Evolution of Chinese Thought through Bureaucratic Institution up to 20th Century
Historical Introduction to Chinese Bureaucracy and Civil Services
The core philosophical Schools of Chinese Thought continued their existence for more than 2000 years since their foundation. During this time, various ruling Dynasties of China and other Noble Men adopted various schools of Thought as the guiding tenet for their further policies and works. Thus, the whole period saw the rise and decline of various ideas as well as philosophical schools. Some of the Schools like Confucianism continuously got a state or imperial support.
The overwhelming support to Confucian Intellectual Traditions resulted from its proximity with the Chinese Aristocracy as well as its creation of standards in Chinese Civilizational thought and ideals. From the Han Dynasty onwards, especially since the days of Emperor Wu in the first century B.C. Confucianism acquired a national character and became an undisputed banner of Chinese intelligentsia. The Confucianism thus became intimately involved with the administrative class of the China. Other Philosophical Schools like Mohists, Logicians or Legalists also enjoyed a certain stature, yet all the further nobles and administrative heads in Chinese society thought of Confucianism as their foundation. This foundation served for the further raising of other philosophical schools and intellectual traditions.
While coming to the History of Chinese Thought up to nineteenth century, one must understand a peculiarity or a very unique character of Chinese administration. China had always been an agricultural land driven society and economy. Such a society in which continuous periods of peace and stability are most important, Chinese society had always in need of such an administrative system which will ensure perpetual stability in land and water systems. The peasantry of china was much more dependent on the solid and concrete administrative machinery, which ensured their stable family life and village community.
This need of Chinese Society was fulfilled by the peasant sections of society only. A class of learned men rose from peasantry by the legacy their ancestors had established in the villages. This legacy explicitly rested on the successes in cultivation and joint family life. These people acquired a special status in the neighbourhood. And on account of their special status and esteem these people became the claimants of nobility.
Many men from these families used to become pupils of various officials and nobles. And their qualities, abilities as well as proximity with various other noble men used push them in the higher class of Chinese Society which is of Scholars.
During the days of Han Dynasty and even during the days of earlier Zhou Dynasty, many of such scholars were appointed as the officials and administrators in various govt. departments. As the pupils increased with the decentralization of education, when the tutors like Kung Tzi or Confucius started giving private education to many enthusiastic and desiring pupils, the situation completely changed. There was a sudden increase in the able candidates who could have served well in the state administration. But at the same time, whole administrative recruitment resided on the system of recommendations and favours. For some time, this system led Chinese Governance towards a period of corruption and petty practices.
Later during the period of Han Dynasty, a solution to this problem was found in a state support to only Confucian Philosophy; which guaranteed an absorption of Confucian Pupils and Scholars who had ingrained righteousness and human heartedness in their minds and lives. To ensure a creation of such a great class of Scholars, Confucian School adopted a mechanism of empire-wide examinations in which various pupils from all over China used to appear to prove their mettle in Confucian Philosophy. These examinations at that time didn’t offer much lucrative promises yet, these examinations laid the foundation of two things, one a very learned class of scholars in Chinese Society and two a very rapid spread of Confucianism in all corners of China. The scholars which passed these examination were not promised a post in administration, but their graduation was looked over various wealthy farmers as well as merchants as a symbol of their higher intellect. These scholars were appointed by the wealthy persons to train the youngsters in their houses as well as villages. The Scholar class of China rapidly increased. Although merchants had always been downgraded in the Chinese Society, these examinations were seen by the merchants as their chance to absolve their demoted and lowered position in society. Many merchants trained their Sons in Confucianism to put them in the Chinese Social Class of Scholars (highest one) as well as Chinese Administrative Career.
After Han Dynasty, this same system with certain changes like inclusion of examination Archery was adopted by the Sui and Tang Dynasties. But the system of Examinations continued and it further expanded. The imperial examination as a means to appoint the scholars as the administrators in various govt. departments was completely adopted by the Sui Dynasty in the 6th Century A.D. This direct recruitment system was a direct follow up of the Confucian Examination System. And hence in the Imperial Examinations to be held under the Sui Dynasty Rule, the Confucianism became a compulsory and sole subject for the appearance in the examination.
