Promote the Beneficial; Eliminate the Harmful
Promote what is beneficial to the people; eliminate what is not. Those in power should place the interests of the public at the forefront of their concerns, focusing on what is beneficial and eliminating what is harmful. In ancient China, Confucians, Mohists, and Legalists all held that this was the fundamental duty of a ruler, and determined whether or not there was public support and hence political legitimacy for his rule. Today “govern for the people” has its roots in this concept.
Wise ancient rulers promoted what was beneficial for the people and eliminated what was harmful, thus winning their allegiance. Beneficial means what is good for farming, harmful what is not. (Guanzi)
Benevolent rule means doing what is in the best interests of all people and eliminating common ills. (Mozi)
King Tang of Shang and King Wu of Zhou both followed this principle: promote what benefits all and eliminate what harms all. For this reason, their peoples gave them allegiance. (Xunzi)