This study aims to interpret Mencius' political thinking taking as the starting point his doctrine of human nature. Each individual is capable of the moral self-cultivation of his or her innately good human nature, but in this task the individual requires adequate conditions and education. Political power is able to ensure this (and it is, indeed, one of its main asks to do so), but it can also, on the contrary, contribute, in a fundamental way, to the decadence of the state and society. The result of inadequate and ineffective application of political power is a growing crisis in society, especially in the area of inter-personal relations and moral conduct. Mencius' ideal is a relatively small and effective state that looks after its inhabitants and which does not unduly intervene in the social organism. War is understood, by him, as a great evil which is justifiably used only when putting-down an uprising or in self-defence. Generally, Mencius' political thought is characterized by the thought that the virtuous ruler will have, by dint of his strength of character, not only spiritual but also purely practical political successes.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.