It must be understood that the Imperial Examination System since the 6th Century A.D. continued till 1905, when finally it was brought down under great criticism, but that decline was also step-by-step withdrawal of Examination and Education System.
The History of Imperial Examination System shows a very unique as well as predominant feature of Chinese Society in History. With the expanse of Examination as a system which gave an open access to all who could afford to get educated, the education and that too exam oriented formal education became a backbone of Chinese Society.
Many schools were established in all over China, which taught the classics of Confucianism. And many aspiring families as well as lower classes people used to send their children in the schools with a hope to acquire a great status in Chinese Society.
The Imperial Examination System also ensured a recruitment of a learned class of scholars in State Services. As the pupils who wished to enter state services had to pass a gruesome exam which tested their Confucian understanding and a Confucian worldview, the dream of Confucius was realized in a birth of a class of administrators and state officials who were trained in his system of thought.
The Imperial Examination System continued throughout the Tang Dynasty, and in the reign of Wu Zeitan, who was the first female emperor of China. Since her days, all the posts even those belonging to imperial ministers were filled from the Imperial Examinations. This was the golden period of Chinese Confucianism.
Later during the days of Liao, Jin and Song Imperial Dynasties, that is up to the 13th Century, this Imperial Examination System was continued with lot more fervour and more inclination towards Confucian Thought.
In the 13th Century, China had to face an onslaught from the Manchurian tribes as well as a Mongol Invasion. The aftermath of this double threat was the decline of Imperial Dynasties of China and the rise of Yuan Dynasty. The Yuan Dynasty was of Mongolian origin established by Kublai Khan in 1279. During the initial years, the imperial examination system was discontinued. According to Kublai Khan, the examination system overemphasized the Confucian way of thinking and it was solely about the Chinese language. The examination system would only benefit the Han Chinese people. By considering his opposition, the whole of imperial examination system was discontinued. Yet, in 1315 it was again reinstated as putting up or creating a new administrative system for whole of Chinese terrain and society was an impossible task. The new examination system came with many changes which started for the first time a quota system in which various communities were allotted with their own quota of seats. This new system greatly benefitted the Mongolian as well as southern Chinese populations. The quota system ensured an entry from all the sections of Chinese Society. Earlier the administration was highly dominated by Han Chinese Populations. The new system for the first time divided whole China in four regional population groups, the Mongols, Southern Chinese, Northern Chinese and Semu Ren.
But it must be noted that the new examination system mostly preferred the Mongolian people and many of the appointments were done by referrals and recommendations. This mechanism caused a great trouble for the imperial order itself. The earlier administrations had started various irrigation and dyke projects on the Yellow River, the new administrators under the new imperial orders discontinued these projects and their maintenance. During these periods, ethnic discriminations led to major resentments among the Chinese people, and especially the Han Chinese were the first victims of this discrimination. The Mongol rulers tried to exact unlawful taxes from the people, and because of the administrative collapse in the commercial and financial mechanisms of the Empire, the whole of Chinese Economy was hard hit by gruesome inflation. These all factors rose from the discontinuation of the age old administrative mechanisms resulted in the nationwide protests and rebellions. These revolts and rebellions completely destroyed the Mongol Empire in China, and again a Chinese Han community came to power. The ethnic Ming Dynasty was established in 1368 after a great flood of Yellow River became a trigger of popular uprising.
During the Ming Dynasty rule, its first Emperor Hong Wu was reluctant to reinstate the Imperial Examination System and preferred more of a military rule over the whole of country. But he was persuaded by his chancellors and ministers to reinstate the examination with changes in the whole of curriculum he wishes to bring in. The curriculum of the examination was changed, and changes were made to make the bureaucrats more of men of action. The subjects like mathematics, analytical reasoning, archery, horse riding, martial traditions were included in the Confucian scheme of the exam. The Emperor was forceful with the new curriculum. He himself allotted various important military commanders and trainers to various Confucian schools for the training of children and young applicants.
