There’s no such thing as a good government official. It’s all about weighing pros and cons.

During the Yongzheng period, there was a scholar in Cangzhou, Hebei province, named Liu Shiyu, whose study was occupied by a fox spirit – don’t worry, it wasn’t an affair. No matter who entered the study or what they said, the fox spirit would dislike each other and throw tiles and stones at people, but no one had ever seen its face.

At that time, the mayor of Cangzhou was Dong Siren, a native of Plain County, Jinan, Shandong Province. Hearing that the house of Mr. Liu was haunted by fox spirits, Mr. Dong took the initiative to exorcise the spirits as he had a good reputation as a righteous man.

When they arrived at Liu’s house, Dong Zhizhou disowned them by pointing at the roof of the house and dislike them, saying, “Human beings are fucking born, demons are fucking born.

I’m not finished, I heard a voice from the eaves: “Come on Mr. Dong, I know you’re pretty good as an official, love the people like a son, and not greedy for money, so I won’t mess with you. I’m sure you’ll be able to find the best way to get rid of them,” he said. Let it be so, you have said enough, and if you go on, I am afraid that you will be asking for trouble.”

Liu Xiaolian thought that Dong Zhizhou would dislike him back, but he didn’t expect that after hearing these words from the fox spirit, he would not say a word and slink away, and remained depressed for the next few days.

This story is from Ji Xiaolan’s “Notes on the Reading of the Wei Cao Tang”. Dong Si Ren did have his own person, information contained, Dong was a science education, Yongzheng seven years to nine years as Cangzhou Zhizhou, “Cangzhou Zhi” said he was “shrewd and decisive, a moment of heroic disappearance. The rate of gentleman to create the test shed, the scholarly forest wear”. That is to say, he dared to sweep away evil, and attached importance to cultural construction, very much loved by the educated people. Therefore, he was confident burst to exorcise evil.

Unexpectedly, the fox spirit, although the bar spirit, a few words, obviously hit the “good official” soft underbelly: the so-called love of the people, but to win fame; the so-called cleanliness, but is afraid to bring trouble.

To be frank, or sophisticated egoist.

So what is a good official? Gee didn’t say that in the same volume another story was told.

There was a man named Zheng Suxian in the northern village, who once had a dream in which he went to the netherworld, and it happened that the King of Hell was approving new ghosts, and he was watching.

This time the ghost official brought in a ghost in official robes, the ghost strutted, came to the king of Yama, and was not afraid, claiming that when he was an official, the most he would drink a glass of water everywhere he went, not taking a needle and thread of the people, not ashamed of the ghosts and gods, applying for reincarnation in a rich family.

The King of Hell laughed and said, “The state has set up officials to govern the people, from the nine ministers down to the small postmaster, and the officials follow the rules and act in compliance with the law, just to do their duty. If you say that a good official is one who doesn’t need money, then if you put a wooden man in the public hall, he doesn’t even need to drink water, and he is even better than you.

The official ghost was embarrassed and said unconvinced, Even if I have no merit, then I am not guilty.

The King of Hell smiled again and said, “You are in office, which thing you do and which thing you don’t do, all for your own protection. For example, if a certain case requires you to speak out, and you don’t say a word to avoid suspicion, is that fair to the people? There’s another case you didn’t report for fear of trouble. Is that fair to the court? Why is it that in the Yangtze River, officials are tested on their performance once every three years, just because their inaction is a sin, Ayo Anders Din?

As soon as this was said, the official ghost lowered his head, terrified. The king of Hell laughed again, comforted him and said, “Don’t worry, you were just too high-profile, in all fairness, if the third and fourth grade good officer, can still be an official in the next life, go, ask the ghost pawn to take you to report to the king of the wheel, he will be discretionary.

The first thing you need to do is to take a look at the newest version of the book. I didn’t expect that the old woman just up, Yama actually a face of respect, but also bowed to her, and ordered the ghost pawn said, to the old man tea, good tea. The old woman drank the tea, and the king of hell ordered the ghosts to send the old man to a good home.

The king of Yama said, “I know this woman, she is an ordinary peasant woman, what is her merit and why does the king respect her so much?

