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Han Fei-tzu (d.

233 BCE): Legalist Views on Good Government The Confucian ideal of "government through virtue" and the tendency of Confucianists to seek guidance in the rule of former kings was strongly criticized by another school of thought: the Legalists or School of Law. According to the Legalists, neither the wisdom of ancient kings nor an ethical code would make a state strong. Instead "good" and "bad" were defined by whatever the self-interest of the ruler demanded. A system of harsh punishments and rewards, regulated through laws and enforced without exceptions, should guarantee good behavior within the state. The Legalists considered military service and agriculture as the only occupations beneficial to the welfare of the state and discouraged all scholarship. The state of Qin in Western China was the first to adopt Legalist doctrines. The Qin were so successful that by 221 BCE they had conquered the other Chinese states and unified the empire after centuries of war. The following paragraph was taken from Han Fei-tzu, The "[book of] Master Han Fei," chapter 50. Han Fei-tzu had studied under the Confucian scholar Hsun-tzu and became the major theorist of the Legalist school. Confucian scholars vigorously denounced his teachings in all subsequent generations; yet his harsh pragmatism, often compared to that of Machiavelli and Kautilya, more accurately explains the actions of many rulers than does the idealistic Confucian model. What attitude does Han Fei express toward the common people? What kinds of stern measures does he suggest should be enacted for their own good? When a sage governs a state, he does not rely on the people to do good out of their own will. Instead, he sees to it that they are not allowed to do what is not good. If he relies on people to do good out of their own will, within the borders of the state not even ten persons can be counted on [to do good]. Yet, if one sees to it that they are not allowed to do what is not good, the whole state can be brought to uniform order. Whoever rules

should consider the majority and set the few aside: He should not devote his attention to virtue, but to law. If it were necessary to rely on a shaft that had grown perfectly straight, within a hundred generations there would be no arrow. If it were necessary to rely on wood that had grown perfectly round, within a thousand generations there would be no cart wheel. If a naturally straight shaft or naturally round wood cannot be found within a hundred generations, how is it that in all generations carriages are used and birds shot? Because tools are used to straighten and bend. But even if one did not rely on tools and still got a naturally straight shaft or a piece of naturally round wood, a skillful craftsman would not value this. Why? Because it is not just one person that needs to ride and not just one arrow that needs to be shot. Even if without relying on rewards and punishments there would be someone doing good out of his own will, an enlightened ruler would not value this. Why? Because a state's law must not be neglected, and not just one person needs to be governed. Therefore, the skilled ruler does not go after such unpredictable goodness, but walks the path of certain success. . . . Praising the beauty of Ma Ch'iang or Hsi shih (1) (See footnotes) does not improve your own face. But using oil to moisten it, and powder and paint will make it twice as attractive. Praising the benevolence and righteousness of former kings does not improve your own rule. But making laws and regulations clear and rewards and punishments certain, is like applying oil, powder and paint to a state. An enlightened ruler holds up facts and discards all that is without practical value. Therefore he does not pursue righteousness and benevolence, and he does not listen to the words of scholars. These days, whoever does not understand how to govern will invariably say: "Win the hearts of the people." If winning the hearts of the people is all that one needs in order to govern, a Yi Yin or a Kuan Chung (2) would be useless. Listening to the people would be enough. But the wisdom of the

people is useless: They have the minds of little infants! If an infant's head is not shaved, its sores will spread, and if its boil is not opened, it will become sicker. Yet while its head is being shaved and its boil opened, one person has to hold it tight so that the caring mother can perform the operation, and it screams and wails without end. Infants and children don't understand that the small pain they have to suffer now will bring great benefit later. Likewise, if the people are forced to till their land and open pastures in order to increase their future supplies, they consider their ruler harsh. If the penal code is being revised and punishments are made heavier in order to wipe out evil deeds, they consider their ruler stern. If light taxes in cash and grain are levied in order to fill granaries and the treasury so that there will be food in times of starvation and sufficient funds for the army, they consider their ruler greedy. If it is required that within the borders everybody is familiar with warfare, that no one is exempted from military service, and that the state is united in strength in order to take all enemies captive, the people consider their ruler violent. These four types of measures would all serve to guarantee order and peace, yet the people do not have the sense to welcome them. Therefore one has to seek for an enlightened [ruler] to enforce them. (1) The beauty of these women is proverbially famous. (2) Ancient Chinese statesmen famous for their wisdom. Translated by Lydia Gerber

Han Fei. A Legalist Writer: Selections from The Writings of Han Fei (c. 230 BCE)

from W.L. Liano, trans, The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu, (London: Arthur Probsthain, 1939), pp. 40, 45-47 repr. in Alfred J. Andrea and James H. Overfield, The Human Record: Sources of Global History, Vol 1, 2d. ed., (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1994), pp. 95-97

[Andrea Introduction] Daoism offered no active political program, whereas Confucius and his disciples preached a doctrine of benevolent reform based on virtuous imitation of the past. A third school of thought that emerged in the chaos of the late Zhou era was Legalism, which rejected both the Way of nature, as embraced by Daoists, and Confucianism's emphasis on the primacy of the moral way of antiquity. Legalist writers, to the contrary, emphasized law as governmenst formulative force and advocated a radical restructuring of society in ways that were totally rational and up-to-date. Legalism reached its apogee in the late third century B.C. in the writings of Han Feizi (Master Han Fei) and the policies of Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi. Han Fei was a prince of the stare of Han who defected to its chief rival, the state of Qin, but eventually he ran afoul of Qin's chief minister, Li Si (d. 208 BCE) and was forced to commit suicide in 233 BCE. Before he died, he composed a number of essays on how to construct a stable and peaceful state. The following selections present Han Fei's major principles of political philosophy. HAVING REGULATIONS No country is permanently strong. Nor is any country permanently weak. If conformers to law are strong, the country is strong; if conformners to law are weak, the counrry is weak.... Any ruler able to expel private crookedness and uphold public law, finds the people safe and the state in order; and any ruler able to expunge private action and act on public law, finds his army strong and his enemy weak. So, find out men following the discipline of laws and regulations, and place chem above the body of officials. Then the sovereign cannot be deceived by anybody with fraud and falsehood....

