Han Feizi drew on this aspect of Xunzi`s work, as well as earlier writings from the Warring States period in China (c. 481 – 221 BC) by a Qin statesman named Shang Yang (died 338 BC) to develop his philosophy that, since humans are evil by nature, laws of control and punishment are a necessity for social order. Although legalism led to great loss of life and culture during the Qin Dynasty, it is worth remembering that the philosophy that developed in a period of constant war in China, when each state was fighting for control against all the others, and the enforcement of order in this chaos was obviously considered extremely important. Domestic realpolitik would eventually devour the philosophers themselves. Shang Yang believed that neither the powerful nor the weak could escape the consequences if the punishments were severe and the law was applied equally, and advocated the right of the state to punish even the guardian of the ruler and came into conflict with the future Huiwen king of Qin (c. 338-311 BC). While Shang Yang once had the power to banish his opponents to the state`s border regions (and thus eviscerate individual criticism), he was captured by a law he introduced and died when torn to pieces by tanks. Similarly, Han Fei is said to be poisoned by his envious former classmate Li Si, who in turn was killed (according to the law he had introduced) by the aggressive and violent second Qin Emperor, whom he had helped ascend the throne. Shang Yang (390-338 BC) He was one of the leading reformers of his time. [35] [13]: 83 His many reforms transformed the peripheral state of Qin into a militarily powerful and highly centralized kingdom.

Much of “legalism” was “the development of certain ideas” behind his reforms, which would help Qin eventually conquer the other states of China in 221 BC. A.D. [36] [37] [38] Han Fei`s theory is more concerned with self-preservation than with formulating a general theory of the state. [237] Sinologist Daniel Bell sees Han Fei`s work as a “political grab for power-hungry leaders.” (arguing that) political leaders should act like rational sociopaths” with “total state control” reinforced by rewards and punishments. [238] [239] Han Fei`s rare attraction (among legalists) to the use of scholars (legal and methodological specialists) makes him comparable to the Confucians in this sense. The leader cannot inspect all civil servants himself and must rely on decentralized (but faithful) application of laws and methods (fa). Unlike Shen Buhai and his own rhetoric, Han Fei insists that loyal ministers (such as Guan Zhong, Shang Yang and Wu Qi) exist and should be elevated with maximum authority. Although Fajia sought to strengthen the power of the ruler, this plan effectively neutralizes him and reduces his role to maintaining the system of reward and punishment determined by impartial methods and issued by specialists who are supposed to protect him by their application.

[257] [258] By combining Shen Buhai`s methods with Shang Yang`s insurance mechanisms, Han Fei`s leader simply employs anyone offering his services. [106] This proposal amounts to a “nationalization” of intellectual activities. Han Fei does not fundamentally deny that some of the rival doctrines could benefit the state; It only denies its defenders the right to develop and elaborate their views independently of the state. Han Fei has no illusions about his rivals: intellectuals can only pursue their ideas to the extent that they are part of the state-imposed system of power, otherwise their ideas will be “cut off”. Elsewhere, he concludes: Shen Dao also advocated impersonal administration along the same lines as Shen Buhai and, unlike Shang Yang, emphasized the use of talent[212] and the promotion of ministers, asserting that order and chaos are “not the product of the efforts of one man.” In this sense, however, he questions the Confucian and Mohist appreciation and the appointment of worthy as the basis of the order, pointing out that talented ministers existed in all ages. This passage explains the general principles of Shen Buhai`s “techniques” but does not describe how they worked. “Techniques” and “rules” are described in legalistic texts as the best way to maintain control of the ruler: the enlightened ruler relies on them, while the reckless ruler throws them away and is then misled by the misleading words of his ministers and the inducements of persuaders (shui 說). But amid the emphasis on the power of techniques, rules, laws and regulations, we can discover the sober realization that even these are not always enough and that a perfect administrative system simply cannot emerge. As one of Lord Shang`s final chapters puts it: It was not until the turn of the century that legalism was rediscovered and partially rehabilitated by new generations of intellectuals.

Frustrated by China`s inability to reconstitute itself in a modern world as a “powerful state with a powerful military,” young intellectuals began to seek a variety of non-traditional answers to domestic and foreign policy challenges; Among these, some have turned to legalism. It was deemed relevant not only because it had proven itself in the past, but also because of its innovative strength, its willingness to deviate from the models of the past, and even its quasi-scientific perspective. For example, the first great proclaimer interested in Shang Yang`s thought, Mai Menghua 麥夢華 (1874-1915), was positively attracted by the surprising similarity between Shang Yang`s views on history and the evolutionary ideas of Western social theorists; and he identified parallels in Lord Shang`s book with Western ideas of imperialism, nationalism, statism (guojiazhuyi國家主義) and even the rule of law (Li Yu-ning 1977: lviii-lix). Even such a prominent liberal thinker as Hu Shi 胡適 (1891-1962) was willing to forgive the legalists for their notorious harshness and oppression, praising Han Fei and Li Si for their “courageous spirit of resistance to those who `do not make the present their master, but learn from the past`” (Hu Shi 1930: 6,480-81). A little later, it was none other than Hu Hanmin 胡漢民 (1879-1936), one of the most important leaders of the Kuomintang 國民黨 (Kuomintang, KMT, “Nation Party”), who wrote a preface to a new edition of Lord Shang`s book (Hu Hanmin 1933). Sinologist Herrlee G. Creel believed that the term originally had the meaning of numbers, with implicit roots in statistical or categorization methods, with recording used in financial management as a numerical measure of performance. [96] [181] He notes that since the beginning of the Zhou dynasty, financial command has generally been held by the head of government; An example of an audit dates back to 800 BC. A.D., and the practice of annual accounting was consolidated by the Warring States period and budgeting in the first century BC.

AD [31]: 51 In guanzi, the shu of the craftsman is explicitly compared to that of the good leader. [182] The History of the Han (Han Shu) lists the texts for Shu devoted to “computational techniques” and “techniques of the mind” and describes the Warring States period as a period when Shu appeared because the complete Tao had disappeared. [183] Hsu Kai (920-974 AD) calls Shu a branch or components of the great Tao and compares it to the spokes of a wheel.