has absolute control over financial and military power. The Chinese emperor is far better than the medieval European kings

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. Recently, the Global Times published an article “don’t demonize the ancient Chinese system”. According to the article, China’s ancient dynasties had relatively advanced systems such as advice, historian and imperial examination, and the emperor “was not an absolute dictatorship”; In contrast, European dynasties were more authoritarian. According to various historical materials, the comparison of this article is too simple and one-sided, which is far from the facts.

the biggest difference between medieval Europe and China is that the former was feudalism most of the time, while the latter was autocracy. In the 5th-13th century, there was a contractual relationship between kings and subordinates in Europe; The king is a member of the nobility and wants to jointly control power through some kind of nobility meeting; The king can only exercise power in the Royal territory, and beyond this scope, it is fully managed by each feudal lord. Western Europe has long had a mechanism to restrict the dynasty. For example, the “sage conference” appeared in Britain in the 7th century, that is, in China, which has the legislative and judicial power over the king. After the 13th century, the monarchy expanded and established the so-called “absolute monarchy”, but we still have to worry about Parliament.

in contrast, China has been a centralized autocratic system since its establishment in 221 BC to the demise of the Qing Dynasty in 1911. The whole country set up prefectures and counties, uniformly selected officials and collected taxes, and all power was in the hands of the emperor. It is generally believed that it can restrict the prime minister’s power and the power of advice of the emperor. Because its power itself comes from the imperial power, it can play a very limited role.

specifically, the kings of Western Europe have the right to rule the country without ownership; Chinese monarchs have both. This difference is first reflected in taxation. Western European kings rely on their own income, such as Royal territory income, judicial income and “feudal assistance” paid by nobles, to serve as the expenses of the court and the whole government. When the king’s income cannot maintain the operation of the government and defense expenditure and needs to be taxed separately, it must be approved by the taxpayer. For example, in the UK, there are pre imperial meetings, noble conferences and parliament; France has three-level meetings and so on.

William III became king of England after the glorious revolution. However, in China, “the king gives orders; the minister gives orders to the people; the people give corn and hemp silk as utensils, communicate with wealth and goods, and do things above them… The people do not give corn and hemp silk as utensils, make utensils, currency and wealth, and punish the people if they do things above them!” Obviously, the people pay taxes, and the emperor can levy new taxes at will according to needs, so that “urgent politics abuse taxes, taxes are collected from time to time, and change in the morning and evening.”

because they did not have financial power, the ancient European kings could not have their own army in most cases. When war was needed, the king often needed to ask the nobles to send troops or borrow money from the bank according to the feudal contract. In 1215, in response to the war, King John increased the “exemption from military service tax” of the nobility by 16 times, raised the inheritance tax at the same time, aroused the joint resistance of the nobility, and forced the king to sign the Magna Carta. In 1688, that is, the 27th year of Kangxi in China, a glorious revolution took place in Britain. Since then, all the state financial power was under the control of Parliament.

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had absolute control over ideology, and the medieval European kings could not compare with the Chinese kings. In addition to the financial and military power of

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, the ancient European Kings also lacked autocratic power in the field of ideology. The main intervention force comes from the church. Under the interpretation system of “divine power of monarchy”, the king exercises secular power on behalf of God, and the representative of God on earth is the church, so that the legitimacy of the king is subject to the church. The Roman Church constituted substantial restrictions on the king’s power. When one authority imposed injustice, people can seek the protection of another authority. Therefore, the old German customary law “Saxony mirror” said that God left two swords to the world. Give the Pope a spiritual sword and the emperor a secular sword. The intervention of

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religious power on the royal power is first manifested in that the royal power often has to seek the support of the religious power. For example, before attacking Britain, William the conqueror personally took a flag from the Pope to show the Holy See’s support for the military operation. After the battle of Hastings, the Archbishop of York crowned William and swore: “William promised to uphold the power of the church and abide by good law to become a wise king.”

secondly, kingship and religious power are also in constant competition. Due to the intensification of the conflict over the appointment of bishops, the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV announced the deposing of Pope Gregory VII in 1076. The Pope was unwilling to show weakness, expelled Henry from the church, deposed his throne, and called on the Germans to oppose the king. Henry IV, who lost his legitimacy, finally had to beg the Pope for mercy. Dressed in civilian clothes, he stood outside Gregory VII’s residence in the wind and snow for three days and three nights. After receiving the interview, Henry IV kissed the Pope’s boots to show his submission and restored his religious status.

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in contrast to China, the so-called “Confucianism” does not have the political entity power of the church. Although it also advocates the “divine power of monarchy”, the Confucian group itself does not control the ultimate interpretation power of the above ideology. In fact, it can only become a vassal of imperial autocracy. Dong Zhongshu, who established China’s political tradition for 2000 years, was praised for his thought of great unity, but his “theory of heavenly condemnation” aimed at restricting imperial power was despised by Emperor Wu; Even when Dong Zhongshu tried to criticize the imperial power with “Providence” on the ground of the fire in the ancestral temple, he was almost executed by Emperor Wu. As a new representative, Xu Fuguan can only admit that “the restriction on the ruler’s power in modern times depends on the constitution, while Dong’s only depends on heaven… But as a result, autocratic politics itself can only be autocratic for Autocracy, and will completely deny his ideal expressed by heaven’s philosophy.” In his opinion, “in China, there is no social force that can make a reasonable and positive confrontation and even struggle with the autocratic political forces, so there is only a comprehensive peasant riot in the end.”

in medieval EuropeIn Europe, it is normal for the Pope, the spokesman of “ideology”, to canonize the king. On the contrary, in China, the emperor continues to canonize the spokesman of “ideology” and the descendants of Confucius. Which is more autocratic at the spiritual level is clear at a glance.