Analects 16.2

Original Text:

孔子曰天下有道则礼乐征伐自天子出天下无道则礼乐征伐自诸侯出自诸侯出盖十世希不失矣自大夫出五世希不失矣陪臣执国命三世希不失矣天下有道则政不在大夫天下有道则庶人不议

Translation:

Other Translations:

Confucius said, “When the Way prevails in the world, rituals, music, punitive expeditions, and attacks against foreign powers issue from the Son of Heaven. When the Way does not prevail in the world, these things issue from the feudal lords. When they issue from the feudal lords, it is seldom more than ten generations before the lords lose control of them. When they issue from ministers, it is seldom more than five generations before the ministers lose control of them, and once household ministers seize control of state commands, it is seldom more than three generations before they lose control of them.”

“When the Way prevails in the world, control of the government does not reside with the ministers. When the Way prevails in the world, commoners do not debate matters of government.”

Confucius, & Slingerland, E. (2003). Analects: With selections from traditional commentaries. Hackett Publishing.

Confucius said, When the Way prevails in the world, rites, music, and punitive expeditions proceed from the Son of Heaven. When the Way no longer prevails in the world, rites, music, and punitive expeditions proceed from the feudal lords, and rarely does this situation continue for ten generations before failure ensues. If these proceed from the high officials, rarely five generations pass before failure; and if the retainers of the high officials govern the fate of the nation, rarely three generations before failure. When the Way prevails in the world, government is not in the hands of the high officials. When the Way prevails in the world, ordinary people voice no criticisms.

Confucius, & Watson, B. (2007). The Analects of Confucius. Columbia University Press.

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