Therefore, the intelligent sovereign makes the law select men and makes no arbitrary promotion himself. He makes the law measure merits and makes no arbitrary regulation himself. In consequence, able men cannot be obscured, bad characters cannot be disguised; falsely praised fellows cannot be advanced, wrongly defamed people cannot be degraded. To govern the state by law is to praise the right and blame the wrong. The law does not fawn on the noble....Whatever the law applies to, the wise cannot reject nor can the brave defy. Punishment for fault never skips ministers, reward for good never misses commoners. Therefore, to correct the faults of the high, co rebuke the vices of the low, to suppress disorders, to decide against mistakes, to subdue the arrogant, to straighten the crooked, and to unify the folkways of the masses, nothing could match the law. To warn the officials and overawe the people, to rebuke obscenity and danger, and to forbid falsehood and deceit, nothing could match penalty. If penalty is severe, the noble cannot discriminate against the humble. lf law is definite, the superiors are esteemed and not violated. If the superiors are not violated, the sovereign will become strong and able to maintain the proper course of government. Such was the reason why the early kings esteemed Legalism and handed it down to posterity. Should the lord of men discard law and practice selfishness, high and law would have no distinction. THE TWO HANDLES The means whereby the intelligent ruler controls his ministers are two handles only. The two handles are chastisement and commendation. What are meant by chastisement and commendation? To inflict death or torture upon culprits, is called chastisement; to bestow encouragements or rewards on men of merit, is called commendation. Ministers are afraid of censure and punishment but fond of encouragement and reward. Therefore, if the lord of men uses the handles of chastisement and commendation, all ministers will dread his severity and turn to his liberality. The villainous ministers of the age are

different. To men they hate they would by securing the handle of chastisement from the sovereign ascribe crimes; on men they love they would by securing the handle of commendation From the sovereign bestow rewards. Now supposing the lord of men placed the authority of punishment and the profit of reward not in his hands but let the ministers administer the affairs of reward and punishment instead, then everybody in the country would fear the ministers and slight the ruler, and turn to the ministers and away from the ruler. This is the calamity of the ruler's loss of the handles of chastisement and commendation. QUESTIONS FOR ANALYSIS 1. In Han Fei's ideal state what is the supreme governing authority, the will of the ruler or the law? 2. What are the "Two Handles" and how important are they to a legalist state? Why must the sovereign never surrender control over the two handles? 3. What roles do individuality and private initiative play in Han Fei's ideal state? 4. Why do you think Legalism appealed to some people? 5. Imagine a series of conversations among a Daoist, a Confucian, and a Legalist. How would each respond on the following issues: What is the purpose of good government? What role does morality play in formulating law? What are the qualities of a superior ruler? The proposition "Might makes right." Han Fei-zi Unlike the other great Chinese philosophers of this era (Lao-zi, Confucius, Mo-zi, Mencius, Zhuang-zi, and Xun-zi) who were impoverished noblemen, Han Fei-zi was a prince of the royal family in the state of Han. He was born around 280 BC and studied under the Confucian realist Xun-zi at the Chi-Xia academy along with Li Si, who considered Han the better student, according to Sima Qian's biography. Since he was not a good speaker, Han Fei submitted his writings to the

rulers of Han. The king of Han, however, did not apply them; but Han Fei continued to complain that ambitious scholars and militarists were given prominence over honest gentlemen. Eventually the writings of Han Fei came to the attention of the young king of Qin, who began ruling in 246 BC and went on to become the founding Emperor of the Qin dynasty, Shi Huang Di. His prime minister was Han Fei's old friend Li Si, who informed his sovereign these writings were Han Fei's. In 234 BC Qin attacked the state of Han, and their king An sent Han Fei as his envoy to Qin. The king of Qin was delighted to meet the philosopher, but Li Si warned the king that Han Fei was of the royal family of Han and likely to remain loyal to that state and therefore be against Qin. Charges were brought against Han Fei, who wanted to plead his case before the king, but he was not allowed an audience. So Han Fei sent a written memorial in which he acknowledged the perpendicular alliance formed from a north-south line of countries against the western power of Qin; but he argued that they were weak and likely to run away in a confrontation, because they have no faith in rewards and punishments. In contrast the people of Qin respect courageous death, and it is a much more powerful country. Nevertheless Qin has not yet gained hegemony, because its counselors are not loyal. Han Fei suggested that Qin could conquer the powerful Chu in the south and Qi and Yan in the east as well as the three states of Zhao, Han, and Wei, which had formed out of Jin. He recounted several times in history when Qin lost its opportunity to gain this hegemony. Han Fei declared that if his advice was followed and Qin did not gain hegemony, then the king could behead him as a warning to others. In another memorial Han Fei urged the king of Qin to treat Han as a loyal ally rather than an enemy so that the perpendicular alliance would not be mobilized against him. However, Li Si argued against this theory to the king and sent poison to Han Fei in prison. Han Fei, unable to

communicate with the king, drank it and died in 233 BC. Although the king regretted his decision and pardoned Han Fei, it was too late. Han Fei-zi is the main representative of the school of philosophy called Fa-jia, the legalists or realists. He drew the concept of law (fa) from the Book of Lord Shang and the idea of administration (shu) from the writings of Shen Buhai. From the logicians he borrowed the theory of forms and names (xing-ming), which he applied to politics as the correspondence between administrators' words and job descriptions and their actual functioning in practice. Han Fei-zi was also very much influenced by Daoism, making a strange combination of legalistic authoritarianism and passive acceptance. His essay on the "Way of the Ruler" shows this relationship. It begins, The way is the beginning of all beings and the measure of right and wrong. Therefore the enlightened ruler holds fast to the beginning in order to understand the wellspring of all beings, and minds the measure in order to know the source of good and bad. He waits, empty and still, letting names define themselves and affairs reach their own settlement. Being empty, he can comprehend the true aspect of fullness; being still, he can correct the mover. Those whose duty it is to speak will come forward to name themselves; those whose duty it is to act will produce results. When names and realities match, the ruler need do nothing more and the true aspect of all things will be revealed. Hence it is said: The ruler must not reveal his desires; for if he reveals his desires his ministers will put on the mask that pleases him.4

Han Fei-zi did not want the ruler to be manipulated by his ministers, which is why he advised the sovereign not to reveal his will or express his likes and dislikes. The wise ruler does not expose his wisdom but has everyone know their place, does not display his worth but observes the motives of the ministers, and does not flaunt bravery in shows of indignation but allows subordinates to demonstrate their valor. The officials have their regular duties, and each is employed according to specific ability. The ruler practices inaction, but the ministers below tremble in fear. The inferior ruler uses his own ability; the average ruler uses the people's strength; and the best ruler uses the people's wisdom. The ruler takes credit for accomplishments but holds ministers responsible for their errors. The ministers labor and display wisdom, but the ruler is their corrector and maintains an untarnished reputation. The ruler should know but not let it be known that he knows. Each person's words are to be compared with their results. Officials should not know what others are doing. No one must be allowed to covet his power in this authoritarian regime. The ruler uses the two handles of rewards and punishments to control others and examines results to see how they match his objectives. The ruler is to be immeasurably great and unfathomably deep, while any attempt of ministers to form cliques is to be smashed. Thus ministers should not be allowed to shut out the ruler nor control the wealth of the state nor issue their own orders nor do good deeds in their own name nor build up cliques so that the ruler will not lose effectiveness, the means of dispensing bounties and command, his reputation for enlightenment, and his support. The way of the ruler is to observe calmly what others say and do without speaking or doing himself. He notes proposals and examines their results. He assigns tasks to ministers according to what they say and the accomplishments that result. Those whose deeds match their words are rewarded; when things do not match, they are punished. These rewards and punishments must be dispensed objectively so that even those close to the ruler may be

