The concept of social harmony dates back to ancient China, to the time of Confucius. As a result, the philosophy has also been characterized as a form of New Confucianism. In modern times, it developed into a key feature of General Secretary Hu Jintao's signature ideology of the Scientific Development Concept developed in the mid-2000s, being re-introduced by the Hu–Wen Administration during the 2005 National People's Congress.
The philosophy is recognized as a response to the increasing social injustice and inequality emerging in mainland Chinese society as a result of unchecked economic growth, which has led to social conflict. The governing philosophy was therefore shifted around economic growth to overall societal balance and harmony. Along with a moderately prosperous society, it was set to be one of the national goals for the ruling vanguard Communist Party.
The promotion of the "Harmonious Society" demonstrated that Hu Jintao's ruling philosophy had departed from that of his predecessors. Near the end of his tenure in 2011, Hu appeared to extend the ideology to an international dimension, with a focus on the international peace and cooperation, which is said to lead to a "harmonious world" whereas the administration of Hu's successor, Xi Jinping, has used the philosophy more sparingly, likely in favor of emphasizing his vision of the Chinese Dream.
The concept of harmony in Chinese culture comes from music. During the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, discussion of music flourished under Confucius and the school of thoughts he created, Confucianism. Confucianism played a key part in the formulation of the earliest form of Chinese music, Qin.
Qin music illustrates the concept of harmony through its techniques such as the level of pressure and the speed of tempo, which symbolize Yin and Yang and the different temperature in the four seasons. The moderate unison of sounds maintains the perfect order and managing these opposing elements into a moderate piece of musical work is considered the best sound. Furthermore, one of the most influential works by Ru Jia (otherwise known as Book of Music), reads, "When the early rulers formed the li [rituals] and yue [music] their purpose was not to satisfy the mouth, stomach, ear and eye, but rather to teach the people to moderate their likes and hates, and bring them back to the correct direction in life."
Music, under Confucian concepts, has the power to transform people to become more civilized and the goal of music is to create balance within individuals, nature and society. Leading people "back to the correct direction in life" not only signifies the guiding role of music, but also emphasizes on the power of the rulers, "The correct 'mood' was set by the chief of state, the emperor, the son of Heaven." The power of the rulers reflects a fundamental theme in Chinese civilization. The State, or the ruling government, has the special role of taking care of the people; however, what distinguishes the Chinese ruling government from other ruling governments is the respectful attitude of the citizens, who regard the government as part of their family. In fact, the ruling government is "the head of the family, the patriarch." Therefore, the Chinese look to the government for guidance as if they are listening to their father who, according to Chinese tradition, enjoys high reverence from the rest of the family.
Furthermore, "still another tradition that supports state control of music is the Chinese expectation of a verbal 'message.'" A "verbal message" is the underlying meaning behind people's words. In order to get to the "verbal message," one needs to read into words and ask oneself what the desired or expected response would be. The Chinese tradition of reading into words makes it easier for the government, or "the father," who possesses more attention and respect, to pass down its wishes through songs.
The "Socialist Harmonious Society" concept represents a new direction of Chinese communist leadership that signified the transition between Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. Although on the surface, "socialist harmonious society" seems benign, many scholars believe that General Secretary Hu has a vision for a deeper reform of the political system in China. In addition, the idea of scientific development stresses on scientific discovery and technological advance, engines for sustainable growth in the long run. Sustainable growth is a concept in macroeconomics that signifies GDP at potential (i.e. all that is produced is being consumed and there is no cyclical unemployment) for years to come.
In addition, the Socialist Harmonious Society concept was a response to the problem of social inequality/ wealth gap, which if not dealt with immediately, could lead to social unrest and even turmoil. A key reason contributing to a widening wealth gap was social injustice, which features collusion between entrepreneurs and officials. Through collusion, entrepreneurs were able to buy land from farmers and then sell it at high prices. Furthermore, with the protection of local officials, private coal mine owners ignored safety regulations to cut production costs. As a result, thousands of miners are killed in accidents.
