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By Austin Melvin Knight

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Sample text

To act out of fury: no matter how furious you are in your heart, you cannot simply act from anger, because an outburst of anger will have its consequences. Even if you are successful and have nothing left to desire, you have, in fact, begun to act in contravention. This is not the Way. Actions that correspond to the Way are marked by inevitability. Since they are marked by inevitability, they are limitless. Therefore, to … is to expand, and to prohibit is to force. That is why one may carry it out everywhere without cease.

States, accordingly, have a policy for life and a policy for death. ” If, in the season for death, you execute those who are meant to die, this is called “martial vigor”. If you appropriately implement both civil virtue and martial vigor, the whole world will follow you. ”27 For The Four Canons, however, both are indispensable for successful government. As the two pillars of statecraft, civil virtue and martial vigor are among several pairs frequently mentioned in the text. Other pairs include “yin and yang” 陰陽, “female and male” 雌雄, and “punishment and reward” 刑德.

In my translation. The ■ symbol represents the black dot in the manuscript that marks the end of the section.  Classification of Warfare in The Four Canons # Motive Description ↕ 1 taking punitive action against a state where superiors and inferiors are in discord fighting chaos and putting an end to oppression, promoting the worthy and dismissing the inept ↔ bursting out in anger, giving free rein to feelings of fury in the heart ↓ profit 2 righteousness 3 fury ↑ The text denounces war out of anger as contravening the Way, it sees no harm in war for profit, and it conditionally supports righteous warfare.

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