punished and those far away can be sure of reward. Thus all will have to make effort, and none can be too proud. Nevertheless for Han Fei-zi what transcends even the ruler is the law. "On Having Standards" explains that an enlightened ruler uses the law to select officials by weighing their merits without attempting to judge them himself. True worth will not remain hidden, and faults will not be glossed over. Praise will not help some advance, nor will calumny drive others from the court. Ministers are to be like the hands and feet of the ruler, not presuming to use their mouths to speak for private advantage or their eyes to look for private gain. Even the ruler must never use wise ministers and able servants for selfish ends so that the government can be consistent and good. Han Fei-zi disdained those who leave their posts to search for another sovereign, controvert the law with false doctrines, censure their sovereign, try to gain a name for themselves by doling out charity, or even those who withdraw from the world and criticize their superiors or seek favorable relations with other states in order to make themselves indispensable in a crisis. If the ruler tries to monitor the government with his own eyes, ears, and mind, he can be manipulated by what is presented to him. Thus the ancient kings relied on law and policy to make sure that rewards and punishments were correctly implemented. Then even clever speakers could not deceive them. Authority and power should never be in more than one place or else abuse will become rife. If law is not respected, all the ruler's actions will be endangered. If penalties are not enforced, evil cannot be overcome. Even the highest minister must not be allowed to escape punishment, nor should the lowest peasant's reward be skipped. Thus those in high positions will not abuse the humble. If laws are clearly defined, superiors will be honored, and rights will not be invaded. Han Fei-zi warned the ruler against eight villainies. Though a ruler may share his bed with beauties, he should not listen to their special pleas. He should hold attendants personally responsible for their words and not

allow them to speak out of turn. He should not allow kin and elder statesmen to escape appropriate punishment nor advance them arbitrarily. Buildings may be constructed to delight the ruler, but officials should not be allowed to use them to ingratiate themselves. Orders for doling out charity in time of need must never come from ministers but from the ruler. The true abilities of those who are flattered must be determined, likewise the faults of those who are denounced. Military heroes should not be given unduly large rewards, and those who take up arms in a private quarrel must never be pardoned. Officials must not be allowed to have their own soldiers, and requests of feudal lords should be granted if they are lawful, but rejected if they are not. In the essay "Ten Faults" Han Fei-zi listed them briefly and then gives numerous historical examples of each one. The list is as follows: 1. To practice petty loyalty and thereby betray a larger loyalty. 2. To fix your eye on a petty gain and thereby lose a larger one. 3. To behave in a base and willful manner and show no courtesy to the other feudal lords, thereby bringing about your own downfall. 4. To give no ear to government affairs but long only for the sound of music, thereby plunging yourself into distress. 5. To be greedy, perverse, and too fond of profit, thereby opening the way to the destruction of the state and your own demise. 6. To become infatuated with women musicians and disregard state affairs, thereby inviting the disaster of national destruction. 7. To leave the palace for distant travels, despising the remonstrances of your ministers, which leads to grave peril for yourself. 8. To fail to heed your loyal ministers when you are at fault, insisting upon having your own way, which will in time destroy your good reputation and make you a laughing stock of others. 9. To take no account of internal strength but rely solely upon your allies abroad, which places the state in grave danger of dismemberment. 10. To insult big powers even though your state is small, and fail to learn from the remonstrances of your ministers, acts which lead to the downfall of your line.5

Han Fei-zi also wrote on the difficulties of persuading a ruler. This requires more than general knowledge and the ability to express oneself well. The most difficult part is to know the mind of the person one is trying to persuade so that fitting words can be used. One does not talk about profit to one who is seeking a reputation for virtue; and if one is talking to someone who wants profit, it is useless to talk about virtue. If the person secretly wants gain but claims to be virtuous, and you talk about virtue, he will pretend to listen but ignore you. If you talk about profit, he will appear to reject your advice but secretly follow it. Han Fei-zi also discussed many other complicated situations, many of them quite dangerous for the advisor because of the insecurity of the sovereign. He concluded that it is not difficult to know something; the difficulty is in knowing how to use what one knows. For Han Fei-zi the wise governs by rectifying laws clearly and establishing severe penalties in order to prevent the strong from exploiting the weak and the many from oppressing the few, to enable the old and infirm to die in peace and the young and orphans to grow freely, to make sure frontiers are not invaded, the ruler and minister are on intimate terms, fathers and sons support each other, and people do not worry about being killed in war or taken prisoner. He believed that stupid people want order but dislike the true path to order, which he considered to be the severe penalties, even though they are hated by people. Mercy and pity are welcomed by the people, but Han Fei-zi believed they endanger the state. Although he acknowledged that the legalist who makes laws in the state acts contrary to prevailing public opinion, he nevertheless believed that this is in accord with the way, virtue, and justice. In "Precautions within the Palace" Han Fei-zi wrote that it is dangerous for the ruler to trust others, for whoever trusts others will be controlled by them. Ministers have no blood bonds with their ruler, and they never stop trying to spy into the sovereign's mind. Thus many rulers are intimidated, and some are even murdered. If the ruler trusts his son or his consort, evil ministers may find ways to use them for their private

schemes. The ruler must make sure that no one receives unearned rewards nor oversteps their authority. Death penalties must be executed, and no crime must go unpunished. However, if too much compulsory labor is demanded of people, they will feel afflicted and join local power groups. Local power groups then work to exempt people from labor service which enables their leaders to grow rich on bribes. Thus the ruler should keep labor services minimal so that the power groups will disappear, and all favors will come from the sovereign. Han Fei-zi was afraid that if the ruler lends even a little of his power to others, the superior and inferior will change places. Thus no ministers should be allowed to borrow the power and authority of the ruler. According to Han Fei-zi the ruler should be so strict that if what a minister says beforehand does not tally with what he says or does later, he must be punished even though he may have fulfilled his task with distinction. This, he believed, will keep the subordinates responsible. Han Fei-zi held that the ruler must be strict enough to put these theories into practice even though it means going against the will of the people. He noted how Lord Shang had to be guarded with iron spears and heavy shields, and eventually the people of Qin tore apart his body with two chariots. When Guan Zhong first instituted his reforms in Qi, Duke Huan had to ride in an armored carriage. Writing on "Pretensions and Heresies," Han Fei-zi argued that it is the duty of the sovereign to establish the laws and standards of right and distinguish these from private interests. Most ministers want to exalt their private wisdom; but if they condemn the law as wrong, their creeds must be regarded as heresy and suppressed. The ruler must forbid private favors and enforce what is ordered. Yet the private virtue of ministers is to practice personal faith with friends and not be encouraged by reward or discouraged by punishment. This, Han Fei-zi believed, leads to disorder; but where public virtue is practiced, there is order. Though ministers have selfish motives, their public duty is to obey orders and behave unselfishly in office. Thus ministers must use their calculating minds to put aside selfish motives and serve the ruler. The

