Comfy The Book of Lord Shang / [Study Guide] and quotes

Lord_hierophantūs

Lord_hierophantūs

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“In the past, those who were able to regulate All-under-Heaven first had to regulate their own people; those who were able to overcome the enemy had first to overcome their own people. The root of overcoming the people is controlling the people as the metalworker controls metal and the potter clay. When the roots are not firm, the people will be like flying birds and running animals: Who will then be able to regulate them? The root of the people is law. Hence, those who excel at orderly rule block the people with law; then a [good] name and lands can be attained.”
― Shang Yang, The Book of Lord Shang


“When the people are weak, the state is strong; hence the state that possesses the Way devotes itself to weakening the people.”
― Shang Yang, The Book of Lord Shang


“Human beings have likes and dislikes; hence, the people can be ruled. The ruler must investigate likes and dislikes. Likes and dislikes are the root of rewards and penalties. The disposition of the people is to like ranks and emoluments and to dislike punishments and penalties. The ruler sets up the two in order to guide the people’s will and to establish whatever he desires.”
― Shang Yang, The Book of Lord Shang


“The means whereby the sovereign encourages the people are offices and ranks; the means by which the state prospers are agriculture and warfare. Today the people seek offices and ranks, yet they are attainable not through agriculture and warfare but through crafty words and empty ways: this is called to exhaust the people.”
― Shang Yang, The Book of Lord Shang


“Hence, my teaching causes those among the people who seek benefits to gain them nowhere else but in tilling and those who want to avoid harm to escape nowhere but to war. Within the borders, everyone among the people first devotes himself to tilling and warfare and only then obtains whatever pleases him. Hence, though the territory is small, grain is plenty, and though the people are few, the army is powerful. He who is able to implement these two within the borders will accomplish the way of Hegemon and Monarch.”
― Shang Yang, The Book of Lord Shang


“What the world calls a “worthy” is one who is defined as upright; but those who define him as good and upright are his clique (dang 黨). When you hear his words, you consider him able; when you ask his partisans, they approve it. Hence, one is ennobled before one has any merits; one is punished before one has committed a crime.”
― Shang Yang, The Book of Lord Shang


“Nowadays, [the ruler] relies on many officials and numerous clerks; to monitor them he establishes assistants and supervisors. Assistants are installed and supervisors are established to prohibit [officials] from pursuing [personal] profit; yet assistants and supervisors also seek profit, so how they will able to prohibit each other?”
― Shang Yang, The Book of Lord Shang


“Poems, Documents, rites, music, goodness, self-cultivation, benevolence, uprightness, argumentativeness, cleverness: when the state has these ten, superiors cannot induce [the people] to [engage in] defense and fighting. If the state is ruled according to these ten, then if the enemy arrives it will surely be dismembered, and if the enemy does not arrive, the state will surely be impoverished. If the state eradicates these ten, then the enemy will not dare arrive, and even if he arrives, he will surely be repelled; when an army is raised and sent on a campaign, it will surely seize [the enemy’s land]; whereas if the army is restrained and does not attack, the state will surely be rich.”
― Shang Yang, The Book of Lord Shang


“When one thousand people are engaged in agriculture and warfare, yet there is a single man among them engaged in Poems, Documents, argumentativeness and cleverness, then one thousand people all will become remiss in agriculture and warfare. … This is the teaching that impoverishes the state and weakens the army.”
― Shang Yang, The Book of Lord Shang


“What is called “unification of teaching” is that … fathers and elder brothers, minor brothers, acquaintances, relatives by marriage, and colleagues all say: “What we should be devoted to is just war and that is all.” … This is what I, your minister, call “unification of teaching.” … The people’s desire for riches and nobility stops only when their coffin is sealed. And [entering] the gates of riches and nobility must be through military [service]. Therefore, when they hear about war, the people congratulate each other; whenever they move or rest, drink or eat, they sing and chant only about war.”
― Shang Yang, The Book of Lord Shang