Since the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, the leadership has been extremely sensitive about maintaining stability. General Secretary Hu's focus on stability and openness is the central model addressed in the book The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall by Ian Bremmer. According to Bremmer, the Chinese government is trying carefully to avoid instability by jumping from a controlled social environment on one end to complete openness on the other. The "J Curve" model is applicable to the political development of most nations and presents a choice between stability and openness. The concept of "Socialist Harmonious Society" is said to include both elements of the model. Hence, Hu's "socialist harmonious society" has an underlying message of establishing political reform as well as safeguarding social justice and equality.
Hu Jintao visited the US in early 2011, two years before he stepped down as the General Secretary of the Communist Party (the paramount leader). One of the key messages of his visit was the idea of peace and cooperation: "China and the United States have major influence in international affairs and shoulder important responsibilities in upholding world peace and promoting common development." In addition to attending state dinners, President Hu visited the US China Business Council, a Chinese-owned auto parts plant in Ohio, and Walter Payton College Preparatory High School in Chicago/Confucius Institute of Chicago. When asked about the differences between the US and China at Walter Payton Prep, Hu Jintao responded, "China and the US have different histories, culture, social systems and levels of development, but their peoples are peace-loving and in pursuit of growth. I hope that the friendship between our two nations will last forever."
With few agendas at hand before his retirement, Hu Jintao brought to America a concept of harmony that is based on peace, cooperation and "soft power" exchanges. Soft power is a concept developed by Joseph Nye to describe the ability to attract and cooperate rather than using coercion, force or money as a means of persuasion. The means of persuasion by using force or money, on the other hand, is called hard power. Nye, as a past Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in the Clinton Administration, stresses on the combination of soft power and hard power, which he calls smart power. Nye believes that the using of smart power in today's dynamic international relations will be highly effective. Now looking back at President Hu's visit to US and linking it with the multidimensional rise of Chinese influence on the international stage, one can discover the subtle similarity between Chinese and American foreign policies.
In addition to the utilization of smart power, the Chinese leader also understands the concept of "Shadow of the Future": At the high school, Hu Jintao told the students, "The young are the future of a nation and the hopes of the world. The prospects of China-US relations are in the hands of the young people of the two countries." "Shadow of the Future" is a concept in Joseph Nye's book, Understanding Global Conflict and Cooperation: An Introduction to Theory and History. The key to Shadow of the Future is to lengthen the period of peace and cooperation and to reduce fear of power conflicts. One of the paramount reasons that contributes to the Peloponnesian War, according to Thucydides, is "the growth of Athenian power and the fear which this caused in Sparta." Hu's perspective claims to try to reduce the deadly psychological feeling in the nature of humans as well as nations.
On the other hand, the American foreign policy goes beyond the message of peace, understanding and cooperation. As the world's superpower, the United States has a tough stance on the rise of China. The appropriateness of such a tough stance, nevertheless, is debatable given the political environment at the time of American elections. During Hu's visit, President Barack Obama assured China that the US is reasserting its influence in East Asia and in the Pacific Ocean. Indeed, the US has increased its military and political presence in the Pacific through its military deployment in Australia and its diplomatic/military pressure on the sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea in early 2012.
The administration of Hu's successor, Xi Jinping, has used the phrase more sparingly. It was mentioned only once in the resolutions passed by the 3rd Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee.
While initially the public's reaction to the idea was positive, over the years "Harmonious Society" has emerged as a euphemism for "stability at all costs," and has garnered its share of critics. The government often uses "Harmonious Society" to justify the suppression of dissent and the tight control on information in China. Some social commentators have pointed out the irony that in building a "harmonious society" the country has become less just, less equal, and less fair. Meanwhile, some of Hu's critics say that application of the "Socialist Harmonious Society" concept has resulted in anything but itself. China scholar Cheng Li said that Hu's failure in implementing the Socialist Harmonious Society program has been his "gravest pitfall" during his tenure. Critics cite the increased wealth gap, higher internal security budgets, and unprecedented corruption in state-owned industries as evidence that Socialist Harmonious Society has failed in practice.
