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{Thursday, November 04, 2004}

Unless the people are made one, there is no way to make them attain their desire. Therefore, they are made one; as a result of this unification, their strength is consolidated, and in consequence of this consolidation, they are strong... A country that knows how to produce strength... bars all private roads for gratifying their ambition and opens only one hole through which they can attain what they desire... [The wise ruler] causes others to love.

A weak people means a strong state and a strong state means a weak people. Therefore, a country which has the right way is concerned with weakening the people... A country which knows how to produce strength but not how to reduce it may be said to be a country that attacks itself, and it is certain that it will be dismembered.

Lord Shang, 4th Century BC
cited in A Nomad Poetics by Pierre Joris, p. 28-29

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