Sep 15, 2010

Politician Education Series – The Mo Zi

Politician Education Series – The Mo Zi


This is an attempt to educate our poiliticians on the practice and behavour of a career in politics, Malaysian politicians practices manipulative and rudimentary politics and lack an understanding of integrity and ethics. They try to employ strategem and tactics but is lacking in the knowledge and show a shallow and crude views of the philosophy of politics.

Philosophy is defined as the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge or conduct.



This site has much earlier presented an even earlier political thinker of some 3000 years ago in the history of philosophy as in the King Fisher series.

The philosophy of the ancients long ago realizes that strategy is all encompassing and reguires the philosophy of truth and if employed without then the stategy will be one of evil and of extreme cruelty that brings hardship and suffering to the nation at large.

The foundation to a supreme strategy is the philosophy of truth and of realisation of a conciousness of the greater part as in the great of a nation. A strategy devoid of truth is a strategy of evil.

A man who choses to serve must be devoid of self and carry the heart of the people, the man should be icorruptible in poverty and righteous when wealthy, he loves the living and mourns the dead. Such is the moral standard as set out by the MoZi.

Today we would look at the sages of old of the sage Mo Tzu the founder of Mohism and regarded as the first school of teachings.

The Mo Zi

"Any Virtue that does not spring from the Heart will not Remain and any Action that is not aimed at Oneself will not Stay" ~ Mozi

During the warring states era of circa 475 BC to 221 BC which found its beginning in the Spring and Autumn period after the decline of the Chou (Zhou) dynasty was a time of chaos when warlords battles each other for hegemony resulting in the founding of the Qin dynasty of Qin Shih Huang in 221 BC, the warring states era covers a period of more than 250 years until the founding of the first emperor.
This was a period of despotic kings and tyranny, cruelty knows no bounds and many suffers from exploitations by their lords and kings and the battlefield was the venue of work for the men of the despotic states as for many, it is better to die in the battlefield than to die of hunger.

The state of Zhao, one of the major states set out to invades its neighboring city-state of Liang who had only a small army of only 5000 and as the 100,000 strong army of Zhao approaches, the Lord of Liang panic and called for a council of the generals and ministers when a minor official suggested the invitation of the Mohist, a legendary clan of philosophers skilled in the art and science of battle, especially of seige warfare.
As the Zhao army encamp just outside the city of Liang, a lone figure approaches the city gates and announced that he is from the Mo Zi clan, was admitted and brought to the Lord of Liang which was dissapointed as to how one man sent by the Mohist could assist in the defence of the city and was contemplating surrender when the lone Mo Zi cautioned agaist the act of surrendering to an invading army as the city would be plundered and the safety of its occupants at stake.
MoZi was than ordered the task of commandering the small army of the city against the 100,000 strong invaders of the Zhao. Before the attack of Zhao the Mo Zi had a mediation effort with the Zhao commanding general in an attempt for a peace settlement persuadding the Zhao army to forego the city-state of Liang which was turned down by the Zhao general citing the might of a greater state and a force that much outnumbered the small state of Liang. The Mo Zi than set out to create a series of tactical move which resulted in the defeat of the invading army and eventually the death of their commanding general wiping out almost all of the invaders.
This is but an excerpt from the fictional history out of a movie based on the novel by Hideki Mori titled “Mohist Attack”, the chinese movie is titled “A Battle of Wits” featuring Andy Lau as the Mohist and would make a most entertaining view with an insight to the Mohist thoughts.

In the recorded history the Mohist school of philosophy was founded by Mo Zi or Mo Tzu and is the lesser known of the four main philosophic schools that eveolved about the same time as Confucianism, Taoism and Legalism. The mohist school known as Mohism was popularly viewed as opposing that of Confucius however the approach should be studied from an angle of inclusive study rather than from an opposing view as there are at the same time great philosophic inclusion especially on the theory of governance.

The Mohist was than the leading influence during that era, much more than the other schools where some modern scholars argued that Mo Tzu was in fact the first teacher and not that of confucius.

More than 2000 years later Mohism was studied and became a theory that interest and influenced the thoughts of Sun Yat Sen, the founder of the Republic of China that led the revolution against the imperial dynasty, Sun Yat Sen employed Universal Love as the foundation for the early democracy of China and later on by Mao Tze Tung of the communist party was largely influenced by the principles of MoZi and are deem to be the earliest socialist thinkers.

Central to the school of MoZi was the practice of “Universal Love” and were known to have created an environment for open debate and expression of philosophical thoughts. Unlike Confucianism and the other schools, Mohism practiced open engagement of their philosophy of rejecting violence and aggression.

The Mohist had a highly structured organization far advanced in their time, the structure consist of a network of local units spread throughout the major kingdoms and some were engaged as advisors to the rulers and lords. The Mohist is not only a school of philosophy but had highly skilled craftmens that were engaged in the arts of defensive warfare through the use of strategic and tactical engineering and the sciences. Therefore the Mohist could take sides in times of battle and usually take on the side of the weaker states. They were philosophical knights skilled in warfare and the arts of battle.

According to the chapter "Gongshu" in Mozi, he once walked for ten days to the state of Chu in order to forestall an attack on the state of Song. At the Chu court, Mozi engaged in nine simulated war games with Gongshu Ban, the chief military strategist of Chu, and overturned each one of his stratagems. When Gongshu Ban threatened him with death, Mozi informed the king that his disciples had already trained the soldiers of Song in his fortification methods, so it would be useless to kill him. The Chu king was forced to call off the war.

The Mohist Universal Love or Impartial Love is a principal of governance and of social relations, as a passage in the chapter on "Self-Cultivation" which states "When people near-by are not befriended, there is no use endeavoring to attract those at a distance."

Also, in the first chapter of the writings of Mozi on universal love, Mozi argues that the best way of being filial to one’s parents is to be filial to the parents of others. The foundational principle is that benevolence, as well as malevolence, is requited, and that one will be treated by others as one treats others. Mozi quotes a popular passage from the Book of Odes to bring home this point: "When one throws to me a peach, I return to him a plum." One’s parents will be treated by others as one treats the parents of others. In pursuing this line of argument, Mozi was directly appealing to the idea of enlightened self-interest in social relations.

Mohism which was the leading school of thoughts during the Warring States era fell out of favor when Shih Huang Di came to power with the Qin dynasty which was based on the “Legalist” school of thoughts. And it was believed that most written literature of the Mohist were destroyed in the burning of books by the first emperor.

Read More from Wikipedia HERE

Note: The teachings of MoZi is today recorded and many chapters are still missing. The writings of the Mozi are known as "the Mozi" and i would like to caution the students of this text is that they are a compilation over a period and includes later teachings of ontology that includes the realms of the after life of spirits and ghosts which are not of the origin but a later inclusion by the disciples.
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