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This article has been translated from Chinese by Mark Halperin and condensed and revised by Zhang Qiong.

1. Translators' note: In this essay, the Chinese term geti has been translated alternately as "the individual," "the individuated," and "the individuated entity," depending on the context. The term geren has been rendered consistently as "the individual." [BACK]

2. Lucian W. Pye, The Spirit of Chinese Politics (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1968), xviii. Wang Hui's reading is based upon a Chinese version of this work. [BACK]

3. Fredric Jameson, "Third World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism," Social Text 15 (1986): 69. Wang Hui's reading is based on a Chinese translation of this text. [BACK]

4. Ibid., 85–86. [BACK]

5. Translators' note: We have used Hao Chang's translation of qun. See his Liang Ch'i-ch'ao and Intellectual Transition in China, 1890–1907 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971), 95. The Chinese term zixing is translated alternately as "self-nature" and "subjectivity" in this essay. In Wang Hui's interpretive reading of Zhang Taiyan, a key distinction is maintained between two different kinds of entities: those that are natural and thereby endowed with an authentic xing (nature, attributes) residing within the individuated unit (zi); and those that are socially constituted, often of a collective nature, to which this xing is ascribed. The most prominent significance of zixing thus lies with subjectivity but sometimes goes beyond it. [BACK]

6. Friedrich Nietzsche, "The Genealogy of Morals," in The Birth of Tragedy and the Genealogy of Morals, trans. Francis Golffing (New York: Anchor Books, 1956), 188. Wang Hui's reading was based upon a Chinese version of this text. [BACK]

7. Translators' note: This translation adopts Hao Chang's view of Zhang Taiyan's interpretation of Zhuangzi. See his Chinese Intellectuals in Crisis (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1987), 121–22. [BACK]

8. Zhang Taiyan, "Sihuo lun" (On the four delusions), in Zhang Taiyan quanji (Shanghai: Shanghai renmin chubanshe, 1984), 4th fasc., 444. [BACK]

9. Ibid., 446. [BACK]

10. Translators' note: Gongli, as Wang Hui explains in the text, is a normative principle (li) recognized and accepted by all members of the society and is therefore impartial and public in the sense that it is equally accessible to all (gong). In this essay we use "public principle" to translate gongli in the hope of differentiating it from tianli (heavenly principle), a key concept in Neo-Confucian social philosophy. Gongli and tianli in Zhang Taiyan's conception appear to share attributes but differ significantly in philosophical foundation. [BACK]

11. Zhang Taiyan quanji, 4th fasc., 449. [BACK]

12. Ibid. The quote from Zhuangzi is taken from A. C. Graham, Chuang-tzu, 53. [BACK]

13. Zhang Taiyan quanji, 4th fasc., 456–57. [BACK]

14. "Da Tiezheng" (Responding to the iron gong), in Zhang Taiyan quanji, 4th fasc., 374–75. [BACK]


15. "Ren wuwo lun" (On the nonexistence of the human self), in Zhang Taiyan quanji, 4th fasc., 419. [BACK]

16. Translators' note: Peter Gregory defines alayavijnana as "the key Yogacara doctrine of ‘store consciousness,’ the eighth consciousness that operates as the underlying continuum in mental life and functions as the underlying projective consciousness on which delusion is ultimately based. The alayavijnana stores the seeds out of which the mental and physical elements that comprise the phenomenal world develop; it stores all experiences as karmically charged seeds, which, under the proper conditions, ripen as actions (whether mental, verbal, or physical), which in turn create new seeds." See his Inquiry into the Origin of Humanity: An Annotated Translation of Tsungmi's Yüan jen lun, with a Modern Commentary (Honolulu: Kuroda Institute, 1995), 207 and passim. [BACK]

17. "Jianshe Zongjiao lun" (On the establishment of religion), in Zhang Taiyan quanji, 4th fasc., 414. The same sort of view is also seen in "Ren wuwo lun," in Zhang Taiyan quanji, 4th fasc., 427. [BACK]

18. "Ren wuwo lun," in Zhang Taiyan quanji, 4th fasc., 427. [BACK]

