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Coronavirus and the Mandate of Heaven

Should not civilised societies prioritise human security which includes - but is not limited to - national security?

Ravi Bhoothalingam 

Ravi Bhoothalingam

The Mandate of Heaven is an ancient Chinese philosophical doctrine evolved during the Zhou dynasty in the first millennium BCE, to confer on an emperor the legitimacy to rule over his people. The popular theory runs thus: ‘Heaven’ — the natural order in the universe — wishes harmony on Earth, and seeks to establish this through conferring its ‘Mandate’ on the Emperor.

But conditions apply. The claimant must govern as a just and benign ruler, bringing prosperity to his people. If not, Heaven may withdraw the Mandate, leaving the field open to anyone who ...

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First Published: Thu, March 12 2020. 21:50 IST
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