制国有常,利民为本 – Chinese philosophy and culture

zhì guó yǒu cháng, lì mín wéi běn 制国有常,利民为本

Governance Should Deliver Benefits to the People.

治理国家有不变的原则,就是将有利于百姓作为一切制度和政令的根本。“制国”即“治国”,确立国家的制度、政策,发布政令,处理国家事务;“常”即恒常不变的原则;“利民”同“惠民”,保障百姓利益,使百姓得到好处;“本”即根本。以惠及百姓为国家制度、政令的根本出发点和归宿,这是中华传统“民本”“惠民”思想的又一种表达式。如今,坚持人民主体地位,顺应人民群众对美好生活的向往的思想,亦渊源于此。

An unchanging principle underpinning the governance of a country is that it should deliver benefits to the people. Here, “the governance of a country” refers to establishing systems of governance and policies, and issuing decrees; “delivering benefits to the people” means safeguarding the interests of the people and doing what is best for them. This is another expression of the traditional Chinese notion of “putting the people first.” Today, it is behind the thinking of putting the people above everything else and satisfying their desire for a better life.

引例 Citation:

◎夫制国有常,而利民为本;从政有经,而令行为上。(《战国策·赵策二》)

(治理国家有不变的原则,就是将有利于百姓作为一切制度和政令的根本;处理政事有恒定的法则,就是使政令顺利实施作为第一要务。)

An unchanging principle of state governance is ensuring that all systems and government decrees should aim to deliver benefits to the people. The first rule of administration is ensuring that decrees are successfully implemented. (Strategies of the Warring States)

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