mínɡ fèn shǐ qún 明分使群
Proper Ranking Leads to Collaboration.
Group collaboration is possible only when the individuals within it are clearly ranked and there is a social order. For Xunzi, the ability to “work together” is what distinguishes humans from animals. Without social restraints, humans will follow their innate desires and fight over things, causing disruption within the group. That is why there must be appropriate rules for people of different ranks, with clear rights and responsibilities to guide proper conduct, which will limit discord and build collaboration.
Man is not as strong as the ox, and cannot run as fast as the horse. Yet man is able to use them both. How is this possible? Answer: humans can work together, while animals cannot. How is it people can work together? Answer: by having different ranks and positions. How do the ranks and positions operate? Answer: by applying correct rules of conduct. By applying these rules there can be harmony, with harmony there is unity, with unity there is strength, with strength everything can be overcome. (Xunzi)
Living alone without group support leads to poverty; living together without appropriate ranking causes disputes. Poverty and disputes are all disastrous. The best way to solve these problems is to establish different ranks, which makes collaboration possible. (Xunzi)