On the Relations Between Confucianists and Legalists in the Han Dynasties

Contemporary Chinese Thought 10 (1):44-63 (1978)
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In order to usurp the Party, seize power and restore capitalism, the Wang-Chang-Chiang-Yao anti-Party clique has turned out counterrevolutionary opinions in the ideological realm. They have tried in every way to distort and revise history and have fabricated the "struggle between the Confucianists and the Legalists" in history. They have confounded different social contradictions and have replaced the class struggle with the "struggle between the Confucianists and the Legalists" and the antagonism within the landlord class with the "line struggle." To them, Legalists were always "progressive" and "innovative" while Confucianists always "represented the forces of restoration." They have tried their best to glorify emperors, kings, generals and ministers in history, to praise Legalists as "saviors," to cover up the Legalists' nature as an exploiting class, to call for metaphysics and the idealist viewpoint of history, and to turn out revisionist fallacies. Because important changes took place in the Confucian and Legalist schools during the periods of the Western and Eastern Han dynasties, the "Gang of Four" and the writers in its service have showed a great interest in histories of the dynasties and have published a series of articles on the so-called "struggle between the Confucianists and the Legalists." In the current struggle against the "Gang of Four," it is of great practical significance to review the changes in the Confucian and Legalist schools and their roles and class nature during the Han dynasties, to criticize and expose the criminal clique's counterrevolutionary political intrigues and plots, and to clarify the historical facts confused by the "Gang of Four."



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H. C. B. Liu
University of California, Berkeley

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