Why did the biggest and toughest anti-corruption campaign in history end in failure?


Historians acknowledge that zhu Yuanzhang, the founder of the Ming Empire and the chief designer of the information system, was the most ruthless emperor of the ages.Zhu Yuanzhang killed countless people all his life. There were enemies who fought for the world with him and political enemies who wanted to get their hands on the imperial power.But the people he kills most are corrupt officials.Among all the evils, Zhu Yuanzhang hated the corruption of officials most.It may have been PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), because when zhu was still called Zhu Chongba, his parents died of starvation after being embezzled by government officials for food relief.In the second year of Hongwu, in a conversation with senior cadres of the empire, Lao Zhu once said a very sincere words: “In the past, when I was a common people, I saw corrupt officials pay no attention to the sufferings of the people, and hated them deeply. In the future, we will legislate to prohibit them.That’s what he said, and that’s what he did.From the moment he ascended the throne, Zhu yuanzhang launched the biggest and toughest anti-corruption campaign in history.Anti-corruption is actually a very old topic, all dynasties have set up special agencies, responsible for the supervision of officials.For example, the supervision of imperial history in the Qin and Han dynasties, the supervision of imperial History in the Tang and Song Dynasties, and the supervision institution in the Ming Dynasty was the Imperial Investigation Academy.However, in the era of Zhu Yuanzhang, the supervision academy was basically a mere decoration, and could not play any role.Not only the imperial Court, but also the Dali Temple and the Ministry of Criminal Justice were often sidelined in corruption cases because Zhu deeply distrusted his officials.So, in addition to the three law departments, he set up an organization called “Inspection and Correction”.This procurator, later known as the Jin Yi Wei, specialized in “observing and listening to all the unjust and illegal activities of the yamen, both large and small, in Beijing, as well as all the hearsay and hearsay.”.For example, in the late Yuan and early Ming dynasties, there was a great scholar named Qian Zai, who was valued by the newly born Zhu Ming regime and recruited to the court to be in charge of editing books.Right now Money zai already 70 or 80 years old, even punch card to go to work everyday, feel very hard.Once after the court, the old man could not bear it, so he wrote a poem, complaining about the hard work of the court, hoping to retire as soon as possible and wake up naturally every day.Four drum winter winter dress, meridian gate is too late.When successful pastoral music, sleep to the world when the rice is cooked.Unexpectedly, the next day at court, after finishing the routine homework, Zhu Yuanzhang suddenly smiled and said to Qian Zai, “Old Qian, the poem you wrote yesterday is very good, but if you change the word” suspected “into” worry “, it will be even better.Frightened the old man shivered, and quickly apologized to Zhu Yuanzhang.In addition to the all-pervasive spy supervision, Zhu Yuanzhang also put another big move.He declared that whenever people found officials corrupt, they could tie them up and send them to the capital to be punished.If anyone dares to stand in their way, they will not live, not only their own death, but also the nine families.Even the royal relatives are no exception.For example, Commander Ouyang Lun, whose wife was the daughter of the real princess and Queen Ma, was accused by a minor official of shielding his relatives, and zhu Yuanzhang had his head beheaded.How to deal with corrupt officials after they are found out?In one word: kill!Zhu Yuanzhang tongzi killed a lot of techniques, tricks, how to die, all depends on the mood of old Zhu.Such as bowel extraction (….), brush (first with boiled water, then with an iron brush brush), steelbeam (with iron hook to hang people dry) and so on.The threshold for murder was also very low. At the beginning, he declared that anyone who embezzled more than 60 taels of silver would be killed.Taking 60 taels of silver, he had to behead his head, which was unprecedented in Chinese history. However, after a period of execution, the effect was not good.Angry zhu Yuanzhang red eyes, threatened as long as the official corruption, no matter how many, all dead dead: “I want to clean up corrupt officials, did not think of the morning just killed, at night someone committed crimes.Don’t blame me. From now on, whoever embezzles and accepts bribes, no matter how many, will be beheaded.”Death was not enough. Quite a number of officials died before they died, and they still had to continue to stand sentry duty for the Ming Empire.In order to increase the effect of deterrence, Zhu added a special land shrine between the main gate and the second gate of each county government.Some people may ask, the land ancestral hall is used to worship the land father-in-law, which has a yarn to do with anti-corruption ah, does the land in, the county officials will be afraid of money?Indeed it was!Because the Ming dynasty county temple of the land, worship is not general land father-in-law, but a scarecrow dressed in human skin.After the corrupt officials were killed, they would have their skins peeled off, stuffed with straw, made into human figures, and placed in the county hall for people to visit.Very scary!Eradicating evil is another major characteristic of Zhu Yuanzhang’s anti-corruption.According to the da Patent iii, an anti-corruption monograph edited by Mr Zhu himself, higher-ranking officials who received bribes should follow the trail to find out where the money came from and hunt down the embezzlers at every level.Therefore, hongwu years “pull out the radish to bring out the mud” of the big case is very many, implicated very wide.For example, in the case of Guo Huan in the 18th year of Hongwu (1385), all the ministers below and around the six departments lost their heads, and tens of thousands of officials and rich people were killed in all provinces.In this way, it was obvious that the selection of officials could not catch up with the speed of killing heads, so for a period of time there was a serious shortage of local officials in the Ming Dynasty.Corrupt officials want to kill, things still have to do ah, how to do?In order to solve this problem, Zhu Yuanzhang tongzi creatively invented a measure called “wearing death penalty”.The so-called “wearing death penalty” means wearing death penalty in office.In other words, the sentence of death has been passed, and you will remain in your last position until your successor arrives.Therefore, in the early Ming dynasty, the county government and government government often had such a situation: ascended court trials, the people in the hall were wearing shackles and handcuffs, creating a great spectacle in Chinese history.How effective is the anti-corruption campaign to this extent?The answer is not much.From the first year of Hongwu to the 18th year of Hongwu, Zhu Yuanzhang sadly found that every day handed up about corruption, or can fill a table.He could not understand why those who were well educated in poetry and books and valued propriety, justice and shame, would go on the road of corruption and die.In fact, in my opinion, there are no more than two main reasons.One is a cliche: Zhu did not trust the imperial supervision system and wanted to rely on jinyi guards to fight corruption.The problem was that the supervision system of the imperial court at least had to go through a judicial procedure. Jinyi guards handled cases and put people in imperial zhao prison. If you were greedy, you would be greedy, and if you were not greedy, you would not be greedy.So, they receive some black money favoritism fraud, or make unjust, false and wrong case, is inevitable for sure.The anti-corruption campaign itself creates corruption, which is no better.Second, but also the most important reason, Zhu Yuanzhang’s iron fist against corruption, in fact, was defeated by humanity.A person has power, just like a woman has beauty, will naturally have a strong temptation to those who want to.The greater the power, the greater the temptation.And through the ages, countless facts have proved that human nature, is unable to withstand the test.If you want to keep people in power clean, you cannot pressure them, nor can you read sage books or engage in moral inspiration.The officials of the Ming Empire, especially the local officials, held the power of life and death, and naturally became the targets of hunting.The bigger the job, the higher the price.Zhu Yuanzhang’s anti-corruption measures are indeed ruthless, but the art of death is even more daunting.But everyone has a gambling or lucky psychology, as long as they do not kill their own head, they will think that the unlucky person is not themselves.The benefits are so huge and the costs are not necessarily high, so why not give it a try?

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