Follow us on Facebook to receive important updates - thanks for your support! Follow us on Twitter to receive important updates - thanks for your support! Follow us on sina.com's microblogging site to receive important updates - thanks for your support! Follow us on Douban to receive important updates - thanks for your support!
Chinese Text Project
Show translation:[None] [English]

《畫策 - Policies》

English translation: J. J. L. Duyvendak [?] Library Resources
1 畫策:
昔者昊英之世,以伐木殺獸,人民少而木獸多。黃帝之世,不麛不卵,官無供備之民,死不得用槨。事不同,皆王者,時異也。神農之世,男耕而食,婦織而衣,刑政不用而治,甲兵不起而王。神農既沒,以強勝弱,以眾暴寡。故黃帝作為君臣上下之義,父子兄弟之禮,夫婦妃匹之合;內行刀鋸,外用甲兵,故時變也。由此觀之,神農非高於黃帝也,然其名尊者,以適於時也。故以戰去戰,雖戰可也;以殺去殺,雖殺可也;以刑去刑,雖重刑可也。
Policies:
Of old, in the times of the Great and Illustrious Ruler, people found their livelihood by cutting trees and slaying animals; the population was sparse, and trees and animals numerous. In the times of Huang-di, neither young animals nor eggs were taken; the officials had no provisions, and when the people died, they were not allowed to use outer coffins. These measures were not the same, but that they both attained supremacy was due to the fact that the times in which they lived were different. In the times of Shen-nong, men ploughed to obtain food, and women wove to obtain clothing. Without the application of punishments or governmental measures, order prevailed; without the raising of mailed soldiers, he reigned supreme. After Shen-nong had died, the weak were conquered by force and the few oppressed by the many. Therefore Huang-di created the ideas of prince and minister, of superior and inferior, the rites between father and son, between elder and younger brothers, the union between husband and wife, and between consort and mate. At home, he applied sword and saw, and abroad he used mailed soldiers; this was because the times had changed. Looking at it from this point of view, Shen-nong is not higher than Huang-di, but the reason that his name was honoured was because he suited his time. Therefore, if by war one wishes to abolish war, even war is permissible; if by killing one wants to abolish killing, even killing is permissible; if by punishments one wishes to abolish punishments, even heavy punishments are permissible.

2 畫策:
昔之能制天下者,必先制其民者也;能勝強敵者,必先勝其民者也。故勝民之本在制民,若冶於金,陶於土也。本不堅,則民如飛鳥走獸,其孰能制之?民本,法也。故善治者,塞民以法,而名地作矣。名尊地廣以至於王者,何故?戰勝者也。名卑地削以至於亡者,何故?戰罷者也。不勝而王,不敗而亡者,自古及今,未嘗有也。民勇者,戰勝;民不勇者,戰敗。能壹民於戰者,民勇;不能壹民於戰者,民不勇。聖王見王之致於兵也,故舉國而責之於兵。入其國,觀其治,民用者強。奚以知民之見用者也?民之見戰也,如餓狼之見肉,則民用矣。凡戰者,民之所惡也;能使民樂戰者,王。疆國之民,父遺其子,兄遺其弟,妻遺其夫,皆曰:「不得,無返。」又曰:「失法離令,若死我死,鄉治之。」行間無所逃,遷徙無所入。行間之治,連以五,辨之以章,束之以令,拙無所處,罷無所生。是以三軍之眾,從令如流,死而不旋踵。
Policies:
Of old, the one who could regulate the empire was he, who regarded as his first task the regulating of his own people; the one who could conquer a strong enemy was he, who regarded as his first task the conquering of his own people. For the way in which the conquering of the people is based upon the regulating of the people is like the effect of smelting in regard to metal or the work of the potter in regard to clay; if the basis is not solid, then people are like flying birds or like animals. Who can regulate these? The basis of the people is the law. Therefore, a good ruler obstructed the people by means of the law, and so his reputation and his territory flourished. What is the cause of one's reputation becoming respected and one's territory wide, so that one attains sovereignty? (It is because one conquers in war.) What is the cause of one's reputation becoming debased and one's territory diminished, so that one comes to ruin? It is because one is worn out by war. From antiquity to the present time, it has never happened that one attained supremacy without conquest, or that one came to ruin without defeat. If the people are brave, one conquers in war, but if they are not brave, one is defeated in war. If one can unify the people for war, they are brave, but if one cannot unify the people for war, they are not brave. A sage-king obtains the kingship through the efforts of his soldiers. Therefore, he rouses the country and charges it with the obligation of military service. If one enters a state and sees its administration, it is strong if its people are of use. How does one know that the people are of use? If they, on perceiving war, behave like hungry wolves on seeing meat, then they are of use. Generally, war is a thing that people hate; he who succeeds in making people delight in war, attains supremacy. With the people of a strong state, the father, in making a parting bequest to his son, the elder brother to his younger brother, the wife to her husband, all say: 'Do not return unless you win.' And further they say: 'If you incur death by failing in obedience to the law or by transgressing orders, we too shall die.' If in the villages they are governed in an orderly manner, then deserters from the ranks will have no resort and stragglers will have nowhere to go. By the order in the ranks they should be organized into bands of five; they should be distinguished by badges and controlled by mandates, so that there would be no place for bungling and no danger that exhaustion would arise. Thus the multitudes of the three armies obeyed the mandates like running water, and in danger of death they did not turn on their heels.

