Why did Lisi become a political victim of the Qin court in the Warring States Period

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Intellectuals in the Warring States period ran everywhere to find jobs. For their own future development, everyone also tries to learn two tricks.

In the late Warring States period, a man named Lisi, seeing that Qin had become a superpower, thought of applying for the position. Lisi’s teacher was Xunzi, a famous Confucian. At that time, his position was probably equivalent to that of the president of the Academy of Social Sciences of the state of Qi. Xunzi did not agree with the student’s choice. “Qin is a powerful country,” he said, shaking his head. “It’s a pity that he is not educated at all.” (Note 1)

However, Lisi still went to the state of Qin. Maybe he thought, “the lack of culture in the state of Qin is just my chance.” He can eat and drink spicy food there with his good handwriting.

Lisi had a classmate who stuttered when he was a child, but his literary talent was excellent. His name was Hanfei. He wrote a book called Hanfeizi, which was liked by Qinshihuang. I didn’t expect to be killed by Lisi soon after I arrived in the state of Qin.

Xunzi had another student named Zhang Cang, who was also a mathematician and scientist. He also served for the Qin Dynasty and served as a censor, but he ran away after a while. Later, he participated in the establishment of the system and cultural revival of the Han Dynasty, and also served as the Prime Minister of the Han Dynasty. (Note 2)

Xunzi has many students. Another student who has been studying Confucian classics with him is Fu Qiubo, also known as Bao Qiu or Bao Qiuzi. After retiring from the state of Qi with Xunzi, Fu Qiubo moved to Lanling, the state of Chu, and then stayed in the southern Shandong area. “Rice, hemp, and Chenopodium, under the White House of monasticism, are happy with their aspirations, and they are safe in Guangsha, without any illustrious momentum or sorrow.”. (Note 3)

All the above people know that the victory of Qin over the six Kingdoms is the general trend. But Xunzi didn’t want to have anything to do with the power and efficiency without culture; He would rather retreat to loneliness and write books for later generations.

Zhang Cang is young and a scientist. If he doesn’t become a senior civil servant, he won’t realize himself at all. When the state of Qin was the only choice, he had no choice but to go to the state of Qin. However, from the fact that he had hidden the biography of Zuoshi in the spring and Autumn period, he probably foresaw the difficulty of Qin’s politics for a long time and secretly prepared to replace it – and it seems that no one told him to do so.

However, fuchubo’s career choice was the simplest, only accepting disciples and preaching scriptures. Once the national uprising broke out and the Qin law failed, fuchubo continued his teaching career. It is said that when Liu Bang won the battle and surrounded Lu (Qufu), fuchubo and other scholars in Lu had already taught etiquette and music in the city, and the sound of string songs continued, so that Liu Bang sighed and adopted the policy of recruiting and demobilizing Lu. After the establishment of the Han Dynasty, Fu Qiubo has been lecturing in Chang’an. The “Lu study” in Han Confucianism was initiated by him.

Among Xunzi’s disciples, except Han Fei, who was unlucky, only Lisi never doubted the power of the state of Qin and devoted himself to serving it in exchange for fame and wealth. In contrast, Fu Qiubo and Zhang Cang seem to “worry about gain and loss”, but they are much more noble in terms of personal cultivation and social responsibility. It is not surprising that the state of Qin failed to win their recognition and asked Lisi not to leave. As a result, it became a victim of court politics and died before the two students.

Talents in modern society, of course, have much broader choices than those in the Warring States period. But the basic law will not change: if there is evil in an organization, those who are willing to move closer to it must be seeking self-interest; If the essence is conservatism, then the people gathered around it must also be opposed to innovation.

Before such an organization collapses, it can only run by attracting a group of low moral horses like Zhao Gao and Lisi. Even if some people are naive and seduced by its favorable recruitment conditions, they will certainly suffer a lot in a short time. Their ideals will be disillusioned. They will either be pushed away like Leyi or framed like Han Fei.

In the same way, those who adhere to the standards of “innocence” and “integrity” and have lofty aspirations will also investigate what kind of gifts the recruiter has cultivated and what kind of path he has taken when applying for a job. This is just like what the classic art of war, the three strategies of the Lord Huangshi, says: “an innocent man cannot be rewarded with rank and fortune; a righteous man cannot be threatened with punishment. Therefore, when a Ming monarch seeks to be virtuous, he must look at what he has done. An innocent man should practice his rites; a righteous man should practice his Tao. Then a man can be promoted, and his name can be guaranteed.”

So, let alone that no one would buy talents like King Yanzhao later. Even if there were, truly outstanding talents would not be able to be recruited with gold. Later scholar bureaucrats believed this:

On that day, the king of Zhao had a high platform, and the reason for his Majesty was guokaikai.

A thousand years’ worth of gold leaves a man’s price, and the steed will not come back for many years. (the golden terrace by qiuheshi)

Note 1 Xunzi, famous Kuang, was born in the state of Zhao. Xunzi, a famous thinker and writer in the late Warring States period, is also the epitome of Confucianism in the pre Qin period. He advocated the theory of evil nature, which corresponds to Mencius’ theory of good nature. Because his two disciples Hanfei and Lisi were representatives of legalism, Xunzi was attacked by many Confucian scholars later. Xunzi once entered the Qin Dynasty and said that the Qin state was “the best place to govern”. However, the “almost no Confucianism” is “short of the Qin Dynasty”.

Note 2 Zhang Cang, born in Yangwu (now Yuanyang County, Henan Province), was a famous scholar, politician and scientist from the Warring States period to the Qin and Han Dynasties. Zhangcang was the imperial historian in the Qin Dynasty, the Marquis of Beiping in the emperor Gaozu of the Han Dynasty, and the prime minister in the Emperor Wen of the Han Dynasty. He served for more than ten years, presided over the revision of the calendar, and corrected the nine chapter arithmetic, the earliest mathematical monograph in China. It is said that Zhang Cang lived more than 100 years. Jia Yi is Zhang Cang’s disciple.

Note 3 The language comes out of the “theory of salt and iron” (destruction of learning chapter). Rice hemp, porridge for food; Chenopodium bungeanum, wild grass; Chhun refers to cattle, sheep, pigs, dogs and other livestock. This sentence means that fuchubo was poor and poor. He drank porridge and lived in a thatched cottage every day, but he was “happy with his ambition”. Although he did not have a prominent position (such as LISS), he would not worry about losing his life.

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