dominant power, such as force, deterrence of force and manipulation, etc. Thirdly, from the perspective of citizenship, political liberation means it no longer divides citizenship into rulers and the ruled, instead, the citizenship which is free from domination and equal is established.In the Republic, although in the system arrangement the domination relationship among social members is excluded, there will still be inevitable interest competitions and conflicts among citizens, and there may also be the phenomenon of social exclusion. Under these circumstances, the Republic means controlling social conflicts within the scope of the order which is non-domination and non-violence through using the compulsive public power, emphasizes to tolerate different social interests and values under the premise of the Republic, stresses that various interests should compete through consultation and reasoning which are peaceful, open and impartial, affirms that interest conflicts should be regulated relying on the laws and ethics in order to seek to achieve cooperation and balance in the human various and even opposite interest conflicts, and requires to continue to improve, promote and optimize the existing social cooperative system. In fact, the Republic needs both to control and tolerate social conflict reasonably and to regulate and transform social conflict effectively; it is not only an art of regulating and controlling social conflict, but also an art of resolving social conflict.Logically speaking, in the process of political demonstration, it not only needs to explain and illustrate republican inherent logic, and to do political demonstration for the legitimacy of republican value, but also needs to discuss the Republic’s realizable conditions, that is, how to safeguard and maintain the Republic’s long-term stability and security. Maintaining the Republic, is maintaining our political community, maintaining a life style in which citizens could consult equally and share profit of cooperation, and maintaining the political foundation of a harmonious society. In terms of its content, the Republic’s realizable conditions in fact mean requiring to analysis and illustrate republican institutional arrangement and governmental organization form.In political society, the Republic must realize social justice in order to safeguard its long-term stability and security. In the Republic, republican principle and spirit provide procedural way to achieve social justice as well as establish substantive standard for social justice: on one hand, the Republicanism understands social justice from the prospective of relational justice among social members. It shows, only on the premise of that there is no domination and exclusion among members of a society can social justice achieve. On the other hand, it means that social justice should be achieved through republican ways, namely, only on the premise of that social members with equal citizenship could participate in the discussion about social justice by the way of peaceful consultation and tolerance can social justice achieve. Generally, in the Republic, social justice includes two aspects, that is, restorative justice and distributive justice. Restorative justice involves how to punish members who invades others’liberty, and it also involves how to realize social reconciliation within a community. In the guidance of the notion of restorative justice, the punishment principle of the Republic should be that, in order to promote citizens’freedom as non-domination, the punishment should be inflicted on the person who deserves to be punished, and after the ex-convicts are released from the prison after their sentences, they should be promoted their return to society. In the Republic, the realization of distributive justice requires to exclude the structural inequality in the field of social distribution, ensure citizens more or less equal resources and opportunities and expand citizens’feasibility capacity so that they can serve the social and public interest through their own efforts.The realization of social justice is inseparable from the active role of the government. The presence of government is essential for social justice.But government itself is likely to become the source of social injustice. In this sense, what kind of political system should be arranged to ensure that the government fulfill its duties of serving social and public interest is an important factor which influences the Republic’s long-term stability and security. In specific arrangements of political system, the Republic usually adopts democracy and the rule of law: democracy is the Republic’s life and the rule of law is the cornerstone of the Republic. Democracy is the mechanism through which different citizens or civic groups realize interest balance on the basis of constitution and legal arrangements as well as the mechanism for citizens’expressing their interests, ideas and preferences. Generally, in the Republic, the democracy has two ways: one is representative democracy in which citizens manage public affairs by entrusting public power to representatives; the other is deliberative democracy in which citizens are directly involved in the community consultations. In the Republic, the realization of democracy is inseparable from the protection of the rule of law .The essence of the rule of law is placing its all social affairs under legal norms through the constitution and laws constituted and recognized by citizens, to protect and maintain public order, to determine the scope of the power’s operation, to deny the wanton use of power and to define the responsibility that power holders should bear.The Republic’s long-term stability and security depends not only on the institutional arrangements of democracy and the rule of law, but more importantly, on social members’faith to republican spirit, also on citizens’attitude and emotion to the Republic’s institutional arrangements. The Republic must through citizenized mechanism improve citizens’ability, foster civic personality and carry out civic education. Civic education is not only the personal affairs of citizens, but the Republic’s social and public affairs. It is a political system and a political organization form set to achieve a good social and public life. Only on the premise that a large number of social members with civic personality and civic capacity participate in social and public life will the Republic maintain unity and long-term stability and security, further will the Republic achieve social harmony.

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CLC: > Political, legal > China's political > State administration > State organs and personnel management
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