The commander-in-chief focuses on winning the minds of the capable, remunerate the meritorious, and having his will adopted by the masses. Thus if he has the same wishes as the masses, there is nothing he cannot accomplish. If he has the same hatred as the masses, there is nothing he cannot overturn. Governing the state and giving security to one’s family is a queston of gaining the people’s trust. Losing the state and destroying one’s family is a question of losing the people’s trust. At the end of the day, all people wants to realize their ambitions.
Being Resolute And Flexible
Military Pronoucements states:” The soft can counter the hard, the weak can counter the strong. Being soft at the appropriate extent can be a virtue, being inappropriately hard can be a menace. The weak is what the people will help, those that pretend to be strong is what people will resent. Soft, hard, weak and strong, to each has its appropriate place, and one should combining these four and use them where it is most appropriate. When neither the beginning nor end is visible, no one is able to gain full understanding. Heaven and Earth, like the myriad of things, also changes and transform. Thus the commander-in-chief should make changes and not be constant when situation depicts. He should change and transform in response to the enemy. He does not precede affairs; when the enemy moves, he immediately follow up with it. Thus he is able to formulate inexhaustible strategies and methods of control to secure victory, sustain his gains, bring tranquility and order to the whole land,and settle the Nine Barbarians. Such strategist is a teacher for an emperor.
Thus, everyone covets strength and power, but rare are those capable of using soft and weak appropriately. If one can use them appropriately, he can protect his life. If the ruler can use them appropriately, he will be adaptable to changes. Such principles can be promoted throughout the land, and do not need a storage space to store it. Using these principles, one can make enemy states submit.
Military Pronoucement states:”If one can be soft and hard, the future of his state will be increasing bright! If one can be weak and strong, his state will be increasing prosperous! If purely soft or purely weak, his state will inevitably decline. If purely hard and purely strong, his state will inevitably be destroyed.
Talent And People
The basic principles of governing the state is to rely on those that are capable and the people. If you trust those that are capable and employ the people as if they are your four limbs, then all your plans will be accomplished.Your measures will follow on each other as natural as your four limbs or the way the joints work with each other, without any hindrance.
Handling People, Enemies, And Victory
The essence of governing the state and army lies in understanding the needs of the people and managing the affairs of the state.
Protect those that are in danger; bring happiness to those who are in fear; forgive and ask for the return of those who rebel; make right the justice of those that are wronged; Investigate all grievances that are submitted; raise up the lowly; suppress those that are strong and arrogant; destroy the enemy; enrich the greedy; use those that have desires; conceal those that are fearful; get close to good strategists; stay away from slanderers; check all negative comments; eliminate the rebellious; stifle those that act wilfully; diminish the arrogant; summon and use those that turn their allegiance to you; settle those that submit to you; release those who surrender.
If you gain a strong position, defend it. If you gain a narrow defile, block it. If you gain a difficult position, encamp to hold it. If you secure a city, cut it up. If you seize territory, then divide it up. If you obtain the spoils, distribute them.
When the enemy moves observe him; when he approaches, prepare for him. If the enemy is strong and morale is high, be deferential to make him more arrogant. If the enemy is well rested, avoid him. If the enemy has not make a move, be persistent with your resistance. If the enemy is a tyrant, use benevolent to comfort his people. If the enemy is rebellious, attack him in the name of righteousness. If the enemy are closely knitted and in harmony, separate them. Accord with the enemy’s action, to initiate relevant measures to repress him and use forces to destroy him. Mislead him with false information, causing him to make mistakes and capture him when he does.
When you gain something, do not keep it for yourself. If you occupy a territory, do not set up permanent defense. Do not occupy a city for too long. Establish a ruler within the population, do not take over the position. The governing direction should come from you but the credit should go to the officials. Such actions is where the biggest benefit is. Allow others to be the warlord, while you yourself becomes the emperor. Allow the warlords to run the state themselves and set their own taxation.
How A Good Ruler Treats His People
Since ancient times, all rulers are able to venerate their ancestors, but few were able to treat the people as they should have been treated. Those rulers who venerate their ancestor is because it is required of them, by ancestral rules, but to treat the people as they should be treated, shows the greatness of the ruler. A ruler who treats his people well would concentrate on agriculture and sericulture and not disturb the people during their vital seasonal occupations. He would also keep taxes and imposition to a minimum, not exhausting their wealth. If you impose few labor services and not caused the people to be over labored, the the state will be prosperous and the families will enjoy happiness. Only then, should you select officers to control and supervise them.
