Clan Orientation and the Ethical Rule of Law
Since ancient China had entered the class society along the way from family to state, the clan and lineage relationship had exerted strong influences upon the various aspects of the society and the nation. The high-level combination of patriarchal clan system and politics in especial had led to the particular system of the integration of the family and the state, and the intimates and the nobles. More specifically, the family was the miniature of the state, and the state the amplification of the family. Besides, the constitution, political structure and national activities of the state were all based on the dual principle of lineage and politics. When China entered the feudal society, the political system in which the family and state were integrated was changed, but the family was still the essential unit of the society, and the patriarchal power to manage a clan or a family was still acknowledged by the state. Patriarchs were authorized to exercise some functions of grass-roots administrative organizations, such as pressing for land taxes and maintaining public order. Due to the protection of law and the economic foundation on which it had relied, the family-oriented social structure remained stable for over 2,000 years, and it had become another important backbone of the feudal autocratic regime.