Confucian reformers found a great deal wrong with China in the seventeenth century. The trouble was this, they felt: men had strayed from the fixed ideals of Chinese civilization. In the early twentieth century, anti Confucian reformers found a great deal wrong in the China of their day; they traced disaster, however, not to the flouting of fixed ideals but to blind and slavish respect for them, to the fixity itself. A seventeenth-century world, a t'ien-hsia, in which traditional values claimed authority, had become a twentieth-century nation, a kuo, in which traditional values were impugned as tyranny.

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