The Virtuous

February 2, 2011 Comments Off

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Mozi said: Now, all the rulers desire their provinces to be wealthy, their people to be numerous, and their jurisdiction to secure order. But what

they obtain is not wealth but poverty, not multitude but scarcity, not

order but chaos – this is to lose what they desire and obtain what they

avert. Why is this?

 

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Mozi said: This is because the rulers have failed to exalt the virtuous and to employ the capable in their government. Wben the virtuous are numerous

in the state, order will be stable; when the virtuous are scarce, order

will be unstable. Therefore the task of the lords lies nowhere but in

multiplying the virtuous.

 

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But what is the way to multiply the virtuous?

 

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Mozi said: Supposing it is desired to multiply good archers and good drivers in the country, it will be only natural to enrich them, honour them, respect them, and commend them; then good

archers and good drivers can be expected to abound in the country.

 

How much more should this be done in the case of the virtuous and the excellent who are firm in morality, versed in rhetoric, and experienced

in statecraft – since these are the treasures of the nation and props of

the state? They should also be enriched, honoured, respected, and

commended in order that they may abound.

 

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When the ancient sage-kings administered the government they declared:

 

“The unrighteous will not be enriched, the unrighteous will not be honoured, the unrighteous will not be favoured, the unrighteous will not be placed near.” Upon hearing this, the rich

and honoured of the country all began to deliberate, saying:

 

“What I have been depending on was wealth and honour. Now the Lord promotes the righteous without discrimination against the poor and humble. Hence I

may not do unrighteousness.” Upon hearing this, the favoured also began

to deliberate, saying:

 

“What I have been depending on was favour. Now the Lord promotes the righteous without discrimination against those thus far neglected. Hence I may not do unrighteousness.” Upon hearing

this, those placed near began to deliberate, saying:

 

“What I have been depending on was intimacy. Now the Lord promotes the righteous without discrimination against the distant.

 

Hence I may not do unrighteousness.” Upon hearing this, the distant also began to deliberate, saying :

 

“I used to think, being distant I had nothing to depend on. Now the Lord promotes the righteous without discrimination against the distant. Hence I may not do

unrighteousness.”

 

Vassals of distant districts as well as youths in the palace, and multitudes within the state boundaries as well as the rustics living on the four borders, upon hearing this, all competed

in doing righteousness.

 

Now what is the reason for all this? It is only with material goods that the superior can employ his subordinates, and it is only with statecraft that the subordinates can serve their

lord.

 

SOURCE: Exaltation of the Virtuous – Teachings of Mozi

 

Note: Mozi (ca. 470 BCE–ca. 391 BCE), was a philosopher who lived in China during the Hundred Schools of Thought period (early Warring States Period). He founded the school of Mohism.

 

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Tags: virtue, righteous, statecraft

 

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