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睦内图外 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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mù nèi tú wài 睦内图外

Unity Within and Expansion Without

先取得内部的和睦团结,再考虑向外扩张、发展。“睦内”,使内部亲近和顺、团结一致;“图外”本指对外用兵,泛指谋求对外扩张、发展,争取更大利益。内部建设和团结是对外开拓的必要前提和保障。大到一个国家,一个企业、一个组织、一个家庭,皆遵循此理。它体现了中国人以内为主、以和为贵的精神。

Only when a country has accomplished unity within can it be able to consider expansion and development outside. “Unity within” means that people live in amity and are united as one. “Expansion without” originally meant to start a war against a neighboring state. Now it is used to mean external development in order to gain more benefit. Sound internal development and unity in a country are prerequisites and guarantee for external development. This is applicable to a country, an enterprise, an organization, or a family. It demonstrates that the Chinese people set great store on their internal development and uphold the principle of peace.

引例 Citation:

◎为人臣者,能内睦而后图外。不睦内而图外,必有内争,盍姑谋睦乎!(《国语·晋语六》)

(做人臣的,要能够使内部和睦团结,再谋求向外扩展。不搞好内部的和睦团结而谋求对外扩张、发展,必然会出现内部纷乱和争斗,为什么不先想办法谋求内部的和睦团结呢!)

As an official, one must try to accomplish internal unity before thinking of external expansion. If he fails to do so, internal rifts and conflicts are inevitable. Why not pursue internal unity first? (Discourses on Governance of the States)

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