为政以德 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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wéi zhèng yǐ dé 为政以德

Governance Based on Virtue

以道德原则执掌国政,治理国家。孔子在西周统治者一向秉承的“明德慎罚”的基础上提出了为后世儒家所遵循的“德政”理念。“德政”与“威刑”相对。“为政以德”并非不要刑法,而是突出强调道德对政治的决定作用,将道德教化视为治国的根本原则与方法。

Governance of a state should be guided by virtue. Confucius expounded this philosophy – which his followers in later eras promoted – on the basis of the approach advocated by the rulers in the Western Zhou Dynasty that prized high moral values and the virtue of being cautious in meting out punishment. Governance based on virtue stands in contrast to rule by use of harsh punishment as a deterrent. It does not, however, exclude the use of punishment, but rather highlights the decisive role of virtue in governance, and regards moral edification both as the fundamental principle and the essential means for achieving good governance.

引例 Citation:

◎为政以德,譬如北辰居其所,而众星共之。(《论语·为政》)

(以道德教化来治理政事,就像北极星位于天空一定的方位,而众星都环绕着它运行。)

Governance based on virtue is like the North Star taking its place in the sky, while all the other stars revolve around it. (The Analects)

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