19. The stress on the impartial and the collective in modern thought exhibits a significant parallel to the ritualistic political ideals of Xunzi, whereas Zhang's conception of the "impartial," articulated in Buddhist language, is inherently similar to the ideas of natural publicness (gong) and cosmic equality expressed in the Zhuangzi: "Heaven is impartial to everything it covers, earth to everything it carries; why would heaven and earth discriminate to make me poor?" A. C. Graham, Chuang-tzu, 93. [BACK]

20. "Guojia lun" (On the state), in Zhang Taiyan quanji, 4th fasc., 457. [BACK]

21. Ibid., 457–58. [BACK]

22. Ibid., 459. Zhang explains the so-called expressive appearances as follows: "What most people call appearance can be divided into three parts. Green, yellow, red, and white name manifest appearances. Crooked, straight, square, and round name formal appearances. Taking, giving, contracting, and expanding name expressive appearances. All things belong to manifest and formal appearances, and all matters belong to expressive appearances. The expressive appearances pass away, and with the functions they leave behind, their shape and its boundaries are not yet extinguished, and are named nonexpressive appearances." [BACK]

23. Ibid., 459. [BACK]

24. Ibid., 461–62. [BACK]

25. Ibid., 462 [BACK]

26. Fourth year of the Duke of Cheng, Zuo zhuan, Shisanjing zhushu, vol. 6 (Taipei: Yiwen yinshuguan, 1976), 439; "Sannianjian" (Three-year period), Li ji, Shisanjing zhushu, vol. 5 (Taipei: Yiwen yinshuguan, 1976), 961; "Lilun" (The discourse on ritual), Xunzi jijie, ed. Wang Xianqian, vol. 3 (Shanghai: Shangwu yinshuguan, 1936), 80. [BACK]

27. Shisanjing zhushu, 8:127. Translators' note: We have used the translation by Arthur Waley. See The Analects (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1938), 185. [BACK]

28. Wang Ermin, Zhongguo jindai sixiang shigao (A draft history of modern Chinese thought) (Taibei: Huashi chubanshe, 1977), 209–10. [BACK]

29. See, for example, the description of wufu in "Basic Annals of Xia," in Shiji (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1982), 75. [BACK]

30. See Wang Ermin's two articles, "‘Zhongguo’ mingcheng suyuan ji qi jindai quanshi" (Tracing the origins of the term "China" and its modern interpretation) and "Qingji xuehui yu jindai minzuzhuyi di xingcheng" (Qing learned societies and the formation of

modern nationalism), in Zhongguo jindai sixiang shigao (Taibei: Huashi chubanshe, 1977), 209–32, 441–80. [BACK]

31. Kang Youwei, "Shang Qingdi disanchu" (The third letter to the Qing emperor [May 29, 1895]), in Kang Youwei shenglunji, ed. Tang Zhijun (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1981), 140. "Trailing gowns" refers to how the Yellow Emperor, Yao, and Shun ruled the world by merely donning proper garments. See Zhou Yi, "Xici zhuan," Shisanjing zhushu, vol. 1 (Taipei: Yiwen yinshuguan, 1976), 167. [BACK]

32. Liang Qichao, "Aiguo lun" (On patriotism), in Yinbingshi heji, wenji (Collected works and essays from the Ice-Drinker's Studio), vol. 3 (Shanghai: Shanghai Zhonghua shuju, 1947), 47. [BACK]

33. Liang Qichao, "Zhongguo jiruo suyuan lun" (On tracing the origins of China's extreme weakness), in Yinbingshi heji, wenji, vol. 5, 15–16, 22–23. [BACK]

34. Liang Qichao, "Xinmin shuo" (New citizen), in Yinbingshi heji. Translators' note: The author does not indicate which part of Yinbingshi heji he refers to and gives no volume or page number. [BACK]

35. For the view that nationalism meant "national-people-ism," see "Sanmin zhuyi" (The three principles of the people), in Sun Zhongshan quanji (The collected works of Sun Yatsen), 9th fasc. (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1981), 184–185. [BACK]

36. Zhang Taiyan, "Zhang Taiyan guimao yuzhong manbi" (Zhang Taiyan's random jottings from prison in 1903), Guocui xuebao (Shanghai), no. 8 (1905): 5. [BACK]