What constitute an officer are men of valor and character. Thus it is said that draw men of valor and character from enemy states and they will be impoverished. These valiant men are the pillars of state and the commoner are the roots. Securing the pillars and the roots, the measures of the government can then be implemented without resentment.
Attracting The Capable
The essence of employing the army lies in respecting the forms of propriety and making salaries generous. When the proper form of propriety is observed, the wise officers will come. When the salaries are generous, righteous officers will disregard death. Thus when granting salaries to the Capable, do not begrudge the expenses and when rewarding them, do not delay. Only then the subordinates will unite together and the enemy states will be reduced.
The way to employ Capable is to honor them with ranks and remunerate them generously with materials goods, then the Capable will come on their own accord. Welcome them according to the forms of propriety, stimulate them with righteousness, and then the officers will be willing to lay their live for the state.
How Good Generals Treat Their Armies
Now those who command the army must share weals and woes with the officers and men, and confront safety and danger with them. Only then can they confront the enemy, gained full victory and the enemy completely destroyed.
In antiquity, when great generals commanded armies, there was once a case where the commander was presented with a cask of good wine. He ordered to have the wine poured into the river and shared the drinking of wine with the officers and men as it flowed downstream. Although a cask of wine is unable to flavor a river of water, but the men and officers of the armies were motivated to fight to death because the flavor and taste of wine has reached them personally.
The Military Pronouncement states:” When the wells have not yet been completed, the general does not mention his thirst. When the encampment has not yet been set up fully, the general does not speak of fatigue. When the army’s stoves have not been lit, the general does not speak of hunger. In the winter he does not wear a fur robe; in the summer he does not use a fan; in the rain he does not use an umbrella. Such is how the general share weals and woes with his men.
Together in danger, together in safety, his army will be united together and never be split apart. The army can be employed but cannot be tired out. This is because of his beneficence, he ceaselessly gathers them together, with his plans he constantly unites them. Thus it is said that when you cultivate beneficence tirelessly, with one men you can gain ten thousands more.
The Military Pronouncement states:”The basis of the general’s awesomeness is in his commands and orders. The basis for achieving complete victory us military administration. The reason why officers are not afraid of war is because of following commands.” Thus the wise general does not rescinds an orders. Rewards and punishment must be carried out, much like how Heaven and Earth work, without fail. Only then the general can employ the men. When the officers and soldiers follow orders, the army can then be deployed out.
Relation Between A General And His Army
The one who unifies the army and gains control of the situation is the general, while the ones that bring about conquest and defeat the enemy are the men, the army. Thus a general that is not able to manage and control an army should not lead his troops, a rebellious army should not be used against an enemy. For they cannot conquer cities nor destroy a state. They would tire themselves out without accomplishing anything. If the army is tired out, the general would be isolated and the army would be rebellious. If they try to hold defensive position, they defence would not be strong; if they attack, they would lose. They are then referred to as an “old army”. When the army is “old”, then the general is not able to awe his army. Once the general lose his awesomeness, the officers and men will disdain punishment. If the officers and men disdain punishment, the army will lose its organization. If the army lose its organization, the soldiers will run off during battles. If the soldiers run off during battles, the enemy will seize the opportunity and profit from it, and the army will parish in the end.
How A Good General Treats His Army
The Military Pronouncements states:” The exemplary general, in his command of the army, governs men as he would want to be treated himself. Spreading his benevolence and kindness, the strength of his men renewed daily. In battle, they act like the wind arising; in attack, they act like the release of a pent-up river.” Thus the army can be seen but not withstood, can be submitted but not be conquered. If the general lead the men in person, the soldiers will become the most valiant under Heaven.
Rewards And Punishment
The Military Pronouncements states: “The army employs rewards and punishment, these two are like inside and outside, they are two opposite sides and are inseparable.” When rewards and punishment are clear, then the general’s awesomeness is effected. When the proper officials are obtained, then the officers and amen are obedient. When those that are capable are entrusted with responsibility, enemy states will be fearful.
