The Chinese Dream, the Dream of Constitutional Governance

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Southern Weekend

Between heaven and earth, time blossoms.

This is our first meeting in 2013, we hope you have been lit up by dreams.

In 2012, you guarded your own life, they defended their own work. Defending their work meant that they defended the dreams in their lives.

In 2012, the buzz about constitutional governance reverberated around the Imperial Halls: “The life of the Constitution lies in its implementation, the authority of the Constitution lies also in its implementation.” We expect that the Constitution will grow teeth, and that constitutional governance will be born soon. Only in this way will it be possible to accomplish this difficult transition of an ancient country to which time has brought great change. Today, the time has come to fulfil dreams. Having undergone the nightmare of the “Cultural Revolution”, where constitutional governance was lost, we have spent thirty years of time to progressively return to logical thinking and common sense. From the remunerative contract responsibility system to individual small business, from township and village enterprises  to “people’s enterprises”, the right of compatriots to autonomously arrange their lives has been slightly returned, we have created flourishing cities, and harvested food to fill warehouses.

We again perceive what is true and what is false, we know what is good and bad; we are burning with ardent love for public justice, and yearn for liberty. In the face of brute force, we join hands, and march through difficult times together, welcoming that life turns for the better.

Today, we finally may raise our hearts from the thick dust of history, and lift our heads from the trivialities of daily life, again march the long march of constitutional governance of our ancestors, and renew the magnificent dreams of our ancestors.

More than 170 years ago, we began to awake from the pipe dream of the Celestial Empire. We were first defeated by England, and then by Japan. The common people increasingly had no livelihood, and a sense of humiliation deeply stung the scholars of China. Protect the country! Protect the race! From foreign affairs to a constitutional monarchy, from constitutional drafting to revolution, from instruments to institutions and to culture, these indignants did not stint to thoroughly overthrow “the Confucius shop”, and uproot their own civilization.

After the Xinhai revolution, the Qing Emperor abdicated, and the ancestors finally established the first republic in Asia. But a free, democratic and strong Constitutional china did not come in the wake of this.

At home and abroad, there war one war after another; among the masses, brutality did not cease.

For a while, the people were far from benevolence, far from justice, far from the heavenly path, and far from a persistence in liberty.

For a while, the people saw the wrong as right, things were deliberately misrepresented, and the vitality of tens of thousands of people was severed.

Beautiful dreams, mountains and rivers were smashed to pieces. Liberty and constitutional governance were both hidden.

After going through an aeon in the human world, in which human nature was dimmed, we still are a people that can dream, and have hearts that can dream.

Today, we absolutely do not only dream about material wealth, we also hope for spiritual plenty; we absolutely not only dream that the country can become strong and wealthy, we hope even more that its citizens can find self-respect. A new people and a new country is saving the nation from extinction and enlightening it. No one can do without others, no one can overpower others. Constitutional governance is the basis for all beautiful dream.

Only by honouring the commitment of constitutional governance and sticking to rights, will it be possible for everyone to lead a tranquil life brimming with colour with a heart like the sun and the moon; will it be possible for widowers, widows, orphans and the childless to feel the warmth of the winter sun and not quiver like a string; will it be possible for “urban management” and peddlers to talk and laugh with each other; and will it be possible for housing to become a castle for oneself and family members;

Only by honouring the commitment of constitutional governance, limiting and dividing power, will citizens be able to loudly proclaim their criticism of public power; will it be possible for everyone to live freely according to their inner beliefs; and will we be able to build a free and strong country.

Only by honouring the commitment of the great dream of constitutional governance, will everyone be able to dream individual dreams. And this requires that we start with the matters at hand, start from guarding lives  at this very moment, and must not leave these important tasks to our children and grandchildren.

Many people have always deeply understood this point, many people already have striven to realize this point.

It is not just the outstanding who dream, it is those who are good to dreamers who are outstanding.

Your inborn right is to be permitted to dream, and to fulfil this dream!

Applauding your dreams and making extra efforts for the dream of this country, is the dream of many news people, and is their just ambition. They are devoted to news and even more devoted to their inner feelings. They wish that you also have a rosy-coloured dream; freedom to achieve yourself, and complete that which heaven bestowed on you.

There is always the dream that all people can become dignified people, both when they are in high position, and when they perform in the street; there is always the dream that everyone will have love in their hearts, even criminals may not necessarily be extremely evil, there are always compassionate hearts moving freely; there is always the dream that class is only a driver to lead people to freely circulate, and no longer a moat of suspicion, jealousy and hatred; there is always the dream that this five thousand year old civilization will endure without end, and will bring a new, crystal clear fountain to improve the modern condition of humankind…

Only by fulfilling hundreds and thousands of dreams will it be possible to comfort the deep-rooted anguish of this century.

