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《算地 - Calculation of Land》

English translation: J. J. L. Duyvendak [?] Library Resources
1 算地:
Calculation of Land:
The disasters of the rulers of the world, generally, come from their not measuring their strength in the use of armies, and from their not measuring their territory in managing the grass-fields and uncultivated lands. Therefore, sometimes the territory is narrow and the population numerous, so that the population exceeds the territory; or sometimes the territory is extensive, but the population sparse, so that the territory exceeds the population. If the population exceeds the territory, then one should pay attention to opening up new land; if the territory exceeds the population, then one should set about calling in colonists. By opening up new land, one effects increase. If the population exceeds the territory, then the achievements of the state will be few and the military strength small; if the territory exceeds the population, then the resources of mountains and moors will not be utilized. Now, to neglect natural resources and to pander to the people's dissipations is to fail in one's duty as a ruler, and when high and low act thus, then in spite of a large population, the army will be weak, and in spite of a big territory, its strength will be small.

2 算地:
Calculation of Land:
In administering a state therefore, and in disposing of its territory, to populate the mountains and forests with a tenth of the people, the marshes and moors with a tenth, the valleys, dales and streams with a tenth, cities, towns and highways with four tenths was the correct rule of the former kings. In administering a state, therefore, and in dividing arable land, if a minimum of 500 mu is sufficient to support one soldier, it is not making proper use of the land. But if a territory of 100 square li supports 10,000 soldiers for war as a minimum, then it shows that the cultivated land is sufficient to nourish its population, that cities, towns and highways are sufficient to accommodate their inhabitants, that mountains and forests, marshes and moors, valleys and dales, are sufficient to provide profit, and that marshes and moors, dykes and embankments are sufficient for grazing. Therefore, when the army marches out and grain is given them, there is still a surplus of riches; when the army is resting and the people at work, the cattle are always sufficient. This is said to be the rule for making use of the land and for supporting soldiers.

3 算地:
Calculation of Land:
But nowadays, although the rulers of the world have territory of several thousand square li, the produce is not sufficient to support the soldiers and to fill the granaries, and the army is equalled by the neighbours. I regret this state of affairs, therefore, on behalf of the ruler. Indeed, having a large territory and not cultivating it is like having no territory; having a numerous population, but not employing it, is like having no population.

4 算地:
Calculation of Land:
Therefore, the statistical method of administering a country is to give attention to the cultivation of the grass lands; the way to employ the soldiers is to pay attention to making uniform rewards. If private gain has been debarred in outside occupations, then the people will be concerned with keeping to agriculture. If they keep to agriculture, they will be simple, and if they are simple, they fear the law. If private rewards are forbidden to those below, then the people will take the offensive forcibly against the enemy, and by taking the offensive against him, they conquer. How does one know that it will be thus ? Well, the natural disposition of the people is that if they are simple, they will produce hard work and will exert their strength easily. If they are poor, they will develop common sense and give due consideration to what is profitable. If they exert their strength easily, they will think lightly of death and will enjoy employment in warfare. If they give due consideration to what is profitable, they will fear punishment and will easily suffer hardship; if they easily suffer hardship, then the capacity of the soil will be developed to the full; if they enjoy employment in warfare, military strength will be developed to the utmost.

5 算地:
Calculation of Land:
Now, if he who administers a country is able to develop the capacity of the soil to the full and to cause the people to fight to the death, then fame and profit will jointly accrue. It is the nature of the people, when they are hungry, to strive for food; when they are tired, to strive for rest; when they suffer hardship, to seek enjoyment; when they are in a state of humiliation, to strive for honour. Such is the natural disposition of the people. If the people strive for gain, then they lose the rules of polite behaviour; if they strive for fame, they lose the eternal principles of human nature. How can we conclude that it is so ? Well, take now robbers and thieves; they infringe the interdicts of the prince, above, and below they fail in the polite behaviour of subject and son. Therefore, though their reputations are dishonoured and their persons endangered, yet because of the profit they do not desist. Above these are the scholars of the world; their clothes do not warm their skins, their food does not fill their stomachs, they travail their thoughts, fatigue their four limbs and suffer in their five internal organs, and yet they go on increasing their activity. This is not prompted by the eternal principles of human nature, but for the sake of fame. Therefore is it said: 'Where fame and profit meet, that is the way the people will follow.'

