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Rethinking the Disputes of Yulin Dog Meat Festival from the The Spirit of Contract
SOURCE:本站 AUTHOR:管理员 UPDATE TIME:2014-07-15 10:00 CLICKS:269500

In the moment of writing, the Yulin Dog Meat Festival which has caused an enormous controversy has ended eventually. However, influence and discussion aroused by the festival is just beginning.

 

In this large-scale debate, different views and groups with different position appear alternately, measure by measure. From the debate caused by artist Pianshankong who knelt and worshipped in front of dog meat stores in 2012, the sensational social effect this year cannot be regarded as an accident. Instead, it is an eruption on account of interests contradiction between different groups after a long brewing. In this debate, we see anger of animal activists, pressure on local operators, different views towards "eating dog meat" of ordinary people, the sound of independent media and appeal from law community, etc. Hereon, the author hope to re-examine the dispute happened in Yulin from a legalist's viewpoint under the Spirit of Contract.

 

The Spirit of Contract has played a central role in the process of development of democratic rule of law and the civil society of western civilization. In brief, the Spirit of Contract in the first place exists in the field of private law, which embodies in the equality, freedom, honesty, credit and relief of contract. Rising to the field of public law, it turns into a social and national contract, namely that the citizens conclude contracts with society and government. Considering the carrier of the Spirit of Contract is the law, the Spirit of Contract's quest is to follow the society of rule of law. In the process of the development of democratic rule of law and the socialist market economy in our country, the Spirit of Contract has played an important role and will make an increasingly crucial effect. In the dispute, either for or against, praise or condemning, true or false, kind or evil, I see the Spirit of Contract shinning.

 

The most important part of the Spirit of Contract in the field of private law is the freedom of contract between equal subjects, which includes the freedom of choice of the framers, freedom of choice of whether the contracting and freedom of choice of the way of contracting. Being a recognized value under the market economy system, freedom of contract in civil society gradually evolves into a kind of equal relationship among citizens. In the dispute among sellers, ordinary people and dog lovers, everyone has the right to express his own opinion under the limited not to infringe others' legitimate rights and interests. Hearing a variety of voices in the dispute, we cannot permit any individual or group to kidnap private rights of others, even if such value become the mainstream views or public morals. Otherwise, the freedom of contract has no way to be guaranteed, and minority rights will also be infringed by "majority tyranny". A sign of civilization progress is that any minority rights should obtain legitimate and reasonable security. Despite respecting each individual or group with different views and actions to support their own opinions, the author would not tolerate views or actions which over the bound of non-aggression, even if supported by majority. Normal social order cannot maintain without mutual respect and contract abided by public.

 

When it comes to contract abided by public, private contract rises to public contract which was put forward by Rousseau, Montesquieu and other sages centuries ago, since when the viewpoint gradually accepted by most countries and become the basis of the state constitute. Although there is no clear law in China to confirm the views of social contract, but the provisions of the constitution reflect the spirit of a social contract, that the state and the law is a reflection of the will of people rising to the will of the state. In such contractual relationship, the law formulated by the people's representative form of organization must be abided unconditionally, which is the foundation for the formation of a contract and an important symbol of the society of rule of law. When we re-examine the dispute after learning about the viewpoints and rules of social contract, we find that problems easily solved. Anyone has no right to stop comments and actions of others as long as which stand in the bound of the law. However, once views and action rise to insult, and even amplify into violent action, thereby infringe others' legitimate rights, the law will immediately give them negative evaluation, which would not transfer for customs or moral values. Reflection of civilization and rule of law is not represent the benefit of the majority of minority, but to protect and respect interests of any party, just as the Buddhist prohibit killing and Muslim fasting pork, but they still respect the rights of others of killing and eating pork, which is the manifestation of the Spirit of Contract. On the contrary, people who boycott of Japanese goods damage the private property of owners of Japanese goods is regarded as behavior of breach of the Spirit of Contract.

 

This article has not come to an end at this point owing to some problems that have not been solved, that how should people abide the contract in the law is not perfect or even bad? Admittedly, with the development of the society, the law often falls behind the development of the society. Adjustment and improvement of the law requires joint efforts of each individual in the society. In recent decades, from the release of Property Law and Tort Liability Law to abolishment of the Re-education through Labor system, we see that change and abolition of laws experienced efforts of generations, from which the Spirit of Contract is shining eternally. The author considers that people have different viewpoints towards weather the law is good or evil, from which point what we should do is to use legal and persistent attitude to promote the continuous improvement of the legislative and judicial rather than a "lynching" to maintain their rights as justice. The law cannot be set up individually or enforced by individuals, which used to happen in the past that is called the era of private relief, which has been replaced by the Spirit of Contract. The sentence from the famous jurist Berman in the Law and Religion, “Law must be beliefs, otherwise it will be non-existing”, will guide all the legal and ordinary citizens for the pursuit of the rule of law with the spirit of the contract.

 

As the opening paragraph, despite the Dog Meat Festival ends, influence and discussion aroused by the festival is just beginning. In this dispute, the Spirit of Contract gradually formed a consensus in the group from different points of views, which will be a landmark event and also have a positive and profound influence to the process of rule of law in China.

 

When everything came to an end, I seemed to hear the footsteps of the great philosopher Socrates two thousand years ago while walked towards the execution ground without hesitation.

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