Treating Officers, Generals and Plans
The Military Pronouncement states:” Where the capable officials go, the state that they went to will have no enemies.” Thus capable officers can be deferred to but not be treated arrogantly. The generals can be pleased but not be doubted. Plans can be complexed but it must not be doubted. If officers are treated arrogantly, their subordinates will not be submissive. When the generals are doubted, there will be mistrust. If the plans are doubted and not acted upon, the enemy will take the opportunity to attack. If one is to proceed to mount an attack under such conditions, chaos will result. As such, the general holds the fate of the state. If he is able to lead the army and attain victory, the states will be secure.
Characteristics Of Good Generals
The Military Pronouncement states:”The general should be of high integrity; able to be calm when needed; able to be fair and strict; able to accept criticism; able to judge disputes; able to attract and employ capable men; able to select and accept advice; able to know the customs of states able to map mountains and rivers; able to discern defiles and obstacles; and able to handle military authority.” Thus it is said that the wisdom of the benevolent, plans of the Sage, words of the wood carriers, opinions of court officials and the affairs of ascension and decline – all these are what the general should seek out and hear about. If the general can ‘thirst’ for capables, then strategies can be executed. If the general refuse to ask and listen to advice, then those that are capable will leave. If he refuse to take into consideration any plans set out by strategists, the strategists will leave. If good and evil are treated alike, the meritorious will grow weary. If the general is stubborn, his subordinates will shirk all responsibility. If he brags, his assistant will not will not make any accomplishment. If he believes slander, he will lose the hearts of the people. If he is greedy, treachery will be unchecked. If he is licentious, his officers and men will follow suit. If the general has one of the fault mentioned before, the masses will not submit. If he has two of them, the army will lack discipline. If he has three of them, his subordinates will not fight. If he has four of them, the entire state is in danger.
How To Keep Plans Secret
The Military Pronouncement states:” The general’s plan must be kept secretive. The officers and masses must be kept united. Attacks on enemy must be swift.” When the general’s plans are kept secret, enemy spies would not be effective. If the officers and masses are united, then the hearts of
the army is unified. If the attack is swift, the enemy will not be prepared. When the army has these three, their plans will not be thwarted. If the general’s plan is leaked out, the army will not be able to effect their strategic disposition. If internal affairs are spied out, disasters, beyond control, will befall the army. If ill-gotten gains is brought into the camp, a myriad of evildoers will assemble. If the army is marked by these three, defeat is inevitable.
Character And Temperment Of Good Generals
If the general does not carefully contemplate his course of actions, his strategist will abandon him. If the general is not brave, his officers and men will be terrified. If the general moves the army recklessly, the army will not be imposing. If his anger implicates the innocent, the whole army will be in fear. As the Military Pronouncement states: “Contemplation and courage are valued values of the general; deployment and anger are tools to the general.” These four are the general’s precepts.
Motivating And Keeping Talent
The Military Pronouncements states:” If the army lacks material resources, the officers will not come. If the army does not have ample rewards, the officers will not go into war.” The MilitaryPronouncements states: “When there is bait, there will certainly be fish, when the rewards aregenerous, there will certainly be courageous officers.” Thus what would gain the loyalty of officers are forms of propriety. What would make the officers fight are the rewards. Treat them with forms of propriety they like, reward them with what they love, then those you seek will come. But if you treat them with what they like initially, but later regret doing so，then they will not remain with you. If you reward them and afterward regret it, then officers will not listen to your commands. If you tirelessly effect propriety and rewards, the officers will fight to lay down their life for the ruler.
Preparing For War
The Military Pronouncement states:” A state about to mobilize its army, concentrates first on making its beneficience ample. A state about to attack concentrates on nurturing his people.” Conquering many with few is a question of beneficience. Conquering the strong with weak is a question of people. Thus the good general, in nurturing his officers, treats them no differently than himself. Thus he is able to unite everyone and gain complete victory.
Knowing The Enemy
The Military Pronouncements states:” The key to using the army is to first know the enemy’s situation. Look into his granaries and armories, make an estimation of his food stocks, make a judgement call on his army’s strength, seek out his natural advantages. We do all these to seek out and attack his weaknesses.” Thus if the state does not have the hardship of war and yet is transporting grain, the state must be suffering from lack of food. If the people have a sickly look, the state is impoverished.