37. Wang Sichen, Guoxue jianghua (Shanghai: Shijie shuju, 1935), 1–3. [BACK]

38. Huang Jie, "Guocui xuebaoshu," Guocui xuebao (Shanghai), no. 1 (March 23, 1905): 3. [BACK]

39. Ibid. [BACK]

40. Zhang Taiyan, "Yanshuo lu," in Minbao, no. 6 (January 1907): 4. See Xinhai geming qian shinian jianshi lun xuanji, 2d fasc., pt. A (Beijing: Sanlian shudian, 1978), 448–52. [BACK]

41. Translators' note: To distinguish minzu zhuyi and guojia zhuyi, we translate the former as "nationalism" and the latter as "statism." [BACK]

42. Liang Qichao, "Zhengzhixue dajia Bolunzhili zhi xueshuo" (The ideas of the great political scientist Bluntschli), in Yinbingshi heji, wenji, vol. 13, 68. Behind Liang's view was the major turn in his political attitudes and faith in politics. Liang Rengong xiansheng nianpu changbian chugao (A first draft of the long version of Master Liang Rengong's chronological history) has the following note: "The nihilism of his previous deeply felt beliefs and his advocacy of revolutionary anti-Manchuism were completely abandoned. This was a great turn in the master's political thought. His speech and ideas of the next few years were based completely on this foundation." Cited from Xinhai geming shiqi qikan jieshao (An introduction to periodicals of the 1911 revolution era), vol. 1 (Beijing: Renmin chubanshe, 1982), 162. [BACK]

43. Liang Qichao, "Zhengzhixue dajia Bolunzhili zhi xueshuo," 70–71. [BACK]

44. Ibid., 69, 77–86. [BACK]

45. Ibid., 86–88. [BACK]

46. Ibid., 88–89. [BACK]

47. See Liang Qichao, "Kaiming zhuanzhi lun" (On enlightened despotism), Yinbingshi heji, wenji, vol. 17. Hao Chang points out that "his central concern was not with ‘enlightened despotism’ per se, but with a much broader underlying problem, namely, ‘reason of the state.’" In other words, Liang's political orientation was identical to that of Western political thinkers from Machiavelli to Hegel, whose "paramount concern was the rational conduct of government to ensure the survival and security of the state irrespective of its moral

and ideological consequences. Specifically, ‘reason of state’ consists in the justification of such rational conduct of government as the supreme political end." See his Liang Ch'i-ch'ao, 255–56. Liang's interest in "enlightened despotism" was a natural development of his interest in "reason of state." What must be pointed out here, however, is that he had no interest in enlightened despotism itself, but found it an ideal and effective means to solve the problem of the Chinese nation's security and survival during an age of imperialism. This in general also explains Liang's contradictory feelings toward constitutional monarchy and enlightened despotism. [BACK]

48. Zhu Zhixin, "Xinli de guojiazhuyi," Minbao 21 (June 1906): 22–34. [BACK]

49. Zhang Taiyan, "Zhonghua minguo jie," in Zhang Taiyan quanji, 4th fasc., 253. The targets of his criticism were "economic-military theorists," meaning actually Yang Du's essay "Jintie zhuyi shuo" (The theory of economic militarism), published in Zhongguo xinbao (China new report) 2 (February 1907): 4. Yang Du believed in enriching the country and strengthening the military, establishing the nation through the military "only toward the outside, but not toward the inside," and carrying out an "economic militarism." During the constitutional monarchy period, he touched on the Manchu-Han Chinese problem. "Between the monarch and the people, those who say that there has been no Manchu-Han Chinese problem for a long time cannot extend this to the imperial house. The imperial house directly stands outside the Manchu-Han Chinese problem." His view was that the monarch was an agency of the nation; the problem was one of whether he is the monarch of the enlightened despotic polity or that of the constitutional monarchical polity, and not one of whether he is a Manchu or Han Chinese. "The monarch is the representative of the entire nation, not that of an entire people." Behind his slogan that "the monarch and people are one, and Manchu and Han have equal rights" was his use of the national problem to obscure the racial problem. [BACK]

