Of all the schools of thought that sprouted around the fifth and fourth centuries B.C., the Legalists won the most immediate success. Legalists said that human nature was basically bad, and that strong armies and laws were necessary to keep people in line.
They believed that everyone should do productive work. Merchants and scholars were useless, said the Legalists, because they didn't produce anything. Music, poetry, philosophy, and history were useless. Farming and soldiering were what counted in a prosperous kingdom.
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