China wisdom traditions of the Axial Age

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Legalism constitutes a network of ideas and principles regarding the art of statecraft. It explores the problems and challenges of a state in conflict from the perspective of the leader. The main focus of legalism is: how can leader or ruler effectively organize and control government to achieve the greatest possible increase in wealth and territory. The three major elements of legalism included power and position, administrative techniques and methods, and comprehensive system of laws. Legalism presumed that all people were inclined to do wrong and only strong leaders and strict laws could help govern them.
Confucianism is a philosophical and religious tradition that emerged 2500 years ago in China and spread to East Asia. Confucius is credited as the founder of the Confucianism school of thought. Although Confucianism evolved, Confucius moral and political doctrines were its basis. The core of its principles was humanism, which highlighted the importance of the family, morals and the importance of a good ruler. It emphasized the need for a benevolent ruler. Therefore, the leader was expected to be a moral example and lead as an important model to the society instead of using force and punishment to govern.
Daoism, also known as Taoism, was a dominant religious and philosophical tradition for approximately 2000 years in China. Taoism underscores the importance of accepting and yielding moral and duty-conscious duty. It is characterized by positive attitudes toward theories on the reality of nature. Taoism places great importance on the link between nature and people, which lessen the needs for rules and order. The underlying principles of Taoism practice include compassion, humility, and moderation. Find more at

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