50. Zhang Taiyan, "Zhonghua minguo jie," in Zhang Taiyan quanji, 4th fasc., 256. [BACK]

51. "Xuanshi yule lixian xianxing liding guanzhi yu" (Edict announcing that constitutional preparation will begin by carrying out the formulation of rules for official institutions), in Qingmo choubei lixian dang'an shiliao, ed. Gugong bowuguan Ming-Qing dang'anbu (Ming-Qing archives of the National Palace Museum), vol. 1 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1979), 44. [BACK]

52. Liang Qichao, "Shizhong dexing xiangfan xiangcheng yi" (The contradictory and complementary meaning of ten kinds of virtuous conduct), published originally in Qingyi bao (Pure discussion reports) 82 (June 16, 1901) and 84 (July 6, 1901), later included in Yinbingshi heji, wenji, 5th vol. See also Liang Qichao, Liang Qichao zhexue sixiang lunwen xuan (A selection of Liang Qichao's essays on philosophical thought) (Beijing: Beijing Daxue chuban-she, 1984), 49. [BACK]

53. Zhang Taiyan, "Sihuo lun," in Zhang Taiyan quanji, 4th fasc., 446–48. [BACK]

54. Zhang Taiyan, "Guojia lun," in Zhang Taiyan quanji, 4th fasc., 458. [BACK]

55. Zhang Taiyan, "Wuwu lun," in Zhang Taiyan quanji, 4th fasc., 435. [BACK]

56. See, for example, Wang Fansen, Zhang Taiyan ti sixiang ji qi dui Ruxue chuantong di chongji(Zhang Taiyan's thought and its attack on Confucian tradition) (Taipei: Shibao wenhua chuban youxian gongsi, 1985), chap. 5, sec. 3. See also Qingmo choubei lixian dang'an shiliao, vol. 2 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1979), 603–4. [BACK]

57. Zhang believed that China's despotic system made for a more egalitarian society than the constitutional systems of the West and Japan. See Zhang Taiyan, "Daiyi ranfou lun," Zhang Taiyan quanji, 4th fasc., 300. [BACK]


58. Ibid., 303. [BACK]

59. Ibid., 307–8; and "Wuwu lun," Zhang Taiyan quanji, 4th fasc., 430–31. [BACK]

60. See Zhao Jing and Yi Menghong, eds., Zhongguo jindai jingji sixiang shi (The history of modern Chinese economic thought), vol. 2 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1985), 488–502. [BACK]

61. Zhang Taiyan, "Wuchao falü suoyin," Zhang Taiyan quanji, 4th fasc., 84. This work originally appeared in issue 23 of Minbao, and was changed somewhat when incorporated into Taiyan wenlu (Record of Taiyan's writings). [BACK]

62. Liang Qichao, "Bianfa tongyi—lun xuehui," Yinbingshi heji, wenji, 1st fasc., 31. [BACK]

63. Hao Chang, Liang Ch'i-ch'ao, 108–9. [BACK]

64. Zhang Taiyan, "Daiyi ranfou lun," Zhang Taiyan quanji, 4th fasc., 309. See also Zhang Taiyan's October 1911 essay, "Zhu zhengdang" (Eliminating political parties), in Tang Zhijun, ed., Zhang Taiyan nianpu changbian (The long version of Zhang Taiyan's chronology), vol. 1 (Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, 1979), 352–60. [BACK]

65. Zhang Taiyan quanji, 4th fasc., 432. [BACK]

66. Ibid., 432. [BACK]

67. Ibid., 434. [BACK]

68. Prasenjit Duara, Culture, Power, and the State: Rural North China, 1900–1942 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1988), 4. [BACK]

69. Ibid., 74–77. [BACK]

70. "Wuwu lun," Zhang Taiyan quanji, 4th fasc., 429–30. [BACK]

71. The manifestation of this notion of publicness (gong) in nationalism is the extension of Mozi's "impartial" ethics, in which "undifferentiated love begins its practice with kin," to the relationships between peoples. Zhang said, "What we propose is not limited to the Han people. For other weak peoples who have been conquered by strong peoples, whose government has been usurped and people enslaved, if they have any remaining strength they must unite and recover [their sovereignty and freedom]…. If we want to fulfill our nationalism, then we should extend our ‘hearts of a child’ to rescue others in similar distress and allow them to live in land that is completely independent." Ibid., 430. [BACK]

72. Ibid., 436–37. [BACK]

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