The Ming Dynasty rule be seen as a great pivot in the Confucian Legacy. During this period, whole of Confucian Philosophy was revised and a new philosophical doctrine known as neo-Confucianism was created.
The creation of Neo-Confucian doctrine as phenomenon started out as a intellectual movement against the prevalent Confucian doctrine adopted by the Chinese Imperial Order, Administration as well as the Bureaucratic System. The Neo-Confucianism developed as an intellectual movement in a secret society known as White Lotus, which was a Buddhist School whose practices like preaching philosophy to men as well as women was taught to be very radical by the Chinese Society.
Neo-Confucianism was a great attempt to develop Confucian Philosophy on the purely rational and ethical terms. It must be understood that after the initial phase of Confucius Philosophical Doctrine and its nationwide spread, many of the concepts, perceptions and ideas from the Taoism, Buddhism and Chinese Popular beliefs as well as Superstitions were incorporated in the great canon of Confucianism to make it more inclusive. Confucianism had adopted many of metaphysical and mystical ideas from Buddhism and Taoism. Some of such ideas like reality doesn’t exist, nothing is real, spontaneous living of Taoism had been incorporated in the Confucianism. On account of these changes in the actual Confucian doctrine, many of the thinkers thought that the pure Confucianism is losing its ground under the influence of metaphysics of Buddhism and mysticism of Taoism. An intellectual movement started in the 11th Century for the re-emergence of the Confucian doctrine of righteousness and Human Heartedness. But at the same time, this rational movement didn’t completely disown the Buddhist and Taoist thought.
Important philosophers of Neo-Confucianism like Zhou Dunyi and Zhu Xi tried to build rationalist ethical philosophical doctrine of Confucianism on the framework of the Buddhist and Taoist Metaphysics. The Buddhist conception of ‘Time as a stream which divides everything in function and principle, by which everything becomes just an event’ was completely adopted by Neo-Confucianism. According to this conception in neo-confucianism, the principle is always pure and rational, but according to the function that adjoin it in the stream of time, it becomes impure or evil, which too is a perspective. To give up a perspective and judging the times on principles was highly stressed in Neo-Confucianism. Neo-Confucianism gave up the ideas of Karma and reincarnation. Along with it, Neo-Confucianism also gave up the technics of achieving ecstasy, longevity, immortality, exorcism that were prominent in Taoism. The Virtue of genuine individual life and value of this genuineness towards human heartedness and righteousness was adopted in the core of Neo-Confucianism.
Neo-Confucianism claimed to have taken the purest core of all the three philosophies to create a rational ethical philosophy for the Chinese People. This conception of philosophy was manifested in the Neo-Confician motif, which was a painting in which Confucius, Buddha and Lao Tzu were shown as drinking vinegar from the same pitcher. It was held that all the three systems or three philosophies are but one.
Chinese Bureaucracy under Neo-Confucian Doctrine
Neo-Confucianism received a great impetus when the during the Ming Dynasty days. When the Ming Dynasty was instituted as a ruling house of China, the Emperor Hong Wu made it clear that the Confucian Philosophical Foundation of Imperial Examinations have become impractical and too much stress on the skills like poetics, debates etc. have resulted in the weakening of Imperial Order itself. And he introduced practical skills in the examination and provided a complete support to Neo-Confucianism. And hence forward, that is from the 14th Century onwards Neo-Confucianism became the base of Chinese Imperial Functioning. The Neo-Confucianism also added the philosophies regarding the political and economic analysis in the Imperial Examination Curriculum.
The Imperial Examination became such a powerful tool in the formation of bureaucrats that many new academies sprung up in China to train the youngsters in the curriculum. At the same time, the Neo-Confucianism became a kind of orthodoxy in the Chinese Education which narrowed down the expanse of Chinese thought and intellectual traditions.
