marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

evil overlord Lord Shang

Lord Shang would be an interesting model for an Evil Overlord.

For one thing, he was all for stern laws, strict punishment of minor offenses, encouraging people to inform on each other, etc. And blamed the destruction of the state on the "lice" which include sophistry, but also, on one hand, music and beauty, and reading the Odes, and on the other, brotherly loyalty, caring for the aged, and reading the Histories.

On the other hand, The Book of Lord Shang is filled with amazingly innocent declarations about how making this law or that one would certainly produce this effect. Yes, the king has to value law to make his ministers work toward it, but that's all -- especially since he says the king needs wicked officials, because virtuous ones will be too benevolent to the people (which is cruel, because the punishments are needed to ward off serious offenses), and wicked ones will pry into things.

Stern laws will make people good. As long as every criminal is punished. There's no alternative to this. Also, there's requirements to make denunciations, but false ones are not even mentioned. Reminds me of how the gulags got filled up in the USSR -- some evil souls must be the source of the problem.
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