The Analects of Confucius

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The Analects of Confucius, a collection of sayings and ideas of Confucianism, was compiledby the followers of Confucius mostly in the form of dialogues. The last chapter, “[Emperor] Yao Said,” is the briefest chapter in the book. One school of thought holds that it is just a collection of leftovers. I come from the school of thought that the last chapter concludes Confucius’s theme of politics as well as philosophy with an inseparable connection with the other chapters in the analects. Politics was Confucius’s prime concern. Listed with examples of emperors, 20.1 talked about how to be a successful philosophical king. People, food, mourning, and sacrifice were all the elements important to the rule of a country. Generosity, good faith, industriousness, and justice were the dispositions of a king, which Confucius praised highly. All those similar ideas ran through the entire book. 1.5 and 12.9 emphasized how important it was to love people in order to govern a state. 3.12 and 3.17 talked about how necessary it was to hold a sacrificial ceremony carefully. In 17.6, the five practices that would implement humanity, which was the core of Confucianism, were courtesy, tolerance, good faith, diligence, and generosity. These political ideas have a tight relationship with each other within the 20 chapters around the theme of politics: benevolent politics. Under the rule of the king, competent officials were necessary to govern the state together. Mentioned in 20.2, cultivating the five treasures while eschewing the four evils was the key to become a capable official. In my opinion, the five treasures were actually the details, the steps of governing a state. Firstly, all constructions should be under a plan, which was beneficial to people. Then, people would work hard for the goals that they were willing to achieve. Once the state became a prosperous state, no one would be rapacious. If the officials were amiable, then all the citizens would lived in a state full...
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