Fathers of a Good Kingdom

Fathers of a Good Kingdom - 9/20/2011 HST 197 Fathers of a...

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9/20/2011 HST 197 Fathers of a Good Kingdom The texts, Asoka’s Three Edicts and Arthashastra’s Duty of a King, give great insight into the roles of kings in their kingdoms in a time when kingdoms were the dominant forms of government. The texts focus on discipline, welfare, tolerance, and in a way empathy, albeit a cold distanced empathy. The texts ignore being a king, but focus on what it means to be a ruler, to manage and take care of a functioning society, and to especially please its members. It was not for their own prosperity, but the kingdom’s. The role of the king is to serve the kingdom. In Asoka’s text, there is emphasis in tolerance and impartiality. He wishes for the health and safety of all subjects. There is a sort of empathy in his own rule, which favors him to the people. For example, “ Let us win the affection of all men. All men are my children.” (Pomeranz 111) Although this obviously isn’t true empathy, it still is empathy. The king does not call him his subjects but his children. They are a part of his family, therefore a part of him. He must maintain a special connection to them and a feel for them, and realize what they are feeling and what they want. That connection between parent and child is a very important connection. A father has to be aware of his children’s feelings and wants. He must be compelled to make them happy and to please them. He also has to have that distance of authority to maintain order. He
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Fathers of a Good Kingdom - 9/20/2011 HST 197 Fathers of a...

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