salt - who knew

around 81 b.c. the teenage emperor of a then unified china gathered 60 notables from around china to openly debate state administative policies. the central subject at the time was the government ruled monopoly over salt and iron, which was imposed and used mostly to fund military activities.

this debate ended up covering many different issues. but i found it interesting that when confucians, inspired by mencius, were asked how a state should raise profits, they replied, "why must your majesty use the world profit? all i am concerned with are the good and the right. if your majesty says, 'how can i profit my state?' your officials will say, 'how can i profit my family?' and officers and common people will say, 'how can i profit myself?' once superiors and inferiors are competing for profit, the state will be in danger."

as so it is.... like drr like drr people, 81 b.c., get with the program!

(for reference see "salt: a history of the world" by mark kurlansky, p33)

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