Explore ancient Chinese farming civilization again

2022-06-04 0 By

China’s agricultural civilization has a long history and is extensive and profound. It is the root of China’s excellent traditional culture.However, for quite a long time, the academic circles have not paid due attention to Chinese farming civilization, and some studies have paid more attention to its originality, backwardness, conservatism and so on, failing to explore its important value and significance in the development of Chinese civilization.Professor Ma Xin’s new books, Research on The Morphology of Ancient Chinese Villages and Research on Ancient Chinese Village Culture, published by the Commercial Press, construct the ancient Chinese farming civilization with Chinese discourse system, obtain a series of new knowledge, and try to answer some key questions in the development history of ancient Chinese farming civilization.For example, the role of villages in the origin of Chinese civilization.Western theories on the origin of civilization regard cities as an important symbol of the origin of civilization and ignore the status and role of villages, which is not consistent with the reality of the origin of Chinese civilization.The author points out that the origin of Chinese civilization is not only a process of separation of cities and villages, but also a process of growth of the national community jointly constructed by cities and villages. Villages also have symbolic significance in the origin of civilization.For example, previous studies focused on the leadership of urban civilization and the backwardness of agricultural civilization.The author believes that ancient Chinese villages have a strong continuity, which is the most lasting and stable social unit and settlement unit in Chinese history, as well as the important basis point and basic composition of the continuous 5000 years of Chinese civilization.The cultivation, inheritance and development of agricultural civilization built the prosperity of Chinese history, for today’s society has left a rich heritage of farming culture.Another example is the genetic problem of ancient Chinese farming culture.Previous studies believed that ancient villages were filled with “closed” small producers, and farmers who “did not interact with people until they died of old age” were “scattered sand”.In the author’s opinion, ancient Chinese villages have had strong community characteristics since their emergence. In the long history of inheritance and development, the public activities and services in villages have been abundant, including sacrificial activities such as offering sacrifices to societies, offering sacrifices to gods, exorcizing exorcism, praying for rain, and wax offering, as well as public services such as road building, bridge building, well digging, and house building.There are also the Spring Festival, Shangyuan, Qingming, Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn festival and other various festival entertainment.Thus, the cooperative consciousness and collective spirit in ancient village culture were created.Ancient Chinese village culture is also full of strong feelings of neighbors, and neighborhood watch is not only an ethical requirement, but also the spiritual and practical survival needs of villagers.These traditions embodied and inherited in villages are the genes of ancient Chinese farming culture and also an important feature of traditional Chinese society.Another example is the fate and value of villages in the process of modernization.From the perspective of western history, most of the previous studies believed that the process of modernization must be the decline of villages and the expansion of cities.The author argues that in the historical development of China, villages have always been the basis of the integrated social structure of urban and rural areas, the basic settlement unit co-existing with cities, and the spiritual home of people.The modernization of western society can be realized through urbanization, while the modernization of Chinese society must be based on rural revitalization, and must be the modernization of urban-rural integration and common prosperity.In the study of Chinese ancient farming civilization, the author fully draws lessons from the tradition of Chinese traditional philosophy and humanistic speculation, which is consistent with the integrity of Chinese traditional society.The pluralism and compatibility of Chinese traditional society are difficult to be interpreted by applying western academic paradigm.In this sense, it is of particular academic significance and value for Professor Ma Xin to grasp the development of ancient Chinese farming civilization from the holistic perspective.Guangming Daily (April 02, 2022 edition 12)