天下为公 – Chinese philosophy and culture

0
121
Listen to this article

tiānxià-wéigōng 天下为公

The World Belongs to All.

天下是公众的,天下为天下人所共有。“天下”,本义是“普天之下”,喻指君位、国家政权或整个国家,后泛指整个世界。“公”,大家、公众。狭义指贤人,德才兼备的人;广义指全体国民或天下所有的人。“天下为公”主要有两层意思:其一,君位非一人一姓所私有,而为有才德的人所共有,即所谓传贤不传子。其二,国家非一人一姓所私有,而为公众所共有。其中包含着反对君位世袭、主张推举有才德之人掌权的“尚贤”和“民本”思想。古人相信,“天下为公”是实现“大同”社会、人民生活幸福的政治前提和保障。至近代,“天下为公”又演变成为推翻专制、实现民主的标志性关键词,后来成为一种美好的社会政治理想。

The world is a public realm and therefore belongs to all the people. Tianxia (天下), which literally means everything under heaven, used to refer to the monarch, state power, or the nation; later it extended to mean the whole world. In the narrow sense, gong (公) refers to figures with both integrity and competence, while in the broad sense it refers to all the people of a country, or everyone in the world. This term has two meanings. The first is that the position of a ruler is not the private property of just one person or his family, but rather belongs to all people of virtue and ability. Hence, the throne should be passed on to people according to their merit rather than through bloodline. The second meaning is that a country does not belong to a single individual or family, but belongs to the public. This is a people-centered vision, which opposes hereditary rule and believes that people with virtue and competence should be selected to exercise power. Ancient Chinese held this to be the foundation and guarantee for people to enjoy a happy life and realize universal harmony. In modern times, it evolved into a key concept calling for overthrowing autocracy and realizing democracy and later into a longing for an ideal society.

引例 Citation:

◎大道之行也,天下为公。选贤与能,讲信修睦。(《礼记·礼运》)

(大道实行的时代,天下为百姓所共有,品德高尚、才能突出的人被选拔出来管理社会,人与人之间讲究诚实与和睦。)

When the Great Way prevails, the world belongs to all the people. People of virtue and competence are chosen to govern the country, and honesty and harmony is the way for people to treat each other. (The Book of Rites)

Rate this post

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here