ruler also calculates how to protect the state from injury by private interests and uses rewards and penalties to overawe them. The commentaries on the teachings of Lao-zi in the Han Fei-zi may have been by his followers in an era when legalism was trying to survive by merging with Daoism. Some of the interpretations become rather absurd, as when compassion is extended to military victory and defense in order to be compassionate to one's soldiers (What about the enemy's?) and even more absurdly to the weapons themselves. What could be more perverted than that? When Han Fei-zi's sage-king makes laws, the rewards must be enough to encourage the good, and his authority strong enough to subjugate the violent; his preparation must be sufficient to accomplish his task. In this system the good live on and flourish, while the bad fade away and die. If the pronouncements of the sovereign are clear and easy to understand, his promises can be kept. If the laws are easy to be observed, his orders will be effective. If the superiors are not self-seeking, the inferiors will obey the law. Han Fei-zi also recommended seven tactics to the sovereign and then gave historical examples of how they work. The first is to compare and inspect all available and different theories. Second, punishments must be definite and authority clear. Third, rewards are to be bestowed faithfully, and everyone is to exercise their abilities. Fourth, the ruler should listen to all sides of every story and hold speakers responsible for their words. So far these are clear and straightforward, but the last three use deception and manipulation to enhance the power of the ruler. The fifth is to issue spurious edicts and pretend to make certain appointments. Sixth, one may inquire into cases by manipulating different information, and seventh, words may be inverted and tasks reversed. Ostensibly the purpose of the last three is to help the ruler find out the truth by using indirect methods, but the lack of integrity and damage to credibility certainly makes them questionable for the long term.

Han Fei-zi argued that people can be deterred from even small crimes by serious penalties, and then they will not commit major crimes at all. Thus he hoped that a strong government will not allow any serious crimes. Yet the problem is that criminals are not always caught no matter how vigilant the government may be. He noted that the golddiggers in the south could not be stopped from stealing gold-dust even though some were caught and stoned to death in the marketplace, and there is no chastisement more severe than that. Duke Jing once asked a poor man about the prices in the market. Yen-zi replied that ordinary shoes are cheap, but shoes for the footless are expensive. Duke Jing, who had been busy inflicting many punishments (cutting off feet), was embarrassed. Thinking he was too cruel, he abolished five laws of the criminal code. Yet he was criticized by Han Fei-zi, who argued that loosening censure and giving pardons benefit the crooks and injure the good and thus do not lead to political order. Han Fei-zi did not consider personnel administration easy, but the ruler must regulate officials with rules and measures, and then compare their actions with their words. Projects that are lawful should be carried out; those that are not should be stopped. Results matching proposals should be rewarded; those not producing corresponding results should be punished. Han Fei-zi believed that only about one person out of a hundred would act correctly simply out of virtue, but everyone loves profit and dislikes injury. Thus effective government cannot rely on virtue. He believed that if the punishment for desertion is heavy, no one will run away from the enemy. Han Fei-zi criticized those who believed that heavy penalties injure the people and are unnecessary, because light penalties can be used. He argued that heavy penalties are more likely to deter than light ones, and therefore they can prevent all crime. I believe the error in his logic is that he incorrectly generalizes that heavy penalties will stop all crimes, which is not the case. He noted that people often trip on ant-hills, but no one stumbles over a mountain. He argued that people will either ignore

light penalties or trip on them like traps. This may be true, but may not using heavy penalties like mountains lead to a monstrous society? Han Fei-zi described five kinds of customs as vermin, which he felt caused a disordered state. Scholars, who praise ancient kings for their virtue, put on a fair appearance but cast doubt on the laws of the time and confuse the ruler. Persuaders present false schemes and borrow influence from abroad to further their private interests but injure the welfare of the state's land and grain. Heroic swordsmen gather bands of followers and violate the government's prohibitions. Courtiers gather in private homes and bribe influential men to get out of military service. Finally, artisans and merchants make and collect useless articles and luxuries, accumulating wealth, cornering markets, and exploiting farmers. Han Fei-zi pointed out that even the wise Confucius was subordinate to Duke Ai of Lu because of his authority. He realistically argued that the people and even kings are not able to rise to the goodness and justice of a Confucius, who could convince only seventy followers. Rather the enlightened ruler should make punishments certain as well as severe so that people will fear them. Rewards should be generous and consistent so that people will seek them. The best laws are uniform and inflexible so that people understand them. Rewards must not be delayed nor should mercy deflect the administering of punishment. Praise accompanying the reward and censure following the punishment both stimulate people to do their best. The wise ruler takes into consideration the scarcity or plenty of the time. Punishments may need to be light but not because of compassion, while severe penalties are not imposed because the ruler is cruel. Circumstances change, and the ways of dealing with them must also change. Here Han Fei-zi showed some flexibility but still did not waver from his calculated policy. One method Han Fei-zi recommended for making rewards and punishments more effective was to have people watch each other and be responsible for reporting crimes in their community. By rewarding those

who denounce criminals and punishing those who refuse to do so as complicit, he hoped that all kinds of culprits would be detected. However, this innovation, which was actually a regression to primitive times, was implemented by Lord Shang in Qin in the fourth century BC; it was one of the reasons he was so unpopular and led to his death. Han Fei-zi coldly and calculatingly suggested methods of behavioral modification as political theory under an authoritarian system of monarchy. He brought these to the attention of the leaders in the powerful state of Qin, where he became the first casualty of a policy that allows no one to challenge the authority of the ruler. Next we shall examine what happened when Qin implemented these ideas in its conquest of China.

Han Feizi Han Feizi, the last and most sophisticated of the Warring States' Legalist thinkers, is credited with synthesizing Shang Yang's and Shen Buhai's achievements. He furthermore based his philosophy of law on solid metaphysical foundations, borrowing ideas from the Daoist classic the Laozi (or Dao de jing). The monistic transcendent power of Dao ("Tao," the Way) is embodied in the ruler, whose authority is hence limitless and unquestionable. The principles (li) of Dao are manifested in the law, which thus becomes the constant and unshakable foundation of human society. Social hierarchy also reflects cosmic principles and so is similarly unassailable. Philosophical sophistication notwithstanding, Han Feizi's fame derives from his astute and cynical analyses of political and social laws and

practices. Politics are a battlefield in which deceit and treachery are common, and mutual trust and morality are an anomaly. The ruler should trust neither the people nor his aides, neither his kin nor his closest friends. This candor is revealing because, being a minister himself, Han Feizi actually claimed that he also cannot be trusted. This contradiction between Han Feizi's ideas and his personal aspirations ultimately led to a personal tragedy: after he arrived at the state of Qin, Han Feizi was imprisoned and executed as a potential spy for his Han homeland. Later the king of Qin reportedly admired Han Feizi's teachings and regretted his decision. Han Feizi thus did not witness the ultimate triumph of his ideology, which came shortly after his death with the imperial unification of 221 B.C.E. Ancient China Legalism - Later Legalism [next] [back] Ancient China Legalism - Shen Buhai Read more: http://74.125.95.132/search? q=cache:TH3BJck1FH8J:science.jrank.org/pages/9952/Leg alism-Ancient-China-HanFeizi.html+han+fei+tzu+legalism&cd=9&hl=en&ct=clnk &gl=us#ixzz0WxOqTGLZ Han Feizi The writings of Han Feizi (c. 280-233 BCE) include fifty-five treatises which are collected into twenty books and which are mainly concerned with what the ruler of a state should do in order to acquire and maintain political power. The treatises describe the strategies which a ruler may employ in order to maintain control over the legislative functions of government. The treatises also describe the actions which a ruler may take in order to prevent usurpation of power by other government officials, and discuss the tactics which a ruler may employ in order to maintain supreme authority.