The term "River crab" (Chinese: 河蟹; pinyin: héxiè) has been adopted as internet slang in Mainland China in reference to Internet censorship. The word river crab sounds similar to the word "harmonious" in Mandarin Chinese. In addition, the word "harmonious" can itself also be the placeholder verb for "to censor", most often referring to posts on a forum that have been deleted because of unacceptable content, or the censorship of stories reporting sensitive issues in the press. Something that has been censored in this manner is often referred to as having been "harmonized" (被和谐了).
The 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was held in Beijing, China, at the Great Hall of the People from 15 to 21 October 2007. The Congress marked significant shift in the political direction of the country as CPC General Secretary Hu Jintao solidified his position of leadership. Hu's signature policy doctrine, the Scientific Development Concept, which aimed to create a "Socialist Harmonious Society" through egalitarian wealth distribution and concern for the country's less well-off, was enshrined into the Party Constitution. It was succeeded by the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.The Congress also set up the political scene for a smooth transition to the fifth generation of party leadership, introducing rising political stars Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang to the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC), the country's de facto top decision-making body. Vice-President Zeng Qinghong, an important ally of former General secretary Jiang Zemin, retired from the PSC. Party anti-graft chief Wu Guanzheng, and Legal and Political Commission chief Luo Gan also retired due to age, replaced by He Guoqiang and Zhou Yongkang in their respective posts.Central Guidance Commission on Building Spiritual Civilization
The Central Guidance Commission on Building Spiritual Civilization (Chinese: 中央精神文明建设指导委员会; pinyin: Zhōngyāng Jīngshénwénmíng Jiànshè Zhǐdǎo Wěiyuánhuì), also known as the Central Commission for Guiding Cultural and Ethical Progress, is a commission of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China tasked with educational efforts to build a "spiritual civilization" (Jingshen Wenming) based on socialism and the goal to build a socialist harmonious society, according to the official CPC policy.The Commission was established on April 21, 1997. As one of the most important ideological steering bodies of the CPC and the People's Republic of China, it controls nationwide propaganda and ideological dissemination, overlapping another similar body, the Leading Group for Propaganda and Ideological Work. Both the Commission and the Leading Group are chaired by the Politburo Standing Committee responsible for propaganda, and overrule the CPC Propaganda Department.
Currently, Wang Huning serves as chairman, and Huang Kunming is the vice-chair.Chinese Folk Temples' Management Association
The Chinese Folk Temples' Management Association (中国民间寺庙文化管理协会 Zhōngguó mínjiān sìmiào wénhuà guǎnlǐ xiéhuì) is an organisation for the registration, standardisation and administration of the folk religious temples of China; such temples are considered the primary carriers of traditional culture. It was formally established at the end of 2015, with the approval of the government of China, with the purpose of creating a "Harmonious Society" realising the "Chinese Dream" with Chinese characteristics (gods). In its function, the organisation may be compared to Japan's Association of Shinto Shrines.
The association has links with the Chinese Water-Wind Philosophy Association (中国风水家协会 Zhōngguó fēngshuǐ jiā xiéhuì) and with the Chinese Yijing Philosophy Association (中国易经哲学家协会 Zhōngguó Yìjīng zhéxué jiā xiéhuì). The association was founded in Henan province, and is responsible towards the Ministry of Culture. In other areas of China, different measures for the administration of folk religious temples have been taken in the 2010s; for instance, in Zhejiang province 34,880 folk religious temples, mediated by a variety of local associations, have come under the aegis of the Bureau of Folk Faith of the provincial Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs.Chinese Taoist Association
Chinese Taoist Association (CTA ; Chinese: 中国道教协会), founded in April 1957, is the main association of Taoism in the People's Republic of China. It is recognized as one of the main religious associations in the People's Republic of China, and is overseen by the State Administration for Religious Affairs. Dozens of regional and local Taoist associations are included in this overarching group, which is encouraged by the government to be a bridge between Chinese Taoists and the government, to encourage a patriotic merger between Taoism and government initiatives. The group also disseminates information on traditional Taoist topics, including forums and conferences. The association was a major sponsor of the 2007 International Forum on the Tao Te Ching. The Chinese Taoist Association advocates the recompensation of losses inflicted on Taoism by the Cultural Revolution. Taoism was banned for several years in the People's Republic of China during that period.
