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CHAPTER THREE: ECONOMIC DUTIES OF THE STATE IN ANCIENT CHINA

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Chapter Summary

In addition to studying the economic theories of ancient China, this chapter pays particular attention to the actual constructive economic activities of various dynasties, in order to understand thoroughly the principles of Chinese economics. European laissez-faire economics holds that the government ought not to interfere with the people's economic activities, and advocates economic freedom and lack of restraint. The chapter discusses concrete activities to be undertaken by the government to meet or restrict the people's wants. The economic theory in ancient China was that everybody should have land to cultivate. In addition to advocating "adequacy of food", Confucius also urged the equalization of wealth. The economic duties of the Government are twofold: to satisfy the people's wants and at the same time to restrict them. With regard to national defense, the farmers of each unit of nine farms (under the "well-land" system) made up a military unit in ancient times.

Keywords: ancient China; Confucianist; constructive economic activity; economic duty; laissez-faire economics; national defense; people's wants

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