Up to the latter half of the 17th Century, this form of examination and administrative system continued. In the latter half of the 17th Century, a new Dynasty formed by the Jurchen Manchurian People under the leadership of Hong Taiji established Qing Imperial Rule on the China Proper. During the rule of Hong Taiji, another wave of changes in the Imperial Examination System occurred. Hong Taiji wished to incorporate many more Manchurian people in the Imperial Services, yet, his favourite divisions of Manchu warring and ruling people, called as banner-men didn’t have the time as well as the required money to prepare for the examinations. The banner-men became the advancers of the Qing Banner in the various directions through their innate capabilities and strength. While on the other hand, the Imperial Administration relied again solely on the Han Chinese People to appear in examinations and become the administrators.
The quota system of the earlier days was reinvigorated. The quota was divided between Manchu people, Han Chinese people and the Mongols. The exam was made bilingual to incorporate Chinese Classical Studies as well as the Manchu language and belief systems. It is very interesting fact regarding this exam which is to be noted here is that various communities from all over china made petitions to the Imperial Court and Chinese Examination Authorities go increase the quota and include their communities in the quota system as well. It was thought that the quota system will definitely lessen the competition and other community candidates won’t have to compete with the Han Chinese educated youth. Even the Muslim Community in China made such a petition in 1784 and continued to pester the royal authorities with their demands to create a quota for Muslim Youngsters.
Changing Conditions since 18th Century
The Eighteenth Century World Trade was completely in favour of China. There was only one western commodity which had a significant demand in China, it was silver bullion from western colonial powers. The world Economy and commercial relations had tilted in the favour of China. The flow of silver bullion to China during the days of Qing Dynasty increased the Chinese share in world GDP for up to one fourth.
The situation must be understood in two terms, first the status of Chinese merchants hadn’t changed in the society. The merchants from had tried to work on their own, they had to pay huge taxes and tariffs to their own government. All the merchants in China had a powerful aspiration to belong to the Scholar class of society. But at the same time, Confucianism trained intellectuals saw merchants as a necessity of the society. Merchants were needed for the rotation of artefacts and commodities among the people. It was one of the chief responsibilities of the administration all over China to control the merchant class, and do not let them be exploitative towards the people.
The merchants were seen as necessary evils of the society by the Imperial Dynasties. The wealth of merchants was a source for the governance. Many times, merchants were asked to sponsor or fund the public works of the governments. Thus it must be seen that the Merchant class of the Chinese society developed on its own throughout history on the basis of its own manoeuvres and skills in business. During the Ming and Qing Dynastical period merchants unabashedly started to imitate the Scholar class of the society. And on account of their wealth, their reluctant yet necessary funding to many public works and many of the scholars-bureaucrats rising from the merchant families, the status of merchants elevated a bit in the Ming and Qing Dynasty days.
Although from the Song Dynasty Days, that is from 10th Century A.D. onwards, Merchants were seen as contributing members of the society by Confucian Philosophy, the merchants still were required to follow a strict ethical code of conduct in the mercantile activities. The merchants of China since the 5th and 6th Centuries A.D. onwards came up with various mechanisms to survive and flourish in the world market. Some of such mechanisms were capital pooling to avoid risk and ease entries in other markets, silent investors and active partners, subsidiary companies, owner delegates control to manager, apprenticeship and shareholding. With the continuous inflow of capital and profits many merchants invested in huge swathes of lands in China. Such all investments culminated in the rise of the capacities of merchants to indulge in social spheres of China.
The second thing to note here is that the mercantile activities were not elevated in their status. Merchant families and some of merchants on the basis of their engagement in the social life definitely rose to prominence. The eighteenth century China was seeing a surge in trade on account of increased intensity of the sea navigation by the European powers. Europeans reached China in the 17th Century and tried to establish trade as well as their factory activities in China.