3 畫策:
國之亂也,非其法亂也,非法不用也。國皆有法,而無使法必行之法。國皆有禁姦邪刑盜賊之法,而無使姦邪盜賊必得之法。為姦邪盜賊者,死刑,而姦邪盜賊不止者,不必得也。必得,而尚有姦邪盜賊者,刑輕也。刑輕者,不得誅也。必得者,刑者眾也。故善治者,刑不善,而不賞善,故不刑而民善。不刑而民善,刑重也。刑重者,民不敢犯,故無刑也。而民莫敢為非,是一國皆善也。故不賞善,而民善。賞善之不可也,猶賞不盜。故善治者,使跖可信,而況伯夷乎?不能治者,使伯夷可疑,而況跖乎?勢不能為姦,雖跖可信也;勢得為姦,雖伯夷可疑也。
Policies:
If a state is in disorder, it is not because the law is disorderly, but because its law is not applied. All states have laws, but there are no laws that guarantee that the laws are practised. All states have laws that prohibit crime and wickedness, and that punish thieves and robbers, but there are no laws that guarantee that criminals and wicked people, thieves and robbers, are caught. If those who commit crimes and wickedness, theft and robbery, are punished with death, and if, in spite of this, crime and wickedness, theft and robbery do not cease, then it is because they are not always caught. If they are always caught, and if, in spite of this, there still remain criminals, wicked people, thieves and robbers, then it is because punishments are too light. If punishments are light, one cannot exterminate them; but if they are always caught, then those who are punished will be numerous. Therefore, a good ruler punishes the bad people, but does not reward the virtuous ones, so, without being punished, the people will be virtuous, and the reason of this is that punishments are heavy. When punishments are heavy, people dare not transgress, and therefore there will be no punishments; because none of the people will dare to do wrong, everyone in the whole country will be virtuous, so that without rewarding the virtuous, the people will be virtuous. That the rewarding of the virtuous is not permissible is because it is like giving rewards for not stealing. Therefore, a good ruler succeeds in making a man like Zhi trustworthy; how much more, then, a man like Bo Yi; An incapable ruler makes a man like Bo Yi mistrustful, how much more a man like Zhi! If conditions are such that one cannot commit crimes, then even a man like Zhi will be trustworthy; but if conditions are such that it is possible to commit crimes, then even a man like Bo Yi will be mistrustful.

4 畫策:
國或重治,或重亂。明主在上,所舉必賢,則法可在賢;法可在賢,則法在下,不肖不敢為非,是謂重治。不明主在上,所舉必不肖;國無明法,不肖者敢為非,是謂重亂。兵或重強,或重弱。民固欲戰,又不得不戰,是謂重強。民固不欲戰,又得無戰,是謂重弱。
Policies:
A state either encourages orderly government, or it encourages disorder. If an intelligent ruler is on top, then those whom he appoints will be men of talent, and thus the law will be adhered to by the people of talent. If the law is adhered to by people of talent, then there will be law amongst those below, and the worthless will not dare to commit crimes. This is what I call "encouraging orderly government". But if an unintelligent ruler is on top, then those whom he appoints will certainly be worthless men, so that there will be no clear law in the state and worthless people will dare to commit crimes. This is what I call "encouraging disorder". An army either encourages strength or it encourages weakness. If the people desire naturally to fight and are not left without fighting, it is called "encouraging strength", but if the people naturally do not desire to fight and are left without fighting, it is called "encouraging weakness".

5 畫策:
明主不濫富貴其臣。所謂富者,非粟米珠玉也;所謂貴者,非爵位官職也,廢法作私爵祿之富貴。凡人主德行非出人也,知非出人也,勇力非過人也。然民雖有聖知弗敢我謀,勇力弗敢我殺;雖眾不敢勝其主;雖民至億萬之數,縣重賞而民不敢爭,行罰而民不敢怨者,法也。國亂者,民多私義;兵弱者,民多私勇,則削。國之所以取爵祿者多塗,亡國。人之欲賤爵輕祿,不作而食,不戰而榮,無爵而尊,無祿而富,無官而長,此之謂姦民。
Policies:
An intelligent ruler does not enrich and honour his ministers in an arbitrary manner. What I mean by riches are not grain, rice, pearls or jade, and what I mean by honour are not rank, position, office or appointments; but I mean the riches and honour of rank and emoluments acquired by actions contrary to the law and which are prompted by selfish interest. Generally a ruler of men does not, in virtuous conduct, exceed other men, nor does he do so in knowledge, nor does he surpass others in courage or strength, yet the people, though they may have sages and wise men, they dare not plot against him; though they may have courage, dare not kill him; though they are numerous, they dare not over-rule their lord; though the people may reach a number of many tens of thousands, if heavy rewards are set before them, they dare not contest for them; if penalties are applied, they dare not resent them. The reason is that there is law. If a state is in disorder, it is because the people often have private opinions of what is their duty; if an army is weak, it is because people often have private shows of bravery, and as a result there will be dismemberment. If the roads to the acquirement of titles and emoluments are many, ruin will ensue. In a country, where the desire is to cheapen rank and to make light of emoluments, officials draw their salaries without activity, men have fame, without acquiring it in war, people have respect, without having the rank that entitles them to it, are rich without having emoluments, and are leaders without having office; such are said to be a wicked people.

