Hundred Schools. Chinese Political Philosophy. The Soil for the Hundred Schools of Thought Confucianism Daoism Legalism Comparison A Game Overview: Trends in Chinese Civilization. The Soil for the Hundred Schools of Thought. Broader Global Context.
“Lead them by means of regulations and keep order among them through punishments, and the people will evade them and will lack any sense of shame. Lead them through moral force (de) and keep order among them through rites (li), and they will have a sense of shame and will also correct themselves.”
2A:6 All human beings have a mind that cannot bear to see the sufferings of others.
The ancient kings had a commiserating mind and, accordingly, a commiserating government.
Having a commiserating mind, a commiserating government, governing the world was like
turning something around on the palm of the hand.
… Now, if anyone were to suddenly see a child about to fall into a well, his mind would always be filled with alarm, distress, pity, and compassion. That he would react accordingly is not because he would use the opportunity to ingratiate himself with the child’s parents, nor because he would seek commendation from neighbors and friends, nor because he would hate the adverse reputation. From this it may be seen that one who lacks a mind that feels pity and compassion would not be human; one who lacks a mind that feels aversion and shame would not be human; one who lacks a mind that feels modesty and compliance would not be human; and one who lacks a mind that knows right and wrong would not be human.
Human nature is evil: its goodness derives from conscious activity. Now it is human nature to
be born with a fondness for profit. Indulging this leads to contention and strife, and the sense of modesty and yielding with which one was born disappears. One is born with feelings of envy and hate, and, by indulging these, one is led into banditry and theft, so that the sense of loyalty and good faith with which he was born disappears. One is born with the desires of the ears and eyes and with a fondness for beautiful sights and sounds, and, by indulging these, one is led into licentiousness and chaos, so that the sense of ritual, rightness, refinement, and principle with which one was born is lost. Hence, following human nature and indulging human emotions will inevitably lead to contention and strife, causing one to rebel against one’s proper duty, reduce principle to chaos, and revert to violence. Therefore one must be transformed by the example of a teacher and guided by the way of ritual and rightness before one will attain modesty and yielding, accord with refinement and ritual, and return to order. …
… A questioner asks: If human nature is evil, then where do ritual and rightness come from? I
reply: ritual and rightness are always created by the conscious activity of the sages; essentially they are not created by human nature. …
If human nature were good, we could dispense with the sage kings and desist from the practice of ritual and rightness. Since human nature is evil, we must elevate the sages and esteem ritual and rightness.
It is wisdom to know others
It is enlightenment to know one’s self
The conqueror of men is powerful
The master of himself is stronger
It is wealth to be content
It is willful to force one’s way on others
So what is the desired behavior?
I take no action and the people are reformed
I enjoy peace and people become honest
I do nothing and people become rich.
I have no desires and people return to the good and simple life
How should rulers behave?
How do you know if a ruler is doing a good job?