The ghost pawn said, although she is an ordinary peasant woman, but a lifetime of self-interest in the world, even those who hold the truth in the world of physicists in front of her will be ashamed of themselves. Because as long as people have a selfish heart, will damage the interests of others, even if the well-known V is inevitably a large car accident scene. Therefore, it is normal that our king gave her the VIP treatment.

At the end of the story, Ji Xiaolan said, “Looking at these two things, I know that the human heart is slightly ambiguous, and all ghosts and gods can get a glimpse of it. Even though the wise man is selfish, he is not free from blame. In your room, can you believe it?”

As you can see from these two things, whether you are a celebrity and powerful person or a common man, the spirits will know and secretly settle your score with you if you have a private thought. Observe what happens to you, believe it or not.

With the story out of the way, we can run through the story: what kind of official is a good official? Is an official who dares not act recklessly for the sake of fame and fear of repercussions not a good official?

In the Shuowen Jiezi, the original meaning of “official” is: “The official is the ruler. And the original meaning of “mandarin” is “one who rules”. From the form of the character for “official,” the following “㠯,” which means “the people,” is “the people,” and “the people are covered with the word 㠯,” which means “the people. Then the meaning of ruling the people will be the same”. In other words, an official was someone who governed the people for the king.

As for the later “parents and officials”, “loving the people as their sons”, or even “servants”, I am sorry, but that is just your imagination. In the age of the monarchy, the officials, no matter how big or small, were given all the power by the king, and from beginning to end, they were only accountable to the king.

Of course, the court would also establish certain laws that the officials had to follow. In the Records of the Grand Historian, Sima Qian wrote a special chapter called “The Chronicles of the Ruling Officials”. It was the Chinese people’s desire to win the lottery as much as their desire to obey the law.

Sima Qian said that he “obeyed the law and reason, nothing changed, and the hundred officials were self-righteous”, that is, he was principled and law-abiding, and set an example for the hundred officials. One day, a man came to deliver fish to Gong Yi Xiu, but he refused. Send fish said, I heard that you like to eat fish before I sent to the door, why not accept it. Gong Yixiu said, just because I love to eat fish, so I can’t accept it. Don’t you think about it, I am a prime minister, I can buy fish whenever I want, if I were to be dismissed for accepting your fish, not only would I not be able to afford to buy fish in the future, no one would be able to give it to me, you tell me, can I take your fish?

Gong Yi Hugh’s motive for refusing the bribe was actually the same as that of Ji Xiaolan’s Dong Zhizhou and the official ghost, not that he wasn’t greedy, but that he was afraid of the consequences. It’s just that Gong Yi Xiu himself is more honest when he says it, and those two still think it’s great, which is why they’re satirized by Fox Spirit and the King of Hell.

So, in the eyes of the fox spirit and Yama, what kind of official can be considered a truly good official?

To use a term familiar to the older generation: selfless, public and private, or an old slogan: a fierce fight against the flash of private words.

The question is, is this possible?

Once upon a time, it was argued for two thousand years whether sex is inherently good or inherently evil, but the indisputable fact is that sex is inherently selfish. Selfishness, however, is not a good or evil thing. The criterion for judging good and evil is whether or not the actions taken from selfishness are detrimental to the interests of others (public). In the case of Dong Zhizhou and Gong Yi Xiu, they were selfish, but the objective effect of such selfishness was beneficial to the people at that time, which could also be called good.

But to expect every official to be as self-disciplined as they are, to put it bluntly, is to “rule the country with virtue” tone, which is very unreliable, and history has proven unworkable.

Only when the power of officials, no matter how big or small, can be constrained by the system, by public supervision, so that their selfishness can not do whatever they want, also dare not lazy government inaction also boast that “not greedy is a good official”, there may be a real “good official”.

In other words, a good system can’t guarantee that everyone will be a good official, but at least it can guarantee that bad officials will be taken down as soon as they appear. At the other end of the spectrum, even those who want to be good officials can’t stay in the bureaucracy, no matter how much they are afraid of the consequences, they have to follow the corruption.

So, it is better to count on good officials than to count on something else.