“Wherever the name (repute) and benefit meet, the people will go in this direction.… Farming is what the people consider bitter; war is what the people consider dangerous. Yet they brave what they consider bitter and perform what they consider dangerous because of the calculation [of a name and benefit]. … When benefits come from land, the people exhaust their strength; when the name comes from war, the people are ready to die.”
― Shang Yang, The Book of Lord Shang


“When the affairs of the world change, one should implement a different Way. … Therefore, it is said: “When the people are ignorant, one can become monarch through knowledge; when the generation is knowledgeable, one can become monarch through force”.”
― Shang Yang, The Book of Lord Shang
 
Lord_hierophantūs

Lord_hierophantūs

Out, out! Brief candle
Dec 27, 2023
904
5. 塂㦩 - Discussion about the People

Sophistry and cleverness are an aid to lawlessness; rites and music
are symptoms of dissipations and licence; kindness and
benevolence are the foster-mother of transgressions; employment
and promotion are opportunities for the rapacity of the wicked. If
lawlessness is aided, it becomes current; if there are symptoms of
dissipation and licence, they will become the practice; if there is a
foster-mother for transgressions, they will arise; if there are
opportunities for the rapacity of the wicked, they will never cease. If
these eight things come together, the people will be stronger than
the government; but if these eight things are non-existent in a state,
the government will be stronger than the people. If the people are
stronger than the government, the state is weak; if the government is
stronger than the people, the army is strong. For if these eight things
exist, the ruler has no one to use for defence and war, with the result
that the state will be dismembered and will come to ruin; but if there
are not these eight things, the ruler has the wherewithal for defence
and war, with the result that the state will flourish and attain
supremacy.


A country which attacks with what is difficult will gain ten points for
every one that it undertakes; a country which attacks with what is
easy will lose a hundred men for every ten that it marches out. A
country that loves force is said to attack with what is difficult; a
country that loves words is said to attack with what is easy. People
find it easy to talk, but difficult to serve. A state where, when the laws
of the country are applied, conditions for the people are hard and by
military service those conditions are eased, so that it attacks with
force, will gain ten points for every one it undertakes; but a state
where, when the laws of the country are applied, conditions for the
people are easy, and by military service those conditions are made
hard, so that it attacks with words, will lose a hundred men for every
ten that it marches out.


The fact that penalties are heavy makes rank the more honourable,
and the fact that rewards are light makes punishments the more
awe-inspiring. If rank is honoured, the ruler loves the people, and if
punishments are so awe-inspiring, the people still die for their ruler.
Therefore, in a prosperous country, the people profit by the
application of penalties, and by the distribution of rewards the ruler
will gain credit. If the law goes into details, the punishments will be
multitudinous; if the laws are multitudinous, punishments will be
scarce. If, from a condition of rule and order, the people become
lawless, and if one tries to rule this lawlessness, it will only increase;
therefore, it should be ruled while it is still in a state of rule and order,
then there will be true rule and order; if it is ruled while it is in a state

of lawlessness, lawlessness will remain.










 
Lord_hierophantūs

Lord_hierophantūs

Out, out! Brief candle
Dec 27, 2023
904
It is the nature of the people to be orderly, but it is circumstances that
cause disorder. Therefore, in the application of punishments, light
offences should be regarded as serious; if light offences do not
occur, serious ones have no chance of coming. This is said to be
"ruling the people while in a state of law and order". If in the
application of punishments, serious offences are regarded as
serious, and light offences as light, light offences will not cease and
in consequence, there will be no means of stopping the serious
ones. This is said to be "ruling the people while in a state of
lawlessness". So, if light offences are regarded as serious,
punishments will be abolished, affairs will succeed and the country
will be strong; but if serious offences are regarded as serious and
light ones as light, then punishments will appear; moreover, trouble
will arise and the country will be dismembered.



If the people are brave, they should be rewarded with what they
desire; if they are timorous, they should be put to death in a manner
they hate. In this way timorous people, being incited by punishments,
will become brave; and the brave, being encouraged by rewards, will
fight to the death. If timorous people become brave, and the brave
fight to the death, the country having no equal will certainly attain
supremacy.




