小康 – Chinese philosophy and culture

xiǎokāng 小康

Modest Prosperity

作为一般古典词汇,指生活比较安乐、富裕。作为儒家重要政治概念,它是指夏禹、商汤、周文王、周武王、周成王和周公旦这样的杰出人物经过努力而达成的较好的治理状态:国家渐告安定,社会秩序良好,人们遵礼守法,人民生活安乐,是次于“大同”的理想社会。如今所说的“小康”,基本是指广大人民安居乐业,家庭经济生活比较宽裕的状态。而“全面建成小康社会”,则是指包括经济、政治、文化、社会、生态文明等五个方面的建设目标。作为中国式现代化建设的目标,“小康社会”是一个有着深厚历史文化渊源的新概念。

Since ancient times, the term xiaokang (小康) has been understood to mean a state of peace and moderate prosperity. As an important political concept of Confucianism, it has been used to refer to what was seen as the commendable political climate achieved through the efforts of outstanding rulers such as Yu the Great of the Xia Dynasty, King Tang of the Shang Dynasty, kings Wen, Wu, and Cheng of the Zhou, and the Duke of Zhou. This social climate was characterized by national stability, good order, high public awareness of etiquette and law, and a contented people. Such a society was held up as an ideal society, second only to that of Great Harmony, or datong (大同). Today, the Chinese people are being called upon to build a society of modest prosperity with balanced economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological advancement. As the goal of Chinese-style modernization, this xiaokang society is a new concept with deep historical and cultural roots.

引例 Citations:

◎民亦劳止,汔可小康。(《诗经·大雅·民劳》)

(老百姓实在够辛苦,希望可以享受一下安乐。)

The people are living a hard life and they hope they can have peace and moderate prosperity. (The Book of Songs)

◎今大道既隐,天下为家……故谋用是作,而兵由此起。禹、汤、文、武、成王、周公,由此其选也。此六君子者,未有不谨于礼者也,以著其义,以考其信,著有过,刑仁讲让,示民有常。如有不由此者,在势者去,众以为殃。是谓小康。(《礼记·礼运》)

(如今大道已经消失了,天下为一家所私有……所以阴谋诡计兴起,战争也由此发生。夏禹、商汤、周文王、周武王、周成王和周公旦因此成为杰出人物。他们六位圣人,无不谨慎奉行礼制,用礼来表彰正义,考察诚信,指明过错,效法仁爱,讲求礼让,向百姓展示一切都有规可循。如有不按礼办事的,有权势的人要被撤免,民众都把不遵循礼看作祸害。这样的社会就叫做小康。)

Now that the Great Dao has fallen into disuse and obscurity, the kingdom has been reduced to a family inheritance… Thus intrigues and schemes are on the rise, and wars break out. Yu of the Xia, Tang of the Shang, kings Wen, Wu and Cheng of the Zhou, and the Duke of Zhou are remembered as outstanding figures. Of these six great men everyone was very attentive to the rules of propriety, thus to secure the display of righteousness, the realization of sincerity, the exposure of errors, the exemplification of benevolence, and the pursuit of courtesy, showing the people all the expected norms. Those with power and position who did not follow this course were removed, and the people regarded disrespect for the rules of propriety as a scourge. Such a society is called xiaokang (modest prosperity). (The Book of Rites)

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