To put the whole sea-borne trade under the control of Chinese administrative mechanisms and to put the merchants as well as the overseas companies under the heel, Chinese Imperial Order didn’t all of its ports for the international sea trade except Guangzhou, later to be called as Canton. The Canton System arose on this background. The Conton became a melting pot of all the western traders like Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, English, French and finally Americans.
In the 18th Century, a very unique thing occurred with the international trade of China. Due to the Paris Treaty and American Declaration Independence, the Americans were freed of the British Trade Control. At the same time, there was a surprising increase in the demand of Tea from all the world markets. There was only one sole producer of the Tea in world, China. The Tea Trade with China totally emptied the silver deposits of European Powers, especially the British. The Americans too entered the scenario, but chose to dwell in the commodities like fur, other animal skins, Ginseng and Silver Specie.
To counter this situation British East India Company came up with a new scheme. According to this scheme the opium that was grown in the Indian fields was to be sold indirectly in China to acquire the currency to buy Tea. This new scheme completely changed the international trade scenario. Now China was on the deficit as the Opium that was legally as well as illegally brought to China didn’t increase the revenue collection for merchants as well as the empire.
The Chinese Emperor of Qing Dynasty passed more than five decrees to stop the opium inflows in China. The increasing opium addiction in the Chinese society had become a great concern for the elite scholar and administrator section of the society. During these periods many of eminent thinkers, philosophers as well as the chief chancellor advisor of the Emperor wrote many letters to the British Crown pleading to stop this trade practice. But the pleadings were ignored. The emperor in the first half of the nineteenth century issued a final decree to confiscate all of the opium cargo from British and French East India Companies. America too had started the opium smuggling in China, the Opium for the Americans was raised in Turkey.
This whole situation precipitated in the first opium war between the Chinese Imperial Forces and Forces of East Indian Companies. As per the Gunboat strategies and Gunboat Diplomacy, the companies inflicted crushing defeats on the Chinese Forces. The following treaty of Nanking not only opened the gates of China for opium inflow, but also opened other ports for the trade and smuggling. Chinese Empire had to pay huge reparations to the British, French as well as the Americans.
This whole period was a great eye-opening epoch for the Chinese Society. The Opium Episodes again downgraded the status of Chinese Merchants in Chinese Society as well as the dangers of international trade. It was dubbed that the western world lacks completely in the fields of ethics and humanity. The major impact of this event was on the elite scholar section of the society.
Many of the contemporary scholars started to see faults in the Chinese Systems. There came many recommendations like incorporation of modern sciences in the Imperial Examination Curriculum. After the failed attempt to inflict a defeat on the western forces in the second opium war of 1860, the late Qing Dynasty saw a rise of Self Strengthening Movement as an attempt to modernise the Chinese Society and make stronger like the western societies. The Self Strengthening Movement was first seen in the education sector where many of the intellectuals with the support from merchants and nobles tried to establish dual education system.
The Dual Education System incorporated Western Disciplines of Science, Mathematics, Political Sciences, Economics in the traditional Chinese Systems. There were many attempts in the second half of the nineteenth century as various topics like International Trade were incorporated in the Chinese Imperial Examination System.
But at the same time, many of intellectuals like Liang Qichao and Kung Yuwei felt a need in modernizing Chinese Society as well as the whole imperial system. The Late Qing Dynasty Scholars were characterised by singular trait, which is their continuous thought about the modernization of Chinese System.
The final trigger to the process came when a dispute over the lands, trade and control over the Korea started among Chinese Empire, Japan and Russia. China was earlier shocked to learn that the Russia as well as Japan had put claims of China. It must be understood here that China although had never given much thought to the Southern Chinese lands and people there were thought to be belonging to an extension of Chinese Society. The Southern China too had always tried to form a part of mainland Chinese Society. Yet with the secession of Hong Kong as well as some parts of Malaya which were under the Chinese rule made clear the intensity of the threat of western world to it. The Qing Dyansty yet still didn’t adopt the policy of modernization.