Legalism as defined by the writings of Han Feizi is a philosophy which claims that social order may be best preserved by the enforcement of severe penalties for disobedience to civil laws, and which claims that social stability may be best maintained by the administration of harsh punishments to any individuals who fail to comply with civil authority. Han Feizi argues that human nature is basically selfish and deceitful, and that the best way to motivate subjects to be loyal to a ruler is to reward them for loyalty and to punish them for disloyalty. This ethically pessimistic viewpoint was influenced by the moral philosophy of his teacher Xunzi (Hsn Tzu, c.298-c.238 BCE), who argued that human nature is basically evil and that moral goodness can only be acqured through conscious effort or training. Han Feizi argues that a ruler should never trust his ministers or subjects to be loyal. The ministers who are appointed by a ruler may try to gain power in order to pursue their own personal aims. A wise ruler must therefore enact laws to ensure that the ministers fulfill their duties and to ensure that all ministers comply with the rulers authority. Han Feizi also argues that in order for a ruler to govern effectively, the ruler must reward those ministers who are loyal and must punish those ministers who are disloyal. The "two handles" of reward and punishment are the means by which a ruler may encourage ministers to be loyal and may discourage them from being disloyal. If a ruler does not reward those ministers who are loyal or does not punish those who are disloyal, then that ruler will lose the loyalty of his ministers and will not be able to govern effectively. According to Han Feizi, the more effectively that a ruler can reward those ministers who fulfill their duties faithfully, and the more effectively that a ruler can punish those ministers who do not fulfill their duties faithfully, the greater the faithfulness and loyalty that the ruler will be able to obtain from his ministers and the more effectively that the ruler will be able to govern. The more effectively that the ruler is able to

govern, the greater the power that the ruler may be able to attain. The power (shih) of a ruler consists of his ability to reward his ministers for serving faithfully, or of his ability to punish his ministers for not serving faithfully. If a ruler loses his ability to reward his ministers for serving faithfully, or loses his ability to punish his ministers for not serving faithfully, then he will lose his power. Han Feizi explains that the relative power of various rulers may be partly determined by the relative effectiveness with which they are able to reward ministers or subjects who comply with their authority. The relative power of various rulers may also be partly determined by the relative effectiveness with which they are able to punish ministers or subjects who do not comply their authority. Thus, a ruler who promotes the development of an effective and properly administered legal system may be better equipped to maintain sovereign power than a ruler who does not promote the development of an effective and properly administered legal system. Han Feizi argues that individuals should be appointed as ministers of government only if they are deserving of being given positions of authority in government and only if they must be employed to perform some particular function. Individuals should not be rewarded with positions of authority in government merely because they are friends or family members of the ruler. If a ruler rewards undeserving individuals, then he will not be able to reward deserving individuals as effectively. Han Feizi also argues that each minister should perform the specific function for which he has been appointed and should neither exceed nor fail to perform this specific function. The form (xing) or actual nature of each ministers duties should correspond to the name (ming) or description of the tasks which that minister has been appointed to perform. If the description of a ministers duties does not correspond to the actual nature of the tasks which that minister has been appointed to perform, then that ministers duties will not be properly defined and will not properly contribute to the fulfillment of the duties of other ministers.

Han Feizi explains that a wise and enlightened ruler will rectify names so that they correspond to the forms or actual nature of things. Thus, a wise and enlightened ruler will rectify the name of each ministers duties so that it corresponds to the actual nature of the tasks which that minister is expected to perform. A wise and enlightened ruler will therefore be able to properly reward those ministers who fulfill their duties, and will be able to properly punish those ministers who do not fulfill their duties. By rectifying the names which are given to the responsibilities and duties of government, a wise ruler will be able to properly determine the best means of promoting social order and stability. Han Feizi also explains that a wise and prudent ruler will rectify laws so that they clearly specify the penalties which are to be imposed on individuals who disobey the rulers commands and on individuals who do not comply with the ruler's authority. A wise and enlightened ruler will establish laws which are fair and just, and which promote the wellbeing of all individuals. A wise ruler will establish laws which enable all individuals to live together in peace and harmony. In opposition to Kongfuzi (Confucius, 551-479 BCE), who teaches that a ruler should act benevolently and righteously, Han Feizi argues that a ruler should not be too kind or forgiving, because moral discipline is necessary in order to maintain social order and stability. A ruler should never fail to punish any individuals who disobey his commands and should never fail to discipline any ministers who do not fulfill their duties. If ministers and subjects know that any acts of disobedience will be severely punished, then they will be less likely to disobey the ruler. Han Feizi maintains that penalties for disobedience to civil laws should always be strictly enforced, and that punishments for disobedience to civil laws should never be reduced or rescinded. Remission of punishment for any acts of disobedience to civil law will only encourage further acts of disobedience. According to Han Feizi, benevolence and righteousness are less important for the attainment of social justice and harmony than obedience to civil law and compliance with civil

authority. Han Feizi admits that if a ruler is benevolent, then that ruler will try to promote social justice and harmony. If a ruler is righteous, then that ruler will administer rewards and punishments to ministers and subjects fairly and impartially. However, Han Feizi argues that the best method of promoting social justice and harmony is not to act benevolently and righteously but is to rectify the legal system and strictly enforce all civil laws. Han Feizi explains that if a ruler does not sufficiently reward ministers and subjects for being faithful or does not sufficiently punish them for being unfaithful, then that ruler may lose the faithfulness and loyalty of his ministers and subjects. On the other hand, if a ruler rewards his ministers and subjects too generously for being loyal and faithful, or if he punishes them too severely for being disloyal or unfaithful, then he may also lose their loyalty and faithfulness. Rewards and punishments must be rectified so that they correspond to the nature of the actual conduct which they are intended to encourage or discourage. Han Feizi emphasizes that a ruler should not administer undeserved rewards or punishments to ministers and subjects if he wants to retain their faithfulness and loyalty. If a ruler has established an effective and properly administered legal system, then rewards and punishments will be correctly administered according to civil law and no further intervention by the ruler will be required in order for society to be peaceful and orderly. Han Feizi also explains that if a ruler has promised to reward a minister or subject, then he must keep this promise in order to retain the loyalty and faithfulness of the minister or subject. In a well-ordered society, rewards are bestowed on individuals who deserve them, and are not bestowed on individuals who do not deserve them. In a well-ordered society, punishments are inflicted on individuals who deserve them, and are not inflicted on individuals who do not deserve them. The rectification of the legal system requires that rewards and punishments

