Confucius' political beliefs were rooted in his belief that a good ruler would be self-disciplined, would govern his subjects through education and by his own example, and would seek to correct his subjects with love and concern rather than punishment and coercion. "If the people be led by laws, and uniformity among them be sought by punishments, they will try to escape punishment and have no sense of shame. If they are led by virtue, and uniformity sought among them through the practice of ritual propriety, they will possess a sense of shame and come to you of their own accord" (Analects 2.3; see also 13.6). Confucius' political theories were directly contradictory to the Legalistic political orientations of China's rulers, and he failed to popularize his ideals among China's leaders within his own lifetime. Confucius believed that the social chaos of his time was largely due to China's ruling elite aspiring to, and claiming, titles to which they were unworthy. When the ruler of the large state of Qiasked Confucius about the principles of good government, Confucius responded: "Good government consists in the ruler being a ruler, the minister being a minister, the father being a father, and the son being a son" (Analects 12.11). Confucius' analysis of the need to raise officials' behavior to reflect the way that they identify and describe themselves is known as the rectification of names, and he stated that the rectification of names should be the first responsibility of a ruler upon taking office (Analects 13.3). Confucius believed that, because the ruler was the model for all under him in society, the rectification of names had to begin with the ruler, and that afterwards others would change to imitate him (Analects 12.19). Confucius judged a good ruler by his possession of de ("virtue"): a sort of moral force that allows those in power to rule and gain the loyalty of others without the need for physical coercion (Analects...
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