修德振兵 – Chinese philosophy and culture

xiū dé zhèn bīng 修德振兵

Cultivate Virtue and Strengthen the Army

修养德行而整顿军队。“修德”指执政者修养自身的德行,并按照道德的原则施行政事,安顿百姓。“振兵”即整顿军队、提升军力。但“振兵”的目的不在于以强大的武力威胁他人、谋取利益,而是要在道德的规范下,保持足够的武力以维护社会的秩序与百姓的利益,在“修德”的基础上,合理运用武力。

Those in power should cultivate their own virtue, thus improving their moral character, conduct government affairs according to moral principles, and arrange for the people to live in peace. Strengthening the army means enhancing military might through training and discipline. However, the aim is not to threaten others with overwhelming might to obtain advantages but to maintain sufficient strength under moral standards to safeguard social stability and the interests of the people, using armed strength in a reasonable way on the basis of “cultivating virtue.”

引例 Citation:

◎轩辕乃修德振兵,治五气,艺五种,抚万民,度四方。(《史记·五帝本纪》)

(轩辕黄帝修养德行、整顿军队,研究五行之气的变化,种植五谷,安抚百姓,丈量四方土地而加以规划。)

The Yellow Emperor cultivated virtue and strengthened the army; he studied the changes of the five elements (metal, wood, water, fire, and earth), grew the five kinds of grain, reassured the people, surveyed the land and planned its use. (Records of the Historian)

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