be administered to individuals who deserve them, and that they not be administered to individuals who do not deserve them. Han Feizi argues that in order for rewards and punishments to be correctly administered, the ruler must be able to correctly identify those individuals who deserve to be rewarded or punished. In order for punishment to sufficiently discourage disobedience to the rulers commands, those individuals who disobey the ruler must be caught and must be forced to submit to punishment. If individuals who disobey the ruler are not caught and are not forced to submit to punishment, then they may commit further offenses. Moreover, if punishments are not sufficiently severe, then those individuals who are caught and punished for disobeying the ruler may not be sufficiently discouraged from committing further acts of disobedience. Han Feizis explanation of the applications of civil authority and of the uses of political power may be criticized for attempting to justify authoritarianism and totalitarianism. For example, Han Feizi argues that a ruler should practice deception in order to determine whether any ministers or subjects may be disloyal. Han Feizi also argues that a ruler should conceal his own intentions from his ministers in order to prevent them from becoming too familiar with his method of statecraft (shu). Han Feizi claims that a wise and prudent ruler should be devoted to secrecy in order to prevent any ministers from being able to hinder his plans. According to Han Feizi, a ruler should not reward ministers or subjects collectively for the loyal actions of a single individual, because some ministers or subjects may thus be undeservedly rewarded. However, a ruler may in some cases punish ministers or subjects collectively for the disloyal actions of a single individual, if collective punishment does not cause too much resentment and if it enforces compliance with the rulers authority. Han Feizi also argues that ministers and subjects should be rewarded for denouncing each others faults, and that they should be punished for not denouncing each others faults. Thus, the power of the

ruler becomes absolute, and the ruler gains total authority over all ministers and subjects. BIBLIOGRAPHY Han Fei Tzu. The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu. Translated by W.K. Liao. Volumes I and II. London: Arthur Probsthain, 1939. Han Feizi. Han Feizi: Basic Writings. Translated by Burton Watson. New York: Columbia Universit Press, 2003. Lee, Wing-Chiat. "Han Fei," in Great Thinkers of the Eastern World. Edited by Ian P. McGreal. New York: HarperCollins, (1995), pp. 44-8. Zia, Nai Z. "Han Fei Tzu," in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Edited by Paul Edwards. New York: Crowell, Collier & MacMillan, (1967), p. 412. Legalism : Han Feizi

Han Feizi (280-233 B.C.)

The only nobleman among the important early Chinese philosophers. Confucius, Mencius, Mozi, Laozi & Zhuangzi were men of lower gentry, descendents perhaps of aristocratic families that had sunk into poverty and no longer occupied a position of any real power in feudalism.

II.1 The Life of Han Feizi

Han Fei was a prince of the royal family of the state of Han (). Han, was a small state situated in central China.

II.1 The Life of Han Feizi

As a prince, distressed by the dangerous condition of his native state, Han Fei repeatedly submitted letters of remonstrance to its ruler; but the king of Han was unwilling to listen to his advice. Han Fei then wrote a book, which came into hands of the king of Chin (who was soon to conquer and rule all China) in 246 B.C. King of Chin showed great respect for the book but it did not deter him from launching an attack on the state of Han in 234 B.C.

II.1 The Life of Han Feizi

Han went to the Chin court and was received with delight by the king. But before he could gain the kings full confidence, his former fellow student, Li-si warning the king that, since Han Fei was a prince of Han, his loyalties would always be on the side of Han and against Chin. Han Fei was handed over to the law officials for investigation. Before the king might have time to regret this decision(as he later did), Li-si sent poison to the prison and Han Fei was confined.

II.1 The Life of Han Feizi


Qn: Why Li-si send his own teacher, Han Feizi to death? An: Li-si is a legalist. Legalists do not share the Confucian ideas of respecting ones own teacher.

II.2 Han Feizi: the Legalist

He is not the inventor of Legalism, but its perfector.

All the writings of the Legalist School deal with a single problem: how to preserve and strengthen the state . Like Machiavellis treatise, Hans work is a handbook for the prince, with a few chapters thoughtfully added for the guidance of his ministers.

II.2 The Legalist

The Legalists take no interest in private individuals or their lives, except to the extent that they affected the interests of the ruling class/ the King. Unlike Confucianism/ Mo-ism, it made no attempt to preserve/ restore the customs and moral values of the past.

II.3 Policies

The strengthening of the central government. The establishment of more effective control over land and population through laws and strict penalties. The replacement of the old aristocracy by a corps of bureaucrats. The encouragement of agriculture to provide a steady food supply and of warfare to expand the borders of the state and insure a well-disciplined population.

II.3 Policies

It called for the suppression of all ideas and ways of life that impeded the realization of the above aims. People should be kept in a state of ignorance and fear, better illiterate.

II.4 Laws/ fa

The elaborate system of laws that are to be drawn up by the ruler, distributed to his officials, and taught and explained by them to the illiterate people. By such a system of laws, and the inescapable punishments that back it up, all life within the nation was to be ordered.

II.5 Methods of Governing: The Two Handles (H, ch.7) ()

The ruler controls by means of two handles: punishment and favor . The officials and the people are guided and kept in line by laws. But the ruler, who is the author of law and outside and above it, must be guided by a different set of principles, which is about how to attain a powerful state. The book, Han Feizi, mainly discuss such principles for the good ruler.

Text on Two Handles

The enlightened ruler controls his ministers by means of two handles alone. The two handles are punishment and favor. What do I mean by punishment and favor? To inflict mutilation and death on men is called punishment; to bestow honor and reward is called favor. Those who act as ministers fear the penalties and hope to profit by the rewards. Hence, if the ruler wields his punishments and favors, the ministers will fear his sternness and flock to receive his benefits. But the evil ministers of age are different. They cajole the ruler into letting them inflict punishment themselves on men they hate and bestow rewards on men they like.

Text on Two Handles

Now if the ruler of men does not insist upon reserving to himself the right to dispense profit in form of rewards and show his sternness in punishments, but instead hands them out on the advice of his ministers, then the people of the state will all fear the ministers and hold the ruler in contempt, will flock to the ministers and desert the ruler. This is the danger that arises when the ruler loses control of punishment and favors

Text on Two Handles

The tiger is able to over power the dog because of his claws and teeth, but if he discards his claws and teeth and lets the dog use them, then on the contrary he will be overpowered by the dog. In the same way the ruler of men uses punishment and favors to control his ministers, but if his discards his punishments and favors and lets his ministers employ them, then on the contrary he will find them in the control of his ministers...

