Government Philosophy Of Ancient China

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Decree By Incentive: Government Philosophies of Ancient China Throughout China’s expansive history, the nation has used a variety of foundations to justify their positions on political power. Though the claims change throughout the years, they tend to fall into one of two classifications: either the philosophy has a sacred, often religious basis, or it has a secular justification. Some methods of governance focus on severe punishments for breaking laws, and others expect a government to lead through virtuous example. These secular policies rely on a commoner’s character or aversion to penalties to ensure proper behavior within a society. They do not take into account for the opportunity costs a person might lose when following a law, however, …show more content…
Confucius’ preached for a conservative lifestyle, while stressing tradition and culture. This is a sharp contrast from the ideals of legalism, which saw these attributes as a hindrance to a strong society. Confucius believed that in order to be an outstanding member of their community, a citizen should learn to the fullest extent of the mind. He also encouraged his subjects to study classic literature, ethics, rituals, and writing. Scholastic bureaucrats could then go on to become politicians, which were the type most sought after during times of …show more content…
The two philosophies recognize that there is a certain government system that must be created to adhere to the people and it should base its necessity on their own societal ethics. These secular systems do not offer an incentive to the people of their empires to behave well, however, and instead rely on a commoner’s morale to “do good” for “the sake of doing good,” or to avoid a punishment. There is no true positive motivation for someone to follow the societal regulations of their region. One could argue that Confucianism offers a positive incentive for altruistic behaviors, but it does not have a true punishment for those who go against morality. Ironically, the solution is as simple as adding a theistic figure to a society and its constructs, which motivates people to do good through the

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