If they are transporting food from a thousand li, the people would have hungry look. If they are gathering wood and grass for food, the army does not have enough food to last one night. If someone transports provision a thousand li, he lacks one year of food; two thousand li, he lacks two years of food; three thousand li, he lacks three years of food. This is what is referred to as an ‘empty’ state. When the state is empty, the people are impoverished. When the people are impoverished, then the government and the population are estranged. While the enemy attaccks from outside, the people will plunder from within and the state will collapse inevitably.
If The Ruler Is A Tyrant
The Military Pronouncement states:” When a ruler acts like a tyrant, his subordinates will be hasty to implement harsh measures. Taxes are onerous and, fines and punishment are imposed at whim and fancy, while people will mutually injure and steal from each other. Such is called a ‘demised’ state.”
Thieving From The State
The Military Pronouncements states:” When the secretly greedy, displays an appearance of incorruptibility; prevarication to gain fame; steal from the state and distribute as his beneficience, cause confusion in the ranks; and people feign proper countenance to gain high posts. All these actions are the beginning of thievery.
Source Of Chaos
The Military Pronouncement states:” If the officials form cliques, each advancing the interest of those whom they are familiar with; the states attracts and appoints the evil and corrupt while suppressing the benevolent and capable; officials turn their backs on the state and establish their own individual interests; and men of equal rank slander each other. This is termed as ‘the source of chaos’.”
Chaos At The Roots
The Military Pronouncement states:” Clans come together to plan something evil; people without being confered a title acts in high prominence and there are none who are not awed by him. When these practices proliferate and intertwine, they create an image of virtue, established through beneficience, snatch the authority of the existing official. Then they abuse the populace and within the state, there are a lot of clamoring while the officials conceal the truth from the ruler. This is ‘causing chaos at the roots’.”
Treachery To The State
The Military Pronouncements states:” Generation after generation they act treacherously, enroaching and robbing district offices. All actions only seek their own convenience. They forge and distort documents, endangering the ruler. The are referred to as ’state’s treacherous ones’.”
Misfortune To The State
The Military Pronouncements states:” When officials are many and people are few, there is no distinction between the honored and lowly, the strong and the weak insult each other. If such action cannot be stopped, then their effects will affect the whole state, and the state will reap misfortune.”
Harming The State
The Military Pronouncements states:” When the ruler like the Good but do not advance them, while he hates the Evil but does not dismiss them, then those that are capable would go into seclusion, and those who are otherwise holds position. Such situation will bring harm to the state.”
Power And Royal Families
The Military Pronouncements states:” When the ruler’s relatives and the powerful families are strong and large, forming cliques and occupying positions of authority, abusing those that are of higher authority. And they are growing more powerful with the passing of time, while the ruler cannot bear to dismiss them, then the state will suffer defeat.”
When Deceitful Officials Hold Superior Positions
The Military Pronouncement states:” When deceitful ministers hold superior positions, the entire army will be clamoring and contentious. These ministers rely on their awesomeness to grant personal favors, and act in a manner that offends the masses. Advancement and dismissal lacks basis, the evil are not dismissed and men seek gain with any appearance possible. They monopolise appointments for themselves, and in advancements and dismissals boasts of their own merits. They slander and vilify those of great virtues and make false accusations against the meritorious. Whether good or evil, all are treated the same by them. They detain affairs of government so that commands and orders are not put into effect. They create a harsh government, changing the ways left from antiquity and altering what was common practice. When ruler employs such characters, he will certainly suffer disaster and calamity.”
Causes Of Harm To The Ruler
The Military Pronouncements states:” When evil men of courage praise each other, they cover the ruler’s eyes, obfuscate his wisdom. When both slander and praise arise together, they block the ruler’s ears, making unable to discern good and bad. When they praise and cover each other, the ruler will lose the loyal.”
How To Get Rid Of The Causes Of Harm
Accordingly, if the ruler investigates these slanders, he will discover the beginnings of chaos. If he engages the capable and virtuous, then evil men of courage will stay away. If the ruler appoints virtuous men of experience and age, myriad affairs will be well managed. If he respectfully invites the recluses to take positions, he will attract those that are really capable. If the plans can be bring to down to all levels, then victory can be predicted. If he does not lose the heart of the people, his virtues will flourish.