Text on Two Handles

,.,.? :,., ,.,, ;,. ,, ,.. ,,,., ,,.

II.6 The Rise of the Legalists

As the more powerful states of late Zhou times grew in size and their government became more centralized, new problems arose. If a ruler wanted to remain secure in his position, he had to find new ways to control his newly created state.

II.6 The Rise of the Legalists

Unable any longer to attend to all affairs in person, he had to make certain that the men to whom he delegated power were doing their work effectively. He needed a set of rules for management and personnel control.

II.7 The Legalist and the Daoists


From Daoism, Han Feizi borrowed a set of ideas. Daoist philosophy, with its doctrine of quietism and its transcendence of worldly affairs, may seems an add place to go in search for ideas in governing. Legalism, because it rejected all appeals to religion and morality, had to find some other set of terms to glorify the ruler. Daoism, which likewise rejected conventional religion and morality, provided such a set.

II.7 The Legalist and the Daoists

The Daoist sage has absolute understanding and the Legalist king is of absolute power. In the quality of absoluteness, they are alike. The sage & the king both rise above conventional good/evil; withdraw from the world.

II.8 Han Feis Views on Human Nature

Under the influence of Xunzi , who thought that the nature of human is basically evil. Confucians and Moists claimed that there had been better days under the sage kings of antiquity, and cited history for their argument. Han Feizi cited history only to enlarge his catalogue of human follies.

II.8 Han Feis Views on Human Nature

All attempts to educate and uplift the common people are useless. The ruler, to succeed, must eschew all impulses toward mercy and affection and be guided solely by enlightened self-interest.

II.9 The Influence of Han Feizi


Han wrote his essays on political science for the king of Han. Yet, it was Hans enemy and eventual destroyer, the King of Chin(), who appreciated them and put them into practice. The state of Chin, which later successfully unified China (in 221 B.C.), had been pursuing Legalist policies for almost a century. Dynasty (221-206B.C.)

II.10 The Unification: the Chin

Assuming the title of First Emperor(), the King of Chin set about the vast bureaucratic empire that Han Feizi had envisioned. Encourage agriculture and warfare Discipline its people with stern laws Conduct its foreign affairs with cold-blooded cynicism

II.11 Policies of Chin

According to Legalism: 1. Abolishment of feudalism 2. Standardized weights, measures, and the writing system 3. Controlled people with strict laws 4. Suppressed the teachings of other schools of philosophy 5. Undertook huge public works 6. Launched foreign wars to push back the borders 7. Building Luxurious palaces (this practice is against the ruling principles of Legalism) and the Greatwall

II.12 The Decline of Chin

The First Emperor of Chin died in 210 B.C. and in three years, the state fell apart. Reasons: forces beyond its control the pull of old local loyalties, the high cost of state undertakings, the natural resistance of men to violent change. The most important reason: its harsh and ruthless treatment of the people

II.12 The Decline of Chin


Lack of mercy on people. The policies overestimated the amount of bullying and oppression that people would bear.

II.13 Long-term Influence of Chin

No government in China thereafter attempted to apply legalism in undiluted form. The penetrating analyses and advice of Legalism have been drawn upon again and again by later rulers. Often: Confucianism, plus some elements of Legalism (morality & law)

II.14 Passages from the Han Feizi Ch. 5 The Way of the Ruler

The Way is the beginning of all beings and the measure of right and wrong. Therefore the enlightened ruler holds fast to the beginning in order to understand the wellspring of all beings, and minds the measure in order to know the source of good and bad. He waits, empty and still, letting names define themselves and affairs reach their own settlement ,,., .,,...

II.14 Passages from the Han Feizi Ch. 5 The Way of the Ruler

Those whose duty it is to speak will come forward to name themselves; those whose duty it is to act will produce results. When names and results match, the ruler need do nothing more and the true aspect of all things will be revealed. ,,,,.

II.14 Passages from the Han Feizi Ch. 5 The Way of the Ruler

Hence it is said, The ruler must not reveal his desires, for if he reveal his desires his ministers will put on the mask that pleases him. He must not reveal his will; for if he does so his ministers will show a different face. So it is said: Discard likes and dislikes and the ministers will show their true form; discard wisdom and the ministers will watch their steps.

: ,,;, ,. : ,;, .

II.14 Passages from the Han Feizi Ch. 5 The Way of the Ruler

Hence, though the ruler is wise, he hatches no schemes from his wisdom, but causes all men to know their place. Though he has worth, he does not display it in his deeds, but observes the motives of his ministers. Though he is brave, he does not present his bravery in shows of indignation, but allows his subordinates to display their valor to the full. ,;,; ,. Thus, though he discards wisdom, his rule is enlightened; though he discards worth, he achieves merit; and though he discards bravery, his state grows powerful. ,,.

Ch. 5 The Way of the Ruler

When the ministers stick to their posts, the hundred officials have their regular duties, and the ruler employ each according to his particular ability, this is know as the state of manifold constancy ,,, Hence it is said, So still he seems to dwell nowhere at all; so empty no one can seek him out. The enlightened ruler reposes in non-action above, and below his ministers tremble with fear : ,...

Ch. 5 The Way of the Ruler

This is the way of the enlightened ruler: he causes the wise to bring forth all their schemes, and he decides his affairs accordingly; hence his own wisdom is never exhausted. He causes the worthy to display their talents, and he employs them accordingly; hence his own worth never comes to an end. Where there are accomplishments, the ruler takes credit for their worth; where there are errors, the ministers are held responsible for the blame; hence the rulers name never suffers. ,,,; ,,;, ,.

Ch. 5 The Way of the Ruler

Thus , though the ruler is not worthy himself, he is the leader of the worthy; though he is not wise himself, he is the corrector of the wise. The ministers have the labor; the ruler enjoys the success. This is called the maxim of the worthy ruler ,., ,...

Ch. 5 The Way of the Ruler

The way lies in what cannot be seen, its function in what cannot be known. Be empty, still and idle, and from your place of darkness observe the defects of others. See but do not appear to see; listen but do not seem to listen; know but do not let it be known that you know. When you perceive the trend of a mans words, do not change them, do not correct them, but examine them and

compare them with the results. Assign one man to each office and do not let them talk to each other, and then all will do their utmost ,;,., ,.,,., ,

Ch. 5 The Way of the Ruler

The ruler of men stands in danger of being blocked in five ways. 1. when the ministers shut out their ruler 2. when they get control of the wealth and resources of the state 3. when they are free to issue orders as they please 4. when they are able to do righteous deeds in their own name 5.when they are able to build up their cliques All these are rights that should be exercised by the ruler alone, they should never pass into the hands of his ministers :,,, .,.

(H. ch.9) The Eight Villainies


: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

7. 8.

