China and the Mandate of Heaven: The Right to Overthrow Morally Unfit Rulers

Good advice from ancient China. Take down that red curtain wherever it is hung in any country. Let the world be free.

The Most Revolutionary Act

Episode 6: The Zhou and the Mandate of Heaven

Foundations of Eastern Civilization

Dr Craig Benjamin (2013)

Film Review

In 1046 AD Wu, the first Zhou king, overthrew the Shang Dynasty with the help of vassal states fed up with paying tribute to corrupt kings. The longest ruling dynasty (1046-256 BC), the Zhou also introduced China’s longstanding “Mandate of Heaven.” Under the Mandate of Heaven, rebel leaders asserted the god-given right to seize power from leaders who became morally unfit to rule.

The Zhou dynasty is known for fair and humane rule of their subjects. Greatly expanding the territory they inherited from the Shang, they allowed vassal kings to pay tribute and continued ruling in territories the Zhou military had conquered.

During their first century of rule, the Zhou kings worshiped the Shang gods (Di and his vassal gods), but later focused more on worshiping ancestors and nature gods. Human…

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