Confucius Discussing the Fate of a Nation

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King Lu Ai Gong asked Confucius, "Is it true that the fate of a nation is determined by heaven and not just the actions of men?"

Confucius answered, "The fate of your country will depend on your own actions. Special phenomena cannot alone change the fate of your nation."

The King said, "Okay. Could you please provide some facts regarding to this statement?"

Confucius said, "During King Zhou's period of the Shang Dynasty, near the city wall of the capital there was a little bird that gave birth to a big bird. The King consulted a soothsayer about it. The soothsayer said, 'Whenever a small thing gives birth to a big thing, it means that the nation will unify the land and the nation shall become more and more prosperous.' The King thus became very complacent. He thought that he could just depend on the omen. He stopped working hard in ruling his country and became extremely brutal toward his officials and the people. None of the officials in the imperial court were able to stop him. In the end, outside enemies attacked their country and overthrew the Shang Dynasty. This is an example of a good omen that brought disaster, the reason being that the king gave up good actions and disobeyed the law of heaven.

In comparison, during the time of King Zhou's ancestor King Tai Wu, the morality in society was very bad and the laws of the nation were very chaotic. This had caused the growth of an abnormal plant, which grew inside the imperial compound. It grew very quickly. Within seven days, it was large enough for two people to embrace it. The King consulted a soothsayer and the soothsayer said, 'This type of wild plant should not grow inside the imperial compound, but now it does. It means that the nation is about to come to an end.' King Tai Wu was very scared. He began to watch his actions carefully and he also thought about how the earlier kings ruled the nation correctly and cared about the people. Within three years, many kings of other countries heard about King Tai Wu's great virtue and as many as sixteen kings had sent their messengers to visit and pay their respects to the Shang Dynasty. This is an example of giving up bad actions and as a result, the supposedly bad omen had turned good

Therefore, when heaven makes special phenomena and disasters appear, it is heaven's warning to rulers; when the officials dream about strange and meaningful stories, it is heaven's warning to the officials. Disasters and strange phenomena will not defeat the good policies and good decrees of a nation; dreams will not defeat high morals and great virtues. If one can do things like this - giving up bad actions and following good actions - this would be the best way of governing a country. Only the wise kings are able to do so."

King Lu Ai Gong said, "Your teaching will serve precisely to correct my ignorance. It is so wonderful to hear your teachings!"

King Zhou gave up good actions and became evil, and his country was destroyed. King Tai Wu gave up bad actions and became good, and his country began to flourish. Today's Chinese Communist regime has been a dictatorship since the beginning. It indulges the evil and has done all kinds of evil deeds. Heaven is angry and the people are complaining. It is about time for it to be destroyed. This is determined by heaven, and it is also the result of the evil party's evil actions!


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