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Confucius’ Ideal Government Characteristics – Tao Based Philosophy
Confucius ideal government instructs its people without interfering in their achievement of the Way. According to the Analects, the government’s responsibility includes taking care of the people without interfering with their lives. A government which interferes is a government that may cause more harm than good. Confucius dedicated many years of his life to teaching government officials the purpose of their positions. The Tao philosophy, which is centered in Sun Tzu’s Art of War and Confucius’ Analects, contributes to his ideals of proper governing upon people.
In the Tao, one learns that efficiency is key – no waste, no excess – allows people to remain balance within their society. Little supervision allows citizens to make their own decisions while too much control will create a society of rebellion. Once the rebellion builds, the government is forced to leave citizens to their own demise. Confucius prefers a government that will follow the Way in reaching the highest achievement – peaceful, orderly, and productive citizens. In the Analects, he presents the notion that the people will follow rules when there are none. This means that citizens have a good conscious (naturally), but are forced to make ‘bad’ decisions based on their circumstances. Many of the circumstances arise from changes in government, personnel, and the demands of law placed on a society.
James Legg. Confucian Analects Translated by James Legg (1893). Retrieved from http://sacred-texts.com/cfu/conf1.htm on 2009 Feb 28.
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