Original Analects Supplement
LY 19

Passages: 16 25

Prefatory Note. Notes to the preceding chapters point out that this part of the Analects is in dialogue with, or aware of, several main tendencies of 03c thought. This chapter climaxes that tendency; it seems to be in large part a sort of secret satire against the Sywndz movement, which in the year 0254 had become dominant in the vicinity of Lu. In that year, Sywndz had been installed as Governor of Lan-ling. This was the capital of southern Lu and other territories which had been conquered by Chu in 0255/54. Lu at this time was in effect an occupied country, with Sywndz in charge of the occupation forces. It is at this time that the openly Sywndzian interpolations in early chapters, most outrageously *13:3 (which acknowledged the major Sywndzian doctrine of "rectifying names"), were added to the text as a gesture of respect and submission. This subtle but feisty chapter is the other side of those open gestures of submission. It is a secret gesture of ridicule and opposition. For a open ridicule of Sywndz, before Sywndz came too close for comfort, see 17:8a.

19:16. We might have gone on to note the implied sense of rvn here: it is incompatible with arrogance. And as anyone can find out who dips into them, the Sywndzian writings are in general characterized by arrogance, along with aggressiveness, intolerance, and the appropriation of other people's ideas on the grandest scale possible.

19:25. Here, as in 17:18, it is probably better to take bang/jya not in its earlier sense of "states and clans" but in its later sense of "a nation," a modern state. Its grandly expansive picture of Confucius, almost an apotheosis of Confucius, makes an equally grand statement: Confucius, we are told, and not Sywndz or anybody else, is the one to put in charge of the modern state. He alone can lead the modern state to spontaneous but powerful success.

This got them precisely nowhere (see LY 20), but it must have been fun saying it.


This Supplement is Copyright © 2001- by E Bruce and A Taeko Brooks

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