The final straw came with the Koran dispute. Korean dispute started with the enthronement of a minor emperor on the kingdom of Korea. Under his father’s and in-laws advice, mission was sent to Japan to study the ways of modernization adopted by the Japan. In Japan, especially after the Kanagawa Treaty of 1854, Japan had adopted sever modernization policies and trade opening policies. While in Japan, Korean diplomat sought the advice of Chinese diplomat. It must be understood that Korea till then had been a dependent state of China and Chinese Empires too had given a kind of independence to the Korea as an empire while maintaining a cultural and economic hegemony over Korea.
The Chinese Diplomat, being a Confucian Scholar was seen by the Korean Diplomat as a true guide of Korean Emperor. Chinese Scholar thus provided him with a treatise called Strategy for Korea. According to it, Korean Emperor was advised to be with China and America right now. And was advised to initiate self-strengthening movement in their lands as well. It was a great counter move to stall the advances of Russia in Korean waters.
Once the America was brought in the dispute, a clash between China and Korea became unavoidable. In the year 1895-96 the war between China and Japan resulted in a crushing defeat of China. It was the most gruesome shock to the Chinese Empire as well as the whole social structure. The self-strengthening became inevitable.
During this period, the whole of Chinese intelligentsia was divided in two camps. The first camp which included the Qing Dynasty Loyalists like Liang Qichao reasoned that the self-strengthening movement must be undertaken by the Empire. And through this movement Empire must gain its credibility among the populace of China.
The second camp of Intelligentsia thought about a drastic change in Chinese Society and complete downfall of the Empire. This intelligentsia was thinking about a total coup and revolution in China. There was further division in this camp, as some thought about the modernised imperial rule of some other dynasty like that of Japan. And at the same other section of scholar thinkers were thinking about bringing a republican system in China.
The Boxer Rebellion that rose from the grounds of secret Buddhist Societies like White Lotus must be seen in this context. It is generally held that the crushing of Boxer Rebellion against the Imperial order brought down the revolutionary strain in Chinese Thought. And the revolution as a means to achieve ends was later espoused by Chinese Communism or especially Maoism.
One must understand that Chinese History comes up with many incidences and instances when the secret societies built on the theoretical constructs of various philosophical doctrines have turned the tides of course history. The White Lotus as a philosophical school and a society has been active in the Chinese History since the 11th and 12th Centuries. It was a Buddhist School of Thought which had allied itself with the Sassanid-Persian Philosophical School known as Manichaeism. White Lotus Society must be understood as Chinese Buddhism’s attempt to engage with society as well as polity to orient the social course in right direction. The movement of Neo-Confucianism which completely changed the Chinese Socio-Political and Cultural Scenario was a product of White Lotus intellectual Gatherings. The foundation of Ming Dynasty by Hong Wu was also a prominent member of White Lotus. He was earlier a Buddhist Monk and a beggar. Such all details point one towards a very important undercurrent in Chinese Society which was dominated by its own philosophical schools, and thus it helps one conclude that the 20th Century Revolutionary Societies in China were not a completely new phenomenon as has been detailed by various western scholars and researchers.
After the failure of Boxer Rebellion against the Chinese Qing Empire, the rebellious spirit of the populace was not crushed. And here one sees a shift in the intellectual leadership of the Chinese rebels as well as elite thinkers or scholars. It became clear that the Qing Empire was not interested neither was in a condition to implement a self-strengthening doctrine in China to the full scale. And hence, many of thinkers came to the conclusion that the complete downfall of the imperial order is a must.
Going back again on our topic of focus, during these periods, Chinese Imperial Examinations and Administrative Services had still continued on a centuries old syllabus. Although some new topics like western sciences and international trade were included in the curriculum, elite scholars and thinkers thought that these steps are not sufficient.
