On Legal Ideology

Social Sciences in China (Chinese Edition)

No.11, 2015


On Legal Ideology



Ji Weidong


Against the contemporary background of an emphasis on the decisive role of the market in resource allocation and the guarantee of both societal self-government and individual rights, the innovation of the current legal ideology has become a historical inevitability. Clarifying the major values and modes of thought that have arisen during the modernization of the national governance system, this paper summarizes several of the most basic theoretical proposals to do with the orthodoxy of order: natural law and the social contract, cultural tradition or national ethos, communitarian public philosophy, and scientific historical materialism, and interprets them from various perspectives. It can be seen that innate contradictions exist within the modern spirit of rule of law. We must take as our basic analytical framework the value opposition between individualism and communitarianism, rationality and community, and rights and utility. A theory of the state structured on the three elements of government, market and society should become China’s legal ideology in the future, with just procedures constituting the institutional basis of integration.