9. Removal of the Evil in Human Nature in a Civilised Way
But in the nature and natural tendencies of humanity are lots of evil natures essential for survival.
Those natures enable man to survive in a natural state, but they must be limited and even cleared away in a civilised society.
If man cannot control the evil in his nature, the whole human society will shake off civilisation and recover barbarism, and this is what God hates to see. By that time, wars will befall the world to change the development direction of the human society.
Most of the wars among humans are caused by social contradictions.
People are poor, pathetic animals. People, in particular the majority of people, have a very narrow dimension of consciousness. They only care about their own interests and their family’s benefits, but don’t care for others.
When a serious conflict of interest arises between two types of people or the people of two regions after society develops and reaches a certain level, a war will come to change the status quo.
The human society developed from barbarism to civilisation and from slavery to feudalism and to capitalism, and Marx interpreted the development of society as the development of productivity. In my opinion, the development of productivity changed the level of the social civilisation. What is civilisation? Civilisation means making people’s life more comfortable and better in the long run with all things considered.
Productivity cannot directly change society, but the development of productivity has led to a change in civilisation.
Civilisation refers to the common transmission of an advanced culture.
The common people, the social management, the ignorant people, and the social elites, in particular the social management and the social elites, their acceptance of the advanced culture may directly lead to a radical change in the human social system. But productivity is just an inducement and a prerequisite. It is the civilisation of mankind, or the degree of the mastery of an advanced ideology or culture by the social elites, management, and common people that directly decides the social transformation.
The civilisation of mankind aims simply to overcome the evil in human nature using reason and wisdom; overcome the evil in human nature with the help of reasonable, wise people and their social relations; and restrict the evil in humans by means of a rational system, so as to create a better living environment for the great majority of people.
Owing to the innate savageness, ignorance, and evil desire in human nature, the whole human society is still in utter confusion at present even though it has a civilised history of several thousand years. Savageness, hatred, contradiction, and pain exist throughout the world. The human beings fancy themselves civilised, but if the so-called civilisation is measured with an ideal interpersonal political and economic connection, you will see that the civilisation of mankind is just a little better than that in the primitive society, and there is not even an essential difference between the two.
Material prosperity does not mean great progress in people’s way of thinking, as an upstart’s wealth does not mean he is learned. Furthermore, a highly educated person may not definitely bring a big influence to the whole society, and this just means that he has more knowledge of a certain field.
By civilisation I mean a civilisation based on an ideal interpersonal relationship, and a social management civilisation rather than material civilisation based on an understanding of the social order and a capacity for act.
Correct management of the entire society was called ‘kingly way’ or ‘benevolent governance’ in ancient China.
What Lao-Tzu wrote in Tao Te Ching is the way of social management and the requirements for management.
Of course, Tao Te Ching is just a record of a way in which social management was understood more than two thousand years ago. Many concrete practices recorded in it are not worth to be held in esteem, but the mode of thinking is very correct. The same mode of thinking or basic principle might lead to different and even completely opposite concrete practices in different specific circumstances. This is because as a specific event and condition changed, the specific problem-solving method was sure to change.