仁政 – Chinese philosophy and culture

rénzhèng 仁政

Benevolent Governance

基于仁爱之心的为政方式。“仁政”一说是由孟子(前372?—前289)提出的。孟子认为,每个人天生都具有仁爱之心。但仁爱之心需要不断扩充,才能成就现实的仁德。执政者应该不断扩充自己的仁爱之心,并以此心照顾治下的百姓,为百姓提供生活所需的物质条件以及良好的社会秩序。基于这种仁爱之心的政治治理即是“仁政”。为政者如果能够推行“仁政”,则可以实现民心的归附与国家的强盛。

This refers to governance of a state based on benevolence, proposed first by Mencius (372?-289 BC). He held that everybody was born with a heart of benevolence, but this needed to be nourished constantly to attain the virtue of benevolence in reality. The ruler should constantly have his heart of benevolence nourished, taking care of his subjects, providing them with necessary living materials, and keeping good social order. Governance based on this kind of benevolence is called benevolent governance. If the ruler implements such governance, he will be able to unite the whole people and have a strong country.

引例 Citations:

◎孟子曰:“人皆有不忍人之心。先王有不忍人之心,斯有不忍人之政矣。以不忍人之心,行不忍人之政,治天下可运之掌上。”(《孟子·公孙丑上》)(孟子说:“人都有恻隐之心。以前的君王有恻隐之心,就有了基于恻隐之心的政治。以恻隐之心,实施恻隐他人的政治,治理天下可以像在掌上运转小物件一样。”)

Mencius said, “Everyone has a compassionate heart. Kings in the past had such hearts, thence came the governance of benevolence. With benevolence, governing the state is as easy as playing with a small toy in the hand.” (Mencius)

◎孟子对曰:“地方百里而可以王。王如施仁政于民,省刑罚,薄税敛,深耕易耨,壮者以暇日修其孝悌忠信,入以事其父兄,出以事其长上,可使制梃以挞秦、楚之坚甲利兵矣。”(《孟子·梁惠王上》)

(孟子回答说:“有方圆百里的土地就可以使天下归顺。大王如果对老百姓施行仁政,慎用刑罚,减少赋税,深耕细作,及时除草;使年壮男子能有空余时间修养自己孝顺父母、敬爱兄长、为人尽心、待人诚信的品德,在家能侍奉父母兄长,出门能侍奉尊长上级,这样即使他们拿着加工的木棒也能抗击装备精良的秦、楚军队了。”)

Mencius replied, “With a territory of a hundred square li, it is possible for one to rule as a true king. If Your Majesty govern with benevolence, refrain from imposing harsh punishment, and lighten taxes and imposts on the people, they will plow deeply and weed thoroughly. The able-bodied will, on their days off, care for their parents, and they will show fraternal love, loyalty and good faith. At home, they will serve their fathers and brothers, and away from home, their elders and superiors. So they are able to defeat the Qin and Chu troops even with wooden sticks.” (Mencius)

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