Free will

BSP19

子曰:「三軍可奪帥也,匹夫不可奪志也。」
Confucius said: “You may seize the commander-in-chief of an army, but you cannot remove free will from even the humblest person.”

This is one of the most powerful passages in the Analects: over 2,000 years before French revolutionaries proclaimed liberty, equality, and fraternity for the common people, Confucius was warning rulers to show respect for the individuality of even their lowest-born subjects and recognize that they had no right to take away their free will.

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