The Three August Ones never spoke, but the populace lives with high morality, thus there is no one to attribute this accomplishment to. The Five Emperors understands how the Heaven and Earth works, spoke and gave orders thus the world gained great peace. Officers do not yield credit to themselves, great peace prevail and the populace do not know how it came about. Therefore, in employing subordinates, they did not rely on forms of propriety or rewards. Such is an accomplishment without harm.
Kings governed men by the “acceptable” way, causing their hearts to be compliant and their wills submissive while also establishing restrictive measures and making preparations against decline. When the feudal lords gathered at the courts, the duty of kingship would not be neglected. Even though they made military preparations, they never suffer the misfortune of war. Ruler did not doubt their subordinates, while subordinates have faith in rulers. The state is settled, ruler secure, and officers can retire with accomplishment.
The hegemons governed their officers by virtue of authority, bonding with them through trust, motivating them with rewards. When that trust dclined, the officers grew distant, and when rewards are inadequate, they would not submit to orders.
Full Authority On The General
Army’s Strategic Power states:” When the army is mobilized and advances into the field, the soleauthority lies with the general. If the court interferes with advancing or withdrawing decision, the general will have difficulty attaining success.”
Using All Types Of Men
Army’s Strategic Power states:” Employ the wise, courageous, greedy and stupid. The wise takepleasure in establishing their accomplishment. THe courageous love to put their ambition into effect. The greedy fervently pursue gains. The stupid have little regard for death. Employ them through their unique character, such is the military’s subtle exercise of authority.”
Using The Expensive And Benevolent
Army’s Strategic Power states:” Do not allow officers who are expressive to discuss the enemy’sgood point, as that will delude the army. Do not allow the benevolent to control finances, for they will dispense too much to those of lower rank.”
Army’s Strategic Power states:” Prohibit mediums from divining about the army’s good or badfortune on behalf of the officers and men.”
Employing The Righteous And Wise
Army’s Strategic Power states:” One does not employ righteous officers using solely materialwealth. This is because the Righteous will not die for the malevolent; the Wise does not make plans for an obtuse ruler.”
Virtue And Awesomeness
The ruler cannot be without virtue, for if he lacks virtue his ministers will rebel. He cannot be without awesomeness, for if he lacks awesomeness, he will lose his authority. A minister cannot be without virtue, for if he lacks virtue, then he has nothing with which to serve his ruler. He cannot be without awesomeness, for if he lacks awesomeness, the state will decline. But if he is too awesome, then he himself will stumble.
How Ancient Order Was Established And Destroyed
The ancient Sages, in governing the world, observed flourishing and decline, consider and gauge gains and loss and created the forms of administration. Thus the feudal lords have two armies, the regional lords have three armies and the Emperor has six. When the world is in chaos, rebellions being started in most places. The Emperor lost its influence, then the feudal lords will form alliance or fight against each other.
Because the states are of similar power, neither states can overcome each other. Then there is a need to win the minds of valiant, sharing their likes and dislikes, and only after this, the stratagems should be used. Without stratagems, you have no means to resolve suspicion and settle doubts. Without being scheming and unorthodox, you have no means to destroy evildoers. Without plotting, there is no means to be successful.
The Three Strategies
The Sage can embody Heaven and model the laws of the Earth. The wise find their lessons in antiquity. Thus the Three Strategies has been written for period of decadence. The Upper Strategyestablishes the forms of propriety and rewards, discriminates between the evildoers and the valiant, and makes clear what is success and defeat. The Middle Strategy marks out the differences in virtue and behavior and manifest changes in the balance of power. The Lower Strategy arrays virtue and morals, looks into security and danger, and makes clear the calamity of harming the Capable.
Thus if the ruler thoroughly understands the Upper Strategy he will be able to employ the Capable and seize his enemies. If the ruler thorougly understands the Middle Strategy, he will be able to employ and control his generals, unite his people. If he thorouglyly understands theLower Strategy, he will be able to discern the sources fo flourish and decline and understand the regulations for governing a state. If his subordinates thoroughly understand the Middle Strategy, they will be able to achieve merit and preserve themselves.