6 畫策:
所謂治主無忠臣,慈父無孝子。欲無善言,皆以法相司也,命相正也,不能獨為非,而莫與人為非。所謂富者,入多而出寡。衣食有制,飲食有節,則出寡矣。女事盡於內,男事盡於外,則入多矣。所謂明者,無所不見,則群臣不敢為姦,百姓不敢為非。是以人主處匡床之上,聽絲竹之聲,而天下治。所謂明者,使眾不得不為。所謂強者,天下勝;天下勝,是故合力。是以勇強不敢為暴,聖知不敢為軸。而慮周兼天下之眾,莫敢不為其所好,而避其所惡。所謂強者,使勇力不得不為己用。其志足,天下益之;不足,天下說之。恃天下者,天下去之;自恃者,得天下。得天下者,先自得者也;能勝強敵者,先自勝者也。
Policies:
He who is called a virtuous ruler has no loyal ministers, and a compassionate father has no filial sons. If it is desired to do away with clever talkers, then all should control one another by means of the law, and should correct one another by means of mandates. Being unable to do wrong alone, one will not do wrong in the company of others. What is called wealth is to have receipts large and expenditure small. When there is moderation in dress and frugality in food and drink, then expenditure is small. When women within and men outside fulfil their duties completely, then receipts are large. What is called intelligence is for nothing to escape the sight, so that the multitude of officials dare not commit crimes, nor the people dare to do wrong. Thus the ruler of men will repose on a rest-couch and listen to the sound of stringed and bamboo instruments, and yet the empire will enjoy order. In other words, what is called intelligence is to cause the masses to have no possibility of not working. What is called strength is to conquer the empire; by conquering the empire, all the forces are united, and as a result the brave and strong will not dare to commit any violence, nor will sages and wise men dare to deceive or to be employed on empty grounds. When the multitudes of the empire are united, none will dare not to do what he (the ruler) likes, but all will avoid what he dislikes. In other words, what is called strength is to cause all bravery and force to have no possibility of being used except for the prince's own advantage. If the prince's will is effective, the empire will benefit by it; if it is ineffective, the empire will blame him. Whoever relies on the empire is rejected by the empire; whoever relies on himself, gains the empire. The one who gains the empire is he, who regards it as his first duty to gain himself; the one who succeeds in conquering a strong enemy is he, who regards it as his first duty to conquer himself.

7 畫策:
聖人知必然之理,必為之時勢;故為必治之政,戰必勇之民,行必聽之令。是以兵出而無敵,令行而天下服從。黃鵠之飛,一舉千里,有必飛之備也。麒麟騄駬,日行千里,有必走之勢也。虎豹熊羆,鷙而無敵,有必勝之理也。聖人見本然之政,知必然之理,故其制民也,如以高下制水,如以燥溼制火。故曰:仁者能仁於人,而不能使人仁;義者能愛於人,而不能使人愛。是以知仁義之不足以治天下也。聖人有必信之性,又有使天下不得不信之法。所謂義者,為人臣忠,為人子孝,少長有禮,男女有別;非其義也,餓不苟食,死不苟生。此乃有法之常也。聖王者,不貴義而貴法;法必明,令必行,則已矣。
Policies:
A sage knows the right principles which must be followed, and the right time and circumstances for action. Therefore the rule, which he exercises, always leads to order, the people, whom he employs in war, are always brave, and the commands, which he issues, are always obeyed. In consequence, when his army marches out, it has no equal, and when his commands are issued, the whole empire submits. A yellow crane flies a thousand li at one stretch, because it is supplied with those qualities which make it fit for flying. The Qi-lin and the Lu-er cover a thousand li a day, because they are supplied with the power needed for running. Tigers, leopards, bears and yellow bears are unmatched in fierce fighting, because they have the nature fitted for conquest. A sage views the fundamental elements of government, and knows the principle which must be followed; therefore, his way of directing the people is like directing water from a high to a low place, or like directing fire towards dry things and away from wet ones. Therefore is it said: 'The benevolent may be benevolent towards others, but cannot cause others to be benevolent; the righteous may love others, but cannot cause others to love.' From this I know that benevolence and righteousness are not sufficient for governing the empire. A sage has a nature that insists on good-faith, and he also has a law (method) by which he compels the whole empire to have good-faith. What is called righteousness is when ministers are loyal, sons filial, when there are proper ceremonies between juniors and seniors, and distinctions between men and women, when a hungry man eats, and a dying man lives, not improperly, but only in accordance with righteousness. This, however, is the constant condition, when there is law. A sage-king does not value righteousness, but he values the law. If with the law one sees to it that it is clear, and with commands that they are carried out, then it will be all right.

URN: ctp:shang-jun-shu/policies