Legalist School (Fǎjiā 法家)

YU Qiyu and Bill SIEVER

An actor at a mock legal trial plays a magistrate from imperial times, when Legalism championed the law of a single iron-fisted ruler. PHOTO BY JOAN LEBOLD COHEN.

Legalism was a school of thought that advocated strict adherence to the law of a single iron-fisted ruler as the only way to combat humankind’s inherent selfishness. Legalists have been frowned on as rigid totalitarians for most of China’s history;….

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