Taoist practitioners in China are required to register with the Chinese Taoist Association in order to be granted recognition and official protection. The CTA exercises control over religious doctrine and personnel, and dictates the proper interpretation of Taoist doctrine. It also encourages Taoist practitioners to support the Communist Party and the state. For example, a Taoist scripture reading class held by the CTA in November 2010 required participants to ‘‘fervently love the socialist motherland [and] uphold the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.’’ The central government of China has supported and encouraged the Association, along with other official religious groups, in promoting the "harmonious society" initiative of Communist Party General Secretary Hu Jintao.Concert of Nations
The Concert of Nations is a set of political beliefs that emerged in the nineteenth century at the Congress of Vienna but continue to be influential for international relations even through the present day. The ideas behind the Concert of Nations are rooted in seventeenth century political philosophy of harmonism, which included music, politics, religion, science, and the entire universe (physical and metaphysical). The Congress of Vienna enacted the principles of the Concert in both musical entertainment and political relations. The stability of Europe during the decades following the Congress of Vienna has led to widespread popularity of the idea of a Concert of Nations, though its (largely theoretical) application vary widely in their interpretations of what a Concert of Nations means for present-day international relations.Eight Musts
The Eight Musts (Chinese: 八个必须) are a policy set by the General Secretary Xi Jinping administration regarding the role of the Communist Party of China in Chinese society.Euphemisms for Internet censorship in China
River crab (Chinese: 河蟹; pinyin: héxiè) and harmonious/harmonize/harmonization (Chinese: 和谐; pinyin: héxié) are Internet slang terms created by Chinese netizens in reference to the Internet censorship, or other kinds of censorship in China. In Mandarin Chinese, the word "river crab" (河蟹), which originally means Chinese mitten crab, sounds similar to "harmonious/harmonize/harmonization" (Chinese: 和谐) in the word "harmonious society" (和谐社会), ex-Chinese leader Hu Jintao's signature ideology.Fa (concept)
Fa (Chinese: 法;Mandarin pronunciation: [fà]) is a concept in Chinese philosophy that covers ethics, logic, and law. It can be translated as "law" in some contexts, but more often as "model" or "standard." First gaining importance in the Mohist school of thought, the concept was principally elaborated in Legalism. In Han Fei's philosophy, the king is the sole source of fa (law), taught to the common people so that there would be a harmonious society free of chance occurrences, disorder, and "appeal to privilege". High officials were not to be held above fa (law or protocol), nor were they to be allowed to independently create their own fa, uniting both executive fiat and rule of law.Xunzi, a philosopher that would end up being foundational in Han dynasty Confucianism, also took up fa, suggesting that it could only be properly assessed by the Confucian sage (ruler), and that the most important fa were the very rituals that Mozi had ridiculed for their ostentatious waste and lack of benefit for the people at large.Formicarius
The Formicarius, written 1436-1438 by Johannes Nider during the Council of Basel and first printed in 1475, is the second book ever printed to discuss witchcraft (the first book being Fortalitium Fidei). Nider dealt specifically with witchcraft in the fifth section of the book. Unlike his successors, he did not emphasize the idea of the Witches' Sabbath and was skeptical of the claim that witches could fly by night. With over 25 manuscript copies from fifteenth and early sixteenth century editions from the 1470s to 1692, the Formicarius is an important work for the study of the origins of the witch trials in Early Modern Europe, as it sheds light on their earliest phase during the first half of the 15th century.Nider was one of the first to transform the idea of sorcery to its more modern perception of witchcraft. Prior to the fifteenth century, magic was thought to be performed by educated males who performed intricate rituals. In Nider's Formicarius, the witch is described as uneducated and more commonly female. The idea that any persons could perform acts of magic simply by devoting themselves to the devil scared people of this time and proved to be one of the many factors that led people to begin fearing magic. The idea that the magician was primarily female was also shocking to some. Nider explained that females were capable of such acts by pointing out what he considered their inferior physical, mental and moral capacity.The work is further of note for its information regarding notably infamous figures of the time, one of whom was the sorcerer Scavius, who reputedly escaped his enemies on multiple occasions by metamorphosing into a mouse. Prior to his death Scavius was responsible for the tutelage of Stedelen in witchcraft.
