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ShiziChina's First Syncretist$
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Paul Fischer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231159067

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231159067.001.0001

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Governing the World

Governing the World

(Zhi tianxia 治天下)

(p.94) 8. Governing the World
Paul Fischer
Columbia University Press

This chapter reflects on the theory and practice of the selfless ruler, with particular emphasis on the ruler's attitude rather than his timely action. It begins by describing the four arts of governing the world: parental concern, selflessness, employing worthies, and measuring capacity. (If) the measuring of (their) capacities is thorough, then (their) capabilities will be sufficient. (If there is) employment of worthies, then (there will be) much merit. Selflessness is the ancestor of the hundred wisdoms. Devoted concern is parental action. Of all the ways of governing (a state), none are as good as relying on wisdom, (and of all the) ways of wisdom, none are as good as relying on worthies. The chapter argues that having a selfless attitude will enable the ruler to rely more on worthy ministers, that the good ruler is concerned for his people just as parents are concerned for their children.

Keywords:   ruler, governing, parental concern, selflessness, employing worthies, measuring capacity, devoted concern, wisdom, parents, children

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