When the soaring birds have all been slain, then good bows are stored away. When the enemy states are extinguished, ministers should be ‘lost’. ‘Lost’ does not mean killing them but to take away their awesomeness and remove their authority. Enfeoffs them in court, at the highest ranks of his subordinates, in order to manifest their merit. Presents them with excellent states in the central region in order to enrich their families and bestows beauties and valuable treasures to please them.
Now once the army have been brought together, they cannot be hastily separated. Once the military authority has been granted, it should not easily transfered. Returning forces from victory makes the ruler at a critical stage. He should weaken the commander through appointment to new position, take his military authority by granting him a state. Such is call the ‘hegemon’s strategy’ of managing generals. Thus the reason for actions of the hegemon is very complex. Preserving the structure of the state, gathering the valiant and courageous are what the Middle Strategy is. Such is what the ruler’s lessons.
The Lower Strategy
The Capable And The Sages
One who can save the populace from imperilment, is able to attain security and peace in populace. One who can remove distress from the populace, can enjoy the happiness in the populace. One who can rescue the populace from misfortune, will gain from the prosperity in the populace. Therefore, if the ruler’s beneficence extends to the people, the Capable will give their allegiance. If the ruler’s beneficience extends to every part of his kingdom, the Sages will ally with him. Where the Capable goes to, the state will be strong. Where the Sages go to, he is able to unite all. One seeks the Capable through virtue and the Sages through the ‘Way’. If the Capable depart from the state, it will become weak. If the Sages depart from the state, the state will grow depraved. Weakness is a step towards danger and depravity is a sign of doom.
Bringing Harmony To The Populace
The governance of the Capable causes men to submit by action. The governance of the Sages causes men to submit whole-heartedly. When men submit by action, the beginning can be planned and started. When men submit whole-heartedly, the end can be preserved. Physical submission (through action) can be attained through forms of propriety. Mental submission can be attained through ‘music’.
The ‘music’ mentioned here is not the sound of instruments but is the people taking pleasure in their families, clans, occupations, states, practising virtues and supports orders of the government. One who rules the people in this fashion creates music in order to bring balance to their activities, to ensure that they do not lose the basic harmony. Thus the virtuous ruler uses ‘music’ to give pleasure to his populace; debauched ruler use music to amuse himself. One who provides pleasure to others last and prospers; one who pleasures himself does not last but perish.
Internal Stability And External Expansion
One who does not ensure internal stability but focus instead on external expansion, will labor without success. One who focus on internal stability instead of external expansion, will labor with ease and attain lasting results. A government marked by ease has many loyal ministers. A government marked by labor has many resentful people. Thus it is said,”one who concentrates on expanding his territory, will impoverished his state; One who concentrates on spreading his virtue and beneficience will be strong.” One who is able to hold what he possess wil feel secure; one who is greedy for what others have will be asking for disaster. A government that is on the verge of being destroyed will implicate later generations. One who enacts policies beyond proper measure will, even though successful, inevitably be defeated.
One who indulge himself while instructing others is contrary to natural order. One who rectify himself and transforms others to accords is going the Way. Contrariness is summoning chaos, going the Way is the essence of order.
Way, Virtue, Benevolence, Righteousness, and Propriety
The Way, virtue, benevolence, righteousness and forms of propriety are one body. The Way are common priciples men follows. Virtue is what men understand and gains when they follow the Way. Benevolence is love and care among the humans. Righteousness is what people should do. Forms of propriety regulate the behavior of people. There cannot be lack of any one of them.
Thus everyday our actions should be regulated by forms of propriety. Punishing brigands and taking revenge are decisions of righteousness. The compassionate heart is an expression of benevolence. To right oneself and gain the respect of others is the path of virtue. Ensuring that all people are equal and do not lose what they have gained, this is the work of the Way.
Commands And Orders
What proceeds from the ruler and descends to the ministers is termed “commands”. What is recorded on bamboo strips and silk is termed “orders”. What is initiated and implemented is termed “governance”. Now when commands are not conveyed correctly, then orders are not carried out. Order not carried out, then governance cannot work. Governance cannot work, then the effect of governance cannot extend far and wide. If the effect of governance cannot be extended far and wide, then evil ministers will prevail. If evil ministers prevail, then the ruler’s majesty is damaged.
