Confucius said: “’When good men govern a country for a hundred years, cruelty can be overcome and killing eliminated.” How true this saying is!”
Confucius said: “Even with a true king, it would still take one generation for goodness to prevail.”
Of course, the real challenge that Confucius fails to mention in the two passages is finding a “true king” or “good men” to govern properly.
For all his pronouncements on the subject, the only concrete example that Confucius could cite, apart from a few no-doubt obligatory hat tips to the mythical sage kings of deep antiquity, was his hero the Duke of Zhou, who lived over a thousand years before the sage did. That’s a long time to wait for the right person to come along to rescue humanity from chaos and depravity!