民心 – Chinese philosophy and culture

mínxīn 民心

Will of the People

民众的共同心愿。指一个国家或地区的全体民众对触及他们共同利益、具有广泛社会性的问题、现象或事情所做出的一种评价性判断和看法。中国古人常以“天命”作为政权合法性及政策制定的依据和最高理念,但实际上则常以“民心”作为“天命”的主要来源、内容及表现形式,并将其视为治国理政的根本原则,认为民心的向背决定着国家、政权、政事的盛衰兴替。它是中华民本思想的核心。自古至今,凡开明有为的政治家,无不将“民心”视为最大的政治。

This term refers to the evaluative judgment or view of the people in a country or region, on an issue, phenomenon or incident which touches on their common interest and which has broad societal meaning. Ancient Chinese often took the “mandate of heaven” to be the basis and highest concept for the legitimacy of political authority and for policymaking, but in fact they often regarded the”will of the people” to be the principal source, content, and manifestation of the”mandate of heaven.” They also considered it to be the fundamental principle of a country’s governance, and thought that having or losing the will of the people determined the rise or fall of a country and political power as well as the development of state affairs. It is the core of the Chinese concept of the people as the foundation of the state. All enlightened Chinese statesmen past and present have regarded the “will of the people” to be the most important factor in governance.

引例 Citations:

◎民心惟本,厥作惟叶。(战国竹简(五)《厚父》)

([国家好比一棵树。]民众的意愿是树根,它决定着枝叶的生长与繁茂。)

(A country is like a tree.) Its root is the will of the people, which determines the growth and lushness of its leaves. (Houfu, from Bamboo Slips of the Warring States Period)

◎天矜于民。民之所欲,天必从之。(《尚书·周书·泰誓上》)

(上天是爱惜民众的。民众的愿望,上天一定依从。)

Heaven loves the people and accedes to their wishes. (The Book of History)

◎政之所兴,在顺民心;政之所废,在逆民心。(《管子·牧民》)

(国家政权兴盛,是因为它顺应民心;国家政权废弛,是因为它违背民心。)

When the power of the state waxes, it is because it accords with the will of the people; when the power of the state wanes, it is because it goes against the will of the people. (Guanzi)

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