A State Should Regard Righteousness as a Benefit.
A state should regard righteousness as a fundamental benefit. The debate over righteousness and benefits has been a constant theme of discussion in the Chinese history of philosophy, because benefits were often seen as personal profits that might be wrongfully gained. Taking righteousness as the most important kind of benefit was a basic concept upheld by ancient philosophers. Neither a person nor a state can survive without benefits. However, ancients emphasized the integration of righteousness and benefits. They believed that benefits could be materialized only when combined with righteousness, and the two should stay in harmony. One must not seek personal gain at the expense of righteousness. According to this concept, a government must not vie with commoners for benefits, nor should a state vie with another state for benefits for itself only. One must always strive for mutual assistance, shared interests, balance, and win-win outcomes.
- 利者，义之和也。 （《周易•文言》） （利是义与利的和谐统一。）
Benefit is a combination of righteousness and interests. (The Book of Changes)
- 国不以利为利，以义为利也。 （《礼记·大学》） （国家不应以财利为利，而应以道义为利。）
A state should not take pecuniary gain as benefit, but righteousness as its benefit. (The Book of Rites)