Mencius

Book I Part A

1. If profit is put before rightness there is no satisfaction short of total usurpation; all that matters is that there should be benevolence and rightness

2. Only a wise and good man can enjoy luxury for it is only by sharing enjoyments with others (the people) that one can enjoy oneself.

3. Neglecting only one duty or essential component does no more than neglecting all. If the people's needs are met then they can have the freedom to take care of affairs so they will have no regrets, so take responsibility for your neglect, ensure the people's needs are provided for and the whole Empire will come to you.

4. There is no difference in killing a man with a knife and killing him with misrule. Giving luxury to oneself instead of providing for the people is a bad ruler.

5. The people will follow rulers who are not fond of killing.

7. long but good

Summary for Book 1 - Mencius is trying to convince rulers to not wage war or use the people for selfish means and luxury but instead reduce punishment and taxation, gets the people to plow the fields when it is time and animals to breed when it is time, and plant enough for all available land, gets the people to learn to be good sons and younger brothers loyal to their prince and true to their word (is concerned about the education of village schools), and serve their elders and superiors; and saves food for when there is famine or starving people; so that people have enough to provide for their families and take care of their parents and take care of all responsibilities so there are no regrets and also have enough spare time for learning about rites and duties; and only allow wood cutters in the proper season, and make sure people are working in the busy season, then people throughout the empire will want to follow you.

Book I Part B

1. Enjoyment in the company of the many is better than enjoyment by oneself, and sharing enjoyments with the people would make them happy, not resentful, when their king is enjoying himself.

2. interesting insight

3. Valor on small scales is bad, valor that is good for the people is good, using a weakness to benefit the people will make them cherish that characteristic.

4. The people will delight in the joy of him who delights in their joy, and will worry over troubles of him who worries over their troubles. To speak ill of those in authority because one is not given a share of enjoyment is wrong, but it is equally wrong for one in authority to not share his enjoyments.

Book II Part A

cool saying on page 30

lots of stuff in 2.

3. Force and benevolence will allow one to dominate if they are head of a large state, but he who uses the transforming influence of morality will become a true king and his success does not depend on the size of his state. When people submit to force they do so unwillingly because they aren't strong enough. When people submit to the transforming influence of morality they do so sincerely with admiration in their hearts. Confucius, T'ang, and King Wen are examples.

4. In times of peace a ruler must explain the laws to the people and take advantage of the opportunity to ensure continued prosperity. But he who does not is courting disaster, for there is no hope of escape when man brings calamities on himself, but there is hope of weathering calamities sent by Heaven.

5. Ideas that benevolence and giving people freedom to bloom will draw others to live or work in your land.

6. The four germs of being human. No man is insensitive to the suffering of others. Without the four germs he cannot serve others.

7. Not to be benevolent when nothing stands in the way shows a lack of wisdom. If one is ashamed there is no better remedy than to practice benevolence, which is like archery seeking the cause in himself if he fails to hit the mark.

8. There is nothing more important for a gentleman than helping others do good. So take from others that which can do good for it also helps them do good.

9. A gentleman would not follow either extreme of being too straight laced or not dignified enough.

Book II Part B

1. What is most important in warfare or combat is unity of your people, for one who follows the way will have many to support him, one who doesn't may even find his family against him.

2. Rulers must be given to employing those that can learn from rather than those they can teach.

3. To accept a gift without justification is tantamount to being bought, and a gentleman should never allow this

4. Rulers are responsible for the good care and the afflictions of those being ruled.

5. If one is not operating under an official capacity he has no reason to leave or stay if his services are not being utilized.

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