My dear Kacvey,

Let us now learn from historical and present days examples/lessons to see how society has been coping with this incurable disease of nepotism/corruption.

You may be right to ask why Chinese examples have been chosen for illustration, but you might have already known that Chinese history with Lao Zi (老子), Kong Zi (孔子) and the Yellow Emperor (黄帝) goes way, way back to Buddha’s time and long before Aristotle, Socrates, Charlemagne, Machiavelli, Napoléon, Newton or Columbus, and so on. You and us, since we started our schooling under the colonization, we got so stuck with Western history and culture that whatever we know of it is smaller than the ignorance that we have about Asian history and culture. The world is big, and different is the history of every part of it. Please open this link if you wish to be appraised of how today’s China economy has become in the modern world configuration:

Between us, friends, a little bit of digression won’t hurt, will it! Now, revenons à nos moutons with 2 short stories on how to combat nepotism and corruption in ancient China.

1. Soft model – In 330 AD, after toppling Liu Yao (刘曜), Shi Le (石勒) proclaimed himself Emperor of the Late Zhao (后赵). Although he was illiterate, Shi Le had high regards for scholars and intellectuals. After becoming emperor, he gave explicit orders to his troops that they were forbidden to kill any educated people captured by them, who were instead to be transported to Xiangguo (襄国) for his personal attention. On the advice of Zhang Bin (张宾), a Han (汉) intellectual, Shi Le took under his wing a group of impoverished  Han scholars and organized them into a “Division of Gentlemen” (君子营). Contrary to previous emperors who appointed his relatives for high positions in the court, Shi Le founded a number of schools and put the children of his military officers into these schools to receive an education. He also found talent for public service by instituting a system of recommendations and examinations; persons recommended by local authorities for public service would be appointed if found qualified after evaluation and appraisal.

As a result of Shi Le’s ability to nurture talent as well as his relatively enlightened politics, the Later Zhao witnessed an initial period of prosperity.

2. Hard model – In 354 AD, int the state of Former Qin (前秦) …

(To be continued to “The nephews – Part V”)