抱法处势 – Chinese philosophy and culture

bào fǎ chǔ shì 抱法处势

Upholding Law by Means of Power

坚守法度,凭借权势。“抱法处势”是韩非子(前280?—前233)提出的一种法治观念。“法”是所有民众都必须共同遵守的法令,规范着人们的行为与是非善恶的判定。“势”是指统治者占有的地位和掌握的权力。“抱法处势”即要求统治者凭借自己占有和掌握的“势”,以赏罚的手段确保法令的执行,从而维护统一的社会秩序与价值。

This expression means to uphold the law by means of power. This is a way of governance advocated by Hanfeizi (280?-233 BC). Law is what all people have to abide by, regulating people’s conduct as well as the judgment of right or wrong, good or evil. “Power” refers to the position and strength of the ruler. “Upholding law by means of power” requires the ruler to use his power to ensure that the law is enforced through reward and punishment so as to maintain social order and social values.

引例 Citation:

◎中者,上不及尧、舜而下亦不为桀、纣,抱法处势则治,背法去势则乱。(《韩非子·难势》)

(普通的统治者,上不能企及于尧、舜,下也不至于成为桀、纣,坚守法度、凭借权势则能实现政治安定,背离法度、放弃权势则会导致政治混乱。)

An ordinary ruler, not as good as Yao or Shun, yet not descending to the ways of Jie or Zhou, upholds the law by means of power to realize social stability. If he turns his back on the law and abnegates his power, society will fall into disorder. (Hanfeizi)

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