(H. ch.9) The Eight Villainies

Eight strategies which ministers customarily employ to work their villainy. 1. Making use of his bedfellows: the ruler is easily beguiled by lovely women and charming boys. 2. Making use of his attendants: jesters and entertainers, attendants and favorites of the ruler 3. Making use of his elders and kin: The ruler feels close affection for his cadet families and for the princes of the blood, and consults with the elder statesmen and courtiers.

(H. ch.9) The Eight Villainies

4. Encouraging baleful pursuits: rulers love to beautify their palaces, terraces, and pools, to surround themselves with attractive attendants and fine dogs and horses for their amusements. 5. Making use of the people: Ministers often distribute funds in order to gratify the people, and hand out small favors in order to win the hearts of the commoners, till everyone in both court and countryside is praising them alone.

(H. ch.9) The Eight Villainies

6. Making use of fluent speakers: The ruler, because the nature of his upbringing, has naturally been cut off from ordinary conversation, and has seldom had an opportunity to listen to debases and persuasive speaking.

7. Making use of authority and might: Rulers sometimes believe that the officials and common people are capable of wielding authority and might, and hence whatever these people approve of, rulers approve of too; whatever these people condemn, they condemn, too.

(H. ch.9) The Eight Villainies

8. Making use of the surrounding states: It is customary with a ruler that, if his state is small, he will do the bidding of larger states. When the larger states come with demands, the small state must consent. The ministers therefore double the taxes, empty the coffers, and exhaust the state in the service of the great powers and then make use of their influence with foreign powers in their efforts to mislead the ruler.

(H.ch.10) The Ten Faults


Han Feizi uses historical examples to illustrate his ten points. A legalist ruler should avoid committing the following faults.

(H.ch.10) The Ten Faults


1., 2., 3.,, 4., 5., 6.,, 7., 8.,, 9.,,

10.,,

(H.ch.10) The Ten Faults

Each fault is further elaborated with a concrete example in history. 1. To practice petty loyalty and thereby betray a larger loyalty. i.e. In a battle, the commander-in-chief A refused to drink. His junior knew that A loved wine very much, so he told him that it was just water. Then commander A could not reject the temptation and kept on drinking until he was very drunk. On the next day, the enemies came and the Duke sent an order summoning A; yet A excused himself, claiming that he had a pain in his heart. The Duke later found out the truth and beheaded commander A.

(H.ch.10) The Ten Faults


Han Feis analysis of Fault no.1: When the junior (Ku-yang) presented wine to the commander A, his heart was filled only with loyalty and love, yet he ended up by killing him. ,,.

(H.ch.10) The Ten Faults

2. To fix your eye on a petty gain and thereby lose a larger one. i.e. Duke Hsien of Chin wanted to passed through the neighboring state Yu to launch an attack in another state and he was advised to give a precious jade (the jade of Chui-chi) to the Duke of state Yu. An official of Yu warned his Duke not to accept the gift because they would be attacked in the next. The Duke of Yu was greedy and

accepted the present. Three years later, state Yu was conquered and the piece of Jade was back to the original state. Chapter 10 The Ten Faults

3. To behave in a base and willful manner and show no courtesy to the other feudal lords, thereby bringing about your own downfall. i.e. Duke Chu summoned the other federal lords to a conference. One of the crown princes arrived late and he was held in prison. Duke Chu also insulted other rulers. He was advised not to do so but he did as he pleased. Ten years passed and Duke Chu went on a tour and his officials stole his throne from him. He was eventually starved to death.

Chapter 10 The Ten Faults

4. To give no ear to government affairs but long only for the sound of music, thereby plunging yourself into distress. i.e. Duke Ping of Chin loved music so much that he insisted to hear the music written by music-master Yen for the wicked King Zhou of the Shang dynasty. He was advised to listen to the pure shang mode which were for the rulers of virtue, yet he insisted that he loved music so much and he should enjoy what he delighted. His state suffered with a great drought for three years and his body broke out with sores.

Chapter 10 The Ten Faults

5. To be greedy, perverse, and too fond of profit, thereby opening the way to the destruction of the state and your own demise.

A very long and complicated story

Chapter 10 The Ten Faults

6. To become infatuated with women musicians and discard state affairs, thereby inviting the disaster of national destruction. i.e. Duke Mu of Chin discovered the official of Jung, Yu Yu, was a sage when he was visited by the latter. He knew that such a person would pose a threat to all the rival states around it. Duke Mu then sent a lot of women musicians to the Duke of Jung and suggested that Yus return to his state be postponed. Duke of Jung became crazy with the women and ignored his state for a year. When Yu returned, he warned his Duke but ignored. Yu left his state and went to Chin, where he was well received. The state of Chin later took over the state of Jung.

Chapter 10 The Ten Faults

7. To leave the palace for distance travels, despising the remonstrances of your ministers, which leads to grave peril for yourself. i.e. Viscount Tian Chang of Chi enjoyed travel by sea so much that he announced that anyone mentioned going home would be killed. An official warned him and he was threatened to be beheaded. The official quoted historical examples of loyal officials being killed by their seniors. The viscount decided to return home and found out that some of his subjects were plotting to prevent him from entering the capital. Without that official, the viscount would have lose the state.

Chapter 10 The Ten Faults

8. To fail to heed your loyal ministers when you are at fault, insisting upon having your own way, which will in time destroy your good reputation and make you a laughing stock of others. i.e. Kuan Chung was the most helpful minister of Duke Huan of Chi, who became the first of the five dictators. When Kuan Chung was ill, he was asked by the Duke about his successor. The Duke proposed a number of officials but Kuan pointed out their weaknesses. At last, Kuan said His Ping could do. But when Kuan died, the Duke did not follow his advice and appointed someone Kuan rejected. Three years passed and the Duke journed to a trip and the new successor led a revolt. Duke Huan died of hunger and his body remained unburied for three months.

Chapter 10 The Ten Faults

9. To take no account of internal struggle but rely solely upon your allies abroad, which places the state in grave danger of dismemberment. i.e. Chin attacked the small state, Han and the ruler of the latter was advised to give land to Chin for peace. The Duke of Chu was afraid that these two states would join together and attack her. The Duke of Chu then told the ruler of Han that they would help them if they were attacked. The Duke of Han decided to place trust on Chu and urged them to send troops to rescue him. Time flied and there was no troop and the state of Han was conquered by Chin.

Chapter 10 The Ten Faults

10. To ignore the demands of courtesy, though your state is small, and fail to learn from the remonstrance of your ministers, acts which lead to the downfall of your line.

i.e. Prince Chung-erh of Chin fled from his home and was treated with discourtesy by the Duke of Tsao. An official of Tsao worried about the situation and he sent a lot of gift to Chung-erh, as he believed that Chung-erh was fit as a good leader. Chung-erh eventually became the head of Chin and attacked Tsao. The Duke of Tsao was killed for his behavior and the clever officials compound was not trespassed. People took refuge in the residential quarter of that official.

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