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How to “Hold the Reins” of Government Tightly

By Stan Szczesny "Stick to your objectives and examine the results to see how they match; take hold of the handles of government carefully and grip them tightly." -Han Fei Tzu, translated by Burton Watson It is the way of an enlightened people never to allow their representatives to speak words that cannot be matched by results. When … [Read more...]

Why Citizens in a Republic Must Cultivate “Stillness” & “Emptiness”

By Stan Szczesny “So still he seems to dwell nowhere at all; so empty no one can seek him out.” —Han Fei Tzu, chapter 5, translated by Burton Watson To retain their freedoms, the ruling masses must be still and empty. In theory, this is possible, but it is exceedingly difficult. Crowds are naturally not still. The reason of a crowd … [Read more...]

How Republics Sow the Seeds of Their Own Destruction

By Stan Szczesny “The ruler must not reveal his desires; for if he reveals his desires his ministers will put on the mask that pleases him.” —Han Fei Tzu, chapter 5, translated by Burton Watson The ruling masses must not reveal their desires; for if they reveal their desires, their representatives will put on masks to please them. The … [Read more...]