Benefits Of Getting The Capable
To gain Capables, the process is long. To gain the Incapable , the process is short. Thus the wise ruler would rather take the long process than the short process, so that he is able to complete his achievements, respect the Capable and have his subordinates give their best for him.
Treating Good And Evil
If you dismiss one good man, then all good people will lose heart. Reward an evil person and all evil person will be drawn to you. When the good are rewarded and the evil suffer punishment, the state will then be secure and all multitudes of good people will come.
Deluding And Creating Doubts In The Populace
When the masses are doubtful of those above, the state is unstable. When the masses are deluded, the people cannot be governed. When doubts are cleared and delusions are removed, then the state can be secured.
When one order goes against the will of the people, then other orders will be disobeyed. When one evil act is committed, then other evil acts will follow. Thus if you put good into effect amidst compliant people and impose
harsh measures on wicked people, orders can be executed without discontent.
Using laws that incur the wrath of discontented people is termed as “contrary to Heaven”. Using measures that incur the wrath of vengeful, to suppress the vengeful will cause an irreversible disaster. Govern the people by making them peaceful. To make them peaceful, governance must be transparent and government is of high integrity. People gain what they want and the world will be tranquil.
If those that oppose the ruler are honored, while the greedy and uncivilized are enriched, then even if there is a Sage ruler, he cannot realize a well-ordered government. If those that oppose the ruler are punished while the greedy and uncivilized are arrested, then good moral conduct will prevail in the society and myriad of evil will be eliminated.
Pure, incorruptible officers cannot be enticed with rank and salary. Self-constrained, righteous officers cannot coerced with threats. Thus the wise ruler when employing Capable, he must observe what will attract them. To attract the pure and incorruptible, one must observe strictly the forms of propriety. To attract the self-constrained and righteous, one have to practice self-constrained and righteousness. Only then can the Capable be attracted and the ruler’s reputation preserved.
The Sage perceive the sources of flourishing and decline, understand what causes success and defeat, have attained the crux of governing chaos and know the measure of going and and coming. Though in poverty, they would not hold a position in a doomed state. Though lowly, they will not be receive salary from turbulent state. They will go into reclusion, with ideas on good governance, and take official positions when the time comes. When they met rulers that have the same ambition and goals, they can establish extraordinary achievements. Since their achievements is lofty, their names will be praised in later generations.
When To Use The Army
The Sage King does not take pleasure in using the army. He mobilizes it to execute the violently perverse and punish the rebellious. Using righteousness to execute unrighteous is like releasing the pent-up river to douse a torch, or pushing a person teetering at the edge of a cliff. Success if inevitable. The Sage King does not send troops hastily because war can seriously injure and damage many things. War is not a good thing and it is something the Heaven cannot accomodate. War should only be a last resort, and only then it accords with the Heaven. When king is in accord with Heaven, he is like fish in water. Otherwise he would be dead. Thus the king should constantly remember to be in accord with Heaven.
When prominent, powerful families gain control of governance, the ruler’s awesomeness is weakened. When the power to decide life and death lies in the hands of the powerful families, the state is near its demise. If the powerful families submits to the ruler then the state can last long. If the power to decide life and death lies in the hand of ruler, the the state is secured. When people of all levels are poor, the state is impoverished. When people of all levels feels abundant, then the state will be propserous and happy.
Rulers And Officers
When the major ministers doubt the ruler, evil will accumulate and gather. If minister usurp the respect that should be due to the ruler, then there will be confusion in ranks. When the ruler occupies the position of of a minister, the ranks has losts its order.
Treating The Capable
If one is to hurt the Capables, such actions can hurt the three generations. If someone does not use the Capables, he himself will suffer. If he is jealous of the Capables, his reputation can be tarnished. If someone promote or recommend the Capables, blessings will flow to his future generations. Thus the wise would seek out and advance the Capables and thereby making his name illustrious.
Treating The Populace
Profiting one person at the expenses of a hundred, the people will leave the city. Profiting one person at the expenses of ten thousands, the whole populace is thinking of leaving. Getting rid of one and profit a hundred, people will remember your munificience. Getting rid of one and profiting then thousand, the government will not be in chaos.