If the people are poor, they are weak; if the country is rich, they are
licentious, and consequently there will be the parasites; the parasites
will bring weakness. Therefore, the poor should be benefited with
rewards, so that they become rich, and the rich should be injured by
punishments, so that they become poor. The important thing in
undertaking the administration of a country is to make the rich poor,
and the poor rich. If that is effected, the country will be strong. If the
three classes of people do not suffer from the parasites, the country
will be strong for a long time to come, and such a country, free of
parasites, may be certain of supremacy.



Punishment produces force, force produces strength, strength
produces awe, awe produces virtue. Virtue has its origin in
punishments. For the more punishments there are, the more valued
are rewards, and the fewer rewards there are, the more heed is paid
to punishments, by virtue of the fact that people have desires and
dislikes. What they desire are the six kinds of licence, and what they
dislike are the four kinds of hardship. Indulgence in these six kinds of
licence will make the country weak; but the practice of these four
kinds of hardship will make the army strong. Therefore, in a country
which has attained supremacy, punishments are applied in nine
cases and rewards in one. If in nine cases, punishments are applied,
the six kinds of licence will stop, and if in one case rewards are
given, the four kinds of hardship will be practised. If the six kinds of
licence are stopped, the country will be without crime; and if the four
kinds of hardship are practised, the army will be without equal.


The things which the people desire are innumerable, but that from
which they benefit is one and the same thing. Unless the people be
made one, there is no way to make them attain their desire.
Therefore, they are unified; as a result of this unification, their
strength is consolidated, and in consequence of this consolidation,
they are strong; if, being strong, they are made use of, they are
doubly strong. Therefore, a country that knows how to produce
strength and how to reduce it is said to be one that attacks the
enemy, and is sure to become strong. It bars all private roads for
gratifying their ambition, and opens only one gate through which they
can attain their desire; thus, without doubt, it can make the people
first do what they hate, in order thereafter, to reach what they desire;
and so their strength will be great. If their strength is great, but not
made use of, ambition is gratified; and this being so, there will be
private interest and in consequence there will be weakness.
Therefore, a country that knows how to produce strength, but not
how to reduce it, is said to be one that attacks itself, and it is certain
to be dismembered. So it is said that if a state has attained
supremacy, it does not reserve its strength and the family does not
hoard grain. That the state does not reserve its strength means that
its subjects are used, and that the family does not hoard grain
means that the superiors keep it in the granaries.



If the order of the country depends on the judgments of the family, it
attains supremacy; if it depends on the judgments of the officials, it
becomes only strong; if it depends on the judgments of the prince, it
becomes weak. If light offences are heavily punished, punishments
will disappear; if officials are permanent, there is orderly
administration. The necessary guarantee for restricting the use of
punishments is that promises of rewards are kept. If they make it
their habit to denounce all crimes, then the people make the
judgments in their own minds; and if, when the ruler gives his orders,
the people know how to respond, so that the means for enforcing the
law are really manufactured in the families and merely applied by the
officials, then the judgments over affairs rest with the family.
Therefore, in the case of one who attains supremacy, judgments with
regard to punishments and rewards rest with the people's own
minds, and those with regard to the application of the means for
enforcing the law rest with the family. If there is a clear law, people
will agree with one another; if there is an obscure law, people will
differ from one another. If they agree, things run smoothly, but if they
differ, things are hampered; in the former case, there is order, in the
latter, disorder. If there is order, it is the families that make
judgments; if there is disorder, it is the prince who makes judgments.
Those who administer a country deem it important that inferiors
should give judgments; therefore, when ten hamlets are the unit for
making judgments, there will be weakness; whereas when five
hamlets are the unit for making judgments, there will be strength.

If it is the family that gives judgments, there will be abundance.
Therefore, of such a country it is said: 'He who creates order in one
day will attain supremacy.' If it is the officials who give judgments, the
order will not be sufficient; therefore of such a country it is said: 'He
who creates order in a night will merely be strong.' But if it is the
prince who gives judgments, there will be disorder; therefore of such
a country it is said: 'He who procrastinates in creating order will be
dismembered.' Therefore in a country that has the true way, order
does not depend on the prince, and the people do not merely follow

the officials.
 
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