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If in a country there are the following ten evils: rites, music, odes, history, virtue, moral culture, filial piety, brotherly duty, integrity and sophistry, the ruler cannot make the people fight and dismemberment is inevitable; and this brings extinction in its train. If the country has not these ten things and the ruler can make the people fight, he will be so prosperous that he will attain supremacy. A country where the virtuous govern the wicked, will suffer from disorder, so that it will be dismembered; but a country where the wicked govern the virtuous, will be orderly, so that it will become strong.

Forget The Prince; Macchiavelli had -nothing- on Lord Shang, who predated him by almost two thousand years.

Even though such plain statements read to a modern audience as something akin to Big Brother's wet dreams, one must keep in mind that the Period of the Warring States (401-223 BC) was a desperate time with Chinese warlord/rulers scrambling to maintain order and rule of law before the vast majority of Western countries had any real government beyond a tribal level.

Some of my 'light' summer reading for personal entertainment and enrichment.

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