6 算地:
Calculation of Land:
If the ruler controls the handle of fame and profit, so as to be able to acquire success and fame, it is due to statistical method. A sage examines the weights, in order to control the handle of the scales; he examines the statistical method in order to direct the people. Statistics is the true method of ministers and rulers and the essential of a state. For never yet has it happened but that a state of a thousand chariots that neglected statistics has come into a perilous position, and ministers and rulers that neglected method have experienced disorder. Nowadays, the rulers of the world wish to open up their territory and to govern the population, without examining the statistics, and ministers desire to fulfil their task without establishing a method. Therefore, the country has a disobedient population and the ruler refractory ministers.

7 算地:
Calculation of Land:
A sage, therefore, in organizing a country causes the people in home affairs to adhere to agriculture, and in foreign affairs to scheme for war. Now, agriculture makes the people suffer hardships, and war makes them run dangers, and the means whereby they can be led to encounter hardships and to perform actions that expose them to danger, is calculation. For the people, when alive, scheme for profit, and when in danger of death, are anxious for fame. It is necessary to examine whence fame and profit spring. If the profit comes from the soil, then people will use their strength to the full; if fame results from war, then they will fight to the death. Now if, at home, the people are directed to use their strength to the full, then the fields will not lie fallow; and if, abroad, they are directed to fight to the death, then they conquer their enemies. If enemies are conquered and at the same time fields do not lie fallow, then without moving, the result will be obtained of having both wealth and strength.

8 算地:
Calculation of Land:
But nowadays, it is not thus; that which the rulers of the world are particularly concerned about is not at all that of which the state stands in urgent need. In their persons, they have the conduct of Yao and Shun, but in their results they do not even approximate those of Tang or Wu. The mistake lies with the handle which they hold. Let me be permitted to set forth their error. In administrating the country, they reject power and indulge in talking. By talking, their persons become cultivated, but their success is small. So scholars, full of empty talk about the Odes and the Book of History, are held in esteem, so that people become restless and think lightly of their prince; scholars who are out of office are held in esteem, so that people become estranged and criticize their superiors; braves are held in esteem, so that the people become quarrelsome and think lightly of prohibitions; artisans are used, so that the people become volatile and easily move their places of abode; merchants and retailers, though leisurely, yet make profit, so that the people follow their example and discuss their superiors. Therefore, if these five kinds of people are used in the state, then fields will lie fallow and the army will be weak. The capital of scholars who are full of empty words lies in their mouths; that of scholars who are out of office lies in their ideas; that of braves in their valour, that of artisans in their hands, and that of merchants and retailers in their bodies. Thus, they can carry their personal capital round to any house on earth. If, for the people's capital, importance is attached to physical talents, and for their habitat they are dependent on the outside world, then those who carry considerable capital will become temporary sojourners. This would have caused difficulties even to Yao and Shun; therefore, Tang and Wu prohibited it, with the result that their success was established and their fame made.

9 算地:
Calculation of Land:
A sage cannot, with what the world thinks easy, overcome that which it thinks difficult, but he must, by means of what it thinks difficult, overcome that which it thinks easy. So, for example, if the people are stupid, he can overcome it by means of knowledge; if the world is educated, he can overcome it by means of force. When people are stupid, they think force easy, but cleverness difficult; but if the world is clever, then it thinks knowledge easy, but force difficult. So, when Shen-nung taught ploughing and attained supreme sway, the leadership was by means of his knowledge. When Tang and Wu made themselves strong and attacked the feudal lords, the subjugation was by means of force. Nowadays, the world is full of cleverness and people are dissolute, and at this juncture, when the times of Tang and Wu are imitated, to practise the actions of Shen-nung... thus a country of a thousand chariots hereby falling into a state of disorder: this is paying particular attention to the wrong things.

