Authority and Welfare in China: Modern Debates in Historical by Michael Twohey (auth.)

By Michael Twohey (auth.)

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Additional resources for Authority and Welfare in China: Modern Debates in Historical Perspective

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Caused the various classes of people of the world to realize that what they desired and longed for was to be found with them, and this is why incentives worked .... When incentives work ... then goods and commodities will come as easily as water bubbling up from an inexhaustible spring .... How indeed could the world have the misfortune of inadequate supplies? (Xunzi, Vol. 2, pp. 129-30) Xunzi's hierarchical system was a way to respond to man's desires but also a means by which to redirect these desires into a motive force for further production.

In addition to this, not only were the Self-strengtheners' and the Conservatives' proposals for modernization piecemeal, when compared to those of Kang Youwei, but they were without corresponding institutional reforms (see Hook, 1991, p. 225). Furthermore, none of their proposals was ever accepted by the Qing court. In most cases they were only addressed to provincial officials, who did not act on intellectuals' advice without approval from Beijing. It was suggested earlier in this chapter that the Conservatives may have resisted change because this would remove the prerogatives to which they had grown accustomed, but the Self-strengtheners also were not above such considerations.

Like popular sovereignty, Kang believed that the nationalization of land was a lofty ideal of the 'great community' (datong) that could not be realized in his time (Hsiao, 1965, p. 38). Kang's Economic Reforms In keeping with Xunzi's belief that man's desires are boundless, and that it was contingent upon government to satisfy these desires through the creation of wealth and the production of material goods, Kang argued that only large-scale industrialization was capable of meeting these needs in modern China.

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