The title is Latin for "the ant colony", an allusion to Proverbs 6:6. Nider used the ant colony as a metaphor for a harmonious society.Hexie
Hexie or He Xie may refer to:
Harmonious Society (Chinese: 和谐社会; pinyin: héxié shèhuì), Chinese leader Hu Jintao's signature ideology
Hexie (train) (Chinese: 和谐号, meaning "Harmony") - Chinese name of China Railway High-speed trains
River crab (Internet slang) (Chinese: 河蟹; pinyin: héxiè)History of the People's Republic of China (2002–present)
The People's Republic of China became more influential economically in the 1990s and 2000s and was beginning to be widely recognized as an emerging superpower. In 2010, China became the world's second largest economy by GDP. At the same time, numerous social problems emerged and intensified. As Paramount leader Jiang Zemin, NPCSC Chairman Li Peng and PRC Premier Zhu Rongji, gradually retired from their position of power, "fourth-generation" leaders, led by CPC General Secretary Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, faced with increasing social unrest, attempted to steer the country towards a new direction. From the path of focusing solely on economic development, Hu and Wen placed focus on creating an overall balance under the idea of the Scientific Outlook on Development to create a socialist harmonious society. In this process, there was an unprecedented shift in stance towards favouring rural development and farmers, as well as other generally populist policies. The Hu-Wen government, on the same token, attempted to restrict some personal freedoms, especially those associated with political content on the Internet.
China's increased prominence on the global stage has also brought with it general skepticism and intense scrutiny, especially in the lead up to the 2008 Summer Olympics and after the March 2008 protests in Tibet. The government continues to be criticized on human rights abuses and the various product quality scandals that have increasingly damaged the country's integrity and continues to raise suspicions about the country's safety standards. The majority of China's population, however, point to the immense progress the country has made and generally discredit criticisms of China as being embedded in cultural and historical misunderstandings and rooted in paranoia of China's potential dominance on the world stage. These ideological clashes, fused with rhetoric from Beijing, has led to an intense wave of nationalism (or Socialist patriotism) surfacing in Chinese populations around the world.
As of mid-2012, government statistics show that for the first time ever over 50% of the Chinese population now live in urban areas, marking a milestone in the urbanization of China. The majority of modern city dwellers are migrants and their children who moved to cities during the economic boom of the last 30 years started by Deng Xiaoping's policy of economic liberalization.Konstantin Pobedonostsev
Konstantin Petrovich Pobedonostsev (Russian: Константи́н Петро́вич Победоно́сцев, IPA: [kənstɐnˈtʲin pʲɪˈtrovʲɪtɕ pəbʲɪdɐˈnostsɨf]; May 21, 1827, Moscow – March 23, 1907, Saint Petersburg) was a Russian jurist, statesman, and adviser to three Tsars. He was the chief spokesman for reactionary positions. He was the "éminence grise" of imperial politics during the reign of Alexander III of Russia, holding the position of the Ober-Procurator of the Most Holy Synod, the non-clerical official who supervised the Russian Orthodox Church.
His writings on politics, law, art, and culture emphasized the positive element of the spiritual and secular unification of Russia with the acceptance of Christianity. He warned of the negative element in Russia, portraying democratic and liberal movements as enemies of the national and religious unity of Russian people. Achieving a harmonious society, said Pobedonostsev, meant there was a collective responsibility to uphold political and religious unity, hence close supervision of Russian behaviour and thinking was a necessity.Mario Lago
Mario Lago (1878, in Savona – 1950, in Capri) was an Italian statesman and diplomat.