In the last decade of 19th Century, a sever critique on the Chinese Administrative System and whole of its Bureaucracy came from the scholar section of the society as well as from various thinkers like Sun Yat Sen. These thinkers pointed out that the Chinese Imperial Curriculum seriously lacks in the development of creative, critical and analytical thinking. This curriculum mostly focuses on rotary skills, classics and worthless information details. The candidates as well as the most of bureaucrats completely fail in comprehending the situations before them, as they lag behind in imaginative capacities. These bureaucrats have also completely lost their touch with the ground realities. The government bureaucratic machinery is their only world. The aspirations of people as a nation and society are completely ignored by these people. One must understand the severity of this situation when thinkers point to the situation in the Chinese Society of those days, when people of China were brimming with great aspirations from the future and were longing to resurrect their society and nation, Chinese Bureaucracy was blindfolded in its own vain glory.
Thus under the sever critique of those days by many of the thinkers and scholars, Qing Empire was pressurized to completely dismantle the Chinese Imperial Examination System. The Chinese Bureaucratic Order ceased to operate in 1905. The administration fell on the local communities and local leaderships. This event must be seen as a triggering background behind the Chinese Revolution and establishment of First Republican Government in 1911.
The last decade of the 19th Century and the first two decades of the 10th Century were the years of the thinkers and leaders like Sun Yat Sen, who had strongly put forth the revolutionary agenda to establish a republican government in China. The thinkers of his camp believed in the revolutionary steps in China to discontinue the Dynastic system of Chinese Governance and Bureaucracy and strongly supported the formation of a nation state on the Republican lines.
A note on the influence of Chinese Bureaucratic System
It must be understood that the 2000 years old Chinese Bureaucratic System is one of the most important aspect to understand the Chinese History as well as its past and present social psych. The society which evolved towards its sustenance under a disciplined administrative machinery gives one with a great picture of Chinese thought as well as its manifestation.
Along with the Chinese Philosophical Foundations, the Chinese Bureaucracy that developed on a notion of disciplined but patronising nurture of the society must be seen as a permanent character of Chinese Psych. All the dynasties that came to power, had to work as per its awareness of the Chinese Society’s needs of Bureaucratic and Administrative System. Thus the state as well as social thought in China can be deciphered as not just universalist-intuition oriented but also an administrative system driven thought.
The doctrine of the administration was the doctrine of Chinese Society. And only when in the last years of 20th Century, Chinese Philosophical as well as Social thought received a severe blow from West, one sees its first repercussions on the Chinese Administration. The collapse of age-old philosophical structure initiated a collapse of administrative system of China. It was a result of very intimate and integral relation of Chinese Scholarship with the Chinese Administrative Bureaucracy.
But the influence of Imperial Bureaucracy and Examination must be seen in a new light when one comes across the recommendations of various thinkers like Adam Smith, Thomas Macaulay, Stafford Northcote not only propounded the establishment of Royal Administrative Services in Great Britain on the lines of Chinese Celestial Empire, but also got it established in the form of British Civil Services. The British Indian Civil Services (ICS) that were started in 1855 have this great legacy of Chinese Bureaucracy and Bureaucratic Social Thought.
Chinese Bureaucratic System is a direct result of China’s historical social structure, in which the elite scholar class was directly involved in the administration of social structure. This historical condition must be seen in the light of form or a mould of Chinese thought. The Chinese philosophies or overall thinking is basically driven towards the ethics and morality based organization of society. The polity, society as well as the culture of China is a direct result of Chinese core of philosophy and its manifestation in social institutions.
Even after the Maoist revolution and complete overhaul of the Chinese Societal and political institutions, Chinese society never gave up on the glorious legacy of its most ancient institution of bureaucracy. And in 1980 the same national bureaucratic mechanism was revived on the public as well as communist party demand.
In the modern bureaucratic system of civil services of China, most of the, which is more 95% of the civil servants are directly drawn from the Communist Party Cadre of China. The members of the party are initially put under the guidance of various senior civil servants as per their leanings. This new bureaucratic system of China seems to have adopted a modus of Apprenticeship in the further organization of the system. The Party members are exposed to various civil services and the ranks in party order correspond to the ranks in the Civil Services of China.