10 算地:
Calculation of Land:
It is people's nature, when measuring, to take the longest part, when weighing, to take the heaviest, when adjusting the scales, to seek profit. If an intelligent prince watches these three things diligently, order may be established in the country and the capacities of the people may be utilized. If the state makes few demands from the people, then the people will make many evasions from those demands. Direct the people at home to adhere to farming, and abroad to be concentrated in warfare. Therefore, a sage's way of administering a country is to prohibit much, in order to limit the people's capacity, and to rely on force in order to render trickeries powerless. These two methods being used in combination, people within the borders will be single-minded; being single-minded, they will farm; farming, they will be simple and being simple, they will dwell quietly and dislike going out. Therefore, a sage's way of ordering a country is that the people's capital should be stored in the soil, and that dangers should be run abroad by borrowing a temporary habitat.
If their capital lies in the soil, they will be simple, and if, by borrowing a temporary habitat abroad, dangers would be run, they will be anxious. If at home the people are simple, and abroad they are anxious, then as a result they will exert themselves in farming and be alert in warfare. If the people are zealous in farming, then their capital will be considerable; if they are alert in warfare, the neighbouring states will be in danger. If their capital is considerable, then they can not carry it on their backs and go elsewhere; if the neighbouring states are in danger, they will not go where there is no capital, for to go to a place of danger and to borrow a habitat outside, even a madman does not do such a thing.
Therefore a sage, in ordering a country, looking to popular custom, fixes their laws with the result that there is order, and examining the state, gives his attention to what is fundamental, with the result that everything is fitting. When laws are fixed without looking to the customs of the times and without examining the fundamental things of the state, then the people will be in disorder, affairs will be troublesome, so that results will be few. This is what I call error.

11 算地:
Calculation of Land:
Now the idea of punishments is to restrain depravity, and the idea of rewards is to support the interdicts. Shame and disgrace, labour and hardship are what the people dislike; fame and glory, ease and joy are what the people pay attention to. So, if the penalties of the country are such that they do not cause dislike, and the titles and emoluments are not worth attention, it is an omen of the ruin of the country. If culprits often escape through the meshes, inferior people will be depraved and dissolute and will not think of the punishments as deterrents, and thus they will be applied to the people in a haphazard manner. That being so, and the way to fame and glory by means of gain not being one, then superior men will apply power to obtain a name and inferior people will not avoid what is prohibited. Therefore, the punishments will be numerous. If the superior man does not set up his commands clearly, minor penalties will be applied. If punishments are numerous and minor penalties are applied, the country will have many criminals. Then the rich will not be able to keep their wealth, nor the poor to apply themselves to their occupations; the fields will lie fallow and the state will be poor.

12 算地:
Calculation of Land:
If the fields lie fallow, the people will live by deceit; if the country is poor, the ruler will lack rewards. Therefore, when a sage administers a country, culprits have no government position and felons do not hold office. If culprits were to hold rank, then the superior man would resign from his position; if felons were to be clothed with brocades and fed with meat, then the inferior man would hope for such advantages. If superior men resigned from their positions, one would be ashamed of merit; if inferior men hoped for such advantages, one would boast of wickedness. So punishments and executions are the means whereby wickedness is stopped, and office and rank are the means whereby merit is encouraged.

13 算地:
Calculation of Land:
Nowadays, people spurn the ranks established by the state, and laugh at the punishments set up by it. This evil is caused by the law and method followed. Therefore, the superior man, in handling his authority, unifies the government in order to fix his methods; in establishing offices, he makes rank valuable, to correspond with them, and he makes his appointments, taking people's exertions into account and according to their merit, so that the balance between high and low is even. When this is the case, ministers will be able to exert their strength to the uttermost and the ruler to exercise autocratic sway.

URN: ctp:shang-jun-shu/calculation-of-land