Absolutely brilliant, as usual.

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Confucius' disciple asked him about the essence of good government and he replied, “The requisites of government are that there be a sufficiency of food, enough military equipment, and the confidence of the people in their ruler.”

The disciple asked: “If it were necessary to dispense with one of these, which of the three should be done without?” Confucius answered: “The military equipment.”

He asked again, “If it were necessary to dispense with one of the remaining two, which one should be foregone?”

Confucius replied, “Part with the food. Death has always been the lot of men; but if the people have no faith in their rulers, then the state cannot exist.”

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