Originally from the town of Peveragno, Lago was Governor of the Italian Aegean Islands from 1922 to 1936. His term of office is characterized by a far-sighted policy and respect for ethnic and cultural identity of the inhabitants of the colony. He was able to integrate the Greek, Turkish and Ladino Jewish communities of the island of Rhodes with the Italian colonists. He also encouraged intermarriage with local Greeks. This period constituted what might in retrospective be called the "Golden Age" of the Italian Dodecanese, with the economy booming and a relatively harmonious society.Lago also developed a large plan of public works in Rhodes and other islands. As part of these plans, the new city of Portolago (present-day Lakki) was built as the base of the Italian Royal Navy on the island of Leros, as well as the agricultural village of Peveragno Rodio, a center of settlement of Italian colonists.National Public Complaints and Proposals Administration
National Public Complaints and Proposals Administration (Chinese: 国家信访局), formerly named as Letters and Calls Bureau, also known as Xinfang Bureau, Petition Administration, is a deputy-cabinet level state agency in the People's Republic of China that is subordinate to General Office of the State Council and is responsible for hearing public complaints and proposals nation-wide.New Confucianism
New Confucianism (Chinese: 新儒家; pinyin: xīn rú jiā; literally: 'new Confucianism') is an intellectual movement of Confucianism that began in the early 20th century in Republican China, and further developed in post-Mao era contemporary China. It is deeply influenced by, but not identical with, the neo-Confucianism of the Song and Ming dynasties. It is a neo-conservative movement of various Chinese traditions and has been regarded as containing religious overtones; it advocates for certain Confucianist elements of society – such social, ecological, and political harmony – to be applied in a contemporary context in synthesis with Western philosophies such as rationalism and humanism. Its philosophies have emerged as a focal point of discussion between Confucian scholars in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the United States.Parti Bumi Kenyalang
The Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK, Land of the Hornbill Party) is a small political party registered in 2013 and based in Bintulu, Sarawak.The party's stated intent is to establish a just, equal, progressive, stable and harmonious society and serve as a platform for Sarawakians to express their concerns about issues affecting the state and safeguard the concerns and autonomy of the state . It also seeks to push for a review of the status of the rights of the state of Sarawak using the Malaysia Agreement and the Cobbold Commission report as its basis .Saving Humanity
Saving Humanity:Truly Understanding And Ranking Our World's Greatest Threats is a book written by Hu Jiaqi. The book designs the ideal framework of a harmonious society and a harmonious world. It discusses the two sides of the development of science and technology, the uncontrollability of the development of science and technology, and how to deal with the rapid technological advancement.Scientific Outlook on Development
The Scientific Outlook on Development (simplified Chinese: 科学发展观; traditional Chinese: 科學發展觀; pinyin: Kēxué Fāzhǎn Guān), sometimes translated to either the scientific development concept, or as the scientific development perspective, is one of the guiding socio-economic principles of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the central feature of former Party General Secretary Hu Jintao's attempts to create a "harmonious society."Three Obediences and Four Virtues
The Three Obediences and Four Virtues (Chinese: 三从四德; pinyin: Sāncóng Sìdé) are the most basic set of moral principles and social code of behaviour for maidens and married women in East Asian Confucianism especially in Ancient and Imperial China. Even Chinese prostitutes in Ancient China followed this code to be defined as feminine. Some imperial eunuchs and modern gay men are also heavily influenced by these principles and rules, both observing them themselves and also enforcing and policing these behaviors in imperial harems, aristocratic households and society at large. The two Han Chinese terms ("three obediences" and "four virtues") first appeared in the Book of Etiquette and Ceremonial and in the Rites of Zhou respectively, which codified the protocol for an elegant and refined culture for Chinese civilization. It was originally meant to define the various parts of a harmonious society and not intended as a rule book. This code has heavily influenced feudal ancient and imperial China until the recent Maoist Era. It has heavily influenced both Korea and Japan as proscribed social philosophy until North Korea became Communist. Parts of it are still followed in Japan until today although it had been abandoned during the Marxist-inspired Great Leap Forward in China leading to mass depopulation and social chaos.
|Hanyu Pinyin||héxié shèhuì|