Han feizi's legalism versus kautilya's arthashastra

Asian Philosophy 15 (2):157 – 172 (2005)
Abstract
Writing only decades apart, Han Feizi (ca. 250 BCE) and Kautilya (ca. 300 BCE) were two great political thinkers who argued for strong leaders, king or emperor, to unify warring states and bring peace, who tried to show how a ruler controls his ministers as well as the populace, defended the need for spies and violence, and developed the key ideas needed to support the bureaucracies of the emerging and unified states of China and India respectively. Whereas both thinkers disliked the new merchants, Han Feizi seems content with a traditional feudal economy, whereas Kautilya wanted to use the state to increase production and the wealth in the king's treasury. Kautilya also had much more extensive discussions of war and diplomacy.
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