Confucianism As Compared To Militarism, Daoism And Legalism

1962 words - 8 pages

The fist emperor of the Qin Dynasty did an excellent job of creating a united empire. Prior to the Qin Dynasty, the people were not united into on large state, and there were usually much opposition to the emperor, as well as conflicts about who was actually in charge. The first Qin Emperor had all of this under control, through Legalism he took over most Chinese states, and united them under one centralized state. This time there was no conflict about who was in charge. The place where he went wrong was his continuous use of Legalism throughout his reign. The most efficient way to keep his power would have been to realize that the people of his state did not need to be controlled through Legalism. The people of China needed to be respected as people, and not just as a tool of the state and of the military. He should have transgressed from Legalism alone to a mixture of Confucianism, Daoism, Militarism as well as some of the Legalist points of view.The best way to understand why a mixture of these four schools would have been the best way to run the empire is to know three main points about each, and what aspects could have been best for the country as a whole. So, the first thing to know about Legalism is that the states interests are put ahead of all human and moral concerns."The six parasites are: rites and music, odes and history, cultivation and goodness, filial devotion and brotherly love, sincerity and trustworthiness, uprightness and integrity, humanness and rightness, criticism of the army and being ashamed of fighting..."One way in which the Emperor actually accomplished this was to actually burn all of the books supporting Confucianism and Daoism. After the books were burnt he killed a large number of the scholars of those teachings. Through the complete denial of choice and education, the state tries to keep the people weak in order to rule them without conflict."A weak people means a strong state and a strong state means a weak people. Therefore, a state that has the right way is concerned with weakening the people. If they are simple they become strong, and if they are licentious they become weak. Being weak, they are law-abiding; being licentious, they let their ambition go too far; being weak, they are serviceable, but if they let their ambition go too far, they will become strong."The third point about Legalism actually branches out, the main point being that everyone is equal before the law, this includes part of the royal family down to the common people. This branches due to the fact that this meant that hereditary titles meant little now, so they were dropped completely for a new ranking system based strictly on military performance. This meant that the more important you were in the military the more land you got to harvest, because all farmers also served as soldiers, the agriculture sector provided the lifeblood of the state.The applications of Legalism that did work for him, though, were collective responsibility and his...

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