After hanging around for 170 years, how difficult it is for dreams to come true! After 170 years, there are still people thirsting for conscience to sprout new buds, and to revive the essence of the Mandate of Heaven; there still are people who persistently demand that rights are born one by one, that politics returns to the right, and that public justice will flow freely. There still are people who are convinced that, regardless of how many difficulties there are, in the end, dreams will lead to a good system of constitutional governance, where sincerity and excellent customs will be in fashion.

The ancestors endured great hardships in their work, were trampled upon and died for their cause. Today, they descendants continue this ideal, and light the lamp to advance.

Fulfilling dreams, naturally requires learning from the wisdom of earlier worthies, to become reconciled with the beliefs, habits and feelings of the ancients. Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Legalism and Mohism, these various schools of thinking are all sources; Zhou, Han, Tang, Song and Ming, every dynasty has something worth having.

But this does not mean to revive antiquity, the ancients cannot give us everything we need in the present. It is just the cast that we must no longer lightly criticize the ancestors, and but calmly absorb matters and proceed, in order to let China’s civilization flourish with new flowers and grow new fruits.

Fulfilling dreams naturally requires the assimilation of foreign experiences. Therefore, we must earnestly examine Greek democracy and Roman rule of law, learn from Anglo-American constitutional governance, and pursue modern science, technology and civilization.

But this also does not only mean that we must be the top student of a Western civilization, Westerners have Westerners’ evolutionary path, similarly, they may not necessarily be able to directly give us all we need today.

We must stand on our own land, and together with the people of all nations, live a sort of new life that merges the past and the present, and create a new sort of civilization that combines the Chinese and the Western. In this surge of the old , the new, the Chines and the Western, we must respect the common values of humankind, and must also not be afraid to dream our own new dreams.

We praise the ancients, and commend neighbours, not because they are so perfect, but because we know that their eyes are brimming with happiness, and that liberty flows in their hearts.

The Chinese people ought to have been free people. The Chinese dream ought to have been constitutional governance.

Only under constitutional governance will it be possible for the country to continue to become strong and wealthy, only under constitutional governance will it be possible for the people to become truly formidable. Only by fulfilling the dream of constitutional governance will it be possible to strive for national sovereignty abroad even better, and safeguard the freedom of the nation; will it be possible to even better strive for civil rights at home, and safeguard the people’s freedom. And the freedom of the country must, in the end, rest on the freedom of the people, it must rest on the fact that everyone may speak their hearts, and everyone may have dreams in their hearts.

Born as human beings, who could not ardently love liberty? This liberty is not only to speak of rights aimed at power, it also refers to forgiveness aimed at retaliation, it means wisdom aimed at ignorance, it means humanity aimed at tyranny, it means virtue aimed at injustice.

When the great path prevails, all under heaven belongs to everyone; the myriad beings will be at ease, and all have a just life. This is the dream of the ancients, the dream of the ancestors, and it is the dream of many people today.

The Chinese Dream, the dream of liberty, the dream of constitutional governance.

The myriad beings decay fast, but the dream lives forever. The myriad beings, are born, and do not perish because of dreams. Dreams are produced endlessly, because even when you are defeated a hundred times, the one hundred and first time, your heart may be filled with the hope not to die. Still, there are people who listen to your dream, who expect you to dare to dream. You crawl up from suffering, they root for you; you gain a beautiful life, they root for you… They have no other capital, they only persist in dreams; they have no other advantage, they only pursue truth.

A true word can be heavier than the entire world, a dream can let lives burst forth with radiance!



4 thoughts on “The Chinese Dream, the Dream of Constitutional Governance

    […] The Chinese Dream, the Dream of Constitutional Governance (Southern Weekend, unpublished) […]

    […] A few days later, the well-known outspoken newspaper Southern Weekend published an editorial, The Chinese Dream, the Dream of Constitutional Governance, which claims that “Only under constitutional governance will it be possible for the country to […]

    […] A few days later, the well-known outspoken newspaper Southern Weekend published an editorial, The Chinese Dream, the Dream of Constitutional Governance, which claims that “Only under constitutional governance will it be possible for the country to […]

    Censorship has not killed Weibo said:
    February 12, 2014 at 6:04 am

    […] in early January 2013, when the public learned about censorship of a New Year’s editorial calling for constitutional governance in the popular magazine Southern Weekend. During that […]

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