Confucius' Analect II: The Government

Topics: Morality, Virtue, Good and evil Pages: 1 (302 words) Published: March 5, 2002
Analect II (1-21)

In this particular analect, I believe Confucius is talking about the government. Confucius's writings suggest that a ruler should govern with a straightforward style that consist of principles of goodness and morality. For example, in II (1), he says "he who rules by moral force is like the pole-star, which remains in its place while all the lesser stars do homage to it." In this I believe he is referring to the north star in the sky, which is always constant and never moving. If you rule with good morals, your place will never move and people will always respect you. Another example is in II (3), I believe Confucius is saying that a ruler must not rule by regulations and punishment but by virtue and graciousness. By this kind of rule, they will learn their own feeling of shame and they will be able to correct themselves. In II (20), Chi K'ang-tzu asks how can I make the common people respectful and loyal? Confucius answers by saying that we should approach them with dignity, so they will be reverent to you. Be kind and compassionate and they will be loyal. Lastly, he says promote those who are able and teach those who are unskilled, and they will work positively for you. Finally, in II (21), someone asks Confucius how come he's not in the government , if he has such good advice. He responds by saying by doing good to your society, you are also in turn doing government. In light of Confucius' teachings, I believe he is right. If a ruler does not have good moral values, how can the society that is being governed be respectful and loyal if the ruler himself is not respectful and loyal to his people.
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