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Mencius on Tyrants and Ending the Unrighteous from The Works of Mencius

Mengzi 孟子 (372–289 BCE) on corrupt and brutal rulers.

“If you know that a thing is unrighteous, then use all despatch in putting an end to it — why wait until next year?” (Mencius, Bk. III.VIII)

We must be moved by a moral disposition to do good, understand, and relieve humanity and other life each day a little more of its suffering. Mencius taught, that benevolence is the essence of the human being, and with the cultivation of virtue, comes our improvement in humanness.


Zisi speaks on being accountable for our actions, of rulers causing suffering under heavens watch.

“Some men who have not complied with virtue will yet not acknowledge their offences, and when Heaven has by evident tokens charged them to correct their conduct, they still say, “What are these things to us?”

ZISI, ZHONGYONG, 4.9, “Heaven has cast us off” – Tsu-li to King Zhou of Shang in the Shujing

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