When voters in English-speaking countries choose their leaders, do they make the same demands laid down by Confucius in the sixth century BC for everyone ``called to the government of nations and empires''? According to his philosophy, elections were not needed, with leaders reflecting the general moral order. Here is his list of values, as quoted in ``The Golden Mean of Tsesze,'' which was once required reading in all of China's elementary schools. This translation is by Ku Hungming in ``The Wi sdom of China and India,'' edited by Lin Yutang. Love of knowledge is akin to wisdom. Strenuous attention to conduct is akin to compassion. Sensitiveness to shame is akin to courage.
When a man understands the nature and use of these three moral qualities, he will then understand how to put in order his personal conduct and character, he will understand how to govern men. When a man understands how to govern men, he will then understand how to govern nations and empires.
For every one called to the government of nations and empires there are nine cardinal directions to be attended to:
1. Cultivating his personal conduct.
2. Honoring worthy men.
3. Cherishing affection for, and doing his duty toward, his kindred.
4. Showing respect to the high ministers of state.
5. Identifying himself with the interests and welfare of the whole body of public officers.
6. Showing himself as a father to the common people.
7. Encouraging the introduction of all useful arts.
8. Showing tenderness to strangers from far countries.
9. Taking interest in the welfare of the princes of the Empire.
When the ruler pays attention to the cultivation of his personal conduct, there will be respect for the moral law. When the ruler honors worthy men, he will not be deceived (by the crafty officials). When the ruler cherishes affection for his kindred, there will be no disaffection among the members of his family. When the ruler shows respect to the high ministers of state, he will not make mistakes. When the ruler identifies himself with the interests and welfare of the body of public officers, there wi ll be a strong spirit of loyalty among the gentlemen of the country. When the ruler becomes a father to the common people, the mass of the people will exert themselves for the good of the state. When the ruler encourages the introduction of all useful arts, there will be sufficiency of wealth and revenue in the country. When the ruler shows kindness to the strangers from far countries, people from all quarters of the world will flock to the country. When the ruler takes interest in the condition and welfare
of the princes of the Empire, he will inspire awe and respect for his authority throughout the whole world.
Copyright 1942 and renewed 1970 by Random House, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Random House, Inc.