Friday, September 14, 2012

On the eve of the anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, Han Fei Tzu remains as relevent as ever

On the eve of the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, 09.17.12, I find this passage from Chinese philosopher Han Fei Tzu written over 200 years before the birth of Christ. Han Fei Tzu was a prince in the ruling house of the state of Han. A representative of the Fa-Chia or Legalist school of philosophy he produced a handbook for the ruling King of Han. Ironically the King did not heed his advice yet his adversary the King of Ch'in took Han Fei Tsu's writings to heart and defeated the ruling king (Fei Tzu's cousin), ascending to the throne in 246 B.C.

In this modern translation of Han Fei's basic writings, Burton Watson of Columbia University treads dangerously close to what many feel is the state of our American government today - an administration that spens half of the citizen's tax dollar on the war machine whilst occupying 50% of the entire world's military spending as 28-33 million Americans find themselves out of work. Plans for Occupy's anniversary span over 3 days in lower Manhattan beginning September 15th and ending on the 17th in a grand general assembly in Zuccotti park. We can only hope that revellers, the media and the public in general take this opportunity to refocus America towars a peaceful and profitable future - not the prophecy of a  more than two thousand year old failed oriental philosophy.

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