The first emperor to visit the western regions in history: nearly a thousand years earlier than Zhang Qian

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King Mu of Zhou, surnamed Ji mingman, is one of the famous emperors in Chinese History: first, he enjoys a 105 year old life, which may be the oldest emperor in history; Second, he was the first to visit the western regions. He went to the western regions to meet the queen mother of the west, which was nearly a thousand years earlier than the famous Zhang Qian of the Han Dynasty; Third, it formulated 3000 punishments, including Mo, Yi, bin, Gong, Dabi, which were widely used by future generations, and became the earliest systematic criminal law document in China’s history; Fourth, they are excellent in martial arts. They once marched in the West and captured their five kings. During the eastern expedition to the state of Xu, the rebellion of King Xu Yan was suppressed by uniting the forces of the state of Chu. Its national strength reached the peak of the Zhou Dynasty; Fifth, its story has been handed down from generation to generation, and even has been compiled into a myth by later generations, becoming one of the most mythical emperors in Chinese history.

If we uncover the mystery of King Mu of Zhou, we will find that he is actually one of the most effective emperors in the history of governing the country, and his achievements are no inferior to those of the later Qin emperors, Han, Wu, Tang, Zong and song. This is especially reflected in his employment. Let’s see how he teaches his subordinates to be officials.

King Mu of Zhou had a deep sense of hardship as king. Xunzi, a great Confucian, has a famous saying: “a king is a boat, and a common man is a water. Water can carry a boat, and water can overturn a boat.” Later generations of Emperor Taizong took it as a mantra, showing a strong sense of hardship. When King Mu of Zhou was in power, his mood was no less than that of Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty. When he appointed Jun Ya as the big situ, he described his mood as “the worry and danger of my heart, if I walk in the tail of a tiger, I am involved in the spring ice”. In vernacular, it was “the worry and fear in my heart, just like stepping on the tail of a tiger and walking on the ice of spring”, to an extremely dangerous point. Therefore, his “mid night to enjoy, think to avoid guilt” is interpreted in vernacular as “even if you get up in the middle of the night, you should find ways to avoid mistakes”, which is quite similar to Zhugeliang’s mood of “worrying all day and night”, “restless in bed, unwilling to eat”, “working hard and dying” to complete Liu Bei’s great cause of reunification. King Mu of Zhou turned his anxiety about state affairs into encouragement for his ministers, which mainly includes three points:

First, “your body is right, you dare not be right, and the people’s hearts are wrong, but you are right”, this is the requirement for the courtiers themselves. Translated into vernacular is “you can be right, the people dare not be wrong; the people have no standards, only consider your standards”. As the saying goes, iron must be hard first, and the upper beam is not straight, and the lower beam is crooked. King Mu of Zhou’s requirements for his ministers highlighted the word “righteousness”. An official is a decent person. If he does not engage in crooked ways, the people under your rule will not go astray. The standard of being an official is the standard of being a person of the people. How well Zhou Mu Wang said it. Now we mention that “the village looks at the village, the household looks at the household, the masses look at the party members, and the party members look at the cadres”. It is the same reason as Zhou Mu Wang’s “there is no standard for the people’s will, only consider your standard”. Now in our country, the people always hate the bad social atmosphere. What is the root cause of the bad social atmosphere? According to King Mu of Zhou, first of all, it should be that the “official style” is not good. It is the bad atmosphere of officialdom that affects the social atmosphere. Whether it is entertaining and giving gifts, or forming gangs, it is the so-called elite of officialdom who took the lead in forming.

Second, as an official, we should pay attention to five disadvantages: “five faults: only official, only anti, only internal, only goods, only to come. Their sins are all.” Translated into Vernacular: “there are five disadvantages of being an official that need to be paid attention to: fear of power, repay gratitude and resentment, flatter relatives, ask for bribes, and accept requests. Officials with these five disadvantages have the same crime as criminals.” First, fear of power. The so-called people do not fight with officials, how many officials are judged by others? Bao Gong and Hairui honest officials in history are rare. Few people dare to expose mistakes made by their superiors; Second, repay gratitude and resentment. Even now, very few people use the power given by the party and the people to seek personal gains, and cases of official revenge also occur from time to time; Third, flatter your inner relatives. When a person becomes an official, then “one person gets the Tao, and chickens and dogs rise to heaven”. I don’t know how many relatives and friends are involved in the light. Such an official, who regards the power conferred by the people as the power of his family, is really unforgivable; Fourth, asking for bribes. Even in modern times, from provincial and municipal cadres to township and village heads, there are many people who take bribes and bend the law; Fifth, being requested. Once you become an official, you will inevitably enter the network of relationships, or relatives, friends, colleagues, or superiors and subordinates ask for something from you, make use of each other, and do something out of line. King Mu of Zhou proposed five malpractices of officialdom more than 3000 years ago, and believed that officials with these five malpractices committed the same crimes as criminals, and formulated detailed penalties to punish them. What king mu of Zhou didn’t expect is that the five official ills he proposed still exist and become rampant and worse.

III. be careful in material selection. King Mu of Zhou said, “be cautious about being a bureaucrat. Without clever words and expressions, you will be coquettish. It’s only auspicious… It’s not auspicious for people, but auspicious for goods. If it’s time, you will lose your official position.”. What do you mean? When you become a senior official, you should also select talents to serve as your subordinates, and be careful when selecting materials: “choose your subordinates carefully, don’t appoint people who are clever and flattering, and appoint virtuous and upright people… If you don’t appoint ‘talents’ as your relatives, but’ wealth ‘as your relatives, it will corrupt our selection system.” If the meaning of King Mu of Zhou is extended, it has a little flavor of “accountability”. If the township head makes a mistake, is it the crime of negligence of the county head? If the county magistrate commits a crime, is the governor guilty of negligence? Governing a place is not governed by one person, but by a team. Therefore, the superior must be cautious in selecting talents. What king mu of Zhou didn’t expect is that until 3000 years later, there is still a phenomenon of “taking money as relatives” in the employment, and even selling official positions and titles. How can it not be chilling.

Of course, King Mu of Zhou was an emperor who lived in a slave society and had his historical limitations. What he did was to maintain his brutal rule over the people. However, his concept of employment and the way of being an official are worth learning from later generations. Li Shangyin has a poem: “the window of a mother in yaochi opens, and the song of yellow bamboo moves to mourn. The eight steeds travel 30000 miles a day, why don’t King Mu come again?” It expresses the West Queen Mother’s yearning for King Mu of Zhou. Suppose that King Mu of Zhou revisited China 3000 years later, as expected by the queen mother of the west, I don’t know how this Mingjun, who loves tourism, loves children and girls, and fully understands that national interests are above everything, feels about today’s Officialdom?

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